EVERY JOURNEY IS A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Dear Ones –
The other day, at Oprah's The Life You Want Tour in Newark, a lovely woman in the audience asked me how she could go on a spiritual journey, despite the ugliness of the work that she does for a living. She was a divorce lawyer, she explained, and she spent her days interacting with humanity at its worst…and she longed for a more spiritual life, a more spiritual path.
This was interesting to me, because — as I explained to this woman — my own divorce lawyer was one of the most important, life-shaping people I ever met on my own journey. My divorce lawyer probably has no idea what she meant to me, and how much aid and encouragement she gave me during the worst time of my life. My divorce lawyer was an inadvertent angel to me.
I remember one particular moment during my divorce when I was feeling so terrified, so drained, so hopeless. I confessed to my lawyer my darkest fears — that I was losing everything, that I would never recover from this, that I would never thrive again. She just smiled her pragmatic smile and said very simply, "You, Liz, are one person I never worry about. You'll always land on your feet."
Then she went back to looking over her legal papers, never realizing the importance of what she had just said to me. That was, frankly, one of the most important moments of my life — one of the most important affirmations I would ever receive. She had given me back a strand of hope. She had faith in me, and her faith gave me faith in myself. I grabbed onto that statement and held it like a rope over the next horrible year. Her conveyance of simple confidence in me was an act of supreme grace. No spiritual teacher that year helped me more than she did. And she probably has no recollection of it whatsoever. Because she was just "doing her job."
What I'm saying is this — you may be looking for a spiritual journey, but I can assure you that you are already on your spiritual journey. Your spiritual journey is whatever light and grace you bring to WHATEVER YOU DO. Your spiritual journey is the kindness and assistance that you extend to WHOMEVER YOU MEET.
We have this very narrow idea of a spiritual journey as looking like Mother Teresa in Calcutta, or, if I may be honest, EAT PRAY LOVE. But that's too small a way to see things. You don't have to quit your job and move to India to be on your spiritual journey. I was only in India for four months, and I've been on my spiritual journey my whole life. If my spiritual journey was limited to the one part of my existence when I was at an Ashram in India, that would make for a very small, very shallow life.
I'm on my spiritual journey right now. I was on my spiritual journey yesterday at the gas station right here in New Jersey, when I remembered that the gas station attendant is also a child of God, and I made a point of speaking to him with the respect and kindness that this title should earn him. I was on my spiritual journey two days ago, when my husband was cranky and short-tempered and I found my patience and waited it out. My work as a writer is my spiritual journey, but so is the conversation I have with customer service at AT&T. I see this Facebook page as my spiritual journey. I see the way I interact with people at the grocery store as my spiritual journey.
I don't care what you do for a living. If you work at the DMV and you speak to people every day about their vehicle registration problems, then you are touching souls in every moment of that day, whether you realize it or not. You have no idea the potential power of your impact. You will never know what you said once, that might have brought light and grace into someone's life. You have no idea of the legacy you are leaving, everywhere you go.
You want a spiritual journey? Too late. You're already on it!
It's right here, right now.
All you have to do is bring the grace.