3 Signs You're Having a Soul Emergency
1. You're Bored.
I feel like boredom is the first and quietest signal of spiritual despondency. I don't just mean that you're bored with your religious path; I mean that you're bored with everything—bored with yourself, bored with human beings, bored with your work, bored with life. Some people accept boredom as normal, but I see it as a sign that you have completely lost touch with the real wonder that is exploding all around you in every moment. Because let's be honest—this world is many things, but it ain't boring. This world is beautiful, violent, extreme, dangerous, magnificent and mysterious. This world is also filled with millions of varied and incredible life forms, including human beings (the most creative, bizarre, unpredictable species that ever lived). If all that bores you, then your soul has really gone to sleep at the wheel. Start reviving your curiosity, and your spirit will have a chance to wake up again.
2. You're Scared.
You're scared of everything and everyone. Fear is the opposite of faith, and your fear is a signal that your faith has left you. Fear is also the murderer of creativity, innovation, hope, risk and joy. Fear always makes the most boring, soul-killing choices, because fear only ever speaks one word, and that word is: "STOP!" When you only listen to your voice of fear, all you do is remain paralyzed. And fear breeds fear, so you get more and more frozen by the day. But your soul doesn't want to stop. Your soul was born on a spinning planet, in an evolving world, in an expanding universe. Your soul is all about motion. Your soul wants to GO—wants to try things, wants to jump, wants to soar, wants to sail, wants to create, wants to fall, wants to fail, wants to try again. Sit down and have a calm discussion with your fear. Respectfully inform your fear that it doesn't get to make decisions anymore. Let your creativity and your curiosity start making decisions, instead. Watch and see what happens in your life next, as your soul grows into the giant space of possibility that your fear had been blocking forever.
3. You're Angry
Anger is OK, actually. Anger, we can work with. At least anger (unlike boredom and fear) has fire in it. At least anger is alive with a kind of passion. The ancients said that there are three different kinds of prayer: You can pray in gratitude, you can pray in beseechment or you can pray in anger. You are allowed, in other words, to vent your rage to God. You are allowed to say, "I am furious at you for what you have allowed to occur!" Do it. Get it off your chest. (God can take it.) But make a commitment that you will not remain in that state of rage for your entire life, or else it will burn a hole right through your soul. Start asking the universe more interesting questions than, "Why am I so cursed?" Start asking, "How can I learn to see this perceived curse as a blessing? How can I grow from here? What is life trying to teach me? What does my soul want the rest of its journey to look like? How am I being invited to transform?" By asking these questions, you can turn the fire of your anger into a different kind of fire—a fire for expansion, a fire for greatness, a fire for dignity, a fire for grace. Trust me, your soul will love those questions far more than it loves the hot and simple rage.
Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of The Signature of All Things; Eat, Pray, Love; and Committed: A Love Story.