Friday, April 26, 2013

What is Spirituality?

To understand spirituality, we will first define it, then compare and contrast it with religion. However, there are so many definitions available for spirituality, most relating to religion, but, some feel spirituality has nothing to do with religion. One definition stood out, and for the purposes of this article, was the best one to work with.
Spirituality (spir-i-choo-al-i-tee) is that which gives meaning to one's life and draws one to transcend oneself. Spirituality is a broader concept than religion, although that is one expression of spirituality. Other expressions include prayer, meditation, interactions with others or nature, and relationship with God or a higher power.” (Burkhardt, M. "Spirituality: An Analysis of The Concept," Holistic Nursing Practice, May 1989:60-77)
World Spirituality
re·li·gion (riˈlijən)- Noun: 1a : the state of a religious religion
>b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.
One brilliant article (according to the Admin, this one had the best definitions for spirituality) written on spirituality holds that, “much debate surrounds the definition of both terms.”  So it would seem, every dictionary looked at derived a different definition for both spirituality and religion.
It seemed very unsettling to find that spirituality and religion should be so far apart. They both seek a higher power, yet, there are no written rules in spirituality as there are in religion, and leaves the possibility of a more accessible means to finding that higher power.
In an article from Psychology Today, it states that spirituality means something different to everyone, and mentions that it may mean being a part of an organized religion to some. Ohio State University is adamant that spirituality has no affiliation with religion whatsoever. We can see the differing views relating to the topics in question, leading us to find out just what spirituality means to us on a personal level.
Finding your own way to spirituality is a journey, not a destination, and should be enjoyed every step of the way, and not seen as an arduous task.