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My Dark Night of the Soul

January 17, 2022

I’m returning to my homegroup via Zoom this week for the first time in months. I had to take a hiatus due to time conflictions, and as I anticipate seeing everyone again, and being accountable to a group, I reflected on the past year and how so much has changed. My dark night of the soul came around full circle after my dad passed away, and that was really when I felt the most distanced, even more than being physically away. I couldn’t connect to people, I couldn’t share, and I generally felt crummy and disassociated.

In reflecting upon my experiences since the pandemic started almost three years ago, as I begin to feel myself get sorted out, I realize that I really took a massive blow. Losing a parent is already a confusing time, but added to that was a year of living in a consistent global crisis, where I was already confused with masks, lockdowns, self-screenings, contact tracing, and social distancing. My fellows and I would joke at the beginning of the pandemic, “I didn’t survive alcoholism to be taken out by something named after a light beer”, but after months turned into years, I can see now I acted a lot tougher than I was, I just disguised it as someone having a really great program and relationship with God. Now that I am being sensitized to life and my feelings again, I realize I was only disserving myself with my pride that led to a different, more nuanced sort of isolation.

Today I do believe I have come out the other side, stronger, more full of love and compassion, and fearless in a different, more authentic way. A way that lets me critically think for myself, and to call out corruption when it comes at me in the form of tyranny. I conquered the sickness within that drove me to absolute thinking, that adjustment being what I believe was the beginning of my dark night, and I today am learning how to exist on a different plane where I can discern the actual threats, not seeking out or picking out imaginary ones that mislead me into false battles that only act as distractions.

I am so grateful today that my life is more and more becoming a reflection of my true self. As someone who had, and still has but in remission, a God-sized hole that I tried to fill with self-will, the pain of my past no longer controls me. Today I am not operating from a place of trauma, I am showing up in self-acceptance and at peace with my imperfections, and one day at a time I get stronger and more empowered to operate from a place of vulnerability and comradeship that I didn’t think was possible.

First things first: I am no better and no less than anyone else, God is in charge, and every day that I live to the best of my ability is a good day. When my dark night of the soul started, I felt uninspired and unable to connect with community, and as I come out the other side of it I see that I can do more things than I thought I could, and I now know that healing is my birthright.

Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash

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