Sometimes we actively pursue a spiritual awakening, sometimes we find ourselves drawn to spirituality without a clear idea of seeking something specific. Any number of things in our lives can prompt us toward spirituality.
Difficulties most often bring us to the spiritual. Dealing with addiction, abuse, family estrangement, financial stress. We begin to see that something in our lives has to change. In some cases, spirituality seems to hover in our lives, and we reach a point where it is finally time to reach out and connect to it.
In the song, “Suzanne,” Leonard Cohen sings, “Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water, and he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower, and when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him, he said all me shall be sailors then until the sea shall free them.”
The most common answer given from those who seek spirituality is the desire for peace. People want an end to discomfort, pain, distress, anxiety, or depression.
Fear in its many forms may be the critical prompt to spirituality. In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis wrote that “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness.”
Elizabeth Kubler Ross said, “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.
So we seek love. And we find that the love we crave cannot be found in a relationship. We can bring love to a relationship, but we can’t get the real love we need from a relationship. We get the love we really need from a deep place within, and that’s where our spirituality resides.