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Dark Night of the Self (not the soul)

Where to start with this one. Dark Night of the Self… I have been putting off writing about it for sure, it is a mountain of a topic to approach!

The vast differences and ways it can come about, affect and be dealt with are so numerous I am unsure where to even start!

OK, lets start with a general what it is and what it isnt.. I wont make this article too long or over complicated.. this is just to give you an idea of what is going on and maybe, why. Its a process you need to live through, not one you can read yourself through.

What Dark Night of the Self it isn’t..

It isn’t really ‘of the soul’. The soul has nothing to do with this (though sure, you could say its FOR this.. but still it isnt the soul that this process is all about), its all about the self (small case ‘s’).

This can be easily mistaken as a mental illness as the symptoms of this breaking down certainly induces and triggers such states, the main difference is that rather then ‘life’ and the ‘self’s’ lack of ability to cope being the main cause of this.. it is the spiritual awakening that is the cause of these changes to start with.

What it is..

It can be hard to pin this down as it mimics and includes/induces many form of mental illness and states of illness.

So how does it Manifest?

What was working and flowing along just nicely suddenly starts to break down and even leaves altogether. It no longer serves us, no longer what we want, it starts with become a negative in our lives:

Career – Can be suddenly fired, or sudden problems at work or in the self leading to it being unbearable to stay

Family – Death of a significant other, or where there was harmony there is now strife and conflict, people may leave.

Home – Loss of ones home or the home seemingly to suddenly start falling apart, no longer feeling safe or ‘homely’.

Mental and Emotional Stability – Depression, anxiety, despair, apathy, fatigue, loss of interest in life. Imposter Syndrome. Values and important things.. no longer seem ‘enough’.

Sense of Self – Feeling like you are not you anymore, feeling a victim to ourselves and/or the world or question if what we thought about ourselves was ever even true.

Existential truth. – Everything we held as value is broken down as we find ourselves in a sudden lacking, faith in the world, life, humanity, ourselves, we question our point, our reason and purpose.

Everything eventually twist and turns and suddenly nothing is what you thought it was. This can be sudden or over the course of a few years but you will suddenly find yourself in physical, mental and emotional state of depression, despair, lacking, feeling like everything is against you, people will seem to turn on your, even leave. Your sense of self will be broken down and you wont know yourself anymore.. you may even turn into something you dislike (due to the state this all leaves you in).

Why does it Happen?

Dark Night of the Self isnt only about breaking you down, even though it might feel like this is being done to you with no reason or point, it can trigger victim and oppressed feelings and states. However there is ALWAYS a reason, even though it may not become known to you anytime soon.

There is a tremendous amount of lessons and growth, foundations to be learned from the breaking down, to being at the lowest point, to the decision to pull yourself back, what you do, why and how. It all counts.

This is how the new Self is created. Without these lessons and growth we would only end up rebuilding the old self back and going back exactly to how we were before. Yes, that old self might not seem so bad.. but when you have finished pulling yourself up and are standing in your new Self, you will look back and be grateful you decided to go through it and will get a whole new perspective on the old self. You wont want to go back.

What Should I Do During Dark Night of the Self?

This is where it gets tricky to write. There is no single thing or bullet list I can give you to get you through this. This is an experience that can only be tackled head on by diving straight into it. All I can do is give you a personal experience as an example.

Small Dark Nights can be dealt with quickly, if you already have some knowledge and experience with them.

Personal Example:

I had a Dark Night of the Self that lasted an hour whilst I was at work.

I was on the phone with a member of the public, working for my local government to arrange the collection of a piece of equipment that lady had been given for free to aid her living at home after being discharged from hospital.

(The Breaking Down) Whilst I was on the phone that old lady was aggressive and demanding that she didnt want to see this item at her house in 2 days time. As grateful as she had been to use it, it was short lived after she had finished with it. I realised how some peoples biggest issues in there life’s (so they thought) was something so trivial that she couldn’t see the bigger picture of personal responsibility for her own state.

This lead to an immediate fall of no longer having faith in people to be able to see themselves and take up their own responsibility. Everything seemed pointless.. why do anything to help these people? Not just in work, but in everything spiritual I was doing. It was across the board. It hit me so deep I was questioning my very souls work.

