The Dark Night of the Soul – a blessing in disguise
Even if I don’t like to go back to that frightening state of the journey, it is of high importance for a blog like mine to include information about it.
When you found my blog and you are looking for information about Kundalini and what on earth might be happening to you right now, it is quite likely that you already experienced what is called a Dark Night of the Soul or that you will experience it in various degrees along the journey.
We are living in a society, where “bad” feelings are being labeled as a weakness. You have to be highly functional all the time or you are being stamped as some sort of failure. Only recently, it started to become legit to at least have a burn out once in a while. It at least shows your willingness to work for success until you nearly drop dead… But feeling depression, feeling despair and lost… no way!
From what I have learned now is that to fight surrendering to a certain state of despair even though constantly feeling it might leave you to continuously miss out on a big opportunity for growth.
And by and while doing so, you suppress a deep yearning of your soul to finally break free. And that is why you hold yourself in a constant state of suffering while feeling a level of exhaustion because of doing so that is always on the brink of bringing you to your knees.
Now, you can fight that for years until, in the end, it brings you to your knees anyways or you can start right now with accepting that you can not run from it: This is the way your soul is telling you to start making changes or the calls will have to become louder and louder and more painful and even a bit more painful…
If I can bring some relief in such a phase by sharing important information and insights from my own experience, I am very happy to do so:
Let me start with two quotes that encompass the essence of it quite beautifully:
“Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me. You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character you’ve been trying to play.”
The original quote of Jeff Foster goes like that:
The word «depressed» can be spoken as DEEP REST.
We can choose to view depression not as a mental illness but as a state of Deep Rest, a spiritual exhaustion that we enter into when we are de-pressed (pressed down) by the weight of the false self, the mask, the mind-made story of “me”.
We long to stop pretending and express our raw truth! To give voice to our secret loneliness, our shame, our broken hearts, boredom and brilliant rage! Depression’s call to truth needs to be listened to and understood, not analysed or medicated away. There is no shame in your exhaustion. We are all exhausted, my love. Slow down today. Allow yourself to rest, deeply. And weep. And breathe. And begin again. Now.
I say, our depression is holy. It contains the seeds of new life.
Now, what is important to say is that we are not talking about clinical depression here. Although it can have similar symptoms, there are differences and in either case, you are asked to act self responsible and to reach out for help whenever necessary.
On lonerwolf.com, I found some good indications for the state of a Dark Night of the Soul:
- You feel a deep sense of sadness, which often verges on despair (this sadness is often triggered by the state of your life, humanity, and/or the world as a whole).
- You feel an acute sense of unworthiness.
- You have the constant feeling of being lost or “condemned” to a life of suffering or emptiness.
- You possess a painful feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness.
- Your will and self-control is weakened, making it difficult for you to act.
- You lack interest and find no joy in things that once excited you.
- You crave for the loss of something intangible; a longing for a distant place or to “return home” again.
- The ultimate difference between depression and the Dark Night of the Soul is that depression is usually self-centric, whereas the Dark Night is philosophical in nature and is accompanied by existential reflections.
- Also, when depression ends, not much changes in your life in terms of your beliefs, values, and habits. However, when the Dark Night of the Soul ends, everything in your life is transformed, and life becomes wondrous again.
- A true Dark Night of the Soul leaves a long-lasting impact on you – it changes you completely. When you exit a Dark Night, you will discover that something is always taken away from you (for the better), such as your beliefs, your perceptions, your former meaning in life, or even in rare cases, your ego.
- I don’t understand. Why am I alive? Why do I experience life? I don’t know why I am here now. I don’t see the point of living my life. I don’t want anything, not material /physical achievements, not relationships, not entertainment, nothing. I don’t know what to do with this body, mind, and feelings. Or maybe I just experience this life too intensely until I am numbed. But why?
Because… and now you are waiting for that one, facilitating answer encompassing the whole truth.
The truth is, it can not be given to you. Truth can not be told, it can only be experienced.
And therefore, I can only tell you about insights because of direct experience and maybe, you will feel something while reading it and this might either be a feeling of resonating with what you read or a feeling of rejection. In between, there will be your truth on a cognitive level. But getting it only with your intellect will not prevent you from having to experience it fully by “surviving it” if you really want to crack it’s essence.
First of all, I am still in the middle of a path that can lead up to being able to embody this force called truth fully. I was given glimpses of it but until now, I am still falling out of it constantly and then doubts kick in again and when in doubt, you can not hold this powerful state.
This is something that fascinates me the most:
Even though I had the luck to experience truth for short periods of time, I still carry my bag of conditioning that does not allow me to fully leap into “what is” with the full hearted confidence and faith needed.
Nearly unbelievable when thinking about it. Why would I hold myself back from living in the free feeling truth is offering but instead still lingering in a state of doubt and therefore suffering? The answer is: Conditioning. And breaking it down even more: Fear. Fear of the unknown which is deeply ingrained in all of us.
A real Dark Night of the Soul is the catalyst for the first, huge breaking down of the gross layers of conditioning. It is only a first step but I experienced it as THE IMPORTANT and a major one!!!!!
