“Falling in love” usually involves another person. Someone to snuggle with, shower with affection, and treat with serious respect. The idea of falling in love with ourselves–that’s usually hard to wrap our heads around. We think, “why the heck would I want to fall in love with me?”
The truth is, your relationship with yourself is the most important. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. Too often, we look at who we are and pick ourselves apart.
“My waist isn’t thin enough.” “I’m a failure for not making 6 figures.” “Being single means I’m 100% undesirable.”
Holy inner mean girl!
It’s time to change all of this and start recognizing why you are awesome and worthy of your own approval and love. Developing a practice around this will not only make you feel amazing, but empower you to recover from low points in life with clarity and ease.
I’ve found that when I feel like crap, when my body has been the most sick and when I am bombarded with the most self-deprecating thoughts, the only thing to pull me up and out is drenching myself in self-love.
If you still feel confused or lost on where to start with your own self-love conversation, don’t worry; I’ve put together a list to help you get started.
1. Create a self-love ritual.
Turn off the TV and unplug from social media for 15 minutes to get centered while self-pampering. My favorite way to do this is to moisturize my skin with intention. As I massage my feet I thank them for getting me to where I need to go; as I moisturize my hands I love them for all the transactions and introductions they’ve helped me with throughout my life.
2. Build a precious community.
As much as we would like to think we can, we can’t do everything ourselves. You need the support and love from people around you to stay motivated and on track–something I like to call a Love Entourage. Positive energy is contagious, so whether you’re building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it’s always important to have a community you value around you regularly.
3. Know that your body is a loving vessel.
Treating your body like a loving vessel will not only boost your self-love, but also your energy. Be intentional about what you put into your body, not only because you want to look good but because you want to feel good. Feeding your body nutrient-rich foods will have you oozing love out of every pore.
4. Explore your spirituality.
Faith is the foundation for self-love, no matter what you believe. Believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust. It will build your intuition and help you make decisions based on your gut. When you explore your spirituality it will also take you on a journey to learning things about yourself and those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you.
5. Do something you’re good at.
If this isn’t the ultimate self-esteem booster, I don’t know what is! Self-esteem and self-love often go hand in hand, and participating in a hobby you’re good at will not only boost your endorphins, but will bring out the best version of you. If you love to cook, then cook! If you love to run, then grab those sneakers, head outside and run for your life.
6. Find your happy place.
Think of a place that makes it simple to just be. That means being able to sit quietly and embrace the here and now. Not thinking about what’s due at work or what bills need to be paid, you owe this happy place to yourself. Self-love is all about connecting with yourself, and one of the easiest places to do that is your happy place.
7. Build your letting go muscle.
We’re constantly holding on to things in our past, and it can tend to weigh heavy on our souls and even give us low self-esteem. The more blocks we clear, the more we can really live big in the area of self-love. Although we may do this as a way to protect ourselves from hurting, it’s really only holding us back from moving forward to reaching optimal self-acceptance and loving who we are.
These 7 practices have literally saved me from countless downward spirals and I know they will do the same for you.
Sometimes the person you would have done anything for will walk away without a word. Sometimes you will get ghosted by your almost relationship when you thought everything was going well. Sometimes you will be broken up with in cliches (it’s not you it’s me or we’re better off as friends) and won’t be given any real explanation about why it happened.
Sometimes you will be confused about why you are alone again. Sometimes you won’t be able to figure out what you did wrong. Sometimes you will stay up late, trying to pinpoint the exact moment when the other person decided you were no longer enough.
Sometimes you will do whatever it takes to get closure. Sometimes you will stalk the other person’s social media, looking for hints about why they left. Sometimes you will send texts that go unanswered. Sometimes you will ask questions that are dodged. Sometimes you will feel completely lost, because you have no idea why your heart was trampled on.
Sometimes you will pick yourself apart, trying to decide which one of your flaws convinced them to bail. Sometimes you will over analyze all of the insignificant things you have said and done in the past. Sometimes you will start hating yourself, because it’s easier than hating them.
Sometimes you won’t get the answers your need. Sometimes you won’t get the closure you need.
Sometimes you will need to start your healing process, even though you feel like you are not ready. Even though there are still so many things you are unsure about.
