Sometimes we all feel a little lost in life and want a bit of help from outside. In these cases, we have a lot of options – we can turn to a lifestyle coach, to a psychologist or even to a friend to lend an ear and provide some advice.
And even when life is going well, having someone that you trust and someone with a bit of insight can be a great help to ensure that you continue to make the right decisions, to help you take some of the burden and to give you a little outside insight and advice.
But psychologists and lifestyle coaches aren’t the only option out there. Something you might not have considered is a spiritual advisor. Read on and we’ll take a look at what this term means and whether it’s right for you.
What is a Spiritual Advisor and Why do You Need One?
The term spiritual advisor is not one that fits neatly into a box for a simple definition. After all, the term ‘spiritual’ itself is somewhat abstract and can mean different things to different people.
But in general you can think of a spiritual advisor as a coach, as a mentor or as a friend, who will listen to your questions, concerns and situations and help to offer guidance from a spiritual perspective.
This can sometimes be exactly what you need in order to make life that little bit easier and more manageable and you’d be surprised what an impact a spiritual advisor can have.
Psychologists can be great and they have their place – but they’re also very expensive and deal very specifically with psychological problems like anxieties, phobias and depression. The same goes for counsellors. If you don’t consider yourself ill, then you might not like the thought of seeing this kind of professional.
Likewise, a lifestyle coach can tell you how to stay fit and how to dress right but that’s all a little superficial.
A spiritual advisor on the other hand can help you to make the right decisions. They can help you to see more clearly when your judgement is clouded by stress and everyday concerns and they can give you a little insight based on your religious beliefs.
A spiritual advisor or mentor can be a professional who you pay for their time, or they can be a friend. Alternatively, they might be someone from your church or from a spiritual group that you attend. Many famous religious figures had some kind of mentor in their youth and would probably credit that factor with helping them to become better, more fulfilled people.
What Does a Spiritual Advisor Do?
The precise role of a spiritual advisor can vary greatly depending on the type of advisor and on what you need at any given time.
For instance, a spiritual advisor may be a religious guide. If you are Catholic, say, then you might find a spiritual advisor who can relate to the challenges you’re going through, who can offer suggestions for extra reading and who can share some of the knowledge they’ve required from years of Bible study.
Or, if you consider yourself more of a naturalist, then a spiritual advisor could simply be someone who you think of as very wise and who has a lot of experience and a broad range of knowledge.
A spiritual advisor can also be a psychic and might use divination and psychic readings to help you make difficult decisions and to give you some clues as to what lies around the next corner.
This all depends on what you believe and on what kind of help you are looking for.
What a Spiritual Advisor is Not
But perhaps what is most important to understand is what a spiritual advisor is not.
A spiritual advisor is not someone, for example, who predicts the future with accuracy. It’s important to recognize that we all have free will and we can all influence the outcomes of our fate.
And for the same reason, a spiritual advisor should never tell you what you should do and they should never try and influence your beliefs.
The person who believes that they are right and you are wrong, is the person who is too arrogant to be useful as an advisor. Someone with real wisdom will recognize that we all have different temperaments, different ideals and different beliefs – and these will suit our personalities and match our experiences. As soon as someone starts telling you what you should think, you stop being honest with yourself and you start making mistakes.
As the quote goes:
“A good spiritual advisor tells you where to look, not what to see.”
Ultimately, the spiritual advisor is someone who can help you to be better in tune with your heart and your feelings.
Finding an Advisor
If you’re in the process of finding a spiritual advisor, then it’s important to spend some time actually speaking with the person you hope to learn from and work with before you make your decision. Very quickly, you will find that you can get a good feel for what that person believes, who they are and what they can offer you. It’s crucial that you get a good ‘vibe’ from this person, as you’ll be talking about personal matters and you need to feel you can trust them and be open with them.
There are also some other characteristics that are important. You must feel for instance that the advisor is very sensitive and in tune with you and their surroundings. Likewise, you ideally want someone who is knowledgeable – and especially if you’re seeking guidance in a religious context.
If you choose your advisor wisely and if you speak with them regularly, you can find that it feels as though a great weight has been lifted. You’ll have more confidence in your decisions, more idea of what’s important to you and more trust in how you feel and in what you believe.
This can be much more transformative and valuable than just finding someone to show you how to dress right or how to lose a bit of weight – so give it a go and you might find you’re pleasantly surprised..