ISSUES OF FAITH: How to grow spiritually

AN INSTINCT TOWARD spirituality appears to be deeply ingrained in humans.

People can’t help asking big questions.

But spirituality can mean different things to different people.

For some, it’s primarily about participation in religious services.

For others, though, getting in touch with their spiritual selves is more easily done through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, time in nature or meaningful conversation with trusted friends.

As a minister, I’ve noticed that those who actively work on growing their spiritually improve their lives greatly.

They develop an increased capacity for compassion, have stronger relationships, discover deeper reserves of resilience during hard times and have a greater appreciation for the gift of life.

Growing your spirituality is something you can start working on any time you find the need. Need a jumpstart? Here are some ideas:

• Write: Get a journal and begin writing down your deepest hopes, longings, disappointments and regrets.

Try doing it every day for 30 days and it will open up whole new perspectives on your life.

• Notice: Identify any questions that come up while journaling. Don’t avoid the ones that make you squirm. They are your friends.

• Connect: Reach out and connect with a trusted friend or religious leader and share what you’ve written. Or go somewhere that feels sacred to you and spend some time praying or mediating with your journal in your lap. You will be amazed what treasures of insight will come to you this way.

• Learn: Go to the library, sign up for a religious education class, join a book group or check out a new congregation. Not sure which faith tradition most aligns with your own? Try taking the “What religion am I?” at Beliefnet.com.

By putting time and energy into your inner life, you will begin to connect intrinsically with the person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live.

I can’t think of a better use of your time and effort.

________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Kate Lore is a minister at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend. Her email is [email protected]

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