Sometimes you will have to find a way to silence the voice in your head that keeps replaying past moments over and over again. Sometimes you will have to accept the fact that you will never know the real reason why they left you behind.
Sometimes your ex isn’t going to sit you down and have an emotional talk with you about why they can’t stay for any longer. Sometimes they aren’t going to care about how much leaving without a word will screw with you. Sometimes they will cause you trust issues and abandonment issues without feeling guilty about it. Sometimes they will cut you out of their world to avoid confrontation. Sometimes they will only care about themselves.
Sometimes you have to stop looking for answers. Sometimes you end up hurting yourself more by clinging onto your questions. Sometimes you have to stop wondering where it all went wrong with your ex, because they are in your past and that is where they belong. That is where they are going to stay.
Sometimes you will have to move on from your last love, even when it feels like that is impossible. Sometimes you will have to accept that you were betrayed by someone you never expected to hurt you. Sometimes acceptance is the biggest gift you can give yourself.
Sometimes you aren’t lucky enough to get closure. Sometimes you are going to have to push through the pain, even though your loudest questions remained unanswered.
Maybe the things that don’t work the way you want them to or the prayers that go unanswered are all God’s way of saving you. Maybe the things you ached for were not really going to give you any peace or pleasure or comfort. Maybe all the things that broke you actually built you up to believe that your heart can sometimes betray you and your plans sometimes fail you and that’s okay.
It’s okay to want something so desperately only to realize it wasn’t good for you. It’s okay to admit that the things you fought for didn’t fight as ruthlessly for you because maybe this is God’s way of teaching you how to trust him, that if you let go, if you trust in his timing, if you don’t try so hard to rush things all the time, they will eventually fall into place.
Maybe the people you get attached to when you know they’re wrong for you are just teaching you the importance of letting go, of detaching from something you desire so much so you can find something better. Maybe they’re teaching you that temptations are not always gratifying, that some temptations look good from afar but leave you feeling empty when you get too close. Maybe your heart moved for the wrong people so you can find your way back to God or back to yourself. Maybe God wants your journey to be about yourself for now not about love and that’s why he wants your heart to belong to you or he’s teaching you how to be patient with your heart until it finds what it truly deserves.
Maybe God’s way of saving you feels like he’s failing you. Maybe God’s way of protecting you feels like he’s putting you in danger and maybe every time you ask for peace, you find yourself going into war but you make it out alive, maybe bruised or tired or drained. Maybe lost or defeated but you make it out alive and that means you’re still meant to be here to continue fighting whatever it is that’s stopping you from growing, whatever it is you’re not willing to let go of and whatever it is that’s keeping you from finding your truth or your calling or your healing.
Maybe things don’t get easier because you’re supposed to learn some lessons the hard way so you can protect yourself from further damage. Maybe some things need to shatter you so you can find the inner strength to end things that cause you pain no matter how much you worked hard for them or wished for them or needed them. Maybe people need to disappoint you or shock you so you can continue finding love and validation inside of yourself. So you can be your own home instead of the home you made for these people inside your heart only for them to leave. Maybe everyone who left was teaching you how to love being on your own so you can stop searching for someone else to complete you.
Maybe everything is working out the way it should be and God’s trying to teach you to stop holding on so tightly to the pretty picture in your head of how things are supposed to be and trust him to paint a marvelous picture instead. Trust him to turn the picture inside your head into a masterpiece.
Sometimes God says no because he knows that the things your heart desires could eventually break you. The people you deeply need could be the ones who will let you down in every possible way. The ones who will change the way you think about people or about love or the ones who will close your heart off and make you question yourself.
Sometimes God says no because he wants to teach you the importance of patience, of learning how to value things that others take for granted or learning how to stand on your own feet so you can take care of others when they fall or take care of yourself when the people you need are no longer around you.
Sometimes God says no because he knows that if he says yes, you won’t grow up with the same wisdom, strength, perseverance and resilience you have today. You won’t be the best version of yourself if you didn’t have things in your life that forced you to face certain fears, heal certain wounds and overcome certain challenges. You won’t be the person who appreciates good people and knows how to stand up to others when they cross the line.
