a 6-part series on the dimensions of wholeness …
to activate you in your life + leadership
Long before I had the language to describe my pursuit of spiritual wholeness, I had longings and yearnings for purpose, for meaning, for that “something more,” that must be out there.
I always believed there must be ways to know and communicate with God, to somehow understand something of this universe. Growing up Catholic, I learned that ritual and reverence were pathways to God. I experienced being “born again,” as a teenager and learned by well-meaning teachers that there was a checklist of sorts; qualifications that would make me more spiritual. Thankfully, from these same teachers, I also learned for the first time that one could be in a real relationship with the God of the universe.
In college, study, reading, and devouring different spiritual thinkers opened my eyes; I was quite sure that knowing God was either very easy or extremely complicated. As an adult, serving as a pastor in a large non-denominational church, I tried to help others discover a powerful, relentless Love, even as I myself wrestled with questions of purpose, meaning, fate, and my own impact on the world.
My story is far from unique. The details of your journey may look different, but it’s likely that you have felt similar yearnings or undertaken similar pursuits.
Spiritual wholeness is expressed through all of life’s dimensions.
Our spiritual selves long for purpose, meaning, vision, and passion. We long for a system of values, guiding principles around which to orient our lives.
It is natural that we seek spiritual wholeness, and for most of us on this journey, we experience both frustration and peace, joy and despair, freedom and chains. These can all be part of our stories, and friend; your whole story matters. No matter where you have been or where you are, you are in good company with your sisters on this journey.
Those who are seeking spiritual wholeness often find themselves asking questions like,
“What is my purpose in life?” or
“Am I even making a difference?”
Our spiritual longing often shows up in our desire to be a part of a bigger story, to be connected in community, not only with others, but with a sense of higher being.
If you find yourself searching for reason, meaning, and vision for life, you are likely seeking to increase your spiritual wholeness. “What is the meaning of life!”, for heaven’s sake!
In an online series about the meaning of life, through his Center for Action and Contemplation, Father Richard Rohr, a Christian Mystic, quotes the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman, an African American theologian who served as a spiritual advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Thurman says*,
“The goal of life is God! The source of life is God! That out of which life comes is that into which life goes….God is the guarantor of all [our] values, the ultimate meaning – that timeless frame of reference.”
Rohr also says that, “…God is love, and this love is both our source and our goal.” I find comfort in these words. After years serving as a pastor, after a graduate certificate in ministry, after living as a wife, sister, mother, friend, coach, and leader, I still only know but a glimpse of God.
But of this I am certain:
If God is love, and the goal of life is God, then the goal of life, and indeed of spiritual wholeness, is love.
What then is your purpose?
I propose that it is to LOVE WELL.
The meaning of life? Love God, yourself, and others (particularly those who are not like you).
While our circumstances may change, a commitment to love can remain a constant. If you seek meaning, vision, and purpose for your life, may you then seek to grow in your capacity to love well. You are so very worthy of love, and you have a tremendous capacity to give love.
Take one step toward greater wholeness today by committing to a person whom you will love well this week. It may very well be yourself, or it may be a friend, spouse, sibling, or coworker.
Share with us in our Facebook group how this experience goes. You may be surprised that you find yourself more connected to God or at least a sense of higher power by choosing to love well. I wish you many blessings of great love as you go forth.
*Quotes from Fr. Richard Rohr and the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman from the Center for Action and Contemplation
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