Are you spiritual? Or are you religious? Both lean on faith; but they are not the same. Many people, though, thought the two are synonymous.
Spirituality, unlike religion, does not teach anyone about being holy or being good. People think that anything in relation to God is tantamount to goodness or holiness. That is the number one misconception, I guess.
Spirituality is about honoring the authentic self – – – the real you. It teaches us how to be the person that we are – – – unalloyed, before we are told of how we should think and behave – how to toe the line – by society and the world at large.
It acknowledges the presence of both the good and the bad, light and dark, in a person – without judgment or repression.
We are encouraged to know ourselves better and deeper – to meet both the angel and the devil in us that we may be able to nurture the one and tame the other and turn them into our ally.
In short, no emotion is seen as ‘wrong’ or ‘evil’ – no opposite (positive and negative) poles.
Spirituality rests on freedom – – – in unconditional love and acceptance of ourselves by ourselves. (Why, what were you thinking? Do you think that heaven should sanction anyone in order to love and accept us? Charity begins at home, they say. Love and acceptance begin with the self. Inside our own heart. We do not leave our happiness at the mercy of someone else.)
Having that compassion towards our self makes us compassionate with other people, too. Hence, we become love itself. Being love itself, every action we do is guided by heart and kindness. And we do that because of the knowledge that whatever good we do to one, we do to ourselves. Not because we are afraid that God will punish us. Not because we are afraid of being shamed in front of the society for not behaving according to morality set by humans. (Imagine the freedom of not having to give a fuck about what other people are thinking!)
Spirituality teaches us not to think of ourselves as sinners or victims. Therefore, we do not need a savior or a knight in shining tin foil. The responsibility for our happiness, for our choices including its consequences – our life, in general – is placed in our own hands. If we fail, we own up and move on – that is how adults manage life. We do not look around for someone or something to blame – that is childish.
We do not need any hero because we become our own hero.
And no, spirituality is not a lesson completed overnight. The lesson is infinite until we learn to unlearn everything we learned. There will be different phases of good and bad (according to labels accorded by our monkey brain), of high and low so we do not beat ourselves up for one mistake or two. Just dust off and move on.
Moreover, let us not think we can get all knowledge and wisdom from books or life coaches or gurus. There is a guru in us – – – if we learn to keep silent, we will be able to hear its voice.
What I am saying is that spirituality is not about shedding one religion and replacing it with another. Or discarding one teaching and acquiring new one. Or jumping from one life coach or guru to the next. That is like imprisoning ourselves from one cell to the next.
Come on, we can read a million books; we can listen to a thousand preachers; it does NOT matter if all we do is read or listen. We have to DO. But before doing, we need first to understand – – – feel if it resonates with our heart, because that is where the wisdom will grow into a seed of knowing (from the heart) and doing. No one can teach us that except our own self (and, by that, I assume that we understand the works of ego as well).
Lastly, spirituality is not about perfection. It is about knowing our flaws and working on it through ways guided by the heart – – – and only us can decide.
Did my ramblings make sense to you? Forgive me because I am a very old woman. If you have any thoughts, please share it in the comment section and I will be happy to engage.
Till here. Just be you in the here and now. Love yourself that you may have love to give. And by that, I meant to say, healthy boundaries are okay. We can always say ‘Fuck off!’ for as long as we send love and light along with it.