There is the truth in this ancient teaching: “To connect constantly to the Light of the Creator, we must develop and become like the desert.”
The desert is an un-owned, open space within which anybody can do anything they want. This is the level to which we are supposed to develop. Being like the desert means that you embracing originality, which means you care about what people think about you, but you are not becoming fear; you notice what people say to you, but you are mindful be able to do self-reflection without necessarily worrying too much that you are wrong. All means being free in the deepest sense to grow as to continue to be authentic.
Our nature is usually the opposite of the desert. We are extremely and constantly concerned about what people do, say, or even think about us. We are captive to almost everybody, for their actions, words, and even thoughts can influence our feelings and life.
To develop spiritually, we need to constantly become like the desert, feeling open and free like the desert. It is not an easy process, but it greatly enables our spiritual development and brings us to a level of equanimity and peace that cannot be reached any other way. It is a process that takes constant focus and effort, but the result is immense.