What brings people to spiritual direction? What do we talk about?
(third in a series about spiritual direction)
The intention of spiritual direction is to provide a safe, confidential, sacred space in which to reflect on all of life’s questions and concerns. People choose to enter into this sacred space for a variety of reasons. Some people come for an established amount of time to address a specific question or concern. Others engage in spiritual direction as an ongoing commitment to self-care, often alongside psychotherapy, exercise, energy work, massage, and other forms of care for the whole person – mind, body, spirit.
- Many clergy include spiritual direction as a part of their ongoing rhythm of life, to support, deepen, and nourish their relationship with God, especially in the face of the many challenges and demands of congregational leadership.
- Individuals facing a serious illness can choose spiritual direction as a place where they bring fundamental questions about living and dying, freeing them from having to answer questions for others, and entering a space where all questions are held as sacred and valued.
- Sometimes people seek spiritual grounding and support through a life transition – marriage, new job, loss of job, new children, retirement.
- Spiritual seekers – some who have church affiliations and others who don’t – decide to come for spiritual direction to bring questions of doubt, wonder, curiosity, and challenge. Often this is in support of the relationship with their church; sometimes it is with a desire to find a church or faith community; other times it is to heal from a fractured relationship with church.
- Most of the time, those who seek spiritual direction bring stories of their lives – relationships, vocational experiences, celebrations, sorrows – and come with a desire to understand and grow through these experiences in a way that is life-giving and sacred.
Sessions are punctuated with silence, prayer, and invitation to spiritual practices. Sometimes, a book or other resource is recommended. Other times, a question for ongoing consideration is posed. Always, the intent is to listen for Divine Stirrings, moments where it feels as though wisdom is arising through the shared experience and deep listening.
If you are curious about how spiritual direction could be a support to you in your life, contact me or find a spiritual director through this resource from Spiritual Directors International:
“What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”–Antoine de Saint-Exupery