[quote=asquared]I am uncomfortable discussing this question with anyone except my spiritual director or confessor. I can share aspects of my spiritual journey with trusted people, such as in my prayer group, at times. But I do not think such a discussion with casual friends or strangers is generally profitable for spiritual growth.
Certainly it is not without risk, as one could easily imagine it could lead to pride and competitiveness. Not only that, but I think a great deal of the “spiritual journey” is foreshadowed many many times in our lives such that we keep traveling the same path albeit in a much different way as we get used to it.
One reason I have begun opening up more is that my ability to articulate and relate my feelings to others’ stories has improved to where I am seeing much communion in such discussion. Also, I find that people are often leery about accepting blessings because somehow they don’t think they deserve them (which they don’t but that’s another issue) until they hear similar things articulated by others. In a way, we are using each others’ lives as barometers of what “can” be done to a spirit. In this way, I think it can also help open us up to the faith possibilities that the Lord has genuine healing and is not leading us just to another set of cliches to explain the same pain on a different day… kind of like “look at what they’re doing” but without the flavor of boasting and performing. We are all feeling our way through this stuff.
Even people who don’t discuss their spiritual journey per se cannot help but make it obvious to others with whom they’ve shared close relationships with or talked about many personal things, because as we progress we automatically mature and when our wills get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit, aka the Divine Therapist, in there, it’s obvious to all involved.
My speech used to be so loaded with suspicion and vitriole that I can see the other poster’s problem. I was simply trying to do what’s right, frustrated nearly beyond god-belief by, a) people who would tell me to do something but not really mean it, b) people who paid for me to go to training in operating a parish but then didn’t want to hear, and so on. The trick was in realizing that in trying to “fix” them I was presupposing they were broken which was a judgment. Valid judgment? Maybe not. Now if I can’t get through to somebody after one or two tries, I have learned to let it go to a “background task” because it is in defocusing from a problem where I’ve hit a stalemate – not in fixating on it like deer-in-headlight – where I’ve found the power to come in with new solutions of faith rather than frustration. If they totally don’t understand, then my faith is that I have planted a seed and need to allow the Holy Spirit and others to help – and my faith is also that the other person probably said some things I haven’t understood yet. As long as I stay in the “unknowing” of things and use the world’s reminders that I’m not “in the know” it seems to keep the pride check down to levels that don’t get me in so much trouble anymore.