Life has its challenges.

We should expect this.

Some challenges are unavoidable, but our suffering is our choice.

We can and do choose how to respond every day.

However, we get so lost in our unconscious reactions that we forget that we have choice.

But you do.

You really have a choice in what you give life to in your inner experience.

In accepting this choice, you can find your way through several common spiritual struggles.

Not only that, but you can grow into a more grounded, open, and powerful person.

Spiritual Struggle #1: The Existential Crisis

There are times when our beliefs fail us. And we suddenly question our existence.

Things may feel meaningless.

People lose faith.

People may feel like God/the universe/life has turned its back on them.

I think we’re entering a time of a lot of these crises as so much is changing with no clear goal in sight from all the social and technological change with which we’re inundated.

However, you can take this moment to come back to awareness.

You can let go of the beliefs that you’re trying to make work, but aren’t.

The more you can surrender to what Is, the more you can find your way back to reality and feel stronger in the present moment.

Spiritual Benefits and Growth

The spiritual growth you experience is powerful from overcoming an existential crisis because you have let go of some of the veils of illusion to REALITY. Being more tuned into reality makes your actions both practical and powerful.

Others may think you’re doing something special, but really, you’ve used this existential crisis to let go of illusory beliefs to see and now engage with what is real.

Spiritual Struggle #2: Getting Stuck on a Spiritual Belief System

Similarly to the first spiritual struggle, many people are lost in the dogma of their spiritual belief system. It creates suffering because the ideas take precedence over the reality.

We can want a duck to be a cat, but the duck is a duck.

The duck is not changing.

Yes, there are a lot of things that can change and should change in people and society.
But if, for instance, money is how people want to trade and value things, believing that money is bad, evil, or otherwise a problem can lead to many poor decisions.

Even more specifically to spiritual belief systems, they are meant to help us live well. If their beliefs become violent or abusive or totally irrelevant to what is happening now, it’s time to let go of that belief or potentially the whole belief system.

In this example, people haven’t realized that their belief system is failing them unlike the existential crisis. They may even think it is helping them.

But you are stuck.

Truly desiring to see reality instead of reinforcing your beliefs gets you out of the stuckness. And reality has never been hurt by your willingness to inquire into its existence.

Spiritual Benefits and Growth

This inquiry mindset scares the ego, but it is also a type of curiosity that will strengthen you in clarity for all of the rest of your life.

Spiritual Struggle #3: Difficulty Meditating

Here’s a very common spiritual struggle: difficulty in meditating.

If the mind is busy, I encourage you to give yourself an hour mental break before meditating. You might also journal down the thoughts in your head.

If your body is uncomfortable, I encourage you to do yoga or stretching focusing on the hips and legs. Loosening up the base of the body helps to relieve pressure further upwards in the back and shoulders.

If you have lots of emotions coming up when you try to meditate, you may want to seek support from a therapist or other trained counselor. You probably have some things to heal.

Spiritual Benefits and Growth

The spiritual growth you can enjoy in overcoming this struggle is the beauty of being able to stabilize your emotions, clear your mind, and balance your nervous system.

Spiritual Struggle #4: Lots of Mental Chatter

We have so much external noise and stimulation. It can get our minds chattering a lot.
To paraphrase, Beau Lotto in his book Deviate, the brain evolved to solve the problem of the unknown.

New information and stimulation challenges the brain to solve the question of: “What do I do with this info?”

Many peoples’ minds are stuck in this loop of, “What do I do with all this information?!”

If you want to calm your monkey mind, then I recommend media fasts and reducing information and stimulation to only the things that truly support you.

Spiritual Benefits and Growth

The benefit is that you feel clearer in your mind and have more room for inspiration, problem-solving, and creativity.

Spiritual Struggle #5: Fear of Going Within

Finally, people have a big fear of going within.

They are terrified of what they may find in themselves.

Truly, looking within is often the greatest spiritual struggle and stumbling block people have.

Instead, people constantly look externally for support, re-assurance, validation, coddling, and more.

But the external world is ephemeral.

It changes.

So we always feel like we’re losing our footing in finding external world reassurance. And we don’t realize that much of the instability we feel has to do with what is happening within us.

Spiritual Benefits and Growth

By looking within, you can unlearn your ego reactions and let go of blinding illusions. In this way, you find an amazing strength in truly knowing who you are and having no fear of looking at any part of yourself.

This makes you more and more fearless in all situations in life.

Just remember that your courage will be developed in the presence of fear, not its absence.


I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.

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