(The Low Point) I sat back in my chair feeling a state of devastation and despair at my naked view of people that I had suddenly been hit with. After sitting with it a moment, I stood up and took myself to the kitchen, made myself a cuppa tea (very British) and I just sat there sipping my tea. I didnt care if the Boss saw me or anyone noticed I wasnt working. I knew this was more important, I was having a crisis and if I didnt manage it I would spiral into somewhere I didnt want to go.

(The pulling back up) I sat there for 45min, just sipping my tea and observing everything I felt, had observed, had thought. After a while I came to a realisation…

(The New Self) No matter what others are doing, are capable of, if they are worthy of.. if they can even make use of the work being done on their behalf, if they can even take responsibility of themselves.. the only thing I can do is to BE RESPONSIBILE FOR MY OWN STATE AND MOVING THAT FORWARD.

I went back to my desk with a renewed sense of purpose, value and stronger sense of my intent and will. My faith restored in my souls work.

The longer Dark Night of the Self are a gruelling long slog. It isn’t a race, there are no time limits it is best taken a day at a time.

Personal Example:

My longest Dark Night has lasted over 10 years. It was a slow spiral downwards starting with agoraphobia, then anxiety which spiralled down into Generalised Anxiety Disorder and chronic pain.

I was unable to go anywhere without incredible suffering and soon attending my 4 hour a day job became unbearable that I had to leave.

Thus I was unable to work and earn any money, I was unable to go anywhere and I spiralled into depression and had a breakdown.

I hated myself and saw myself and life only as an embodiment of fear and pain and I would never be anything else. I was everything people hated and wanted to avoid, so I am better of staying away from people. I would never experience anything else. I saw my body as an enemy working against me and my life I would never anything that involved me leaving my parents house. Due to having no income and not earning enough beforehand I was trapped at home.

My parents didnt understand my anxiety and thought is was ‘just in my head’ and we often had fights on how I just left work without having a back job ready to go into. They didnt understand. ‘Just get a job’ was a sentence I heard many times, in my own feelings of being trapped and suffering I would get angry and lash out because I wanted to, but I couldnt.

I ended feeling like a schizophrenic, I had these two entities in my head one saying to stay in hide away and the other wanting to go out and explore and I was trapped with them both inside. I realised the only thing I could do was make a choice and work towards it.

Thus my mental and emotional healing began. Having found early therapy useless I decided to study and become an actual therapist myself (yeahy distance learning) and I set about it.

At some point, my work for mental and emotional recovery changed in a spiritual awakening then ascension and I still dont know when one process changed into another. I used my Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy coupled with writing and energy work as my tools and methods

I am out of my Dark Night, however I am left with the situation it created. I had accepted I would never have a life or leave the house, thus I dont really care about leaving anymore, I gave up on having a life and it took years to get back any sense of having drive or passion to do.. anything!

I thought I would be done and healed in a year.. how wrong I was… adding on the spiritual Dark Night this was.. I have had a hard time with how long I was suffering for and for how much of my life, time and human experience I have missed out on.

I feel like I had to choose… human 3D life or spiritual awakening.. I couldnt have both.

Though it is done now.. and I am glad I went through it as I even better than I was before. I am more healed, strong and healthy. My mind and emotional states have reached a mature, stable level and I am capable of accepting, loving and enjoying being ‘me’ then ever before. I am able to appreciate and feel gratitude for myself and life.

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2 thoughts on “Dark Night of the Self (not the soul)

  1. hi Lou, i hope you are well?

    i tried to locate an email address to message, but i couldn’t find anything, so really sorry if i missed it-i didn’t really feel like going into detail on youtube.

    i was interested to know if you were available at all to have a chat? I am not looking for guidance in a 1-1 format, but just hoping to have a discussion about this specific experience. you are the only person i have heard speak about this topic in a way that truly resonates and i would be intrigued to speak with you more about this situation. It has been quite the experience, and i am curious to hear your perspective.

    I look forward to speak with you soon,

    best wishes,
    j x

    1. Hello J,

      I took off my emails as I was getting emails about questions that were driving me insane so instead I put up a page where people can ask me anything. If you go to the main menu and click ‘Need more help..’ Anything can be asked there in the comments. I do not use private emails for my own reasons and everything will be public. Feel free to ask there.

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