How Does One Sustain a Spiritual Outlook?

Sunrise at Goblin Valley

A friend recently asked me, “How does one sustain their spirituality?” The answer to that question will be somewhat different for each person. Some may say that participation in religious practice and/or community are needed to sustain one’s spirituality. Those things can have role, but what we’re addressing here is a continuity of spirituality throughout everyday of our lives.

For me, spirituality is not only a way of living, but also a state of mind. It is that state of mind or spiritual presence that is the key to sustaining one’s spirituality. In some ways it is like being in a constant state of prayer or contact with God and the spiritual realm.

As we move through our day, we should always be silently expressing our gratitude and thanks for every little thing we see, experience, and receive. We should strive to always be present and to take notice of the many expressions and beauty of God all around us. We should allow feelings of love and compassion to come forth naturally, unfiltered by the intellect or prejudice.

When we do these things; when we allow our spirit to express and commune with God and His holy spirits, we find ourselves in a constant state of grace, happiness, and bliss.

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Disasters: An Awakening

Spiritual Awakening
Artist unknown

With regard to those directly affected by disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the earthquakes in Mexico, I think it’s important to maintain the right perspective. These events can lead to great suffering and many people lost all of their possessions. But in the midst of this, it is important for those directly affected to reflect and give thanks to God for what was, for what and who survived, and for what will be, going forward.

After the devastation of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines some years back, a journalist came upon a man standing in front of a pile of rubble that was once his home. He asked the man how he felt about the destruction. The man simply said, “Blessings, [God’s] blessings.”

These events often bring out the best in people. It’s as if they have had a spiritual awakening or renewal and realized who they really are and how they are intended to live. We heard about neighbors helping neighbors and how volunteers flooded into devastated areas to help any way they could. Others organized or contributed to the collection of relief supplies.

These acts of love and compassion are expressions of one’s spirit. They give us joy and happiness like nothing else can. For some, experiencing a disaster is a life-changing experience and they make a commitment to always help people whenever they can as they go forward with their lives. For others, their old ways of living quickly return and sadly, an opportunity for spiritual transformation is lost.