The Dark Night of the Soul, or DNotS, is a period of intense pain and discomfort in your life. It is a transition, a shift.
Some people call it DNotS, some people call it a mid-life crisis, some people call it a deep depression and others call it an existential crisis.
In my experience, how we label it is a reflective process that greatly depends on how we navigate it and what we get out of it. But this period is more than just a label; below, I will discuss two important aspects of DNotS with which you may be unfamiliar.
No matter how you identify it, DNotS creates a lot of upheaval in your life. And that is exactly what it’s intended to do.
DNotS is a catalyst. An awakening.
It is an opportunity to heal and open yourself up to truly experience all the things that life can bring.
The symptoms of DNotS are different for each person, but the commonality for everyone is the intensity of the pain, discomfort and discontent we feel about our lives.
During this process, it is essential that you allow yourself to embrace the emotions. Identify them, feel them, accept them. Through that process, you will expand your awareness, start making connections with past wounds and identify recurring and unhealthy patterns.
The only way out is through.
The purpose of this process is to make you so uncomfortable that you choose to dive into that pain. It is meant to shift you into expansion by showing you what needs to heal.
The Pendulum of Life
There can be anywhere between 4 and 7 stages of this process, depending on who you ask. And, while I understand that knowing the stages can feel important, the truth is that the stages are exclusively informational. Much like the now debunked stages of grief, this process is not linear. So, what no one tells you about the Dark Night of the Soul and its stages is that sometimes getting invested on knowing where in the process you are, can be more detrimental because is takes you out of being present IN the process.
Moreover, DNotS, or however you choose to define it, is not necessarily a one-time event.
You will most likely go through several of these shifts in your lifetime. Therefore, the sooner you learn to embrace this process, the easier your life is going to be. You will learn to recognize the signs and have the tools to navigate it with ease, grace and awareness.
I know this is hard to hear and even harder to go through. It probably even sounds annoying and far-fetched right now. I would have told myself to F*** off too.
But know that DNotS is your soul calling you home. It is a gift, a massive opportunity to uncover your true self and to expand your capacity for joy.
Think of life like a pendulum.
The swing to the right is in direct correlation with the swing to the left.
The farther the bob travels to the left, the farther it will travel to the right.
The more acceptance, awareness and healing you bring to these shifts, the more you will let yourself feel the pain without resistance.
This will make room for more healing which, in turn, will expand your capacity to experience joy.
You are at the doorstep of a big shift. You wouldn't be experiencing so much pain if your soul wasn't ready for it and yearning to experience just as much joy.
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