By Lori Lines
"Dark Night of the Soul" sounds ominous, doesn't it? In many ways, it is, yet, like your first real heartbreak or significant failure, many believe it is a standard part of spiritual growth and development - a major growing pain as seekers on the road to higher consciousness will pass through this rite of passage, an initiation of sorts, before the seeker is admitted into a regular connection with higher consciousness.
The Dark Night of the Soul is described by some as similar to mild depression or general sense of malaise. You feel lost, stuck in a rut, wistful, and sleeping and eating are disrupted. Others describe it as a soul-crushing deeply depressed state, at times so profound people may believe they are truly dying. Having gone through this journey myself, it felt deeper than a depression and most certainly, "soul-crushing." To me, it felt as if my light had been extinguished and all hope was lost.
Interestingly, we can undergo similar times of storms and stress socially. During these times, life can feel bleak, the inequity and hate paints a dystopian society, and the current social structures lose their meaning. The sense of meaninglessness is a feature of the dark night. On the communal or personal level, nothing seems to make much sense, including life itself.
Many things can trigger a Dark Night, a loss, a death, a disaster, an injustice, an ego-assault, and an ego-death. Socially or individually, it can come when we can no longer explain maladaptive systems and structures, dysfunctional perceptions and thought patterns, and low vibrational automatic behaviors. By profoundly examining the frameworks of life, those that govern society, and those that shape our values become so askew that they collapse.
On a personal level, this collapse may cause you to lose touch with who you are. This is called ego-death. It is symptomatic of the Dark Night. As your world loses meaning, so does your place in it. You can't fit in as you had before. You know on some level the reality of higher consciousness and yearn to be more deeply in communion with this part of yourself, yet you somehow can't fit in or feel at home in the company of those who you usually relate to, let alone yourself. The ego thrives on comparison and judgment, when existing measures are no longer sustainable, the ego's voice dies away.
This can lead to feeling lost. During the Dark Night, the veil is lifted, and you begin to see what an illusion your old reality was. It is here we find ourselves in a state of suspended animation with no 'new' reality to cling to. At this stage, people often feel as though they live in a void of emptiness in which nothing is real. Days, weeks, months and years can drone on and the part that's so difficult to accept is there's no finite time we can cling as to the duration of this experience.
Your motivation may plummet. Work, education, success, esteem, and popularity no longer drives you. Some people experience the need to rid themselves of material possessions, relationships, and pursuits that no longer fulfill them. Initially, this cleansing may seem like just what you need. In the end, it can trigger feelings of worthlessness. Your ego may start to press you, "who are you without your things or your people?"
At some point during your Dark Night, memories and old traumas may rise to the surface. From your current realm of emptiness, these flashbacks can elicit an intense emotional reaction. In fact, everything you encounter may garner a more visceral response. This results from the ego falling back, and the subconscious (higher self) taking the helm, reactivating parts of yourself that have been long denied and repressed.
As your subconscious awareness rises, you may feel like you are thinking with two brains. The subconscious mind sitting back with pen and paper jotting down notes as the conscious mind darts back and forth from one fearful thought to the next. When you are aware of your thoughts, this state of higher consciousness can be unsettling, to say the least. At worst, some people believe they are losing touch with their sanity. But, in reality, one going through this process is gaining their sanity.
Another symptom of the subconscious taking the lead is the ego will wave a distress signal. "I'm dying! SOS!" Many who walk their path during the Dark Night of the Soul start to become profoundly aware of their mortality. This awareness can be so stark, some even believe it is they, themselves, who are dying, not the ego.
The Dark Night can be a lonely time of isolation regardless of who may be around you. During this phase you must confront the fears and insecurities that emerge from the shadows. At times people's sleep is dysregulated, causing one to sleep too much or not enough. The same can happen with food and physical activity.
Similarly, when we experience a Dark Night in the social context, we can be afraid to challenge old detrimental perspectives and social mores. Our daily foundations become dysregulated, and so can the unity we extend to all members of humanity.
So, why must we endure it, for some more than once, this long, dark, difficult night of suffering? Because, as with most nights, when it is complete, we awaken. Awaken into a higher state of consciousness, if we will just allow ourselves to do so. In this transformed state of consciousness, we are set free to ascend to merge with our higher self.
It is important to point out that not everyone goes through the above mentioned intensity of the Dark Night of the Soul. But, if you are, understand that this is YOUR way. And, once on the other side of it, it is a rite of passage that should be honored, as you will be completely transformed.
This experience of being reborn is one of greater unity, love, peace and understanding of one's self and others on a very intimate level. Yes, it is a very dark night, but the sunrise is breathtaking.
Stay tuned for Part 2. The Night is What Makes the Dawn So Bright.
In love and truth,
PS: If you feel you are going through a Dark Night of the Soul and want support from someone who has authentically gone through it and now can offer real compassion and insights into your process, I am offering a 6, one hour session package for $600 (a savings of $300). Just contact me at email@example.com for more details. Find out more about my services at www.higherselfaccess.com.
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Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.