It is precisely because we resist the darkness in ourselves that we miss the depths of the loveliness, beauty, brilliance, creativity, and joy that lie at our core. ~Thomas Moore
You know those days, or nights when certain sadness, a sense of malaise, an uncomfortable emotion is hanging around?
This fall I’m feeling a little bit of that, (just a little though)!
It is elusive but I catch its scent as it drifts by my heart, and through my mind and body. Sometimes it is just sitting there. Waiting…waiting for me to notice and give it some attention. Inviting me into the emotion of grief or emptiness, or loneliness.
When I am distracted and override the feeling, it moves in a different direction. Just to catch my attention. To remind me that it’s hanging around. An ache in a joint, a mild scratching in my throat… Netflix binging is in order but not in a good way.
I feel unmotivated to go for my nourishing walk by the sea. I don’t really have the energy to get to the pool and my poor ukulele; she sure does need some love and attention. So does my sketchbook. And let’s not mention my embroidery kit.
This is spiritual depression, or the Dark Night of the Soul and it affects my body, my heart and my mind, as well as my spirit.
The darkness is just a fleeting visitor now, but I remember the darkness would envelope me like a blanket and take me into a place of self-pity, loneliness and self-sabotage. I remember at times it even felt comfortable, like an old shoe that fits just right.
Eckhart Tolle describes it this way,
It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…and eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression. Nothing makes sense anymore; there is no purpose to anything.
When the darkness comes over to visit,
I greet it acknowledge is there, and I show it the door with a lot of love and compassion…it sure does remind of old times. And I really am grateful that it dropped by.
It is a messenger. I have the awareness to know it’s there, and why ~ and the understanding and ability to deal with it.
Years ago it used to lead me to a very dark place, where life seemed pointless, meaningless, joyless. Life loses its purpose. It also leads to self-sabotage
I used to feel helpless and hopeless.
This is very common and typically the feeling of depression or the blues are treated with anti-depressants. The emotions are suppressed. Suppressing emotions is like holding a beach ball under water; it just keeps popping back up to the surface. It may be surface as a headache, a backache, anger, sore joints, or that feeling of being helpless and hopeless.
But suppressing the dark night will not heal it.
It will not disappear from your life.
The dark night will be just sitting there biding its time.
But… in the darkness transformation is possible.
The door begins to open, just a crack at first, but there is hope and with work it will continue to open up. It’s in this newly discovered light that you have the opportunity to let go of old and stagnant fears, beliefs and ideas that have kept you stuck in the dark.
You are awakened from your sleep, you come out from under the blankets and open up to the possibility of discovering who you really are.
Now I see the situation as a gift, it is nudge, reminding me that I need to nourish my soul. It’s time for some deep soul nourishment.
Spiritual depression seems to happen to those on a path of self-realization,
or those looking for more meaning in their lives.
It is there to help you expand your awareness, to grow. To release old patterns and beliefs that have kept you on the treadmill of life, when your life is meant be like a bubbling stream in the springtime; fresh, nourishing and quenching that deep thirst.
You can release the need to protect and hold yourself back and you can embrace life and all the joy and meaning it has to offer.
You perceive life through the lens of your belief systems and cultural conditioning, through your ancestral or cultural conditioning.
But you can see life authentically, through fresh eyes.
When you go through a dark night of the soul, you receive an opportunity to let go of what is no longer useful. It’s an opportunity for healing
Why does this happen to us?
It is to give us the push to get us back on the right path. To step into a new way of being and living in the world.
There is peace, happiness and ease all waiting there for you. Your heart is ready.
So how can you move out of the darkness and into the light?
Here are Three Tips to Move From the Dark Into the Light
1. Meditation and Mindfulness are very helpful tools. As you sit feeling what is there and send it love.
The Dark Night is a gift. It is the result of being disconnected, of being distracted, living life in a way that is out of alignment with your purpose. The Darkness reminds us. It is a perfect reminder to move into present moment awareness. To focus inside, and sit with whatever is there. It is an opportunity for growth and for deepening your connection to yourself, to your heart and soul. Sit with the Darkness, welcome it, feel it. Relax into the discomfort, fear and anguish, let it sit with you. Pretty soon you will notice it has taken its leave.
2. Move your body, the very thing you feel the least like doing is what will do you the most good. Go for that walk, breathe in the fresh air and see the beauty all around you. Get to the pool, the tennis court, the ski hill; whatever catches your fancy, just do it!
3. Write it out. Getting your feelings down on paper is a powerful way of moving it out of your head, your body, and heart to the page makes it tangible and diminishes it.
I was working with a woman, let’s call her June. June came to me feeling down. She was a lost soul. Unmotivated and depressed June had forgotten all about joy, happiness and connection. I had June make a few changes in her life, like the suggestions above and after a few visits she thanked me, in her words,
“Thank you for helping me remember who I am. I had forgotten about my dreams and now I remember how it feels to be happy, to be excited about life.”
June is just one of many, many people who have expressed that exact feeling.
So when the darkness wakes you up, when he comes a knockin’; welcome him in, he is reminding you of who you are, in your body, your heart and your soul.
After he has been there just long enough thank him for dropping by and send him on his way. You don’t need him anymore.
I am here to help.
Drop me a line if you’d like to chat and we can see if it would be a fit for us to work together, moving you into the sunshine. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet dreams and lots of love,