The Dark Night of the Soul
My last blog post was about releasing pain and there is another piece I thought to address; the dark night of the soul. For many people this is a natural part of their spiritual progress, yet feared and under-addressed.
For a couple years I had been struggling with two conflicting voices inside. At the beginning of this year I lost something that I treasured and gave up something else I had once treasured in order to manifest the explosion of creative ideas I was having. With that open space and confusion, my emotional life took a turn for the worst. Months before I was thinking of doing a month long seclusion during that time. I got that seclusion, but not in the way I had imagined.
I had been so excited for so long to channel my creative energies in a new way. Instead I was met with absolute disbelief in myself and my abilities. Somehow I had forgotten all the many things I had learned and exceled at throughout my life. I felt like there was nothing I was good at nor anything I could do to earn the money to cover my cost of living.
I could barely sing a note in my voice lessons without crying so I had to cancel them. If I didn’t do the Pranic Healing I had just learned first thing in the morning before a thought could enter, I could not meditate and the rest of the day was downhill from there. There was no desire to feed myself with food.
The Enneagram was presented to me and I grabbed hold of it as if that was going to be my salvation. I watched an hour long video interview with each of the nine Enneagram types and related closely to most of them. Then I bought a textbook on the Enneagram. I did the tests for each type and scored high on all of them. I scored highest on type One, the reformer, teacher, moralist, or perfectionist.
Next I read through what commonly happened in childhood for each of the types. That was the only section I read in the book as it seemed that gave me the answer I was seeking.
I was lead to believe that being a spiritual teacher, discerning between right and wrong or good and bad, and offering my life in service to others was the most elite way to live. But actually it seemed that was a result of a karmic condition and, according to the Enneagram, there are eight other ways to live in this world. What I had defined my entire life by had been broken down and I was even more confused.
The only thoughts in my head were negative ones about myself. I spent a lot of time crying and a lot of time in bed. I never in my life felt so stripped down. I had no clue what to do with myself or if that experience would ever end. I wondered how I spent all those years meditating in a spiritual community and the result was feeling worse about myself than ever before.
As a side note, I don’t want to create a sob story or have you feel sorry for me. I just want to show an example of what that time looked like in case you can relate.
One night there was a Kriya Yoga (a very powerful meditation technique) ceremony as part of a special week long spiritual intensive week. I rarely missed a Kriya ceremony when I was in town and it was one of my favorite deep experiences to have at my spiritual community. Yet that night I could not get myself out of the house. The only thing I could do was sit with myself.
I sat on my bed staring at the photo of my Guru with my hands on my heart. I remembered past experiences of feeling contentment within and believed the teachings that happiness can always be found within. I kept praying to feel my heart and love myself despite my pain or shortcomings. I went through the process shared in the guided meditation video posted below.
I also realized more deeply there do not have to be any definitions of how we should be. I remembered my belief that we can create this world as we want it to be. I started to let go of judgements of myself and think about the potential that would be more fun to manifest.
Soon after that I talked with one of my spiritual teachers who is known for her intuitive and psychic abilities. She told me I was going through the dark night of the soul and that was a good thing. She explained it was because of my spiritual progress. She said I was getting broken down in order to be rebuilt in a new way.
I immediately started to calm down and many emotions fell away knowing what I was dealing with and that it was a result of progress rather than falling spiritually. I searched online for information about the dark night of the soul because it had never been talked about around me.
I realized that when the spiritual plane shifts quickly, sometimes it takes time for the body and emotions to catch up. The result can look like physical disease asking the body to rest, or temporary depression asking ourselves to take a break from ourselves while we let old paradigms fall away. When the spiritual body starts vibrating at a higher frequency than our emotional, mental, or physical body, it can feel very painful to feel that difference until they all unite again.
From that point forward instead of being concerned about any painful emotions or thoughts that came up, I asked God and my Guru to help me learn the lessons I needed and be rebuilt as they wanted. I requested not to miss a heartbeat no matter how painful it was. Very quickly from that point my inner life and work projects started to transcend and gain much success.
Once we know what is happening and trust the process is for the best, there is a different way we can go about it with ease and joy. I may even be going through the dark night of the soul right now because I have not quite assembled my life in the full essence of what it is trying to become and it is a big transition to move from a remote spiritual community to the heart of a big city. But this time I am enjoying the process; taking baths, just laying down and feeling my heart, going to a five day spiritual retreat with 375 amazing souls, decorating my home, learning to garden, spending time with friends, writing, networking at the activities I enjoy, and exploring this new city. Basically enjoying the time while my life feels stalled for all new changes to assimilate.
If you are going through the dark night of the soul, here is a guided meditation that may help you through this time: