By Bill Fox/Columnist
As humans we grow in five ways: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually.
Physically, even when we get older and no longer get taller, our skin and other physical components still keep growing. Emotionally, we learn how to control our emotions and things that used to upset us, in time, no longer mean as much.
Intellectually, with our mass media and social networking, don’t we all learn something new every day, even if it is only the weather forecast?
Socially, as we mature, we become more comfortable in our own skin and get along with others much easier than perhaps we did earlier in our lives.
So the kicker is: “What are we doing for our own Spiritual Growth?”
Many of us are so caught up with our own interests – money, our families, jobs – that we become oblivious to the Great Spirit and our own spirituality.
Larry Culliford writes, “You don’t have to be like people who equate spirituality with a religion they decide is false, then abandon it. It is possible to look at spirituality another way, as something free of institutional structures and hierarchies, not so much about dogma and beliefs as about attitudes, values and practices, about what motivates you (us) at the deepest level, influencing how you think and behave, helping you find a true and useful place in your community, culture and in the world.”
Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. It includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of nature or awe.
Some may find that their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or a higher power. Still others seek meaning through their connections to nature or art.
Like your sense of purpose, your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own experiences and relationships.
I have previously written about “Godincidences” where I felt a spiritual awareness of something much bigger than myself. One example, right after my younger brother passed away, I went to my Dad’s home to fetch a wonderful picture of Brian with his Sheepdog, Duke.
As we drove up to his driveway, I noticed on the porch a large mourning dove, and a smaller one right beside it. I had never seen doves there before. It did not mean much at the time, but that night, I felt strongly that this was the spirit of my brother and my mom who had passed away years earlier. To me this was a spiritual experience, though I did not realize, probably because I was distracted with making arrangements for my brother’s funeral.
Now, my brother had not talked to my mom for the last few years of her life. We never knew what the cause was, but who is not to say that the doves represented their renewed togetherness?
I think that God or the Great Spirit (if you wish) can communicate to us through people. You need not be a saint to give some comfort and advice to someone who needs a lift.
I hope I have given you some thought about your own spiritual growth. I need to take time every morning to do a few readings and to ask the God of my understanding to give Health, Happiness, Holiness and some Hilarity (the four H’s) to my family members and friends.
I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org if you care to comment.