Self development: The dark night of the soul


SELF DEVELOPMENTBasically, this phase in life is a point when everything in our life has failed. All our schemes and plans have not worked out and our life seems rather meaningless. We’re in a spiritual crisis. If we’ve already accepted the challenges of the spiritual path and done a lot of emotional clearing, then we’re ready for the next step. But the fact is that we’ve got one foot stuck in the past and one foot in the future and right there in the present moment we’ve been sequestered by the spirits to deal with our ego once and for all.

Dishonesty and manipulation will seem intolerable; sometimes even the loving light of truth can’t get in because we’ve built so many barriers. Our ego is a barrier to the truth behind illusion of human experience. And this is all about waking us up to how we are living our lives. And the pursuit of materialism, addictive sexual behavior and other addictions were elegantly crafted lies to keep us from realizing we have a greater purpose than happy hour at the local bar.

Basically, it’s a showdown between falseness and us. And we get to a point where no one can help us and nothing can ease our pain. The fake stuff doesn’t work anymore. The falseness fails to comfort. This becomes the point where it’s just us and our higher selves (or God or the universe or ‘the magic’ as different civilizations and cultures put it). And tt becomes the only thing we can rely on. It’s about giving up and grieving. It’s about facing the places where we are stuck and working with our higher selves to clear them. There is no one we can call. There is nothing we can really ‘do’.

During my own dark nights of the soul, I tend to stay up later, write, record myself, light a lot of incense, dance wilder, be more intense, sing mantras… We all have our own ways of dealing with those moments. Some will lay wrapped in a dark blanket for days on end play dead. Give up. I usually eat very little, feel more alive, and don’t really give much about the must dos and the don’ts around me. I connect to the power of the universe and let its magic work on me. And that’s the thing about those days: we need to have faith and let go of everything. Then usually it passes, and things come back to normal but with a different taste.

Sometimes before releasing the anger the fear and the ego related emotions, I feel I need to flee somewhere. I start dreaming of a hut in a forest (been there done that), or a small apartment with no furniture (same). But at the end of the day, when we reach that point of no return, we realize that it does not really matter where we are, it is more a fact of how we are. How much you can release and let go, and just be. For me those are the most mindful moments of my life. The shaman would say: “Sit down, shut up and listen to what your soul and the universe is trying to tell you.” And that’s exactly the most delicious moment. It does not want you to be in pain. This is all about healing ourselves, and coming back to now. In our daily lives we are so drowned in our superficial tasks and worries that we tend to forget about the deeper relationship with life.

So let’s be grateful for all those moments of chaos and darkness, and show gratitude to the intelligence of our soul to organize itself so as to regularly pull us back, with our two feet in the here and now. In the truth of what is. These feelings are super powerful – when it first happens you feel you might die from grief, sorrow or stress. My invitation is to just let them play out and remain calm. They will pass and you will feel better once everything is cleared. I will end this by a parable from spiritual teacher Sri Mooki: a new driver will get unto the highway and will fear the traffic. When the rain starts falling he might get overwhelmed by the speed of the window cleaners, the faster they go the more stressed he will be. But when he relaxes, and focuses on the road, the stress fades, and he doesn’t see the sweepers anymore. When our mind relaxes, we can go back to your default peace. This is when the magic can happen…