“The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.”
- Joseph Campbell.
I remember my first dark night of the soul.
It was a slow descent, down into the murky depths of my own darkness. It happened gradually over time, chipping away at my light. I never saw it coming and didn’t truly realise where I was until it had consumed me. It remains the single most challenging period of my life and is a time I don’t desire to dwell on often.
Yes the dark night is an awful place, where the horrors of our mind spring to life and darkness sweeps in, cocooning us in its cold embrace.
The only thing more excruciating than enduring the dark night is re-living your experience with the added bonus of conscious awareness (say hello to self-judgement!).
The idea of the second dark night came to me while working with a client. Outwardly things seemed great, she was dedicated to her personal development and immersed in spiritual practice. Inwardly she had hit rock bottom, again.
I felt her pain so deeply as she told me about her situation. Just several months earlier I had travelled down the darkness of a very similar path. Slipping easily into a state of depression, that although brief, when combined with awareness and my own expectations, had me feeling like a complete failure.
As an awakened woman, so much judgement arises when we are not feeling our best. We’ve done the work, we’ve emerged victorious, yet somehow we still find ourselves winding up in the exact same place we’ve already been!
The inner critic goes wild when moments like this arise, it loves to tell us all the ways we “should know better”, “are not on the right path” or “are not good enough”.
The self-loathing and judgement that emerges within our second dark night is enough to send a sane woman crazy. We can so easily fall further into the darkness during this time, taking our current experience as confirmation that perhaps our worst fears really are true. That maybe we’re just not good enough and truly aren’t deserving of the happiness we desire.
The idea that we’ll only ever experience one dark night in our lifetime seems so strange to me. So far I’ve experienced two dark nights, and am currently transitioning through a period that could easily have been my third (had I not been completely willing to surrender to my own unfolding).
Thinking that life will be nothing but light once you awaken, is the same as refusing to acknowledge both sides of a coin. You know both sides are always there, but because one is hidden you choose to ignore it.
We can never experience a complete sense of wholeness when we choose to only acknowledge the light in our life. Oneness comes from a full integration of all that exists within, and in fact it’s these moments of darkness that can bring us even closer to the love of our own light. They present a divine opportunity to accept ourselves even further and love ourselves even deeper.
The dark night of the soul isn’t here to punish us, it’s here to liberate us.
Its only purpose is to illuminate the ways in which we’re not fully living in truth. It wants us to see how the chains of our current relationships, expectations and experiences keep us bound. It offers us salvation from the binds that deny us true happiness.
Herein lies the light within the darkness.
Its presence marks an important time in our lives, one that in fact should be celebrated not demonised and dismissed. It signals our readiness for an uplevel in consciousness. Old ways of being are outgrown at such a magnitude that we experience the fierce pain of a life that no longer fits us.
This, my darling, is a time that should be cherished as it means you are ready for more...
For more happiness, More joy, More light, More truth, More love.
And all of this is waiting for you when you’re ready to release the binds, and step through your pain instead of being consumed by it.
This is a call for you to embrace the beauty of change, to let go of the past, and surrender to the process of your rebirth. It is a time to give thanks for the person you once were and welcome the person you’re becoming.
“This too, shall pass”
This quote became my personal mantra during my second dark night. It was a beautiful reminder about the impermanence of life, and the truth that nothing remains beyond the present moment.
We move through cycles of growth, spiralling in and out of darkness on our journey home to truth.
Our desires and needs in life are constantly changing as our soul continues to expand into its highest and wildest potential. We experience discomfort when things in our life no longer fit our current soul expression. Therefore, as women dedicated to spiritual growth, I think it’s safe to assume feeling the extremes that life has to offer is part of our birthright.
To experience something as momentous as the dark night of the soul can only mean one thing sister - a whole lot of light is about to come pouring into your life!
To quote the beautiful Florence Welch (from Florence and the Machine),
“it’s always darkest before the dawn”.
So here’s to sunrise and stepping into the light of a brand new day!
In love, light and magic,