Spirituality has been noted as being one of the key characteristics that would define us as human. Although some owners of their “four legged” friends might disagree, as human beings we have the ability to connect at a much deeper level. What do we really mean when we use the word “spirituality”?
If we are not careful it becomes very easy to confuse spirituality with religion. We can be part of a “faith community” and attend all their gatherings, participate in prayers and studies every day but does this make you a spiritual person? Other people may go to the mountains or lake on the weekend to meditate. Does this act of mediation and reflection turn us into a spiritual person?
The fact is that, as human beings we are spiritual. We can no more cease to be “spiritual” as we could stop being human. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Pierre Teilard de Chardin)
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.Pierre Teilard de Chardin
If I surveyed a room with a hundred people their definitions of spirituality may be as diverse as the respondents themselves but some common elements would rise up. I would like to suggest that through the muddy waters, some common elements would rise to the surface.
At it’s core, “spirituality” is the desire found deep inside our soul to connect with some power that is greater than ourselves. To allow that power to enter our lives and guide us along the way. We do not want to feel that we are alone, that we have been orphaned to figure out the meaning and purpose of our existence. Inside our core is an empty space in need of filling. As a “spiritual being” having a “human experience”, where do I begin? How do I find my “higher power?” How do I find inner peace and fulfillment?
The spiritual journey is always a dialogue. It is a conversation with others who have gone before us and with those who walk alongside us. At this point in history our need for spiritual guides may be greater than ever. Take time to share your spiritual stories, definitions, and queries below. If you would like to discuss this topic further please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a spiritual director for over 25 years I have helped many people on their journey and look forward to being able to walk alongside many more.