A lot of “spiritual” thoughts have been zooming around my head the last couple of years.
Part of this process surely has to do with getting older (and hopefully wiser?), as I struggle with some of the more existential questions of life. Part of it is about wanting to actively teach my daughters what it means to live a spiritual life that encompasses both realism and compassion. And part of it is a need to find meaning through connecting with something larger than myself.
But I know one thing for sure: I’ve been looking for more ways to actively grow in knowledge, compassion, and spirituality.
As these thoughts percolated over many months, some questions started to pop up:
- How can I learn from my past mistakes in a way that creates meaningful change?
- How can I expand my worldview to integrate wisdom from different cultures and faiths?
- Where can I find opportunities for spiritual connection that aren’t limited by traditional church orthodoxy?
- How can I embrace the chaos of life and learn to appreciate its constant twists and turns?
- Are there any resources out there for “normal” people like me who just want to find new happiness and spiritual growth?
Then I heard Conor Oberst’s song, Zigzagging Toward the Light.
That’s it, I thought. Life is a series of zigzags that indirectly lead us toward growth and purpose (the “light”). Listen and you’ll see what I mean.
The song describes the wandering path we all take through life. We have a sense of direction and purpose, but it’s often indistinct. Our lives are full of mistakes, surprises and painful lessons, but we can find joy and meaning by focusing on our progress and the light ahead.
The key is in embracing the zigzags and learning to enjoy the journey.
Listening to the lyrics, it occurred to me that every time I looked up toward the light, I felt both awe and humility. Awe because there is so much meaning available to us; humility because I am so small and the path is so long.
It also occurred to me that there must be lots of people wrestling with these same questions of growth and spirituality. Maybe a blog that focuses on the awe and meaning that is accessible to all of us could, in some small way, help people connect with these themes.
I considered naming the blog after the song, but ultimately decided that “awe” is a word that better describes the combined sense of wonder, faith, meaning and helplessness that often make up spirituality.
So if your head is swirling with these same questions, maybe we can connect and learn from each other. If not, just enjoy Conor’s song.