Tag Archives: spiritual centering

A closer communion with God: spiritual resilience

Ever felt like you’ve lost your way, or felt off-kilter but couldn’t pin-point why or how you got there?  That’s me and I just hate that feeling.  I have found that making time for contemplation and communion with God helps me be more grounded and centered so I don’t lose my way.

It is called spiritual resilience and it can be developed (read here). Spiritual resilience is a term recognized even by the U.S. military (read here).  Spiritual resilience is not necessarily religious, but yes, having a religious basis helps to give one’s spirituality a framework.  Spirituality and spiritual resilience are like the muscles that give us strength; and religion is like the skeleton that holds up our muscles.  Having one without the other is difficult, but both together will complement one another.

Without this grounding or spiritual resilience, we become more vulnerable to burning out, anger, envy, bitterness, lack of self-control when stressed, and other negative emotions. The advantages of spiritual resilience shines through at certain stressful times in our lives, like being on military operations, going through divorce, losing a job or a loved one. Our ability to be resilience becomes more apparent to us when we go through tough times.

People who are less vulnerable to these things under stress tend to have a more developed spirituality. People practice spirituality in different ways–either religious or not religious. Some might be Christian monks and nuns. Some might be ordinary Catholics or evangelical Christians. I’m not saying we have to become monks, nuns or holy people to be spiritual. Almost every major religion have their sets of spiritual disciplines that followers can practice in order to center themselves and develop spiritual resilience. These are virtues. As human beings, there might be times in our lives when we seek to be more spiritually-grounded. We innately know there is something greater than ourselves that we can turn to. A belief in a higher power becomes our strength.

Every so often, any person can veer off the virtuous path, lose hope, lose our morals, or lose one’s desire to live. We are all fallen human beings who fail at one point or another.

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The scriptures speak on the wisdom of patience and long-suffering, but how do we develop this spiritual character? Through practice and discipline. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle or an instrument.

Personally, for me there are times when I feel I might need to be more spiritually grounded and return to practicing some spiritual disciplines again. Some people find themselves returning to church in order to find themselves. If that is how you feel, then go for it.

If within our Christian disciplines, we can deepen our spirituality, we might gain more self-control of our personal lives and become better people. Without a spirituality and spiritual resilience, even the best of people can lose our ways and lose our balance. A deeper spirituality can help individuals become more centered and spiritually in-tune with God, with themselves, and with others. It be time to return to a closer communion with God.

Spirituality and battle with anger

Have you ever blown your top, got angry and resented the words that came out of your mouth?  I have.   It might feel good to release some steam and pressure but the results are short-term gain but long-term pain.

The bible speaks of anger.  It acknowledges our human weakness, anger.  It sounds like it isn’t necessarily a sin to get angry but it is a less desirable emotion.

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil.”

James 1:19-20 says, “You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”

Anger causes us to do crazy things.  It opens the door to hatred, violence, fights, war and terrorism.  As human beings, we are better off to seek peace and to create peaceful resolutions.

Being quick-tempered is a sign of folly but wisdom and peace create harmony: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back” (Prov. 29:11).

I ran across an article on NPR on how the Inuit people (Indigenous people in northern Arctic) raise their children to refrain from anger.  A little big of frustration or irritation is considered weak and childlike.  Wow!  The writer of this article witnessed these things:

For instance, one time someone knocked a boiling pot of tea across the igloo, damaging the ice floor. No one changed their expression. “Too bad,” the offender said calmly and went to refill the teapot.

In another instance, a fishing line — which had taken days to braid — immediately broke on the first use. No one flinched in anger. “Sew it together,” someone said quietly.

By contrast, Briggs seemed like a wild child, even though she was trying very hard to control her anger. “My ways were so much cruder, less considerate and more impulsive,” she told the CBC. “[I was] often impulsive in an antisocial sort of way. I would sulk or I would snap or I would do something that they never did.” (full article here)

This self-control comes from discipline.  We might come from many cultures, e.g., Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian, Western, etc.  Some of our cultures do not keep anger very well hidden.  We can be quick to show our anger.  Inuit culture on the other hand, seems to be the opposite.  I think this something we can learn from our First Nations–Indigenous brothers and sisters.

It makes me wonder if training and spiritual disciplines might be a good thing in our children’s upbringing–and yes, also in many of us adults too.