Dark Night of the Soul

I have felt disconnected from my peers lately and am taking the time to seek out answers inside of me. It can be isolating yet beautiful, and I recently learned that this phenomenon is called ‘dark night of the soul’.

My energy with the people I used to spend time with has tapped out. It’s not that I don’t like them anymore; it’s just that I feel like they are drifting farther away as I stand on a deserted island, alone yet at peace. It could be why I continually seek out philosophical thought and literature more than human interaction. In fact, these philosophical discoveries are what led me on this lonely path in the first place.

My ego is quelled and my spirit is hungry for new knowledge, not just otherworldly and esoteric but that of Nature in which I am able to ‘rest’ from the modern world. No, I am not becoming a hermit though living in a cave sounds appealing sometimes. Then I think of that episode of Ren and Stimpy in which Ren gives the hermit life a try but gets kicked out of the Hermit Union (classic) because he made imaginary friends. I am not on the same level as Ren in this case.

Dark Night of the Soul is often defined as a period of spiritual emptiness. I don’t feel completely empty though. Some days I feel I’m just wandering and searching for my life purpose. It’s why I continue to write yet I feel like I’m not able to, that I don’t have the talent or that I shouldn’t even try. I continue to speak yet no one is listening or acknowledging my voice. There are some days where I wonder why I even try to socialize.

One has to wander in the abyss in order to find the light. I wonder just how deep my abyss goes and what kind of answers I may find. I seek truth everyday. I seek it in my poetry and stories. I seek it in deep meditation where my subconscious is a playground. I seek truth in music and feral instruments (I’m listening to a didgeridoo as I write this), and I seek the meaning of life as I walk in Nature and hear bees buzzing around new flowers and catch the watchful glare of the morning rabbits. Sometimes I feel a hint of meaning in the thrum of my heart as I exercise and in the ache of my muscles as I stretch.

I know my ‘dark night’ will be a blessing one day. We all have to suffer in order to know our True Self. However, I know that I will be a different person when come back into the light. I have heard of people losing friends and colleagues and of how they couldn’t understand why that person changed yet had no qualms criticizing them for it.

When I am deep in my thoughts I like to pull some cards, so let’s do that now.

Card One: Three of Pentacles, reversed

How fitting I pull this card as I write about disconnection. This is about working alone, either on yourself or a personal project that is not ready to be shared. In my case, it’s both.

Card Two: Five of Cups

Being not quite satisfied. I have trouble with the Taoist and Stoic concept of ‘letting go’ and allowing things to happen. I have learned that the best way to manifest is not just through visualization but also of letting the things you know you can’t control pass over you, as if they were clouds traversing the blue sky. ‘Letting go’ can set you free and I have felt this before, but it never lasts long enough. It’s time I practiced more patience and trust in the Universe.

Card Three: Eight of Cups

Escapism. Withdrawal. Being sick of this shit. This card is a sign of spiritual journey, to leave behind the modern world and its influences to discover oneself. Methinks another social media break is in order. I have used apps like YouTube to numb myself all the while knowing that it’s weighing me down.

Though I am wandering this Dark Night I do feel happy and at peace most days. I get out of bed and work out, cook my favorite foods, go for long walks, and play with my cat. I am grateful for my physical health and, although it could be better, my financial health that keeps a roof over my head and the cat fed. I’m grateful for my family and for the friends who give me space while I figure things out.

It may seem strange finding refuge in the abyss, but I know that my inner light will glow soon enough. I just need to let go of my fears and trust the journey, and when that happens my soul will light the way.

“When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.”

Joseph Campbell

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