Are You a Seeker?
Spiritual seekers are those who follow a path of self-discovery. Being a seeker might be a lifelong journey or one that occurs as a result of a life-changing event, such as a trauma. I have been a seeker my entire life. And when I stop to think about it, I probably embarked on this path during my childhood when my voice was silenced and I had to seek peace and answers from within, from my readings, and from the jottings in my journal.
My seeking might also be traced to my youthful fascination with reading biographies and magazines that featured true stories. Real-life accounts often provide answers for seekers posing important questions. We want to learn how to navigate our journeys and often do so by reading and hearing how others have found their own way. Then, we either consciously or subconsciously incorporate these lessons into our own lives.
Spiritual seekers are not necessarily religious. Most often, they have little interest in organized religious practice. In fact, studies have shown that 33 percent of Americans are spiritual, but not religious in the more traditional sense of organized religion.
See also Kathryn Budig on Self-Discovery
Seek Self-Discovery & Transformation Through Writing
Many writers, especially poets, are seekers of transformation. While poets might write poems to look for answers to questions or to tap into a deeper sense of knowing, sometimes poets’ specific intentions are unclear at the outset. However, during the process of writing, poets might find themselves transformed. In fact, poems often contain underlying messages that can move or change us and/or offer us hope.
I wrote one of my first poems as an adult just after an elderly gentleman sitting on a street bench watched me parallel park. I was compelled to write my poem when I thought about how men often mock female drivers. The expression on the old man’s face told me that he was sure I would smash my car into the car parked in the space behind—which I did not do. The poem ends with a line stating that I’m a great parallel parker. When I started to write the poem, I had no idea where I was going with it, but by the time I reached the end, I knew exactly why I was writing it, and that was to crush men’s stereotypes about women’s driving skills.
In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke summarizes the essence and importance of being a seeker as it pertains to writing poetry:
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
To some degree, we are all seekers, and if we care to share our knowledge with others, then we also offer them the opportunity to learn from our experiences while examining their own.
Excerpted from Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story & Transforming Your Life (September 2017) by Diana Raab, PhD
About the Author
Diana Raab, PhD, is the author of Writing for Bliss: A 7-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, (September 2017). She is an award-winning writer, speaker, and educator who advocates the transformative powers of writing. Diana holds writing workshops around the country. Find her at www.dianaraab.com.