‘The endurance of darkness is preparation for great light’ – St. John of the Cross
We live in a materialistic world, where we seek sensory pleasures and avoid pain. Our focus may be on lifestyle, relationships and career. While all these are great to have, one can never be fully satisfied if they are solely dependent on these.
What happens when all these are taken away from us?
The Dark Night of the Soul (La noche oscura del alma) is a term that St. John of the Cross, a Spanish Catholic Mystic coined for a transitional period in our life, where we experience spiritual awakening. It comes about when there is a significant change or crisis in our lives. During this phase, we experience challenging emotions, like feeling disconnected, frustrated, lost, confused and unease and we may misinterpret this period as a mid-life crisis or do something out of our character. What is actually happening is that we shed our ego (conditioned) way of being to embodying our soul, our true selves and expressing our full potential. This also aligns with Jung’s individuation process.
We all have a calling and often we ignore it or get distracted with the external world until some significant change to our external world forces us to confront ourselves, to look deeper within our unconscious mind and reflect on questions such as ‘who am I?’ ‘What is my purpose in life?’. While the dark night of the soul can be one of the most difficult times, it is also one of the most remarkable experiences. If we can be conscious of what we are going through, we can witness metamorphism, which is exactly what this process is. At the end of the Dark Night of the Soul phase, we come out perceiving the world in a different way, no longer identifying ourselves with the external subjects that are all impermanent and feeling ecstatic, empowered and grounded from within. Also, we would know that this opportunity has showed up because our Higher Self has something much bigger for us.
What to do when you are going through the Dark of the Soul?
– We have to accept the process and surrender to it
– Pause and observe our emotions
– Practice basic meditation (Breathing) to begin to bring clarity
– See this phase as an opportunity to stepping into your empowered, true self
– Seek guidance from a guide/mentor who has been through this
I’ll leave you with this: They whispered to her ‘you cannot withstand the storm’, ‘I am the Storm’ she whispered back. – Unknown.