New Beginnings to Enhance Spiritual Growth
by Linn Possell,
PAC Speaker and Mentor
January can be a month of new beginnings. It also can be the time where we take stock in our lives and see what changes we want to make in hopes for a better year. But when what we decide we want to do differently in the new year, based on what we don’t or didn’t like about the past year, our new beginnings can become barriers for us. For when we judge ourselves or we judge one another, we stop our spiritual growth. Judgment can cause us to feel shame, or when we judge another person, it can cause them to feel shame as well. Shame is experienced as trauma in our brain. It also stops our spiritual growth. It can make us feel separated from one another, and separation and dividedness, judgement and shame are not aspects of a spiritual life. Rather, humility is the hallmark of spirituality. In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah says, “What does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
In this January, this month of new beginnings and new possibilities, try a different approach than the one that most people take. Rather than making judgements about what is or was, take a look at what draws us together; what enhances our spiritual growth. During this month, try and focus on our divine connection with all things, and all people. Forgive every offense, including your own. Honor everyone’s life regardless of how different it may be from yours or what you want it to look like. Preserve everyone’s dignity, acknowledge everyone’s holiness, and send each person a blessing.