Last week we took stock of our emotional health. Let’s make things really interesting now and do some assessment of our spiritual health.
Because we’re talking about spirituality—that deep interior life that is quite personal and largely hidden from others’ view and also impossible to measure—I’m forced to speak in generalities. But that makes this topic no less important. Many of us are walking around with spiritual wounds and maladies. Because we don’t go to a physician for such things, it’s easy to just not think about them or deal with them.
It’s wise to remember that we are not persons made up of puzzle pieces, but we are whole beings. Whatever is affecting my spirit is registering emotionally, mentally, and physically as well. If I am suffering in any way—through chronic pain or illness, fractured relationships, stress on the job—then I should assume that my spiritual life is also feeling the impact.
Maybe the question to ask is, What is the origin of my suffering? Am I in despair spiritually and depressed emotionally because I’m in chronic physical pain? Or do I ache all over and have trouble sleeping because I have allowed sinful habits to overtake me, habits such as gossip, seeking revenge, or basic ungratefulness?
When is my “health” problem primarily located in my spiritual life and practice? When should my helper be a pastor or priest rather than a physician or therapist? I have a few ideas but really hope some of my DDF community will share wisdom on this.
My spiritual life may be struggling and wounded when:
- I am angry at God or disappointed with God—for not answering a prayer or changing a situation, for allowing evil, and so forth.
- I am unable to forgive someone for hurting me.
- I labor under the unbearable belief that God is never pleased with me and that I will never be good enough.
- I am unable to seek help with my grief or with a very difficult situation.
- I am confused about my beliefs.
- I am horribly conflicted about my faith community.
- I carry heavy guilt and don’t know how to deal with it—or I’m unwilling to deal with it.
- I find it impossible to be grateful or hopeful.
Okay, DDF friends, add some things to this list. Let’s help one another explore this difficult topic.