Why Spirituality?

Why do we pursue a spiritual path? What is the spiritual impulse that fuels our seeking? What are we trying to achieve?

Spirituality is personal. It touches everyone differently according to their understanding, nature and season, so we each engage these questions in our own way. Let me offer my response with the following possibilities.

I want guidance in walking this impossible human life, a paradox both extravagantly abundant, delicious and fulfilling, and supremely challenging, grievous and painful.

I want to grow. I know there is a vast potential beyond my current boundaries that wants to emerge. I want to discover and express the core of who I am.

I want to understand the nature of reality and my place in it. I long to make sense of this multi-dimensional puzzle I am living and to arrive at a coherent answer to the big questions – why am I here, where is it all going, what does it mean?

I see aspects of the ego self and higher self within me, the petty and the generous, the cruel and the kind. I recognize the inherent goodness of my higher self and want to align my daily actions with it.

I want hope. I want to walk through the hard times with less stress, more peace. I want to learn how to surrender to our common suffering without being crushed, to find the solace and strength that helps me endure.

I want to serve, to apply my gifts and talents to a cause bigger than myself, to put my shoulder to the wheel, to add my unique and necessary piece to the healing of our wounds and the lifting of our souls.

I want connection. I want to feel the bonds between us – me, you, and the earth – to feel our fellowship grounded in my body as the vehicle for Spirit.

I want transcendence, which is the ultimate connection. I want to live in union with the loving intelligence that drenches the cosmos. I want to be changed, moved, opened, filled, and welcomed home.

And yet, this list of spiritual longings is only half the story. They are desires that emanate from me, reaching out, sung like a note to the open sky. Another force is working beside, a pull from Source, singing a note that draws me to it. Two forces, center to center, a reaching out and a drawing to.

That is the spiritual impulse. And what we call “spirituality,” our searching, longing, finding, losing, stumbling toward, is our attempt to respond to that impulse.

The force that draws me wants what I want in my reaching out:  to guide, to grow, to know and be known, to reach higher ground, to alleviate suffering, to validate hope, to reveal connection, to serve, to heal, and to satisfy in relationship what can’t be birthed alone.

And it wants to do this in me, the seed and fruit of its fulfillment. Presence, peace, goodness, acceptance, care, healing, embrace – these are what I want from spirituality and what spirituality wants from me, two reflections mirroring the same light.

Photo by Todd Rhines on Unsplash

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