Are you a Conservative? Or a Liberal?

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You already have your “hackles” up, don’t soul_pathyou? Relax. I’m not going to talk about politics. I’m going to talk about soul stuff—specifically about the stages of maturity that are necessary if we wish to bless the world, not only with our lives, but also with our deaths.

The first level of basic human maturity is the struggle to get our lives together. This is generally accomplished by channeling our energies through discipline. This task is by nature “conservative.” We seek out and learn proper teaching so we can have a healthy vision. We submit to rules of behavior that help us achieve that vision. We may say we don’t like rules, but we follow rules all the time in order to get what we want. Simple things like turning in our paperwork on time at the job; or keeping an infant on a schedule so she won’t be cranky in the afternoons; or making sure we exercise enough to keep ourselves relatively fit and healthy.

But once this stage is achieved, there is a new challenge—a new call to liberality. The task now is to give our lives away by investing in others. As we grow in this, the circle of recipients grows wider, and our investment goes deeper. We become mentors to many. If we have lived most of our years on earth without achieving this transition from “conservative” to “liberal,” then our soul growth may be stunted. Often, those who should be learning and “conserving” give away all that they are and all that they know. Just as often, those who should be blessing, mentoring, and giving away their wisdom hold on to it because they are too busy, tired, or “over it” to make the effort.

Ultimately one of our tasks as humans is to move with grace and dignity to the great unknown, death; where all that we have conserved is let go of; and all that we have liberally given away (invested) remains. We enter the cosmic embrace and the ineffable mystery of God, hopefully having blessed many on this earth with love, wisdom, shared joy, and deep human connection. So in our soul journey, we don’t pick and choose whether to be conservative or liberal—we must be both.