Are you going through life with a deep-seated, nagging feeling that something inside you isn’t right?
Do you strongly desire a connection to something greater; something meaningful?
Are you struggling with persistent feelings of emptiness, depression, discontent, or disappointment?
These are a few of the symptoms that some ancient communities described as Soul Loss. You are not alone in feeling this way though—this widespread condition continues to affect so many people all over the world.
The good news is that Soul Loss is reversible. You can indeed heal and build a strong connection to your soul. This will allow you to rediscover your purpose, experience greater joy, and enjoy a more meaningful life.
In this article, I’ll explain the concept of Soul Loss, how it happens, and how you can integrate the lost fragments of your soul, reconnect with your true essence, and live a more fulfilled life.
Understanding Soul Loss
The Soul is the essence of your being. As the name suggests, Soul Loss entails a fragmentation of your soul, your essence. You can look at it as a piece of your soul splintering from the whole.
Although unaware of it, most of us have experienced a loss of part of our souls. Although temporary, this experience can have profound, long-lasting effects on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
Essentially, Soul Loss is less of a physical splintering and more of a disconnection from your true essence. It is a departure from who you truly are.
How Soul Loss Happens
In Psychology, Soul Loss is known as dissociation. It is a survival mechanism that helps us to cope with a traumatic event and prevents us from completely breaking down.
Experiences such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment, shaming, loss of a loved one, or witnessing a tragic event can all lead to dissociation. In other words, trauma causes you to lose a part of yourself, your soul.
As a coping mechanism, dissociation essentially involves creating an alternative mental reality that helps you to block out the actual reality that has caused you untold pain.
Repeated attempts to block out the reality and suppress your emotions can lead to feelings of disconnection and dissatisfaction with life, emptiness, questioning the Divine, and even self-hatred.
The Role of The Family in Soul Loss
The bonds we have with our families can either make us or break us. Unfortunately, for so many of us, family is often our first and biggest source of trauma.
This kind of trauma can show up in many ways including outright emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. It can also be in the form of parental neglect and abandonment, guilt-tripping, or shaming. Stressful events such as a divorce or death of a family member can be a great source of trauma too.
In an effort to cope with these wounding experiences, we might resort to self-destructive behavior such as addiction to alcohol and other toxicants, sex, video games or TV, or food. These addictions are in fact the symptoms and consequences of dissociation.
Prolonged or subsequent exposure to traumatic events can cause one to literally lose a part of their soul. You probably know someone (or have experienced this yourself) who goes through life with such incredible numbness and steeliness and never shows their emotions. But it is clear to see they are struggling with some sort of hurt.
The Lost Soul
At the same time, there’s the lost soul. The person who struggles with one form of addiction or another, depression, suicidal thoughts, chronic discontent, persistent fatigue, and goes through the world with a general weariness.
When you are wounded, connecting with your emotions and your essence can be quite a struggle. Remember, avoiding and blocking out those emotions is the soul’s way of trying to survive.
Traumas that emanate from the family setting are probably the most wounding. Unsurprisingly, many adults carry around deep hurt all the way from their childhood. Fortunately, healing your trauma and regaining those lost pieces of your soul is entirely possible. It will take some inner work, but it is doable.
If you feel dissociated, as if you have lost a part of your soul, we offer some practical tips to help you begin the journey of reconnecting with your true essence, your soul.
The most important part of this healing process is awareness and faith in the possibility of remerging from your trauma and living a more fulfilling life.
Practice self-compassion/ self-love
When you have experienced trauma, especially originating from your own family, you can be prone to feelings of self-hatred, shame, fear, and guilt. But this is a departure from who you truly are—a soul that is whole, complete, enough, and perfectly imperfect.
The first step in your journey to reconnecting with your soul is to clothe yourself with love and compassion. Begin by acknowledging and then letting go of the limiting beliefs you have held about yourself for so long.
This initial practice is best done in silent meditation. Carve out some quiet time and jot down any negative beliefs you might have about yourself. If possible, identify where the beliefs came from.
Examples of negative beliefs we often acquire growing up are:
- I am not good enough
- I’m a failure
- I am too fat, thin, stupid, loud, ugly, much
- No one loves me
Next, counter each of the negative beliefs with positive affirmations. Commit to meditating and reciting these affirmations until they become your new reality.
But that’s not all. Other loving and compassionate things you can do for yourself include:
Taking care of your body and mind
If you haven’t made any deliberate efforts to care for your physical and mental wellbeing, this is a good time to get started. Choose to eat nourishing foods, engage in exercise that you enjoy, and make it your mission to regularly feed your mind with good books and other positive content.
Practice the art of self-acceptance and forgiveness
Choose to accept yourself just as you are even with your flaws. This does not mean that you should not seek to improve yourself. Acceptance simply gives you the positive mindset you need to make the changes you want in your life.
