Spiritual Preparation for Hardiness
To prepare spiritually to develop and maintain hardiness in hard times, take a personal inventory of your own deepest beliefs and values. Consider these questions:
- What do I believe in when it comes to the larger meaning of events in my life?
- What do I worship? (I submit that everyone worships—is in awe of—something, as measured by how much of their time is spent thinking about or picturing that thing.)
- Are what I say I believe and what I worship the same?
- Is what I worship worthy of the time, thought focus, and effort that I give it? (i.e. does it convey a meaningful sense of strength and/or comfort that puts me at ease with myself, other people, and the universe?)
- What is my spiritual heritage (i.e., what was I taught to believe in my younger years, and/or what were the beliefs about deeper meaning in life held by the person or people I most admired in my younger years?)
- What did that spiritual heritage have to say about how to understand adversity and stress?
- Can I still find meaningful strength and/or comfort in any part of that earlier foundation now?
- What aspects of my spiritual heritage no longer make sense, and what new beliefs do I have to replace them with?
- Do I live “toward” my values in daily life? (living “toward” simply reflects the ongoing challenges that life presents to us, and the re-decision it takes to bring values to meet those challenges. For example: which one of us could seriously say, “Well, I’ve done it; I’m completely honest now”?!)
- What changes in habits or other practices would need to be made in order for me to live my life with more meaning (i.e., grounded more in values and deep beliefs)?
- Am I willing to prioritize the needed changes and make them?
- What support or help would be beneficial to me in order to make the changes that bring more meaning in my life?
- Where (in what context) is that help and support to be found? (e.g., in a faith congregation, a support group, and “anonymous” group such as Alcoholics anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, in personal therapy, or in all of the above?)
- Am I willing to choose to be committed to making changes and obtaining the support necessary to live my life in an increasing meaningful way?
- Am I willing to acknowledge the current stressor or hardship in my life as a “tutor” in how to look at life more deeply and meaningfully?