First of all, what does a “spiritual journey” even mean anyway? It is just a metaphor for how your spiritual beliefs change and develop throughout life. It’s a state of mind you have…and it’s personal. No one else can tell you what to do on this journey, how to behave, what to believe or even what path you should take. How could they? They are not walking in your shoes, NOR have they faced the same life experiences you have.
I have personally found that it takes deep struggle to get through the journey to see what you were really supposed to do, and find who you were meant to be. I wish it were easy, trust me, I do. But all the most interesting people who I meet in my business, around the world, and through speaking with others have faced some kind of struggle in their lives.
There comes a point in this struggle, where you decide to hermit. Now, years ago I gave a talk about becoming the “hermity empath” and I wrote about it then as well. (See linked words later, and you can always bookmark it.) But at that time, I was still coming through something that had made me want to dig a hole and stay by myself for a while.
I didn’t, at the time, see it as part of a journey. Nope. At the time, I saw it as I was really, really tired of people.
Here are 7 signs I ignored back then (but are clear to me now):
- I was feeling very sensitive to people, places and energy…as well as feeling irritable, cranky, moody, angry and more. I HAD not come to the realization that I was either reflecting OR being a mirror. Let me explain. Reflecting means I was getting mad because they were mad. A mirror is when the other person is showing us something about ourselves (i.e. being judgmental and then we realize we really don’t like this quality, but when we look deeper, we realize that we are exactly the same.) that we really do not like or want to be.
- I was making my circle smaller…on purpose. At one time, I had no one in my circle. It wasn’t a circle. It was a line. From me to my husband. He was the only person I felt I could rely on, and that was not only wrong, it was selfish of me. I didn’t see it at the time, but that is not good for your partner as they also need an outlet, and by making my world smaller, I effectively made his small as well. I was so sick with my pain at the time, my body wracked with disease, that I couldn’t trust a soul. No one but him knew how much I hurt, and again, that was old me. (Side note, if you are new, I was diagnosed over the years, from the night of New Year’s Eve 1997, until my last diagnosis in 2013, with 7 “incurable” diseases. I do not claim them now, yet technically I still have them. Longer story.) See links after this.
- I lost interest in who I was, and felt like a sloth. Being a sloth felt natural. Sloths got to move slow and basically not go anywhere all day, but stay in the same place. It was essentially a time when I didn’t think I was moving, but in fact, my inside life, the part that no one could see, was talking to me and giving me signs that I was about to come out on the other side. It was a very slow process that looked a lot like staying still. Until that day in 2014 when I decided to move faster.
- I started reading everything spiritual. I read many books…self-help, religious, devotional, inspirational, and very weird ones. I was disseminating the information for myself and NOT letting one point of view sway me when I didn’t know other people’s sides. Why did they think that way? What helped them grow?
- I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I retired from teaching school after taking a year off due to severe illness. I became yoga teacher certified, and started helping others through this process. But for a while, I didn’t know my life’s purpose, and thought I had wasted my career.
- My “friends”, were not really my friends, and thought I was crazy. One was a narcissist and I never saw her that way until I started looking at what she did to me and how she used me. One was an energy vampire…I was only needed when she wanted to have a good time and no one else was available. There were others. Co-dependent relationships formed when I was very ill physically and felt depressed. Once I got stronger, one by one they fell away.
- The last part of this phase is the one where you are ready to go back to society, try new things, and make new, healthy friendships that will support the new you and nurture you. It can take a while to be in this phase.
More resources to assist you:
- The Steps I took to Change my Life
- How Journaling Healed my Life
- For people on phase 6 or 7 of this post