What is ‘Spirituality’, Anyway?

It is both completely obvious and impossibly esoteric.

Jeff Valdivia
5 min readMar 2


Photo by Daria Rom on Unsplash

On March 13, 2013, almost 10 years ago to this day, my life changed forever.

There wasn’t anything particularly interesting about this moment. It had happened a million times before.

An ex and I had been traveling for months and we were re-hashing one of those pointless kinds of arguments that never go anywhere. You know what I’m talking about.

But, for a reason that is beyond my understanding, something shifted inside of me that day. I suddenly saw that we were both stuck in some kind of destructive dance and I was playing a part, rather than being true to myself. And for the briefest of moments, I saw through the story I was telling myself about her, me, and the situation in which we found ourselves.

In the following years, I would come to realize that life is made complex by our minds’ propensity to perpetuate our stories. Look closely, and you will see that you are constantly telling yourself a story about what has happened, is happening, or will happen to you.

It’s not that this isn’t ever helpful. We seem to interpret the world through stories. And that can be beautiful.

But the stories we narrate to ourselves in our minds are often not so kind, whether to ourselves or others. I’m sure you’ve noticed. You might beat yourself up over a silly mistake, or you might look down on someone else for theirs. You might think yourself superior in your politics, yet inferior at work.

These stories aren’t useless. They help us, to some extent, understand the world and our place in it.

But they also tend to keep us locked in cages of depression, rumination, fear, or anxiety.

What does this have to do with spirituality? Spirituality is the path that opens the lock and frees us from this mental anguish.

Spirituality sets you free

Freedom from this cage is quite simple. It’s right in front of you, right now. The problem is that the stories you’re telling yourself have subsumed your attention, which is what you need to free yourself.



Jeff Valdivia

Following my curiosity and hoping it will lead me to wisdom. I write about psychology, meditation, self-development, and spirituality.

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