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On Embracing Your Dark Night

“Embrace the pain”, she said.  Many years ago, I had an Acupuncturist who told me these exact words. At the time, I was suffering the aftermath of betrayal, deep sorrow, fear, rage, upheaval, questioning everything that I knew, and was experiencing true panic attacks with that impending feeling of doom, which wouldn’t let up, and would affect my productivity at my day job. I was a hot mess.

I didn’t know it back then, but I was on the verge of being broken open in order to be completely transformed. I was only starting to learn about meditation at the time, and I was like a fetus in the world of being energetically enlightened.

Looking back now, I’d say that rock bottom I’d reached was a total blessing. Not only because it was a place I needed to get to in order to get away from a toxic experience, but it was only when I’d reached that darkness that I became a blank slate from which to recreate a brand new life.

Thank God/dess that dark night came. Because I’ve never been the same since. And, that’s a good thing!

One’s dark night can come in many forms: an addiction that robs you of everything you love (including yourself), being a victim of verbal, physical, or mental abuse, a diagnosis that tells you that your time on earth is limited, the figurative or physical death of a loved one or profound relationship, the loss of what’s been, up until that moment, your main purpose in life, a brush with suicide/death/life/madness. There are many more ways our dark night may come.

I’ve known people who’ve experienced the above in some form or another. And, I’ve witnessed these same people emerge on the other side, a result of creating deep healing within oneself. Having been broken open, piecing their lives back together, picking up the pieces of their heart that had splattered into several directions from the combustion of healing crisis. Regaining courage, and forging strength.

Like a sword that is forged in the burning fire over and over, pounded into shape, crafted under harsh conditions, then refined until it becomes a tool of strength, honor, and fierceness, so too are our precious human souls. When we choose to do what’s necessary to heal, we become beautifully honed and strengthened.

The beauty of life is that you get to create it. You can create beauty and light, or you can create darkness and strife. When you experience your dark night, you have to make a choice which outcome you want.

For me, that particular dark night (yes, sometimes there can be more than one!) opened me up to owning my power as a healer, and I became more deeply involved with honing my energy towards higher vibrations. I explored all ways I could find in order to accomplish this. Some of it entailed Acupuncture sessions, Reiki sessions, receiving additional Reiki attunements, reading many self-help books, trying out various guided meditations, practicing gratefulness, only spending my energy on things that raised my vibration (I enjoyed saying “No” quite often), surrounding myself with supportive nourishing people, Chinese and Western herbs, dance (I especially love salsa), increasing my daily meditation from a few minutes a day to an hour (FYI, you don’t need to meditate for an entire hour in order to receive the benefits of meditation, this was simply my choice that resonates best for me, since I like to go deep into the abyss when I meditate), iTunes playlists that resonated with my new fierceness, and other forms of guerrilla self-care.

I found such benefit from all the self-care, that I continued this regimen, even after my dark night had passed! I soon discovered that when you practice self-care when you’re most devastated, you send a direct message to your body, mind, and spirit that you cherish your deepest self, and that not only makes the pain pass that much more quickly, but it nourishes you on your deepest levels.

What did you find most challenging about your dark night,
and what did you do to emerge victorious on the other side?

Darkness cannot survive in the light.

Be the light,

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3 Comments

  1. Kristina
    June 4, 2014

    Hello Again, And Give Thanks for the affirmation of this article. I couldn’t agree more with your words. The dark night of the soul as some may call it… is that part of the journey that turns the leaf over, and kicks up the dirt. I’ve been there. It’s especially cataclysmic on the heart centered individual. These times are usually associated with loss, or reevaluating what you thought you knew, rearranging your agreements, letting go false archetypes. Your phrase “broke open” to start over and forge new strength…real talk!

    For me personally it began with my Saturns Return, and the loss of someone I loved deeply. I remember telling people in my life, I feel like there’s a giant spiritual hand from the universe pushing me to move and get on a new path. It is interesting these profound moments of which create the healer. (I feel those with the deepest pain lend themselves to being healers.) Arriving at the Dark Knight is like beginning the alchemical process of dissolution and separation. Almost an initiation or shedding to reborn again with self accountability through self love. Our true essence emerging… What it ultimately results to in that darkness is our light revealed…Thank you for speaking on a topic most people are ashamed to admit. The dark nights not needing to be “dark” at all, but bright opportunities.

    Reply
    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      June 5, 2014

      Hi Kristina,

      Thanks for your feedback! It’s true, that many people seem to veer from this topic of our dark night of the soul. But, everyone experiences it! I so agree that it’s cataclysmic on the heart-centered individual. Coincidentally, it strengthens our hearts deeply when it happens!

      Your entry is so poetic, “Arriving at the Dark Knight is like beginning the alchemical process of dissolution and separation. Almost an initiation or shedding to reborn again with self accountability through self love.” This is really true.

      I’m sorry to hear that you lost someone you deeply loved on Saturn’s Return; but, it sounds like what resulted was priceless, and a bright opportunity to be reborn.

      Much light to you!
      Margarita

      Reply
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