Recall the Hindu Proverb, “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.”
Spiritual wellness acknowledges our search for a deeper meaning in life, allowing us to tap into our interconnectedness not only with a higher power but with those around us. As we reflect on the consistency between our values and actions, our spiritual dimension provides us with clarity of purpose.
What Spirituality is Not
Spirituality is not a rigid system of rules. The intercession of angels on our behalf with God proves they are no respecter of religion as they administer to us where we are, inhabiting valleys, mountains and fishing vessels on the high seas, slums, office buildings, and mansions in the hills, mosques, synagogues, and churches worldwide. Faith is not religion.
Benefits of Spirituality
With elevated inner peace and greater mindfulness for others, we’re inclined to breathe positivity into whichever spaces we occupy—more likely to experience satisfaction in our lives and in our relationships. Healthy spirituality is positively correlated with empathy, gratitude, humility, integrity, kindness, self-awareness, self-confidence, and resilience—all habits that lead to greater prosperity. Swiss theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, wrote, “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”
Interdependence of Mind, Body, & Spirit
Our mind, body, and spirit are deeply intertwined; the healthiness (or unhealthiness) of any of these can substantially alter our worldview. Supported by the power of an eternal perspective, many people find it easier to navigate the ups and downs of life. When we invest in our spiritual health, both mind and body more readily align with fulfillment, meaning, and purpose.
A study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that people who attended weekly religious services or practiced daily prayer or meditation in their youth reported greater life satisfaction and positivity in their 20s—and were less likely to have symptoms of depression, smoke, use illicit drugs, or have a sexually transmitted infection—than people raised with less regular spiritual habits. According to author Ying Chen, “These findings are important for both our understanding of health and our understanding of parenting practices. Many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviors, mental health, and overall happiness and well-being.”
With greater frequency and severity than children of yesteryear, today’s youth struggle with an epidemic of unhappiness. Health statistics show that beyond the 20% to 25% of teens with major depression, another 40% battle with other depressive symptoms (A TOTAL OF 60 to 65%!!!). Today’s instant gratification and social media-driven culture tend to reward achievement in very public ways. Children are under increasing pressure to correlate their worth with their abilities, which are commonly fueled by grit, persistence, and optimism—characteristics commonly found among folks who are in tune with their spiritual dimension.
Our Capacity for Spirituality
Mortality is real. From the moment we are born, nature constantly conspires to kill our physical self. Meanwhile, our spiritual self is sturdy and resilient, happy with success, but not dependent on it for self-worth. Children have an innate predisposition towards their spiritual dimension; fathers who support their spiritual journey help them receive the abundance of blessings associated with confidence in the hereafter.
Meditation, prayer, and the great outdoors all engage our sense of transcendence. Spirituality can truly be a source of health; the lack of spirituality can truly be a source of suffering.
The 14th Dalai Lama wrote, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” Are we pessimistic or optimistic regarding our future—both here on Earth and beyond? Do we make immoral or moral choices? Do we hold grudges or are we forgiving? Do we show little or great respect for others? Are we committed to our core values or are we willing to abandon them for one of life’s many temptations? Are we guided solely by our minds, or do we also involve our hearts and souls? Do we feel that our life is without meaning and purpose or do we feel motivated and engaged?
Resources to Pursue
Everyone has a different journey to spiritual wellness. Start the day with the sunrise and open the body to calmness. Observe the sunset and fill the evening with peace. Sleep under the stars. Climb a mountain. Watch the waves crash down at the beach. Mediate. Pray. Humble mindfulness can open a dialogue with God, who can empower us with His Goodness. Be kind to strangers, we might be entertaining God, unaware.
When we say grace before meals and prayers before bed, we take pause and show honor to The Creator. When we give of our time and treasure, this pursuit of betterment for others uplifts our spirit of compassion. By regularly attending services and actively participating with our faith community, we make connections with like-minded souls and receive gifts of deeper spiritual learning.
American author Brené Brown wrote, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”
“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.” —Isaiah 58:8 KJV
Filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps you can apply right away, this pocketbook edition of Chopra’s classic makes it easy for to read and refer to again and again.
This thrilling journey shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”
The Road Less Traveled teaches how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent, and ultimately, how to become one’s own true self.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.