Reply To: Living Life with Joy

David Favor

I got into a discussion about my Fitbit smartwatch. Somehow, we got into the mindfulness section of the app that goes with this watch. This led to a discussion of spirituality. That seems amazing to me, but here we are.
Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or belief that there is something greater than ourselves and that the greater whole of which we are part is divine. I can be spiritual and religious. I can also be spiritual and not belong to any religion. So being spiritual does not preclude being religious. That lesson took a little while to sink in.
The way I see it, we start full of ourselves. Gradually we form relationships and join groups that cause us to merge or change our beliefs. At some point, for many of us, we find religion and join that group. Over time we may become spiritual. If we were being religious, we would pray, and if spiritual, we would meditate—different words for the same thing. Being spiritual broadens our outlook on life.
The concern I see develops when we start to think our way is the only way. We can get stuck at the “It’s all about me” stage. Once we do that, we are in conflict. The focus becomes I am right, and you are wrong. We lose sight of what is important. Another lesson that took some time to learn. Now that I am in my late 70s with a muscle disease, I have decided that I do not have time to waste on being judgmental. With all that said, you need a starting point, and about a year ago, I wrote this statement.
I will live my life believing that I am part of a bigger plan supported by a higher power that I may not fully understand. I believe that my purpose here is to have compassion and understanding of others and be of service without expecting reward or recognition. I believe to do less is to reject a gift that I have been given. I will walk a daily path with that as my goal and believe that what I do affects not only me but others. I will ensure that I do not intentionally cause harm to others and treat others as I wish to be treated. I shall approach the end of this life not with fear but with the understanding that this is a transition and who and what I am will be my legacy.