The Dark Night of the Soul

January 11, 2017

“The dark night of the soul” is a term for a period of sadness, fear, anguish, confusion and loneliness, which is a necessary thing to face in order to become closer to God.

Many of us have, at times, experienced the sensation that we want to abandon the space we call “our identity.” We enter another space full of doubts, of ambiguity, uncertainty, where we feel lost.

A sheep discovered a hole in the fence and escaped through it.
Happy to have escaped, it wandered around for a long time and ended up getting lost.
One day, while it was being chased by a wolf, it started to run and run…
But the wolf kept chasing it, until it reached the shepherd once more,
the shepherd protected it and lovingly guided it back to the pen.

And although everyone insisted otherwise, the shepherd refused to repair the hole in the fence.
-Classic fable

Our mind wants us to go back “into the pen.” It wants us to stop exploring, and get back to our starting point. It’s that dreaded resignation, the thought that our dreams of personal transformation are nothing more than wishes for a nonexistent utopia. 

In order to evolve and grow as people, we need to experience “dark nights,” where emotions like anxiety or depression take over, perturbing our mind and ego. We must go through these nights, because if we surrender and give up, we won’t escape from our comfort zone.

The search for oneself implies the firmness to always continue moving forward. It implies learning to constantly overcome, in order to slowly expand the limits of our own identity. We are the sole ones who can define what we want to do for ourselves. The only ones who can contemplate things from a privileged place, capable of seeing what others cant see from the ground floor.

Surely everyone has felt at some point the need to jump, escape, get lost and disoriented. Surely other dimensions perturb our concept of identity and escaping from the pen becomes a valid option, but lets not forget that it doesn’t have to be the only way out.