How does spirituality fit into therapy?
Many of us are raised within religious traditions, where we learn a set of beliefs and rules, which we often, don’t question. We were told what was true, rather than being guided to discover what is deeper within ourselves. What I find interesting is, when we seek for change or to develop ourselves in some way; we can tap into fascinating spiritual states often without consciously being aware that it’s happening.
For thousands of years, spiritual traditions have said “God is everywhere” this can sometimes, be a difficult concept to embrace, our logical brain kicks in, we might ask questions or consider “how can God be everywhere?” Some things just seem too terrible to have God within them?
How can God be within evil? It’s easier to create a distance between ourselves and anything which is evil, sinful or negative, but, by doing this we are separating ourselves. We often seek for God in the obvious places, part of us that already feels love, compassion and a sense of peace. We try to feel more of these feelings and avoid the parts of us that don’t fit or that feel uncomfortable, this sadly creates a polarity between the nice and not so nice parts of us, by disowning uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and emotions we are making ourselves smaller, by suppressing the darker side prevents us from spiritual growth.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have spiritual experiences each day in our day to day living, integrating the spiritual with the practical? Rather than experiencing it as something which is separate. Can you imagine experiencing a profound self-acceptance gradually emerging as you connect with yourself and the universe? Many people who have taken this path, have an underlying sense of wholeness and well being, regardless of whether things are going well or not so well.
A good place to start is to become more accepting. This is acknowledging what is, rather than trying to be something we are not. Complete acceptance means acceptance of everything that goes on within us and in the world. I don’t mean liking or condoning everything or becoming passive about making a change, just in the sense that we are attuned to everything
I remember waiting to cross a busy road with my daughter, she went to cross without looking I quickly grabbed her arm, she cried and said I hurt her, I know she felt hurt by my actions. She didn’t understand at the time, that I was helping her and keeping her safe. In the same way, we may not have an awareness of just how life in the universe is unfolding, but we can have a sense of knowing that life is much bigger than we are, and it is unfolding perfectly.
If we force ourselves to accept and not to make judgements, that becomes another rule which for me is rigid. The times when we make a judgement, against someone or something, I believe we are wasting our own energy and resources, which we may be better directed towards thinking or being in balance with ourselves and feeling more whole.
When we have found a place within ourselves where we can increase our potential for greater compassion, allowing space for greater wholeness, and joy from within. We can free up our energy for more useful experiences. When we live from acceptance, we tend to respond to the world with kindness and compassion.
Most of us feel good when our lives are going well; it is possible to feel resourceful when things seem to be falling apart. Developing your spiritual side will help you develop and maintain your sense of inner self, well being, wholeness and a connection with something beyond ourselves.
We all experience uncomfortable emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and guilt its part of being human. During these times you can also feel accepting and resourceful feeling as though you have a choice, a sense of knowing that we will come out of the other side of our difficulties, intact wiser and stronger.
When we experience difficulties or those times when we feel no matter what you do, these problems just won’t disappear. We might ignore them, push these feelings away, or attempt to sublimate them by drinking, eating, taking drugs, gambling, shopping. This reminds me of the words of a wise teacher who appeared in my life, he said to me "what you fight you strengthen and what you resist persists” I know personally taking the approach of ignoring or pushing problems away, did not help me or lead to lasting change.
Embracing you own spiritual path can allow you to gently unfold from within, allowing yourself to live more and more to your own life purpose. Your life purpose feels right from within, as it’s truly your own path. whilst you are on your pathway you continue to uncover personal wisdom and inner trust.
Embracing your spiritual side does not have to be hard work, it does not require you to sit in meditation for hours, or to wear certain clothes or to follow elaborate rituals. I believe if we integrate our spiritual dimension within our practical everyday living, rather than experiencing it as a separate thing. We can experience spirituality in every experience and each moment.
If this resonates with you, and you want to discover your spiritual path I first, would like to CAUTION you.
It is highly likely that as a result of embracing your own spiritual self you might experience
Wholeness & inner peace
Know what you want
Feel balanced centred and focused
Be aware of your and your purpose
Be aware and connect with you, and your body and its inner wisdom