Over the past few years, I have provided many presentations on spirituality and psychotherapy. One thing that has stood out from the discussions during and after presentations is the intensely personal nature of spirituality. Most people are grateful for an integrative view of psychological healing and appreciate the inclusive view of spirituality. The feedback is that the book fosters goodwill and commonality versus divisiveness and judgment. Not surprisingly, however, some have difficulty with some words, while experience comfort and acceptance of others. Words define our realities! So, it makes sense that one person recoils when the word “God” is used, while another wants more, for example. Use the “wrong” words to describe spirituality, and people are reactive and turned-off. Use the “right” words and people are tuned-in. Of course, what is right for some may be wrong for others.
My belief is that we are mostly all talking about the same thing when we connect with the essence of spiritual experience. So, use whatever words work for you as long as you can also stay open to others’ ideas and experiences.