For me, the “dark night of the soul” has been a slow – and then faster – collapse.
It’s been a collapse of health, identities, relationships, courage, strength, mental clarity, hope, optimism, authenticity and more.
It was preceded by a life choice where I didn’t follow my guidance, and instead acted on shoulds and fears. I guess it’s possible to say that this triggered the collapse, which was slow at first. (The choice was to move to Wisconsin because of a relationship, even if moving there went against a very clear inner guidance.)
At the same time, a dark night of the soul seems to be a somewhat predictable phase in the process, following the initial awakening (illumination) and going before equanimity (ease through ups and downs). My process has happened to follow this pattern “by the book”, which I know is not always the case.
What is the function of this collapse?
It shows me how draining it is to go against my inner guidance (heart, integrity).
It shifted me out of my familiar roles (which were identified with) and into their reversals. This is an invitation to include a wider range of identities in my image of how I see myself, and for the identification with these identities to soften and even release.
It’s an invitation to inquire into my stories and assumptions about myself, my life, what is happening, and the world.
It’s an invitation to find love for what’s here (fatigue, brain fog, grief, despair, anger, fear, fearful thoughts etc.), and recognize these as love (here to protect the imagined me).
Its an invitation for life to recognize itself as this too. (For the divine, Spirit, love to recognize itself as this too, and not only bliss, mental clarity etc.)
It’s an invitation to find a deeper trust – in life, existence.
It’s an invitation to find myself as that which “is space for” what’s here, whatever it is. (That which allows and is the field of experience, as it is.)
It’s an invitation to find empathy and understanding for others in similar situation, through my own lived experience.
It’s an invitation to deepen and mature as a human being. And to deepen and mature in “spiritual” recognition and understanding.
– the dark night of the soul, has been a slow – and then faster – collapse
– collapse of health, work, identities, courage, strength, mental clarity, hope, optimism, authenticity, integrity etc.
– preceded by not following my guidance (triggered by it?)
– also, natural part of the process (although especially dramatic in my case, it seems)
– reversal of roles/identities, invitation to include them all + release identifications,
– invitation to find love for what’s here + recognize it as love (fear, grief, sadness, anger, thoughts etc.)