By Nancy Rasmussen, Public Affairs SpecialistJanuary 13, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The words "spiritual" and "spirituality" mean many things to many people.
According to the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness spiritual fitness module, spirituality is the human spirit - the essential core of a person.
CSF, an Armywide program launched last year, offers assessment tools to help Soldiers, Families and Department of Army civilians become resilient not only physically, but in areas of emotional, Family, social and spiritual fitness as well.
Based on the premise that spiritual fitness defines the deepest part of the individual, it requires a conscientious strengthening of beliefs, principles and values, according to CSF.
"Not all people believe in God or any supreme being, but they still possess a spiritual being within them," said Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Stephen Cook.
While everyone experiences situations that can test the human spirit, CSF suggests that these struggles can be a sign of strength and courage and an opportunity to re-examine individual beliefs to redefine lives, and ultimately become more spiritually fit and resilient during the most challenging times.
So in this dimension, we consider spirituality as that which you value most deeply or hold sacred, as well as spiritual struggles, the tension or conflict within yourself, with others, or with a higher power about your deepest values or what you hold sacred, according to CSF.
"While we as chaplains see spiritual fitness to be a religious issue, spirituality transcends the day-to-day stuff of life and looks at something much deeper and meaningful and broader in scope," said Cook. "I think spirituality allows anyone to look at a bigger picture instead of just the foxhole they are in. In all of this, if the spiritual nature of an individual is tapped, it should give hope for the future.
"Whatever 'enemy' you may be fighting ... a combatant, a bad memory, or a problem back at home ... your human spirit can sustain you," he said.
The Army CSF spiritual fitness module aims to help strengthen an individual's set of beliefs, principles, or values to sustain beyond family, institutional, and societal sources of strength, ultimately resulting in becoming more spiritually fit and resilient during times of greatest challenge.
The CSF Web site suggests that to build spiritual resiliency individuals:
Strengthen a set of beliefs, principles, or values to sustain themselves beyond family, institutional, and societal sources of strength.
Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Learn the value of being part of something larger than ourselves.
Explore the benefits of being connected to community and surroundings.
Look for and appreciate the positive things that happen.
Learn why people tend to over-emphasize the negative.
Discover why and how to intentionally seek the "Good Stuff."
Practice journaling to increase their awareness of the positive things life offers you.
The CSF Global Assessment Tool featuring the spiritual fitness module is available at www.army.mil/csf. The assessment is totally confidential and provides instant feedback to help build personal spiritual resiliency.