Depressed? Disconnected? Feeling that your life is futile and that nothing you do makes a difference? That you’re not ‘good’ enough? That you’ve lost your soul path or purpose or perhaps that you never knew what that was to begin with? You could be suffering from what shamans call ‘Soul loss’ – which is best defined as a loss of meaning, direction, identity, purpose, joy and genuine connection to yourself, others and the world around you. It’s become so endemic in our society we now consider it ‘normal’ or ‘one of those things’ and it sends hundreds of thousands of people into their doctor’s offices every year seeking antidepressants. Now, I’m not saying that if you feel depressed you shouldn’t go seek immediate help as sometimes we need that extra support to put ourselves back on the right track . But the root cause of feeling depressed could be a soul issue as well as a mental one.
Soul loss paralyzes us and blinds us to finding our way out of it and reconnecting to joy and our purpose for being here. Dr. Lissa Rankin a medical doctor in the US has seen this so often in her patients she has identified 20 key symptoms that indicate you may be suffering from soul loss. Check and see how many apply to you.
1: You feel you’re not as good as other people
2: You want to make a difference but have no idea what you have to offer
3: You strive for unattainable standards of perfection then beat yourself up when you don’t achieve them
4: Your fears hold you back from trying new things or escaping your depression
5: You worry that you are not good enough/talented enough/young enough/thin enough/ (fill in the blank) enough
6: You feel you are a victim of circumstances beyond your control
7: You feel your daily life is meaningless
8: You feel helpless, hopeless and pessimistic
9: You are defensive and protect yourself with steel walls around your heart
10: You feel you don’t really matter to others
11: You try to fit in but really don’t feel as if you do
12: You feel beaten down by life
13: You suffer from hard-to-diagnose-and-treat symptoms such as fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain or loss, insomnia, skin disorders or digestive problems
14: You have a problem accepting help, nurturing or love
15: You feel depressed or anxious about the future
16: You feel unappreciated
17: You judge others – a lot
18: You numb yourself with alcohol, food, sex, drugs, television, video games or excessive busyness or workaholism
19: You feel disappointed with the way your life has turned out
20: You have forgotten how to dream and feel it’s pointless anyway
If you’re identifying with many of the above symptoms then what can you do about it? As I said earlier, if you are depressed your doctor is your first port of call and please take this step. Now you know soul loss could be the basis of your depression, you can use this knowledge to augment any treatments they offer. Often our souls need time to heal just as our bodies do. This can involve you making external and internal changes to support your soul. You may need to think about changing careers. If an unhealthy relationship is causing you pain then it’s time to set boundaries, perhaps see a counsellor and if necessary, end the connection. Perhaps you need to move somewhere new where your soul feels alive and connected to the place? What I can tell you is that counteracting soul loss always begins with reaching out in some way and asking others for help. Talk about what you’re going through – even if it’s just to your doctor. Very often however, healing soul loss doesn’t involve huge and profound changes such as quitting your job or relocating. Start to reconnect to your inner voice and your intuition. Listen to what you heart is saying. Once you start to connect to the wisdom that is truly you, very often you discover what you needed was either within or right in front of you all the time – you just couldn’t see it before.
Soul loss symptoms actually offer us an opportunity to get back onto our true soul path and reconnect to joy again – if we just pay attention and treat them seriously. Be healed and love your life once again!
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