When you’re in the middle of a crisis, it’s hard to figure out what the heck is going on. Are we now entering a new era of history due to the coronavirus pandemic? Or are we just biding our time, waiting until everything returns to “normal”?

If I knew the answer to this question, I would gladly share it with you. I honestly don’t know. Yet here’s one thing I can affirm with deep conviction: chaos is good for your soul. I’ll be quick to add that chaos is also unsettling and frequently disturbing. But these qualities are not incompatible with a more vibrant spirituality. In fact, chaos can wake us up and shatter our illusions — both hallmarks of inner growth.

The traditions that help us grow spiritually are the ones that offer encouragement when uncertainty and fear arise. Afflictive emotions can trick us into thinking that, somehow, we’ve lost our way. “If I’m feeling these things,” we might say, “then I must be on the wrong path.”

The greatest religious traditions, however, are the ones that say the path to enlightenment is whatever is happening right now — even when it includes chaos, fear, or suffering. Our growth is deepest when it includes the very things we’d rather not face.

If you’re looking for companionship to face some difficult things in your life, the Center is here for you. Sign up for our upcoming Using the Enneagram as a Spiritual Practice series. Join our soon-to-be-launched Reel Spirit Film ProjectContact me for a no-cost spiritual companioning session online or over the phone. And participate in our free “Coronavirus as Wisdom Teacher” webcast, coming this summer. Together, we can help each other discover that chaos and confusion are fertile ground for spiritual growth.

Rob Field