The spiritual life is made up of a series of reality checks we would like to avoid. In saying that, there is no LIFE in our spirituality if we avoid these realities. When we walk away from those realities, we commit, what Brennan Manning calls, "spiritual suicide". Spiritually, we would rather give up all-together than to actually engage the realities that require us to give up living life on our own terms.
We are hell-bent on selfishness and avoiding the Christ-centered life, and we refuse real spiritual life when we keep focusing on ourselves.
The New English Bible translation of the beatitude says:
"How blessed are those who know that they are poor, the kingdom of Heaven is theirs."
The moment I come to terms with how poor I actually am is the moment I enter the verge of something great. The moment I quit avoiding the reality that I am not the center of my universe I can begin to have spiritual growth.
The moment I come to accept that I am relentlessly selfish, broken, and tore up is the moment I reach a threshold of real spiritual LIFE.
I am, in those moments, really settling into the reality of the poor in spirit. I coming to accept the fact it is okay not to be okay all the time because I simply am not okay all the time.
This is a reality check I need frequently and constantly if I want true spiritual life and to never commit spiritual suicide.