3 Reasons Why You Should See A Spiritual Advisor
What Is a Spiritual Advisor?
Here's a story.
Yadav was born and raised in Tamil Nadu, India. He had a Hindu upbringing, but when he moved to the United States to study he started to separate himself from his family’s belief system. He was comfortable without it. He didn't feel a trite religion-shaped hole in his heart. He wasn't a subplot in God's Not Dead 5.
Running had always been one of his favorite hobbies. He liked the exercise and the alone time. He was hesitant to call it a "religious practice," but it was the closest thing he had to one.
After about six months living overseas, running started to feel different. He couldn't think of anything that was unusual physically or mentally with him, so he tried to ignore the feeling. He did not succeed. He decided to see a spiritual advisor.
The spiritual advisor encouraged him to uncritically notice the thoughts that came to him and his physical state the next time he went on a run, however insignificant the details may seem. Over the course of subsequent meetings, the spiritual advisor helped Yadav discern and articulate that the muscle memory expressed in his legs coupled with the endorphins released as he ran made him feel strongly connected to his animal self. Running outdoors with this awareness also heightened his acknowledgement of his place within an ecological system. This perspective brought him a profound sense of harmony within himself and a sense of deep belonging within the world around him. This sense of belonging was especially helpful after leaving the familiarity of his home country—something he did not think was having any effect on him.
Spiritual advisors (also called spiritual directors) are trained to help others find their path. Yadav's spiritual advisor used the bare bones of his lived experience to help him see for himself that something as mundane as daily exercise had the potential to amount to more.
Here are three ways a spiritual advisor can help you:
1. Find Meaning
Sometimes life can feel empty. Our human achievements only lead to the need to achieve more. It can feel like a never-ending race to a fantasy finish-line. You may stop on the sidelines and wonder, “Is this for me? Is this making me happy?” If your answer is "No," your spiritual health may need some attention. Spiritual advisors are here to help.
A spiritual advisor is like a doctor for your spiritual health. But what is "spiritual health"?
The 8 generally agreed upon dimensions of wellness are:
The spiritual dimension of health is the glue that holds the other dimensions together. It asks the question of why we even bother tending to the other dimensions in the first place. In other words, it helps us find meaning. Spiritual advisors help cultivate your spiritual health so that every part of your life can connect to meaning.
In Yadav's example we see how his spiritual health influenced his physical, environmental, social, intellectual, and emotional health. For some reason the human mind deeply craves context. It is not enough for us to simply survive. We need to know we are a part of something greater, even if that “something greater” is simply our ecosystem, our families, or even, paradoxically, the belief that we are a part of nothing greater.
2. Spiritual Advice Helps with Decision-Making
Wondering what your calling is? Not sure what you truly believe? Feeling lost in a relationship? Spiritual advisors are trained to help you discern your unique desires and to make decisions that align with your values.
3. Rebuild Body-Spirit Connection
As we see in Yadav's story, spiritual problems can often manifest in your physical life, and physical problems can often manifest in your spiritual life. Cultivating a healthy relationship with your body can be a vital step in your spiritual journey. Spiritual advisors can help facilitate "couples' therapy" between your body and spirit.
It's important to meet with a spiritual advisor that can meet your unique needs. Fratres Dei offers free consultations to ensure that we're the right fit for you. Schedule yours today. Video chat and telephone sessions are available.