The dark night of the soul
“The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.” – St. John of the cross
There are times when we feel lost, drained and out of contact with the source of life.
A shadow takes the light from our days and it feels like a complete absence of grace. As life is ever changing, we all must phase those periods and find a way to cope with them. No joy is permanent.
Sometimes however struggle and suffering seem endless, feeling like a hand around our neck, choking us. It has been described by great sages such as St. John of the Cross as the dark night of the soul.
Even activities that used to inspire us, suddenly loose their juice. We can´t enjoy being with friends and work is of no value either. We are trapped in the dark cave of our mind and emotions, not knowing a way out. Everything turns to be an effort and the worst; we don´t enjoy being ourselves any longer. Fear takes over and in some even a strong death urge may arise.
Reactions can be manyfold. Some might choose denial, some hiding out and some find short relieve in drugs or in the worst case even commit suicide .
Obviously none of those approaches solve the root cause. Running away, denial and distraction from the pain only postpones suffering, which will at a later moment return with an even stronger force.
So instead of labeling these periods as evil, we might as well decide to endure and make use of them, by realizing the chance they offer.
Truely they are calling for introspection and offer an honest and powerful encounter with ourselves. When we turn the light of our consciousness on sadness, anger, hopelesness or whatever it is, it will eventually evaporize. More than that we learn to live with our darker aspects and embrace them. Thus we can gain incredible strength, compassion and authenticity.
Looking honestly into our shit is by no means easy ,but it is an opportunity for deep transformation.
I think this is the way to go beyond the mind and unfold as what we are. In my understanding that is the way of the spiritual warrior. He sees his fear as it is, doesn´t deny it and moves into it, willing to die in order to fulfill his mission.
There are times when I am meditating and suddenly experience intense emotional or even physical pain. With that a fear of death appears. Logically there is nothing to be afraid of really, but still the fear exists. It is not the body that may endure death but the ego, a conjunct of all the numerous believes we have about ourselves. And indeed it is about to get extinct, if we only stay present to the pain. Thus we might even find out who we truly are.
May you all endure those dark nights of the soul and take them for what they really are: an opportunity for great opening and tapping into your highest potential.
“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.” – St. John of the cross