WHAT’S IT LIKE TO GO THROUGH A DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL?


Soul Journal Entry – July 24, 2017

Quiet yourself and hear me. Your heart aches for Truth and Understanding. You cry out to the wilderness hoping for insight and yet there is no sound. Uncertainty plagues your inner calm. Fear of losing it all is stifled amidst more fear that the mere acknowledgement of its presence will bring certain failure. But take heart, dear one.


You are not alone. Your destiny is not uncertain but well known by those entrusted with your care. Your growth and fortitude upon your path are applauded. Your soul growth has come far. Do not fret, for you are cared for and deeply loved. You are not forsaken. Go forth with trust, peace, and calm in that Knowing. Live every moment fully.


Bask in the experience itself, knowing that’s what life is all about. It’s not about the destination. Your soul has craved experiences on a broad spectrum and you are succeeding in that quest. You have overcome fear again and again, always striving to live your life to the fullest and to create meaning out of every perceived loss.


You are accomplishing more than you know. Remember that key fact. Life is about the experience itself. Embrace and immerse yourself in the adventure that is just getting good.

 

I journaled this message from my soul when I was going through my most intense dark night of the soul yet. I had been unemployed for a year and the 401K money I had been living on was gone. I had no idea how I was going to care for my daughter and I. I had never had problems finding employment in the past and I was so confused and disoriented. I felt completely out of control and powerless because the things that worked for me in the past weren’t working now. The people I relied upon in the past weren’t there. I felt alone in the wilderness without any idea of what was happening to me. I craved certainty, something tangible to show me that I was headed in the right direction, to assure me that I would be okay. But there was nothing. It was another year before I finally received a job offer that would provide a solid foundation and allow me to breathe a sigh of relief.


I am currently working on a book of my journal writings from this time period in order to allow the reader a fly-on-the-wall perspective of what it’s really like to go through a dark night of the soul because it’s difficult to describe after-the-fact. I’ll do my best to share a little about what it’s like here, although please keep in mind that everyone’s experience of it will be unique.


The essence of the dark night of the soul is that it strips away all of the constructs that we have relied upon in the past so that we can create anew. This is happening en masse today because of the pandemic. Everything that we have relied upon and trusted in the past has disappeared. We look to our government or news to give us guidance but even the sources that we relied upon in the past might not resonate in the way that they used to. There are so many different opinions, even from previously like-minded family and friends. The world feels topsy-turvy, like there is no solid ground, and our futures are uncertain. Nothing is permanent, safe, or stable. You don’t know where to go for answers so you are forced to go within to find answers within your own heart that make sense to you.


Your emotional state in these times of uncertainty and change may resemble a DSM-5 table of contents. You might feel fear, desperation, sadness, anger, hatred, regret, disappointment, loneliness, lethargic, and victimized. On the other hand, there may be bouts of optimism, fueling the resolve to persevere and overcome the circumstances. You might feel like giving up in one moment and in the next, feel a surge of strength and courage to get through another day. You may feel a rollercoaster of emotions and completely unbalanced. All of these feelings are a natural part of a dark night of the soul. We humans are programmed, biologically and culturally, to desire safety. Makes sense, right? When we are safe, we have a higher chance for survival.


But the nature of the dark night asks us to question what safety means to us. By what means are we willing to sacrifice other areas of our lives in order to feel safe? For instance, if you previously believed that you were safe because you were married, but then your marriage dissolved, you would be forced to reassess if that belief is still true for you. While a loss, such as divorce, can leave you feeling unsafe for a period of time, eventually you will adapt to your new way of life and find a renewed sense of safety and likely a new definition of it.


The transition period of letting go of an old belief (I’m safe when I’m married) to a new belief (I’m safe even if I’m alone) can feel like a part of you is dying. You may even feel it physically as a pressure in your chest or difficulty breathing. Humans don’t like change, even if it is desired.


What I’d like to reiterate from my previous blog is that the dark night of the soul is a sacred initiation point, so whatever we are feeling is okay. It is meant to be this way. The undesired change is leading us into the next best version of ourselves. It is a growth point in our spiritual evolution. While the transition may not be desired, the result is.


If, after reading this, you believe that you are going through a dark night of the soul, my love goes out to you. It is such a unique, solitary experience (and can’t be any other way); however, I would like to help in whatever way I can. In next week’s blog, I will offer insights and suggestions on how to navigate your way through the dark and into the light.


If you are interested in personal coaching, please contact me through my website.


Much Love,

Lara