Updated: Sep 27
A few years back, I thought I was losing my mind. It was probably my first dark night of the soul. l don't remember all the details clearly, but I remember how I felt.
If you require medical or professional assistance, please seek it. I'm simply sharing my experience. You may choose to read for perspective, but use your judgment.
Out of the blue, I found myself struggling to define my identity. It was as if someone had asked me, "Who are you?" and I could not answer. This feeling persisted for weeks, and it seemed like a switch had been flipped, but my eyes couldn't adjust to the light. I was experiencing a clash between my old reality and something unfamiliar that I couldn't comprehend. I lacked the language and support to sort through my confusion and worried I might be going insane. Eventually, I turned to Google for assistance, although I must mention that I do not recommend using it for medical diagnoses or treatment.
And while I was online and thinking I might need to find a therapist, I stumbled upon the term "dark night of the soul."
What Is The Dark Night Of The Soul
The "dark night of the soul" is a confusing period where one feels disconnected from God due to confusion or an inability to perceive things correctly. It is a time of uncertainty and the unknown, where one may not understand what is happening or why.
What's happening is a recalibration; after some time or clarity, the light brings understanding and peace. Because everyone's experience is unique, darkness can last for varying lengths this time. Some will spend years in this liminal space, while others may have a new perspective on life after a sudden incident or epiphany.
In Western culture, there is often a negative association with anything dark, such as a black cat. However, upon deeper understanding, it becomes clear that light and shadow are two sides of the same coin. But I digress. I have experienced many challenging times, perhaps due to personal struggles and the many tests that come with life. It's essential to recognize that we will all face moments where our beliefs are tested, and we must either let go of our previous understanding or grow into a more elevated perspective.
Signs & Symptoms Of The Dark Night Of The Soul
Although my outside world appeared unchanged, my inner world was in turmoil. Despite the usual job, family issues, mundane tasks, and typical weekends, I felt unsettled. My patience wore thin, and my mind raced all day. Sleep eluded me as I grappled with questions such as, "What's happening to me?" "Is this my life?" and other unanswered questions.
Every time I got grounded and started to feel somewhat normal again, * insert thunder here_____*. Yet another lesson was thrown my way, and I was back to crying like a newborn baby in the fetal position on the floor and asking why.
Now, I'm clear that these things [eventually] come to pass, so when life decides to whip me around like a rag doll. I come back to my senses sooner and remember to trust the process.
Navigating The Dark Night Of The Soul
As we evolve, there will be moments or seasons of unsteadiness; then order comes after the chaos. So, if you're going through a dark night of the soul, shattering old beliefs and working towards accepting new truths, then my advice is to surrender. I didn't know this when I was going through mine at the time, but if you are experiencing the dark night of the soul, ask the Divine Mother to comfort you. I've since learned that the Divine Mother, the feminine aspect of the mother/ father creator energy that is Source, is waiting for all of us to ask for her support. I don't know your belief system, but I seek balance. From my understanding, the dark night of the soul serves as a reminder to reconnect even though the Supreme Being is always present. The more in the world we are, the heavier the impact of the noise and the distractions. The dark night of the soul is like a tap on our etheric shoulder to remind us to plug in. To stretch in. To lean in. To surrender all the what-ifs, to surrender to stillness. To surrender to the present. To surrender to the updated version of us still on the potter's wheel coming into form. To release the need to fight to stay the same in exchange for our most tapped-in, turned-on, free-flowing conduit of source energy that your container can hold at the time.
If you fight it, you will be disconnected longer because the dark night of the soul is an alchemical process. It's a shedding of old skin for an updated version of you. It is an initiation; you can use all you gain from your transformation to be a channel or safe place for others.