Sometimes God says no because he wants you to delve deeper into faith, into understanding the universe, into believing in him even if you don’t always agree or understand why he does things the way he does. Sometimes he says no because he wants you to probe further into your life, ask hard questions, rethink your decisions or just explore whether the things you’re praying for are good for you or maybe you’re just in love with the illusion of things.
Sometimes God says no because he wants to bless you with far better things than what you’re asking for. Sometimes his no is a big ‘hell yes’ in disguise. Sometimes his no is a ‘wait for it’ wonderful surprise about to unfold. Sometimes his no is more of a ‘not right now’ than a complete no. Sometimes his no is just a delayed yes but what I know for sure is that his unanswered prayers, his NOs are just another way of blessing you whether by removing something that would have been toxic for you or waiting to bless you with something far beyond what you ever imagined.
And sometimes God’s no is his way of saying ‘I love you’ and that’s why I’m protecting you from what you cannot see.
It’s hard to believe I know. It’s hard to believe that in the depths of despair, there is a purpose for your pain. It’s so much easier to cave into jaded thoughts. It’s so much easier to conceptualize hopelessness when all your eyes can see is darkness.
Allow me to rectify the gloom. Allow me to lighten your cynical vision with a change of perspective and a spark of optimism. Allow me to restore your faith in something greater than both of us.
There is a purpose to your misery, I promise. There is a greater story unfolding but you just can’t see it. This current struggle is nothing more than a test, a test of faith and resilience. And I know you will overcome it, I know you will look across from the greener side after all of the anguish and rejoice in victory.
If your spirit is broken, that’s okay. It’s not completely dismantled. I know it’s still intact in some capacity and I know it will mend itself and reemerge again. I know your vitality will come back, I can sense its pending return.
If your spirit is broken, trust that your struggles are blessings from God. Trust that your pain is not pointless. Trust that God has a plan for you; trust that he is watching over you even in these dark times. Trust that he wouldn’t test your resilience if he didn’t think you could handle it. Trust that he knows you can overcome whatever curve ball life throws at you. Trust that he has written these struggles into your plot line as hidden blessings. Trust that your struggles are truly blessings as they stand as a testament that you can not only survive despair but come out on the other end of it, simply thriving. Trust that your struggles are truly blessings that serve as a reminder of what hope really looks like – an emerging beacon of light coloring your face with conviction and ceaseless faith.
I’m sorry for the times I ignored you. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’m sorry for only talking to you when I need help. I am sorry I am not more grateful for your gifts. It seems all I can see is what I am lacking. I am sorry for not giving you thanks every day. Sure, some days are hard. Some days I feel like there is no light. But I have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, and food on my table. I’m so blessed, and I am sorry for not realizing that enough.
I’m sorry for the times I took matters into my own hands. I can be impatient at times. People always say that you have a plan, and I believe this. But sometimes I get impatient waiting for you to make the moves. I am sorry for having an expectation of you. I am starting to learn that you may not meet my expectations because you already plan to exceed them. I am sorry I get frustrated with you. It can be difficult for me to see you moving in my life. I am sorry for not trusting your timing more. I am sorry for chasing things that aren’t meant for me. I believe that you put things in our lives and take things out of our lives for a reason. I will try to trust your plan more.
God, I’m sorry for letting fear take up space in my mind. You tell me to have faith, and God, I am really trying. But sometimes it can get so hard. The world can be a sad place. I am sorry for letting anxiety keep me from serving you. I am sorry for doubting your existence at times. I am sorry for letting my fear of failure keep me from my purpose. People always talk about “their calling” and I feel like I’ve missed mine. Is it possible for someone to miss their calling? Have I missed mine? I am sorry if I have.
I am sorry for not being more kind. To myself and to others. I am sorry for judging people and holding grudges. They say you are merciful and forgiving, but what if I can’t forgive myself? What if I can’t move forward and love myself unconditionally like you do? Teach me. Teach me to see the world through a lens of love and a lens of compassion. Teach me to default to kindness rather than judgement. Plant a seed of empathy in my heart and let it grow to envelope everyone around me.
