By Ellen Kanagy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
As each one of us moves through life, there are times we long for companionship.
For in one sense, we are all alone. And yet, we are also all in this human experience together. However, we do not always feel or sense that we are not alone on this journey.
The companionship we yearn for may be a friendship, an intimate relationship, or the listening ears and guidance of a therapist, counselor or pastor.
This desire may manifest itself in emotional or spiritual pain, unexpected life events, a confusing inner restlessness or sense of dryness in one’s spirit. Internal questions might also arise, such as: Where is meaning? What is the purpose of my life? Where is God in all this? How do I make this decision? Who can I talk to about my struggles?
This is where spiritual direction can help.
What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is not therapy. The focus is not about making anything happen or “directing” anything. It does not involve diagnosing or assessing or treating.
Instead, working with a spiritual director provides an opportunity to explore your questions, as well as any situations causing them.
That’s because the relationship between you and a spiritual director fosters companionship. During a spiritual direction session, you share and another listens with an ear toward the holy, as well as what may be underneath your words.
This creates an atmosphere that focuses on honoring your experience while exploring communication with God and the experience of the divine in your life. Sometimes it even leads to individuals experiencing love in new and deeper ways, or finding peace amid many mysteries in life.
Who benefits most from spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction benefits those who desire a deeper spiritual life, and who welcome encouragement and support for prayer and/or other spiritual practices. It is helpful for individuals who desire to grow or are in need of wise discernment related to life decisions.
And while it can be especially useful for those in leadership positions, spiritual direction can be beneficial for anyone who genuinely seeks a deeper, richer life and desires companionship in that search.
Are you curious about spiritual direction, seeking more information or wondering if it might be a good fit for you? We offer complementary 30-minute exploration sessions to learn more about spiritual direction and to see if it would be a good fit for your needs.
Click here to learn more about our spiritual direction services, explore the bios of our current spiritual directors or fill out the spiritual direction enrollment form.