Lastly, engage in activities that bring you true joy. Doing things that you love is a form of showing yourself compassion. So, go ahead and pursue new hobbies, travel to new places, immerse yourself in new experiences that make you happy.
Set healthy boundaries
If you are not careful, you can end up exposing yourself to people who continue to fan your trauma or cause new ones. It goes without saying that the more you continue to interact with such people, the more you lose part of your soul.
In some instances, the best cause of action is to cut off these toxic relationships. However, sometimes, this simply isn’t possible, especially when the people in question are immediate relatives.
In this case, what you can do is set solid boundaries to protect your mind and soul from the ongoing toxicity. Do not worry if you get some pushback; this is expected and it shows you are doing the right thing for yourself.
Here’s how to set healthy boundaries:
- Use I statements to explain the boundaries you want to set. For example, “I do not appreciate you talking about my weight in that way.”
- Next, state the consequences for violating the boundary you have just set. “If you continue to make hurtful remarks about my body, I will walk away, no longer engage with you, etc. (insert your intended consequence)
- Follow through with the stated consequence if the other person does violate your boundaries
Use these steps with family members, friends, and colleagues in equal measure. Consistency is important when showing others how to treat you.
Remember, setting boundaries is not about blaming others for your problems. To earn others’ respect, you must treat yourself with respect and take responsibility for your actions.
If all else fails, physically remove yourself from unhealthy situations that only violate your boundaries, do not serve your Higher Self, and do not support your healing journey.
Create energetic boundaries
In addition to setting verbal and physical boundaries, you can also be intentional in creating energetic boundaries between you and others. After all, the Soul exists at the energetic level. Healing from Soul Loss, therefore, requires energetic intervention.
Energetic boundaries keep other people and their energetic field from interfering with your emotional and mental wellbeing. It keeps negative vibes away, so to speak.
A simple way to create energetic boundaries to protect your soul is to mentally draw a circle around yourself. Imagine this circle keeping others out and shielding you from negative energetic influences. You can do this quick ritual at the start of your day or anytime you find yourself in the presence of someone who triggers your Soul Loss.
Carrying a small jewel or placing crystals in your bag or pocket before leaving the house can also help with keeping unhealthy energies at bay.
Find Your Tribe
Past experiences might have hurt and traumatized you but this does not mean that you are alone or need to be. If your family is the source of your trauma, you must understand that it is not your fault that someone else chose to hurt you.
It is also important to remember that you cannot choose your family but you sure can choose your friends. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best ways to heal from traumatic experiences.
Healthy camaraderie can help with alleviating the feelings of loneliness, despair, emptiness, anxiety, and emotional turmoil that come about when we are disconnected from our souls. Indeed, the people with whom you hang out and interact with play a critical role in your emotional wellbeing.
Whether it is virtually or face-to-face, make it a point to step outside of your comfort zone and connect with your tribe. These are people who believe in you. They are the ones who are genuinely interested in your wellbeing. As such, they truly see and hear you. They accept you wholly, flaws and all, and are open to supporting you.
Learn how to embrace your emotions
Dealing with dark emotions such as guilt, anger, shame, fear, anxiety, worry, and self-hatred is difficult for anyone. However, suppressing, fighting or wallowing in these emotions only exacerbates your disconnection from your Soul Essence.
So, in place of fight or flight, how do you handle dark emotions? You embrace them; you accept and see them for what they are. The simple act of illuminating awareness onto negative emotions accomplishes something very important: It helps you see that you are not your emotions and that you are not bad for experiencing those emotions.
From here on, sit with your emotions and become an active observer rather than a passive participant. So, for example, say you are struggling with guilt. Acknowledge the emotion and even label it accordingly e.g. “Ah, that is guilt.”
Next, determine the origin of the guilt and why you have hung onto it for so long. Sit with that emotion, the same way you would sit with a friend you care for. Instead of fighting against it, feel it deeply and then…
Choose to let the emotion go. This final step requires deliberate self-compassion. Choose to forgive yourself and anyone who might have participated in creating those negative emotions in the first place. Repeat this process of accepting and letting go with every emotion you tend to struggle with.
Don’t go at it alone
As you can see, a lot of inner work is necessary for you to heal from the effects of Soul Loss. When you are ready to do the work, consider seeking guidance from an experienced coach or counselor.
These professionals are familiar with the various healing techniques such as yoga, mirror work, visualization, shadow work and more. Whichever technique you opt for, be consistent with it for the best results.
Connection with your soul
Many of us spend years moving further and further away from our soul essence. We have been conditioned to suppress our true emotions instead of embracing them. The result is rampant mental illness, dissatisfaction with work and life, and a general sense of despair. Fortunately, practices such as daily compassion, boundary setting, positive affirmations, and embracing your emotions can help you emerge from the ashes and experience the beauty of a life of meaning.