Possibilities Playground Newsletter

Dark Night of the Soul

I’m not worthy.”

Ug. That’s such an ugly phrase, as are some of its not-so-distant relatives:

I’m not attractive enough.”
I’m not in shape enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”

I’m not witty or fun enough.”
“I’m not (insert your issue here) enough.”

Whatever voice you hear they all boil down to not being worthy. Of course the level of intensity can vary, depending on the situation, right? Not getting that promotion can be tough, but not as hard as being let go. Not getting flowers on Valentine’s Day may be disappointing, but not nearly as bad as being told you aren’t loved anymore.

A recent experience made me realize that I have some bigger worthiness issues than I thought, so I’m owning it. While I do believe I’m awesome in lots of ways, I have to say – there’s just something about this particular doubt that brings out the gremlins like moths to the flame in my life. And let me tell you – they are quick to feast on my insecurities!

Little buggers.

At some point I reached a point of having had enough. I’ve allowed them to gnaw on me far too long and, while there wasn’t much meat left on my bones, I realized I still had a choice. I could give up, give in, live with the notion of not being worthy enough and accept all the things in my life it was keeping me from – or I could do something different.

Obviously, I’m choosing the latter.

I know I’m not alone. We have way too big of a self-help industry for this to not be an issue for other people as well. So let’s just agree we’re all in good company and not judge or compare one another because that’s probably how we got here to begin with! (Seriously, think about that for a minute…)

If you’re at that place right now then you know the weight of my next questions: where do I start and what do I focus on?

There are sooooo many directions I could go, it’s overwhelming. Books, meditations, prayers, journaling, self-talk, and audio programs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of delivery channels all around us.

At first I thought I should identify the area to focus on first, but even those options can feel splintered at best:

    • delving into the PAST to determine where it all began
    • using techniques in the NOW to find a peaceful place to work from
    • leveraging common LOA (law of attraction) practices to align my energy to summon my desires from the FUTURE

Here’s the thing about navigating the dark night of your soul. It’s incredibly raw and thoughts can stab at your heart over and over again. So before we can begin to consider our past, present and future we really need to get clear about a few things. Otherwise, any effort we put into our angst will be futile. Trust me on this, as I assure you I’ve tried the other route and just gotten spun around. Before we can move forward with our dark night, we need to:

    1. Admit what’s not right in our lives
    2. Ask spirit for help
    3. Recognize there are two parts of you dealing with this

ADMIT WHAT’S NOT RIGHT

This goes beyond the typical first step of awareness. I purposefully started here because we can often sense something is amiss and therefore be aware of it, but not be able to put our finger on it. Or, we are aware of exactly what’s wrong but we sweep it under the rug … maybe distract ourselves with some other issue we “should” be dealing with.

In the end it sits and waits for us. Until we use our external voice to admit what’s not right, I think we’re hiding from it. For that reason, this is step one.

ASK SPIRIT FOR HELP

Step one and two sometimes happen at the same time; typically, when we’ve become so worn by the pain of the situation that we are exasperated to the point of praying out loud as we sob. It’s the time when the straw has literally broken our camel’s back and we feel incapable of doing anything, much less stop crying and actually attempt to function in our daily lives.

That’s OKAY…actually it’s great! We usually try to handle everything on our own so this is an opportunity to turn it over to a higher power. Of course, after you make your request be sure to follow up with dedicated time to connect with spirit (daily prayer, walking with Mother Nature, meditating by candlelight, etc.)

Pay attention to what crosses your path and follow the bread crumbs. This is how the Universe/God can best deliver what you need most.

RECOGNIZE THE TWO PARTS OF YOU

We all have two parts that make us whole: the human, flesh side run by our ego and the spiritual, soul side run by our higher God-like self. I think it’s important to understand that as we navigate the waters because it explains why some days we feel better and can sense everything is going to be okay, and other days we struggle with the voices in our head that are tormenting us.

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, so we’ve got to accept that those two parts of us play a role in everything we do. Ever feel a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? That’s the struggle to find the balance between those two parts of you. For example, when we are entrenched in the pain of the moment, the ego is definitely running the show (think 95% ego/5% spirit).

For those of you starting to torture yourself for not being ‘evolved’ enough to have your higher self calling the shots, let me say that I don’t think the goal is to get to 95% spirit and 5% ego. I believe we are here to have an experience we couldn’t have otherwise, which means to embrace our ego while simultaneously figuring out how to be connected to our higher self.

Now that I’ve clarified the three things I think are CRITICAL in being ready to move through the Dark Night of the Soul, let me boil it down and simplify where to start:

1. Find a quiet place to be with your Self. Admit what’s wrong. Don’t blame or reason, just cut to the heart of the matter. (IE: “I’m not worthy of a romantic love.”)

2. Connect with your heart and ask spirit for help. (IE: take slow, deep breaths and ask for guidance/support) Then pay attention to what’s presented in the next day or two (sometimes in five minutes).

3. Start observing or checking in on where your thoughts, feelings, or ideas are coming from. (IE: Just ask “Is this my ego or my higher self?”)

As for me, after surrendering and asking for support, it came in the form of an audio book I’d had for a long time that’d been lost in my car. On my way out of town on a two-plus hour drive, I had the notion of wanting to listen to something that would help me start unraveling things, and this CD set popped into view. So that’s where I started. (Happened to be Caroline Myss’ Defying Gravity: Healing Outside the Bounds of Reason.)

Like I said before, not feeling worthy is something most of us face at different times in our lives. Many of us have had it lingering in the background influencing our every move. Some of us get by pretty well (as observed by people around us). And some people (probably more than we know) are crippled by it in some part of their lives – whether that’s their inability to find a partner, job, stable weight, etc.

I don’t know about any of you that are experiencing a dark night, but I have reached my limit. I am tired (quite literally) of being usurped by this negative Nellie and am willing to walk through the fire to get to the other side. I know with all my heart there’s a way to do this…for me, for you, for all of us. So I’ll continue this journey with you next time – when we’ll deal with the questions of tackling our past, present and future.

Until then I wish you peace and possibilities!
image gif sara sig clear

Recommended Resources:

The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross

Defy Gravity video by Caroline Myss


 

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Dark Night of the Soul by Sara Russell of Feel the Possibilities
Visit Sara at: www.feelthepossibilities.com
Send email to sara@feelthepossibilities.com