• Dustin C. Kinard

What it Means to be Spiritual

Being Spiritual can mean many different things, and I totally get that.

However, I want to discuss what being spiritual means to me, and how having that aspect of my life has driven me and created me into the person that I am today.

I grew up in the south. In an environment where Christianity is the norm, and really anything outside of it is quite foreign. It's a lifestyle, really. The pew that your family claimed years ago is that same pew you sit on until this day. Those raised "Christian" have had the title since the day they were born. Don't own a Bible? Don't go to church? Don't personally know Jesus? That's totally beside the point. Being Christian means you were born to a family where someone is, or was... maybe. (insert sarcasm)

Growing up in a religious environment can do a lot to a person. If not careful, it will cause a lot of judgment, a lot of misguiding information, and even a lack of self-awareness. Culture and opinions can creep into the teaching, and personal ideas will mix with theology. To become a spiritual being, there has to be more of a connection than a title. It's an experience that must take place. It's an awareness of ones' self and an awareness of a higher being.

My grandfather was a pastor, and therefore church has always been integrated into my life. However, it wasn't until the summer between 4th and 5th grade that I ever had my own personal encounter with God. It was a summer camp in the upper part of rural South Carolina that I was introduced to God in a personal way. I was a child, and I was unaware and uneducated on a lot of things. However, the religion I had been raised around changed into something different, and spirituality became a real thing that evening. Whatever happened, it made me want to seek and search for more.

Since then, I have morphed constantly, like a power ranger, changing my views, changing my tastes, and changing my mindsets. One thing, though, that has remained true is my spiritual connection to that higher being; my spiritual journey to knowing who God is. Having the presence of God in my life has been what has gotten me through some of the roughest times I've encountered in my lifetime. And- while I'm at it- I'll be sure to say that it wasn't the churches opinions that I followed. It wasn't the rules that were shoved down my throat as a youth. It was growing in my conscious awareness of something bigger than myself that guided me to where I am today.

The word Christian has so many meanings, it seems. And a lot of what the world knows as "Christianity" is the total opposite of what it is that I have dedicated my life to. Learning to love others on a deeper level, learning to love myself on a deeper level, and learning to love the One who has orchestrated it all, on a deeper level... that is what I seek after.

Being spiritual has shown me that I have a unique calling and that I was created as a unique individual. It has been the catalyst in my pursuit of discovering my dreams and purpose. It has been the backbone of my search for more; to understand the world, and its people. These people have become so special to me because they are so special to my God. Understanding and appreciating cultures and ways of worship that are different than my own, and everyone's journey to discovering their own unique calling, and their own unique path to God.

When I think about my purpose, it excites me to know that I was created. I'm happy to know that I was intentionally made by a loving God, who uniquely put me together with intention. That I'm not on this earth by happenstance, and that I don't just vanish when it's all over. I'm guided and equipped for something big, and it's my goal to reach that. To be all that I was created to be.

I often wonder if I would care as much if I thought God didn't exist. Would I really try, knowing that I was just one among many people?

It's in knowing that I have a destiny that I push forward daily. Despite the religious hypocrisy that I see worked out everyday in this world, it is love that I push towards, the love that I receive and that love that overflows to others. It's in knowing that whatever I face, I can rise above.

It's knowing that I'm not one of many, but one who stands out, with a gift unique to me.

If you're interested in knowing how to overcome the blocks and start living a life that is fueled by your passions and completes your purpose, contact Dustin for more information concerning 1-on-1 Lifestyle and Spiritual Identity Coaching or visit www.baronyofkinard.com/coaching.

#Encouragement #Spirituality #PersonalGrowth

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