Are you feeling stuck with a chronic health issue or discouraged with long-term unemployment or worried by a troubled relationship with no clear solution?
If you’ve found various approaches to solving these chronic challenges just haven’t produced results, the research and ideas shared in Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, by Dr. Lisa Miller, might just offer some insights on a key element to finding solutions to knotty problems. That element is our awareness of a benevolent higher power and an understanding of our connection to that power. Dr. Miller, Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at the Teachers’ College, Columbia University, notes that her department’s research over the last 10 years indicates this is the greatest resource we have.
Although spirituality as a foundation for solving problems and living a good life was understood for millennia, in our modern age it has been and often is ignored. We’re constantly told that solutions can only be found through secular human inventions or actions – chemical and mechanical systems for solving illness and human footsteps for taking care of things such as employment and relationships. Attention to things of the Spirit, while perhaps making a recent resurgence, have been systematically eliminated from daily life.
But if we’re not getting results with the recommended solutions and tapping into this divine resource is something we want to explore, where can we begin?
A good place to find ideas about building a spiritual foundation for problem solving is the Bible, especially in the words of the Master, Christ Jesus. He said God is Spirit. The Hebrew and Greek root meanings of spirit include the wind, air, breath. You could say it is that which works in us and is all around us and is the actual expression of life. Jesus’ works include fast and permanent solutions to every problem – chronic and acute illness, mental distress, torn relationships, and poverty – and they give us a glimpse of what is possible when we focus on better understanding God, Spirit, and our relationship to the Divine.
Further insights into how to cultivate things of the Spirit can be found in Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy’s seminal work, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures. She writes: “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” When we build these qualities as a foundation for living our life, we find problems less likely to arise and, when they do, easier to solve.
Here is an example from my own life. About eight years ago, I was struggling with a number of problems all at the same time, including unemployment, an unsalable property, negative cash flow, and deteriorating eyesight. I was able to spend a couple of months in a retreat setting where I spent a great deal of time reading and pondering the Bible and Eddy’s book. I felt the ideas in these books were helping me gain a better understanding of my relationship to the Divine.
My desire to better understand things of Spirit caused me to look at life from a more spiritual – less material or purely human – standpoint. I began to discern more of the divine good at hand. When I returned from this time away, a sight exam, required as part of renewing my driver’s license, indicated the deterioration of my eyesight had actually been reversed.
I’ve passed every eye test since then. And, the other chronic challenges I faced were each similarly resolved not long after I took that time to focus on spiritual facts rather than trying to fix things humanly. These are the tangible benefits, at any age, of growing our understanding of our relationship to that benevolent higher Power. There just isn’t any greater resource for resolving everyday problems.
Originally published in English on New York Spirit Magazine, @nyspirit