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11 Strategies to Move Through the Dark Night of the Soul To Freedom

Dark Night of the Soul

Moving Through A Dark Night of the Soul Into A New Phase of Awakened Light

Many spiritual greats have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, which is a troubling and incredibly difficult phase of spiritual awakening.

Not everyone on the spiritual path experiences this challenging period, but for those who do, it has the potential to be incredibly transformational.

Historical References

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The first writings about the Dark Night of the Soul come from Saint John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic and Carmelite monk in the 16th century. A man who was a spiritual “out of the box” thinker for his time, he was imprisoned for eight years due to his beliefs.  During this time he wrote Dark Night of the Soul which recounts his experiences of consuming spiritual darkness.  For him, the dark night was a painful period that revealed deep truths to him – not all easy to look at or acknowledge.  But he also shares that within the darkness, there is promise and hope. He came to believe that there was no better way to achieve spiritual transformation than through the gifts unseen in the dark.

Other great saints, like Teresa of Avilla, have written about this phase, but it is not a subject that many speak about.  Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who was called to minister to the sick and dying of Calcutta, India, wrote to her confessor about decades of spiritual darkness.

Many people feel that they must always work to raise their vibration, feel happy, and move forward on the spiritual path.

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So Wait… What is The Dark Night of the Soul?

The Dark Night of the Soul is a phrase used to describe reaching a low point in life, where you experience a loss of meaning in your life, and face the deep questions around your own mortality, and a previous lack of meaning in your life.  There is little joy in this phase, and an overwhelming sense of meaninglessness to everything you perceive.

From the outside, the experience looks similar to a depressive state. You lack motivation, nothing makes sense, and the compass that generally steers you in the right direction seems to be hopelessly malfunctioning leaving you stuck in a “pit of despair”… Energetically drained, not seeing things as they are, and lost about how to get out or even where to go if you could emerge.

Every Dark Night Awaits an Incredible Bright Light

This experience of a “dark night” is something that happens to many, and I too have experienced a dark night of the soul. At the time, I was miserable, but now looking back it's clear to see that moving through this period of pain, darkness, and depression in my life aligned me with an incredible light and a beautiful gift.

Do you think you may be experiencing the phase that is the Dark Night of the Soul?

Trust that you will make it through, because just as is the case in the cycles of the earth, when there is the experience of a dark night, the light of day is always sure to follow.

The key, is to explore and embrace the phase you're in, to be present with the sense of loss you may be feeling, and through this presence you are able to learn lessons of the moment in order to transform and move through them.

How Does the Dark Night of the Soul Start?

Many times a dark night is triggered by an external event.  If you experience any of these situations, they often foreshadow the beginning of a deep spiritual transformation:

But just as regularly, there is no clear or obvious trigger.  You are moving through your life with relative ease, creating meaning in your relationships, career, community, and suddenly, this meaning collapses.

16 Dark Night of the Soul Symptoms

I mentioned before that a Dark Night of the Soul looks, and feels, similar to a state of depression.  Initially, the experience can be confusing until you learn to identify the symptoms and gain some understanding.  A few things to look out for:

When this happens, through external or internal circumstances, the framework of life as you knew it, of life as you were comfortable with, crumbles; meaning is gone and is replaced confusion and spiritual pain.  You feel that you’ve been left in a dark place.

The Darkest Hour is Before the Dawn

Some have described dark night of the soul as feeling like being stuck, with no hope of lightness or joy.  Many talk about feelings of loneliness, isolation, and being misunderstood. Life feels pointless and painful.

Allowing yourself to feel whatever you are feeling this during the challenging times of the dark night will help you move through this time gracefully, expanding your consciousness, and anchoring you closer to your true self.

All of the symptoms that you feel are there to teach you love, surrender, trust, connection, and acceptance.  In other words, they have come to teach you about your true self.  The conflict comes when the ego fights to maintain its control over your life.  Do not attempt to struggle with the ego, let it relax and through the lessons you are learning, you will see your true Self emerge.

The time of the dark night of the soul can feel interminable, but if you can learn to welcome these emotions, you can move through to a clearer and higher level. Over time, you awaken to something deeper that is not based on the ego’s perception of reality.  Purpose returns and with it a greater sense of connection with the Divine and with your own soul.  For some, it is as profound as the complete death of the ego.

