With recent celebrity suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, people are becoming more aware of severe depression and mental illnesses. Those who are currently struggling with mental illnesses or are suicidal can be described as going through a period of the “Dark Night of the Soul” (DNOTS) and we do feel strongly in addressing this issue in order to help those who are struggling to get past it while also enabling others to be more empathetic.
The “Dark Night of the Soul” was first documented by the 16th century Spanish Catholic mystic and poet St. John of the Cross. Essentially, it is a catalytic refining process of purification, transmutation, and transformation that takes one from identifiying with their ego to rapid transcendence into their true unlimited potential. The DNOTS is primarily an existential crisis and spiritual “depression” that is usually unsuccessfully treated or cured with conventional counselling, therapy, or psychiatry. Therefore, those going through the DNOTS often feel an increasing sense of loneliness, hopelessness, unease, and despair. They feel as if they are stuck in a perpetual purgatory or limbo state with no hope of ever seeing the light again.
Just as every caterpillar needs to enter a temporary cocoon phase of darkness and isolation before it can break free and emerge out triumphantly as a beautiful butterfly with gossamer wings, the process of the DNOTS occurs for everyone who has embarked on an evolutionary path of growth, expansion, and ascension. In other words, DNOTS will occur at some point for almost everyone that is still on this planet without exception.
Common symptoms of the DNOTS include:
- Your usual spiritual or even mundane day-to-day practices no longer seem to work like they use to.
- Fears and shadows rise up and appear in dreams and even when you try to meditate, or pray.
- Frustration, anxiety, and impatience over your lack of progress or recovery.
- Profound sense of abandonment by everyone, especially those closest to you.
- Feeling angry and blaming everyone and everything, including God.
- Old habits and patterns start to fall away to the wayside.
- Loss of drive, purpose, and meaning in life. You lose your sense of identity.
- Profound desolation and an uncanny sense of depression and sadness that does not respond to any kind of medicine, therapy or treatment.
- Having frequent suicidal thoughts and entertaining the notion of ending your life.
- Loss of interest in typical mundane everyday activities such as watching television, reading the news, etc.
- Excessive crying or finding it hard to cry even if you feel like it.
- Deep exhaustion and fatigue, yet inability to fall asleep.
- Loss of appetite for food and other physical pleasures.
- Hypersensitivity to energies of others and your surroundings.
In truth, we have all selected to partake in a higher self level. As such, it is not a matter of whether the DNOTS might happen, but when it will occur. If everyone were to go through their DNOTS at the same time, then the very existential fabric of society will entirely collapse and the illusionary game will end. As such, humanity goes through it in phases. With each solar or lunar eclipse, a new wave of people get triggered and go through their own dark eclipse. The DNOTS seems to observably happen first to the healers, teachers, artists, and strong-willed individuals so that they can then impart what they gained from their experience unto those going through theirs at later stages. Some people seem to go through it a couple of times, and we sometimes refer to it as a quarter or midlife crisis, or try to explain it away as the cosmic rite of passage known as “Saturn returns”.
Once one reaches a certain point in their personal evolution, the “Dark Night of the Soul” becomes inevitable, and can come as quite a sudden and unexpected shock – especially if one feels that they have already undergone much perceived spiritual growth. The DNOTS is a destruction, deconstruction, and annihilation of everything that was previously thought and believed to be truth. The DNOTS sneaks up from behind you and pulls the rug from under your feet when you least expect it, and then rips your egoic identity to shreds. Purging out of our systems all that is dark, negative, and rooted in fear that have been consciously taught and deeply indoctrinated into our subconscious and unconscious since birth via repeated entrainment.
Here are some practical and useful tips to help you pull through and come out victorious.
Surrender, stay open and remain present
Be brave to accept, embrace and confront whatever comes up, be it perceived as good or bad. Refrain from resisting as what you resists, persists. If you try to fight or push it away, it will only drag you through hell and back. Completely give in and yield to the process. How fast you pass through this temporal phase will largely depend on how willing and trusting you are to let go of the false ego and completely surrender. Trust and have faith in the process.
Maintain a broader perspective
If you expect the DNOTS to be tumultuous or terrifying, then it will be so. Be careful of the fabricated stories that the primitive reptilian side of the brain tells you about what is going on. They are simply only ego narratives and therefore illusionary. Having a sense of humour is vital to surviving the swinging pendulum yo-yo ups and downs of the DNOTS.
Have faith and give thanks
You are never alone. Many have and are also simultaneously going through this purification process especially at this time of accelerated shifts. Give rise to it and appreciate it fully for what it is. Saying “thank you” frequently helps ease the process, especially in the darkest moments.
Exercise and be in nature
Keep yourself grounded and moving by exercising regularly. Go for outdoor walks in nature, get some sunlight, do yoga, dance, etc. Engage in activities that keep your body focused in the present moment, so that you do not get too lost in your noisy negative thoughts or overflowing emotions. Release them through counselling, journaling, crying, tapping, and other healing modalities.
Seek out support
Avoid isolating yourself for too long. Part of the process is the development of true Oneness and unity consciousness with all things. Openly share your process with others, and look for support from those who have preferably also gone through the process. There is much available support if you reach out and seek it.
Be gentle and easy on yourself. Have patience with yourself and the process. Forgive all aspects of yourself and others. Develop self-love and unconditional love for everyone and everything. Ultimately, the DNOTS is about cultivating love in all of its purest forms. Understanding this deeply, allows you to transcend the DNOTS with far more finesse, assurance, and confidence.
The DNOTS is perhaps one of the greatest blessings in disguise, and you will come out of it like a phoenix rising up from the ashes; reborn again as a vastly upgraded version of yourself. The many benefits that are derived from enduring and persevering through your DNOTS include:
- You will rapidly develop virtues such as self-love, unconditional love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, understanding, patience, unity, Christ consciousness, etc.
- You will encounter dissolutions of your darkest fears, phobias, and anxieties that have kept you stuck in repetitive cycles that previously undermined and sabotaged your success in life.
- You will lose interest in judging others and will also be impervious to their judgments and discriminations. This will improve all of your relationships including your relationship to the concept of money and abundance.
- You shall have access to greater awareness and higher consciousness like never before. Your intuition and innate abilities will be amplified and enhanced multi-fold.
- Synchronicities and miracles occur more frequently. From the inner comprehension of Oneness with all things, physical manifestations of intentions occur much quicker as your faith and trust in the support of an abundant universe develops.
Strength, bravery, and courage are all required and quickly being developed as the hellish process of dissolution can oftentimes feel very intensely excruciating and punishing. Once one passes the point of no return, one will re-awaken to the authentic nature of our divine selves.
Contributed by Luke Elijah, Spiritual Coach
Photo credits: Pexels and Pixabay