Spiritual Connection: one of the primary benefits of pursuing a spiritual path is the feeling of ‘connectedness’ that often follows as a result. Human beings are innately social creatures. We long for touch, social stimulation, and connection. We need to ‘belong’. Feeling disconnected from our surroundings, both animate and inanimate, is usually considered a symptom or cause of depression or other psychological ailments. Modern amenities, though convenient, have become in many ways a means of separation from the world around us. We are left feeling gratified yet isolated. Breakdowns in social constructs plague today’s urban societies. The family unit is changing, extended family often playing an increasingly minor role. Neighbors rarely know each other and community doesn’t mean the same thing it did a hundred or even twenty years ago. More and more people find themselves turning to a spiritual pursuit, seeking that sense of connectedness that has eluded them over the years.
So how does spirituality relate to a feeling of connection? Well, spirituality operates on the principle of what is unseen rather than seen. By bypassing the physical world, it links us to an invisible world that operates behind the scenes. Many people adhere to a spirituality that supports the notion of spirit or energy residing in all things, both human and nonhuman. When they practice spirituality, they are essentially diving into this force that links everything together. Here, they feel connected to all that surrounds them. Not only are they participating in a relationship with deity, but they also are participating in a relationship with all humanity, and sometimes all of the natural world.
In a more basic sense, those who pursue a spiritual existence may do so within the framework of religion. As such they usually participate in group activities, sessions of worship, ‘services’, rituals, prayer, and so on. Because of the intimate and personal nature of such an experience, a deep bond often naturally occurs. These individuals are now connected in a very real sense to those they share their spirituality with. They may not know their neighbors or coworkers, they may not even have functioning family ties, but they have developed a sense of community and formed bonds and relationships as they connected with those who share the same beliefs.
Spiritual expression is a valid substitute in today’s world for the community and family connections of our history. Anyone feeling alone or isolated can look to a spiritual path for a sense of connection and belonging. In a public pursuit, they can form new friendships and bonds to replace those that are lost. In a private pursuit, they can appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and tap into a sense of belonging to a greater, unseen realm. In either case, the sense of being bound to a higher power is often remedy enough for feelings of loneliness and separation.
If you are contemplating taking up a spiritual path, consider the rewards of being a part of something larger than yourself. If you are suffering from depression or loneliness, think on your spiritual life. Could your spiritual connection use developing? Could you share your experiences and beliefs with a group? Even online forums and chat rooms can be a healthy and positive way to connect to the world around you and reach out to others of a like mind. If you are already part of a group or reveling in the joy of being connected to the world around you through spirit, consider reaching out to others. By creating a spiritual connection with someone else you not only bring wholeness to their lives, but you deepen your own experience.
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