Spirituality. There, I said it. Something most men do not talk about yet whether we acknowledge it or not, it is innately part of us. When a lot of people hear the word spirituality, they immediately think one of two things: being told how to live by priests in church or airy-fairy type people who leave their life choices to the flow of the universe. I believe this misunderstanding of what spirituality is, has led many people to deny its existence within themselves. This week I am going to explain my view on spirituality and why it is important for all of us to create our own understanding of what it means. In no way am I expecting you all to simply accept my concept on the topic. I would love it though, if it just got you thinking about your own view. If this topic seems boring to you, please push through, hopefully by the end I have given you a starting point if spirituality isn’t something you generally think about. And if you already have your own concepts, I’d love to hear from you and see how my ideas fit with yours.
I am a bit of a word nerd so to begin, lets look at the word itself. Spirituality. If we look at the word as a whole, it means (according to the Collins Dictionary) “the state or quality of being dedicated to God, religion or spiritual values”. This fits with the common view I mentioned above. But the disconnect comes when a person has no identify with a religion or has not developed their own concept of spiritual values.
In order to help develop a new understanding, I am going to break the word down. Spirit-ual-ity. The word is made from the base word “spirit” and two suffixes “al” and “ity”. Lets first look at the suffix “ity” (quick refresher, a suffix adds meaning to a base word). “ity” indicates the condition or quality of the base word. The other suffix “al” means “related or pertaining to” the base word. so together, “UALITY” means possessing the conditions or qualities related to the base word (in this case “spirit”).
You may be thinking Ok Dan, that’s great but get to the point.
This understanding doesn’t change our original meaning of spirituality if the base word spirit is only thought of from a religious point of view or one that sees the word spirit as talking about our souls (or ghosts or supernatural beings). But what if we look at the word spirit in some other ways. A quick google search of online dictionaries came up with 16 different definitions for the word spirit. One thing I noticed most of them have in common is that the definitions related to energy.
And this is my point, When we think of spirit as being our own personal energy, it becomes something real, something we experience everyday rather than something ethereal and out of reach of our understanding. So to rebuild our word, spirituality, it now means qualities or conditions related to personal energy.
In my last blog post “3 sides to Self” I spoke about the importance of maintaining our spiritual self. The way in which we do that is as varied and individual as we are. For those who do hold religious beliefs, it may come in organised worship of your chosen God. For those who have explored spirituality deeper, it may come through meditation and pursuit of connection with universal energies (spirit). And for those who may not have ever put much thought into their own spirituality, it may come through making time to do what energises you. What lifts your energy levels or in some cases calms your energy levels. For me personally, mindfulness and spending time by the water helps to focus my energy and taking a long ride on my motorbike or surfing helps to refill my energy.
Before I finish, I want to add a side note, and I think this is important to remember. Science has shown that energy can never be used up, it is simply transformed. When our phone is low on power, we think of it as having “used” the electrical energy it had stored in its battery when in actual fact, rather than having “used” that power, it has transformed it into light, heat and movement. All different types of energy. The other thing to note is that our whole universe, everything we know to exist, is energy condensed into different forms. Once we realise this, we can understand that our personal energy, our “spirit” can never be run dry although from time to time we may need to “connect” to another source in order to recharge and grow.
What do you connect to? How do you recharge your spirit?
Let me know in the comments below or email me at email@example.com