Words of Wisdom
Blog by Christine Upchurch
[Originally published 3/25/16]
Don’t let popular myths get in the way of your spiritual development!
There are some long-held beliefs about spirituality which are often presented as truth, but are actually misconceptions which, when you buy into them, can hamper your spiritual growth.
In the following series, I will illuminate the fallacy behind these myths, and help empower you to more fully embrace your own spirituality.
Here in Part 1 of the series, I address a common phrase which is often used to describe how to connect with our spiritual nature.
Spiritual Myth #1: Spirituality is something we should seek
For as long as I can remember, both within the context of religion as well as in the broader consciousness movement, I have heard the words "seek" and "spirituality" going hand-in-hand. If you are on your path to connecting with God/the divine/universal intelligence/your soul /the Universe/spirit, then it is widely accepted that you are a "spiritual seeker." Do you want to experience your spiritual nature? Then the common advice is that you need to "seek spirituality." Google these two words together, and what do you find? Listings for books, articles, blogs, websites, and podcasts—pages and pages of them. So why on earth would I want to challenge such an established concept? Because I now understand that the very act of seeking spirituality may prevent us from experiencing it fully!
There are two problems with the notion of seeking spirituality. First, many believe that this means looking for something outside of themselves, which is a misnomer. Not only does the divine reside inside each of us, but our experience of all that is spiritual is an internal and very personal thing. By seeking it elsewhere we are essentially giving our spiritual power away to someone or something external instead of stepping into the power our own spiritual experience. By focusing outside of ourselves, we also run the risk of missing the natural spiritual flow and processing going on within us.
The second reason seeking spirituality is counterproductive is because it is not through striving or pursuit that we experience anything spiritual. Rather we experience our spirituality by letting go of control and allowing it to come into our awareness. Think of tasting a piece of chocolate cake. We wouldn’t say, “I think I might be able to taste it, but I’m not sure I am tasting it fully because I have never learned the art of tasting, and I’ve never counted my taste buds to assure that I really have the ability to taste, and I’ve never compared what I taste to that of an expert taster or other tasters of the world. So I must go seek taste.” No! We just let go into the joy of experiencing the texture and flavor of the cake. Experiencing spirituality should be the same way.
Some may argue that the concept of seeking spirituality shouldn’t be controversial because it is merely a matter of semantics—that is, how we interpret the word “seek.” But words are very powerful in creating our subconscious beliefs, and the definition of “seek” means to search, strive for, or attempt to find something. For many of us, our first introduction to this word came from playing the childhood game of hide and seek—and remember in that game how difficult it could be to find every last person! So if we think we need to “seek spirituality,” then on some level we are subscribing to the belief that there is something missing which needs to be found. However to connect with our spiritual nature, it’s really not about seeking something mysteriously hidden or lost. Rather, it is about becoming aware of an inner experience which is as real as taste; it just requires being open to whatever we are experiencing in order to recognize it.
Spirituality is our birthright, and we don’t need to seek that which is an integral part of us. Once we recognize this, then we become better empowered to access our spirituality with greater frequency and ease.
I’d love to hear your perspective about this!
Like you, I am on a journey--a path filled with joy and sorrow, expansion and contraction--with beautiful lessons and fascinating insights each step of the way. Thank you for joining me for a small part of my journey. I look forward to connecting with you on yours.