Alive Inside!

The importance of spiritual health and fueling the soul.

Embracing Genuine Spirituality

Do You Know Your Spiritual Self?

Authentic spirituality empowers us as torchbearers to bring the Light of the Spirit into darkness and retain direction and truth in the face of confusion.  Spiritual power emerges from embracing our soul and taking ownership of the power within.  However, we live at a time when people do not know, let alone nurture, their spiritual life and nature but also remain unaware of their soul or deny its existence entirely.  Many who do not know their spirit, may attend and be absorbed by their intellectual pursuits, their emotional life, or basic survival drives.   These areas, important as they are, cannot sustain us or provide fulfillment, as they reveal only part of human nature.  Our spirit enables us to acquire inner peace, genuine love, and real meaning—as well the gifts of the spirit.

                   Then what are the traits of genuine spirituality?

  1. Humility:   Humility is recognition to see our self, as we are, visitors in this life, and, as guests, to recognize the opportunity and gifts the surround us—simply to be thankful for everything and everyone. By feeling thankful for the gift of life and the opportunities it brings, we show that we know life is not only about us.  Humble, we are not weak or passive but aware, appreciative, and sensitive to all that surrounds us.
  2. Prophetic Courage:  Prophetic courage is our affirmation to declare what’s right.  It is the fortitude and strength, the confidence to persevere granted to us by our beliefs.  While humility encourages inspires our demeanor, courage draws out clarity about the things that we know and believe.  Courage permits us to define ourselves in the face of opposition, not to be subdued by forces that might lead us to compromise our Truth.  Courage points us to our goal and to the revolutionary, transformative challenges of our beliefs.
  3. Holiness:  Spirituality transforms us by allowing us to participate in that which is sacred — that which is holy.  We are designed to experience the Divine.  When we connect to God, the growth of our True Self leads us to fulfillment through awareness and conviction.  In holiness we participate in the Good, the Truth, the Absolute; we take part in the awesome mystery of life’s Force.  Holiness is distinct from simple good feelings and virtues; in holiness, as a contract with God, we are transformed by participation in His Presence.
  4. Action:  Spirituality is not “spiritualism,” a system of belief that diminishes the significance of our responsibility to make a difference; rather, it is behavior promoting to Power of the Spirit. Faith and belief must be lived; otherwise it is poetry and philosophy. Spirituality devoid of action is like medicine in a bottle:  to be of use, it must be embodied.  Spirituality as action is a conviction that connects physical life to the light of God.
  5. Love:  Our True union with God and Others transforms us with new vision: theoptia, in Greek — literally “God-vision.”  Love out of spirituality is more than being altruistic, selfless, and unconditional; it gives profound perspective, thereby Ultimate Fulfillment.  Spiritual love breaks down barriers:  it fills us with Joy; it liberates our souls to experience community, connectedness and peace.


Authentic spirituality makes us torchbearers of an inner light.  Alive in humility, prophetic courage, action, and love, we grow in self-awareness and experience our fulfillment and our purpose. 

John Chirban, Ph.D, Th.D., is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School.

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