What is The Dark Night of the Soul? To some these words may be unfamiliar at this time, and for others, well you can probably reflect and relate to what I am about to say.  The night of the soul was an unfamiliar phrase to me my entire life until a few years ago.  Like many others my life changed during the pandemic. It felt like the rug from underneath me had been pulled, hard!

Collapse of meaning.  The moral standards I had set for myself, including the meaning of my faith. Gone. 

A meeting of my shadow self.  My shadow was revealed.  The shadow is the opposite of your morality. Showing how selfish and greedy we are, how lustful, envious, selfish and hateful we can be.

When you are faced with the opposite of your morality, it can be a difficult and challenging experience. You may feel conflicted, confused, and even guilty. You may also feel tempted to compromise your own values in order to achieve goals or satisfy desires.

 

What is the Shadow self?

The shadow is a part of our psyche that contains all of our unwanted or unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and desires. It is often hidden from our conscious awareness because we are afraid of being judged or rejected for it. However, the shadow is a powerful force that can have a significant impact on our lives, even if we are not aware of it. Withdrawn.  Disconnected to not just the outside but the self as well.  Unable to trust. The shadow offers a different perspective.  Examining your own thoughts and behaviors can help you identify your weaknesses. It’s a struggle between the conscious and the unconscious.

The person in the mirror is looking at their shadow self. The shadow self is the part of us that we keep hidden from the world. It is the part of us that we are afraid of, or that we don’t want to admit to. Shadow work is the process of exploring and integrating the shadow self. It is a journey of self-discovery and healing.

The person in the mirror is looking at their shadow self with curiosity and compassion. They are not afraid of what they see. They are ready to learn from their shadow self and to become a more whole and complete person.

When we experience any type of loss, such as relationships, career changes, any life event that shakes the core will more than likely bring on feelings of low vibes, low moods, uncertainties.  Take the loss of self and its beliefs.  Shattered programming. The foundation where we stand don’t even feel stable, those are examples of what these feelings may feel like. 

Lost. Momentums gone. Creativity on pause. Total chaos. Confusion. 

Honest self-evaluation can help you pinpoint your challenges

Going through this darkness leads to your light. A way out. Wholeness. Zero expectations.  Life just is, as you become.  There is a space, void in the darkness.  Sometimes it feels like there is nothing on the other side, that’s our “what’s the point” moment. It’s in that stretch, that you find purpose. It’s human nature to project onto others who we think they are, when in fact we may not be seeing them, the situation clearly.  

What we dislike in others, we dislike in ourselves. Check yourself first instead of trying to change others.  The point is to change your perspective and then be okay with how things look in POV mode.  

Self Reflection.  In this space there is a chance to connect with your inner self and see how your actions have reacted. Our actions can lead to other people reacting to us in a certain way. This just means that the things we do (our actions) have consequences, (reaction) both good and bad, or positive and negative. 

For example, if we are kind and helpful to others, others are more likely to be kind and helpful  in return.  On the other hand, if we are rude or inconsiderate, expect the same.  It is important to be self aware of the potential consequences of our actions upfront. We should always strive to act in a way that we would want others to act towards us.

In other words if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it may be best to wait it out before approaching a certain situation.   

The shadow blocking you could represent something that is preventing you from moving forward in your life. This could be anything from fears or insecurities, past trauma or mistakes.  You may be afraid to take risks, to try new things because you are afraid of failing.  Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself becomes discouraging when they are not met.  

 Self doubt is not believing in yourself or your abilities.  The gifts are hidden inside.  Not realizing this can prevent you from taking action.

 You may be carrying the burden of past trauma, which can make it difficult to move forward.  Feelings of guilt and shame come up. You may be feeling guilty or ashamed about something you have done or not done, which can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. 

Practice being in the present moment helps you  identify triggers and where you fall short.  Facing fears, taking accountability for your part in the story,  building confidence and healing from past trauma, including forgiving yourself. In addition to allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Focus on progress, not perfection. 

What is the Dark Night of the Soul? – Shadow Work

Acknowledge your feelings. It is important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are experiencing. Don’t try to suppress your feelings or pretend that they are not there.  It can be usual and customary for us to numb our feelings with substances. 

Identify your fears.   What is it that is preventing you from moving forward?  Once you understand the source of your block, you can start to work on addressing it. Journaling your feelings is encouraged.

Seek support from others. Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or religious/spiritual leader, can help you  process your emotions and develop a plan for dealing with the situation.

Take action. Once you have identified the source of your block and developed a plan, it is important to take action. This may involve setting new goals, changing your behavior, and seeking additional support if you continue to struggle with the stages of change. 

Remember, you are not alone. Everyone faces challenges in their lives. The important thing is to be honest with yourself about your challenges and to take steps to overcome them.  Resilience.

Chaotic experiences are those that are unpredictable, stressful, and overwhelming. Unexpected.  Life is all good and then all of a sudden, it leaves people feeling traumatized and out of control.

 There are a variety of factors that create the personal crises. Disruptions. Delays. Disappointments.  Divorce. Job loss, illness, and other personal crises, that lead to chaos and overwhelm. Chaotic, negative experiences can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. They can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  

Acknowledge your feelings. It is important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you are experiencing. Don’t try to suppress your feelings or pretend that they are not there. Take things one day at a time. It can be helpful to break down your challenges into smaller, more manageable steps.

Take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly.  Most importantly, be patient with yourself.  It takes time to heal. Entangling situations can be seen as a manifestation of the shadow. The shadow is the part of ourselves that we repress or deny. It contains our unwanted or unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and desires. When we are in an entangling situation, it can be a sign that we are avoiding or denying something about ourselves.

For example, we may be in a relationship that is unhealthy, but we are afraid to leave because we are afraid of being alone. Or, we may be in a job that is demanding and stressful, but we are afraid to quit because we are afraid of failure. Self knowledge comes from experience. Understanding the logic of the situation.  Patterns of the familiar.  Know thyself, be there for yourself and don’t forget to love yourself.  The shadow can also be seen as a source of power. When we integrate our shadow, we can access our hidden strengths and talents.

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