Practical Wisdom: Discerning Your Own Spiritual Truth
It’s a fact: Each of us is on a unique spiritual journey unlike anyone else might experience. So How do you discern what’s true? Believe me, I’ve grappled with this question for literal decades!
In today's world, bombarded by the computerized availability of so many beliefs, practices, and doctrines, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But amidst this sea of spiritual information, is a gift you were given at birth. A physical body that has the capability to distinguish what is right and what is for you and you alone. Your truth is waiting to be discovered through introspection, experiences, and heartfelt exploration. Here’s a useful guide to embarking on this sacred journey. Use your senses. Follow your intuition. Listen to the voice within.
1. Start with Self-reflection
Before seeking answers in the external world, take a moment to turn inwards. Spend quiet moments in contemplation. What truly resonates with you? When did you feel most connected to something greater than yourself? These moments of reflection can offer profound insights. It’s good to begin by defining what you already know to be true – even if you find that you are sure of nothing. It’s a baseline that opens up the world of possibility for you.
2. Remember, It's a Personal Journey
Your spiritual path is deeply personal. It doesn’t need to align with popular beliefs or the practices you were raised with. It’s about what speaks to your heart and soul. Don’t be afraid to chart your own course. The spiritual beliefs and practices that appeal to you most will help you to navigate the challenges in your life and will unveil your unique spiritual talents.
3. Question Everything, With Love
It's okay to be curious and question. In fact, questioning can be a sign of growth. However, when asking others about their faith tradition, approach your inquiries with love and an open heart. Seek understanding rather than conflict. When you ask questions from a sincere heart, most people will respond in similar fashion.
4. Read Widely
There are library shelves filled with spiritual wisdom written over millennia, across various cultures. Get offline and pick up a book. The reading experience is different. You can read, mark your place and walk away to contemplate whatever moves your soul. Dive into sacred texts, contemporary spiritual books, or even memoirs. Sometimes, another’s journey can shine a light on your own.
5. Seek Experiences
Join a meditation class, attend spiritual retreats, or simply spend time in nature. Spiritual truths reveal themselves in experiences more often than in intellectual understanding. Spiritual truth is a full body experience. Yes, your mind will grasp concepts – but it's more than conceptual. Your heart will beat a little stronger. Your breath will shift and change with joy and knowing. Your body will relax into safety and assuredness. Let your spiritual journey be experiential if you’re seeking your truth.
6. Connect with Like-minded Souls
While your journey is personal, you don’t have to walk it alone. Connecting with others can provide support, broaden your horizons, and offer different perspectives that you might not have considered. Invite someone interesting to coffee. Take a few moments longer to chat with a loved one about what they believe and how they came to their beliefs. Keep your eyes open. When you’re seeking, the universe has a way of putting interesting people on your path.
7. Trust Your Intuition
Your intuition is like an inner compass. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to step back. Conversely, if something feels like home, perhaps it’s a sign you're on the right path. We often think of intuition as a third-eye kind of head-centered knowing but intuition is felt in the gut most often.
8. Practice Patience
Finding your spiritual truth isn't a race. It's a lifelong journey. There might be periods of doubt or confusion, but they are just as essential as the moments of clarity. There is no clock associated with spiritual exploration. Every day is a new opportunity to discern. Allow your truth to change and blossom the way a bud becomes a rose.
9. Stay Open-minded
As you evolve, your understanding of spiritual truths may shift. That’s perfectly okay. Spirituality isn’t about rigid beliefs, but about a flexible, evolving understanding of the universe and your place in it. New truths will be revealed as you need them.
10. Embrace Your Truth with Love
Once you find what resonates with you, embrace it wholeheartedly. And remember, everyone is on their own journey of discovery. Respect the paths of others just as you would want yours to be respected. There is no one path or singular “right way.” Your relationship with spiritual beliefs and practices is perfect for your life – and trust me, every one of us sees things a little differently.
In essence, discerning your own spiritual truth is about listening—to your heart, to the world, and to the gentle whispers of the universe. It’s a journey filled with wonder, challenges, and profound beauty. So, take a deep breath, trust yourself, and let your soul lead the way.
PS – For the last six months, I’ve been pulled away from community here in order to help a local and very important publication stay alive. Being a business consultant can be very time consuming.
As we wrap up summer and move into fall, my heart is filled with the desire to reconnect with those whose hearts resonate with mine. It’s time to come back to my own spiritual path as a teacher and guide. Just writing those words fills me with joy.
I’ll be opening up a weekly space for gathering soon. We’ll meet online because so many of you live in other areas – but we’ll be sharing in experiences together too!
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