Spirituality means different things to each of us. Nonetheless, research indicates that spiritual support plays a major role in acculturation success. The ability to reach outside oneself toward a form of higher power, greater calling, etc. can be a significant predictor in an expat’s likelihood of success abroad.
Wait! Don’t change the channel, assuming this is a covert religious call to action. Sure, I have my own deeply help religious beliefs and I advocate for those in appropriate contexts. But this is different. You see, we all really need to believe in something bigger, more powerful, and frankly more capable than ourselves when we try to make sense of the world in which we live and operate on a daily basis. This truth is made even more evident when we face the hardships of cultural transition.
Herein, spirituality may mean something completely different to you than it does to me. My intent is not to convince you otherwise, but instead to point you toward a kind of North Star of shared understanding as we conceptualize the idea and importance of spirituality in the context of cultural transition.
When times get tough, where do you turn? For me, I turn to older mentors, peer-group friends, my spouse, and have even begun seeing a professional counselor over the past three years as I dealt with, and sometimes still deal with, anxiety. Spirituality goes deeper than these relationships, though. Yes, these relationships can point us toward spiritual topics and then guide us through a greater and more tangible expression and understanding of spirituality, but they are not (or at least, should not) be our source of spirituality.
When it comes to making a challenging relocation across cultures, we need something bigger. We need to have practices, places, images, and/or a grander figure in position to help navigate us through the choppy waters of culture shock. No, Go Culture International is not this higher power. We want to help you realize the gravity of this spiritual element of successful cross-cultural adaptation, but we do not serve as the focus of that spirituality.
For me, I pray when times get tough. I am ashamed to say that I probably pray most WHEN times get tough, but nonetheless a relationship and belief in a higher power that is all-knowing, all-seeing, in the past and in the future, and all-powerful gives me peace of mind in troubling situations where otherwise I just don’t have the answers and cannot see light at the end of the tunnel.
If you want to be successful in cultural relocation and transition, you have to move beyond yourself and seek spiritual support. Click to tweet
If you want to be successful in cultural relocation and transition, you have to move beyond yourself and seek spiritual support. When you are at your wit’s end and can’t see your next step as an expat, you need to have practices, etc. in place to help you stay afloat. Begin today developing those spiritual foundations so that when the time comes, you are ready to fight back and win against the odds.
If you want to learn more about being spiritually prepared for cross-cultural transition, contact one of our great Global Ambassadors today. Don’t go it alone. Let Go Culture International equip you and your family for cultural relocation.