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Spiritual awakenings can be a profound and deeply transformative experience. But what many people don’t know is that these spiritual awakenings often come with intense emotional pain.
It is common for people to feel overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, or anxious as they go through this process of awakening. Unresolved emotions from the past may surface during this time. Many people also feel intense sorrow or grief around the losses in their lives.
In this blog post, we will explore the dark side of spiritual awakenings and how to cope with the various emotional pain associated with them. But first, let’s understand why spiritual awakening can be so painful.
Why Is Spiritual Awakening So Painful?
Spiritual awakening is centered around letting go of outdated patterns and beliefs that no longer serve the individual. This transformative journey can be challenging as it requires confronting aspects of ourselves that we may have been avoiding or denying.
The emotional pain we experience during spiritual awakening often comes from our attachment to these patterns, beliefs, and habits. They are part of our egoic identity and can be hard to let go of. We may feel like we are letting go of a part of ourselves and giving up something that is familiar and comfortable to us. Our resistance to release these attachments will eventually lead us to a spiritual depression called, The Dark Night of the Soul.
Another source of the pain associated with spiritual awakening is the fear and uncertainty inherent in this process. We may be afraid of not knowing what comes next or of not being able to control the outcome. We may also fear failure, or that we won’t be able to handle the intensity of our emotions.
Finally, spiritual awakenings can bring about inner healing work that needs to be done. This means facing and working through old traumas and unresolved issues from our past in order to move forward. This can be incredibly painful but is also essential for healing and growth.
8 Emotional Pains Encountered During Spiritual Awakening
1. Feeling lost and confused
After a spiritual awakening, some people experience a greater sense of purpose, while others may feel a bit lost or disoriented. The profound shift in consciousness from our ego to our spirit can make us question everything such as our purpose, our relationships, and even our own identity. Our old ways of perceiving the world no longer seem to apply but we have not yet fully embraced our new paradigm. This in-between state can be rather confusing and make us feel aimless.
However, it is important to remember that being lost is a natural part of our transformation process. It is a sign that old beliefs and patterns are being shed, making room for new insights and understandings.
When you feel lost in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Embrace the uncertainty and trust that this period of confusion is temporary.
- Do not rush to find a new belief system or identity. Take your time to explore and discover what resonates with you.
- Connect with other people who are on the same journey and can offer support and insights.
- Practice mindfulness, self-care, and compassion for yourself as you navigate this transition period.
- Allow yourself the time and space to rest and reflect. Your spirit will eventually guide you to your path and purpose.
2. Feeling fear and anxiety
As previously mentioned, fear often arises during a spiritual awakening. It can stem from our uncertainty about the future. For example, we don’t know what will happen next and we feel like we will never find the answers we are looking for. It can also be caused by our fear of failure. We are afraid that this change will be too overwhelming for us to handle, or that something bad may happen if we continue down this path.
Our fear of the unknown or failure can cause us to experience anxiety and panic attacks. These feelings may manifest in physical symptoms such as racing heart rate or shallow breathing and can be overwhelming to cope with. In my case, I had a panic attack whenever I tried to look for a job during my awakening. I wasn’t sure if I could find a job that could cover my expenses.
When you feel fearful in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Understand that this fear and anxiety you experience comes from your ego. Your ego is accustomed to being in control, and when it loses that control, it suffers.
- Accept that you will never know or understand everything, and trying to control every aspect of life is impossible.
- Surrender to the process. Let your spirit or intuition guide you and allow the path to unfold on its own.
- Instead of focusing on the future and ruminating how bleak it can be, focus on the now and have a sense of curiosity about the future.
- Seek support from spiritual teachers or mentors who can help guide you through this difficult time.
3. Feeling lonely and disconnected
Feeling disconnected from your loved ones or others can be one of the more difficult emotional pains to manage during spiritual awakening. This is because you may feel like no one can relate to what you are going through and that no one understands your journey.
A change in your values and priorities can impact your current relationships, potentially leading to the loss of friends or family members. They might struggle to comprehend your personal growth and newfound need for solitude, potentially misinterpreting your intentions and assuming you are no longer interested in maintaining a connection with them.
When you feel lonely in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Rather than trying to fit in or belong, know that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone during this period of self-discovery.
- Understand that solitude itself does not breed loneliness. It is the narrative of disconnection created by our ego that induces feelings of loneliness.
- Reach out to like-minded individuals who are also undergoing a similar journey of spiritual growth and development.
- Continue to connect with supportive friends even if they don’t understand your spiritual experience completely.
- Spend more time in nature and immerse yourself in the healing energy of nature.
To learn more, check out my article on how to navigate and overcome loneliness during a spiritual awakening.
4. Feeling unmotivated and tired
Another common emotional pain during spiritual awakening is feeling unmotivated and exhausted. This transformative process brings to light unresolved emotional wounds that require release. It can be difficult to adjust to the increased energy levels during this period, causing many people to feel drained or sluggish.
This fatigue can affect our focus on everyday tasks in the physical world. When the mundane routine of daily life does not reflect our spiritual purpose, we also feel a lack of motivation and interest to move forward.
When you feel tired in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Prioritize self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, and engaging in physical activity.
