Seven Spiritual Needs
Based on more than 30 years of psychological counseling and pastoral care, Howard Clinebell believes that humans have seven spiritual hungers in common:
- All people need to experience regularly the healing and empowerment of love - from others, self, and an ultimate source.
- Everyone needs to experience renewing times of transcendence - moments that expand us beyond the immediate sensory spheres.
- Everybody needs vital beliefs that give some sense of meaning and hope the midst of losses, tragedies, and failures.
- Every person needs to have values, priorities, and life commitments - usually centered in issues of justice, integrity, and love - that guide us in personally and socially responsible living.
- Each human being needs to discover and develop their inner wisdom, creativity and love of their unique transpersonal/spiritual self.
- All people need a deepening awareness of oneness with other people and with the natural world, the wonderful web of all living things.
- Every human being needs spiritual resources to help heal the painful wounds of grief, guilt, resentment, unforgiveness, self-rejection, and shame. We also need spiritual resources to deepen our experiences of trust, self-esteem, hope, joy and love of life.
Clinebell feels that everybody must pay attention to these needs to feel whole and fulfilled, making spirituality central to human well-being (Clinebell, 1992).
Readers who feel uncomfortable with the words spiritual or spirituality can substitute their own words - perhaps words like connection or love or meaning.
Do you recognize any of these spiritual needs in yourself?