God, I am sorry for following people before you. I am sorry for comparing my path to that path of others. Social media can make it so hard to follow you first. Sure, the apostles were loyal to Jesus, but they didn’t have to follow him while Instagram was pummeling them with the highlight reels of other people’s lives. I am sorry I compare myself to others so much. I am sorry I let others rather than you determine my worth. You have given me an abundance of grace, and instead of letting it wash all over my life in cleansing, I have cast it aside and used other people as my measuring stick. I am sorry I have used your people for anything other than support and love.
Most of all God, I am sorry I ever doubted that I was loved. I am sorry that I doubted my purpose here. I am sorry that I failed to see that you have made me in your image. I promise I will do better. I will love your creation, which includes me. I will default to faith, rather than fear. I will pray more. I will open myself up to your will.
I will likely stumble many times as I try to do better. And I am sorry in advance for the amount of times you will have to help me up again. But I will try.
Sometimes God is waiting for you to make the first move or take a leap of faith or change something major in your life before he can start unfolding his own magic. Sometimes he is waiting for you to wake up before he can answer your prayers. Sometimes he wants you to act instead of just wishing for things so he can truly start working.
There’s a pattern that keeps repeating itself in our lives, we make the same mistakes and we get the same results. We complain about our circumstances but we don’t try to change them. We keep saying that we’re stuck in a rut and we can’t get out of it but we don’t try to dig holes so we can escape. We say we want God to grant us all our wishes but we don’t try to go for them first and see what happens.
Sometimes God gives you the things you want only after you go for them, sometimes he gives you what you want after he teaches you how to get there on your own. Sometimes you don’t find the treasure until you dig relentlessly for it. Sometimes God’s magic wand is in the way he moves you, in the way he inspires you or the way he provokes you to take action. Sometimes his blessings are within you; the tools he safeguards you with, your strength, your determination, your drive and your passion. Sometimes he wants you to walk before you can run.
I can’t explain why God chooses some people to suffer more than others or why he picks harder battles for some more than others but I do know that when he pushes us too hard, it’s because he wants us to change. He wants us to do more because he knows that we are capable of so much more than what we are doing. He knows that if we had no other choice, we would do what we thought was impossible.
Sometimes God works backwards, where you work hard for your wishes and then he grants them to you because if you think about it, you will never stop wishing for things or wanting things or dreaming but if you’re always waiting for things to just miraculously happen for you instead of trying to make them happen then you’re missing the whole point. You’re not here to stand still or settle, you’re here to move and evolve and fight tooth and nail for the life you want, with the help of God.
Maybe we need to pray that we keep our blessings and take care of them instead of worrying about how long they will last or what will happen if we lose them.
Maybe we need to be grateful for the things we have instead of worrying about the things we want but can’t have.
Maybe life is about trusting more than resisting.
Maybe we need to pray about finding the right things even if they take time instead of praying for the wrong things temporarily.
Maybe we need to believe that praying is sometimes the only solution to the problems we can’t control, to what’s happening inside us, to the feelings we can’t explain and the thoughts we can’t silence.
Maybe life is about letting go instead of holding on.
Because it’s in our nature to run away from rules, to run away from pressure and gravitate toward those who make us feel loved and accepted. We despise being around people who make us doubt ourselves or ask us too many questions because they make us uncomfortable or unhappy.
So maybe we should treat God the same way, maybe we should stop complaining and start accepting him. Maybe we should stop doubting him and start trusting him. Maybe that’s all he needs before he shows us his miracles. Maybe he’s just teaching us how to have faith in him, even if we can’t understand him.
Maybe we need to get closer when he pushes us away, maybe we need to keep praying even when we think he’s not listening and maybe we need to stop worrying so much about things we might lose because he’s never going to take away something that’s good for us. He’s never going to take away something he can’t replace.
Maybe praying is not so much about getting what we want as much as it is communicating with God, our way of checking in with him, our way of letting him know we care, our way of trying to reach out to him and our way of letting him know we need him.
Maybe life is more about faith and less about fear.
Maybe God wants to hear our words more than our silence because he wants us near him. He wants us closer to him than anyone else.
Are you a curious, wise, or all-around calm person? You might just be an old soul. Whether you’ve been called it before or always had a feeling you were, what does being an old soul really mean? Here, we dive into the true meaning, plus, the signs to look out for that you could be an old soul.
What does “old soul” really mean?
