Spirituality is Subjective – A Lesson Learned


For those of you who know me, or who’ve been following me for a while, you know that I grew up in a very religious household. Our family dynamic revolved around our religion’s standards, and I was chock full of biblical information and facts.

From late adolescence into my early adult life, I spent countless hours searching for answers; answers about who we are, why we’re here, and what my purpose in life was. I even went through bouts of depression when the answers I found were too confusing to understand or when I felt like I was lost in this world without a purpose.

What I have learned, and what I’m still learning as I grow and open myself to other ideas and cultures, is that spirituality is subjective. There are so many different religions and beliefs out there that it would be ignorant of me to say that one is more accurate than the other while we have all been given the same tools and information about the world we live in. For me to close myself off to other possibilities is foolish, as I am limiting myself to what I can learn, who I can interact with, and what I’ll experience in life.

Spirituality is subjective. Perception of who or what God is can vary person to person, as individuals experience different things in life which shape what they believe in. Some may look to God as a father figure while others may compare God to a feeling. Whatever your perception of God is, it’s faith in something bigger than ourselves that brings us together.

I’ve faced a lot of criticism from family and former friends because of my spiritual choices. I’ve been told that I “need spirituality” in my life. Who’s to say that I’m not spiritual? Spirituality is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”. While religion is a form of spirituality, there are other ways of embodying spirituality.

In Thomas Moore’s book “A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World,” he touches on the subject of how spirituality is within us. “You are born with your spirituality; you don’t have to go looking for it. It is a huge presence that wants to live through you and be embodied in your life. Your spiritual self was born in a dream, and when you dream you are returning home. Your natural self is at home is at home in the land where everything is both a physical fact and a poetic metaphor. When you dream, you are returning to the home, the very womb of your spirit and a world that speaks the language of your soul.”

Being a spiritual person and being a religious person can be very similar and very different. Religion is just one small aspect of spirituality, but embodying spirituality involves becoming in tune with yourself and with your soul and then projecting this open-mindedness to the rest of the world.

How do you define spirituality? Can one be spiritual and not religious? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I enjoy long naps (when I can sneak one), cheesy books, and I'm fueled by the smiles of my son.

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