ANYONE who’s heard me speak at any length will have heard me harping on about balance.
About the need for realism, about the importance of staying grounded, about the importance of taking responsibility for our lives, our behaviours, our attitudes.
You’ll also know I’m deeply spiritual – yep, I’m from a high-flying, pinstripe, corporate background and I hug trees. Not often enough, to be honest… a bit of getting out into the great outdoors is great for perspective and brilliant for the soul.
Here’s the thing though… too much spirituality can actually drive someone right up their own backside. Floating up to those glorious higher realms via the rectum.
Actually… that’s not quite true. I don’t believe anyone can be ‘too spiritual’, but we can absolutely lose touch with reality, sit atop our ivory towers with our packs of angel cards and Deepak Chopra tomes and not realise just how much we’ve lost touch with everyday life.
Sometimes, if we’re not careful to hold onto some balance (and, dare I say it, a healthy pinch of cynicism), what began as a quest for enlightenment and fulfilment can become just another mask that separates us from the world.
Falling into this trap – let’s call it ‘spiritual arseholery’ – can tip us into judgement, detachment and a place where we’re defeating the object and not really learning much at all.
SPIRITUAL ARSEHOLERY CHECKLIST
Spiritual Arseholery is pretty easy to spot – even in ourselves if we’re brave enough to extract our heads enough to check. Here are some of the symptoms:
1. We stop taking responsibility for the way we treat others and the way we speak to them. If we upset them, that’s their problem, right? They clearly have lessons to learn and they’re just not evolved enough to recognise that.
2. We become detached from our pain and problems. Instead of looking honestly at the situation, perhaps looking within or seeking counsel, we actively choose inaction, believing the universe will just allow things to unfold for us without any action from us. Instead of addressing whatever the issue may be, we reach for our nearest pack of oracle cards or lose ourselves in Paulo Coelho books.
3. We attribute everything that happens to us to ‘the universe’, ‘spirit’ or ‘my unconscious’.
4. We start to judge others based on our own practices. IE: I meditate for three hours each day… that person is not enlightened enough to connect with/will not understand because they do not meditate.
5. We talk about mirrors. A lot. Everything’s a mirror – usually for other people though; we’re too evolved to need them.
IT’S NOT THAT BAD, IS IT?
Taken in small doses, none of these points are *that* bad, but when we take it to extremes, we can lose balance and become just as detached from real life as the corporate fat cat attitudes we sought to separate ourselves from.
Here’s how I’d address those points:
1. It doesn’t matter how different a person may seem to us, whatever’s happened in their lives or however strongly we believe they’re missing big life lessons, there is never, NEVER an excuse for cruelty or a lack of compassion. There is always, always room for more kindness in the world.
2. There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of inspiration from spiritual tools and authors (for the record, I use oracle cards AND have a few of Paulo’s works on my bookshelves), but part of having a life is taking responsibility for it and recognising the line between universal teachings and inaction. Looking for the teaching in whatever’s unfolding does not mean becoming unfeeling or detached, it means finding the balance – sometimes life *is* painful, and sometimes that, in itself, carries teachings for us. The trick is to feel it, grow from it and not sink into the quagmire. We still need to move. Take the lesson, learn from it and weave that into our lives.
3. Yes – universal energy is out there. I’m a big believer in active manifestation. For all of that to work, we need to take responsibility for our part in it all. Stop giving your power away by attributing everything that happens to a higher force. You did that – maybe with a bit of universal support, but YOU still made it happen. Own it.
4. Just stop it. There’s never an excuse for judgement. And that applies as much to self judgement as judgement of others.
5. Yawn. Yes, of course, sometimes teachings are reflected to us. Notice, but don’t force squeeze everything that happens into a prescribed spiritual box, and certainly don’t push that view onto others. And stop harping on about mirrors. Seriously. Use them to do your hair. That’s it.
ROOM FOR EVERYONE
I honestly believe there is room for all beliefs and all views in this world. It’s big enough for that. We need balance. We need mutual respect. And if you’re obsessed with connecting with all things spiritual, there’s room for that too…just be sure to keep your feet on the ground if your head’s up in the clouds.
PS: I’m sure there will be some who accuse me of being in judgement just for writing this blog. That’s okay. I’ll take that. If it helps just one person realise they’re in danger of detaching from reality, or makes one person think before uttering unkind words, it’ll be worth it.