Spiralled Edges – Disconnection
A persistent sinus congestion that has rather overstayed its welcome moved into my middle ears last week. I’m not deaf, I can still hear, but everything is somewhat muted.
It has left me feeling cut off from most of the world around me though, or at least from the sounds in the world. This in turn has caused me to have trouble focusing, and has made following conversations near impossible.
I tell you this, not to garner sympathy, but because it reminds me of a discussion that I had this week about ways of re-establishing our connection to Spirit when we feel disconnected. For those who follow any deeply spiritual practice, whatever their belief, experiencing this feeling of disconnection can be scary. We can hear a faint buzzing, maybe a few words here and there, but just cannot seem to fit them together well enough to make a full conversation. Sometimes, it just seems to be too much hard work to try to listen.
Those who have either not felt this disconnection, or who are busy projecting an outward mask of spiritual perfection (and so deny ever feeling this disconnection), are quick to place blame back on others. “You just need to have more faith.” “Have you tried doing a better spiritual practice?” “Maybe you’re doing it wrong.” Worse, when we feel this disconnection, we tell ourselves these things! Some people call this the “Dark Night of the Soul”, for good reason.
I do not know of any person, of any faith, who has not at some time or another experienced this feeling of disconnection. Spiritual and religious leaders are not miraculously immune either. Actually, they are even more likely to experience this sense of disconnection at some time.
Expectations of spiritual perfection that we place on ourselves, or have placed upon us by others, make it more difficult to admit to ourselves that we sometimes have doubts, that we sometimes don’t feel connected to Spirit. Sometimes, we feel like our Gods have forsaken us, that they have left us, or maybe, we drove Them away.
Sometimes, this disconnect comes about because we have gotten ourselves in a rut. We are doing the same old ritual, the same old way, using the same old words. They have become meaningless. Words we say but do not hear. Actions we do but do not notice. Rituals we perform but do not feel.
If everyone goes through this, then how do we fix it? How do we re-establish that connection?
We can find it by remembering that the connection was not lost in the first place.
This is our call to let go of the need to control the outcome and force a feeling of connection. We need to spend time looking inwards, connecting with the Spirit that is within us. We need to trust, and to have faith, that the connection is still there. Even if we do not feel it in the same ways that we felt it before.
Sounds of people speaking, of music, and of the world seem muted because my middle ears are congested. The sounds have not ceased to exist. They are still all around me. Once the congestion clears, I will be able to hear clearly once again.
Image in public domain: Hildegard of Bingen, Liber Divinorum Operum