Many people go through a dark night of the soul at least one time in their lives. This is a time when everything seems to be coming crashing in on you. It seems that nothing is going as planned and in fact, is going in the opposite direction then what you might have planned.
The dark night of the soul is ego based yet spirit driven. It’s the ego, personality part of us, that wants to have things all figured out, our plans all nicely arranged. I get it. I’m a creature of habit and I love thinking I have control over the things in my life. However, the biggest disappointments, the greatest impetus to the lowering of my energy is expectations about the way that I think things should be.
I’ve been through my own dark nights of the soul over the years. One of the biggest one I went through was when I moved to Seattle in 1986. My goal was to move out here and get my Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Washington.
One month into the program and I found myself very depressed. I did not want to be there in that program. However, I had spent my life always following through with what I said I would. My parents had expectations of me, at least, that is what I thought, and didn’t know how to tell them I didn’t want to get my Masters.
Unfortunately, I had no words to describe what I was going through. I had lived my life up until that point, thinking I was a very happy person. Ha, what an awakening that was. All my repressed emotions went into physical symptoms and injuries. Energy wants to move and emotions are energy. If we don’t express them, acknowledge them, they will find a way to communicate with us. And my body was communicating big time!
Luckily, I had enough life force energy to reach out for help. I literally walked the streets looking for something to help me. I ventured into a Dianetics office and talked to a counselor there. He actually was a bit helpful. I did find another traditional counselor who had me beating up pillows to express my anger. I knew that wasn’t quite the right approach for me but beating up pillows did make me feel a little bit better.
I ended up finding a spiritual teacher in Canada. I was led to her through my roommate at the time. By this point, I had left the Master’s Program and was looking into becoming a Naturopathic Physician. All my searchings started opening doors to a whole new way of looking at life. In essence I discovered the New Age movement and Holistic Medicine. And from that point on, I experienced many wonderful teachings from various people and many different modalities of healing.
Little did I know that my Dark Night of the Soul would lead me to the Light Dawn of the Spirit. Little by little, I started opening up, questioning myself, and understanding things in a deeper more meaningful way. My spiritual teacher showed me how my old patterns were ancestral or past life driven, meaning learned through patterns passed down through my ancestors or patterns brought in from other lifetimes. She told me there was always a way in and out of every situation, I just had to rise above the old way of looking at life to find a new way.
So why am I sharing this story with you? The reason is that I know of a couple people right now who are going through their own dark nights of the Soul. I know they are isolating themselves and not reaching out. I know the life they had planned took a very different path. But here is the good news. The dark night of the soul leads us to a different path because that is the path we are meant to find.
If I had not come out here to Seattle, with my plans and goals all arranged and if those plans had not fallen through, I may not be writing to you right now. I may not have experienced the depth and breadth of my own soul to the extent I have at this time. I may not have discovered all the new things that life had in store for me so that I could eventually use these new teachings to help others.
This past weekend, I spent from morning until evening communing with my gardens, the birds, the bees, my sweet 4 month old puppy and 3 year old Golden Doodle. I felt very present and conscious of life flowing around me and grateful for the sanctuary I had created in my own backyard. It took me many years to be able to slow down enough to just “Be with the Bees” so to speak. It is so enriching to sit and watch a bee on a plant or a hummingbird at the feeder or a butterfly flitting around and it fills me with such joy.
When we have plans, expectations, arrangements that are made through shoulds, and doing things the way we always have, we can miss out on the simple joys of life. If all of a sudden, things change, and nothing is working and the darkness is slipping in, please stop and take a deep breath. And if the darkness finds its way again, stop and take another deep breath, and another and another.
Everything is cyclical and the nature of life is change. If you are in a dark night of the soul, know that the light dawn of the spirit will come again. Just as the sun sets at night and the sun rises at dawn, this darkness, this heaviness too shall pass.
If all else fails and hopelessness is setting in, then I suggest take yourself out into nature. Observe a bird or a bee, a flower. Flowing through these entities is the light of God, of spirit. If you do nothing else but sit with these beings and breathe, then light will find it’s way into your heart and your heart will open.
The dark night of the soul is a constriction of energy, a fundamental loss in the belief in the connection to life. It’s not gone, you just can’t see it through the darkness. Remind yourself of the cycles of nature and how everything and I mean everything changes, including our emotions. When you start opening up from this place, you will find a larger connection to the energy of life.
If you are in the middle of the darkness, know that the light is only a moment away. It’s okay to sleep a bit, to rest during the darkness. This is a time to let things be, to allow your soul to talk to you, to show you a new path, a new understanding for new ideas to percolate. Life is leading you to something that you probably would not have discovered if life had not brought you to your knees, so to speak.
However, if people are reaching out to you, try to maintain the lifeline, even if it takes a lot of energy to do so. People care whether you know it or not! Right now, there is someone who loves you so deeply and would do anything to help you. Reach out and grab that hand. They just might be the person to show you the new path you could not see in your own dark state of mind.
So dear friends, please know if the day is dark, it’s just because you have temporarily forgot to open the curtain. The light is there waiting for you. The light of dawn is moments away…
So much love to you,