Some people have an aversion to words and phrases they perceive as ‘touchy-feely’. These instant reactions act as unconscious filters; automatic ideas or pre-conceptions that get in the way of thinking and inhibit understanding.
Take the word ‘spiritual’ for example. A number of people have told me that when they hear this word, to them it says ‘religion’, or ‘flaky’.
We all have a spiritual side to ourselves that needs tending; spiritual relates to the inner life and we all have one of those whether we acknowledge it or not. We don’t have to sign up to any belief system to create the inner landscape of thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, dreams and the rest that make us unique and authentic and real.
Zohar and Marshall say “Human beings are ultimately spiritual creatures because we are driven by a need to ask ‘fundamental’ or ‘ultimate’ questions. Why was I born? What is the meaning of my life? Why should I go on when I feel tired, depressed, or feel beaten? What makes it all worthwhile?” If we carelessly neglect…
Isn’t it also true that a large part of our post-industrial malaise – with its symptoms of angst, stress, dissatisfaction with life etc – is due to the way we constantly neglect ourselves while responding to the external demands that our lives impose on us.
Spirituality is personal. It has different meanings for different people, For some the connotations are religious, but if you are not a believer in any faith you are still able to know those significant moments that tune you in to your spirituality.
Recognising that we have an inner life, and tending to it just as we do to the physical and emotional needs, is vital for balance and contentment in life. Words have impact, to be sure, but letting that impact affect us uncritically can in effect fence us off from part of our experience and prevent further exploration.
Zohar, D. Marshall, I., (2000), Spiritual Intelligence the Ultimate Intelligence, Bloomsbury, London.