Lack of being prepared for a spiritual shift caused even more distress when I settled into a form of spiritual depression called dark night of the soul. This attempts to describe a period of spiritual emptiness where we feel totally out of synch with the divine.
Descriptive words can’t do the sensation of the dark night of the soul justice. Unless the emotions are felt through an actual experience, description doesn’t deliver the severity of loss of spirit.
We have lost the meaning of life. We are in a state of melancholy lacking all motivation for everything we perceive. The outside world impresses our appearance to depression, and we easily identify with the sensation of depression within.
While the dark night of the soul is as frightening and challenging as the name suggests, the experience reaps the most beneficial reward.
Forcing us to look behind our own identity and into our darkest fears and insecurities, the dark night is the map to get to the infinite light of our being.
As the saying goes, “When we experience the dark night, there is always a light day that follows.”
To anyone experiencing the dark night, I would say, congratulations! Life is about to change.
Introduced by St. John of the Cross
The term, Dark Night of the Soul was the main idea in a poem written by St. John of the Cross. St. John’s poem, The Dark Night, narrates his soul’s journey to a union with God.
St. John doesn’t highlight the difficulties of life in general but two necessary purges on the path to the divine. The first being a purgation of the sensory/sensitive part of the soul and the second of the spiritual part. St. John furthered documented about his personal experience with the dark night in a book series titled Ascent to Mount Carmel.
This term doesn’t belong to any certain religion and has evolved over a period of time to hold many meanings. Essentially, its a period of darkness that results in eventual spiritual growth because the destination to God is unknowable.
His poem’s thesis is the joyful rewards of being guided to God. Making the moral of the experience that our unknowable path of pain and fear leads to greater transformation.
The dark night of the soul is quite famous.
- Van Morrison writes about the dark night of the soul in a number of his songs.
- Tore Down a la Rimbaud on A Sense of Wonder and
- Give Me My Rapture on Poetic Champions Compose
- It’s also the inspiration for the title of the lead release of his 2019 album, Three Chords & the Truth
- Stephen King makes a reference to the F. Scott Fitzgerald usage in his novel, Insomnia
- referenced to in his short story, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
- Spanish singer, Rosalía, released a single of a version of the poem Dark Night of the Soul
- Canadian singer, Loreena McKennitt, sung the poem to music on her album, The Mask and Mirror
- Composer Ola Gjeilo wrote a fourteen-minute long SATB choral setting accompanied by piano and string quartet of the English translation of the poem
Our current situation is extremely disappointing, we feel lost, and we have fallen into isolation. This is where we disconnect from life.
Our family and friends are concerned while watching us fall into this depression and share their thoughts with us.
At this point, we may not be aware that this isn’t a normal depressive state and spiritual transformation accompanies this process. We start believing that we have a psychological disruption, increasing the self asked question, “what is wrong with me?”
Many times there is a trigger responsible for the dark night.
- a shocking or sudden death of a young spouse or child
- a crisis shattering your meaning for life
- losing our livelihood
- sudden spiritual awakening
Any nature of events above can be foreshadowing a life-altering spiritual growth.
Is this Familiar?
The changed behaviors we experience during the dark night of the soul are easily mistaken for the psychological, biological, and neurological effects of depression.
- deep sadness towards humanity as a whole
- identity crisis
- feeling emptiness
- feeling betrayed by life
- lacking interest
- craving solitude
- limiting beliefs towards worthiness
- lacking passion towards anything anymore/”I don’t care” attitude
- dying will power
- experiencing an existential crisis
- feelings of shame and non-deserving
- experiencing an ego-death, a rebirth, and an identity change
- nightmares and past life memories
- feeling like we are on the wrong planet
- sudden food intolerances
- pain from past differences resurface
- buried memories resurface
- hot/cold energies with tingles move through our bodies
It’s not uncommon to have reoccurring visits from the dark night. Sometimes we have to do things over for specific reasons tailored to our own individual.
Embracing the phase we’re in allows us to learn the lesson needed in order to transform. Embracing the dark night seems like the opposite of where we want to be but this is necessary to pull us out of the emotions we are in.
We feel like we’ve been left in the dark.
Our Dark Night is Our Time to Shine
The pain we experience from the dark night will leave us asking, “why me?” as if we’ve done something wrong and this was delivered to us from the Lords of Karma. This pain often includes many lifetime’s worth of traumas and repressed emotions.
It’s difficult to understand that this experience is actually gifted to us from the universe so that we may be aware of our emotional blockages and address them to take appropriate measures for clearing them forevermore.
When we react with constant anger towards others our world will crumble. When we step into our divine truth of love and light, our world becomes fortunate.
Being aware of our spirit, our soul and our true self sends us help to demolish our old lives. Rejecting this change will result in the dark night of the soul.
