As I study to serve as a spiritual director, I bring my world perspective and experience as a woman with me. I acknowledge the brokenness of the world around me and in me. I see the remedy to the divisions inherent in an androcentric world perspective as the pursuit of wholeness for all through inclusion, connectedness and mutuality in relationships.
I begin by reflecting on my own experience, my own truth and I build from there. This is not intended to operate like traditional therapy where one searches one’s personal history for answers to personal problems. This is grounded in the reality that there is a social context for all of us inherent in our male-dominated culture. This dominant cultural context gives rise to feelings of powerlessness, depression and poor self-esteem in ‘others’. This social context also confers Divine meaning through exclusively male language and metaphor for God – thereby undermining women’s equal sacredness. Many organized religions deny women full participation, and overall prescribe relationships that maintain women as dependent.
“Women discover that spirituality is authentic when it is intrinsically subjective, when it is brought forth, painfully, from the womb of their own experience. From there they create a new “wisdom literature” out of the alchemy of their own lives.”
So it is that I want to affirm spiritual direction as a safe place of equal relationship between director and directee. An equality flowing from the truth that it is the Spirit that guides each of us. In this way, each of us enters the process with no more qualification or worldly status than the early disciples and the process reflects discipleship born of the worth of each person and the gifts of Spirit in each.
This reciprocity suggests that spiritual companionship expands and deepens each of us through what we offer and what we receive. Truth then, emerges from the relationship and interaction itself, and by nature, truth is a dynamic reality. As a spiritual director, I need to be sensitive to the ways in which valuing a directee’s experience and honoring the balance of power in relationships benefits all who participate.