It’s likely you know an old soul when you meet one. They probably seem wise beyond their years, mature, grounded, and aren’t interested in superficial things. According to intuitive counselor Randi Merzon, the concept of the old soul is inspired by the idea that our bodies are containers for spirit, and an old soul “is someone who continues to reincarnate in order to heal or complete karmic agreements.”
Of course, depending on what you believe and how you relate to spirituality, another way of thinking about old souls is the idea that we’re all perhaps different incarnations of universal life force, and those old souls are simply tapped into that wisdom on a deeper level (and from an earlier age) during that lifetime.
Is it a good thing to be an old soul?
It’s usually a compliment to be referred to as an old soul, as it implies grace and wisdom. But there can be downsides to being mature beyond your years. As Merzon explains, “No one enjoys being a newbie, but in fact, the benefit of being a new soul is that they carry around a lot less karma.”
Old souls come into this life with an agenda to experience and complete karma, while new souls “want to make form out of light,” and “experience what it’s like to be a being in a body.” As such, the new souls’ experience is a bit more lighthearted, where being an old soul can feel heavy. But in addition to that, because the old soul comes to this life with more experience and understanding, they’re able to handle obstacles and challenges with greater clarity.
It comes down to what the new versus old soul is experiencing in this life. A new soul “wants to be fresh and new and maybe have a more hedonistic lifestyle,” while an old soul “wants to go into the depths and learn.” Old souls may also feel somewhat isolated, as they can see through much of the illusion and separation in modern culture.
11 characteristics of old souls:
1. You have an inquisitive, curious mind.
Old souls very much prioritize truth and wisdom. As such, they often have curious minds about what’s happening in the world and internally “but not in a superficial way. Whether it’s world events or your relationship with a family member or friend, it’s the idea of being curious about what’s emerging and what one might learn or cultivate through the experience.
2. Youcan see the big picture.
If you’re an old soul, you’re likely able to see beyond appearances. You’re probably able to let things roll off your back easier, and you’re less likely to be triggered by certain things.
3. You may feel like a bit of an outsider.
Being an old soul can make it difficult to form meaningful connections, at least when you’re young.
4. …but you know your fellow old souls when you meet them.
While it can be difficult to get along with everyone when you’re an old soul, old souls are actually good at finding their fellow kindred spirits. A true old soul realizes they can’t be the only one. Old souls are looking out for one another, they’re trying to find one another, so they’re trying to make that connection because they realize there’s a connection to be had. This is where you see those instantaneous soul connections that run very deep.
5. You feel deeply connectedto everything.
Not only do old souls feel deeply connected to God, spirit, the universe—whatever it is they may call it—but they also feel that with nature, the people in their lives, and even strangers. An old soul has a sense of connection to the universe and therefore to other souls.
6. You go against the status quo.
Old souls can see the big picture and beyond many of the basic structures that govern our reality, they like to do things their own way. Old souls are quite rebellious in nature meaning they don’t just think outside of the box—they intuit that the boxes doesn’t even exist.There’s a skepticism, a sense of understanding that everything they’ve been shown isn’t necessarily the case, and they’re going to seek to find their own truth.
7. You’re wise beyond your years.
From an early age, you may have been told you’re wise beyond your years. Perhaps you’ve always felt you were more mature or understanding than your peers, especially when you were young. As Merzon explains it, “There is a knowing that they have been around the block before. You may recognize an ‘old soul’ even in a newborn. Their spirit’s wisdom is written over their entire body.”
8. You’re not materialistic.
One of those basic structures that we touched on previously would be materialism. Simply put, old souls are not concerned with it. They have a sense that “we’re living in this material world but there’s something more important, and perhaps the things we’ve been taught in school, or by our parents, or society, aren’t necessarily true.”
9. Your inner world is more important than the outer.
Not to say you don’t care about the outer world, but for old souls, their inner growth, journey, and relationship to themselves and spirit are often of utmost importance. The soul is inside, and it’s about going within. You probably spend good amounts of time in reflection, deeply pondering your experiences and life lessons.
10. You have a particular gift from the past.
Were you always inclined to the violin for seemingly no reason? Or maybe you have a proclivity for baking, even though you never baked with anyone in your family. Having a particular gift, in a particular field out of the blue, whether it’s an instrument or career or even place is somewhat a sign of an old soul.
