The blessings of the “wrong turns” of the Dark Night

 

The Dark Night was a long, long hard time for me. About 9 years of on and off periods of deep depression, angst, anxiety and misery. It coloured a lot of what I did and didn’t do in life. I let it rule many of the my actions. I wish I had known better. I wish I had known how to handle it appropriately without letting it influence so many of my poor decisions.

– From Testimonies of the Dark Night, the Hamilton Project website.

I sometimes hear people say this. Some who have gone through a dark night of the soul see it as a deep blessing, and deeply guided by the divine, including all the pain, “wrong turns”, things falling apart, and more. Others, as the one quoted above, seem to wish they had done some things differently.

The two views are very much compatible. It’s perfectly possible, and probably quite common, to see it all as the divine and deeply guided by the divine (including all the apparent wrong turns and mishaps), and also see that I would have done it differently if I could, and guide others through it so their pain and mishaps are minimized.

For instance, I went through several years without knowing it was (or could be labeled as) a dark night of the soul. I have, at times, fought the process tooth and claw. I have gotten caught up in wounds and trauma and sometimes acted on it. And while I see the deep blessing that’s there, and the many gifts in it (humility is one), I would have done it differently if I could, and I wish to provide others with the guidance they need (or, at least, point them to it) so the process can be a little easier for them, if possible.

As with so much in life, it’s not black and white. The apparent wrong turns is part of the process for many going through a dark night of the soul. Nothing went wrong. It’s all already the divine, and deeply guided by the divine. And there is an immense amount of fodder there for deepening, for seeing through our stories, for finding a more inclusive love, and for healing and maturing as a human being.

And I’ll still do my best to provide others going through the same with good and accurate information, and the best possible guidelines for going through it with the least amount of suffering and turmoil.

I also see that how we look at the dark night is, in a way, a “test” of what’s left. Do I see it all as love? Do I find a deep and genuine love for it all? Have I looked at and seen through my stories of “wrong turns” and anything else that happened? If so, what’s left is a deep gratitude. (I am not quite there yet….!)

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– regrets over poor decisions, not knowing how to navigate etc.
– yes, that’s part of the process too
– if have guidelines and assistance, then make full use of it
– but if not, or if unable to make use of it, that’s fine too, it’s part of the process, it’s material to (a) see through and (b) mature through

The confusion and pain of the dark night, fighting it, and going into pitfalls, is – for many – a part of the process.

………….

Do I see it all as love? (Including the pain, struggle, things falling apart, and my hangups and identifications.)

draft……

The Dark Night was a long, long hard time for me. About 9 years of on and off periods of deep depression, angst, anxiety and misery. It coloured a lot of what I did and didn’t do in life. I let it rule many of the my actions. I wish I had known better. I wish I had known how to handle it appropriately without letting it influence so many of my poor decisions.

– From Testimonies of the Dark Night, the Hamilton Project website.

I sometimes hear people say this. Some who have gone through a dark night of the soul see it – including all the pain, suffering, “poor decisions”, things falling apart etc. – as a deep blessing, and deeply guided by the divine. Others, as the one quoted above, seem to wish they had done some things differently.

The two are also very much compatible. It’s perfectly possible, and probably quite common, to see it all as the divine and deeply guided by the divine (including all the apparent wrong turns and mishaps), and also see that I would have done it differently if I could, and guide others through it so their pain and mishaps are minimized.

For instance, I went through several years without knowing it was (or could be labeled as) a dark night of the soul. I see that it gave me several gifts, and also see that I wish to provide others going through the same with information and knowledge about the process, so it can be a little easier for them. (At the very least, it may soften an additional layer of suffering from not knowing what’s going on.) I have also gotten caught up in deep wounds and trauma, and sometimes acted on it. Again, although I see the deep blessing that’s there, and the many gifts in it (humility is one), I would have done it differently if I could, and will encourage others going through the same to try to avoid some of the many pitfalls. And the same goes for much else, including fighting the process.

As with so much in life, it’s not black and white. The confusion and pain of the dark night, fighting the process, dropping into pitfalls and much more, is part of the process for many – or all (?). Nothing went wrong. It’s all already the divine, and deeply guided by the divine. And there is an immense amount of fodder there for deepening, for seeing through our stories, for a deepening love, and for healing and maturing as a human being.

And I’ll still do my best to provide others going through the same with good and accurate information, and the best possible guidelines for going through it with the least amount of suffering and turmoil.

 

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