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Dark Night of the Soul

Natalie —  July 21, 2011 — 1 Comment

A Dark Night of the Soul is a period of time or season that many of us on the spiritual journey find ourselves in once or more in our life.  The Dark Night comes unexpectedly through some change or experience that causes you to question all that you’ve known to be true.  It is a time where you find yourself feeling disillusioned with a temporary loss of faith.  What you trusted appears in a new light to have been temporary and incomplete.  The foundation you’d built your perception of the world on shifted and in that shift you found yourself unsettled.  What felt meaningful feels meaningless, what seemed solid looks unreliable, what you thought you knew to be true comes into question.

Walking through a Dark Night of the Soul period requires intense resilience.  It pushes your edge, uses every ounce of your psychological capacity for survival. The Dark Night can be triggered by things like divorce, physical illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of a role or an aspect of your identity. Where it takes you is a profound void that may feel like depression, hollowness, hopelessness, emptiness and doubt.

How do you endure this mental and spiritual struggle? What gets you through the void and back to a point of inner-peace?  I’ve found that, the healing and growth the Dark Night has to offer comes through the following conscious choices:

  • Acknowledging that the cycle of living in the unknown has purpose.
  • Calling on your inner-guidance with much more frequency and consistency.
  • Moving your body to allow the cycle to stay in motion on the physical level.
  • Seeking support through the council of spiritual mentors who have walked the path before.

These practices of self-care give you strength to get through the darkness and help you make your way to a season of light again.

The Dark Night may feel like a stuck place in your external life or a place where everything is in chaos.  However stagnant it feels or looks on the outside, it is an active season for the soul.  The soul is in chrysalis.  It has gone within and on may require you to be unconscious about some of the deep work underway. Literal transformation, upgrading your soul-body agreement to integrate all the bits-and-pieces you’ve been learning at the deepest level.

Some levels of processing are beyond what you can or are ready to consciously “see” as they transform.  You have to be patient and trust the inner activity.  You have to ask your mind to be patient, as it seeks to fix what appears to be broken, wants a solution, demands answers. Let the Dark Night chrysalis evolve you from the caterpillar to the butterfly.

The void has you fear a total loss of Self.  It has you feel alone and as if you may have lost all of the ground you had gained through your conscious growth, commitment to self-awareness and health.  In reality, there is no loss, at the other side of this deeply challenging soul searching cycle you find ourselves renewed, more mature, with an inner radiance that transcends your prior light.

The Dark Night is a soul crisis.  It pushes you to the full extent of what you  feel your soul is capable of handling.  It may temporarily break your spirit.  On the other side, the gift of a journey through the void in a Dark Night of the Soul is the discovery of your inner strength, a greater level of daily inner-peace, plus an updated alignment of your body and soul.