Healthy vs. Toxic Spirituality

personal growth spiritual health spirituality Oct 03, 2022

There is a big difference between healthy and toxic spirituality. Toxic spirituality is all about rules, dogma, and judgment. It creates separation and division. Healthy spirituality is about connection, love, and compassion. It brings people together and helps them feel connected to something greater than themselves. Learning the difference between healthy and toxic spirituality is essential if you seek a more meaningful spiritual practice.

What kind of spirituality do you practice?

Spirituality is the aspect of identifying ourselves with something much more significant than life, usually about a supernatural invisible force that has a hold of the entire world and universe around us. Practicing spirituality can be a vital component of one's life. It fulfills our need for spiritual health, which is essential for holistic well-being. When we have spiritual beliefs, we derive more significant meaning and purpose by trying to connect with something that can help explain things that may be beyond our reasoning and thinking. Having spiritual faith can help during times of trouble and hardship.

We can take whatever spiritual path we want to follow and believe. However, the way of spirituality we take can either be healthy or toxic, depending on the beliefs and practices we choose to follow. It can be evident when practicing religious beliefs, one way of expressing spirituality. Outside of religion, our spiritual practices can be healthy or toxic depending on how we treat ourselves and others. It is a good idea to identify what kind of spiritual practice you do as it can affect how you go on with your life and accomplish things.

Signs of healthy spirituality

  • Healthy spirituality grows. It is not fixed on static beliefs that are not open to changing times. Its practices can change as time goes by.
  • Healthy spirituality welcomes all into it instead of excluding others with different beliefs.
  • Healthy spirituality is not about asserting control and dominance over its followers. Instead, there is freedom in expressing our beliefs.
  • Healthy spirituality doesn't focus on making you feel guilty every time you do something against your beliefs. Instead, there is more emphasis on spiritual growth.
  • Healthy spirituality is not fixated on the idea that everything about it is correct. All those who follow it are morally correct and somehow have superior standing compared to others. Whatever spiritual belief you choose to follow must also include the fact that problems and incorrect things exist in the world.
  • Spirituality can involve believing in a higher being that presides over the world. A healthy spirituality consists in establishing a connection with such a being to derive more significant meaning and purpose in life, and not because you want to call on such a being to provide all your needs and only call on them when it is convenient to you, such as during troublesome times.
  • Healthy spirituality encourages you to do good acts on others not because it is dictated upon you but because of attaining some form of enlightenment during your spiritual journey, and you do them wholeheartedly.
  • A healthy form of spirituality encourages you to form good relationships with others instead of nourishing and benefiting only yourself.

Signs of toxic spirituality

  • There is an emphasis on punishment and receiving rewards depending on your actions. You do good, and you get money and other forms of riches. You do evil or even something different that's not necessarily wrong, and you get punished for them.
  • Misfortunes and terrible incidents like natural disasters wreaking havoc on human lives are a form of punishment from the divine instead of just treating and seeing them as it is.
  • Submitting to a particular belief will protect you from any hardship or problem. This belief can include the idea that you will gain blessings even without doing anything as long as you adhere to the faith.
  • Toxic spirituality operated more on the principle of exclusion rather than inclusion. Toxic beliefs make people think they are in the right and are the chosen ones compared to those who do not belong to a specific faith.
  • There's this drive to make people obey; otherwise, they will get punished for not doing so.
  • You are using your faith to gain immunity from prosecution despite doing acts considered wrong outside the faith.
  • Spirituality with toxic traits focuses more on judging others instead of understanding them.
  • Toxic spirituality implements practices and behaviors intending to make money under the hood.
  • Toxic spirituality is more interested in managing its followers' behavior and making them follow a strict hierarchy of rules and practices.

Your spiritual beliefs matter

Spirituality is something to consider if you want good holistic health, as spiritual health is one of its components. You can attain more personal growth by looking beyond your goals and finding the purpose behind why you may do such things. However, having the right kind of spirituality in your life is essential. We say this because you may find yourself joining a group or subscribing to a belief that may do more harm to you and others than good. When you adhere to a particular faith, try to assess how you practice it and treat others according to your beliefs. Healthy spirituality involves establishing a good relationship with others and creating oneness with the more significant entity you adhere to in your faith. It's not about transcending to a higher form of being; instead, it's about developing awareness about our humanity and reaching our full potential so we can have an abundant life.

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