Recently a rabbi taught me something about spirituality. His name is Paul Swerdlow and he is a chaplain in the VA medical center in Northport, on Long Island.
Here is what he taught me:
Spirituality is about being a time traveler. We exist in space and in time. Spirituality allows us to travel back in time, by remembering, and travel into the future, by imagining. One indicator of spiritual health is to be able to freely travel into the past and into the future without any blockages. Guilt can be one such blockage. There is guilt that punishes and guilt that teaches. The guilt that punishes is a blockage because it keeps us from remembering parts of our past that are painful. Hopelessness is another blockage. When we are hopeless, we cannot imagine a future.
Paul reminded me that spiritual health is about knowing and embodying a past story, a present story, and a future story that fully integrates the range of experiences of our lives. What story do you tell about your life? What story do we tell about our life together? Our theme this month, “peace,” seems to have something to do with telling an honest story about ourselves, accepting all of ourselves, yet ever yearning to go beyond our past and present by imaging and creating a future of greater hope and opportunity for all.
See you on Sunday