When we awaken spiritually, a subtle yet powerful shift occurs. Like a newborn, we crave spiritual nourishment so that we can grow and evolve. Just as we experience the physical growing pains of childhood, we experience the metaphysical growing pains of spirithood.
As we grow, we find ourselves expanding beyond people, places, and ideas that have been familiar and comfortable. These can be challenging times, especially when those around us make judgments about our new state of being and our new-found, ever-evolving approach to life situations. Some may even choose not to support us in our decisions and transformation.
This does not mean anything is wrong with you. Nor does it mean that there is anything wrong with those who no longer wish to support your growth. We each grow and learn at different rates, and as much as we’d like to take others with us on our journey, sometimes we must accept that in moving on we may have to leave others behind.
And therein lies the spiritual pain. As much as we want to remain, we know we can’t. Yet we push forward because we know the pain would be that much greater in remaining than in answering the call of Higher Self. No pill can palliate the pain. Why? Because the point of spiritual pain is not to get rid of it, but to embrace it and integrate it, so that we can grow through it. We can certainly channel this energy through various spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, chanting, ritual cleansing, acts of atonement, yoga, etc.) that will bring clarity, direction, and peace of mind.
Here are some tell-tale signs of spiritual growing pains:
Restlessness. Spirit wants to move and create; the ego wants to lounge and stick with the status quo. You’ll want to “do new things” even if you don’t know what those things are…yet. Your sleep patterns may be affected. You get the strong feeling that there’s something more to life, and you begin to develop a determination to find out what it is. You realize that the material world cannot fulfill this longing.
Restriction. Spirit moves in freedom; the ego remains within safe confines. You may be feeling the constraints of a job or a relationship that no longer serves you. In fact, the situation feels inhibiting and contracting rather than expanding. You want to break free from restrictive patterns, toxic people, and life-draining jobs, and you begin to do so.
Brain-fog. Spirit is suprarational; the ego refuses to budge beyond the rational. Things that you thought made sense no longer make sense. And things that never made sense before suddenly make sense. Normally, the left hemisphere of the brain (which likes to organize, compartmentalize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and problem-solve) dominates the often less-valued right side of the brain. You may be experiencing psychic ability, intuitive knowing, feeling, compassion, and other right hemisphere activities that contradict those of the left side of the brain. You may also be experiencing a feeling of spaciness, minor memory lapses, scattered thinking, mild dizziness, and a general fogginess as you try to find balance. You feel drawn to creative activities of expression and to the sensate. There’s no explaining it; it’s an inner knowing. As you allow your heart and your right brain to lead you, the left will activate appropriately to support you, and that “fog” will lift.
Of course, seek medical help if these symptoms persist. If you’ve determined that it is not a medical condition, then simply relax in the realization that what you are experiencing is temporary.
As Spirit evolves, ego devolves. Spiritual growing pains are part of our journey. Recognizing, embracing, and channeling them will give us the confidence and strength to move through them.