Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to offend anyone. This is simply a personal account of my relationship with spirituality, religion, and the labels that come with being me. Raw, real and unfiltered. Enjoy!
My name is Hannah Mitchell. First off, let me tell you a little bit about myself, and then you can choose what category you feel the need to place me in. Some choose “liberal,” others go for, “hippie” and sometimes “spiritual.” I guess all those words can apply to me, if you need labels to help you comprehend who I am.
Whatever. That’s your choice.
Here’s a little bit more about me: I do this thing called “rock climbing.” Maybe you’ve
heard of it? I also pretend like I can play guitar and piano really well (I can’t) and I really enjoy swimming in the ocean. In my opinion, I am fantastic at cooking; so good at it, that all of my friends end up saying, “There’s no way that this is vegan.” It always is.
Oh, there’s another category you can place me in! “Vegan.” Such a scary and intimidating word! (Yes, I do consume enough protein, and no, I don’t only eat salad.)
Alright, now to the important part of this ramble. I have been “spiritual” my whole life.
For as long as I can remember, I never had a good relationship with religion. I hated going to church and wanted nothing to do with it, at all. Unfortunately for me, my Dad is Catholic and my Mom calls herself an Episcopalian (whatever that means).“Church”, “God”, and “Jesus” were all words I ended up despising when I was younger.
And, oh, did I dread Sundays. Sundays meant disruption of my sleeping in, wearing nice dresses and listening to an old white guy blab on, and on, and on about God.
It was around 4 or 5 years ago when I realized that I had the power to break away from this, and I grasped the idea that I was my own person with my own mind. I discovered philosophies that were completely foreign to me, including: Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism. I no longer had to believe in what my parents did! Alright, what next?
So, what exactly does being, “spiritual,” mean?
The main difference between religion and spirituality is who you look to for answers. Those that are religious look to a higher power that is beyond them for the answers to their questions. Those that are spiritual realize and know that they hold every answer.
Spirituality isn’t doing yoga at 5 A.M. or pretending like everything is okay when it most
certainly is not. Spirituality is tearing away all of the layers that society has created for you. It is realizing that you are going to go through some tough shit (we all are), and being able to come out from it much stronger than when you went in.
It is not rainbows and glitter. It never will be.
It isn’t going to music festivals with dreadlocks and bindis. It isn’t tripping on psychedelic drugs and “finding all of the answers.” It is completely relearning who you are, and trying to make sense of your purpose on this strange planet, in this strange world we’ve found ourselves in.
Does it still sound appealing? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Transforming into a spiritual person has been the toughest but also the most rewarding decision I have ever made. It’s forced me to look at parts of myself I’d rather forget, to search within for what I need to grow into the best person I can be. Which, let me tell you, comes from sorting through a lot of emotional baggage. It doesn’t mean taking a tab of acid and suddenly being “enlightened” to the higher scheme of things. You can find ways to try and get around the truth (like mind-numbing acid trips), but when it comes down to it, you are the one that has to do the dirty work.
This transformation won’t happen overnight. It’ll be a long, painful process, because you will face every demon that you own, that owns you. But you will become exactly the person that you are destined to be. And to me, that is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I hope you didn’t read all the way until here to learn tips on how to become “spiritual”. I
don’t write advice columns for Cosmopolitan. This is suppose to be real, raw, and unfiltered. This is my truth as I know it to be. Maybe religion works for you, and if so, congratulations; but for a lot of us that just isn’t the case.
Pure Nowhere is about having an outlet for self expression and for self discovery. For voices that want – need – to be heard. (And also, just your daily dose of youth and rebellion.) So I guess this is my form of rebellion. Nothing was sugarcoated, these are my feelings, thoughts, experiences with the topic of the matter. I don’t have it figured out – far from it actually. But that’s the way it’s suppose to be, there’s always room for growth and learning.
I guess all I can say is to follow your intuition. Trust it and trust you. Your intuition is that initial gut-feeling or reaction that comes when faced with a choice. I know that you’ve felt it before. It’s insanely powerful if you learn how to listen to it. That’s what I did. I had to learn that it sometimes won’t make sense (okay, most of the time), and that is alright.
I have trust in the path that the universe leads me on and I am in control of all that I do.
I create my own reality.
My other piece of advice is purely trusting that it is GOING TO BE OKAY! You will always be okay. You will always be loved and cherished. You are a special human being, and you will do great things if you learn to let yourself. You create the world you live in. You are in charge of what you do, who you are, what kind of person you become.
You must have trust in this process. Spirituality is not a single definition and there are no rules to it. Feel free to do exactly what feels right to you. As long as you are causing no harm to yourself or others, then you are doing “spirituality” correctly.
I wish I could sum up this entire topic in one article, but I most certainly cannot. Luckily, I am now running the spirituality section of this INCREDIBLE magazine, so get ready to hear me ramble more often!
So, again, my name is Hannah Mitchell. I guess you could call me “vegan”, “spiritual”, or “hippie”. That’s cool. But I sincerely ask that you don’t, so I can be limitless. If you place me in a box, I cannot grow. Keep in mind, that I, you, we – are all just “human”.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate you for existing with me.