Spirituality is a personal facet of many people’s lives. It is a path that we try to move through while being fully present in human form. Being “spiritual” is not about religion. It’s about picking from different belief systems, philosophies, or religions and choosing a personal direction. This direction is often a lonely path for us. It is intimate. Here are six signs of spiritual imprisonment that force us to continue looking beyond what the soul is here to do.

6 signs of spiritual imprisonment:

1. Not forgiving the past.

The lack of forgiveness is one of the biggest imprisonments in spiritual growth. Our memories store everything. You move through days without knowing what is composing or being kept in cellular memories. When you least expect it you step on that thorn of the past and the pain, abuse, belittling, and self-worth issues overwhelm you. You don’t let go. You continue to carry the horrific acts of the pain in every part of your being. Forgiveness is never for the other person. It is for you to move past the bars of solitary confinement. Open the gate of your prison cell by forgiving your part in that story and letting go of whatever the other person did to you.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ~ Steve Maraboli

2. Remaining in a depression for years without help indicates spiritual imprisonment.

Depression is a form of spiritual imprisonment. We have faith. We ask for God’s guidance but choose not to act on our resources. Spirituality forces us to look at the Shadow side of the self. The dark night of the soul is a symptom of higher conscious evolution. During this period, there is a total eclipse of sadness and confusion. The world as it was is no longer.

There are definitely times when we must suffer God’s absence, when we are called to enter the dark night of the soul in order to pass into some new understanding of God, some deeper communion with him and with all creation. But this is very rare, and for the most part our dark nights of the soul are, in a way this is more pathetic than tragic, wishful thinking. God is not absent. He is everywhere in the world we are too dispirited to love.”~ Christian Wiman

3. Not living through your authentic nature.

We constantly try to experience love with others, waiting for another to value us, but it starts with the self. If you don’t see your worth, no one else will ever see it either. Spirituality often makes it difficult to distinguish how and what we feel. What’s right? We live behind the prison bars of self-doubt because who we are as spiritual beings doesn’t align with what society expects from us. In some cases it’s not about being brave.

It’s about being conscious of your survival. We are spiritual beings having human experiences. This means we must step into the truth of who we are and the purpose of our existence.

4. Being stuck in an unhealthy relationship.

Our spiritual nature requires a passion for life. We are not meant to suffer in eternal hell through another. We learn from these experiences but if we don’t surpass and move on it all becomes spiritual stagnation. It can be difficult to end a relationship, even when divine guidance nudges us to move on. But, to stay is an act of self-sabotage, spiritually and emotionally. It becomes cancer that slowly eats our insides.

As you evolve spiritually, you begin noticing certain relationships’ toxic nature. To read about how spirituality can actually benefit relationships, see our related article here.

5. Obsession with television, porn, and social media.

Spirituality requires quiet time to reflect and meditate. The temptations of overexposing the soul to addictions to computers, television, or technology are constant. It’s difficult to find a common ground to disconnect and breathe. Everything should be done in moderation. We live in a 3-D world, but spirituality is not 3-D. It requires us to move past the chit-chat. It’s bad enough that we are addicted to our thoughts. Addiction is imprisonment to the soul’s yearning for peace, connection, and spirit.

6. Not following your passion and using your spiritual gifts.

A mundane life, full of stress without play, is the kiss of death to the spiritual person. We are meant to live our life’s purpose. Spiritual growth requires that we look at our passion and gifts. We must follow them and have them work for us. If you love writing, do something about it. If you enjoy playing an instrument, find a time and place to share it with others. When we align with joy and our innate abilities, abundance follows. We are meant to live out our dreams and desires.

You have the answers to all your spiritual questions. With you, you carry the spiritual knowledge to change, feed and enhance your life through divine guidance. You are all there is. You must take a long, hard look at what is working and what is not. Then let go of what is no longer working through your spiritual connections.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”Nelson Mandela