Those Dark Nights
We all have them – the archetypal Dark Night of the Soul. There are times in your life when you’ll be there. Monumental, life-changing things will happen. There is illness, and loss, and grieving. But sometimes you might be in a Dark Night and not know why. The lessons are not always clear, especially when you’re right in the midst of them.
We often experience a lot of resistance to being in the middle of a time of great sorrow, anger, or despair. We want to be in control of our own experience, to move through it quickly so we can rediscover our equilibrium. What would happen if, instead, we relaxed into it?
As much as possible, try to go with the flow of your feelings. Understand that you are not your experience. Your emotions, even the strong ones, move through you, and away. It may take longer than you’d like, but yes, this too shall pass.
Of course, if your feelings overwhelm you, get help. Use the tools you have available; a health care provider or therapist can be an invaluable guide. At the same time, know that your own core strength and energy are what propel you forward on your journey. You are an eternal being who is choosing to experience time and space. You are not your feelings. Remind yourself of this on a regular basis.
A focus on self-care during these Dark Nights is key. Clear out your schedule as much as possible. Take naps. Schedule a massage. Get outside regularly to breathe the fresh air, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time. Ask your friends and family members for support, and be specific about what you’d like them to do for you. Let yourself receive, without feeling that you need to reciprocate right away. Take time for healing.
Getting in touch with a deeper aspect of yourself and the world can help support you through this time. Contact your non-physical guides or totem animals. Stare at the clouds or the stars. Pray or meditate. Notice how vast and mysterious the universe is, and you’ll gain perspective on your own troubles. See the joy around you. Know that you are ever-changing, and things won’t always be this way. Even in the middle of a Dark Night of the Soul, see how the tiny waxing crescent moon is born once again to light the dark sky.