Measuring the Intangible

Spiritual growth is an intangible thing. You can’t go in the kitchen and weigh out a pound of spiritual growth. You can’t buy it by the metre in the corner shop. So how can you measure it?

I said last week that spiritual growth is something that can really only be looked at in retrospect.

measuring height

Measuring spiritual growth

Now that I have spent some time thinking about it, I don’t know that spiritual growth is a concept that can be measured. If life is a journey, you can’t gather up all the steps you took and the path you walked upon, grind it to a poweder, sieve the pieces, and say, “This is the journey I was on.”

What I can do is look at how I dealt with life situations then and compare it to how I deal with life situations now. I can look at my mental health then, and compare it to my mental health now. How am I taking care of the mundanities of life? Am I keeping my sh*t together or am I constantly going from one crisis to the next without actually dealing with anything? We all know that one person who talks a good talk about being spiritually evolved yet his mundane life is always in chaos.

What can I look at in my own life that can tell me, I have grown. I have become a fuller, more complete person. I am happier. I am more confident.

I can look at how I deal with the curve balls that life throws at me.

When the battery on my car was completely drained a few weeks ago the me of 5 years ago would have called to have someone else take care of it. I would have felt helpless and incompetent for having let it drain in the first place. (I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but suspect the door was not fully latched because the seat belt strap had been caught in it and it was left that way for nearly 48 hours.) I would have used it as an opportunity for mental self-flagellation.

The me of today called the ex-husband to tell him I would be late dropping the boys off and why. I locked up the car, we walked to the train station (about 200 yards away, give or take), and took the train to get the boys to their father instead of driving. The next day, I used public transport again, this time a bus, to get to the nearest autoparts store where I bought a self-contained battery jumper set (cables attached to a rechargeaqble battery pack so you can jump start without having to have another car). Brought it home, plugged it in to charge for 12 hours, and then jump started the car.

This is a skill, by the way, that I had 5 years ago. I’ve known how to jump start a car since I was a teenager.

Is this a mark of spiritual growth?

I think it is.



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