I’ll start with a quote from Mirabai Starr’s book St. John of the Cross: Devotions, Prayers & Living Wisdom. “The dark night descends on a soul only when everything else has failed. This, says John, is the beginning of blessedness.”
When we descend into a “Dark Night of the Soul,” we are often confronted with pain, sometimes relentless pain, or perhaps confusion or anger and most certainly hopelessness and depression. We may in fact be grieving the loss of a loved one, but to be sure, we are almost always grieving the loss of some thing . We may feel, as if we ourselves, are dying. To be sure, it may be our ego that is undergoing a necessary death. The tide is strong as it mercilessly pulls us under. Out of choicelessness it seems, we are forced to surrender on every level, and often as a result, we then withdraw into a cocoon of timelessness; and while in this state of numbing paralysis, we are unknowingly spun into a wonderous chrysalis of transformation and an assurred, but unspoken breakthrough. In a miraculous turn of events, we begin to see the light in the darkest dark and begin to rise like the phoenix from her ashes; then at last, one day we notice the stark difference, as we ascend out the dark and into the light. Victory! We are reborn, somehow mysteriously from our despair. Despair that often arises once we have let go…truly let go. Sometimes we are acutely aware of this transmutation. Other times, it’s as though we woke with a start, from a bad dream, only to realize that in fact we are in our warm bed and the break of day is seen out our window. As sure as the sun set the night before, the sun rose again to greet us and grant us a new unmade day. We take notice, and proceed differently into a newfound awareness of how to go about unwrapping or is it wrapping this gift of life granted to us. How did this happen? How did I get here? Who was I? Who Am I now?
TRM fave, singer songrwiter Bob Sima has a new album out The Movers, The Shakers And The Peacemakers. I knew I’d find a fitting “Dark Night of the Soul” song and sure enough three of his songs could have easily complimented my Rumination today. Well, I went for the “lightest” of the 3, called “No Mud, No Lotus.” Bob wisely reminds us “that everything you go through, grows you, exposes you; the things that broke you also awoke you to the questions you needed to ask.” I love that, don’t you?
Also, like Leonard Cohen sings to the imperfect perfection in everything in his classic song “Anthem,” quote “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Bob Sima also acknowledges this by giving voice to what he calls the wound…he says, quote, “the wound is where the Light gets in, revealing the masterpiece just beneath the skin.” I would add here, that by offering loving acceptance of our perfect imperfections, we create room for forgiveness of Self and other, for growth to be fully seen and received, so that all the pain and suffering we endured was not in vain, but rather uplifts our Soul’s evolution, so that we are born anew to begin again by the Grace of the God/ Goddess and so we reenter life and recommit to our earthbound journey with greater love in our hearts and grace in every bold step we take.
If you are undergoing a difficult passage, I want to encourage you to be utterly patient, kind and loving to yourself; give yourself time to see, feel, hear and mend. Remember it takes 9 months for the babe, in the darkness of it’s embryonic state in-utero to take form and then birth itself fully and wonderously into this world.
Take your time. By all means, reach out for support when you really need to and only allow the gentle man or gentle woman to nurture you in your delicate time of rebirth. You’re worth it. You’re worth the wait. May you be Blessed my friend.
Listen here to my audio recording recently aired on Transitions Radio Magazine, of my Rosie’s Rumination: Dark Night of the Soul with Bob Sima’s song No Mud, No Lotus to follow.