After four challenging, exciting and life changing years I am coming to the end of my Spiritual Direction course. Five years ago I didn't even know what this was! I have learnt so much about the Church of my upbringing and found healing and wisdom that I did not know existed.
The first thing I recall challenging me is the idea that we are NOT 'sinners' at our core. One powerful session with one of the 'wisdomous' folk leading us on this journey released a lifetime of feeling I was wrong at my core. I couldn't stop crying with the relief of knowing I was actually ok, my essence was perfect. This theme recurred again and again throughout the years and the human me began to accept this. I am still human and it is tough being human, juggling all of our values and demands trying to get life right! This journey will continue till I die but the growing sense of inner peace and not needing to fix myself at my core will only grow.
I learnt from the spiritual mystics how many different ways we can interpret things, such as the Bible, from the ways they explored their own relationship with God over the years. At the beginning of the course I couldn't even use the word 'God' but had to replace it with other names such as The Divine. The God I had learnt about from my Church upbringing was narrow, the God I have experienced is beyond words and limits. Through exploring these various mystics such as Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, John O'Donohue and Richard Rohr, to name a few, my intellectual understanding has grown to fit my personal experience; these wonderful people have given me the language to describe the indescribable.
Through all of this personal learning and growth I have also learnt to be alongside someone as they explore what spirituality means to them. The first time I experienced this, I felt like I had come home. It is such an honour to be with someone in a sacred space as they deepen their understanding of what God and the Divine mean to them, and how they use this deepening relationship on this very human experience.
For me the spiritual directing process adds another dimension that I did not know existed, or that I even needed, in navigating this world to the best of my ability, in alignment with my values.