Spirituality in Family by Dr. Catherine Joseph and Ms. K. Madhavi, Faculty Department of Social Work Stella Maris College, Chennai.
Spirituality <ul><li> Love </li></ul><ul><li> Religious books </li></ul><ul><li> Love in family </li></ul><ul><li>Principles of Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>1. Love and Respect </li></ul><ul><li>2. Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>3. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>4. Vision </li></ul><ul><li>5. Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>6. Energy </li></ul><ul><li>7. Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>8. Finding yourself </li></ul>
Spirituality in family: Family spirituality is the spiritual dimension of everything that the family does to be united as a family. The most important ingredient is the love flowing between family members. When there is genuine love we always find God, because God is love. It is in the family we learn the love of God and share it with the other members within and outside the family. Nath (2006) explained the role of spirituality in controlling humanity. Many known and unknown saints have contributed to spirituality mainly through self-introspection, signified by their universal love and compassion for the common man. Spirituality helps families relate to a higher level of output and a better functioning in the society, it is a new dimension for facilitating better functioning of the family.
Why a family spirituality <ul><li>For most of us, the place where we first learnt the meaning of love is at home. Maybe it was through what was felt with the care of the Father, Mother, Sister or Brother. Life itself from childhood is revolved around the family and family members where the relationship is bound with love. The sad thing is, this is getting less because we have much less of a family nowadays, often without one of the parents, and with the children all split off doing their own things. And it is less true because the parents have forgotten to show love on to their children. It takes expressing/exhibiting love to children and what it means in any given situation. But most of all, it takes actually going about it every day and to model it ourselves. Children need to see us in expression – verbal or non-verbal – as it is the essence of peace. Else, in times of uncertainty they are hurt they shrink become deviant and behave in an unaccepted manner (as we all sometimes are). </li></ul>
Spirituality reduces the risk of crimes… <ul><li>Warm family relationships appear to reduce the risk of delinquency in a variety of cultures other than those found in the United States. For example, Danish adolescents having warm family interactions were less likely to shoplift or commit vandalism than their peers (Arnett; Jeffrey; and Balle-Jensen 1993). In the Netherlands, adolescents between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one who had positive relations with their mothers were considerably less likely to have been engaged in delinquent behavior than those who had negative relationships (Terlouw and Junger-Tas 1992). Similarly, the likelihood that Colombian adolescents would engage in delinquency was reduced by close bonds with parents (Brook; Brook; De La Rosa; Whiteman; and Montoya 1999). In Japan (Harada 1995) and in Sweden (Martens 1992), close emotional ties within the family also appeared to reduce the likelihood that children would become delinquents. </li></ul>
Spirituality and Family’s Health <ul><li>Families with a sense of spirituality carry a gratitude and sense of hope that recognizes even the little things of life as special events. </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality gives families a sense of belonging to and being loved by a higher being. </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality gives meaning and purpose to families that provide strength and hope in times of adversity. It provides a greater sense of purpose and a stronger sense of support from family and friends. </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality provides a way to deal with successes and also failures, especially in family relationships. It teaches us to ask for forgiveness when we have wronged another, and to accept forgiveness when we have been wronged. </li></ul><ul><li>Families with strong spirituality celebrate life as a gift. They carry a gratitude and optimism that enjoys even the little things of life as special events </li></ul>
Spirituality binds a family <ul><li>The relationship between spirituality and marital adjustment was studied by Patricia (1999). The subjects were 147 married individuals from churches in Southern California. Responses indicated that spirituality correlated significantly to marital adjustment. The results provided some support for the hypothesis that lived out spirituality is an important factor in perception of marital happiness. </li></ul>
Spirituality brings values in families <ul><li>Spiritual values like love, purpose in life, respect, freedom, social responsibilities, forgiveness, cooperation, and sharing are becoming more important than materialistic ‘having’ (Saini & Trama, 2007). </li></ul>
Identifying and communicating the values of the family can: <ul><li>be helpful in making personal decisions; </li></ul><ul><li>become a guide for self-empowerment; </li></ul><ul><li>help us manage our time, energy and resources to our best advantage; </li></ul><ul><li>help us know ourselves better; </li></ul><ul><li>help us eliminate some of the confusion in our lives; </li></ul><ul><li>help us to formulate a desired system of values; </li></ul><ul><li>help us to act or behave in accordance with our desired system of values; and </li></ul><ul><li>help us to better understand and respect others who have different values. </li></ul>
Spirituality and Physical Health <ul><li>Wachholtz (2006) conducted a study on “Does Spirituality Matter? Effects of Meditative Content and Orientation on Migraines”. </li></ul><ul><li> Results indicated that over the course of the intervention, in comparison to the other three groups, those who practiced in spiritual meditation had greater decreases in the frequency of migraine headaches, anxiety and depression, as well as greater increases in pain tolerance, headache-related self-efficacy, daily spiritual experiences and existential well being. By providing participants with a simple method to access their spiritual resources, spiritual meditation may offer migraine patients a means to improve their spiritual, emotional and physical health. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Kenya Raquel (2007) investigated “The Influence of Spirituality/Religiousness on the Quality of Life on Long-Term Cancer Survivors”. It was examined that the relationship between spirituality/ religiousness and quality of life and the moderating effect of co morbid illness in a sample of 308 long-term cancer survivors who had received an initial primary cancer diagnosis of breast, prostate, colorectal and Hodgkin’s disease at least prior to the beginning of the study. The findings revealed that greater spirituality/religiousness related to lower family distress. </li></ul>
Spirituality and Mental Health <ul><li>Recent research reports suggest that to many patients, spirituality is an essential resource that helps them to cope with stress in life including their illness. Also many psychiatrists now believe that spirituality is important in the life of their patients. Spirituality has become more important in times of stress and mental illness. It emphasises the healing of a person mentally, and helps to take life experiences to develop and in transformation. </li></ul>
<ul><li>States (2001) conducted a study on “Self-efficacy and Spirituality in the Recovery Process from Alcohol Dependence: A Paradox”. The purpose of the study was to provide an exploration of self-efficacy and spirituality as they relate to the recovery process from alcohol dependence. </li></ul><ul><li>The results of the study suggest that self-efficacy and spirituality are related in the recovery process from alcoholism. </li></ul><ul><li>Counsellors could enhance a person’s self-efficacy through the use of spiritually oriented interventions. Counsellors can expand on the traditional realm of spirituality in addiction treatment. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In conclusion…. </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality need not be an inborn trait; it can be developed by ones own efforts. Spirituality gives meaning and purpose in life, a sense of belonging and wholeness in the family. Spirituality is love and it is pure from its inception. Spirituality employed in us and in our families gives good understanding of each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Being spiritual is the real meaning of life. Spend time practicing spirituality in family. Start expressing love in the family which helps to live a healthier life. </li></ul>