[Part 1 of a 4-Part Series]
I’d like you to walk with me down a path over the next few weeks, because I’d like to talk about something very important to me. We’ll explore the question “what does being spiritual really mean?"
Consequently, you’re likely to discover something new about yourself. I’ll invite you to consider the big picture of spirituality, the soul, and the ego. We’ll consider many perspectives and possibilities—including ones that don’t embrace the idea of a God or Creator.
We’ll discuss spiritual dissatisfaction and satisfaction, and the stages of progress towards satisfaction. Then, at the end of our multi-part discussion, you'll not only know yourself better, you'll likely be inspired to raise your spiritual satisfaction. Ready? Let’s go!
Defining the Word Spiritual
First, let me tell you, while I adore the English language, defining the word spiritual—today, more than ever—can be an ordeal! However, “define the word, I must” as Yoda would say!
Merriam-Webster’s definition of spiritual covers both the adjective and the noun:
1: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit
2a: of or relating to sacred matters such as spiritual songs
2b: ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal such as spiritual authority
3: concerned with religious values
4: related or joined in spirit
5a: of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena
5b: of, relating to, or involving spiritualism
1: spirituals plural: things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical, or religious nature
2: a religious song usually of a deeply emotional character that was developed especially among blacks in the southern U.S.
3: capitalized: any of a party of 13th and 14th century Franciscans advocating strict observance of a rule of poverty for their order
Phew! See what I mean? There’s a lot packed into those ten lines!
Spiritual as an Unfettered Adjective
My perception of spirituality isn't necessarily tied to any religion or belief system. Spirituality, to me, is about being spiritual. It’s more the adjective than the noun—and a very unfettered adjective at that! Spirituality's the platform where I discern who I really am.
Consider how Iyanla Vanzant puts it,
"Religion is the rules, regulations, ceremonies, and rituals developed by man to create conformity and uniformity in the approach to God. Spirituality is God’s call in your soul."
The Path Doesn’t Matter
I propose that the path or form of our spirituality doesn’t matter. So, it can be a religion of the masses, an esoteric form of mysticism, scientific exploration, agnostic, or anywhere in between.
What does matter is how satisfied we are as an individual with our chosen path.
It’s a Relationship with Life
Being spiritual means having a personal relationship with life—like a partnership with Life Itself. It assimilates with all of who we are: the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
It’s present in all of the platforms of our life: self-care, fun, intimate relationships, health, finance, profession, and family. It’s there at high noon when we're celebrating a breakthrough, and at the darkest hour of night in our grief.
Like a trusted friend, Life Itself can be an amazing partner!
The Seat of Joy
Being spiritual is integral to our happiness. It’s about our life purpose, our beliefs (limiting and expansive), our fulfillment, our compassion, our intuition, and our community.
Spiritual happiness casts “golden lucky charms” all over the place. Besides making our life better, it also creates an immensely positive impact on those around us.
Next Time: I’ll share what spiritual dissatisfaction can look like. In addition, I’ll tell you about my own story of spiritual “crash and burn” and how it led me to a spiritual breakthrough.
Written by Laura Abernathy