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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > August 2019 > Raise your spirits

Raise your spirits

A spiritual life is fundamental to Lucy-Anne Holmes’ identity and wellbeing. So why does she keep it a secret?

The journalist asks me: ‘Are you spiritual or religious?’ I’m not expecting that question. ‘Um… Well… Yes.’ Hesitant at first, soon I am chatting away. However, at the end of our conversation, I panic. ‘Please don’t print any of that!’ That was five years ago. I was being interviewed by Psychologies for the ‘Shared values’ column. When it was printed, there was no mention of my spiritual or religious life. It was a beautiful piece that garnered great feedback, but I’ve always been fascinated by my response to that query – why was I so afraid to speak openly about my spiritual life?

I should make it clear from the get-go that I am not shy. I’ve just published an honest memoir about my sex life. To use Facebook as the arbiter of modern behaviour, I regularly share information about sex and masturbation – and yet I haven’t told my Facebook friends that I am a Quaker and that I attend a spiritualist church and receive messages from my dead ancestors. In fact, as I type this, I feel short of breath, anxious and a bit like I am being strangled.

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