What is a Dark night of the Soul?
Originally penned by 16th century poet, Saint John of the Cross, describes a spiritual crisis in the union towards God. Now, many of us today aren’t informed or aware of this Dark Night of the Soul so when it happens it feels more like the shit has hit the fan. We have no concept of what is going on so we struggle through it, until we happen across a blog or a YouTube video that just happens to mention that what we are experiencing is similar. The symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul are similar to depression but can we distinguish between the two? I feel that with the dark night of the soul it is indicative of a spiritual transformation taking place. With depression there is a struggle to get out of the abyss. With the dark night of the soul, there is a faith or a belief, no matter how small that something bigger and grander than us, will pull us out. Whatever it is, it can feel for many like we are the only person in the world going through this at the time. We’re not. I had no idea when I went through mine what it was or what resources were out there. Please know you don’t have to go through this alone. I have set up a Facebook group for anyone going through ‘stuff’ called Consciousness Arising which you are welcome to join. It is a safe community where you can ask questions and feel safe to do so. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ConsciousnessArising
What are the symptoms of a Dark Night of the Soul?
Please note this list doesn’t cover everything, most of these are how I felt going through my own experience
- Wondering what your purpose is in life
- Some people say they see/hear the Devil
- Your soul feels torn between what it ‘has been taught’ to do and what it feels it wants to do
- Your life may not feel like yours anymore, instead it is controlled by work, a partner, family
- You question your own existence
- You question life itself, how did we get here? Why are we here?
- You cry, a lot
I experienced my own Dark Night of the Soul back in 2017. I had lost my best friend to cancer on my 36th birthday the previous October, then my husband and I decided to separate a few months later. Everything I had known for the previous 10 years was gone. Disintegrated. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had been a wife and a mum for so long I wasn’t sure who Lindsay was anymore. I remember about 8 months later taking a video of myself dancing crazily around the living room singing to the Killers and sending it to my sister. That’s the Lindsay I remember she said. How did I lose myself so much? I spent 6 months finding myself again. Clawing within, grieving for my friend, for my marriage. Who had I become? I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed freely, like proper belly laughed or cried. Why was I here? What was my purpose? I did a guided meditation to meet my spirit guide. He came through to me and told me my purpose was to teach, to educate and to inform. To teach what, I asked. He laughed and disappeared. Even though he didn’t tell me what I had to teach, I made it my mission to share knowledge and to connect with others. I came through it and thought I’m pleased I don’t have to do that again. Unfortunately I did have another one. I didn’t even know you could have two so please be aware that you can. Thankfully this one was shorter and involved more healing and shedding trauma, not only mine but past and ancestral and yes it hurt, yes it was painful and I cried, a lot. Would I do it again? Yes, because I know the healing I am doing is helping my children, and their children and our future.
How can you get through a Dark Night of the Soul?
I had my tips and I also asked in my FB group for theirs, so here is a list of things that may help
- Drinking herbal teas
- Saying the Lords Prayer
- Speaking to Angels
- Spending time outdoors in nature
- Sleep ( AKA a spiritual practise)
- Allowing yourself and everything around you to fall apart
- Screaming and roaring outside
- Beating a drum
If you have had your own experience of the Dark Night of the Soul then do feel free to share and if you have any tips on how you overcame it also let us know. Thanks for reading