We hear so often about the importance of wellness of body, mind, and spirit. We visit a doctor for our annual check-up. We measure the health of our bodies through blood work, cholesterol tests, EKG’s, etc. We have assessments for measuring different aspects of our brain and intellect. But how often do we give our spirit a check-up? How often do we ask the question: “How healthy is my spirit?”
Try this little exercise. Read each statement below and say whether you agree or disagree:
- I feel like I know myself well.
- I accept and love myself even though I am not perfect.
- Everything in life has something to teach us.
- Overall, people are good and kind.
- I feel loved.
- I am able to forgive and forget.
- There is a lot of beauty in the world.
Now do the same thing for this next set of questions:
- Life is full of struggles that I have no control over.
- I am constantly doing and running with a checklist.
- I tend to hold grudges with those who have wronged me.
- There are many things about myself that I wish I could change.
- I feel alone and on my own.
- I soothe myself with food, alcohol, or something else from the outside world.
- I’ve had a lot of bad luck in my life.
For which set of statements did you answer “I agree” the most? If it was the first set, your spirit is very strong, indeed! People with a healthy spirit have a positive, loving view of self and others. They believe in the inherent goodness of the world. They’re able to get through a crisis and remain strong in their beliefs. They have a strong faith life and a deep connection to the sacred.
If you agreed more with the second set of statements then there’s a good chance your spirit has some wounds that need tending. People with a wounded spirit focus more on their flaws and imperfections. They tend to have a negative outlook on life. They often view themselves as a victim and look to blame others—or God—during a time of crisis. They believe there’s little meaning behind what happens in the world.
Having a wounded spirit doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you’re a bit further away from wholeness. Why is it important to worry about spiritual wounds? They can affect your daily life just as much as a physical injury. A year ago I injured my foot and required months of physical therapy. It was amazing how this chronic pain seeped into every area of my life. I became irritable and despondent. I put on weight. I had no energy. The same is true of spiritual wounds. They fester, affecting how you look at the world and interact with others. They prevent you from seeing what it is you need to be happy, healthy, and productive. They block you from living up to your potential and being the person you were meant to be.
It’s so important to nourish your spirit if you want to move toward wholeness. Begin with some honest soul searching. Identify factors in your life that have led to your spiritual wounds. Ask God for the grace to help you heal. Focus on what’s really important to you and what brings meaning to your life. Spend some time in silence or meditation. Take time for relaxation. Do something just for you…it’s not a luxury, it’s vital! Share your stories with people you trust. Pray.
Spirituality is not static. It changes from day to day and through different stages of life. Take some time today to check in with your spiritual health.
WANT TO HEAR MORE? This piece is an excerpt from “Nourishing Your Spirit”—a wellness workshop I co-authored with my amazingly talented sister and colleague, Lisa LaCava. Click here for more information on how to bring this workshop to your group or organization.