It’s taken me 8 years to understand what the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ actually is all about. Sometimes it’s many years after we have gone through a difficult time that we realise what the lesson was.
Why do we need to go through suffering? And what are the lessons behind it all? And what can we do to ease the burden and turn the suffering into something positive? Is that even possible?
I’m still in the healing phase and letting go phase, but I now have all of the tools I need to move forward, and I feel ready to share a part of my experience, so that it can help you, if you find yourself going through a really tough or challenging time then maybe you will see that you can transform your suffering and int he end it can help others.
So what is the Dark Night of the Soul? And how can we transform it?
Even though everyone’s experience of suffering may be different, the outcome is the same, and it comes down to your Mindset and what you believe about yourself and life.
I had gone through many years of family related stress, and loss of close family members in a short space of time. I was a single teenage mum and I didn’t have any kind of support network, or healthy guidance. I was in a difficult relationship with my daughter’s father at the time, and trying to better myself through a college course.
During this time, there was huge family issues. My mother had a breakdown and my brother ended up in a psychiatric ward, and it seemed my family had fallen apart. I wasn’t getting the support I needed- as I didn’t even think I needed it- I think this was the start of an unhealthy coping symptom, of avoiding my feelings and emotions and putting on a brave face to everyone.
These were the darkest days, I felt like a failure in every sense- a failure as a mother, as my daughter couldn’t even stay with me at this stage, as their was no space in my parents. This was Rock Bottom, I felt like I was living a nightmare. Rock Bottom wasn’t a fleeting period for me, as I had heard some describe it, it was a cycle, and lasted around 8 years.
We also avoided talking about the family issues, and so of course they never really go away. I had always felt this heavy burden as if it was up to me to ‘Fix’ everything, but not knowing how to. I suppose I was lost, and began to develop co-dependancy issues in my intimate relationships, as I wasn’t getting the support I needed. This created unhealthy patterns.
When you are in a fearful state, all of the decisions you make are affected- from your career to intimate relationships. You may end up in abusive relationships or ‘Trauma bonding’ with someone-this will play out in unhealthy co-dependancy patterns until you break these cycles completely.
You will need to take an honest look at your life and see what’s not working, and what you need to change. It all comes down to mindset and mastering your emotions. I found journaling really helpful; i was able to get a clear picture about how i was really feeling, and more recently i have found some journal prompts that I use to help me to shift my perspective around what’s going on.
Here are the questions:
1. What could this situation be actually trying to teach me? (How can it help me to grow/become stronger/wiser/better?)
2. What is the best possible outcome of this situation? ( How can me and others involved in this situation find peace?)
3. What do I need to change or let go of? (a pattern or bad habit, or maybe learn some new Mindset mastery program, or hypnosis that can help you-ask for guidance with this.
Reflect on these in your journal daily, and I promise you the inspiration and answers will start to come. Some further questions to ask are- What was the lesson in all of this ( how could this actually be helping me to grow, become stronger, or a better person ? What were the changes i had to make (do I need to let go of certain habits? Do I need to create a morning routine to boost my motivation? Do I need to listen to that hypnosis for the next 21 days? Allow the answers to come as you write, and start to build this healthy dialogue with your higher self, she will love you back for it and is waiting for you to start loving her and speaking with her.
Journalling can help you to get in touch with your higher self- and often you will get guidance or have epiphanies that seem out of the blue-I also find that you can use it to let your emotions out, this helped me so much when i wasn’t able to go to counselling.
Healing happens holistically, and when you have gone through or are going through trauma, you will need to use different tools, like journalling, therapy, E.F.T (Emotional Freedom technique) can be used to work on heaps of different issues, and is really powerful for healing trauma- (I will share some tools below)
Lesson# 1 – get support and keep it going.
It is so important to get proper support. I dipped in and out of counselling here and there, but actually it was the most important thing. Find the right counsellor and stick with them. it might take a few different therapists, but it is really worth making sure they are right for you, and then stick with it. They will also help you to create boundaries with difficult family members, and make healthy changes in your relationships- you may have to go back every so often as things come up or need more support and that is perfect- I have felt lately like I need some extra support, and so I’ve decided to go back- it takes time and patience- and support.
As I look back if only I had someone to say to me- ‘Alice this is a test- this is happening to empower and strengthen you, this is going to make you strong and resilient, this is all happening for a reason’, if only I had the right support, a mentor or guide, it could have been so much easier.
I had to become my own guide and mentor, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. It can take years, trying to everything on your own, and often not in the right headspace to make the changes you need to make.
Lesson #2 Change your Mindset ( Purge the disempowering thoughts- increase the empowering thoughts and feelings)
I understand now, how all of my decisions were based around fear and this ‘Victim mindset’. So understanding energy and frequency the way I do now, I am aware now that I was continuously creating my reality out of fear; my relationships, my career, my finances, and this went on for some years, until I had no choice but to really look at my life and what I had created.
I was avoiding my own part in it all. My mindset. I knew and understood the ‘Law of attraction’, the ‘Biology of belief’, and how we actually create our own reality based around our thoughts and our mindset…but I didn’t want to really look at that, as I kept getting it confused with karma, and thinking that I had must have done some really crappy things, and that’s why all this bad stuff is happening…but It was more to do with what i allowed and didn’t allow in my life through healthy boundaries, these were my lessons to learn and challenges to overcome, and this was why I kept finding myself in similar situations of abusive, controlling intimate relationships and constant family stress, because I allowed it all. Fuck-so I had created all of this???!!!