Take Your Time and Trust the Process

While trusting your journey,  this dark night of the soul process may feel destabilizing, therefore accept what rises within you. From this place of awareness, reflect what is coming up for you, and the purpose it serves for your transformation.

A Passage into The Light of Day

While it’s happening, the Dark Night of the Soul can make you feel miserable; as if you’ve been abandoned.  Some people have a tendency to ask “Why me?” as if they’ve done something wrong. One of the most difficult things to do during this period is to embrace the difficult emotions and to find gratitude for them.

How to Make it Through The Dark Night

In essence, the dark night is a rite of passage.  Those who move through it can come to a profoundly different and more peaceful life. Sort of light bouncing off of rock bottom, the only place you can go from this low of lows is up!

The pain you feel during this low point is often a lifetimes worth of repressed emotions, finally coming up for release and resolution. It's your soul saying “Enough is enough,” its time to experience all this feeling rather than burying it… Its time to process, experience and finally let the heaviness go.

One of the keys … Is to lean in:

When you feel like you want to run away, distract yourself, or push the feelings aside, simply allow yourself to notice the resistance.

Moving Through and Beyond

As humans, we fear the unknown, and moving through a Dark Night of the Soul, when we cannot see ahead, beyond the control of the ego, is a huge unknown.  Through the ego, most of us are addicted to suffering, attachment, fulfilling desires. The longer you let the ego rule, the longer and more intense your dark night is likely to be.

Another unknown is what life will be like after you move through this phase of suffering but maintaining the status quo. “Better the devil I know that the devil I don't know.”

In response to this, I want to simply remind you… That incredible blessings await on the other side of fear.

Your True Self is full of so much love and joy and is connected to everything including the Divine. Greater blessings than you can even imagine right now await you… Its just about clearing out the old energy so you can come into vibrational and physical alignment with these blessings that await.

Support is Available

Just because I'm saying to be present with the feelings arising… And to be present where you are, does not mean you have to do so alone.

In fact, there is incredible Angelic Support and energy available to guide you through!

Check out my Free Angel Emergency Call Meditation here for help!

 

How Long Will it Take to Get Through This?

There is no timeframe or prescribed set of do’s and don’ts for a Dark Night of the Soul. Each path is unique.

Yes, there will be challenges, and likely pain too, but suffering is not a prerequisite. Suffering only arises when you're attached. Let go. Surrender to the Divine path of Life and Light and allow the path through to appear.

A dark night of the soul cannot and should not be avoided.  It’s not necessary to try to rush through it, though that will be the ego’s instinct.  It won’t always feel like a gift, you won’t always make the best choices. But when you can, let love shine on your pain; open your heart and feel what you can. Allow your pain to be the catalyst for the greatest transformation in your life.

This is the natural course to what is happening to you, as your breakdowns become your breakthroughs. Learn the ebb and flow, the push and pull that is happening in you and within the collective consciousness. The patterns and challenges that present itself are not happening to you, but for you.

The Time is Now – Use Your Dark Night As Fuel For Transformation

However your transformation takes shape, most begin to experience the ability to observe the world around them without identifying with it. On the other side of pain and confusion is your transformation. Use this time to get a better understanding for how your dark night is there to move you towards a higher truth. People going through the dark night of the soul often describe their process like this:

In this way, concepts become meaningless, which is truly scary while it’s happening.  This in turn tends to cause the ego to  begin to cling to the past even harder, making the dark night feel even darker. Sticking with the intensity allows you to emerge on the other side with a deep sense of aliveness, which you apply to your interactions and experiences.

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There is joy in this Oneness.

You are not separate from your life, but you are no longer attached to the ego and its desires. You feel all emotions, from good to bad, but you remain seated in the Self.

The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote regularly about the Dark Night of the Soul (though he didn’t call it this). Use his words as comfort and guidance as you make your way through this dark night toward your own true Self.

“Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.”

-Rumi

“The cure for the pain is the pain.” -Rumi

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Keep going. Let it be okay…. Know that although it doesn't feel like it, this too shall pass, and many days of love, light, and blessings await.

With love and light,

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