Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spiritual Advice from Dirty Harry

Sometimes words of spiritual wisdom come from the most unlikely sources. A case in point is a quotation from the actor Clint Eastwood in the role of the ultra-violent and vengeful detective, Harry Callahan.

In the movie, , he says, "A man's got to know his limitations."

That's advice I have learned to take seriously lately.

Because of my role as an interfaith leader and my new persona as the author of a book on spirituality, I am occasionally asked for advice or spiritual direction.

I can speak from my own experience, but I am not a trained therapist, spiritual director or clergyman. So, I am learning to set boundaries.

I can answer questions on some matters, but when friends or acquaintances come to me with serious and deep problems, I am learning to direct people to therapists, social service agencies and clergy that I trust. I also reference the section in my book on "emotional first aid," advice provided by my partner, art therapist Fran Englander.

We all need to know our limitations. And respect them.

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