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Throughout our lives, each of us will travel down our own spiritual path, a unique and individual journey that will ultimately reveal our truest and best self. No two journeys are the same, and we all move at our own pace, making it difficult to spot at first glance where one may be in their own search for spiritual awakening.

Look around you. Each person you meet is somewhere along this journey, with some further along than you may currently be today and others just considering getting started. However, there are a few select inspirational individuals that we can look to as an example of what great things await us at the other end of this path. These Spiritual Masters have discovered the true peace and understanding that only enlightenment can provide.

How will you know if you encounter a true spiritual master? Watch for these 8 signs:

#1 – They are naturally gifted teachers.

There are some people in the world that you can see were sent to Earth with the specific purpose of teaching those that they encounter. I don’t necessarily mean teaching mathematical equations or proper grammar. Instead, teaching important life lessons, sharing the truths that they know deep within their heart and helping to mentor and guide others on their own spiritual journey. This may be, in some cases, so natural that they aren’t even aware of what they are doing at the moment.

#2 – They live a life of true integrity.

One of the greatest failings of our current society is our failure to stand true to our morals and beliefs when it’s difficult. However, this isn’t the case for those who have achieved spiritual mastery understand that their word is gold, and they aim to live a life that can only be described as one of ‘purest intention’. If something doesn’t align with their morals and values, they won’t even entertain the idea. Their heart and soul are aligned and guide everything that they do.

#3 – They remain non-reactive in the face of life’s challenges.

With spiritual understanding comes a heightened level of emotional intelligence. This is a skill that most of us would love to apply in our own lives as it would help us to avoid so many difficulties, however, it takes great inner peace and self-understanding. What am I talking about? The ability to face intense emotions in a non-reactive way. They don’t lash out or act impulsively triggered by what they are feeling. Instead, remaining calm, they are able to take responsibility for what they are personally experiencing and the way that they respond.

#4 – They have a deep respect for the natural world.

An outlook that is so severely lacking in our world today. Spiritual Masters understand that everything in the Universe is connected, with each living being playing an integral part in a much bigger picture. Rather than seeing the human population as somehow better or more important, with everything else given for our use, they see everything as equal and worthy of their respect. As such, they make all efforts to avoid having a negative impact on the natural world around them.

#5 – They are a true personification of love.

These individuals live every day with their heart guiding the way. Their compassion and empathy aren’t solely directed at their close friend or loved ones, but everyone they meet, showing tremendous love and respect for every living being that they encounter When they walk through the door, they radiate a warmth and light that instantly makes everyone in the room feel at ease. This isn’t always easy, and sometimes requires great sacrifice, but they continue to do it without hesitation.

#6 – They are completely and unapologetically authentic.

Most people shy away from complete authenticity as it requires vulnerability. This refers not only to sharing one’s strengths and accomplishments with the world, but also one’s flaws and weaknesses. They don’t try to ‘create an image’ or put on a mask to hide their true selves from the world. Instead, they realize that they can only grow and evolve if they accept and embrace who they are today. Only by accepting all sides of our selves, the good and ‘not so good’, can we take steps to become the best version of ourselves, who we are meant to be.

#7 – They live free from judgment.

It’s a difficult concept to wrap one’s mind around in a world that is so full of it, but there are people whose first reaction upon coming into contact with someone isn’t their appearance, their grasp of the English language or how expensive their clothing may or may not be. These are people who see past all that with an open and loving heart and soul, accepting the person that stands before them free from prejudice. As we are raised and trained from a young age to make this error, it isn’t going to be easy to rewire oneself, however, as you travel down the path towards spiritual awakening, this will come naturally.

#8 – They are free from attachments and materialism.

This is one sign that will clearly stand out in a society obsessed with fame and fortune. They understand that life is so much more than the car they drive, the beauty they possess or the number in their bank account. Free from all of these burdens that hold so many of us back from reaching true spiritual enlightenment, they are able to focus their attention on what really matters. While this is certainly a more advanced way of living, it may seem ‘odd’ or out of place in the world today. They don’t fit in, and yet it doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest.

Image via Vito Loli (Artist)