What It Means to Be Spiritual but Not Religious
It has nothing to do with your beliefs, it’s to do with what you feel
Those that claim to be “spiritual but not religious” account for over 20% of the population in the United States. But what does the word spiritual really mean? The word spiritual is used to describe that which relates to the human spirit and that which goes beyond the material.
Spirituality is about appreciating all aspects of life fully. Most of us have learned to experience the world in a very superficial way. But there’s so much more just below the surface.
You don’t have to be religious to embrace guidance from the world’s major faiths to enjoy a happier, calmer, and more fulfilling life. Spirituality embraces all religions because it recognizes that all of them are different paths to the same destination. If you’d like to further cultivate your spirituality, consider the following ideas.
Our tendency is to judge things by our past experiences. When faced with something new, try to keep an open and non-judgmental mind. New opportunities to learn and expand your perspective are all around you. Attaining a higher sense of spirituality requires being open to the possibilities.
Learn to listen
Few people really listen. Most of us are simply waiting for our turn to talk. But it’s not just about listening with your ears. It’s about listening with your heart to hear what the world is trying to communicate to you.
See the beauty in people, things, and situations
Part of spirituality involves seeing the truth. There’s beauty to be found in nearly everything and recognizing it is part of recognizing the truth. When you see the truth, you come to realize there are very few things to worry about.
Spend some time in nature
There are few things more spiritual than sitting in nature with the sun on your face and the breeze pressing against your back. Experience the trees, grass, flowers, and birds. The Greek physician Hippocrates said it best, “Nature itself is the best physician.”
Look for the bigger picture
The mere act of wondering about the universe and what it all means is an exercise in spirituality. Consider your purpose and true meaning to the world. What is the greatest gift you have to give?
Spirituality is ultimately about self-discovery
It can be considered the art and science of discovering who and what you really are. American novelist and scholar, Ralph Ellison, famously wrote, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” Renowned English writer, Lewis Carroll, aptly declared, “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
Stay focused on the present
Living in the past or the future isn’t living. Life can only be lived right now. Part of being spiritual is recognizing that living a positive life today leads to good things tomorrow.
Spend time each day focusing only on the moment you’re currently experiencing. By focusing on your thoughts, words, and actions today, you have the ultimate amount of control over your life.
If you don’t love yourself, how will you ever feel comfortable enough to present your true self to the world? We’ve all done things the wrong way and come up short numerous times, but it doesn’t define us. It merely describes us in a certain situation at a certain time.
Allow yourself to be inspired
To fully learn about yourself, it’s important to experience new things. Meet new people and read new books. Only by being exposed to everything that interests you can you learn everything there is to know about yourself.
If you’ve ever been dissatisfied with your life and thought, “There must be something more” you’re absolutely right.
There’s a whole lot more.
Learning about yourself and your place in the world might even be the true meaning of life.
But that’s for you to decide and discover.