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Welcome to the first post in our ‘mid-week’ series of guest posts by #spiritchat members, tentatively categorized, “spiriflections”. I hope that you enjoy the author’s efforts, and maybe even contribute a comment (to encourage them) and/or contribute to this series in the future. Thank you. – Kumud

Spirituality at the Movies – by David Tumbarello

I sat in the dark theater and watched a beautiful movie about growth and strength. About battling demons, learning about sacrifice, and learning about love. The main character began the story literally and figuratively without a body. She was also soul-less. By the end of the first act, she was given a body. After battling a demon, this replacement body was destroyed and she was given a second, upgraded body. This one was more mature and she integrated with this one far better than the first. In a moment, she “leveled up”. Due to her desire to fight for justice, she acquired accessories that integrated with her body. She brought these accessories to battle and “leveled up” once more.

I sat down the other day to watch another movie, this one twelve years in the making. During those 12 years, the protagonist grows from a boy to a man. As a six year old, he rides a bike, and then as a 16 year old drives a car, and when he graduates from high school, he drives off to the university. His parents divorce, they remarry, and divorce again. He struggles with his classes and learns he is an artist. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes 12 years for him to be okay with his art. It also takes 12 years for him to grow from boyhood into something close to being an adult.

I think about maturation versus leveling up. For me, spirituality does not fit with the model of a person leveling up. A spiritual deposit today will not increase the size of my spiritual bank account tomorrow. My deposit today, however, may contribute to my growth.

It has been said, “When you open your heart and mind up to allowing yourself to experience the doubts, tension, and discomforts associated with facing fears and making changes, you allow the possibility for real growth to occur.” Should we shy away from pain, discomfort, loss, and fear? If our mindset is growth, we should find ways to embrace these difficulties because in their purest form, they are not barrier but rather gates to growth.

I recall sitting in therapy one afternoon and the therapist and I talked about trying out new behaviors. She turned to me and said, “It’s a stretch.” She wasn’t asking that I change overnight or level up. She was asking that I consider doing something just a bit outside my comfort zone. Something that would stretch my self-care muscles. Something that would help me grow.

As I write today, I embrace my flaws, blemishes, bruises, and aches. Even with these spiritual difficulties, I aspire. Without them, how would I stretch? How would I grow? I write today to address spiritual weakness. For me, writing today is a stretch. I address weakness and with this stretch, I grow. Will I have aches? Yes. Will I stretch and grow? Absolutely.

And when you mature, when you truly grow, others around you will notice and in the right circumstances they are changed as well. You change, they change. Would you want it any other way?

– David Tumbarello (@davetumbarello)

David Tumbarello is a technical communicator with over 50 years in the growth industry, with 49 of those years communicative and on two feet. When he is not technically communicating, he enjoys hiking, biking, and writing. Feel free to connect with David on LinkedIn.

Spiriflections - Spiritual Reflections
Spiritual Reflections (photo by @AjmaniK)