“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth…” (3 Jn. 2).
Last week, we began an introductory discussion about physical wellness. This week, we will be taking the discussion a little further by beginning to focus on the seventh dimension of wellness: spiritual wellness.
What is spiritual wellness? Spiritual wellness is “our ability to obtain peace and harmony within our lives based on our understanding of our common purpose with the rest of creation”. This means that we cannot look inwardly for peace and purpose, but we have to understand the relationships between humanity and the rest of creation as intended originally by our Creator. Once we understand that we must return to the Architect and Source of our existence, then we will be able to find out the reason for our being.
According to the University of California at Riverside, “…the path to spiritual wellness may involve:
- affirmations, or
- specific spiritual practices that support our connection to the “higher power” or belief system to which we subscribe”.
Our engagement in the process of attaining spiritual wellness should lead us to see beyond ourselves and understand that there is an interconnection and deeper meaning between the lives and purposes of everyone and everything. In the Christian faith, we believe that God, our “Higher Power”, created all things to live in peace and have a harmonious relationship with each other. This level of respect for life and selflessness is reflective of His Kingdom principles that we were created to exemplify within our daily lives. In other words, we were created to be outwardly focused upon what benefited the collective good of everything. However, given the current human condition, our level of spiritual wellness is determined by how well we seek to establish justice, righteousness and peace in our surrounding community and the world as a whole.
Spiritual wellness must be viewed similar to how we approach the other six dimensions of health and wellness. The main thing that leads to a healthy spirit is an intentional nurturing and conditioning of our spirits by purposeful practice. The Psalmist says in 29:11,
“The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace…”
This is the result of practicing key spiritual beliefs and disciplines (i.e., praying, fasting, reading and meditating on the Scriptures, etc.) on a daily basis. As we continue to practice these disciplines, God uses them to teach us how to thrive in every area of life and how to position ourselves to fulfill our purpose in connection with the rest of creation. When we make these disciplines an integral part of our daily journey, we will soon recognize how our capacity to love, forgive, show compassion, be filled with joy and fulfillment has increased as well. In seeking to enhance our spiritual wellness, we will become well-grounded in our beliefs and able to maintain our sense of peace and wellness even during the moments of adversity.
In the final analysis, spiritual wellness is the key to understanding how each dimension of health and wellness work together cohesively. Why? A healthy spirit tells the mind that it is healthy, and a healthy mind tells the body that it is healthy. Without the proper healthy relationship between these three areas of our being, we cannot reach a level of being completely whole. If there is a deficit in any of these three areas, then it will negatively impact the other two areas.
Ask yourself, “How is my spiritual wellness? Where do I find myself in relation to the above discussion?” Next week, we will continue our discussion of health and wellness and healthy lifestyle choices based on our understanding of each dimension of healthy living. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone as this is a community effort to living our best life in honor of the One Who has given us this life to live. Love God…love others….love yourself!
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”