I was just reading an article about “spiritually transmitted diseases” and it mentioned something that I had also seen on YouTube yesterday. It’s basically the concept that spirituality is quick, easy and pretty, and comes in a specific kind of package. Spiritual people don’t all look, act or speak the same, and sometimes coming to true spirituality is anything but easy or pretty.
A simple truth that people need to accept is this: finding your true spiritual path and sticking to it in the face of all that’s going on in the world can be ugly and take longer than you want. Sure, there are the blissful days when everything lines up like a beautifully orchestrated piece of music, you feel healthy and happy and like everything is this glowing ball of positive awesomeness. Be thankful for those days, because they do not comprise the greater portion of the spiritual experience, at least not at first, and certainly not all the time.
I know I have seen so many people with their all-natural hemp clothes and their chakra beads and their “namaste” and “blessed be” greetings, and it’s all fake. They’re trying to look and act spiritual, as if there’s one way it should appear, but they’re not actually doing anything else. Other people start down a spiritual path thinking that a few days of meditation or a few stones on an altar is going to bring them instant inner peace and freedom from the pains of life, which it doesn’t. And far too many these days are taking on spiritual garb, language, or half-practice as a fashion statement or a way to feel superior to others. They’ve all got it wrong.
I know from my own experience and from reading about others, that true spirituality is a constant battle, and sometimes it’s not what we want it to be. There are wonderful days, of course, and as your practices progress there are more of them, but it’s not all “om”s and sunshine. We all fall down, dust off, and get back up again. We screw up royally sometimes, and yes, sometimes we learn on the first try, sometimes not. It takes dedication to be truly spiritual. You can’t just do it for a day or a week and expect a quick fix.
And it should be obvious that not all spiritual people wear boho dresses or robes or go barefoot all the time. Spirituality doesn’t have one face or manner of dress. A deeply spiritual person could be walking around in dirty jeans and a tattered t-shirt, on in a three-piece suit. You can never tell by looking, and often you might be surprised. A goth or nerd or lawyer or pauper can be truly spiritual. The media may try to sell you a certain image, but there really isn’t one.
So the thing is, don’t think that spirituality looks a certain way or is a quick fix. Anyone can have it, and we all have to work at it. It takes time and patience and the ability to accept some crap along the way, and it can get clothes from the thrift store or Saks. If you’re going to be spiritual though, you need to know what it really means, and be willing to really commit to it. People who are actually spiritual can smell a poser a mile away. And why would you want to fake it anyway? Sure, it’s not instant sunshine and bamboo flip-flops, but it’s a worthy thing to bring into your life, and really mean it when you do.