Could you be using your spirituality to escape from life, just like people use alcohol and drugs? It’s definitely possible to abuse spirituality and this article will help you to diagnose it.
Can you relate to any of the following?
- You don’t like paying attention to real-world matters (like finances) – you’d rather be working on your personal or spiritual development.
- You sometimes use your spirituality as a form of escapism. For example, you learn about the Law of Attraction and feel great about all the possibilities and the potential. But you fail to create anything tangible from it (so you exist perpetually in the realm of ideas rather than action.)
- You are not comfortable here on Earth and the world seems very harsh to you.
- You prefer to hang around with people who are very spiritual, like you and you avoid having friends who don’t share your world view.
- If you could, you’d happily erase from your existence some aspects of physical life – like having to eat, wash and support yourself.
- You spend a lot of time thinking about how to create your utopian vision for life here on Earth and you find it difficult accept the state of things here on Earth.
- You have a strong tendency to be reclusive and you spend a lot of time in introspection.
- You like meditating for hours on end.
- You get frustrated at how slow everything moves in the physical plane and the effort and time it takes to make things happen.
- Your sense of purpose and spiritual mission is at the forefront of your life and you think you’re a lightworker.
- You are very empathic/intuitive and pick up negative ‘stuff’ from other people all the time (one more good reason for being reclusive!)
How did you do? If you could relate to more than six or seven statements (most importantly – the first five), I’d venture to say that your strong sense of spirituality may be stopping you from living your life fully.
What does it mean when you’re out of balance with your spirituality?
It means that you live for (and enjoy) spiritual experiences more than you enjoy human experiences. In terms of your energy body, your upper chakras will be very open, with a lot of energy running through them while your lower chakras are neglected and small.
In case you don’t know what I mean by over-developed upper chakras and under-developed lower chakras, here’s a quick guide to the chakra system:
Chakras are energy centres in the human energy body. (The energy body is a reflection of the physical body and our life here on Earth.) Much of the information in your energy body is organized and centred at these chakras, which are located in certain places in your body. Here is some information on each chakra:
- Root chakra (red) – governs survival, safety, home, money, family, connection to reality. (Located at the perineum.)
- Sacral chakra (orange) – governs sexuality, emotions, sensuality, vitality, creativity. (Located just below the belly button.)
- Solar plexus chakra (yellow) – governs personal power, self-control, getting things done. (Located just above the belly button.)
- Heart chakra (green) – governs self-love, self-care, self-acceptance, self-worth. (Located over the breastbone.)
- Throat chakra (blue) – governs self-expression and communication; speaking and listening. (Located at the throat.)
- Third eye chakra (lilac) – Intuition and truth. (Located between the eyebrows.)
- Crown chakra (white) – Connection to Spirit and your Higher self. (Located just above the head.)
(Note: for more information on the energy body, you might like to check out this article: What is the Energy Body? & How to Read it)
Back to the chakras….
Note that those aspects of life which are down-to-earth, human, basic, and grounded are all governed by the lower chakras (the root, sacral, and solar plexus chakras):
- Money (root/sacral chakra)
- Connection to (sometimes) cold and harsh reality (root chakra)
- Sensuality/sexuality (sacral chakra)
- Sense of belonging, family and community (root chakra)
- Enjoyment, laughter and fun (sacral chakra)
- Making things happen in the real world (solar plexus)
- Nutrition and physical nourishment (root chakra)
- Routines and habits (root chakra)
On the other hand, the upper chakras (crown, third-eye and throat chakras) govern aspects of life such as:
- Daydreaming (third eye chakra)
- Mental activity and intellectualizing
- Connecting with God, Spirit, the Angels, Spirit Guides (crown chakra/third eye)
- Psychic experiences such as clairvoyance or clairaudience
- Giving to, caring for and serving others (heart chakra)
- Spiritual teaching (throat chakra)
- Writing and speaking (throat chakra)
- Introspection and solitude
When you focus a great deal (for a prolonged period) on the activities which are governed by the upper chakras (like psychic development and introspection), it will shift your focus and energy away from the lower chakras (which govern your connection to reality and the real world). This can result in the symptoms mentioned at the beginning of this article.
What kind of person gets out of balance with their spirituality?
Some people who are very drawn to spirituality can find it difficult to embrace the human experience fully. In fact, some spiritual people don’t like being human and the human condition is frustrating to them.
