Spirituality is a big word, and one, like religion, that I find provokes an immediate response. For me, spirituality is a more generic way of believing in something less specific than a version of a God, but still believing in something bigger than us, a higher power. Brene Brown defines spirituality as “recognising and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.” I like the link to connectedness and the emphasis on inclusivity.
I notice the unexplainable more than I ever used to. In just the same way that I noticed pregnant people more when I was pregnant, the more I notice, the more the unexplainable Is a part of the everyday. Jung called this synchronicity, the unexplainable coincidences that happen between people who are connected. My best friend and I long ago stopped being surprised when one phones the other just as the other is about to phone her, even when we have lived on opposite sides of the world in different time zones. I took my children to the Freud museum a few months ago. Halfway through my next therapy session, I mentioned my visit to my therapist, and she exclaimed because when I walked in she had a strange urge to ask me to lie down that session. I love Buber and his poetic way of writing about the moments that happen between people that feel more than just understanding - where two people genuinely meet, and it is fleeting but feels spiritual when it happens. An I-Thou moment. But I think it is far more than moments in the room, my clients permeate my thoughts during the week as well as in the session. Our connectedness to each other is never just in the brief face-to-face time we have, connection isn’t like a WIFI connection that we are either on or not. I think once we become part of each others’ lives, in whatever way, we become connected.
I suppose my point is that I feel that we live in a culture that does not encourage spirituality in the way that other cultures do. It is not a norm, it is a choice, and I think the word we use to try and define something indefinable can exclude those who are not sure from the richness and simple joy of connectedness. Perhaps the link I unconsciously always made to religion and spirituality is another reason that people are reluctant to be curious. Perhaps we throw the baby out with the bathwater in our decision not to believe, because what we may have been taught to believe just doesn't sit well with real life.
I think we are all connected, and spiritual, in whatever relationship we are in, professional or personal. We are touched by the others we encounter, something of them becomes part of us, like brushing against pollen in a field of long grass.