- By Alisa Clark
- Published 03/10/2011
What is Spiritual Memoir? We understand the essence of Spiritual Memoir, otherwise known as Spiritual Autobiography, more than we realize. People’s lives are being spiritually transformed every day. This is why human beings have never stopped searching for spiritual answers. Interest in the paranormal, meditation, yoga, psychics, crystals, religion, the nature of God and the person of Jesus Christ is alive in modern times. We are a culture hungry for spiritual transformation and a voice to describe our spiritual experience. This is why there is growing interest in the question, “What is Spiritual Memoir?” In formal terms, spiritual memoir began as a genre of 17th century non-fiction writing that told the story of a life spiritually transformed. The truth is that stories of spiritual transformation have not lost their relevance since the 17th century. We see the power of transformation revealed in the stories of those around us every day. When a friend overcomes addiction, spouses recommit their lives to each other, families forgive and the self-absorbed feed the hungry we see the change. Transformation is unfolding around us. When we express our personal experience of this transformation our Spiritual Autobiography is being told. Consider the word “spiritual” in Spiritual Memoir and Spiritual Autobiography. The word “spiritual” describes an aspect of human experience that, by its nature, can’t be fully defined. Spirituality is driven by faith, the unknown and a desire for something beyond us. Whether we believe in God or not, we can still embrace the spiritual journey and keep an account of it. This account is a Spiritual Memoir or Spiritual Autobiography.
A memoir, or autobiography, is simply an account of one’s personal experiences. Therefore, a Spiritual Memoir, or Spiritual Autobiography is an account of one’s spiritual experiences. Breaking down the genre this way shows us how open it is to all of us. Sharing stories of spiritual experiences and transformation is timeless and accessible for everyone. Keeping an account of your journey is not an activity reserve
d for pastors, priests and spiritual leaders. No special degree or accomplishment is required to gain the right to write, or share, your testimony. Anyone can find a voice for their story and anyone can share it. You might think, “Who will listen to my story?” Consider the last time someone shared their life with you. Whether their story was full of hope, or desperation, you probably found yourself understanding, encouraging, and supporting them as they shared. Some of what was said probably connected their life to yours. This is not surprising. One of the primary ways human beings connect is by sharing their lives with each other. One of the primary ways we experience hope on this earth is through the stories of transformation that people share with us. Stories of hope and victory fuel us and encourage us to look into the spiritual realm. When life experiences are shared the power of our testimonies is released. Spiritual practice such as mindfulness, meditation, prayer, and fasting might be part of our spiritual memoir but not necessarily. Special spiritual accomplishments, or practices, are not required. No special education is needed to keep an account of your journey. One of the amazing realities of sharing our spiritual testimonies is the spiritual diversity that’s uncovered. No journey ever ends up looking just like someone else’s. Each individual account reveals the uniqueness of the creator within each and every one of His creations. Each account has its very own fingerprint.
Spiritual Memoir, or Spiritual Autobiography, is simply your spiritual testimony. You may decide that you want to keep an account of your spiritual experience. This is, in itself, a valuable exercise. You may not decide to share this experience with others, but this does not liquidate the journey you have chosen to embark on. For some, spiritual memoir writing will remain between them and God. Others will choose to tell the world about their transformation. Once again, we see the evidence of a unique creator who wires us to express ourselves, and our experiences, in distinctly different ways. There’s no right or wrong here. Embrace the differences, find your own unique path and let your story unfold. Discover the ways that Spiritual Memoir is just right for you.
Alisa E. Clark believes in the power of spiritual autobiography. Her website invites viewers to create and share one’s own spiritual memoir and allows readers to learn more about Alisa’s own spiritual autobiography: Dancing in the Doghouse. You can learn more by visiting http://www.journeyoncanvas.com.
by Alisa Clark