“Your dark night may be a rite of passage. It may be offering an opportunity to make a significant turn in your life. It isn’t easy to make these turns, largely because they demand that you enter the unknown. You may have to dig deep into your resources – your past experiences, your learning, the personal qualities you’ve already developed – so the dark night takes you deep.” Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s Ordeals
I feel that we have been going through a collective ‘dark night of the soul’ over these past months. We are being called to pause (or should I say we were forced to pause) and look around ourselves and within ourselves. We are being called to redirect and/or reinvent our lives on so many levels – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, and environmentally.
For me personally, it has been a time of deep revision, reflection and contemplation. I decided to take this big push from the universe as an opportunity to redirect my life to my ‘true north’, even though I am not yet sure where I am going to (I sensed the pull, but I cannot yet fully see the road ahead of me).
I see the ‘dark night of the soul’ as that place/time in between. We have left our safe and comfortable place or self (by choice, chance or force) and we have not yet fully arrived at the new landscape within or without. We may feel empty, scared, unsure, uncertain, doubtful and very vulnerable. We can also sometimes feel a lot of grief and emotional/ mental pain. It is like we are held up in the air, not knowing when, where and how we will land.
One of the remedies I use to support myself during these dark nights of the soul is Prayer. Just recently I came across a beautiful prayer that really revealed how I feel right now, written by Sue Monk Kidd in her book When the Heart Waits, and I would like to share it with you (a note on the word God: please feel free to replace it with any other word that has the most meaning for you, such as Universe, Source, Life Force, Loving Awareness, Spirit, Flow, Mother Nature, Goddess, etc).
“God, I don’t want to live falsely, in self-imposed prisons and fixed, comfortable patterns that confine my soul and diminish the truth in me. So much of me has gone underground. I want to let my soul out. I want to be free to risk what’s true, to be myself. Set free the daring in me – the willingness to go within, to see the self-lies. I’ll try to run away, but don’t let me. Don’t let me stifle myself with prudence that binds the creative revisioning of life and the journey toward wholeness.
I am scared, God. Make me brave. Lead me into the enormous spaces of becoming. Help me cease the small, tedious work of maintaining and protecting so that I can break the masks that obscure your face shining in the night of my own soul. Help me to green my soul and risk becoming the person you created me to be.
Tomorrow I may regret these words, but tonight I speak them, for I know that you’re somewhere inside them, that you love me and won’t leave me alone in their echo”.
And so be it!