I just couldn’t get my head around it, I was so angry, it felt easier to blame others, my family, my narcissist boyfriend. So I stayed as a ‘Victim’ of it all for many years. I put off for many years looking at my life really honestly and taking full responsibility, it was easier to blame others, my messed up childhood, my demanding, neurotic and controlling mother, my self-destructive sister, my asshole of a boyfriend, my friend who betrayed me…my finances, my debt…The only thing I HAD TO CHANGE WAS MY MINDSET ??? And start to take back ownership and responsibility of my life. EASY PEEZY!!!!
Think of your mind like a garden and focus on pulling out all of the ugly weeds. Then you can plant new seeds, and nurture them to grow.
I was definitely my own worst enemy- I had no boundaries, I was completely out of touch with my own needs, I forgot how to speak my truth, and I started to avoid life. I was suicidal, I just wanted it all to end, i couldn’t bear living a life where I felt so unfulfilled, powerless and out of touch with my truth.
I had never ever felt this low, but nobody would even know how I was feeling, I had become so used to wearing my ‘mask’, and pretending I was doing well…I felt that if I admitted to how I was really feeling then I was weak and everything would fall apart. I knew deep inside that i was here for a reason and that I had so much to share with the world, but nothing was working out for me, whatever I tried it seemed to fail, or not work out, and that’s because God had other plans for me- I just needed to trust.
As I was listening to Michael Bernard Beckwith (an amazing spiritual teacher) one of the days-he was speaking about how he does this ‘Life-visioning process’, and it involves journaling- as I was speaking about above, asking yourself more empowering questions, not disempowering questions, and he said to start mastering your mind, you must change the dialogue that you have with yourself.
So you switch your thinking from feeling disempowered to empowered. Just by asking yourself different empowering questions you do this. I then started to explore and review certain situations that had happened and were happening in my life, from this new perspective, this was the start of true healing, and empowerment.
It’s really important to point out that what we believe about our life and our family, may be subconscious, you may not even be aware of it- but the way you act and speak will show you. So awareness is key, and journaling and reviewing situations will show you how you are thinking and if it is healthy. Once you are aware of the issues i would highly recommend E.F.T- Emotional Freedom technique-which works on pretty much all issues, from anger to anxiety, to fears…the idea is you acknowledge the issue, by saying it aloud, while tapping on certain acupressure points, it helps the stuck emotions become unstuck and release the blockages.
What I’ve also learned since then is that, you need to work on this consistently and for a specific period of time, this is something I am still working on as well, it does take time to find the right fit for you, and you need to get clear about what you need to work on. I know that mastering my emotions is the key to everything, and so this can be healed really quickly using E.F.T and journalling along with support.
Keep it simple. Do not try to overwhelm yourself with doing lots of different practices. You will probably explore many different ones, but you will know almost immediately which ones are for you.
The suffering we experience and length of time the suffering persists for is to do with nothing else, but our ‘Mindset’. We are the captain of our souls, and we literally decide when our suffering ends. Suffering is a ‘Mindset’, it is to do with what we believe, what we think and how we act as a result of that thinking. We can literally be our “own worst enemy”.
Lesson#3 Express yourself and share your story with others
Self-expression is the anti-dote to depression, and finding a way to express yourself is so important. There are loads of ways of doing that, maybe through Art, poetry, painting, writing, singing, music, or even podcasts or starting your own Blog or You Tube channel. Just make a start and allow it to flow, and remember that your story can help others too.
This is actually where the real transformation starts to happen. For so long, I have wanted to start my own Blog, and even my own YouTube channel, as a way to express myself and share and help others, but it’s taken me 8 years to actually do it. I was afraid, I felt like others were doing a much better job, but it kept nagging at me, in fact it never went away, it became almost an obsession, and I had all of these ideas about how I could make it really successful. the awful perfectionist streak in me was louder than ever, and I kept telling myself, I should really wait until I’ve healed completely, or I’ve done another course…the excuses kept coming, but in the end, I just couldn’t ignore the voice within, telling me to step out now and just share, and express, this is what i need the most, and so I’m starting with what I’ve got…and I really hope that it will help other people, I’ve got a lot to share, and I believe, when we step out and share something really magical starts to happen, that’s where the alchemy begins and we transform the suffering into a gift of strength and wisdom.
We can still be healing and help others, and this in turn helps to heal us as well.
I’m just getting started on my new chapter now, and I’m going to allow it to develop naturally, i do have a lot of ideas and ways I want to help others, but i’m still taking it one day at a time, and using the tools I have-Journalling, Qi Gong, E.F.T, and therapy, as well as lots of fun and laughter. Find things that bring you joy, this may seem difficult at certain stages of healing, and that’s normal- but there will always be that one thing that brings you comfort or inner peace- for me it is writing, I have to write almost every day, that is when i connect to my higher self, and hear the guidance.
Know that there is a deeper meaning to all of this, and you will be a stronger wiser and truer version of you. It will pass, and you will learn so much from all of the lessons.
This was the lesson all along, to learn to create healthy boundaries in my life, to master my emotions, connect with my needs and the ways I can protect myself and my emotions just simply by being aware and honest.
I have found there were certain tools that played a major theme down through the years:
1. Journalling and checking in and review process
2. Qi Gong Energy Healing
3. Emotional Freedom Technique (E.F.T Therapy).
All three are entirely self-directed and taught and I learned to create my own healing from using all three. They have literally changed my life, and I am excited that I will soon put together a free online training, which explains the three tools and how to use them to transform your mindset, your frequency and your Life, to create a sense of belonging, fulfilment and freedom, and true self-expression-the very thing that is the opposite of depression, the anti-dote to feeling stuck, trapped dis-empowered and all of these have and will be transformed using these to heal depression, trauma and the physical manifestations which are like stuck energy in your body, which can be transformed and cleared using Qi Gong, E.F.T and Energy medicine, these are all easily available online, and now the opportunity to take an online home study course is excellent opportunity to learn what you can from home.