I assume that you have heard this term. And if you haven’t, then you most likely have gone through a ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.
Although this phase of life experience often feels unbearably painful, it is still one of the most powerful initiatory rites of passage that eventually make our wingspan grow by far. Our aura becomes more illumined by our inner shine.
The ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ is always our own Inner Light.
The great Mystic Rumi had this way of describing it: ‘ The wound is the place where the Light enters you’.
I would describe the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ as a process where an inner wounding to the Soul draws attention to itself as if under a magnifying glass . It is as if something that was hidden in our deep psyche oozes through our pores in order for us to change… as life is change.
Our Soul is here to learn and to grow on the Spiral of Evolution.
The particular theme of an individual’s process can be a repetitive pattern and/or a trauma, injury, a loss, a betrayal, a change, a tragedy, bad news full of emotions such as despair, sadness, grief, jealousy, anger, apathy etc.
This necessary stage of deep backbone and character formation is certainly difficult .
It is said that “The dark night calls for a spiritual response, not only a therapeutic one.” The dark night calls upon the affected person “to remain in the present, not bound or deluded by the past and not imprisoned in a fixed and defensive idea about the future…the most difficult challenge is to let the process take place, and yet that is the only release from the pressure of the dark night.” (Author unknown)
‘The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die. What dies is the egoic sense of self.’ (Eckhart Tolle)
Timing is everything, so the ‘when and where’ and how long can only be accepted and surrendered to. Resistance can lead to more pain. Yet, a strong defiant Spirit can be the catalyst for True Healing.
I personally went through a few ‘Dark nights of the Soul’ already.
The first one was triggered by when I began my Moon Flow/my menses at the young age of 10. The invitation into womanhood awakened my feminine power and issues related to feminine disempowerment. My learnings and healing would affect my personal transformation, yet I can see the connective threads to archetypal wounding to the Collective Feminine as well as our Mother Earth; as I heal with-in, so I can heal with-out.
Although the very healing of this process is only found within the Heart and Soul of the individual, it can be an isolating and lonely experience .Thus, it’s important to realize there is support of all calibers and genres.
In such times, I have sought out loving friends, found solace in Nature, prayed in ceremony, followed spiritual teachings, consulted conventional as well as esoteric therapies.
Each step along the way.
I honestly cannot explain some of life’s brutality, I assign it to the Great Mystery. I find comfort in the fact that in the ugliest of experiences, true Beauty can be found from our own Greatness or simply how another person shows us loving kindness and compassion. The appreciation for a sunset can open up healing.
I admit that sometimes, I have felt a loss of my innocence via tragedy or catastrophe or unfair events. And then, I would remind myself that DIS-illusionment is a good thing and it can bring me closer to accepting the truth by my own choice. This is powerful!
My character has been shaped into more wisdom, empathy, simplicity, compassion and kindness. I can be more present with all my relations and appreciate what is right here, right now.
I find True Beauty in the paradoxical capacity to be fully human and to experience all the joy and all the pain and all that is in between. Thats’s part of being a Spirit on this human journey.
A ‘Dark Night’ can lead us home to our great shining Light- aways in the Heart, always in the Soul.
Deep transformation is possible, is natural… it begins with willingness within.
Sometimes, something we achieved with difficulty and deep work actually sticks. We appreciate and value what we have earned through effort. And we learn to cherish what comes easy more.
I like me better as I am continuing to inhabit more parts of myself with more authenticity. My painful times have set my priorities straight. And I know that this spiral of growth will just keep spiraling . Each time, I know more and I know less- both of which are good.
Stages of Dark Night of the Soul (by Sarah Regan):
1) major disruptive event
2) loss of direction
3) rock bottom
4) waking up to the truth
5) spiritual pursuit
6) authentic living
The nature of this time period is to awaken you to your true purpose, the question of what to do is exactly the point.
"The other side of the dark night of the soul is authentic alignment, awareness, peace and heart-based living allowing for true happiness. Many step into their true purpose and live with more purpose and joy, and their life becomes more rich and rewarding." (Kaiser)
With Love, Joy & Gratitude … Schirin