Self- Care Series: Spiritual Self-Care
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Brené Brown, a researcher story-teller who has taken the world by storm with her material on the power of vulnerability, defines spirituality in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, as follows:
“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”
Now, I’ll admit – this is probably one of the more difficult topics I’ve chosen to write about. For a couple of reasons:
- We believe in Biblical Christianity, which is highly misunderstood. Unfortunately, it’s most often misunderstood by self-professing Christians and subsequently by those who know them.
- Spirituality & religion are, more often than not, taboo topics – unless the person speaking truly believes there’s more than one option. And there’s a lot of shame and condemnation that unintentionally comes from feeling like you may have chosen the wrong path, or that someone else thinks you did.
- Our purpose is not to tell you what to believe, but our hearts do yearn for you to know why we believe what we believe, and how much the Creator of all things loves you – if only to give you the opportunity to consider it.
Relationship with the Creator, not organized religion
The discussion around the “power greater than all of us” is what can so easily turn people off from the importance of spirituality. As we mentioned, we firmly believe in Biblical Christianity and that said “power” is God. He is physically manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, and alive inside everyone who believes in Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are starting this conversation because we know and experience God’s love on a daily basis and it would go against everything we know to be true to tell you that you can receive and experience that perfect, incomparable love from any other source. Our goal is NOT to force feed you spirituality – but rather to share the love we have received.
The love we have received is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the story of the entire Bible and the greatest love story ever told. And if you’re wondering why we believe the Bible – take a listen to this podcast episode from CityLight Church on the logical reasoning and hard evidence behind why we know the Bible to be true. BUT this is not just a love you know in your head – it is one you experience on a deeply personal level. So slamming you guys with a crap ton of evidence on the historical accuracy of Jesus’ story is not the point – nor will it do us any good. As I mentioned in our post on Supernatural Childbirth, God is after a relationship with us – not our ability to follow rules, understand history or conform to a man-made set of constructs (like organized religion).
Relationships are meant to be experienced. You don’t marry your husband or wife to know in your head that you’re married – you marry to experience love. And God’s love for you is so great that sometimes all He’s waiting for is an opportunity to show you.
Create an Opportunity
This “opportunity” is what we believe to be the first step of spiritual self-care – setting aside time to explore what spirituality looks like to you. How do you engage the spiritual realm? How do you engage the world of people to whom we’re connected – with intentional love and compassion? Without an opportunity for spiritual connection, enlightenment or awakening – spirituality is just another item on your never-ending to-do list which you never manage to fit into your day. Prioritizing your “perspective, meaning and purpose” will re-energize you and give you a fuller sense of life itself.
In our newlymom lives, this looks like quieting our minds to give God an opportunity to say what He wants to say without our agendas getting in the way. It’s easy to bring our worries, fears and failures to God and ask for guidance and comfort. But what about all that God has to say that isn’t a direct answer to one of those items? Focusing on His concerns over ours make them seem so much smaller and more manageable anyway. And, more often than not, the answers we need aren’t answers to the questions we’re asking – but to the questions we’re not.
Simple Ways to Create the Opportunity
Setting aside this time can look a million different ways – but here are just a few to get you started.
- Take the first few minutes before getting out of bed in the morning to engage a world bigger than you. You can do this before going to bed at night too. Think about the big ticket items – the universe, the moral compass, the unspoken & unexplainable connections between people, places & things. Just let the concepts linger in your mind.
- Ask the big questions out loud while taking a walk or even taking a shower:
- God, are you real? What are you like? Will you show yourself to me?
- What is my purpose? What was I made for? Where do I start?
- What is real that I cannot see? What do I really believe in? Where does my faith lie?
- Listen beyond your questions. Take your focus off yourself and your world for a few minutes and just listen.
For many of us, this practice is easier (or at least a higher priority) when we’re going through a trauma or general tough time. In those times we need security (a sense that whatever is happening is under control and if not our own control, then control by someone greater than us), hope (the belief that things will turn out for our good) and peace (a quality of being unshaken by the storms of life). But cultivating a sense of security, hope and peace is not a one time deal. It’s a lifestyle of engaging those forces greater than us. It’s a daily process of engaging that which connects us all through love and compassion. Ignoring what we cannot completely understand is never the answer.
If you want answers, acknowledging the importance of what we don’t yet understand and entering into the unknown space will lead you to some.
Right there with ya,
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