We are being shown what darkness is lingering inside of us. Our shattered soul needs attention to repairs.
We are also being shown that we’re not who we think we are. It reveals truths about ourselves that we don’t want to see and forces us to question our own nature.
The dark night of the soul wakes us up to the truth: we are divine spirits that are on a human experience. Now we are aware of the illusions of the world and our only option is to accept that we have a greater purpose in life than to play along with the lies we are conditioned with.
We now partner up with the divine and face our shadow self. Divinely guided, we clear our traumas.
The dark night of the soul is a wonderful teacher and we can ask specifically what we need to learn. When we give ourselves permission to feel the pain we can then release it and transform.
In our energetic reality, creating a proper evolutionary framework is confusing. Our ego identity is using any source to convince us that the ego and our identity are the same.
After our beliefs are challenged and our ego shattered, how could we not feel and lost on which way to go now?
Our frightened ego is reiterating to us to cling on to our old reality when we are moving into the state of non- attachment. This doesn’t just include material things, but every mental or emotional investment. Refusal to adapt to and release what is not serving us will keep us in limitation.
Identifying with our ego-self results in us becoming disconnected from our inner spirit.
All dark night experiences are unique to each so there isn’t a definite time frame of the process or rules of what should or should not be done. Keeping in mind that it is here because we need to heal to grow, we should not avoid it.
“The cure for the pain is the pain.”– Rumi
Coping with the dark night of the soul is challenging. The best thing is to get out of our own way and instead show up for ourselves. Honoring the saying, misery loves company should be avoided and instead we should accept this transformation with gratitude.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magick potion available to skip to the end and feel better. However, taking action in our own healing plan with some exercises can be beneficial.
The below list is in no way suggestions for “cures” for the dark night, simply to aid in alleviating symptoms.
- avoid numbing the pain
- speak to a spiritual coach, counselor, or a trusted friend
- make space for what is asking to be acknowledged
- support mental/emotional well-being with the natural healing properties of essential oils
- raise vibration with sound therapy
- use sound therapy benefits of healing, stress relief, and destroying negative beliefs
- use healing crystals
- color therapy
- many different meditation practices
- shadow work
Some don’t believe in holistic medicines and some don’t understand how it’s helpful. Some flat out think its nonsense and refuse to try. They are not necessarily wrong, and everyone has the prerogative of free will.
The fact is that some things simply do not work for some people but do for others. Or maybe we aren’t able to gather the resources needed for the suggestions above. Maybe skipping all of them and using a practice that better suited for someone is the deal.
The above suggestions are tried and true methods from my personal experience. In any event, when in regards to a journey within, having a closed mind is more damaging.
Navigating through the dark night of the soul will require honest introspection and acceptance. We are left with a new perspective of life, connecting to resources that help illuminate our forward path.
If we are truly open to change, we need to be completely honest with ourselves.
We will never leave where we are until we are honest with ourselves as to where we want to be. This decision is ours and ours alone. We have to do exactly what is best for us and our lives, not what’s best for anyone else.
Healing inner wounds and adapting to life as our paradigm shifts is not easy. Unless we avoid the situation and pretend that it doesn’t exist, we have to face it head-on. Even by that practice, it will persist eventually.
Avoiding our shadow or the inner work chances an unexpected visit from our shadow in the future showing a more intense personality.
- continuous lies to ourselves and others
- random bursts of anger
- obsessive behaviors
- mental/emotional manipulation
- suicidal tendencies
- unhealthy sexual behaviors
- unstable relationships
If we surrender and accept what we can’t change, we allow ourselves to release what no longer serves us. This makes room for high vibrational situations to come to us.
We may also learn things about ourselves we didn’t know. We heal buried traumas, we heal past karma, we heal emotional issues, and we physically feel lighter.
New Neurological Connections
At the turning point of our lives, we will feel emotionally unbalanced. Our soul is reaching out asking us to go deep within to reconnect. Spiritually we are being called to explore the essence of our soul.
Recapitulation will require revisiting past situations. Surfacing emotions can include shame, guilt or fear but during this time we release the energetic drain of our experiences.
This is a transformation. One day we notice our empowered self. We take responsibility for our lives and destroyed the victim-consciousness.
We become happier. We enjoy life more. We conquered our demons.
Running from problems that should be fixed is never a good idea. Accepting, communicating, appreciating, and forgiveness all pave the way to love.
Often what we see depends on what we are looking for. Making a habit of finding something positive in every situation creates the energy for positive things to come.
Appreciating the present moment may surprise us with the realization that our great parts are often lined with little things, even in the dark. This, in turn, will motivate us to be on the lookout for the light of us moving forward.
Highbrations!~ Victoria ☯︎
Hi, I’m Victoria – a tree hugging hippie that loves to craft and write about spiritual stuff. This is me helping you navigate your recently enchanted life.