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Spirituality Essay:

Darkness    ( March 2007 )

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Normally we don't have such heavy topics back-to-back as we have this month in our Sunday services. Though much of our spiritual path is how we deal with our pain and burdens in life, we like to spread this out over the year.

Andrew's willingness to share his valuable experience and insights into depression (which touches so many of us) with his possible leaving the Coast in April created the doubling up of services focused on our darker sides.

But this offers a unique opportunity to look at how our UU religion seems to have a slightly different take on this aspect of life . . . and maybe why we are, proudly, UUs.

Our first UU "Quality of a Spiritual Life" is our essential striving to lead a dynamic life . . . we emphasize a rich life of growth, becoming all we can humanly be, where we invite challenge and change as instruments to help create this dynamic life of becoming our fullest, richest, best selves.

I believe we therefore look a little more kindly on problems than others. Rather than looking for the quickest way through (or around) the problem to peace and comfort again, we're more likely to look at the difficulty as a natural part of life -- giving us another fertile opportunity to experience, learn, and grow.

Human life is replete with negatives. Lots of it both in us, and always coming our way. But it's what we do with it - how we view it, how we go through it, how we learn from it - in fact, how even we enjoy the process - that inevitably creates that dynamic life for us of aliveness, growth, and fulfillment. Our successful handling of the problem - and subsequent achieving of peace again at the end - is the second plum.

This is one in a series of essays on spirituality by Rick Childs, lay leader of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast. You may want to:
Read more Spirituality Essays
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Read more about the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast.

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