Spiritual health is very much like physical health. To be healthy is to be whole or in a state of well being. Sometimes people become spiritually sick, just like their bodies might become physically sick. Some injury or infection may render the spirit weak or broken. In this case, a solution must be found and the individual may feel a sense of urgency about the matter. Of course, because our society is very pragmatic, such a sickness may go a long time without treatment, since its nature is not very well understood.
Regaining Spiritual Health
There are many ways a spirit may become sick. Individuals are just that–the treatment one person survives may be poison for another. A difficult youth, a significant loss, a long physical illness–all these may leave a person feeling incomplete or unable to interact successfully with others and the world. An infection, in a spiritual sense, is also an issue for many. Even if all other circumstances are benign, the painful feelings of dealing with a social climate where profit may rank above human needs or where the health of the earth may be sacrificed for the gain of a few, can create a sort of creeping soul sickness in many.
The modern world, with its rapid pace of change, industrial pollution and factory mentality has been creating difficulty for many for as long as these factors have been with us. Stress is a major cause in most physical and mental illness suffered in our society. A sense of separation and isolation, which may in part be due to our separation from nature, handicaps many people. Connection and peace of mind are rare in our world.
As the ancient physicians would say, “The disease indicates the cure.” Regaining spiritual health is mostly a matter of examining the circumstances that have lead to the suffering and working to change them or heal our relationship with them. If stress is the issue, where is it coming from? Do we lay too many expectations on ourselves? Can we make different choices, ones that would lead to healing? How willing are we to be well?
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Taking Responsibility for Our Own Healing
Sometimes the solutions to our problems may seem too hard to enact, but what is the alternative? Is living in pain a life? Most would say not, if they can take the long view. It’s hard sometimes to do that, at least if you are alone. This is why a community of supportive people or a close friend or spouse can be very important in regaining spiritual health.
Connection with others through group activities, such as a meditation or church group can restore the spirit. Prayer, yoga, song and art can also put us in touch with the numinous presence of the divine. This gives us a sense of belonging to a larger whole and puts our problems in perspective. While these activities alone may not be sufficient to restore a sick spirit, they indicate an individual is taking steps along the path to healing.