‘My religion is very simple; My religion is kindness’ ~HH Dalai Lama
Spiritual care is a supportive, compassionate presence for people at significant times of transition, illness, grief or loss. It is a collaborative and respectful partnership (Spiritual Health Victoria). Spiritual care is not about delivering something to another, rather it is a particular way of being that acknowledges there is an inner deep dimension, a spiritual essence which is within all of us.
‘Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh.
Spirituality can be expressed in many different ways, it is subjective and personal to the individual. Whether someone chooses to express their spirituality through religious faith and practices or not, humans are motivated to seek meaning to the bigger questions in life, such as Why is this happening? What does it mean? What happens when I die? This is particularly highlighted when one’s sense of meaning, values, beliefs and purpose are disrupted through things such as serious illness, major changes, loss and grief.
Spiritual care is a professional friendship providing a holistic approach to the emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing of individuals, their family and loved ones. It is a relationship and connection that involves bearing witness to another’s experience in their life ‘in the now’, with a willingness and motivation of love, care and kindness, sitting attentively with a listening ear, an open heart, and validating while being with another in their life journey.
Spiritual care can help with issues related to:
- Chronic illness, including terminal disease
- Sense of loss of control
- Relationships and belonging
- Belief, meaning and purpose
- Loss and grief
- Death and bereavement
- Coping strategies