This week, October 21-27, is celebrated by many health care organizations as pastoral care/spiritual care week. It is a time when these organizations take time to give thanks for those who assist so many in their journey towards spiritual well-being. For some, this journey towards spiritual well-being is associated with a specific religion, but for others it is not. Spiritual well being is a journey of learning about one’s self, one’s values, one’s beliefs, purpose, and meaning in life. Spiritual well-being is not a one-time experience, but an ongoing practice; it is a way of being in the world, which embodies the positive aspects of one’s spiritual relationship with their Higher Power, however one defines that. It is our spiritual well-being, which assists and guides us through the issues, stressors, and challenges of daily life. Our sense of spiritual well being can provide us with freedom and control when we realize we are not our circumstances; it is us, not our circumstances, which are in control. Spiritual well being leads to greater experiences of peace, self-expression, and self-esteem.
Some are able to maintain a sense of spiritual well being through practices and disciplines of their own. Others have found that working with someone can assist them in their journey towards spiritual well being. There are many who provide spiritual care to others. In some settings, they may be called chaplains, pastors, spiritual counselors, etc. In other settings, they may be called spiritual directors, spiritual partners, or spiritual companions. Spiritual partnership, as I prefer to call it, is a process of accompanying people on a spiritual journey and helping them grow closer to their Higher Power, however, they define that.
People come to a place where they desire assistance in this journey and the achievement of spiritual well-being for a number of reasons.
- · Seeking to develop a stronger relationship with their Higher Power
Those who have worked, individually or collectively, to enhance their spiritual well-being have reported:
- Feeling content with your life’s situation
- Making time to spend alone and find inner peace
- Taking time to reflect and resolve life’s issues
- Finding satisfaction in a job well done
- Taking part in an active lifestyle rather than merely standing by and watching life as it passes
- Maintaining balance and control of life
- Building relationships
- Feeling purpose and meaning in life
- Accepting and growing from the challenges of life
Kay Lindahl wrote, “Envision a conversation in which each person is listened to with respect, even those whose views are different from yours. This is all possible in conversations of the heart.” Spiritual partners recognize the sacred gift of listening and create a space in which one can speak their truth without fear of being judged or retribution. Through these conversations from the heart, we listen together to your life, purpose, spiritual beliefs, and current situations. We work together to uncover the obstacles in your life which keep your light from shining and as you are ready, work to remove them. We work together to help you develop a deeper relationship with self and with your Higher Power; however, you define that. Through the development of spiritual disciplines, use of a diversity of spiritual tools, and intentionally tapping into your creative energy, we work together to bring forth your inner wisdom. In doing, so you will notice the transformation beginning in your life through the renewing of your mind and the celebration of a greater level of spiritual well-being.