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Dark Night of the Soul

A dark night of the soul is when you feel lost, ungrounded and abandoned. Many people assume, and often mistake, the dark night for depression, or that it emerges into one's life following an emotional crisis, such as divorce. But a dark night will often enter a person's life in the midst of their most joyous time.

It is always profound but not necessarily catastrophic, and it provides an opportunity to hear the voice of guidance.You may begin to meditate, read spiritual material, or become a vegetarian, and now you feel your efforts should be rewarded. When that doesn't happen, you experience the breakdown of your concepts of the Divine, which always includes the core of your expectations of the Divine. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the mystical path is the same as a spiritual practice. Mysticism is an all-consuming relationship with the Divine. It is essential to understand the need to develop the consciousness to tell the difference between high-voltage guidance and your own personal ambition.

Look closely at the quality of your prayer life: Are you expecting God to solve problems that you should already have solutions to? Are you asking the Divine to take away the mysteries of your life, rather than trying to learn their lessons? The journey is not about controlling what you get, but embracing whatever comes. Realize that no matter which cards you are dealt, you'll be guided to the lessons you need to experience. Your job is to master your responses to external events, not attempt to control them.


This article has been reprinted here with permission from the author.

Dr. Caroline Myss is the author of Spiritual Madness; The Necessity of Meeting God in the Darkness


Photo of Lost Cliffs of Oahu by Trey Ratcliff, Creative Commons

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