Months have passed since my last post, something that was not intended, but simply the flow of things. Having emerged from the watery depths of a conscious/subconscious voyage, looking back it seems I slipped into another dark night of the soul. This one was showing me how I’ve become more neutral, centered and whole since the last painful one years ago that I can (finally) jokingly call my rude awakening.
Talking to a few friends recently it was apparent that many are going through something similar – boredom, thinking your mission is over, not liking things you used to, rejecting spiritual concepts, questioning what the heck you are doing here, others in your life may be mirroring any fears you have left, seeing through agendas, seeing your own role in things more clearly, etc. It has been intense for many. But probably more so for those who believe the dark is outside of them – an illusion that is cracking. Not that there isn’t darkness outside of ourselves, it is just that the darkness we can do something about is inside ourselves. Increasingly this darkness is being released and we feel so different.
What is a dark night of the soul? Since it is experiential, the dark night of the soul can’t be easily put into words. Most of it I believe works on the subconscious. For me, it feels like I take on an infusion of light. Things seem different and feel different but it’s all good and I’m humming along. My conscious mind is the last to know this infusion has happened. By then, changes are already starting to make ripples and waves into the world around me. Things may start to shift and it can get pretty uncomfortable sometimes. (I like change, but on my terms, lol!) The newness feels strange, and thoughts about wanting to have things the old way are common. It requires an adjustment. Those ripples and waves bring up things in me and others – good, bad and ugly. Ego shenanigans are exposed by the light! Having been dislodged, they must be shed like a skin. It can be uncomfortable seeing the shed skin and knowing it was a part of you, but must be let go.
I think a dark night of the soul is different things to different people. Some believe it is an initiation of some sort, especially in shamanism. Initially it is not something you consciously decide to do, but a soul decision. (How long you stay there may be the conscious decision.) Because if you knew what you were in for in some cases, you would never do it! The dark night of the soul can be a spiritual ‘hell week.’ Lots of tough work to be done at hyper speed and when you are on the other side of it, it was really worth it. The dark night of the soul destroys ego and exposes more of who we truly are. Since part of the ego is defense, this can make you feel vulnerable and naked at times. The best exit strategy to a dark night of the soul is to see everything through the eyes of love and humility. Only problem is during the dark night of the soul it can be hard to find love, as that is the point – to learn more about it in what appears to be the absence of it. When emerging from the dark night, the capacity for love and appreciation grows immensely.
The beauty of the dark night of the soul is integration – becoming more whole. This integration is achieved by diving deep into the darkness of your conscious/subconscious, doing the necessary work on all levels that removes what is in the way of that wholeness. It is not work for the faint of heart, but for those of significant spiritual strength (the spiritual warriors). It takes a huge amount of personal honesty and courage to look at the cobwebs in your closet, acknowledge in fact they are yours (not projecting anything onto others) then to give them a nice adios! The reward is greater light, lightness of being, true power and old fashioned LOVE.
Thus, the dark night of the soul is a fast track detox that touches the mind, body and soul in a purifying way. But to get to the pure sometimes requires immersion into the watery deep, silty, darkness. And like any detox, the side effects are felt until the toxic is flushed out – emotions can be stirred up and cleansed out. In the heart of the darkness, ironically you gather up more light and more true parts of you. Then a sparkly new you emerges. While the work of the dark night of the soul feels solitary at the time, it simply cannot be only that. Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs are connected to the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others. As we purify our own and remove the illusions, we help others remove their illusions. Just as those who have removed theirs before me have helped me to remove mine. Most likely 90% of a dark night of the soul’s work is unknown, or part of the mystery of life. But the proof is in the result – the changes in how you feel and your perceptions.
Keep your feet on the ground, and reach for the stars!