Why Veterans Should Nurture Their Spiritual Side
During his time in the military, when life was especially hectic, Nick Norris found himself pulling away from the organized religion that he had grown up with.
Instead of focusing on religion, he instead began to focus on spirituality. The two concepts are commonly interchanged, and for some people, that works. But in Nick’s opinion, there’s a difference between the two concepts for him specifically.
“Spirituality, for me, is a feeling. It’s feeling connected to something bigger than myself - tangibly feeling in touch with God, with a creator.”
Spirituality and Timing
Different people connect with their spirituality at different points in their life. Some never do at all. For Nick, it happened when he was at the lowest of low points and needed a force to lift him up and out.
He began to see a more spiritual side of life during his military transition. After he left active duty and felt the struggle of adjusting to civilian life that many veterans go through is when connecting with his spiritual nature helped the most.
“It took me all the way back to where I started to hit bottom, post transition,” Nick said. “Four or five years after I had left active duty, I started to really dig deep. I spoke at length in the past about my struggles as a veteran post-transition. I think I needed to get to that point - the darkest place in my life - in order to see the light.”
Finding his spirituality helped Nick ask the right questions and find the answers within himself and from a higher power. When he felt lackluster towards life, putting his faith in something bigger brought back the zest he’d once known.
“It forced me to relinquish control when I felt I was at a complete loss. I really didn't have any answers to the way that I was feeling - the malaise and apathy towards life. Spirituality pushed me to look deeper inside to find the answers, and to ask deeper questions about my purpose and priority of things in my life.”
Pare Away the Distractions
Transitioning out of the military wasn’t the only time that Nick came to terms with his spirituality. He also had a similar encounter during a near-death experience as he was serving, and it helped him realize what actually matters in life.
“After my encounter with death in a near-drowning experience, I started to realize that a lot of the distractions in my life are just that - distractions. There's only a certain number of things that move the needle for me, predominantly loving relationships with my kids, my wife, and other family and friends, regardless of what else I have going on. Not to say that work and all the other things on a day-to-day basis aren't important. But I had a wake up call during my brief brush with death; I didn't care about any of that day-to-day stuff. I cared about being with my kids and my wife. And that's what all of us eventually will be confronted with when we end up expiring and leaving this form.”
Nick doesn’t believe there’s any space in life for focusing on trivial matters. Coming so close to the other side made him come to terms with the fact that his (and everyone’s) time here on Earth is limited. Through spirituality, he can better soak up all of what life has to offer.
“There's a lot of beauty and love in this world. We’re often blind to it because of all the distractions that are out there.”
A Spiritual Journey
Of course, Nick didn’t come to any beliefs overnight during his military transition. They came over the course of many years, through many different experiences and helpful additions to his life. Even performance supplements helped, which is part of the reason why he co-founded Protekt with Tim Duba. Specifically, performance supplements like Resilient, a blend of vitamins B12, K2, and D3, which helps Nick’s system live up to the supplement’s name.
But even more than supplements that aid your body, it’s about keeping your mind in the moment and appreciating this life for what it is and everything it offers.
“It's taken me several different paths to get to this point, and it's an ongoing journey. Right now, I’m focused on being present as much as I possibly can. Being loving, being generous. Being compassionate, empathetic, and vulnerable in an attempt to start preparing myself for the eventual expiration that I will have. In essence, I’m enjoying paradise - Heaven on Earth - by being present.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Protekt products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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