“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.” ― Paul Klee (Swiss painter)
Spirituality has been defined in many ways. Here is one of them: Spirituality is that which gives meaning to one’s life and draws one to transcend oneself.
Different people hold different perceptions of spirituality. In other words, spirituality exists in different versions of itself. Many religions emphasize spirituality as being an integral aspect of faith, but the truth is, being spiritual does not bind you to any religious code. Some people imbibe spirituality to seek succor and peace in their lives, while others practice it to cope with change or ambiguity. People traverse into spirituality through prayer, yoga practices, meditation, religious ceremonies, or by their altruistic gestures. In one way or the other, their personalities are influenced by these experiences.
Spirituality helps people to realize that their role in life is deemed to serve a greater purpose than what they do every day. It changes their entire outlook about the world and can aid in detachment from material dependence. Spiritual practices inculcate a feeling of humility and separate people from life events that are of utmost importance to them. This state helps to attain oneness with compassion, love, and service and serves as a connection with the Divine energy within. Spirituality has an immense effect on relationships. Spiritual people have high self-esteem, optimistic outlooks, stable and positive relationships with others. They take life one step at a time and with meaning.
Some of the attributes that can make someone spiritual:
Giving is human nature. Graciousness is a state of being. Many a time it can be misunderstood for manners. Greeting people every day, remembering names and faces, smiling, being generous in actions and resources are all qualities that lead to spiritual growth.
A gracious person is enthusiastic about people who arrive in life and has time for other people and their words. This person is vivacious and considers ‘giving’ to be rewarding. His reputation precedes him in whatever he does.
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama.
This is the road to peace. Compassion takes you to where there is hurt and pain, where there is fear and anguish, confusion and brokenness. Experiencing compassion toward others is one of the strongest attributes that make a person spiritual. This pro-social emotion helps to cultivate empathy. There is a profound feeling of sorrow for someone who has been stricken by misfortune and a desire to alleviate that person’s suffering. The compassionate individual not only eases the suffering of his near and dear ones but even those who mistreat him. This individual absorbs the emotional lives of people in order to understand them better, and looks for a commonness among others and not their differences. The compassionate person walks a mile in other people’s shoes. Such an individual moves towards the path of spirituality by making compassion a daily practice in his life.
“Self-actualization” is a concept derived from the Humanistic Psychological Theory created by Abraham Maslow. Self-actualization depicts the growth of an individual toward fulfillment of the highest needs; the search for meaning in life. A self-actualized person strives to achieve a better life through personal development and fulfillment. He internalizes his values and tends to accept himself and others just as they are. He does not discriminate people based on their social order, cultural background or color. This empowered person enjoys a guilt-free life and experiences a sense of realism. He takes time out to enjoy silence and solitude for self-discovery. He has a fantastic sense of humor. Self-actualization helps an individual to be candid, contemporary and truly enjoy the magical journey that is life.
Trustworthiness is an important attribute that characterizes a spiritual person. The trustworthy person is honest, keeps promises and stays loyal to his commitments. He exhibits moral dedication and courage to maintain harmony between his beliefs, words, deeds and what should be done. As a result, he is never in conflict with himself. He has high regard for ethics, trusts the world completely and is honest. He has nothing to hide, and practices what he preaches.
Another important quality that forms part of the spiritual person’s mental makeup is tolerance. A tolerant human being does not discriminate between good or bad situations or good or bad people. Everybody is welcome to state their opinions. Tolerance requires the spiritual person to stay away from judgment. His tolerance levels are as high as the sky and as wide as the ocean. Irrespective of other people’s biases or ideas, tolerance helps to understand that deep down there is a wide gap between what people are and what they appear to be, and that their perceptions of the world should be accepted and respected.
Someone who is spiritual will always be smiling. He will not feel threatened by unpleasant situations and will consider such scenarios in a nondetached calm manner. Joy has become such a deep-seated emotion in this individual.
Be it the laughing Buddha, or Santa Clause, a spiritual person is always contented and happy. The act of smiling alone triggers a change in emotion.
Confidence and courage
Insecurity, fear, jealousy does not affect that person who chooses the spiritual path. This individual is neither fragile nor susceptible to criticism. He is confident, calm and uses laughter as an effective tool to counter adversity. Confidence helps to develop optimism and see opportunity in a problem.
Patience involves not only the capacity to endure delays but also the willingness to let events unfold in their own time. A spiritual person’s patience rests on his trust. He accepts that he isn’t in control of the calendar and that inpatient waiting, testing times will pass by quickly and good things will come in time. Patience is needed for spiritual maturity.
Faith moves miracles. One cannot walk down the spiritual path without faith. A faithful person has immense trust in the ways of God and submits every problem of his into God’s hands. Faithfulness is characterized by the steadiness of both the body and soul and the resolve to be undeterred by pitiful reasons or challenges. The spiritual person develops his own life in faith, without fear or envy, and takes a very ethical stance. He is faithful to his own self, vocation, and the belief that God has a purpose for him which he needs to accomplish.
This is a valuable quality. A spiritual person opens his mind wide enough to leave the world as they see it. The spiritual person controls his interpretations of the world, makes mistakes and experiences change in the process. Open-mindedness helps to strengthen belief about oneself.
These are the attributes that constitute a spiritual person. He is thankful for his blessings every day and appreciates little things in life. A spiritual mind is one that mirrors the Divine.