I wanted to share a story. I share in the Spirit of all that becomes possible for each of us, when we share our stories from our heart. This is a “Dark Night of the Soul” story.
This was Me
Since I can remember, I’ve always given 1000% to all that I do.
As a friend. As a mother. As an employee. As a student. As an entrepreneur, I always dive in FULL-tilt boogie. Like a dog with a bone it’s mouth, when I set my sight on something, I go after it 1000%!
Baby, I was born this way — A hard-working, steady, never-quit climber, who’s fiercely tenacious are my signature attributes.
And while these natural attributes have served me very well, a smart question to ask is, WHERE were you within this equation Carol? For example, if we use the analogy of me carrying a bunch of balloons, I was not one of them — Not one of the balloons I carried said “Carol” on it.
Sure, I was taking care of my son and every responsibility at home, at work and at school. Yes, I was cooking all our meals and paying all the bills, but… I was not taking care of me. I mean, yes, I would get manicures and pedicures, buy beautiful clothes and get fun hairstyles. I would go out with my friends to dance, sing and have fun. I would even get on my knees to pray to a God “out there,” outside of me, to help me be my best Self. But I was not taking care of me in all the ways my heart and Soul needed.
Though I’ve had “dry days” of feeling uncertain of my Faith like most spiritual seekers, I’ve always felt spiritually connected.
But I never asked myself questions like, “Who are you, Carol?” What matters most to you, beyond what the world expects and wants of you? What would make your heart soar, Carol, beyond the approval of what others think is best? What would fulfill your heart and Soul, Carol? Why are you here, and HOW does your Highest Self want to express Itself?”
And there were signs across my life that I needed to get to these questions, but… the busyness of life and the excitement of every new endeavor distracted me from getting to them.
I can remember one night when walking my beloved Shana, our beagle of 17 years, in Boston, after moving there to earn my M.Ed at Boston College, and looking up at the radiant, sparking stars in the oh-so dark night sky, when tears began to stream down my face. I remember literally saying out loud, “I can’t do it anymore,” and feeling “I can’t do what ‘they’ want me to do anymore,” as my salty tears ran into my mouth.
But carry on I did. Back to work. Back to school. Back to everyday responsibilities. What else could I do, right?
The Dark Night of the Soul
Have you ever heard of “The Dark Night of the Soul,” that St. John of the Cross talked and wrote about? In his book, “The Dark Night of the Soul,” he wrote, “This Dark Night is the inflowing of God into the soul which purges it of its ignorances and imperfections, natural and spiritual, and which is called by contemplatives infused contemplation. Herein God secretly teaches the soul and instructs it in perfection of love without its doing anything or understanding of what manner is this infused contemplation.”
When in Ireland last year, I had significant spiritual moment, among 3-months of spiritual moments. I was out riding my bike in the rain, when I was confronted with the impact of not answering these questions earlier in life. Tears fell as the questions rose up, “Who are you, Carol?” What matters most to you, beyond what the world expects and wants of you? What would make your heart soar, Carol, beyond the approval of what others think is best for you? What would fulfill your heart and Soul, Carol? Why are you here, Carol?”
It was a Sacred moment no doubt, but… carry on I did, again, when I came back to Connecticut from Ireland. In fact, I returned home early and did not go to southern Italy because I wanted to get back to my work.
It was time, I thought. I felt clear and good about my decision.
But resistance kept showing up in my work since returning. I couldn’t find my groove. I was struggling with getting back to all that I love about all that I do, like I had before I left.
The Dark Night of My Soul
And then a month ago, in early June, I attended a live business event in Corvallis, Oregon.
While there, in one moment, like a key in a lock, the door of “The Dark Night of MY Soul,” opened.
No, I did not have words for what was happening. No, I did not understand why I couldn’t stop crying and why I felt so lost, so unsteady. But, yes, oh yes, I was unequivocally sure that now was the time to get the answers to the questions, though the free-fall of the moment makes it near impossible to do.
The Dark Night, a Cake Walk and Faith
I’m amidst a Spiritual crisis, a Dark Night of the Soul. And while there have been moments that have felt unbearable, moments that have taken me to my knees these past few months, because I am literally being asked to question WHERE and HOW and WHY I’ve acquiesced my power in important ways across my life (which is shaking me at the root level of who I know myself to be), because I KNOW if I don’t, HOW could I EVER hope to confidently share ALL that I KNOW makes a difference about living a full and vibrant life, if I am NOT speaking from the empowered Voice I was charged to use?
NO doubt, I AM walking in Faith. But by opening to the experience, I literally feel like I climbed on a rocket ship driven by The Universe, with Spirit leading the way.
I believe that “my calling” my charge by the Higher realms of Life is to share all that I’ve learned about healing a body, for all the gold it offers, BUT… I’ve consciously chosen to put every idea of my own down, to open to the guidance sent my way.
Is it scary? Heck ya! BUT, after living a life of acquiescing to every external impulse that came my way, I FULLY and HEARTILY open to EVERY internal impulse I hear. Within the context of what poet Mary Oliver calls, living my “One wild and precious life,” for everyone else but me, this Dark Night will be a cake-walk, versus selling my Soul to every Tom, Dick and Harry.
Have you Ever Experienced a Dark Night of the Soul?
Does what I share feel familiar?
Does what I share feel insulting to the experience (please say yes! There’s so much I didn’t say, right? Ha!)
What was your experience like?
I, and my readers would love to hear your insights!