My most favorite thing I learned to do in spiritual direction is to sit in stillness and wait. Well, ok, not really. Sitting in stillness is terribly awkward sometimes. Ok, most of the time. Silence is really challenging alone, but put two or more people together and the silence has a pressure in it that is palpable- at least to my highly sensitive self.
So, actually my most favorite thing I learned to do in spiritual direction is to wait. Well, that’s not really true either. I’m one of the most impatient people around. My husband laughs every time I buy something new because I rip open the package the moment I get in the car- the ride home is like Christmas morning.
So, I guess what I really mean to say is –
My most favorite thing I learned in spiritual direction is the VALUE of sitting in silence and waiting.
I learned that silence is really important. In sessions, silence reminds me that no one is there to hear my opinion on things- not the client and not God; the best thing I can do is to be silent. It keeps my own issues, biases and suggestions at bay and let’s the wisdom come from other sources (the directee herself and Divinity itself). That is not to say that I don’t speak up during sessions. I do. A Lot. But silence is an integral part of the equation, as it should be in any spiritual practice.
I learned, too, that waiting is equally important. Waiting means that I have faith that the answer will present itself. That’s the Faith piece that most people who come for spiritual direction need. They need someone to wait with them and to have a hopeful outlook, to have faith that God is already working for them always and in all ways.
By sitting in silence (when its called for) and being willing to wait (as long as it takes), I become the holder of the room and the dialogue becomes an “I-Thou” dialogue between a spiritual directee and her God instead of a “you, me and sometimes God” dialogue.
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