I keep returning to the dark night of the soul here.
In short, for me it came after:
(a) An early awakening to all as Spirit (God). Or, more precisely, Spirit awakening to itself as all that is with no exceptions. This happened out of the blue, since I was an atheist and had no interest in spirituality before this. After some time, I found the writings of some mystics who seemed to describe a similar shift. (Mid-teens.)
(b) A “download” of huge amounts of insights and inspiration, along with a great deal of energy going through my system. It felt like high power going through regular housing wiring. It also felt like being pulled apart and put together differently. This may have included a dark night of the senses, and reduced identification with my human self. This came with the initial opening or awakening. (Late teens, early twenties.)
(c) Honeymoon phase. A sense of everything falling into place in my life, in amazing ways. (For the most part.) Being guided and held by God in smaller and larger things. Clear and strong inner guidance. Amazing synchronicities. (Early to late twenties.)
(c) Early dark night of the soul. I went against my guidance on an important life decision (where to live following marriage), and this was the start of the dark night of the soul. I felt off track and gradually felt more and more lost and aimless. (From having been very focused and quite ambitious in a healthy way.) There was also a period of a nondual state where there was no self or I to be found anywhere. (Any images or words creating the appearance of an I or self were seen as that.)
(d) Intense dark night of the soul. This came after diksha (which may have fried my brain somehow) and the nondual phase. It started with strong chronic fatigue (CFS), and the lid being taken off what was unprocessed – and unhealed and unloved – in me.
So what’s been surfacing in the dark night of the soul?
CFS symptoms. (Fatigue, brain fog.)
Persistent dread. This is with me constantly these days.
Initially, archetypal material. Heaven and hell images.
Unprocessed personal material. Unhealed and unloved parts of me, especially from childhood and teenage years. Unquestioned stressful stories.
Regression. Going back to early childhood and even before, and then slowly moving forward. Feeling like I am that age. Having memories, wounds and themes from those ages surfacing through my daily life. It’s not quite that linear, but it does seem that I am in the early twenties now.
Fear about the future. Regrets about the past. These too surfacing so I can learn from it, and also to heal, be loved, and for the stressful stories to be questioned. (The stressful stories that brought me to make the choices I regret, and the regretful and fearful stories themselves.)
Sometimes hopelessness. Giving up. Unable to see any way out or through this, including being unable to find peace with it as it is.
Losses of many types. Loss of energy, inner and outer resources. Relationships. Health. Opportunities coming along, and then falling apart. And more.
Trauma surfacing to be healed, loved, and for the trauma-inducing thoughts to be questioned. This is mostly trauma created over time in childhood, from longer lasting stressful situations (at home and with peers).
Sometimes speaking and acting from the fear, confusion and trauma, which has its consequences.
And what is it asking of me?
To find kindness towards my experience, as it is.
To find love towards my experience, as it is.
To invite and allow healing for the parts of me that needs healing.
To question the stressful stories, including the ones (re)creating trauma.
To rest with what’s here, as it is. With kindness. With gentle love.
To love the unloved and question the unquestioned.
To live from integrity. Live from authenticity. Follow my guidance. Noticing, welcoming and questioning the fears preventing me from doing that.
To be a good steward of my own life, in middle of all this, as well as I can. This includes asking for help, when that’s needed.
During the initial phase, there was a sense of all being given to me. Now, there is a sense that I need to grow up. I need to apply what I learned in more difficult situations and in relationship to deeper and more painful wounds in me.
Instead of basking in heaven, as a child receiving everything from its parents, I need to more intentionally bring heaven (love, kindness, presence, natural rest) into how I relate to what’s here. It’s more a sense of work. It’s a process of sobering up.
I am invited to even more intentionally bring what I want (love etc.) into how I relate to my experience, as it is here and now, independent of its content.
I knew all of this before too, and even applied it. The difference is that this situation is far more intense and challenging, and require more intention and work. It’s like going from the ashes to the fire.