Depression, addictions, compulsive behaviour and low self-esteem are but symptoms, signs of a broken relationship within our ‘self’. They are symptoms of a ‘wounded spirituality’.
When this connection between our body, mind and emotions is broken, our ability, our 'response-ability', to respond healthily to life’s circumstances is limited.
In recovery our task is to identify and undo the broken parts of ourselves and learn to respond positively and creatively - to say YES to life in a way which enables serenity to grow and be maintained.
Some of these symptoms are;
• Alcoholism / drug addiction / compulsive gambling
• Eating disorders (overeating, bulimia, anorexia)
• Perfectionism and overachieving
• Depression / shame / guilt / blaming others / denial / self-centredness / grandiosity / sensitivity / immaturity / low self-esteem / inhibitions
• Religious addiction
• Sex addiction
• Relapse, switched addictions, multiple addictions
In order to heal our spirituality, it is helpful to discover what we believe; what we think about the Higher Power, the self, other people, the world and life or even what we do about these issues without thinking about them - reactions. Then we need to find how those beliefs may have contributed to the breakdown of the mental-emotional-physical relationship within ourselves. Where did we learn these spiritually dysfunctional ideas?
SOURCES OF WOUNDED SPIRITUALITY
If the above behaviours and states of mind are some of the signs of a wounded spirituality, just where and how did we get wounded?
We should remember that our new spirituality excludes blaming. These sources of wounding are only used to help us identify our dysfunctional beliefs. Some of the sources of injury are;
• Dysfunctional families
• Addictive/alcoholic families
• Overprotective, underprotective or interrupted parenting
• Unhealthy messages and beliefs about God and religion
• Negative, shaming messages about expressions of feelings
• Taboos about sex; negative messages about sex, sexuality or the body
• Lack of freedom to ask questions, evaluate information
• Lack of freedom to be ourselves, or an inner conflict about what we think that we should be doing and what is ‘expected’ of us
• Invasions of privacy
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Religious terrorism
Of course, practicing the symptoms of a wounded spirituality (alcoholism, addiction, low self-esteem & etc) can enable the spirit to be damaged even more. I am sure most alcoholics & addicts know how their own behaviour became worse over the years, as the drinking or drugging got worse.
Thus, once started and if not ‘arrested’ by recovering a healthy spirit, we may walk into the gates of “insanity or death.” We may have arrived at a state of “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralisation.”