11. You often need to recharge.
And lastly, these deeply contemplative folks often need to “reset their batteries,” so to speak. They’re probably drawn to meditation and solitude. It’s not that they don’t enjoy people’s company, but they know there are certain times they have to go within. They’re not living just an external life.
The bottom line.
There are so many ways we can think about souls, old and new. Whether we’re all varied incarnations of the same soul, or there really are souls that are younger versus newer, the bottom line is, most of us can imagine what kind of person an “old soul” is and what traits those people embody. From deep intuition to a certain stillness in their presence, these folks have clearly learned a thing or two early on, making them wise and deeply spiritual people.
Here are some signs that you’re going through a spiritual awakening or are about to embark on one:
You feel disconnected or detached.
At first, the spiritual awakening process can feel overwhelming and confusing. It can feel like everything you thought to be true about your life was a lie, and as such, you may feel disconnected and detached from the things and people you used to enjoy.
2. You’ve reevaluated your beliefs.
A spiritual awakening will likely cause you to revise your spiritual beliefs or adopt significant new ones. Whether that means connecting deeply with a new religion or belief or quitting your job to pursue your real passion, your priorities are likely different now.
3. Your dreams are more vivid.
Not only is your waking life more vivid as a result of a spiritual awakening, but your dream life may become more vivid too. The meanings of your dreams and how they connect to your journey may become more apparent as well.
4. You experience more synchronicities and déjà vu.
If you’re frequently experiencing mind-blowing synchronicities, like thinking about someone and randomly running into them the next day, or seeing angel numbers all the time, that’s a sign you’re on your spiritual path. Similarly, feelings of déjà vu aren’t uncommon either.
5. Your relationships may begin to shift.
There can be no doubt: Spiritual awakenings are transformative, and the people in your life won’t always be able to appreciate that. You may feel like your loved ones don’t understand you anymore because you are changing.
6. You feel spirituality becoming an important part of your life.
It will be hard to ignore the call from your spiritual side as you go through this process. The desire to find meaning and fulfillment within your spirituality will likely become one of your biggest priorities.
7. You’re more intuitive.
Another sign is having newly heightened intuition or new intuitive abilities showing up. They were always there, buried beneath the layers of your ego, and now that you’ve awakened, you feel much more in tune with yourself.
8. You can sense in-authenticity and manipulation.
In addition to that heightened intuition, you’ll be able to sense any inauthentic or manipulative behavior when someone is deceiving you, as well.
9. You realize everyone is on their own path.
As you figure out your own spiritual path, you also become more accepting of the idea that everyone else is on their own unique path, too. Things like winning arguments or convincing people of your views don’t matter as much anymore.
10. You want to be of service.
As you begin “realizing that every living thing is inherently worthy and equal,” you will feel called to be of service, whether to people, to animals, or to the environment. It’s important to you that you have a cause you can get behind to make your life feel purposeful. It may not be about changing your current roles or jobs, but just approaching what you’re already doing with a deeper sense of service.
11. Your teachers find you.
During an awakening, your spiritual teachers may “appear everywhere with perfect timing to help you.” These don’t have to be literal teachers: They might be a kind stranger in the store, a new friend you met by chance, or a literal spiritual or religious figure.
12. You feel alone.
Spiritual awakenings are no easy undertaking, and while there’s hope for enlightenment on the other side, it can feel very lonely. It’s isolating to have your whole life flipped upside down, especially if the other people in your life aren’t quite on the same wave.
13. You feel more connected to the natural world.
While you may feel less connected to friends and family at first, you will feel more connected to nature. From plants to animals to the world as a whole, you will sense your interconnectedness to it all, and it may be quite moving.
14. Your senses are heightened.
Senses will often become heightened during spiritual awakenings, as you become more tuned in to the present moment. This includes sensitivity to physical, emotional, and/or energetic stimuli.
15. You may have more bodily sensations.
Along with heightened awareness and senses, you may have other bodily sensations too. Sleep disturbances are not uncommon.
16. You may have physical symptoms.
A number of physical symptoms can accompany spiritual awakenings too like fatigue and brain fog. (Though of course, these symptoms could also be a sign of a medical condition, so don’t necessarily write them off as nothing.)
