I thought long and hard about including the word spirituality in the Becoming Safely Embodied Manual. I use it when I speak with individual clients, and with groups of clients or therapists, yet I found myself pausing as I included it in the manual. I wanted to be respectful to those people who have been hurt by others using the terms, “spirituality” or “religion,” with ulterior motives. At the same time, I didn’t want to sacrifice my deepest intentions. Perhaps you might find it helpful if I clarify the way in which I use the word “spirituality,” so as to avoid confusion as you read further.
Spirituality, for the purposes of this manual, speaks to the underlying goodness, kindness, and compassion that we find in each other when our defenses soften. I personally have found the eastern traditions helpful in holding this non-religious frame, and I will sometimes speak directly from that experience. But I whole-heartedly acknowledge that others will have different references that work just as well (or better) for them.