What does spiritual mean? ALL the common misconceptions and my take on what being spiritual means to me.
So last night I had a thought…there are SO many misconceptions about what being SPIRITUAL means, right? I think so many people avoid this journey because of the negative connotations and misconceptions out there. I started writing down all the misconceptions, the clichés, the commonly held beliefs about spirituality that I’ve heard and felt before. Many of these are ones that actually initially turned me off from becoming spiritual myself! It wasn’t until early 2016 that I really started on my spirituality journey and since I started, it’s taken on so many different forms.
I’ve gone to somewhat extremes on either end of the spectrum to find where I fit in the middle. From hating the word God to reading a book called “Conversations With God” (that I highly recommend by the way!), to staying with a shaman in the rainforests of Peru and going on a plant medicine “healing” journey, to hiring a spiritual health coach, to going on a 5-day silent retreat by myself, practicing yoga, meditating daily, reading different spiritual books, and the list goes on.
I’ve been exploring as much as I can about the different modalities and cultures of spirituality so that I can start to develop my own definition of what it means to me. And I think that’s what’s most important. That YOU define what being spiritual means to YOU. It’s different from person to person and that’s the beauty of it!
I would love to hear, what are some of the misconceptions you’ve heard or FELT about spirituality? And what does being spiritual REALLY mean to you? What is spirituality to you?
Here are some of the ones that I hear and feel the most.
Being spiritual means being religious.
Being spiritual means you believe there’s a man named God who lives in heaven and presides over humanity, judges us for our actions and dictates our fate.
Being spiritual means you don’t believe in science.
Being spiritual means you like to frolic barefoot in fields of flowers.
Being spiritual means you’re super airy-fairy or woo-woo.
Being spiritual means you need to love crystals or tarot cards or be a healer, or a “light worker.”
Being spiritual means you have to reject worldly or material possessions.
Being spiritual means you have to do yoga.
Being spiritual means you have to be vegan.
Being spiritual means you can’t enjoy money or that you believe money is evil.
Being spiritual means you have to be a hippie, give out free hugs, and cry all the time.
Being spiritual means you have to talk in a soft voice and say peace and love and namaste to everyone you meet.
Being spiritual means you are happy, never negative and filled with love 100% of the time, 24/7.
Being spiritual means you believe you’re better than others. (Blech!! This is the total opposite of spirituality but it’s something I see A LOT with the modern spirituality movement. *Cough* Krystal from the Bachelor anyone!?)
Speaking of which…Being spiritual means you have to shun pop culture or the The Bachelor. HAH NO.
Being spiritual means you have to be overly emotional and bear your soul and story to every person you meet. (P.S. Not everyone DESERVES to know you that deeply.)
Being spiritual means you can’t have dessert/unhealthy food ever.
Being spiritual means you can’t have bad days.
Being spiritual means you can’t take a break from spirituality or live unconsciously sometimes.
Being spiritual means you can’t fight back or get angry (actually embracing and accepting ALL human emotions is a HUGE part of the spiritual journey)
Being spiritual means you just ask for things and they appear.
Being spiritual means you just “let things be” and don’t take action.
Being spiritual means you can’t swear and say FUCK.
Being spiritual means you can’t enjoy sex or pornography.
And now, what is spirituality to me? THIS is what SPIRITUALITY means for ME. Being spiritual means whatever you want it to mean… HAH! It’s as simple as that.
But it IS a journey inward. Towards your true self. It’s about defining it for yourself, not adhering to what one guru says or taking what one teacher says as the end-all-be-all.
Meditation, stillness, reflection, gratitude, appreciation, compassion that to me is what spirituality is about. It’s becoming conscious of your mind and your thoughts and bringing awareness to how they influence you, your actions and your life.
It doesn’t mean that you have to always be conscious or spiritual. Sometimes you just need a fucking break, right!? It doesn’t have to be a 24/7 journey every single day. I think some people take this journey too seriously sometimes. Let’s lighten it up, make it what YOU want.
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Sometimes I get scared thinking this journey could really alienate me from people when I see how “out there” some people get. I worry…OMG will I get like that too?! But then I realize I don’t WANT that. There’s nothing wrong with it, I LOVE that people choose that path and get to express themselves that way. But it’s not how I want to be. AND THAT’S OK. No two spiritual people are going to look and be ALIKE. It’s such a unique journey from person to person.
Some of these misconceptions exist because there are a lot of spiritual people who embrace those values. And that’s OK!! That’s awesome. I embrace them embracing their true selves. That is what being spiritual means to them! It’s not what I want spirituality to mean to me, but it’s what it means to them and that’s cool. No judgement, no shame.
So YOU get to decide what being spiritual means to you. YOU get to decide how “far” you want to take this journey. YOU get to decide how you want to show up and BE.
Life, spirituality, is about creating yourself and experiencing life the way YOU want to live it. YOU get to decide how far you want to take it, how deep you want to go. You can stop at any point. You can take what you want, leave what you want, and make it what you want. I think as long as you embrace it as an inner journey to finding out more about yourself, creating yourself, becoming conscious of your mind and thoughts, and loving yourself and expressing joy and compassion for this life – I think you’re on the right track.
Being spiritual to me also means understanding that you are in touch with your Soul Self, your inner guidance, your true self, your divine self, that non-physical part of you that exists as one with the Universe.
I choose to make my spirituality light, and fun, and not take it seriously. I want to make it up as I go. It has changed a lot since I started my journey and I know it will continue to change as I move forward. Hope you join me for the crazy ride! 🙂
I would love to hear in the comments, what are some of the misconceptions you’ve heard or FELT? And what does being spiritual mean to you?