An excellent post by Dver on continuing devotional work.
I’d like to add my own thoughts on the subject. There are times the passion for one’s path and spirituality wanes. And that’s okay. Spirituality can sometimes go on the back burner as mundane life takes over. Dver is right that one shouldn’t stop devotional work completely, but if one is not as involved as they once were it’s not the end of the world. Eventually the tables will turn and mundane life can end up on the back burner as the focus turns to one’s spirituality. Cycles like this are completely normal. After all are you always 100% involved in every single interest you have? Most likely not.
I’m going to use an example one of my sculpture professors used when working on a project. During class he would always demand that we step away from what we were working on. Giving us a break would help give us a new perspective on the piece when we returned to it. We could see it with new eyes so to say. The same could be said for one’s spiritual path. If one is so involved in what they are doing for an extensive amount of time the reasoning why may become lost or things may become stagnant, one may end up just going through the motions. Taking a step back and a moment to breath can help generate new ideas and renew passion. Continuing one’s devotions even if they’re small gestures can keep one from feeling completely disconnected during these waning phases. However these “calmer” periods can be used to further one’s spiritual path if one takes the opportunity to use it beneficially.
Originally posted on A Forest Door:
Over and over again, I see the same pattern being described on the blogs of various pagans – something bad (or even something good!) happens in their lives, and they let go of most or all of their spiritual practices. They lose a job, get married, fall sick, or just get busy, and the first things to suffer are their devotional relationships and religious obligations. They even see this happening, but often as not they excuse it (rather than trying to fight it) – after all, who could blame them if these big life changes kept them distracted?
Now, the first problem with this is that it is evidence of a certain internal prioritization that I find sadly common amongst even supposedly super-committed pagans – religion is separated from “life” and not valued as highly as “life stuff” like relationships, career, etc. Of course, when “life stuff” gets in the way, religion is going to take a backseat, right? But it doesn’t have to be like that. One can choose to make religion a priority, just as important or more so than any of life’s ups and downs.
But the more practical problem with this is the direct consequences of shelving one’s spiritual practice. Because in almost every single case, after the statement about how their practices slipped or ceased, there is a follow-up complaint that they no longer feel very connected to their gods, their faith is suffering, etc. Do you think there might be a connection?