It’s healthy to question the things we believe. Especially as we acquire new information and understandings of the world around us.
But what if these questions lead us into a spiral of doubt?
I’ve traveled down the staircase of suspicion many a time, and while I value my sense of curiosity and desire to fully vet and understand my beliefs, it can be a tedious exercise and sometimes challenging to pull myself back out of the hole.
The truth is, no one is immune to doubt. Not even spiritual leaders!
And when we are taking our first steps on a spiritual path and incubating our baby beliefs, it can be even easier for them to be squashed by an inner (or outer) critic.
So how do we navigate seasons of spiritual doubt? What are the practices we can use to support our spiritual development? How can we place our trust in a power greater than ourselves over and over again? What do spiritual teachers do when *they* are struggling?
Luckily, I know a Collective of inspiring individuals who can share some insights into these questions. Use the below answers to inspire, ignite, and motivate you during your own season of spiritual doubt, or maybe even spark a new spiritual revolution.
Allow Yourself to Have the Doubt
Part of how I navigate seasons of spiritual doubt is by allowing myself to have the doubt! I think by going through these cycles it allows us to reaffirm why we believe what we do, and why we do what we do. I also think that we go through seasons and cycles of our lives where things change.
If you asked me whether I believed in plant spirits 12 years ago would I say yes? Maybe. Now? Absolutely! Do I doubt my own belief in spirituality in this way and does it happen over and over? Yes, also absolutely.
Whenever I doubt, I go back to the practices that best support me to be able to do this work which is physical and spiritual well-being as well as engaging in regular spiritual practices.
To me, practice for development and trust is key. It’s like you don’t just eat a bowl of veggies once and consider yourself good for the next month, right? I do my best to do these practices regularly (not daily actually, so as not to make myself sick).
If you feel like you are trying and nothing is happening, just keep working on it. Try to trust your intuition more, and each time you do that you are also building spiritual trust that the things you are doing are good & right for you.
Get Out Into Nature
The way I dance with spiritual doubt is getting out in nature – the biggest coherent field I know. I invite my doubt to walk with me in the woods. I know that Nature loves me and is very receptive and will respond compassionately to me so as I walk and dance with the doubt/the shadow I am open and receptive to messages from nature, the divine, my spirit.
It could be an animal, a plant, a sound, a human. I also return to my car with a greater sense of self, with clarity and with the knowing that I am loved and tended to. And the jewel that was embedded in the doubt has been understood and cherished.
Ask: What Do I Know I Can Trust In?
It is 100% completely natural and healthy to move through seasons of spiritual doubt. Like all of life, seasons are normal, important, and necessary. Contraction is necessary after a period of expansion in order to integrate and reassess.
Periods of spiritual doubt are important. They allow us to reassess what is aligned with our true inner compass. It is actually dangerous to never doubt our beliefs. It is only with doubt and questioning that we can find a more authentic and solid foundation that may be lying at a deeper level than we had previously accessed. The more we reassess, the more we become more fully aligned with our soul’s unfolding process.
So when spiritual doubt arises, it’s important to not buy into the thinking that something is wrong with you, as self-judgment and criticism will only exacerbate your current state. When I’ve gone through intense feelings of mistrust in life, in my beliefs, in my spiritual life, I always come back to the question, “what do I know I can trust in?” or “what do I know is true?”
A few years back, when going through a particularly trying time, the only answer I could honestly find to that question was, “there’s more to life than we know, and I can’t see the whole picture.” That was it. I didn’t trust in anything or anyone else. Not even myself or my own actions. Yet resting into that one piece of knowing was just enough to allow me to cultivate some semblance of trust and allow myself to feel held, even if held by the mysterious unknown.