This week I conclude my reflection series on camera concepts and the spiritual life. I’m closing with some ponderings on caring for my camera and tying it in with self-care and the spiritual life.

For starters, no modern camera will work if we don’t recharge the batteries. While early cameras were entirely mechanical, today’s cameras—even those on our phones—will not function if we don’t keep the battery charged.

The same is true for us. If we don’t recharge our internal batteries on a regular basis, we lose functionality too. We might push ourselves anyway, continuing to work when we’re in the red zone, but the images we produce can be flawed by frayed tempers, short-sightedness, and an inability to trust in the work of the Spirit.

So, what is involved with recharging our personal batteries? Good food, water, and sleep are basic, of course. The chance to spend time in spiritual reading and prayer is also helpful. I’ve written before about the benefits of periodic retreat time, and I also recommend meeting with a spiritual director when that feels like the right step to take on your journey.

There are other elements to camera care and self-care besides recharging. We also need to keep our cameras and our spirits clean. If we don’t periodically clean the lens on our camera, our photos will become spotted and blurry. If we end up out in a dust storm, it’s important to carefully clean the entire camera to prevent grains of sand from getting into the mechanisms and ruining the ability of the camera to function properly.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. If we don’t periodically clean our hearts and souls, our perspective can get blurry and spotty, and we might not function at our best. Sometimes this self-care takes the form of praying and asking for forgiveness or giving it when another asks. At other times, we might wish to engage in a formal sacrament of reconciliation to reset our relationship with God and humanity. Some days, we might wish to fast and pray rather than indulging in rich food and endless social media. Other days, it might be enough to simply sit in silence for a few moments in the evening and clear our heads and hearts by giving God thanks before heading to bed.

I hope this camera series has brought you some new insights and interesting connections. If there’s something else that you’d like to see me tie in with the spiritual life, please let me know. Meanwhile, consider what you might need to do today and this week to support your spiritual self-care. What new rhythm or practice could you put in place?

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