Finding the Peace

Strengthening Spiritual Muscles

Spiritual muscles are not strengthened as you sit in Church praying on Sunday morning or sit on the mountaintop meditating.  Spiritual muscles are strengthened when you turn the corner at the grocery store and come face to face with the exact person you try to avoid as much as possible.  This is the person that you believe doesn’t hesitate to send hurtful comments your way or you believe likes to see you miserable.  Somewhere along the way, this person was a friend, or even a family member that let you know that your best interests was never really what she had in mind but rather it was more important that she just be on top and in the know with everyone.  And there she is, in the grocery store, right after you read something she put on Facebook that you know was directed as an arrow for you.  So what do you do with this?

Take a deep breath and pause.  Remember that you are working on developing spiritual muscles and you only strengthen these muscles with good workouts. This workout opportunity is your gift for the morning. Your Church time should have helped prepare you for this moment. So breath, pause and most importantly, be non-reactive. Soften your eyes and look at her directly. Go into observer role (e.g. watch yourself – observe your own feelings, thoughts and behaviors) which is a step in mindfulness.  Realize that whatever is going on with this other person is her deal.  You can’t change what she is doing and saying. If she doesn’t like you, is hurtful towards you, she is. You aren’t going to control this, as you can’t control another person.  This would call for you to use radical acceptance.  It is what it is.  So you look at her, “kindly”. Observe your neutral self.  Realize you don’t need to have an agenda with her.  Say hello, and move on.  Your work is to stay neutral, do no harm, and leave the situation in a non-toxic, loving way.  Hopefully, you get through the encounter in this neutral way.  You leave her to deal with her toxic behaviors and you unhook.  There is no reason to be part of it unless you become reactive.  And you then may go about your day without allowing the power of her behaviors to ruin your day.  And your spiritual muscles were strengthened a bit more with  the workout session.  Look for your opportunities this week to strengthen those spiritual muscles. 


  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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