Spiritually Sound: Strengthening Our Spiritual Core
June 12, 2012
Filed under Inspirationally Yours
For most of us, one leg of our life journey – at least the one that we are first conscious of – began when we were pimply-faced, gangly teenagers trying to figure out where we belong in the world.
We probably didn’t recognize all of the changes we endured as first steps in our life’s journey. As females, the changes we were going through were hormonally induced and easily recognizable: the beginning of our menstrual cycle, the transition from a flat chest to B – and sometimes D cups by the time we reached high school, and facial eruptions from acne. Our task on this first leg of our journey was to recognize and accept the physical changes we were enduring as necessary steps for maturity.
Then maturity introduced new journeys – emotional, physical and spiritual ones – journeys which dictated that we approach them with the same diligence for recognition and respect as we did during the changes in our teenage years. But with the level of multi-tasking necessary for daily survival, these journeys likely got lost and emerged in our minds as stress. Instead of recognizing that we are not infallible and therefore human, we have spent our lives criticizing ourselves for every mistake or transgression. We rail at our reflections for choosing the wrong marriage partner or for how we’re raising our children. We punish ourselves looking or living differently than our neighbors. We allow a build-up of negativity to weigh on our already burdened shoulders and bring us down to a point where we find it hard to get back up again.
With each phase of our maturity, it was expected that we would understand that as we journey through the rest of our lives, change would be a primary concept in our emotional, physical and spiritual growth. In theory, as we naturally evolved through changes, we would embrace them or reject them, celebrate them or mourn them. But never would we allow change to end our journey through life.
As a healthcare worker, I’m privileged to have the opportunity to listen to patients while they are in the hospital. During their stay on my unit for a physical ailment, they come face to face with their emotional journeys and usually want to talk about them. Over and over I’m struck by the enormity of anger, frustration and sadness that drips incessantly like a leaky faucet behind curtains of smiles, jokes and sarcasm. I’m painfully aware that in addition to the many responsibilities that we inherited just for being women, we are struggling with the task of learning how to pick ourselves up, dust off, and continue on our journey.
We struggle to find a remedy to move past the emotional turmoil we encounter when one leg of our journey leads us into enemy territory. We have no clue where to find the strength to physically pick ourselves up to find that remedy, apply it and step back onto our journeys path. We endure all of this stress because we’ve forgotten one journey – our spiritual journey.
Just like we depend on the strength of our core – our abdominal and back muscles – to perform daily tasks and athletic endeavors, the strength of our spiritual core is necessary to move us through each emotional and physical change in our life journey. Depending upon your own personal belief system, there are ways to strengthen your spiritual core.
Attending regular church services is recognized by many as an important part of life’s journey. Fellowshipping with people of like mind and focus and exploring scripture references is essential to making the right choices, prayerful living and maintaining a sense of inner peace. Whether attending a brick and mortar building or watching a televised service provides a sense of security and foundation. For supplement or substitution, there are also a multitude of inspirational blogs, motivational speakers, and self-help books that are additional guideposts along your journey.
One of my favorite self-help books is Iyanla Vanzant’s, “Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color.” Susan Taylor’s “In the Spirit” – derived from her monthly columns in Essence Magazine – is another favorite. In addition, I have found lessons to strengthen my life journey in: Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Joyce Meyers’ “The Confidant Woman,” or the “Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul” book with encouraging stories that honor women at every level of maturity written by Linda Ellerbee, Kathy Lee Guilford and Oprah Winfrey.
And have you heard of Liberia’s Mother Eliza? I’m currently reading Lorry Lutz’s book, “When God Says Go” about the courageous and spiritually sound Mother Eliza and her 100 years of inspirational strength.
We are all travelling individual paths on a journey with similar forked roads, detours and road blocks. A strong spiritual journey will ensure that our journeys continue without end.