Dark Night of the Soul
In Wikipedia, “Dark Night of the Soul” is a poem written by the 16th century Spanish Mystic and poet, St. John of the Cross. St. John of the Cross narrates the journey of the soul to mystical union with God. I’ve had many dark times in my life where I suffered bouts of depression. Most of those times I came out on the other end with new insights about my existence. Some depression can be characterized by chemical imbalances, mental illness, genetics, and destructive patterns. There were times, one or more of those played a role in my depression. However, not all depression is transformational like the dark night of the soul is.
The Dark Night of the Soul is a different experience because it’s more breaking down of one’s perception of life and existence. You feel very alone in this dark place where nothing or no one can help. When you come out of it there is a transformation that has brought about a spiritual awakening. Essentially, it is a depression that leads to higher consciousness on the other side. This is what I went through about 5 years ago. I was reading “Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender” by Dr. David R. Hawkins. I’ve mentioned this book in other blog posts. I remember sitting on my floor in tears after meditating and letting go of deep-rooted fears and anger. The realization that my ego self and thoughts were the source of all my pain was both eye-opening and such a relief. I knew at that moment that everything was going to be okay, because I was not going to live my life the way I always had.
Transformation literally means going beyond your form. – Wayne Dyer
Life did get much lighter and easier right after that. However, I noticed that I had to retrain my brain to think differently. Now I was able to observe the thought patterns and not take them as truth. They are just thoughts. Same with feelings. I can observe and let them go. Some people would describe the dark night of the soul where you die to your old ego self and reveal your true Self. This does not mean the ego just goes away entirely. We also don’t have to kill it. It’s still a part of you, but it no longer rules you when you have had this kind of transformation.
I’ve had other times where I was going into the dark night to face more sides of the ego-self that have come up in my journey. Especially on a healing journey like nutritional balancing. Different aspects of the ego self will come out of the darkness and into the light to heal. Sometimes it’s just letting go of certain behaviors or stress responses that no longer serve me in my new Self. Darkness cannot survive in light. The more we let go darkness and lower vibration emotions, habits, thoughts, etc., we are able to live more joyfully in the light.
Pain can be a great catalyst for change. Sitting in the dark is not fun, but like the caterpillar that goes into a cocoon to later emerge as a beautiful butterfly, you are going through a major transformation. The best is yet to come!