Being human can feel pretty bad at first to a huge, expansive spirit who is used to whizzing around in the ether. (Maybe that is why babies scream so much when they are born!) It feels very confining to suddenly find yourself in a physical body. Unlike being in the ether (where things manifest as quickly as you think of them), things don’t happen as quickly as you want, and you have to make an effort here. You are encumbered by a body which is your vessel for experiencing human life. And your body needs fuel otherwise you can’t function, so you are slowed down by the demands of your body from birth. In addition, you are slowed down by that pesky issue of money and physical resources.
If you were incarnated five hundred years ago and mostly concerned with the activities listed above which stimulate the upper chakras (like connecting with spirit, healing and spiritual service) you would probably have chosen a religious or spiritual path of service in that lifetime. You’d be a monk or a nun of some description. You’d be able to deliberately forget about the physical aspects of your life – like money and feeding yourself – because your religious order would take care of them for you. In fact, there would be no negative, real-world consequences to neglecting your physical life because the support system would be in place to pick up the slack from you neglecting it.
I believe that if you identify as a lightworker and feel a strong sense of spiritual mission in this lifetime, you are among those souls who HAVE incarnated countless times in a lifetime of spiritual service – such as a nun, monk, oracle, druid or spiritual teacher (to give a few examples).
In the end, what we are all working towards is a balance between the spiritual and the physical. We came here to be incarnated and to enjoy the physical plane as fully as we can, while keeping a connection to spirit.
Spirituality should not consume your life to the detriment of the human aspects, unless you choose the life of a renunciate, where your physical needs are taken care of by others. You can have a strong calling for spiritual service and live a full, rich life which honours all of the facets of being human. That means accepting and enjoying all the human, physical functions too.
How I realized that I was out of balance
The first time I had my palm read a few years ago, the reader told me I was ‘barely here’. I didn’t know what he meant straight away. To clarify, he told me that I didn’t like earthly life very much. I was here reluctantly, and wasn’t willing to engage with all aspects of life.
I would have made a really great nun because I started going to church around the age of ten/eleven on my own – (I felt called to go.) Since the age of 13, I was having (and seeking) spiritual and psychic experiences. (You can read more about my early experiences here.)
In my late teens, I was able to tap into my spirit (or Higher self) to such an extent that I’d feel amazingly expansive, high and able to take on the world. Connecting to spirit brought feelings of bliss, ecstasy and connection with everything. I had the ability to see the beauty and spirit in everything. When I wasn’t happy in my life, I’d escape into this world. It was like putting on a pair of tinted, rose-coloured spectacles.
This was an enchanting but also very isolating path for a teenage girl to take. I didn’t know anyone besides my Grandmother who knew about connecting to spirit and getting high on that (and we’re not talking the liquor kind either!) It felt like no-one really could relate to me.
In addition, at the time, life got a little bit harsher. Some traumatic things happened in my family that I wanted to escape from, and I escaped them by sleeping for up to 16 hours at a time when I could. When I turned 17, I escaped them by running away and travelling and that is a pattern that I was still in, eight years later. When I was 19, my family moved to New Zealand (without me) and as weird as it may sound, I was glad. There was no more drama in my family, plus I had my Spirit Guides and my connection to spirit and whatever bad stuff happened to me, I felt I would be OK because of that.
But on the negative side, I was SO spiritually focused and needed the spiritual support so much, that I became dizzy, impractical, absent. I was away with the fairies and in another realm, with my upper chakras wide open and my lower chakras (my emotional and human life) completely neglected. I did the bare minimum to keep my human, physical life ticking along.
Losing my Roots
To make matters worse, when my parents moved away, it removed a solid foundation from my life because I lost my family overnight and I didn’t see them for a long time. That further weakened my connection to the Earth plane, and sense of belonging somewhere. A couple of years later, I became involved in healing and psychic work, worked from home and bam – some time last year I realized I had become a nun, but without the support of a religious order. I must have seemed reclusive, fragile and a bit otherworldly because I was so ungrounded.
Since then I have been working on opening up my lower chakras and agreeing to fully engage with life – all aspects of it. But I had to suffer a lot emotionally before I realized that was necessary. The suffering I went through was perhaps necessary for me to be sufficiently motivated to finally break an old vow of spiritual service to the exclusion of everything else
Can you relate to this?
Here is the second article in this series: How to Stay Grounded on Your Spiritual Path
Update 2018: I have found that the most common reason for being out of balance with one’s spirituality is trauma. Therefore, to get to the root of this issue, consider what traumas you may be carrying. If you’re interested in exploring this further, check out my book, The Empath’s Toolkit.