The Dark Night of the Soul – 7 Things to Keep in Mind When Going Through a Transformation

While transformation is what we are all here doing as we continue to express, expand and live our lives on purpose and out loud, it’s not the most comfortable ride most of us thought it would be.

A matter of fact, sometimes it is just downright rocky!

Michael Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center, goes as far as to say “Sometimes transformation feels like annihilation”, so powerful are the forces of change.

Have you ever felt that way? Like you didn’t know who you were anymore, the identifiers that made your world safe, were no longer, you woke up one morning and said “WHAT?” I didn’t sign up for THIS! But then you can’t go, back? Any of that sound familiar?

Are we in good company here?

Good, because, here’s the deal: That IS how it goes down.

Something has to be released in order for the new thing to take form. That is the nature of transformation. It’s deep. And it takes time. It’s nothing short of bursting at our own seams of human limitations and discovering who we are, outside of the edges, and hanging out there until it becomes the new comfortable platform (until the next transformation).

But all of it leads to this, quoting Michelangelo: “As the marble wastes, the statue grows”.

In other words, we must release that which no longer serves us or that which we have out grown, if we are to reach our spiritual stature. There is no other way.
Now, when we are in this phase, it does feels dark. That’s why spiritual communities refer to it as “The dark night of the soul.” It does, in fact, feel like the moon is eclipsing the sun, because we cannot feel the warmth or see the light. We are navigating a path we have not chartered before, essentially, in the “dark”.

We are uncomfortably out of our game and not so willing to be there.

But if we look to nature and how the caterpillar makes it’s transformation in a chrysalis before being released as a butterfly, or how a fetus grows its way into becoming for nine months in a womb, we can recognize that this is the natural evolution of the forces of change.

Or, think about this: The oak tree – tall, beautiful, expressive – existed in the acorn before it became an Oak Tree. Thus are the seeds of our potential. Transformation is what breaks that seed open for us.

So, in terms of transformation. If you are in the middle of a “dark night” of your own, or you are asking yourself the question, “What the bleep?”, here are some things to consider:

1) This too shall pass. What goes up, must come down. If we look at everything nature has to teach us in the four seasons, spring comes around again. Always.

2) Give up the NEED to understand. While you are in transition, you may very well NOT know what you’re doing. So don’t expect yourself to know what it all means. Just take the next logical step and move forward as best you can. Check in with yourself more often and trust where you are being led. Sometimes in times of change, taking up some creative activity is helpful because it gives you an outlet to make the “intangible” tangible, give form, to the formless and satisfy the rational mind that wants to take control.

3) Get extra rest. Just like the caterpillar in it’s cocoon, hibernation mode is common in times of transition. Not wanting to engage much with people or even having the energy to be as social as normal is perfectly logical. Just know that it’s not forever, it’s just for now. And now is transitory.

4) Stay out of judgment and try not to set huge goals for yourself. When you’re going through transformation, it’s an opportunity to go inside and re-evaluate. Sometimes huge strides are made during times of transformation, but surprisingly they come as a result of “surrender” and not as a result of taking massive “action”. This is time for release.

5) Look for the answered prayer. Sometimes transformations come as answered prayer. When you pray for strength, you get opportunities that will make you stronger. When you pray for love, you get opportunities to love more deeply (even if it means yourself). When you are unhappy in a relationship, you naturally, in your living of it, are asking for something better. If you are making a living in a way inconsistent with your passion, you are asking for something more. You may not be praying consciously. Simply in the living of life, you are putting out your desires for something greater. So, when you hit bottom in an area, ask yourself, How is this answered prayer? What am I being called to let go of or re-evaluate or re-cognize? Where am I being called to grow? And surrender to these answers and know that the works of change are present. Remember: Caterpillar. Chrysalis. Metamorphous. Butterfly.

5) Work with a coach or therapist to help you navigate through the change. There are exercises you can do that will help with clarity and direction. If you work with someone, interview them. Make sure they’ve done their own work so that they are assisting from a place of knowing.

6) Increase your spiritual awareness and practice. Step it up a notch. Maybe now is the time to keep a steady meditation practice or take more time to commune with nature. Do yoga. Breathe. Your connection to yourself IS your connection to God and staying close to that will help you tap into the bigger picture.

7) Remember that even though your hand might be covering your eyes blocking you from the sun, temporarily shielding you from its light, does not mean the sun doesn’t exist.

In other words, cats think that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them. Don’t think for a minute that because you don’t feel connected to the Universe (God, Source, Divine Being) during this time, that the Universe is not connected to you.

Source energy IS who you are. Source Energy IS what you are made of. Source energy IS your natural inheritance.

You’re just going through transformation so that you can claim more of IT. And more of it you will claim. In time.

Remember, the pot of gold is always at the END of the rainbow. And despite a dark night, the sun always comes to shine again.