It felt like somebody pulled the rug out from under my feet and I was falling into that big dark hole, feeling an amount of fear along the way that led to… a sudden feeling of no fear at all. I was so lost in darkness that it did not matter anymore. In that state, I could as well just let go.
And this dreadful experience, feeling powerless and defeated and that you are at the mercy of the next moment as you have no control of any kind about what is going to unfold the second you let go, leads to an experience that can be quite unexpected: Freedom.
A level of freedom of all this “I have to do this” “I have to do that”, “I need to be this” and “I am asked to be that” which is indescribable. You will be granted the experience that letting go of the force called fear can all of a sudden set amazing amounts of bound energy free and in motion.
If you make this profound experience, it stays with you and it will become your lived and survived truth that letting go of control aka fear indeed is one of the most important ingredients to a life without suffering. People can tell you this million times! And it is so logical and because of this, is acknowledged by anyone on a cognitive level. But it has to be EXPERIENCED, LIVED THROUGH and actually BE DONE in order to become a lesson learned which can be embodied from there on.
Before any true growth or healing can occur, there must be a process of destruction and complete annihilation of everything you thought would bring you happiness.
To become who you really are has nothing to do with adding layers of “truth” on top of you. It is much more a shedding away of all layers that are untrue. But this is a destructive process and asks you to step into the Underworld of yourself. There is no other way. You have to face your shadows, your fears as only when they are being seen, when the light of awareness hits them, they have to start to move, losen their grip and then and only then, they can be transformed into the empowering force they actually are.
It needs a “I see you and I am willing to integrate you” for the tense spots clustered with fear to losen their grip. And you have to learn that you can not get rid of your fears, but you can for sure transform them into what they truly are which is… love. How come?
They are like tense little spots of protectors, trying to save you from harm. They have bundled and gathered together tight knots of energy at certain points in space and time and certain areas and spaces in your body when they had the feeling of necessity in order to protect your identity, your “I”, your ego from hurtful blasts.
Thank them for it when you come across them, literally talk to them and tell them that you see where this strong grip is coming from but that now, you would be very thankful if they could losen it as it is not necessary anymore. Tell your tight spots that if they really care for you, it is necessary to let go of the protection as now, it feels like too tight and does not let you breathe the way it would be healthy for your whole system.
What I found out by experiencing it are those two important lessons:
It is not so complicated as it may seem: First, it all comes down to love and fear. And then, you will make the experience that also fear is love. And then there is only love. To really embody this truth every second of your life calls for a lot of crumbling away of untruth!!!!
And you need to accept the truth that surrendering is the fastest way to this goal but also the hardest. But what is meant by surrendering is also quite often misunderstood and I will have to write a whole article only about this subject on another day. It just is what has to be done but once you had a glimpse of the vastness of what it means and to what you actually surrender to, you will be very aware of the fact that you can only do this in small, subsequent steps.
The force you are asked to surrender to is powerful beyond human comprehension. In it’s essence, it is love. But when you had a “scratch” of experience of it, you know that it it's force is nuclear. And when you are not ready for it, it will steer up the wrong feeling which is fear as your ego will have the impression of having to protect you from what seems to be dangerous. And then you might get severly "burned". So, you have to do a tremendous amount of work first before your system will allow you to really surrender into “what is”.
And this needs a huge degree of determination to get to truth. This means being driven to an extend that really pushes you constantly to take what it needs: Getting informed, digging through material, getting quite, listening to yourself. Looking at your blind spots, dragging them into the light of awareness, fight, cry, feeling sadness you tried to negate for years, feeling rage, feeling bliss and unfulfilled hope… just feeling it all. And that needs courage.
The reward is going to reveal itself slowly first, then gaining momentum:
It really is true. It really is that simple. There is only love and whoever is strong enough to really embody this truth is walking magic.
So, please! If you are in the middle of this horrific experience of the Dark Night of the Soul, try to accept it as a necessity. You have to experience the despair, the hopelessness in order to start losening the fear of acting on it by making the necessary changes in the outer but also in the inner world.
Unfortunately, we sometimes are so deeply conditioned that we are leading ourselves down that road. And it will last as long as it takes for your ego to diminish to the extend needed so that your soul has the chance to shout out to you!
Just don’t be harsh on yourself in these moments. It just is what your system needs right now. A rest from your character you are playing in order to have at least a small chance of finding out who you really are.
Letting go is for the strong ones. So, if you are at the brink of “losing it”, you seem to be considered courageous enough. You own this. In every way needed that very moment:
Asking for help, asking for companionship and compassion, asking for solitude, asking and granting yourself a time out. Lay down, all cuddled up in fetus position, go out, run! Cry, get silent. Feel or acknowledge not being able to feel. Whatever. Just, please, don’t be hard on yourself. You only experience something due to experience: This can not be "it". The way we are living our lifes – this just can not be all. Which amount of fear will I have to let go in order to face this truth and also taking the necessary steps in order to change that?
You will find out. Lucky you.