My past Spiritual Sunday articles have had a focus on what it means to be spiritual and tips to tweak it, but what do we do when our spirituality goes awry? It’s no surprise to say that this is the easiest thing to have happen. Similar to reputations, our spirituality is just one bad day away from going off the rails. For most of us it’s not going to be a question of if, rather it is a question of when and we need to keep an eye out for when it happens so we can guide it back on track.
If somebody were to ask you to make a historical timeline of your life, you would most likely draw a straight line, going from left to right starting with your birth and ending with the present day. This is the most typical form of timeline you will see in history books and you may have even had to make in elementary school. It’s also a rather inaccurate representation of our lives because our lives and emotions are rarely ever straight as an arrow. Our lives are a series of ups and downs similar to that of a heart rate monitor.
Sometimes our spirituality can be tested by something as big as the death of loved one or something as little as overdue bills.
We will find ourselves screaming up at the universe, asking our higher power why did this happen to me? We may slip into a slump where we quit taking pleasure in the things that we once enjoyed. Some of us may come home from work only to lay down on the couch and binge watch old episodes of Monk until bed time. Our workout regiment and healthy diet slips from us as we become a mere shadow of our former selves.
The change is not always sudden, in fact, more often than not, it is gradual. Like the race of the tortoise and the hare, this change sneaks up on you and by the time you realize what has happened, it’s too late. You go one day without working out and then another and before you know it, you’re fifty pounds overweight and on a first name basis with the cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts.
The important thing is to recognize these shifts in behavior so you can do something about it. Take very close attention to what you’re cutting out of your life. Maybe you meditate every night before bed, but after having a bad day at work, you’ve decided that you’re too tired to do that. Make yourself little reminders. We live in a busy world and it’s easy to get caught up in all the drama that it’s entirely possible to forget to do you your daily regiment. There’s a plethora of apps for time management and always sticky notes for those of you that are old fashioned.
The important thing is to know that you are not alone. Millions of people everyday struggle with their spirituality and it is truly an uphill battle to get it back to where it was. Resilience is the key to push past this little pot hole in the road at a nice slow pace so you don’t do too much damage to your car.
When our spirituality goes awry, we need to take the time to appreciate what we have. Sometimes that’s as simple as knowing that we are alive today so we can appreciate the good moments to come. When we’ve hit rock bottom, it can be difficult to even believe that there are good days ahead, but I promise that they are there.