As I was reading the book of Judges in the Bible last week, I saw one recurring theme: after a judge or leader died, the people they led fell back to their old habits and beliefs. So as individuals, regardless of the particular belief system you ascribe to, what do we do with the distractions that cross our spiritual paths?
First let’s talk about what the distractions are. They could include your pastor/rabbi/teacher retiring or moving on to another location. It could include a drastic event in your life, or the life of someone close to you. Perhaps you’re struggling with whether your belief system really matches up with who you are, or you’ve discovered something that doesn’t feel or sound right to you. It could be your coworker who has a big mouth, or the shows you watch on TV. It could be having a bad day where you work, not having work or your commute. It could be your amazing kids, their homework and their needs. It could be a physical or emotional problem you’re struggling with, or recovering from. Whatever your situations, it’s safe to say that most of us have lots of these situations, and therefore distractions, in our lives.
So what can we do with the distractions?
Make conscious choices: Observe what you say, what you watch, who you’re with, the things you eat, the places you go and the habits you have. Make sure that your choices are helping you and not adding to your struggles. I am one of many who want to enjoy life to the fullest. I realized the other day that watching cop shows and crime shows on TV is actually turning our focus on death and not to life. Why watch something that is absolutely surrounded, infused and consumed by the topic of death? Do you grab for the yummy chocolate and caramel bar in the cabinet or take a handful of grapes or some carrot sticks for a snack? Do you spend time with people who constantly complain or do they realistically look for the good in everything? The choices you make in life absolutely affect your spiritual walk and habits.
Leave reminders around: Leave inspiring quotes and verses around the house to see, put them in your work space, spend time reading the Holy books and books by those who have studied the Holy books. Put your inspirational and spiritual reading materials where you see them frequently so you are reminded to read them and think about them.
Dedicate time to your spiritual journey: This means more than meeting with a group of like-minded individuals once a week (i.e. at church/synagogue). This means daily spending time with your spiritual practices, from exercise, meditation, reading, listening, praying etc. This means having friends you can call or email with your situation when you need advice, encouragement and support.
Having a support group, consciously making choices that affect your life in positive ways and making sure that your spiritual life frequently is at the top of your mind (and visible to your eyes), are ways you can deal with the distractions in your life. This way, when distractions do happen, you will be reminded visually of the power of your spirituality, encouraged by your spiritual brothers and sisters, able to make good, spiritually based decisions, and will have good habits that will support you until you make it through the distraction.
If you or someone you know are struggling with a distraction or dark time in your life, don’t have anyone you can share with or would like to speak with someone outside your situation, please visit my website, I would love to talk with you and help you. http://brandnewdaycoaching.weebly.com