Thursday, April 26, 2018

The beginning of the spiritual journey

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. The true search is inward not outward. A case in point is what happened to Sheila.

Sheila said, "I've been hurt so many times in the past, I've come to expect it. I think there is something about me that people just don't like. I must look like a punching bag to them, because all I get is hit over and over again. I'm at a point where I have very few friends and I don't talk to my family anymore. I just stick to myself. It's safer that way."

Wow! What a wounded person. She has learned how to adapt to protect herself. She is very smart and has learned not to be hurt any more. However, the strategy adopted for protection is very isolating and constraining. It can become very suffocating. Rather than withdraw and isolate to protect herself, might it not be advantageous to learn how to stand up for herself and deflect the blows? My friend, Al, calls this strategy, "spiritual akido."

So, I said to Sheila, "While your withdrawal and isolation works for self protection, it also has some disadvantages of loneliness and the loss of the possibility of love. Might it not be better for you to come out of isolation and when people try to hurt you, you deflect their attack and side step it?"

Sheila looked puzzled and asked, "You mean there might be a better way?"

I said, "Certainly."

Sheila said simply, "Tell me more."

And that was the beginning of Sheila's spiritual journey.


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