What are the pillars of a healthy spirituality?
In 2023 I am exploring different building blocks, components, the essential nutrients that support a vibrant strong life with God. I hope to learn, study, and share thoughts about these various aspects and hope they bring fresh insights to all of our earthly journeys as God continues to shape our souls.
This is our third exploration of one of the characteristics of a healthy spirituality. You can read about the others, being awake and being humble here and here.
This week I am sharing interesting and curious quotes and insights about curiosity.
“When you’re curious you find lots of interesting things to do.” Walt Disney
“If you can let go of passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.” Elizabeth Gilbert
“Be curious, not judgmental.” Walt Whitman
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Because being curious is admitting that you don’t know, but also that you want to know. . . that people you don’t know are worth knowing, that they have something to teach you. That learning about them—that encountering new ideas—doesn’t threaten you, it enriches you. . . That you approach the world as a trove of things to take in, rather than things you frantically, fearfully wall out.” Celeste Ng
Thoughts about Curiosity
I reread these quotes and love their wisdom and inspiration. They remind me not to react with judgement or cringe with fear, but to cultivate a mindset of curiosity, strengthening relationships and certainly creating more peace.
Curiosity is powerful. It opens our hearts to learning, being more creative, and guides us on our way. Our perspectives are broadened, brighter, and become more calm and less agitated. I’ve read the curiosity is the “hopeful, eager cousin of doubt. Curiosity is humble, hopeful, and a much healthier avenue for hard conversations.”
What a wonderful trait/skill to develop. I would rather respond with curiosity, then with shame and anger any day!
- Being curious allows us to be more objective in viewing our responses in our thinking, doing, and feeling.
- Being curious shines the light on patterns and to give name to what we experience.
- Being curious gives us the space to step back to study, to learn, and to ask questions.
- Being curious reveals options to our behavior and thoughts we never realized before.
- Being curious gives us hope.
- Being curious also shows us humility – admitting what we don’t know, where we may be wrong.
- Being curious invites God to open our hearts to see our true self through God’s creative love.
- Being curious works not only in our spiritual inner work, but at all intersections with others and the world.
- Being curious creates the room to be surprised by God.
The key action with curiosity is asking questions – I have written before about the power of questions as a practice. Jesus models this so well for us by asking questions all the time.
Researchers have reported that curiosity, especially over a lifetime, enhances brain health and resistance to early onset dementia. Spiritual health too, I imagine. We are hardwired to wonder, to learn, to grow – and we need to keep those wires connected and active.
- Ask, don’t assume.
- Wonder, don’t judge.
- “Tell me more,” instead of “You are wrong.”
- Listening, instead of dismissing.
Cultivate curiosity – it will nourish a healthy spirituality.
What are you curious about? How do you cultivate curiosity?
Lisa notes says
I’d like to see curiosity get more press. 🙂 I need these reminders. If I can approach a discussion with curiosity, I’m much more open to actually hearing the other person (and probably more likely to be heard myself). It truly is a spiritual discipline!
Jean Wise says
good point, Lisa, that we don’t feature this practice more often.
Nancy Ruegg says
Wonderful insights about curiosity, Jean. You’ve got me thinking: Curiosity is a way to show genuine interest in people, as ask questions about their background, experiences, beliefs, etc. Those last four bullet points give us guidance as we do so. Thank you, Jean!
Jean Wise says
Thank you Nancy,It has been a stretch for me spiritual to ponder these practices and find ways to succinctly express them. I like your insight that we show genuine interesting in others this way too. good point.
Martha J Orlando says
It is one of my biggest concerns that the current generation is forfeiting honest and genuine curiosity for the panacea of “I’m right and you’re wrong!” thinking. It is only true curiosity that recognizes our humility and allows us to connect rightly with others.
Jean Wise says
I never thought of losing curiosity in this next generation. Good insight, sad but true. Love your insight about how true curiosity leads to humility.
Pat Forsman says
thank you jean…curiosity leads to answers…peace
Jean Wise says
Thanks Pat. Isn’t this a great practice?