The goal of spiritual direction is to cultivate openness and responsiveness to the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Individuals usually seek out a spiritual director because they need to be heard by someone they trust as they give voice to their deepest spiritual concerns, questions, and yearnings. The spiritual director serves as a companion on the journey, listening attentively, without pressure or expectation, to whatever comes to the surface as people seek to give expression to their experience of the holy in their lives.
Kathleen Fischer says in Women at the Well that spiritual direction is
“a conversation in which a person seeks to answer the question, ‘What is spiritual growth and how do I foster it in my life?’ The exchanges that comprise a spiritual direction relationship focus on awareness of and response to God in one’s life. But since God is the deepest dimension of all experience, the conversation will range over every area of existence. Spiritual direction concerns the movement of our entire lives in and toward God.”
There are few road maps for spiritual direction. Each relationship is unique. Over the course of time, the two seek to discern what is emerging in the person’s life — where there are blocks or fears that are preventing a deeper communion with God and where there is movement and change and growth.
If you are seeking a nonjudgmental place where your experiences will be taken seriously and held in confidence, then spiritual direction may be what you seek.
What spiritual direction is not:
Spiritual direction is not counseling or psychotherapy. The focus of spiritual direction is to pay attention to and nurture relationship with God. Those with complex emotional problems or dilemmas will need the assistance of a therapist or twelve-step group. However, spiritual direction can work in tandem with therapy.
Spiritual direction does not offer quick solutions. A spiritual director cannot answer or solve all spiritual dilemmas, quandaries, and questions. No one can do another’s spiritual “work.” The director is also a seeker rather than someone who has “arrived.”
Learn more about the spiritual directors in mid-Michigan by visiting Find a Spiritual Director.