- Take breaks throughout your day to recharge and rejuvenate your energy levels. Rest whenever necessary and avoid pushing yourself too hard.
- Choose the path of least resistance and rely on the inspiration from your spirit to guide you in taking action.
- Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you to stay connected with your spiritual purpose.
- Listen to meditative music or mantras that will help raise your vibration and connect with higher consciousness.
5. Feeling sad and depressed
Sadness and depression are sometimes unavoidable during a spiritual awakening process. As you release the attachments your ego holds onto, it is natural to encounter feelings of grief and loss. That’s because you are losing beliefs and values that used to be of great significance to you.
Feeling lost for an extended period on your spiritual journey can also create feelings of doubt and make you question your path. This can lead to an existential crisis. You may start to feel hopeless and despair when you can’t see the meaning and purpose in life.
When you feel depressed in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Acknowledge your feelings without judgment. Accept that you are going through a difficult time and give yourself permission to feel whatever comes up.
- Find a quiet place where you can have a good cry and freely release your emotions without fear of judgment.
- Do not numb or suppress your emotions as this will only make you feel more depressed and apathetic toward life.
- Instead, find more healthy ways to cope with your emotions such as journaling, spending time in nature, and talking to a friend.
- Understand that high vibrations such as joy and love may be out of reach at this moment. So, raising your vibration gradually may be more effective.
6. Feeling guilty and ashamed
The process of spiritual awakening can bring up feelings of guilt or shame for past actions or decisions. For example, you might have done something that hurt someone when you were less aware. This realization can be challenging to confront after experiencing a spiritual awakening. It also makes us feel unworthy of the spiritual progress we are making.
Apart from inner judgment, these feelings of guilt and shame can come from outside influences too. For example, your friends and family may criticize you for spending less time with them and being different than before. We may also feel guilty for leaving our friends and family who don’t resonate with us anymore.
When you feel guilty in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- For past mistakes, understand that you did your best with the level of consciousness you had at that time. You are human and you make mistakes.
- Do not beat yourself up or dwell on your past. Instead, forgive yourself, learn from your experiences, and move on. Accept yourself for who you are now.
- Practice self-compassion. Speak to yourself kindly and acknowledge that you are learning and growing.
- You can make amends with those who you have hurt in the past, if possible.
- Practice compassion for other people. Know that their criticism comes from a place of pain and misunderstanding. So do not take their words personally.
7. Feeling angry and resentful
Angry outbursts are often experienced during spiritual awakening as a result of suppressed emotions. This can be directed at yourself, another person, or the world in general.
People may be angry at themselves for not understanding things that are going on in their lives, or their inability to control the situation. They can also feel resentful and bitter towards those who hurt them in the past or even current people in their lives for being unconscious. They can be angry at the world too due to the power dynamics, injustice, and inequality.
Furthermore, anger is a common reaction when we lose something that we once held dear. It prevents us from feeling the grief and pain of the loss.
When you feel angry in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Allow your emotions to come up without holding them back. Acknowledge that these emotions need to be processed in order for healing to occur.
- Practice self-awareness and be mindful of what triggers your outbursts. Take note of the cues that lead up to it and use them as a warning sign.
- Ask yourself why you are feeling this way and identify the underlying emotion. For example, you may be blocking yourself from feeling grief and loss with anger.
- Change the narrative in your head. Instead of blaming yourself or others, channel it into something positive like exercising.
- Anger can be an unmet need or unresolved trauma, so try to reframe your thoughts into understanding what needs are not being met.
8. Feeling empty and emotionless
Experiencing a spiritual awakening can sometimes result in a sense of emptiness and a lack of emotions. Despite the vibrant energy and life surrounding you, it may be challenging to feel joy, hope, or love. This could be due to the numbing of emotions.
Spiritual awakening may bring about intense emotions that are uncomfortable. However, suppressing or numbing these emotions can hinder your ability to fully experience a wide range of positive emotions.
Taking a break from the chaos and noise during the awakening process is understandable. But it is crucial to distinguish between emptiness and inner peace. If you are experiencing a lack of emotions, it could be a sign that you are disconnected from your soul.
When you feel empty in a spiritual awakening, here’s what to do:
- Spend time with yourself. Reconnecting with your inner self is essential for understanding and processing the emotional pain of spiritual awakening.
- Engage in activities that make you feel alive such as journaling, painting, or going for a walk outdoors to absorb nature’s energy.
- Reach out for help from someone you trust and practice vulnerability by expressing your emotions openly. Talking to a therapist or joining a spiritual support group is also beneficial.
- Take notice of small moments that bring joy and focus on the present moment rather than ruminating about the future. This will help you become conscious of what truly matters in life.
- Engage in spiritually enriching activities such as meditation, yoga, and prayer to reconnect with your spirit and inner peace.
Going through a spiritual awakening can be incredibly difficult, but it is also an opportunity to grow and evolve into your highest self. Though the journey may be hard at times, remember that you are supported by the Universe every step of the way.
It is also important to recognize the shadow aspects of spiritual awakening and process the accompanying emotional pain. Ignoring these emotions can lead to spiritual bypassing, which can be detrimental to our well-being.
For a deeper understanding of the topic, I recommend you read my article on spiritual bypassing.
Featured Photo Credit: Dương Nhân