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  • Dora Nudelman

The Hypocrisy within “Spirituality”

It seems as though spirituality has become trendy in recent years. Now, while religious ceremony and rituals have existed for millennia, the whole “spiritual revolution” appears to have become more mainstream than ever before.

With that said, I am thrilled that more people are beginning to wake up, so to speak, to their spiritual makeup. And whether it is through traditions, religion, or even scientific measures, it doesn’t matter as long as it is authentic.

However, there is one thing that we must understand: Authenticity cannot be faked. Hence, we cannot pretend that we are spiritual and then turn around and contradict every principle we learn, preach, and supposedly follow. It’s not to say that we must always be saintly, but we do need to at least try to maintain some semblance of integrity in what we do.

People go to temples and churches, yoga classes and spirituality seminars, but unless they listen and heed the actual messages they learn, it will all be for naught. I can’t tell you how many times I have witnessed behavior from others that completely contradicted their outward persona. And it makes me wonder, why do it? Why not just be true to yourself? At least it’s honest. I mean, you cannot pray for one or two days a year and then be cruel the rest of the time and actually expect to be “saved.” You cannot be belligerent and then turn around and say, “May light and love be with you.” After all, “Namaste” can only take you so far.

Everything we do has meaning, or at least it should. Otherwise it becomes a whole bunch of empty words and practices that completely defy their purpose. Being kind, generous, loving, self-responsible, compassionate, and understanding are not things to do one day a year or for the sake of appearances or perceived prestige. It has to be real and consistent in order to actually have any type of positive impact or effect on our lives.

You see, the whole point behind true spirituality is self-reflection and to think about where and how we can be better humans and more empowered. It is not about playing a role out of guilt, obligation, or ego. We cannot phone-in spirituality. By the very virtue of what it is called it must contain "spirit" or else it would just be a word that we use to describe ourselves without any merit. We cannot say we are empathetic and then ignore or dismiss the feelings of others. We cannot claim to be peaceful and loving and then get defensive and throw a temper tantrum at the slightest ask of compromise. The point is not to aim for “perfection.” Instead, it is to be mindful of our motives and actions and then say what we mean and mean what we say. At least then we are being authentic.

The truth is, being authentic affects how we communicate with one another and the quality of each relationship that we have. That’s because the more we are true to who we are, the more honest our communications will be. Nobody respects hypocrisy; it simply can never create a foundation of trust. So if we want to put our money where our mouth is, we must walk the walk and talk the talk. Spirituality is about the expansion of our awareness and knowledge, which backs our motives and actions. But that means we must be willing to refuse the spiteful whims of our ego or else it will be a colossal waste of time and energy for all.

Spirituality is a daily practice, but not necessarily by other people’s rules. In fact, it is a very personal experience based on very personal goals for how we want to be and how we want to live our lives. And so, it should never be just for show or something that we tell ourselves we are in order to justify our negative actions so that we can sleep at night. Because, in truth, we can never run away from ourselves. So, instead, let's make spirituality about personal reflection and self-responsibility. Let's make it about love and authentic generosity. Let's make it a part of who we are and who we want to be, for we are all here for an important reason, yet that reason cannot be for ego purposes alone.

What are we here to impart? How can we make this world a better place? What kind of legacy can we create? How can we maximize our time here? How can we become our best selves and fulfill our purpose and joy? How can we bridge and mend our relationships? And how can we contribute to the evolution of humankind as a whole? Now this is what spirituality is truly all about: Recognizing the deeper meaning of life and where/how we fit into the bigger picture.

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