Spiritual teachings often speak about the importance of sangha or soul family. There seem to be more and more young people negotiating being in this world with their gifts and a connection with the divine that is more organic, rather than seeking the divine through pain and experiencing contrast. Others of us have found our connection and motivation to reach for the divine from a place of pain, contrast, and need.
Whichever way our connection with the divine calls to us, the importance of soul family is a place where we are in community with others who also relate with and understand the significance of putting our relationship with the divine as center in our lives. The spiritual path is often misunderstood. It unfolds in its mystery and different people on their paths can have journeys that can look very different. It is nonlinear, Often our souls united with our bodies with a purpose for this lifetime.
Those of us whose transformation is embarked upon because of experiences of contrast and pain, we encounter many relational losses as we continue on our spiritual journey. We may have friendships that feel like vibrational matches at different stages of our inner growth that drop as we continue to experience growth. We may experience a void, where old patterns of relating are no longer working and we have not yet developed ways of relating that are more aligned with our values.
We may also be holding deep wounds and hurts as we look back to our ‘sensitivity’ or proclivity towards the divine in our early experiences that weren’t understood by the people around us. Instead, we may have felt others’ rage, resentment, ridicule, or shaming us for who we knew ourselves to be. Perhaps we learned to hide ourselves from others and even our own selves in order to protect ourselves from that pain that we felt in our early experiences. Inadvertently, we may be perpetuating the cycle of disconnection and separation, that is living from our egos.
A soul family helps us to transform in many ways. We get to have the experience of not hiding from ourselves and others. We get to heal some of our wounds as the community around us mirrors our longing and connection with the divine. Among a variety of ways we can transform, our soul family also inspires us and we revel in the ways that we help and support each other grow.
I recently had the absolute pleasure of connecting with and hearing the story of a young person who at an early age started to connect with qualities of his true nature. Perhaps because this process of transformation occurred at a relatively young age and in a supportive community, the innocence and simple beingness of this person was evident. I was struck by how much he lead from a compassionate heart, equally having a reflective and devotional relationship with the divine, and faith to follow the path of service.
I felt immediately inspired by listening to his story and also less alone in a world that at times feels extremely materialistic. I reflected on my own relationship to faith and trust in the divine were I to truly listen to the higher qualities of my heart. I recognized what steps I’ve already been taking on my path of service, noticing that I wasn’t ultimately too different from this young person; that I too have faith on some level. I left the interaction feeling uplifted and gratitude for this fairly short but meaningful connection. Immediately, I understood how much I’ve been longing for my soul family.
If you are longing for more connection, I invite you to reflect on an experience with someone from your soul family. It could be conversation, reading of a book, music, or anything that spoke to your connection with the divine in a way that you most needed. It could even be something that you’ve shared of your own experience with another. As you reflect on this experience and how it made you feel, allow yourself to feel the resonance in your body as you call out to the divine, express gratitude for the experience, and ask for more.
May we all experience more and more benefit from coming together with our soul families. May we all have the courage to connect most deeply with ourselves in community and in relationship with others. May we all experience deeper support with each other on our nonlinear and mysterious journeys.
Please comment about what gifts connecting with your soul family brings to you.