Barbara Markway Ph.D.

Living the Questions

Are You Obsessed with Buzzfeed Quizzes?

Answer these questions and get to know your true self.

Posted Sep 30, 2017

 Arnaud Mesureur/unsplash
Source: Arnaud Mesureur/unsplash

We seem to be obsessed with taking quizzes such as those found on BuzzFeed about our personality. And I admit, I’ve taken a few myself. Although maybe it’s simply light-hearted fun or a way to pass the time, it also seems to suggest a desire to want to know ourselves better. In this post, I pose some questions to help you get to know your deepest self—your spiritual self.

But first, what is spirituality? Defining spirituality is a slippery task. The concept in many ways defies definition, confronting us with our own limits to describe things in words.

Sometimes I like to start with the dictionary when I want to learn more about a word. The American Heritage dictionary defines spirituality as, "of, pertaining to, or consisting of spirit.” Since this didn't tell me a whole lot, I looked under "spirit." This definition stated, "the life-giving principal within a human being" and "the real sense or significance of something." 

Scanning through my library, I found a book on parenting that offered a definition of spirituality I particularly liked. In Something More: Nurturing Your Child’s Spiritual Growth, Jean Grasso Fitzpatrick writes, "… The word spiritual is used to refer to an awareness of our sacred connection with all of life. Our spirituality is our opening to one another as whole human beings, each different and precious, and our exploring how we can truly learn to love."

Finally, this led me to my own definition: Spirituality is a quest for meaning and purpose, a daring look at ourselves and our lives within a unflinching but forgiving eye. It calls us to transform what might otherwise be seen as the trivialities of everyday life into precious time together.

Below are some questions to help you get to know your spiritual self: 

  • Do you remember a time when you felt safe and secure, somehow at peace with the world? What were the circumstances?
  • Was there ever a time when spirituality was important to you? What factors were involved in any changes that have occurred since that time?
  • What are some of your earliest memories of spirituality?
  • What images come to mind when you know think about spirituality? 
  • Do you have a spiritual role model?
  • What are the miracles in your life?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • How do you make sense of the suffering in the world?
  • Have there been times when you felt spiritually connected to another person? What enabled you to feel this way?
  • What about times when you felt disconnected from others? What was happening? How did you feel?

Think about these questions over the next several days. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. If nothing comes to mind when you read through a particular question, skip it and come back to it another time. If you feel like jotting down your ideas and reactions, great. It can be useful to see how your answers may evolve over time. I know this might not have been as fun as a BuzzFeed quiz, but I hope you found it useful.