What Is Spiritual Health?
Spiritual health is a must during these uncertain times. A lot of my friends have been suffering lately from burnout, anxiety and increased stress levels. Of course they are. How could they not? Just listening to the news can bring about a state of uncertainty and chaos. That kind of disruption is detrimental to our soul and diminishes our ability to be spiritually healthy. Add that to everything that has happened recently, the pandemic, the looting and rioting, the civil unrest, not to mention the recent tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires raging in the West. How is a person to maintain their serenity? It seems almost impossible, but it is necessary. In order to survive and thrive one must be spiritually healthy. Cultivating spiritual health can help stave off those negative feelings mentioned above. Spiritual health can bring peace, hope and purpose to ones life. I liken spiritual health to spiritual fitness. The more we exercise spiritual muscles, the more spiritually healthy we can become. The benefit of having spiritual health is that we can face life on life’s terms more readily and become more resilient. We can regain balance, just by tapping into our reservoir of meaning and find true peace.
Common Spiritual Health Problems
If we don’t address our spiritual health, we suffer. We must have the ability to be honest with ourselves and identify emotional and behavioral patterns that cause us distress and anxiety. The problems that arise from not treating our soul and psyche is that we suffer from all kinds of spiritual maladies, which eventually manifest into physical ailments. For instance, when we are stuck in grief, we may find that we suffer heart and lung problems. (Grief tends to collect in the chest area. Have you ever noticed when you are especially sad that you sigh a lot more?)
If we constantly deny our 3rd eye wisdom, it creates a disconnect between our heads and our hearts. This makes it more difficult to trust our intuition and get clear about inner guidance. When we have an abundance of shame, it affects our stomach and digestive region. If we are unable to speak our truth, we find we have constriction in our throats. If left untreated, these can all manifest into chronic issues that become harder to solve. Many of our health issues follow the energy centers of our bodies, or the Shakra system. You can learn more about the chakras here: https://iarp.org/chakra-basics/
(I like this site because it contains free information about Reiki. Reiki is bodywork that helps balance the different energy centers in your body and keeps the energy flowing to them.)
I like to think of spiritual health in terms of a flower bulb like a daffodil or crocus. We’d never plant a flower and think a bulb would come up in its place. But we do that with our emotional states. We think if we just have the right outsides; the right clothes, bank account and job, we will find happiness and all will be okay. But it doesn’t work that way. We are confusing the ends with the means. Our job is to plant the best bulb with some amendment such as bone meal, give it time, and then watch it come up as a beautiful flower. That is a metaphor for our lives. We do the best inner work we can on our souls, the bone meal is the self-care we give to ourselves and the time it takes to flower, is akin to the time we spend in meditation, contemplation and silence. When we do more to care for ourselves spiritually, the healthier and more robust we will become. The outer manifestation is secondary, but it is still a byproduct of maintaining strong spiritual health.
The Payoff for Having Spiritual Health
Many years ago, I read Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book, “Love Medicine and Miracles.” My mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was interested in helping her with her healing process. Dr. Siegel’s book’s basic premise is that healing our soul, heals our bodies. Love, for ones self and for others has the power to undo years of a body’s spiritual and render the person whole again. My mother was not at all interested in this spiritual solution which would have required her to do so introspection, contemplation and meditation. She was fully detached from her own body, saying, “I don’t have cancer, my breast does. As soon as they take it away, I won’t have cancer anymore.” (Full disclosure, she had a mastectomy and has been cancer free for the past 32 years. My mom seems to have an inherent wisdom without ever looking within.) Despite my mother’s opposition to the spiritual solution, I was hooked.
Dr. Siegel’s standing in the medical community was diminished by doctors who dismissed his work as “fluffy” and “new-agey.” But his patients and followers were hooked. When the person heals spiritually, the body follows. Siegel also cautions the reader to not feel one has failed if they still pass away after doing the spiritual work. Nothing is wasted in the spiritual realm, if you truly are serious about seeking health for the soul.
The body is the temple (or house) for the soul and our job is to be the custodian of both. We can begin the journey of spiritual health by taking time to learn the soul disciplines of meditation, introspection and contemplation. We can also nurture our bodies by giving it adequate exercise, better nutrition and ample sleep.
The payoff for spiritual health is:
- Soul Peace
- Quietude of the Mind
- Renewed energy
- Lack of Fear
- Inner Calm
- And the biggest gift of all: Unconditional Love for self and others.
When we attain spiritual health, there make a place for love to reside and thrive. We are in less danger of being upset by the noise of the world. We will be less driven by the earthy clamors that our ego demands we have in order to feel worthy. My charge to you is to be aware of how much anxiety and fear abounds in our world. We don’t have to buy into it. We have a choice to rise above it by doing the work to become more spiritually healthy. And until we meet again may you be blessed on your quest for spiritual health!