I had a dark night of the soul last night, which is different than just having a dark, shitty night.
Dark nights of the soul are game-changers.
They are the point of no return.
And when they do come, we're as ready as we'll ever be to leave the past behind and embrace the unknown.
They happen because something we've been doing or experiencing is no longer working. And it probably hasn't been working for a while, but we tried to cope in this way or that, or thought and hoped that it might just go away on its own, or maybe we thought, "It's not THAT bad", or we just tucked it away somewhere secret as we tried to do business as usual.
But "business as usual" stopped working forever ago. And you ignored that fact. And you just kept going. And now your soul is using every means necessary to get your attention, and a dark night of the soul is a pretty brilliant way for you to finally get the message loud and clear:
THIS ISN'T WORKING.
And your inner dialogue (or your audible cry to the gods) might go something like this: "I hate this. I've had enough. I want it to stop. It hurts too much. I don't know what else to do. I've tried so hard for so long to do things right and it only seemed to make things worse." And you might wonder, "How did I even get here? How did I let things get this bad?" And then you finally admit, "I don't know how to fix this. It's all too much."
And you might be crying, or maybe you're angry, but either way, you know you can't go on like this.
But instead of feeling defeated and hopeless like you would on a regular dark and shitty night, you feel crystal clear about a few things: I created this. I no longer want this. I'm willing to do what it takes to change it.
That is the gift of a dark night of the soul. Clarity. Awakening. Readiness. Followed by surrender and a willingness to do things differently, which up until this point was probably not there.
As I wrote today on my personal page, "What served me well for many years is no longer serving me. A painful realization. But more importantly, an invitation to change. I need to change. I want to change. I'm open to change."
It's no longer a feeling of powerlessness or blindness to the severity of what's going on. It's more like, "Fuck this shit. I am NOT signing up for more of this. I'm ready to do things differently. Where do I sign?"
And when you finally come to terms with the intricate mess you've been wading through for far too long, you make a decision:
Enough is enough. I am far more than this experience. I am much larger than my circumstances. I have done this before and I can do this again. I was MADE to overcome and increase the awesome. I am NOT returning to what was.
From this day forward I am devoting myself to what can be. I'm changing everything. I'm changing me.
Keep being awesome, my friends.
I will, too.
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