The phrase “spiritual authenticity” sounds like a mouthful. But trust me: this goes far beyond words rolling off your tongue.
Our present circumstances call for an intentional reflection upon what spiritual authenticity really means for us individually and collectively. We’re starting to realize that the hierarchies and doctrines we’ve built are no longer serving us. They no longer represent our truth in Spirit.
But finding a place, physically and emotionally, that does align with us is challenging. What should we focus on? Where do we begin in this potentially rigorous process of discernment?
Answering those big questions requires honesty and trust. We must know and believe that God is leading us down the right path, and that the dissolving structures and assumed entropy matters. It brings clarity. Vision. And, most importantly, a greater sense of spiritual authenticity to carry with us moving forward.
what does “spiritual authenticity” mean?
Again, this umbrella term seems vague on the surface. But let’s sink in a little deeper and settle into the soil.
Spiritual authenticity means that we’re each responsible for what resonates in our hearts. It’s easy to go through the motions of ritual without contemplating how we really feel about the beliefs we recite.
Thinking of the Christian tradition, continually reciting the Creeds doesn’t necessarily lead to further discussion or clarification of what every statement represents, let alone the motions of every worship service.
We fall into rhythms of expectations. Becoming sheep among the herd, we allow the shepherd to guide the way and remove that responsibility off our backs. However, this is dangerous terrain. Blind faith is not spiritual authenticity. Such ignorance is how we come into religious violence and intolerance.
Of all moments in history up to this point, now is the time to rise against the tide and bring Spirit to life as we know it in the present tense.
what does spiritual authenticity entail?
Let’s discuss this process together. Although we’ll likely each walk down unique paths, there’s truth that we can each hold close as we realize our own spiritual authenticity.
We do a lot of talking, which often translates into noise without purpose. What we really need to do is listen to God in every mode of communication.
Perhaps God’s voice is loudest in religious texts, or amid creative expression, or the subtle sounds in nature. Wherever you feel most connected to God is where to listen. Take in whatever may come to you without judgment, without expecting certain results. What matters most is the process of having an open, authentic conversation with the Divine.
Appropriately, spiritual authenticity inevitably leads to your preferred form of prayer. This is where your voice comes into play. As you open your ears to sacred wisdom, you can respond and interpret that wisdom.
Personally, I’ve struggled with traditional prayer, sitting in silence and staying focused on speaking to God. Prayer journaling and writing out my thoughts has made this process much more natural to me. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to pray. An institutional body cannot tell you what’s authentically in your heart.
Meditation might also be helpful for you, as well as the centering prayer method that relies more on contemplative silence than filling in the gaps with mental chatter. Spiritual authenticity will shine through as you naturally find your way toward the Divine.
Here’s the fun part: learning new ideas. Embracing other traditions you may currently know nothing about. Opening your mind, eyes, and heart to the infinite possibilities that Divine exploration has to offer.
All well-intentioned traditions speak truth. In my own reflection upon spiritual authenticity, I was blown away by how similar the major world religions are in what they hold sacred and how they view God. Sure, we differ in names and concepts and the nitty-gritty details, but in the end, we’re all joining paths and uniting in our higher consciousness.
Once you let go of the ego’s need for one way to be the only “correct way” to believe in the Divine, it’s much easier to allow your spirit to flourish. Curiosity, in my humble opinion, is a sacred gift for returning to our truest selves. Adopt a childlike wonder, and every new discovery becomes a dazzling display of God’s power and majesty.
seek a spiritual home.
What often keeps us bound up in church structures is the community aspect. When you decide to pursue spiritual authenticity, you’re likely stepping away from your familiar sanctuary and venturing out into the unknown. You don’t know who or what’s out there, and that’s downright frightening.
Ask yourself, “What’s making me feel uneasy and unsure?” That answer signifies your trust in God. In biblical terms, you’re consciously choosing to go into exile and wandering through the desert without a clear destination.
Spiritual authenticity is courageous action. We let go of our rigid grasp upon control and structure and allow God to build a home with us. When you’re open and accepting to all that comes your way, community and security inevitably come to you. Give it patience and grace. Whatever’s meant for you will soon arise; the best is yet to come.
now it’s your turn for spiritual authenticity.
In conclusion, spiritual authenticity is already happening. We see many people realigning themselves with new designations, creating new communities, and realizing what really speaks to their hearts. This movement and migration continues to grow and will likely keep doing so for years to come.
It’s never too late to transform and deepen your relationship with the Divine. In fact, asking those big, daunting questions is only natural if we really want to conceptualize how God plays a role in the world as we know it.
Inevitably, many people see this current landscape as too chaotic, hopelessly succumbing to every form of suffering imaginable. How do we change this perspective and find the vigor to prosper and instill hope for the future? Spiritual authenticity. Making God known as a living, breathing presence always at work. Actively asking the difficult questions and bringing forth answers from our essences rather than outdated doctrines.
This process of spiritual authenticity is crucial to staying present and staying grounded. May we continue cultivating the innate practices that demonstrate God’s dynamic nature. And, as we do so, may we further spiritual authenticity through love and compassion. Because God is love. Always and forever.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie
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