“Most importantly, the meaning of spirituality lays the seeds for our destiny
and the path we must follow.” – Dennis Banks, educator
“… there was something missing.”
Dorothy, my 48 years old, slim, well dressed, healthy looking, client returned the next week ready to continue what she had started…preparing for her pending death in a few months. She said she watched the videos I had suggested and liked them. But, she added, there was something missing.
“What was missing Dorothy?” I asked.
“Well, he talks mostly about being grateful for the good stuff…you know, like the air, family, love, freedom, each other and so on…I get that…I’m doing that! Then, he broadens it to include even the bad stuff. And, he even says appreciation creates what we call happiness. But he doesn’t really explain why we do it in the first place. He kind of moves into his own spirituality…his religion…his god! And that may fit for some…but not for me!”
“What fits for you Dorothy? How come you have your own special approach to your situation? Where did you learn to deal with life in this way?”
“…it is our special purpose to be here…it is what we are the most committed to…”
“Ken, I don’t see my spirituality tied to a deity. But, I’m not sure what it is tied to instead. I still wonder what spirituality actually is anyway?”
“Dorothy, spirituality is our special essence…it’s how we see ourselves connected to this universe…it is the thing which is the most important to us as an individual…it is our special purpose to be here, at this moment in time…it is what we are the most committed to…and, it can actually take many forms.”
“How do you mean?” she asked.
“For example, what we often call a workaholic is really someone whose spirituality is manifested in their work because they love what they do, and do what they love. Someone whose primary focus is on their family, it could be their children, spouse, ailing parents, what ever form…that’s their form of spirituality. For others, it could be an idea that reflects their spirituality, like Mahatma Gandhi’s drive for an independent India. For someone else, it could be their relationship with their god such as the leaders of most organized religions. For some others, it could be creating wealth like a Donald Trump or Warren Buffet. Still others might see their spirituality as building community such as Stephen Lewis’s work on the aids challenge in Africa. Do you get the idea Dorothy? Your spirituality is whatever you are most committed to in your life?”
“I have always viewed myself as a people connector.”
“Ken, when you view spirituality that way what comes to my mind is the word, connector. I have always viewed myself as a people connector.”
“How so, Dorothy?” I asked her.
“I think it started with my family who had a lot of struggles. And I was the one who would strive to keep us together through it all. And, also at work, I took on a very similar role getting involved in the conflict resolution stuff going on in my evolving organization. And, even in my community, I became the neighbourhood drop in centre for whatever was going on…I have always felt the most alive when I saw people working together to meet a challenge. Do you think that has been my form spirituality all along, and I just never put it together that way in my own head?” she asked.
“I think you are right on with your analysis Dorothy!”
“So, how is being a people connector spiritually, tied to how I’m dealing with having this cancer?”
“My experiences would suggest you are still honouring your own special form of spirituality by how you are dealing with your current health challenge. Dorothy, do you think you are still connecting others together by how you are living your last days?”
“…my spirituality is everywhere in my life!”
“Wow, what an intriguing question!” she replied.
She paused, and stared off to some very private place. She was deep in thought for a few minutes. Then, she looked straight at me, her eyes watering slightly, and said,
“You know…as I think about the last several months…forms of my spirituality are everywhere in my life!”
“Would you give me a few examples?”
‘“What I’m realizing, as we talk, is that I have been focusing mentally on what a great life I have had…I have been blessed with a loving family who know what’s going on, and have come together to be there for me. And, my colleagues have rallied around me, providing not just a flexible work schedule, but even periodic meals and flowers. I have set up my estate so all my debts are covered and the rest of my money is going to a charity which does just what you said, ‘brings people together.’ And, even my three closest friends, who are so different, have been simply wonderful in joining forces to provide not just emotional support, but also transportation, and even middle of the night visits, if I call them.”
“It is exactly the way I want my life to be…”
“As you describe it Dorothy, it sounds like you are right on track with your life even as you plan for its ending…is that true?”
“You know, Ken…I’m realizing that is exactly what is happening…and that’s why I’m so OK with where things are for me! It is exactly the way I want my life to be…all of it…to the very end! So I really am very lucky!”
“I think you are lucky, as well! I suspect many would wish to be able to say, what you just said, in their last days, eh?” I added.
“I suppose there are, aren’t there?” Dorothy said, smiling softly.
So, Dorothy had really figured out her own life, to her own satisfaction. She had moved to a state of gratitude…a state of appreciation for her life as it was…not based on a fantasy, but rather based on her spirit, her purpose. It honoured her past, her present and her future. It was my privilege to meet her!
“We should honour Mother Earth with gratitude; otherwise our spirituality may become hypocritical. – Radhanath Swami, clergyman
Until Next time…
So, anyone, even you and I, can learn to appreciate our life just as it is, and experience gratitude for where we are at this point in our own time line…Dorothy certainly did! Stay tuned as we uncover some other ideas on happiness.
If you are struggling in your relationship, please go to our NEW VIDEO on how you can deal with it
If you find our posts useful, please share them with your circles of influence, your family, friends and colleagues. Encourage them to subscribe to our FREE Newsletter and ebook, “Finding Balance in Your Life” at And, please like us on Facebook or Twitter.
Remember the next “Transformation Day” Seminar on April 25, 2015 at our offices. Details are available at ww.kenpiercepsychologist.com
Send us your feedback and topic suggestions…we love to hear from you! If you have a specific question or wish to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact me.
Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com