The Spiritual Attitude



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Our attitude or perspective is about how we look at the world, ourselves and others. The first practice of Spiritual wellness is seeing the world in a spiritual way. To see all life (including yourself) as sacred and to honour all things is a powerful spiritual practice. It is in fact an act of bringing the sacred into the world. To live your life from a sacred "space" or point of view would be truly living in spiritual wellness.

Some spiritual disciplines advise that you strive to perform each action during the day as if it were actual an act of prayer or worship. This is a challenging but worthwhile undertaking as the basic point is to be as continually consciously aware of the sacred as possible - to the point that EVERYTHING you do and interact with becomes a sacred act in acknowledgement of the sacred all around you.

The implications of this are profound, as developing a perspective of the sacred means that everything becomes sacred - even the so-called negatives in the world. That person you don't like or that task you hate or those painful moments of grief, are all part of the living world, which is sacred. Therefore those negatives are also part of the sacred as well. To see them as such is to come to the world from a place of from a place of power, not from a place of powerlessness and victimhood.

Along with a perspective that the sacred and spiritual are present and imminent in our world, two other central components of a spiritual attitude and perspective are compassion and forgiveness.

Compassion is the recognition that the "other" is a being like ourselves (or rather IS part of ourselves - or part of the "one" that we are all part of) who struggles with faults and imperfections and who also suffers. Compassion is about embracing the suffering of others and the world and recognizing it as our own - and being moved to love through that identification.

Forgiveness is a natural extension of compassion. It is an "allowing" of the imperfection that we see (allowing it to be - to recognize it's reality), without needing it to be different and to recognize that the faults we see in the other (or the world) are the same faults that we ourselves possess - even if we don't seem to enact it in precisely the same way as 'the other".

The next step in forgiveness is to move beyond or "let go of" all of the issues and all of emotions that entrap us and keep us connected to the situation or person that has caused us pain. This does not mean absolving the person(s) of responsibility or trying to convince yourself that what was done was OK. Forgiveness means releasing the issue - letting it flow into the past where it belongs so that it no longer ensnares our spirit and festers like a poison.

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the other person or situation. Forgiveness may seem difficult at times, but the ability to do so is essential to your spiritual wellness.

In summary cultivating the correct attitude and perspective toward the world is the foundation to a successful spiritual practice. The capacity to approach the world and your life as something that is sacred, from the perspective of compassion and from a place of forgiveness is the essence of spiritual wellness.