In this episode, we discuss how to start on a spiritual journey, and how we mix up spirituality and religion. Can we live harmoniously in a family if we don’t share the same religion, and how is our upbringing affecting our spiritual journey?
What is Spirituality and How Do We Get Started?
In my most recent podcast episode, I’m joined by Lucas to discuss the importance of spirituality and how we can get started on our spiritual journey.
But within this wide-ranging topic, we come up against the issue of religion. While there are many similarities, there are more important differences.
What is spirituality?
The answer to this question might initially seem obvious, but it’s possible to dive quite deeply into it.
Simply put, I believe spirituality is about connecting with your spirit or energy. It means recognizing you’re part of something bigger. After all, we all share the experience of being alive, and this connects us in ways we might not have previously considered.
Spiritual growth means improving your connection with your self and your potential. It’s about establishing a link between your body and soul, the conciousness and sub-conciousness, and improving your life in the process.
Religion vs. spirituality
It’s all too common to confuse spirituality and religion, particularly if you come from a religious background. Being influenced by religion as a child can lead you to easily misunderstand spirituality and to back away from it as a concept.
Religions of course involve many spiritual practices; almost every religion has some concept of the spirit or soul. Prayer is simply a form of meditation that involves connecting with yourself, but also with a higher being.
But the key difference is that religions involve being told what to do. Take Catholicism for example. The Pope leads the Catholic Church and tells followers how to be religious.
It has a set of clear principles that guide Catholics on their spiritual journey: forsake the appetites of the flesh and focus on the importance of the next life, not this one.
Spirituality, on the other hand, shares the practices of introspection and improved self-awareness, but keeps you at the center. Rather than looking for a connection with God, you look to improve your connection with your self and others.
I grew up in a very open-minded household. My mother was Christian, but my dad was not. However, we never saw this as an issue because both used their free will to exercise their practices. Importantly, too, they never forced them upon me.
But I know that growing up in a religious household can lead to the opposite feeling. Children can become confused and ashamed when faced with religion as the answer, rather than as a route to finding the answer. Shame in your early life can have a traumatic effect on your future spiritual journey.
But how do you get started on your journey towards discovering your self? Quite simply, you follow your heart and do things that serve you.
The more often you check in with yourself and focus on these important things, the more your connection will grow.
And once you find your glass is full, you can pass this feeling on to others.
Spirituality starts with us loving ourselves for who we are, and focuses on us growing this connection.