We have all felt it at some point. Where our Divine seems to go silent, where the wonderment has dimmed, and it can feel like we have literally been cut off from the spiritual feelings we have come to thrive on.
The deeper we are connected to our spirituality, the harder these moments are for us. Spiritual Disconnection is a very real phenomenon and is experienced by people in all religious and spiritual spaces. No one is safe from it, and there are many theories as to what causes it. In order to understand what to do about it though, we must first understand why it happens in the first place.
What is the biggest contributing factor to Spiritual Disconnection?
I have always been surrounded by religious minded people of varied faiths. I grew up in a Catholic home and attended a Catholic school. I started my own journey within the pagan/witchy movements of the 90’s. Then in my later years I participated in interfaith conferences and groups tackling societal issues. All of this has allowed me a unique view of many different faiths and the people within them. I spent over four decades watching this phenomenon take root in even the most devout believers, and many years counseling people through it.
So what is the most common cause I have seen? You might be surprised to hear that the biggest catalyst has nothing really to do with their spirituality, but is rooted in life events. In a time before social media, those events were usually an illness, a death, or some tragic life event. These types of events can easily shake our faith and overwhelm us with negative emotions, and in that we become disconnected to the thing we need most in those moments. In an era after social media though – the problem seems to have become much more narrowed.
How Social Media has Changed this…
With the boom of social media, came the opportunity to explore a wealth of knowledge from all over the world. To see from all these other perspectives and gain better understanding of different people. This isn’t a bad thing, but the places we, as people, have taken it to kind-of is. As social media became more commercialized, the voices on there started vibing to become “The Voice.” As the idea of being anonymous gained ground, the way people talked to others and acted towards them started to change.
The majority of disconnect I was seeing in people now wasn’t from a life event, but from what others were saying to or about them. It wasn’t people talking or challenging their faith, but attacking them as a person or bombarding them with negativity. The more negative interactions they experienced, the more disconnected they became. They were still doing the work, they were still going through the motions, but they were not feeling that connection they used to with their Guides. As if, in their darkest time, their Deities/ Divine had gone silent on them.
It is not Their Faith
When we get overwhelmed by negative feedback, our emotions elevate and our brain goes into a flight or fight response. Even though we usually only talk about this in physical situations, it happens in emotional ones more often. It is how the human brain is wired to preserve the self.
When this kicks in, there is no space to focus on “feeling” our connections. No matter how much we need it, our bodies are literally creating this disconnect. Our mind is only focused on one thing – dealing with the immediate threat so it can get back to a harmonious state. The more we dwell in this negative state, the further we are pulled from feeling, hearing, and experiencing our spirit. Our practices feel hollow, just going through the motions, and without that fire and passion we had before.
The Bad and the Good
Social media can be an extremely toxic space, and there have been numerous studies exploring these aspects. Even the social media itself, with how their algorithms work, promote the negative aspects because people tend to have a more intense, immediate reaction to negative stimuli than positive. The Documentary – The Social Dilemma does a great job diving deep in these concepts.
People feed and perpetuate this fight and division attitude and the algorithm rewards them for it. Over time, people go from watching the drama to participating in the drama. In spiritual communities this shows up often in the form of telling people that their personal experiences are wrong or not real -Instilling fear about experimenting and exploring on their own, creating this mentality that paid classes are needed – Attacking people who have a different view or experience then they do – perpetuating fear towards certain aspects or Guides that come from that person’s perspective in order to drive others away from that and towards them. These are just the tip of the iceberg but I’m sure you get the gist.
The problem is, it can also be a wonderful space to connect, explore, and share with others. To find community and develop enriching relationships. I love the deep conversations I am able to have with people I would never have met in my physical life. The new perspectives they bring to my life and my practices. The inspirations, creativity, and possibilities we explore together. All of these things have enriched my own personal spiritual connections and my faith.
It has also given me the space to share my own practices and experiences. To encourage others to create and walk their own path. To develop their own connections to divine, whatever that may look like. Showing different ways to look at and approach things, not to have them follow what I do, but to encourage them to explore and find their own way.
Social media isn’t the only problem, we encounter these things in life too, but in general, people choose their words much differently in person than they do online.
We can see how overwhelmed emotions can be a huge factor in this feeling of disconnection from our spiritual experience, just as the emotions of experiencing our connections can deepen them.
We talked about how social media plays a large role in our current world, creating these negative and even attack like experiences, which kicks the mind and body into defense mode.
All of this leading to feeling spiritually cut off.
So what can we do?
Boundaries and the Sacred Self
Two things that have really helped me through my periods of disconnect came from my work with The Morrigan. Building and holding Boundaries – Knowing my Sacred Self.
Boundaries are crucial, not just to protect us but to protect others as well. Building boundaries can be a difficult task at first, because each one of us has to build our own. We have our own path to follow, our own past we are overcoming, and our own goals we are trying to accomplish. I will share some of my boundaries to give you some ideas and inspirations to help you get started with yours.
Respect is at the core of my boundaries, both for myself and for others. Respect is: “The realization of the duality between ourselves and other living beings. The perspective, that at the core, we are a pattern of energy, other living beings are a pattern of energy, that all patterns of energy hold the same potential of processes, and deserve the same considerations as we would give ourselves. In essence intrinsic dignity. What makes us different is our experiences and knowledge which shape our perspectives and actions.” (from Sovereignty, Battle, and Prophecy: Lesson for life, for you practice, and aspects of The Morrigan)
1. Everyone has the right to their own opinion and experience. I do not have to agree with them, or allow them to cast doubt on what I know I experienced. I have the option to walk away and not engage with hostile people (especially on social media).
2. It is not my place to tell people what to believe or how to believe. I can help guide when asked and share my own to inspire or create conversation, but it is not my place to define their connections or beliefs.
3. Guide instead of “teach.” What people generally need are the right questions to ask, not a rule book of what to believe. They need a person to bounce ideas off of, not someone to construct for them. It’s why I love to write Guided Journals instead of instructional books. With the right question, someone can go deeper and find the right answers for them, instead of what the right answer for me was.
In the end, we have a choice in what we CHOOSE to engage with. We are taught to fight back, that we have to stand up against people talking smack – but we don’t. That is the beauty of it. You can not control what another says or does, but you can control how you react and the actions/ words you choose to use. There will always be someone trying to tear you down, but the people who know you know the truth, and most importantly you know the truth. Yes, there are times we do need to speak up and stand in our authority – but in my experience, it is a lot less than what we think.
In the end you are a Sacred Being. Just being here and experiencing this world makes it so. What you need to do is recognize it and treat yourself in that manner. Build your boundaries with that in mind and choose your battles in guardianship of that. All the rest is just a moment in time.
Change We Can Create to Stop the Disconnect on a Large Scale
By shifting our mindset just a little, we can help lessen these disconnects for all of us.
We can focus more or sharing our own experiences and what works for us – instead of pointing out where others are wrong, or pushing our beliefs onto others.
Show respect to each other. We don’t have to agree, but we also don’t have to fight about those different perspectives. Share, debate, explore, and keep an open mind.
Encourage experimenting, exploration, and welcome different ideas and perspectives. They may not change anything for you, but knowledge is power.
Lastly, see through the eyes of Duality. We may be on completely opposite sides of a debate, but there is always some common ground to be found as well. Hate does not exist if there wasn’t something to love first.
These are just some things to think about, reflect on, and consider. I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences on this.