When it comes to spirituality, we’re all on our own journeys, whether you’re interested in the subject or not! However, what many of us forget is that “being spiritual” isn’t a full-time job or a lifestyle, it’s just us. We all have souls within us, are made up of consciousness, and are fundamentally connected to everyone and everything. Spirituality isn’t a choice, it’s inherent and is what makes up the very core of our being.
Nevertheless, spirituality can still be something you’re interested in and choose to research. There’s so much information available it can be difficult to decipher what the truth is, or what your truth is. Whether you’re interested in a specific religion or New Age concepts, many people convince themselves that they have to change in order to become more spiritual.
Though transformation and growth are wonderful, you don’t necessarily need to radically change your life in order to connect with the Divine, the universe, your Higher Self, or whatever you choose to call it. There’s no “one path toward enlightenment” or set of rules you need to follow in order to “become spiritual”; you’re already a spiritual being, you’re just in the process of remembering that!
Yes, of course there are practices that may help you along your spiritual journey; however, we all express and experience our spirituality differently. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the study of spirituality (at least I know this has happened to me) that we convince ourselves we need to buy certain things and practice specific rituals in order to further progress our spirituality.
Here are three myths about spirituality that may be preventing you from living your life.
1. Spirituality Is a Belief System
To many people, especially those who choose to follow a religion, spirituality becomes an overarching belief system that completely governs their decisions and lifestyles. People typically accept this belief system as a result of social conditioning from friends and family who also share that religion. Even when people switch religions, it’s typically because they’ve accepted a new ideology that then becomes their beliefs.
Spirituality is so much more than simply blindly believing old books and testaments; it’s about getting to know yourself as a soul and as a human being. It’s about understanding how to further connect with yourself and the true essence of your divinity. You don’t need to believe it; you can feel it.
Even when you look at prominent religious figures, this remains true. Jesus Christ encouraged others to look within and access the same “powers” he was able to manifest. Monks and gurus suggest meditation, yoga, self reflection, and gazing inwards. You don’t need to abide by a set of rules and adopt extremely specific beliefs in order to be spiritual.
In addition, many people look up to monks, enlightened beings, and other prominent “higher ups” in various religious communities, seeking answers through them rather than through the Self. People may also search for meaning in religious texts rather than through life and our inner selves, which is ultimately what we’re here to do.
It’s not just religion that creates constricting beliefs, it’s the New Age spirituality movement as well. Within the New Age community, many people who feel that they’re on the path toward enlightenment may use spirituality to create division between themselves and those they feel are “less spiritual” than them. This type of belief system only creates division amongst us, further perpetuating the illusion of separatism.
You don’t need to hide your emotions and become detached and aloof, nor do you need to spend all of your money on crystals and a yoga membership. Don’t get me wrong — I am a crystal lover and devoted yogi myself, but I’m just emphasizing that you don’t need to adopt every belief and practice in order to get more in touch with your spirituality.
2. Spirituality Is a Full-Time Job or a “Chore”
There are tons of different practices that we preach to help you become more in touch with your Higher Self: use crystals, meditate, yoga, breath work, journal, see channellers and energetic healers, seek enlightenment, practice detachment, and so much more. Though I see value in all of these for myself and my spiritual journey, that doesn’t mean that all of these modalities are meant to be practiced by all.
Spirituality is an individual journey that ultimately will not be expressed by all equally and in the same fashion. Some people will seek enlightenment, others will channel and communicate with their Higher Selves, and others may not even understand anything that I’m talking about in this article; but, none of this makes us more or less “spiritual” than one another.
Sometimes, the best way to practice our spirituality is to simply be with ourselves. You don’t need to spend piles of money on astrology readings and reiki; you can simply silence your mind and be you in the present moment. Ultimately, if your long list of spiritual practices is stressing you out, then perhaps just living your Dharma and surrendering is the best decision.
If spirituality starts to feel like a chore to you and you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with all of your “spiritual tasks” you’re forcing yourself to do, take a break! Ultimately, you can never take a break from spirituality because we are all spiritual beings, and you can always find ways to practice and express your spirituality in other ways.
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For example, I used to get genuinely upset with myself if I didn’t have enough time to meditate. Then, I discovered that I could reach the same level of consciousness or contentment when driving, cooking, or doing other tasks. Meditation doesn’t need to be done in complete silence or in the dark; it can be practiced anywhere and any time! I abandoned my strict regimen of meditation and started to incorporate it in other ways, because that’s what was serving me best at the time.
Keep in mind that if meditation starts to feel like a chore, that could mean you shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself, but that could also suggest that you really do need these spiritual practices in your life. Sometimes the things we dread or dislike the most are the things our souls are really encouraging us to look at. The fact of the matter is that you are the only person who can truly understand what your soul resonates with and what’s best for you.
Being Spiritual Means Being Happy 24/7
Another common belief within the New Age community and those interested in spirituality is that in order to be spiritual, we need to be happy 100% of the time. We’re often encouraged to only seek the light, abandon the dark, and suppress our emotions.
The reality of life is that we live in a dualistic world and we were incarnated as humans who (for the most part) are tackling a wide range of emotions. These emotions clearly exist for a reason. Why would anger and sadness exist if they didn’t serve some sort of higher purpose?
Sometimes people confuse practicing detachment with suppressing emotions and acting like robots. True detachment involves working through your emotions fully so you can completely let them go, which often means you will have to face darkness head on.
Plus, when you begin to raise your vibration and experience greater levels of empathy and connection, you may find that you’re more susceptible to other people’s energies. At the same time, you’re improving your ability to understand your own emotions and how to process them correctly rather than suppressing them, so that could actually be a very difficult process in and of itself! Though this process is extremely beneficial for our souls and is often necessary to endure along our spiritual journeys, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be enjoyable.
Self-realization can be a painful process, and that’s perfectly okay. However, if you’ve been interested in spirituality for a while and this doesn’t necessarily resonate with you, that’s cool too! Some people have a lot of darkness to face, others don’t. What’s important is that we all respect and support each other on our journeys and recognize that not everyone’s paths will look the same.
To be clear, this article is not meant to put down any religion or spiritual practice! I believe that everything in creation has a purpose and that everything serves us. I truly recognize the value in religion and I attribute Hinduism and Buddhism for inspiring me to get more in touch with my own spiritual nature, and I definitely engage in many of the aforementioned practices.
My hope is that this article serves as a reminder that you are on your own spiritual journey. You are always going down the correct path because it’s yours; your soul chose it for you and you are living it. Don’t beat yourself up for what you have or haven’t done, and learn to live in the present moment; perhaps then you’ll find that you’re becoming more aligned with your Higher Self.