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“We are Spiritually Unemployed” — What Will You Do About It?


“We are Spiritually Unemployed”

When thinking about the concept of “we are spiritually unemployed”, I’m talking about the definition from the Oxford Dictionary: “of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” Another definition of spirit is related to religion, and I’m not talking about that in this article.
This quote hit me like a ton of bricks, and got me to thinking about what’s going on with couples in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

Spirit and Soul

One of the most important things—if not THE most important thing, that relates to our human spirit or soul is love.
Spirit and soul are about being—not doing. And being is not the culture here.
What I see is a lot of is focus on work, material, and physical things, and over-involvement with kids to the detriment of your marriage or relationship. I’m not opposed to any of these other things. I just see that the balance has been lost for many people.

Lack of Community

Living without community—and many people tell me it is hard to make friends here—puts extra pressure on everyone. I see couples doing so much in their nuclear family, and there is always more to do.

Results of Being Spiritually Unemployed

The results of spiritual unemployment range from anxiety, depression, sleep problems, sexual acting out (including paid “escorts”), alcohol and/or drug issues, workaholism, criticism, rage, and disengagement. In turn, your work suffers when your relationship suffers.
I know when you fell in love and married, you didn’t expect it to turn out with each of you falling to such low priority in the others’ eyes. You had hopes and dreams. And perhaps your actions are being done with the big picture in mind—providing, living up to Silicon Valley standards, having a good retirement in which money isn’t a concern. Is that enough?
There are so many brilliant people here, doing and creating amazing and worthwhile offerings to better our world.
Yet losing sight of each other and your love takes a huge toll on you, in every way. Stress causes the hormone Cortisol to run rampant in your body. Cortisol impacts:
1. Your ability to fall or stay asleep
2. Your sex life
3. Your weight
4. Causes headaches and backaches
5. Leaves you feeling tired after getting plenty of sleep
6. Compromises your immune system so you catch colds and flu more easily
7. Causes cravings for unhealthy food
8. Causes your gut to act up
9. And so on

Antidotes to Spiritual Unemployment

Loving, sex, and cuddling cause the “love” hormone oxytocin to be released. It brings about a sense of comfort, bonding, security, and reduces stress and anxiety. According to a WebMD article from November 2010, “The love hormone oxytocin, known to be plentiful in lactating women and released by men and women during orgasm, appears to do much more, according to new research presented here at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. It’s also associated with boosting trust and empathy — to the point of increasing the wish to donate to charitable causes — and reducing anxiety and stress.”
Do you know what nourishes your spirit or soul? For some people it is art, music, writing, photography and other forms of creativity. For others it is nature. For others it is people we love and care about. Travel, curiosity about the world and other cultures. The choices are endless.
When your spirit is fed and cared for (by yourself and others around you), you are able to give more freely from a place of spirit and a good heart. That may translate into volunteer work, mentoring, philanthropy, being of service (even in small ways), etc.
What do you think your special or unique gifts are that only you can bring to the world? Whatever those gifts are, they are needed. These gifts guide you to live authentically; hence your inside and your outside match.
Think of three things you can do to rejuvenate your spirit? Consider three things the two of you can do to rejuvenate your relationship, bringing love, spirit, and soul together?
*The title quote comes from Francis Weller in The Wild Edge of Sorrow
Photo by MGDBoston @morgueFile
Chandrama Anderson is the author of Couple’s Net published by The Palo Alto Weekly.