Do you know your spiritual desires? They lie hidden from superficiality and frivolity in the deepest recesses of the human heart. Our spiritual desires in some ways are the subtlest of all, yet they reveal the greatest of our legitimate needs.
Perceiving and responding to our spiritual desires is the most essential aspect of personal development. The yearnings of the senses call out to us with unerring consistency and draw attention to the needs and wants of our bodies, but our spiritual desires lie at the bottom of the deep, still waters of our being.
The deepest desire of our hearts is not to do something or to have something, but rather for peace. We yearn endlessly for peace. We long for the peace of knowing that who we are, where we are, and what we are doing is essentially good. We need to know that we are contributing to the happiness of others and that, however slowly, we are progressing toward becoming the-best-version-of-ourselves. This is the prescription for peace.
The needs that correspond with our desire for peace are silence, simplicity, and solitude.
Do you ever feel you just need a little time to yourself? Do you find yourself questioning the way you are living your life? Do you have questions about what is best for you now? Do you feel overloaded or overwhelmed?
All of these are signs that you need a little silence, solitude, and simplicity. These feelings and questions are our spiritual desires trying desperately to be heard.
Depending on our situation in life, some of these will be easier to meet than others. A mother with young children may find it very difficult to find silence, solitude, and simplicity. We must remember that we are not talking about the constant silence, solitude, and simplicity of a monk. What we need and desire are small pockets of silence and solitude and a general structure of simplicity.
It is also critically important that we treasure the time we do have to be alone. If we respond to our need for solitude by going shopping by ourselves, our need for solitude may be partially satisfied, but the distractions of music, other people, and the host of desires that will arise from “the mall experience” will prevent us from drinking from the well of solitude.
In order to achieve the soul-searching that we desire and legitimately need, it is important to find a quiet place to be alone. Only in that silence and solitude are we able to remember that we already know the things that will bring us lasting happiness.
It would be lovely if our souls growled every time they were hungry, the way our stomachs do. But they don’t. The voice of the hungry soul is confusion, questions that won’t leave us alone, and a general sense of being overwhelmed. Is your soul hungry?
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