One of the major things that separate human beings from the animal world is spirituality. While animals also exist on a physical and mental plane, they depend on instinct as an inner guide. Humans are triune beings which combine body, mind, and spirit. These three components work in tandem to maintain a healthy, well-rounded person. If one of these elements suffers, it affects the other two. Unfortunately, one of the most ignored aspects of our personality is spirituality. Whether or not people believe in a higher being, they still operate on certain levels that cannot be explained.
Most people see spirituality and religion as synonymous; however, they are quite different. Religion is a man-made tool that has evolved to help us understand our spiritual nature. It offered ancient humans possible answers to the beginnings of the cosmos and the purpose of life. Religion is as different as the people who practice it. Over the millennia, religion created complex rituals, beliefs, and deities that attempted to codify interaction with others.
Spirituality deals with our innermost thoughts and needs and can be practiced without religion. If you are interested in becoming more spiritually balanced, there a several things you can practice.
1. Getting To Know You
Your spiritual health is just as important as taking care of your body and mind. No one can be spiritual for you. Although religion may offer some tools to help explain spirituality, you walk you own path. One of the best ways of being a more spiritual person is spending time with yourself. Meditation is a tool that is prominent in many religions. It can ease stress and help you be more comfortable with your feelings.
Journaling can also give you insight into your innermost thoughts and desires. Benjamin Franklin outlined 13 different virtues that he sought in his life. Each day, he kept a journal that highlighted one of these virtues. He kept notes of his successes and failures. With journaling, you can identify many of your strengths, weaknesses, and things that you would like to change.
2. Do Ye No Harm
Just about all of the world’s religions have their own spin on mutual kindness. Hippocrates saw it as a physician’s sacred obligation. When you practice kindness to others, you often free yourself from bitterness and resentment. These elements are stumbling blocks in our spiritual journey. When you hurt others, you are just setting the stage to be hurt yourself. Practicing kindness clears your mind to receive love and kindness from others.
3. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is easier taught than practiced. It was once said that the person who holds a grudge is like the man who drinks poison and expects it to hurt his enemies. Forgiveness has nothing to do with excusing or forgetting. It is a gift that you give yourself to get on with your life. Some people can forgive instantaneously; however, it is a process for most people. You can feel much lighter in your mind and spirit when you put past wrongs behind you. Conversely, you get tremendous spiritual strength when you ask for forgiveness.
4. Practice Tolerance
While most of us can agree on certain moral issues, it is a mistake for one to think that he or she has a monopoly on truth. Like reality, truth is how someone perceives it. According to the United States and World Census, we have over 7 billion people in the world. Not everyone is going to see things the same way. Cultures and religious upbringing affect our whole modes of living. For example, some people may feel fine going to a house of worship in everyday clothes. Others might feel like they need to dress up in a special outfit like temple dresses, especially when entering the most holy places. You do not have to join a religious group to glean valuable principles from it.
Since recorded history, humans have fought wars and shed much blood over simple religious disagreements. Spiritually-minded people can transcend culture and religion and find common ground. If you are tolerant and mindful of others, you will find tolerance for your own thoughts and feelings.
Spirituality has often been described as a path. It has many twists and turns and no one is sure where it leads. When we incorporate spiritual growth into our lives, we see benefits. We may not become an Enlightened One, but we can still thrive when we consider our spirituality.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.