Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul

A dark night of the soul is a period in our lives in which we may experience great sadness, loss, anxiety or fear. It is often accompanied by a sort of stagnation – a time when nothing seems to take shape, plans fall away, creativity is stiffened and life seemingly slows down. It is a time when the potential to become influenced by our daimonic energy is great. The daimon- in Ancient Greece- was a term to describe an unnamed spirit that pushes us to our fates. This energy is most noticeable in this liminal space – the threshold of being not quite in and not all the way out. During the dark night of the soul, we are forced to let go and let God. Likened to a time of incubation and transformation, this ebb of life creates a space to extend past our own parameters and allow for greater possibilities to take shape. When nothing is seemingly going right in our lives, we are forced to stop and let things be. In our stillness, we may become open to opportunities, interests and goals we were otherwise too distracted to acknowledge or give energy to grow.

Contemporary psychology usually focuses on shining a bright light onto our pain and sadness. It searches to uncover, label and find quick resolution to our problems. I suggest using this time to become familiar with your darkness. Depression and sadness is inherent to life and allows us to know our own happiness and livelihood. A dark night of the soul has been described as a black sun in our lives and it can change how we see things. The light of this dark sun shows us the shadows, depths and complexities of life that the na├»ve solar light overlooks. In our darkness, we can become less one-dimensional and grow into a person with more depth – someone worth listening, knowing and loving in both dark and light. A dark night takes you deeper than an emotion. Beneath depression or a dark mood exists a space. When we go down through it, we soon find ourselves beneath it – where it no longer exists.

I suggest that this dark night is an opportunity. If you allow the ego to fall away and reconnect with Life, you will realize that both the ebb and flow of Life is Life in motion. We are always moving forward. Take a moment to look around you. Forget who you think you are. Disregard who you thought you would be. Let go of all external identities and embrace your scintilla – the spark that lies at the heart of every person. It is the spark of the Divinity reminding you of Who You Really Are. Trust in it.

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