Going through a spiritual awakening is one of the most confusing, lonely, alienating, but also supremely beautiful experiences in life.
Put simply, spiritual awakenings mark the beginning of your initiation on the spiritual path. Without experiencing a spiritual awakening, we go throughout life pursuing the emptiness of money, fame, power, and respect in an attempt to find “happiness.”
If you have experienced a spiritual awakening, you have come to see through the lies and illusions of this world. Deep in your soul, you realize that nothing external has ever, and can ever, bring you true happiness or fulfillment. This profound realization leaves you craving for something richer, more fulfilling, and something that will make you feel whole once again.
If you’re looking for answers, if you’re thirsting for a direction in life, this page will share with you everything you need to know. On this page, you will find all the possible resources you need for the beginning of your journey including what spiritual awakening is, common spiritual awakening symptoms, and much more.
If you feel this page may help a friend or family member close to you, please share it and pass along this vital information.
What is a Spiritual Awakening?
When we undergo a spiritual awakening, we literally “wake up” to life. We begin to question our old beliefs, habits, and social conditioning, and see that there is much more to life than what we have been taught.
It is common to ask questions such as, “Why am I here?” “What is the purpose of my life?” “What happens after death?” “Why do good people suffer?” and other questions that examine the fundamental nature of life during your awakening. Spiritual awakenings stir the deepest and most significant questions within us that we have been putting off asking or have been too scared to touch.
If you’ve experienced a spiritual awakening, you might crave to find the meaning of your life and whether there is a “higher state” of being. Searching for God, or for the Divine, is a common desire during this experience.
Why Do Spiritual Awakenings Happen?
So, why do spiritual awakenings happen in the first place?
Spiritual awakenings happen as a natural product of your Soul evolving, expanding, and maturing. Just as everything in life grows, so too does our connection with our Souls.
The more you connect to your Soul (whether accidentally or intentionally), the more you experience transformation. The more you come to embody your Soul, the more you taste true and lasting joy, peace, fulfillment, freedom, and love.
While the spiritual awakening process can feel painful and disturbing at first, it ultimately helps you to live a more meaningful life. The sensation that your life doesn’t make sense anymore is the product of having all of your former beliefs, desires, and paradigms challenged and often disproven. This is traumatic, but a necessary part of your expansion.
What Triggers the Spiritual Awakening Process?
You might be curious to know what activates spiritual awakenings.
The answer is that innumerable circumstances can trigger this process! There really is no one answer.
Spiritual awakenings can happen at any moment or period in your life. They can be spontaneous, but they can also be triggered by major life changes, illnesses, tragedies, and traumas such as life-threatening illnesses, car accidents, divorces, war, midlife crises, and much more.
Generally speaking, the spiritual awakening process happens in conjunction with an experience known as The Dark Night of the Soul.
The Dark Night of the Soul
If you’re highly sensitive to the suffering of others and are a deep thinker by nature, it is possible that you have gone through, or are currently going through, a Dark Night of the Soul.
The Dark Night of the Soul is a period in life when we feel completely cut off from God or the Divine. The more aware you become of your disconnection from the Divine, the more chances you have of experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul.
Going through a Dark Night of the Soul is profoundly entwined with the process of spiritual awakening. Before seeing the light (i.e. spiritually awakening) we must “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” in order to prepare our minds and hearts for the conscious upgrade.
Just think about the analogy of getting dressed. In order to put on new clothes, you must take off the old ones. That, in a nutshell, is essentially what the Dark Night of the Soul is about. The old must be stripped away in order to make way for the new. This means that the suffering you experience during the Dark Night of the Soul is for a purpose – and that is the destruction of the old (outdated beliefs, identities, habits) to pave way for fresh ways of being.
This life is a cycle of birth and death. As such, going through the Dark Night is not a pretty or manicured experience – at its core, it’s raw, primal, and the most difficult experience known to humanity. Everything is stripped away from you. There is no light, no clarity, and no peace. But please know that it is a stage, and like everything in life, it will naturally fade.
