The Tao Te Ching says. “If you want to be whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to be straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to be full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” These are not empty phrases; they are about our willingness to embrace life fully with humility and humanity. These words are about integrity and courage.

Today we live in a society that is hell-bent on materialism, plundering the earth and getting ahead, whatever ahead selfishly looks like. The greatest minds on the planet wonder whether we have time to turn this potential disaster around. We are on the brink of destroying ourselves. Perhaps since we created this, we deserve it but I am not sure that in the grand scheme of things, it matters. Every 25,000 years or so we have a disaster that is catastrophic and we, life miraculously begins again from the bowels of each disaster. However, is that really the issue? When, and if, we hit the wall, what will we each individually have to say to ourselves about what we did or did not do to contribute to our destiny and the strength of our character, both individually and as global citizens? It really is only and all about us.

Some believe, as I do, that we start our next life at the same level of consciousness in which we left this life. When we begin again, we have to start out learning the lessons we skipped learning in this life in order to move our soul forward. This time, this life is a precious gift, a blank canvas on which we write our own destiny. This is an enormous opportunity to wake up. So how are you doing?

Recently, some of us got curious about our spiritual IQ was and I thought you might want to do the same. Here’s the little test we took. I created it from an article in Family Therapy Magazine by Park and Peterson that described the character traits that brought people true happiness. Feel free to measure your own. And, when you are finished you may see some areas that deserve your attention. Take a moment to write in the percentage to which you feel you have achieved excellence in each category.

Character Strength and Spiritual Rating

1. Wisdom and knowledge:

  • Creative thinking, pushing out the limits, getting out of your comfort zone to try on new ways of doing and being
  • Curiosity and spiritual exploration into new areas of thinking and believing
  • Open-mindedness, seeing all sides with acceptance, free from judgment
  • Mastering new skills, tools and spiritual abilities

2. Courage, emotional strength and right use of will:

  • Authenticity and truthfulness, speaking in genuine ways
  • Bravery, willingness to face and resolve issues and fears
  • Persistence and level of commitment to spiritual values
  • Zest, approaching and participating in life with reverence and joy

3. Humanity, interpersonal strengths of tending to or be in service to others:

  • Kindness or doing good deeds for those in need
  • Love, commitment for self and others
  • Awareness of your own motives, using ethical boundaries and communication.

4. Justice, co-creating better world and community both spiritual and in general:

  • Fairness, treating all people equally and justly
  • Leadership, taking a lead role bringing greater awareness to groups, family and career.
  • illingness to pioneer consciousness.
  • Teamwork, making a conscious effort to empower and support others success

5. Temperance, strengths that protect against excess:

  • Forgiveness, not holding grudges or old resentments
  • Modesty, acting more out of spirit and alignment than ego
  • Preciseness, being careful about choices of what to do and not to do that empowers you and others

6. Transcendence

  • Appreciation for life and all it’s beauty, excellence and opportunities for growth that you create
  • Gratitude, thankfulness for all experiences and choices both good and hard
  • Hope for the future and determination to fulfill your purpose

OK, how did you do? The wonderful thing about getting conscious is that you get to wake up anytime and there is no judgment about when you decide to do it. The real issue is THAT YOU DO IT. This moment is a great time to begin or take it farther. Who knows, together we may be able to turn this potentially difficult future around.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2008

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