How to jump-start your spiritual life
Russ Gerber is a practitioner and teacher of Christian...
MASSACHUSETTS, May 20, 2013 — As many people explore feelings of unhappiness, unhealthiness and dissatisfaction, they often stumble upon something they knew intuitively but did not consciously recognize: They are neglecting their spiritual lives.
Major life overhauls often require discussion, introspection and prayer. Finding the right path can improve attitude and generally improve health.
Following are some key lessons for resetting your life and finding a more spiritual track.
Beware of gazing in the rear-view mirror. It is tempting to keep looking back, to ruminate over decisions you wish had been smarter, behavior you regret, opportunities you let get away as though there’s some need to keep taking inventory of any reasons why your life can’t improve. After a while, you realize self-condemnation is a non-starter.
Feeling a need to re-direct such downward thinking could have been Paul’s motivation when he told the Colossians back in Biblical times: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” It wasn’t an argument for escapism from daily life. It was encouragement to have higher aims and, in that way, to transform daily life.
Safeguard who you are. Many years ago, Shirley Temple Black gave an interview to a public radio station. She was there to talk about her work as the then U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but the interviewer kept asking her questions about her roles as a child star. While that’s not surprising, Black insistently steered the conversation back to her current work. Finally the interviewer asked why she was reluctant to say much about her landmark years in film. She answered politely but firmly that the child star he wished to discuss was not her. She explained she was now an ambassador and as such had a different purpose in her life and very different responsibilities to fulfill. As wonderful as those years in film were then, she said, that it isn’t her now.
Not a small point. We do not always realize how it undercuts our ability to develop as individuals if we’re not willing to leave old thought-models of ourselves for new ones.
If it frequently occurs to you that there has to be a different and better way to live your life, be prepared to learn that it’s more than built-up frustration with current circumstances that you’re dealing with. It could be you’re being prodded by an inner-felt call to grow and learn something new about yourself. Such a call can be one form of the divine influence at work and a golden opportunity for advancement.
What can break through entrenched, old thought patterns and lead you forward is an inspiring idea, a revelation, that becomes a door-opener to a new direction to take, a new next step in your career, new and expanded opportunities you hadn’t seen. It can be an awakening to the fact that you’re capable of accomplishing more with your life than you previously believed.
What you learn along the way is just how much of a spiritual practice this is. It is fueled by a deep-down desire to perceive and be true to something more than the frustrated, unhappy person you’re accustomed to being.
By not giving up on that desire to be better and do better in life, your thought remains open to new ideas. With this openness comes a willingness to make changes, to grow and to enjoy the benefits of a new, broader and better perspective on life: a greater sense of your usefulness in society, an assuredness about the future, a more cheerful attitude, less stress and anger and vulnerability, and in no small way an improvement in the quality of your health.
If you have been longing to feel good again about your life, consider what it means to practice a more spiritual life. Yes, to put it into practice. It is not something out there that you need to acquire. In fact, it’s the spiritual nature that you already have that compels you to discover how much more, infinitely more, you truly are.
The starting point for getting your life on track is to hold tight to that desire for a new and ever-developing idea of yourself. What an opportunity.
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