17. There’s a sudden change in your habits and routine.
As your spiritual life begins to transform, so will your day-to-day life, including habits and routines. Perhaps now you make it a priority to spend time in nature or meditate, or you’ve ditched old habits that were no longer serving you.
18. Your outlook on the world feels different.
Again, spiritual awakenings aren’t easy, and the alienation and ego-shattering realizations that occur can make anyone feel like they are living in a new reality.
19. Increased empathy.
As you begin feeling more connected to the world around you, you’ll also have increased empathy regarding the suffering of others. The prevalence of suffering may feel impossible to ignore, hence why you now feel more called to be of service.
20. You display more compassion.
On top of feeling more empathetic, those going through spiritual awakenings likely can feel more compassionate toward others—while still wanting to hold them accountable.
21. You have a newfound curiosity.
And lastly, now that you’ve “awakened” to your life, you probably have a childlike wonder and curiosity for the world around you, even when things get tough. Being able to stay curious about your life and the people in it, even when you’re feeling emotional, is a sign of a spiritual awakening.
The process and stages of awakening:
You could say the actual “spiritual awakening” is just the first step on the long path to enlightenment. Indeed, the initial awakening may happen in just a moment, but the process has many stages, which are as follows:
The spiritual awakening.
This is the beginning of your spiritual journey, as you start to question everything you once knew. You begin to clear certain things out of your life (habits, relationships, old belief systems) and invite new, more enriching things in. You may feel like something is missing, but you haven’t quite figured it out yet. During this phase, it’s common to feel lost, confused, and down.
2. The dark night of the soul.
The second stage of a spiritual awakening is kind of what it sounds like: a very rough patch—the lowest patch, in fact. In many ways, this is when your soul is re-calibrating, stripping away all aspects of the ego. It’s very challenging, but once you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up—forcing you to make a real change.
3. The sponge.
Once you’ve made it through your dark night of the soul, you’re ready to begin creating your new and improved, “awake” life. In the third phase, it’s all about trying things on for size and exploring. You begin branching out, trying different hobbies, religions, relationships, etc., as you figure out what meshes with your spirit.
4. The satoru self.
Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening or “comprehension,” derived from the Japanese verb satoru. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, it refers to kenshō, or “seeing into one’s true nature.” In this phase, you begin to not only recognize, but honor and embody, your true nature through your gifts, skills, and talents.
5. The soul sessions.
Think you’ve reached enlightenment yet? Not quite. The fifth stage, is referred to as the “soul sessions,” can take some time. You’re building the actual structure in your life through which your true spirit can thrive. This can take some trial and error and lots of different strategies. During this time (which can take years—even decades—BTW), your soul is growing and healing as you discover the routines and rituals that work for you.
6. The surrender.
The second-to-last step in the awakening process, surrendering is all about releasing any remaining structures, beliefs, or facets of the ego that are keeping you from your truth. By this point, you’ve gotten to know your soul, you’ve figured out a lifestyle that works for you, but there may still be people or habits that hold you back. This is where you will release them so you can fully step into your power.
7. Awareness and service.
And finally, we have awareness and service. This is full awareness of your own divinity in every moment, as you flow through life with grace and clarity. You live in service to others, which brings you great happiness and contentment.
How to make space for a spiritual awakening.
While it may not be easy, many would attest that spiritual awakenings are well worth the effort. So, if you want to make space in your life to start your spiritual journey, we need to slowly develop daily, weekly, or monthly spiritual practices (like meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude, for example).
In addition to that, find people you resonate with spiritually that you can talk to. You can look for books or podcasts about spirituality that resonate with you, as well.
“Practice self-love and compassion. Be gentle with yourself and trust the unfolding; all spiritual awakenings occur to guide us back into balance with our true self. Pay attention to your inner guide and intuitive nudges, as “they’re helping you harmonize and remove what no longer is authentic in your life.”
The bottom line.
Spiritual awakenings are complicated, profound, and nothing short of life-changing—in the best way. While they may not be easy, they will improve your life for the better with patience, trial and error, and a bit of time. If you find yourself in one, all there is to do is trust the process, hang on tight, and prepare for a newly awakened life.