Mystics and ancient priestesses have been talking about the Dark Night of the Soul throughout history. But it was John of the Cross, a Carmelite priest, who wrote a poem called the Dark Night of the Soul (Noche Oscura). Since then, the term became widely used to describe one of the stages of the spiritual awakening journey.
The Dark Night of the Soul corresponds with the stage 3 in the inner transformation journey. However, you can experience this stage even without going through the Dark Night.
To remind you, the 7 stages of transformation are:
- Stage 1: Cry for help
- Stage 2: The Initiation
- Stage 3: The Valley of Inner Demons
- Stage 4: Distant Dawn
- Stage 5: Stepping Into Life Purpose
- Stage 6: Finding balance and laying foundations
- Stage 7: Stepping Into Inner Power
What is the Dark Night of the Soul?
I’ve witnessed many people going through the Dark Night of the Soul. Without knowing the term, I first learned about this mystic experience as a very young girl. I was gifted even more to have the opportunity to see it at a very young age and also understand the purpose of the Dark Night of the Soul.
Although back then, it wasn’t my own experience, it deeply inscribed into my skin. In this particular case, it was more intense Dark Night than any other I’ve seen after.
Sometimes in order to awaken and see life with the lense of love, our soul needs to shake our world. Otherwise, we wouldn’t pay attention to her incessant calling for us to return to our divinity. The spiritual awakening can happen spontaneously, under the guidance of a spiritual teacher, or something painful triggers it.
Many lightworkers accelerate their awakening process because of their intense longing to return home.
(If you feel like you’re here to help the world to become a better place, but you don’t know where to begin and why you feel it – watch the video on 10 Signs of Lightworkers.)
So it happens that at some point, we might go through the Dark Night of the Soul. During this sacred and harrowing period of our lives, we feel like life lost its meaning. We feel isolated and disconnected not just from others, but also from God and the universe.
The Dark Night of the Soul feels like a mini-death of our soul. When, in fact, it’s mini-death of our ego.
During the Dark Night of the Soul, something we identify ourselves with is taken away from us. It can be the death of someone we loved, a separation from a lifelong partner, meeting, and instantly losing the love of your life, an illness, or losing financial stability. It’s like a ground shakes beneath our feet, and we don’t know who we are anymore. The meaning of our previous life is gone.
Unlike the depression, the Dark Night of the Soul is primarily an experience of our soul. And it’s even more extreme because the vast majority of people aren’t in conscious relationship with their souls. Then the Dark Night comes, and they feel a sense of loss of something they didn’t know existed.
During the Dark Night of the Soul, your soul calls for your attention in the most sensitive spot.
Your soul has always been calling you, but now you can’t miss her cry anymore. For once, you can hear with your spiritual hearing. You’re returning to your true origin, which is love.
How long can the Dark Night of the Soul last?
The Dark Night of the Soul will last as long as it needs to awaken you to become a spiritual human. However, it lasts longer than one night.
Speaking from my own experience, I’ve seen people going through it within 7 days, as well as 3 months or up to a year and a half, or even a couple of years. During this time, you actually feel like the days turned into night. Thus the subjective concept of time feels even longer. You’re painfully aware of every fleeting second.
What is the purpose of the Dark Night of the Soul?
After the Dark Night ends, you become a new person. The piercing pain has awakened you to the capacity of your heart. You can see the world with a restored inner vision. The Dark Night of the Soul brings you the possibility to emerge out of the most painful period of your life as a transformed being with a heightened level of consciousness.
During the third stage of the transformational journey, you can establish a two-sided dialogue with your soul.
In the Dark Night of the Soul, you strip the layers of who you thought you were. All those identities begin to die — one after another. You have the opportunity to realize that you’re not your money, status, relationships.
In fact, you may recognize the most liberating truth of all – you already have everything within yourself.
You don’t need more money to feel worthy. Alike, you don’t need your other half to feel loved and whole.
You’re your own person – own soul. Be your own before belonging to anything and anyone else.
Fill yourself with so much love that nothing can lack in your life. You’re the one you have waited for the whole time. Can you acknowledge it in this instant? Accept it in your heart if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
After the Dark Night of the Soul
When the worst is behind you, you start transitioning to your new life. Now, you can’t fit into the old world anymore. Although many people try it. What happens after the Dark Night of the Soul is up to you. Some people continue to deepen their new-found sense of life and self. While some fear their experience and they allow their fear to rule their lives once again. Yet, this time, they’re aware of it.
Either case, after the Dark Night of the Soul, you’ll continue going through spiritual tests and learning. Your soul will lovingly guide you to the next levels and push you to your limits again.
The Dark Night of the Soul isn’t the end. It’s the beginning. You’re born again.
As long as you maintain a conscious connection with your soul and you keep your heart chakra opened, you’ll grow fast. Remember that by applying your free will, you can fly forward, resist the change and wait, or take steps back. It’s your choice.