Psychology and spirituality
Psychology and spirituality have been on two opposing sides of a divide for many years. In theory, psychology includes spirituality, however, different parts of the world relate to this in different ways. Western medicine has strived to create a marked difference between the two and Eastern philosophy strives to marry the two.
So, where does that leave you on a day to day basis whilst you struggle with life’s daily challenges such as raising your children and still finding a path of enlightenment for yourself?
It seems we are moving more and more into a world where we are being called upon as a collective to awaken to the fact that we are both psychological and spiritual beings. The true challenge many people struggle with is managing to find a balance of both worlds and live happily with different constructs working together at the same time.
We are being called upon to look after our planet, to be aware of what climate change is doing to us, to have more integrity and authenticity in the way we operate and yet be positive and not fall victim to depression or anxiety.
We strive to find a balance between being a good person and karma; a very spiritual notion. We attempt to find a link between the power of words and learning to sit in silence; a Buddhist notion. The list goes on. The point is that most of us struggle to find a balance between being mentally happy and thinking good thoughts and operating from within.
The truth is that the two concepts can be united and this is happening more and more in today’s world. It is merely how we look at the two and how we want to apply this to our lives. Psychology is based on the mind and spirituality based on the intuition and any given situation in life requires us to draw on skills from one place or the other. How many times have you felt your intuition warning you not to do something, even though the rational mind reminds you there is no danger? I have many times in my life and remind myself that drawing on both sets of skills is important in order to function, happily.
Operating in isolation with only one of these methods means that on some level we are not whole. And yet life asks us to draw on these different ways of operating, depending on the situations we face. The key is to be able to connect with both the mind and the intuition and be able to draw on either one with ease.
The challenge is when we have not been listening to our intuition and we feel afraid or unsure of how to work with it. When we understand who we are as beings and how our lives have been created for learning and growth, the psychology behind this understanding thus leads to the spiritual realisations of who we are. When we break from our constructs and find independence in our choices, and yet still own the dynamics of our personalities and the roles we play in the lives of others and ourselves, we are practising both in harmony.
Working with a therapist does not have to mean it's because you have a mental health issue. If you find yourself drawn to a spiritual path but are unsure of how to follow it, seek out someone who can guide you and help you find your inner core of being. This, in turn, will show you that how you think is very much about who you are in your spirit as well.
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