Everyone descends into the dark night of the soul a time or two or three. Some absorb the darkness. Others rise. This post is about the difference.
The difference between everyday blues and the underworld is you’re alone. Encouraging words from friends feel like skipping stones on a frozen pond.
The dark night of the soul:
Recurring disappointment leads to lost hope. Doubt steals confidence. Courage quivers in a corner. You wrestle with yourself at night.
“The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.” Joseph Campbell
Rising through darkness:
#1. Face the darkness.
Rising from your dungeon has nothing to do with others and everything to do with you. Others point the way, but the path is narrow.
#2. Beware disaster:
Blame is the messenger of disaster. The journey is about you, no one else. Not a lousy team. Not the person who overlooked you.
You lose yourself under scabs of disappointment you won’t let go.
#3. Battle yourself.
Achievement and success are dangerous when they obscure reality. Disillusionment reveals the truth.
The external world drags you into discouragement, but the real battle is with yourself. Why rise in the first place? Why try again?
You see yourself best in the dark.
#4. See yourself.
You find freedom when you rise through the dark night of the soul.
You see yourself best in the dark. Something happens when you feel like giving up – that only happens there. You realize you do what you do because it’s who you are.
When you win, glory obscures the reason you run. When you don’t win, you learn the truth.
You run the race because it’s in you.
What has the dark night of the soul taught you?