The Dark Night of the Soul is one of the most painful, isolating, and destabilizing experiences in life. Yet it is also a tremendous blessing in disguise.
As a primordial process of death and rebirth, the Dark Night of the Soul is a period in life where we are stripped of everything that is false. The veils of illusion are torn from our eyes. We suddenly see the fragility of ourselves, other people, and existence. And, out of nowhere, we start asking big questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” “What happens after death?” and “Why was I born?”
The more we start to question our lives, the more deception we come across. We see the lies perpetuated by society. We see the ways we have become wounded and behave dysfunctionally. And we may even notice a sense of emptiness inherent in our lives. Something feels missing. But what?
For many people, the Dark Night of the Soul heralds big life shifts. We may quit our jobs, leave our marriage, and seek out something more meaningful and aligned with who we truly are. For some, the Dark Night is a call to begin the spiritual journey toward enlightenment and reconnecting with the Soul.
Dark Night of the Soul Questions
When people first enter this dark period of life, they often have many questions. It can feel scary to lose interest in what you once valued and have your life turned upside down. Due to its destabilizing effect on our lives, the Dark Night is synonymous with what is known as the spiritual emergency.
Here are some commonly asked questions which might help to relax your mind a bit:
Most people who go through the Dark Night feel a sense of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression. It’s common to crave for solitude and quiet/comforting environments. While some describe the experience as a death and rebirth, others describe it as the feeling of disintegrating or falling through a void.
The Dark Night of the Soul is an experience that is unique to everyone (although it does share many common characteristics). For one person it may last a few months, for others, it may last a year or many years. Most importantly, please understand that this is a temporary experience and many people can relate to what you’re experiencing. You’re not alone, although it might feel that way.
There are many ways to answer this question, but it’s crucial to understand first and foremost that the Dark Night is a natural and organic process. Just as trees go through a period of losing their leaves in Autumn/Winter, so too do we as humans (metaphorically speaking). We all go through cycles of death and rebirth; periods where we are full of life and energy and then periods where we need to slow down and go within. The Dark Night helps us to stop and tune into our inner selves. It is a process that goes hand-in-hand with the spiritual awakening process and finding our true life purpose.
Good question! Think of the Dark Night of the Soul as entering a prolonged Winter period. What comes after Winter? Spring! After the Dark Night we emerge refreshed, renewed, and ready to walk our true life paths. We have gained clarity, wisdom, tenderness, and the ability to tune into ourselves during the Dark Night period. These qualities we then bring into our lives. It’s quite common to start big projects, make powerful life changes, and explore our newly found gifts after the Dark Night of the Soul. It’s a blessing in disguise.
Dark Night of the Soul Test
Are you experiencing loneliness, isolation, depression, and soul loss? Do you seem to be developing new perspectives and views regarding life? If so, you may be experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul. Take our free Dark Night of the Soul Test to confirm (or challenge) your suspicions below:
What did you get? Feel free to share your results!
Also, if you need more in-depth guidance, see our Dark Night of the Soul Journal for more help.
What has your experience during the Dark Night been like so far? I’d love to hear below. Your words might inspire or support someone else on this difficult journey.
I scored 55.
how long does the dark night last?
I think i’ve been in it for years!
I dare to question, I dare to challenge, I dare to speak the truth, alone. Always alone. Dare I hope that I am finally home?
I am lost…I feel so much and idk how to turn it off. Even when I sleep my mind and emotions race. Then in AUGUST I was drawn to this guy who is not my type normally and now I feel out of ctrl. Idk what to do.
From the moment I came across your site I felt like I’d found a treasure, but the more I learn about myself the more overwhelmed I feel. Paralyzed with fear to move beyond this crossroad. I have been married 42 years. In the past weeks I have been angry, distant, desperately seeking solitude and not once has my husband asked me what is wrong. My emotions feel so intense just the thought of expressing them just brings tears. I long for understanding
The book sounds intriguing! Did you know it was no longer available for audiobook?
December 31 was the 4th year when my son died. He died by suicide. He was the joy of my life. I have never experienced such paralyzing pain. I am finally becoming the new person I heard I would become. I am stronger, empathetic, more compassionate. On the flip side, I still question life’s meaning, people’s intent in the world, and if the best part of my life is behind me. I stand strong in my faith of God for if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t have traveled this path that I didn’t ask for. I am stuck between a grieving mother and a woman warrior. At times it’s not easy but I will be ok. I know my son was taken home by the Lord to keep him safe. I am traveling through the Dark Side of the Soul like a warrior and I am seeing the light. Thank you, Lauralea
Thank you, for all the useful information! “Aletheia” in Greek means “Truth”…..!!!
I have been stuck in this state for nearly a decade with some relief for about a year in 2014/15. I ordered Thomas Moore’s book and hope it will help. What else do you suggest. Your biggest fan. Sarah Stanley@redshift.com.
Just discovering your site. Right down my alley. Thank you♡
I feel like I am going through this phase… I’m developing a new point of view.. more mature…