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16 Signs You’re Experiencing a Dark Night of The Soul

Did You Have Your Dark Knight of The Soul Yet?

The dark night of the soul is known to be a spiritual depression or a deep existential crisis. It requires a rather deep and painful dip into deep water that need to be experienced right before enlightenment. The “dark night of the soul” is a well-known concept that has been widely discussed, and associated with a poem by St. John of the Cross.

It describes a spiritual depression or a cleansing that someone needs to go through to “wake up”. However, if you’re experiencing it and don’t know what’s happening, it can be quite scary. If you think you’re currently experiencing one, here’s how to tell:

dark night of the soul
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You are confused because you feel like you “should” be happy

So that’s the thing with the dark night of the soul: it generally comes up right at the moment in which you have every reason to be happy. What’s happening is you’re seeing exactly how external things didn’t and don’t have the power to heal you.

Your illusions about what you thought matters are slowly but surely breaking down. The part of you that’s continuously chasing outside things to make you happy is slowly dying. As soon as that happens, you can start doing things that make you whole.

You start to “purge” all kinds of things

For some of you, this is quite a gagging motion. For others, it’s gravitating towards a healthier lifestyle, feeling unnerving chills, heaviness, lightness, wanting to sweat more, or decluttering your home and social life.

You feel very stuck and lost

That terrible feeling of being “stuck” comes up when we start to recognize all the limitations that we place on ourselves. Feeling “lost” also means you’re no longer living by the script you made up for yourself – you’re basically opening up to a totally new way of living, and a totally new life. Naturally, it feels like you don’t know where you should be heading.

You start to desire to impress people less and to connect with them more

You realize that there are a couple of ways of interacting with people: trying to win their approval by being “better” than them or trying to connect with them on a more genuine level. Trying to impress people into liking you might leave you feeling empty. It’s also a pervasive mechanism the ego often uses to soothe itself when the fear of truly being seen by another person comes up.

You start to resonate with Eastern philosophies and spirituality

There’s a fear-based system in which you are made to think you should beg for mercy. Slowly but surely, in the dark night of the soul, that system doesn’t work for you anymore. Instead, you are rather interested in learning exactly how to harness your mind and awaken it to your own power. For your own sake and healing, and for other people’s wellbeing.

You’re having random, intense memories and dreams of past partners, forgotten childhood experiences and trauma

When this happens on the dark night of the soul, it’s mainly because you have to deal with all the emotions that are deeply attached to all the experiences that are bubbling up to the surface. The energy that you might have had was to ignore these feelings, and now, well, it starts to diffuse. You start opening yourself back up to the parts of your subconscious mind that you “forgot” about while you were suppressing other memories.

You completely rethink your idea of “success”

You start listening to the countless warnings that fame, wealth, and “success” aren’t the true luxuries of life. You also realize that you don’t really want any of it anyway, and you are mainly relying on the idea of it to soothe some of the fears and insecurities you had about your own worthlessness.

You re-discover your inner child

Whether it’s deciding that you want to pick up on something you once loved but gave up on, whether it’s a game, a form of art, or even just letting yourself be silly every now and then, you also allow yourself to revert back and fully embrace your most innocent state. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of a dark night of the soul.

Alpha Female Trait dark night of the soul
Photo by Peshkova at Shutterstock

You start to understand what people talk about when they say they’re socially conditioned

You are slowly shaking awake and realize that most people live on a numbed, disconnected autopilot in which everything from their interests to their life partners is chosen rather on “society’s” terms and preferences than how they truly feel.

You have all kinds of frightening and irrational thoughts

When you’re experiencing a dark night of the soul, a part of you is slowly but surely dying. You’re more aware of your ego and how it has been controlling the overall quality of your life.

You connect with what true suffering really is

When you truly suffer, you also become more aware of your ability to empathize with what actual pain is. This is one of the most difficult stages one can go through during a dark night of the soul. Before, seeing movies with war scenes and dying siblings was sad too, but it didn’t truly resonate with you. Now, you really start to feel what refugees and people stuck in war-torn countries go through, and how it must feel like for them.

At first, acknowledging true suffering is overwhelming, but it doesn’t stay like this for too long

At first, feeling this will make you want to get up and change everything, even if you’re not responsible for fixing all the suffering in this world. Eventually, you will understand what your role is in helping and healing. In the meantime, you will grow in patience and your capacity to understand others, even strangers. The dark night of the soul makes you better as a person.

Your sleeping habits are irregular

Probably one of the most important things you should remember during the dark night of the soul is that you must get more rest than usual. You need to take it as easy as you can. Your entire body is recalibrating, and it’s only natural that you’re going to have at least a series of growing pains.

Serendipity is everywhere

During the dark night of the soul, the coincidences in your life are trying to show you what’s the right direction. Pay attention to them.

You’re getting the feeling that you need to be still

If you have moved around a lot in the past months or years, during a dark night of the soul you get the intuitive nudge that it’s time to be present and stop continually running away from your issues. Even if you had plenty of past adventures, there’s still something quite profound about being able to stay where you are and work with any kind of emotions that might arise.

You’re more conscious of how your mind is operating

All those irrational thoughts that you might have noticed before now crystalize in your mind. You fully realize how much your brain creates what it wants to see in reality, and how all your biases and subjectivity influence what you experience and feel.

If you found this article useful, we also recommend checking: Strong Aura: 7 Unique Traits That Make You Highly Attractive

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