I believe we have all questioned our spirituality at one point or another. Even those raised and adhering to their religion of choice have run into challenges in their spiritual growth. The fact is that growth has growing pains, embrace their sweet torture because they can lead to great things.
Quick note to atheists: This applies to you as well. You know when you feel empty inside and when you feel full of life. Let’s refer to that as your spirit (Mood, emotions, self efficacy or whatever else gives you the idea of what I’m talking about here is all good).
The most important thing you can do when you’re struggling to find answers is to surrender to not knowing them. Not knowing is a delicious place to be because you learn so much more than if you just figure you know it all and end your growth in a gluttony of denial.
Next, find your spirit from the inside out. When you look outside of yourself for the answers, you fall at risk of becoming a hungry ghost, trying to feed your spirit and never feeling full. That spiritual starvation depletes you and you might find yourself depressed, succumbing to addictions, or bitter and toxic to yourself and others. You could also become vulnerable to falling prey to charismatic opinions that are not only unhealthy, but could be dangerous. Cults and certain gangs come to mind here, or any group that would have you doing anything that is unhealthy, risky, and illegal or damaging to your mind and body.
For those not knowing where to turn or where to start, start with you. There is no need to “find yourself”, you are not lost. Instead, connect with yourself on deeper levels so you can feel and experience that spot that is just under your heart. Some call it intuition, others call it gut feelings. Strengthening your union with that part of you can be as easy as calming your mind with any form of meditation, practicing mindfulness, yoga or any variety of creative activities. This will help you better reflect on what is right for you, because it is that part of you that has the answers your brain is not equipped to figure out.
Next, start studying, study everything and do not make up your mind until something feels healthy and right for you to decide to follow, not because anyone else told you so, but because it feels true from the very core of your being. This might be a quest you embark on for the rest of your life, to experience, question and search. Not a desperate search, but as an exciting adventure.
You might find that you enjoy celebrating your spirit by adhering to a religious dogma, or following an interspiritual approach where you take the best of every belief form and create your own unique ways. You may decide you don’t believe in spirit in any organized or religious way, but feel full and happy pursuing nature, art and music. If you are not harming anyone else, if you are respecting others and their own pursuit of a spiritual life in their own, sometimes ridiculous ways, then you will be on to something of real value. But don’t take my word for it, figure it out for yourself.