There are ways of speeding up the Dark Night (like doing inner work) which we have explored on this website extensively. So pop over here and get started if you need help. I have gone through a bleak and chaotic Dark Night of the Soul, and let me tell you, inner work is vital. It’s kind of like the difference between letting your old clothes just fall off you (which is a long, unhygienic, and tiresome process) or actively pulling them off and throwing them to the wind yourself.
Signs you might be experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul (along with a spiritual awakening) include the following:
- You feel isolated from everything (others, yourself, life in general)
- You feel abandoned by god/the divine
- Your mood is almost always low and melancholic
- You’re lost and don’t know which direction is right
- You feel despair and horror when observing the world
- You feel a sense of existential dread
- You feel deep tiredness in your bones
- You lack the motivation to keep doing what you used to
- You’ve lost interested in most things
- You keep pondering the deep questions of life (e.g. “what is the purpose?”)
- You feel like you don’t belong on this planet
This list is not exhaustive, so keep in mind you might be experiencing signs that aren’t included here. You can take our free Dark Night of the Soul test if you need more clarification.
Spiritual Awakening Stages
The spiritual awakening process is complex, multi-layered, and different for everyone. In reality, it cannot be fit into neat categories.
However, with that being said it is helpful to have a kind of “map” to locate where you’re at right now. The following stages are general. They define the overall flow of the spiritual awakening process:
Stage 1 – Unhappiness, despondency, and feeling lost
In this stage, you experience the aforementioned Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time of confusion, disconnection, alienation, depression, and great unhappiness with life. You are searching for something, but you don’t quite know what. There is a great looming emptiness inside of you. This stage either emerges spontaneously or due to a life crisis (e.g. breakup, divorce, death, trauma, illness, major life change).
Stage 2 – Shifting perspectives
You start to perceive reality in a totally different way. In this stage, you start seeing through the lies and delusions propagated by society. You feel unhappy with life, disturbed by the suffering you see and hopeless to the ills of the world. You no longer see life as you once did in your previous state of complacent unawareness.
Stage 3 – Seeking answers and meaning
There must be a point to all this, right? In this stage, you’re asking all the deep questions. You are in search of your life purpose, spiritual destiny, and the meaning of life itself. You will start dabbling in different metaphysical, self-help, and esoteric fields in search for answers and truth.
Stage 4 – Finding answers and experiencing breakthroughs
After a lot of soul searching, you’ll find a few teachers, practices, or belief systems that ease your existential suffering.(Beware: a lot of spiritual bypassing can occur in this stage.) You will feel a sense of expansion as old patterns dissolve and your true self (soul) begins to emerge. You may have a number of mystical experiences or brief moments of satori (enlightenment) that give you a glimpse into the ultimate nature of reality. This is a time of joy, hope, connection, and awe.
Stage 5 – Disillusionment and feeling lost again
Life is about movement. With the spiritual awakening process, there is always an ebb and a flow. In this stage, you become bored and tired of your spiritual teachers or practices. You may become disillusioned by the faux spiritual BS out there and crave for something deeper. You may have even experienced long periods of connection with the Divine, only to become separated again (this is normal). Understandably, you’ll feel disturbed and deeply upset by this experience. Additionally, while you may have experienced many mental/emotional/spiritual breakthroughs, they might feel superficial. You crave for authenticity and for deep spirituality that permeates your life and transforms every part of you. The unhappiness and stagnation you feel will motivate you to go in search for more.
Stage 6 – Deeper inner work
In this stage, you’re not interested in dabbling in feel-good spiritual philosophies or surface practices anymore. The abiding pain you feel inside motivates you to do deep inner work. You may become a serious student of meditation, mindfulness, ritual, inner child work, shadow work, body work or various other transpersonal philosophies.
