Spirituality is one of those new age buzzwords that is overused and, too often, misunderstood. We all want inner peace and emotional freedom. Connecting with our true selves, living from our core, is the brass ring we all seek. Interior stillness is what I want for my clients as well as for myself. However, this is only half of a true spiritual journey. Our inner peace is not, in and of itself, the endpoint; rather, inner peace is what allows us to fully turn outward and engage with the greater world. True spirituality results in “tikkun olam,” or “repairing the world.”
Truly spiritual people don’t need to broadcast how spiritual they are any more than Bill Gates needs to announce how rich he is. Too often, the shout-it-from-the-rooftops “I am spiritual” people are extremely self-centered; their gaze is set inward with little or no regard to the vast life outside of themselves. They confuse being zen with being spiritual.
Spirituality and religion are not necessarily one and the same. One can be spiritual and not religious, religious and not spiritual, both, or neither. Some of the most spiritual people are atheists, and some of the most religious people wear blinders. The Dalai Lama says his religion is kindness and we don’t need a physical structure to be spiritual beings. Amen to that.
As a life coach, a person of faith, and an avid meditator, I clearly know the importance of acquiring and maintaining inner peace, a place of calm we can return to again and again. I treasure it. But that is not enough.
It is from our inner sanctuary that we must return to the only question that makes us truly spiritual: what can I do to alleviate suffering for others? Take one action. Help one person. Save one animal.
We need you.