From Certainty to Wisdom: Its A Life Journey

From Certainty to Wisdom: Its A Life Journey February 29, 2024

Heart felt wisdom – Canva created.

 Let’s just start with “I don’t feel that old.” It surprises me how far I have to scroll back into the last century to find the year I was born when I fill out something requiring my birth date. Age is a funny thing. It creeps up on you – and with it comes all kinds of change.

Does age impact our spiritual beliefs? The short answer is — yes.

Our spirituality will undergo significant transformations as we age. These changes are not just a reflection of our personal growth but also a response to the myriad experiences we encounter over time. From the unwavering convictions of youth to the more nuanced understandings of maturity, the evolution of spiritual beliefs across one’s lifespan is a fascinating phenomenon that mirrors the complexity of human life itself.

The Foundation in Youth

In our younger years, spiritual beliefs are often inherited, and absorbed passively from family, community, or educational systems. These beliefs serve as a framework through which we view the world, offering comfort, structure, and a sense of belonging. For many, this period is characterized by a strong adherence to the literal interpretations of spiritual teachings, with little room for doubt or deviation. The spiritual narratives are black and white, reflecting the certainty and the sometimes idealistic nature of youth.

The Questioning of Young Adulthood

As we step into young adulthood, we are met with new challenges, opportunities, and a broader exposure to diverse ways of thinking. This phase often triggers a re-evaluation of previously held beliefs, spurred by education, interactions with people from different backgrounds, and personal experiences of success and failure. The spiritual absolutes of childhood and adolescence come under scrutiny, leading to a period of questioning and, in some cases, significant upheaval. This is a crucial phase in spiritual development, where beliefs are tested, and the individual begins to take ownership of their spiritual journey, often moving away from inherited convictions to form a more personalized spiritual outlook.

Maturation and Integration

As we age, our spiritual beliefs often become more nuanced and integrated. The dichotomies of right and wrong blur into a spectrum of understanding that appreciates the complexities of life. This shift reflects a deeper engagement with the spiritual quest, recognizing that absolute answers are rare, and that wisdom lies in the ability to hold multiple perspectives in balance. For many, this is a time of spiritual deepening, where the focus shifts from external validation to internal peace and understanding. It’s a period marked by the integration of spiritual beliefs with daily life, making spirituality a living, breathing aspect of one’s existence.

The Role of Life Events

Significant life events—such as the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, illness, or a near-death experience—can profoundly impact our spiritual beliefs at any age. These events often prompt deep reflection on the meaning of life, our place in the universe, and the nature of our connection to something greater than ourselves. For some, these experiences reinforce existing beliefs; for others, they lead to dramatic changes in spiritual perspective.

The Wisdom of Later Years

In later life, there tends to be a movement towards acceptance and synthesis of life’s experiences, including spiritual beliefs. Age allows us a form of spiritual wisdom that embraces uncertainty and the mysteries of life. This wisdom is characterized by a reduction in dogmatism and an increase in compassion and understanding. It’s a reflection of a lifetime’s journey of questioning, seeking, and experiencing. For many, spirituality in later years is marked by a focus on the essentials—love, compassion, forgiveness, and a sense of connection with others and the world at large.

As we move closer to the universal “exit sign,” we spend more time contemplating what we authentically believe, rather than what we’ve learned. Our beliefs may bring us comfort or discomfort – but one thing is for sure, our beliefs seem more important to us as we age. They help us make plans for our departure from this life and give us considerations about what we expect to happen beyond this plane of existence.

My favorite Ram Dass quote says,” Aging is a stage in life that’s especially ripe for us to get free.” As the years pass, I understand spirituality less through textbooks, scriptures, and lectures, and more through the lens of freedom. There’s a bit of surrendering involved. A bit of permitting myself to just rest into what feels true to me. And a bit of connecting with what feels holy and sacred – the energy of life as I experience it now.

I’m grateful for the wisdom age brings (even if I’m not old yet).

About Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten
Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten is an evolutionary force in spiritual transformation. She bridges ancient wisdom with contemporary teachings, empowering people to use sacred ceremony to address life challenges. As a revered mystic and visionary, Ahriana is the compass for spiritual leaders aiming to reshape the world. Her influence resonates across a global community in 50+ countries. She’s an ordained Unity minister, a formidable high priestess in two esoteric traditions, and a mentor for spiritual entrepreneurs. A former Ambassador for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Ahriana is the bestselling author of “Rites and Rituals, Harnessing the Power of Sacred Ceremony." You can read more about the author here.

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