For those of us who find ourselves travelling on a spiritual path, it can be very common to experience a few “growing pains” on our journey. Things which hurt beyond belief, but which always result in more clarity, wisdom, and a deeper perspective. Identifying these common struggles of the spiritual path can be helpful. It makes us realize we are not alone, and that there are certain archetypal energies that all people on a spiritual path end up encountering.
If you are experiencing some of these struggles, have faith. The change you are experiencing is occurring because you are becoming a more authentic and connected person. The pain you feel is just a temporary catalyst that will propel you into your new self.
As you change, it’s natural to grieve the loss of aspects of your former self. Don’t be attached to your old identity in your mind. The key to deal with growing pains on the path to spiritual ascension is to accept the flow as life and to work with reality, not against it.
Here are 5 common growing pains of spiritual ascension we all experience:
1) Losing friends
This one can be especially traumatic for those people. Becoming more spiritually connected can change a lot about you very quickly, and this can affect some of your closest friendships. It may cause some of your friends to turn on you, distance themselves from you, and even bully you.
Before hand, perhaps you were willing to engage in behaviors that now just seem wrong to you, such as gossiping, complaining, or competing for the top position in your pack of friends. It’s also likely that the topics you used to discuss with your friends now make you feel empty, and that you now prefer to discuss issues that your friends don’t understand or are uninterested in. They may even call you crazy for it.
Unfortunately, these differences in perspective and behavior can sometimes be enough to rip apart friendships that have meant a lot to you over the years. Realize that all you can do is be true to yourself and allow the cards to fall as they may. You do not have the power to convert anyone to your way of thinking, and you don’t have to. All you can do is be genuine and sincere, and the universe will connect you with people who are more aligned with your new vibration.
2) Misunderstandings in the family
While most family members are less likely to walk away from you because you are on a spiritual path, they are still quite likely to be confused by your change in perspective. If you have parents who are religious, they may even accuse you of being lost and separate from God. Everyone knows that meditation is just another way Satan can whisper in your ear, right?
Stay authentic, and take responsibility for the energy you bring into each conversation. Just keep being yourself and the “new you” will become more familiar to your loved ones. In my own journey, my family members actually started to become curious and started asking me questions, and now their minds are so much more open than they used to be. Remember, it’s better to be misunderstood for being who you are than it is to hide yourself for fear of what your family may think. It’s your life to live, not theirs.
3) Being mocked and ridiculed by society
While many people are on a conscious spiritual path in the world today, there are many who remain in the dark about their true nature. Becoming more spiritually minded can expose you to quite a bit of ridicule for being different. Being mocked, made fun of, and bullied is just a part of being away in a world that is asleep. This is probably the most common growing pain of spiritual ascension.
This why you often hear people making jokes about people who eat organic food, meditate, lucid dream, carry gemstones, or talk about spiritual issues and philosophies. If you were to talk about these things thousands of years ago, crowds would gather in the street and people would be excited to share their experiences. Because of the emotional consequences of not going along with the herd in our day and age, it can be difficult to even come out of the closet with your spiritual beliefs.
The judgement that you may feel from being “out” can be uncomfortable initially, but trust that as time progresses it will become less frequent and easier to deal with. As we become more comfortable with our differences, we project that comfort out into the world, and we receive less judgement as a result of our confidence. The universe stops sending us experiences which hit on our weaknesses once we turn them into our strengths. Stay authentic, sincere, and in integrity. And when people make fun of you when you are in a space like that, it just makes them look mean and silly.
4) Career changes
When perspective changes, sometimes what worked before just isn’t a good fit for you anymore. Suddenly, the job that you may have leaned on for many years feels empty, or even worse, damaging to your soul. During a spiritual awakening, you may come to the realization that your job is not acting as an extension of your soul.
With some, a career change may be intentional and planned out, but with others, it may come in the form of being suddenly fired or laid off. When you are a vibrational mis-match with how you are spending most of your hours during the week, it’s only a matter of time before either you or your employer decide it is in everyone’s best interest if you leave your job.
It can be very painful to have a sudden transition like this. But have faith that it happened for a reason. Much more happiness and fulfillment lays ahead for you. Life is too short to spend anything other than doing what makes your soul come alive.
Surrender to the universe, and it will carry you exactly where you need to be spiritually as well as professionally.
Loneliness is a natural byproduct of spiritual ascension. Naturally, as our relationships, jobs and lifestyles change, so will our ability to confide in the things we used to confide in.
In times like these, it’s good to reach out to the spiritual community. Take a yoga class or attend a meditation retreat. The universe will set you up with new framework to support your new lifestyle, but you have to make an effort to create that for yourself and meet the universe half way.
The good news here is that when you do find people on the same path, you can rest assured that they will provide friendships and acquaintances that are genuine and uplifting, where as before you may have been settling for some relationships that were fueled on competition and negativity. You may notice you have less friends, but more of the right kind. An increase in quality, and a decrease in quantity.
In the mean time, practice getting to you yourself. Start practicing meditation, and learn to be comfortable with being on your own. Learning how to be alone with about being lonely is essential to dealing with any sense of loss that has arose since you started pursuing your new path.
Although finding your spiritual self can be a fulfilling and enlightening experience, there will be some changes that will be challenging to adjust to. Not everyone will experience all of these adjustments, but if any of these apply to you, just know you are not alone. Be patient with the universe, and stay in integrity to the new version of yourself. The rest will take care of itself.
If you are experiencing spiritual growing pains, realize that at the end of the day they are simply signs that you are growing and evolving. All of the things that are listed in this article are actually signs that you are on the right track.
So don’t think that you have done anything wrong or that you are making improper choices by adopting a new lifestyle that seems to make people around you confused. Stay true to yourself and in time, you will mature into a more comfortable and stable position. When you align your emotions, thoughts, and intentions with bettering yourself and exploring your true nature, the universe always conspires for you to give you the life you need.
Be patient, and trust the universe. In order to grow into new skin, you have to first shed the old one.
Thank you for reading!