All of us have experienced at some point in our life~ a dark night of the soul. This can arrive in many forms. This can be through the loss of someone dear, an ending of a relationship, job, illness or news of something that changes how you see and experience the world so emphatically that your world is turned upside down and inside out. Finding light in the journey through darkness is a process that changes your experience of life for the long-term.
The journey through darkness has been described by many like Carl Jung as spiritual alchemy, Joseph Campbell as the Hero’s Journey, Bert Hellinger as soul weight, and in the Stages of Grief from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.
The work of John Tarrant, a Zen psychotherapist, in his book The Light inside the Darkness, describes the landscape of this inner journey. It begins with a descent int a world where you feel completely joined or wed to the experience. You are literally taken by it. Your emotions, thoughts, feelings and awareness become the lens for all you experience. It is a falling away from life as you knew it including beliefs, belongings. and your idea of what life is.
“Descending, we leave behind the way we were.” ~John Tannant from The Light Inside the Dark
Yet this unexpected fall can be an initiation preparing you for a new way of experiencing life.The impact of these events leaves imprints on your heart and being. In the clutches of grief and struggle, there is a call for awakening to what you are truly living. The insight into your innocence where you have not been in touch with your feelings can then transform into more conscious awareness, compassion, and capacity for life.
In the abyss of grief and darkness, you wrestle with your beliefs, your sense of betrayal, and your suffering. It is in this process you can get access to what you are facing, and what direction you are facing. In Family Systems sessions, clients are often dedicating most of their energy to the want to heal a betrayal or unresolved family issue. This means that their life energy is dedicated primarily to the past,or the conscious or unconscious material by taking the burden of it within.
However, in the midst of despair, you also have the opportunity to open to the need for healing.
“The dark night serves the spirit by forcing you to rely on something beyond human capacity. It can open you up to new and mysterious possibilities.” ~Thomas Moore from Care of the Soul
This happened in my experience while processing the death of my father. Colors and sounds were more intense. I found myself being drawn deeper and deeper into drawing and dreaming. I felt that I was literally in an altered state of experience throughout my days and nights. I filled notepads with drawings while taking care of funeral arrangements, taxes and medical bills. One evening, I had a dream about my father that shocked me enough to seek resolution and healing. In that dream he told me that I had abandoned him. Instead, the truth for me, felt the other way around. It was that feeling of betrayal that led me to seek a Resonance Repatterning session.
The modalities of color and movement with music freed internal feelings of being lost in the darkness. In a Resonance Repatterning session, I felt a sudden connection to my ancestral line and to life itself! And, I felt a release in my thinking with a shift from a feeling of abandonment to encouragement to face life. I had lived my whole life up until that point caring the burden of abandonment that my father had carried through his own life with the abandonment by his birth mother. With this, I also felt great compassion and love.“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” ~Joanna Macy
When a client is able to take the lesson from a Family System experience, they are then able to find their own place in life by giving respect and responsibility to the other family member or partner for their part in the process. This allows the client to occupy their true place in the system informed as a part of the system, and then able to face life. By doing so the circle of their world expands so they can be more in the present. They have a cup to draw insight and nourishment, and a way of holding a perspective of their own life’s meaning and direction.
“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Facing Life Again
The spiritual healing process takes the time it needs. It is ongoing in that you see the world through a new lens. You begin to see things in a new way, and this trickles down into your earlier beliefs to impact and change what you stop doing, what you start doing, and how to face life by doing something good with your new understanding and compassion for yourself and others.
For me, it became the study of Resonance Repatterning, nourishing a Peace Project that worked with basic needs and UN Millennium Goals, as well as continuing to work with children with special needs. Accessing the message from this “dark night of the soul” allowed me to see the world with a broader lens. This lens allowed a larger cup for greater kindness towards myself and others with greater conscious integrity for all my experiences: grief, fear, frustration, worry, and, yes, joy, understanding and stillness.
Family Systems is a process that has been integrated into Resonance Repatterning. Find out more about this process: http://windowstotheheart.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/what-is-family-systems/ http://windowstotheheart.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/honoring-the-messages-from-all-your-relations/