Spirituality lies beyond the material world of proof, beyond what can be measured or counted. It consists of belief, mystery and faith.
And yet for all the mystery that surrounds it, spirituality is vital to our well-being. It is the foundation of our most closely-held values, the center of our trust and hope.
Spirituality brings purpose and meaning to life. As we develop spirituality we grow in wisdom and love experiencing a sense of awe, a connection to all of life, and a deep reverence for the Divine. We find ourselves moved to prayers of gratitude and moments of spontaneous worship. Spirituality calls a human being to a life of trust and service.
Spirituality is different from religion. Some people have rejected religion to escape what they consider to be oppressive rules and regulations. In the process, however, many lose the joy and compassion that spirituality brings. Religion and spirituality are related and intertwined, but they are not the same. A person may experience spirituality without being a member of any specific religious affiliation, and even the most religious person may feel spiritually bereft.
Some of life’s most difficult questions are the spiritual ones
- What is the purpose of life?
- Where does real meaning come from?
- What is of real value in our lives?
- If there truly is a God who loves us, how could there be so much suffering and unfairness in the world?
Part of our addiction to the busyness of life is an attempt to avoid thinking about our mortality. But when we keep ourselves too busy to consider the purpose of our existence, our lives cease to have meaning. Strangely, it is only when we fully accept the reality of our mortality that we truly begin to live. This is the point at which we begin to enter into and learn about the spiritual dimension of our humanity.
To assess your own spirituality, ask yourself:
- Do I have a sense of connection with the Divine?
- Do I feel compassion for others?
- Do I feel awe and reverence, and at the same time a feeling of oneness with the Great Spirit, or God?
- Do I live a life of trust? Am I called to service? Is prayer or meditation an important part of my life?
You may want to write down your answers and think about them over the next few days (or years).
If you would like to discuss your spirituality, schedule an appointment with an iTherapy spiritual counselor.