Stage 7 – Integration, expansion, joy
Integration means taking the spiritual lessons you’ve learned from your inner work and applying them to your daily life. Integration happens both naturally and consciously as a habit in deep spiritual practice. In this stage, you’ll experience the most profound and long-lasting changes deep within. Many people experience prolonged mystical experiences and periods of unity with the Divine in the integration phase. Remember that enlightenment is never guaranteed: we can strive for it, but it is ultimately a gift from Life. Nevertheless, profound peace, love, and joy emerge and are felt in this stage. You may feel ready to be a spiritual mentor or role model in your community and pass on your insight to others. Life will become less about you and more about We. Your perspective will expand and you will start seeing things from the big picture. Above all else, you will feel connected, at peace with yourself, and deeply aligned with life.
Note: it is common to move back and forth between these spiritual awakening stages. Remember that this is not a linear process – you cannot just move from A to B to C. This is a complex and messy path, so it’s perfectly fine if it doesn’t look like what I’ve described. Your spiritual awakening process is unique to you. But I do hope this analysis has helped (in some way) you to ‘gain your bearings.’
23 Spiritual Awakening Signs and Symptoms
There are many spiritual awakening symptoms. In fact, spiritual awakening symptoms are not only emotional but also psychological and even physical. Here are twenty-three of the most common symptoms out there. See how many you can identify with:
- Extreme desire for solitude (becoming a lone wolf)
- Uncertainty and fear
- No longer liking what you once liked to do
- Feeling as though your life has changed forever
- Feeling greater empathy for others
- Feeling other’s and the world’s suffering more deeply
- Wanting to make a real difference in the world
- More experiences of synchronicity
- Becoming more sensitive
- Going through bouts of anxiety and depression
- Asking questions such as “Why am I here?” and “What is my life purpose?”
- Thirst for truth and authenticity
- Craving for spiritual meaning and purpose
- Difficulty relating to those who were once close to you
- Chronic fatigue (due to the overwhelm you experience)
- Existential sadness and angst
- The feeling that something is ‘missing’ inside of you
- Going through an unexplainable mystical experience
- Wanting to ‘purge’ your life (e.g. give away all that you own, simplify, declutter)
- Enhanced intuition and the emergence of other innate spiritual gifts
- Deeper appreciation and gratitude for the miracle of life
- Increased connection to nature and animals
- The desire to reconnect with your true authentic self
Spiritual awakenings mark the beginning of our spiritual paths. However, spiritual awakenings can be shocking, painful and extremely unsettling periods of our lives. Often, people who experience spiritual awakenings feel as though their entire lives have been turned upside down and inside out. This experience can lead to self-isolation and problems such as depression and chronic anxiety.
This whole website is dedicated to helping you navigate through this difficult but intensely meaningful part of your life. Both of us know how harrowing this experience can be, and we want you to know that you are most definitely not alone.
The main way we can help you through this experience is through a path we call inner work. Inner work is the psychological and spiritual practice of diving deep into your inner self for the purposes of self-exploration, self-understanding, healing, and transformation.
We write a lot about how to do inner work on this website and have many resources that can help you through this period of your life. You can find them all below.
Both of us have experienced the spiritual awakening process, and the best advice we can give you in this very moment is to learn to treat yourself with love and compassion. You deserve your own kindness and compassion more than anyone else at this point in your life. And by learning to take care of yourself, you’ll be able to genuinely care for others.
We hope with all our heart that this page helps open a new sacred door in your life and provide some much-needed answers.
Luna & Sol
Spiritual Awakening Book
Do you feel lost, overwhelmed, and alone in this world? We wrote The Spiritual Awakening Process to help newly-awakened people gain the knowledge and tools necessary for finding peace, hope, clarity, and deep inner healing.
In The Spiritual Awakening Process, we walk you through the beginning stages of reconnecting with the loving and eternally wise place within you known as your Soul. Some of the topics covered include:
- What is happening to you
- Why you’re experiencing a spiritual awakening
- The three internal spiritual worlds to explore
- How to retrieve and integrate any fragmented pieces of your psyche
- What spiritual “traps” you need to be mindful of, and
- How to communicate with your soul
This book is printable (PDF file) and digital (you can read it on your phone, laptop, etc.).
9 Spiritual Awakening Resources
If you need specific guidance, see if any of the articles or tests below resonate with you.