Sunday, February 12, 2017

What Is Spirituality?

People like to throw the word 'spirituality' around, most have absolutely no idea what it means, and it has nothing to do with religion.  Someone asked me the other day, "You offer spiritual guidance in your counseling practice, what does that mean?"  It was an excellent question, and one that took me to a deep place of thinking for a couple of days.

I have been studying religion and philosophy for 30 years now and read millions of words, yet I have barely scratched the surface of the knowledge contained in books out there.  I have studied much more on these subjects than the average person will throughout their lives, but does this make me an expert?  Not at all.  I still feel that I know very little about these things, but I will never stop learning what I can.

So what does that have to do with spiritual understanding? Very little, but I felt a need to tell you the reader where my words come from, and remember that these words mean very little, it is the underlying understanding I am attempting to convey.

What is Spirituality?  There are many understandings and definitions I could share, but I would prefer to keep things simple, and void of specific belief systems.  Spirituality is an understanding of the 'spirit'.  So what is the spirit?

Many belief systems have offered names to the spirit, the most popular being 'soul', and many belief systems leave it as it is, the spirit.  The spirit is that invisible force within us that we know is there but cannot truly identify it with our senses.  We know it is there and talk to it all the time, but even as I refer to it as 'it', I know that it is the 'self', or who we are without our material form.

You don't need to be a guru, own crystals and gems, or know how to engage in a spiritual ceremony or tradition to understand the spirit.  We all have one and they all are the same thing, yet each one is different from the other as well.  I also know that I worded that statement incorrectly, we do not have a spirit, we are our spirit, it is exactly who we are.

So back to the original question, I give spiritual guidance not because I am part of some belief system or to give others the impression that I am magical, I give it because I understand 'self'.  I understand how the spirit/self works and what it is searching for.  I also understand what blocks our understanding and connection with it.

If you feel you are on a 'spiritual' journey of some sort, you are searching for your self.  It is that old saying people use in their lives, "I need to find myself".  We say it without truly knowing what it even means.  You are searching for your spirit or soul, which in true essence should be easy because it is who we are.

We also know that it is one of the hardest things in the world to do or everyone would be doing it with ease.  Our society, especially social media, does everything it can to keep us distracted from ourselves and then we wonder why it is so difficult to find ourselves.  You cannot find your self if you are looking without.  It can only be found within you, and it does not have to be some profound spiritual journey, you just have to put fear aside and look directly at it.

Spirituality is simply a search for Self, nothing more.  There are many ways to find your Self and many different paths you can take, but don't ever waver on what it is you are trying to find!

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