The Dark Night of the Soul

It’s been an awfully long time since I have had the chance, better yet, the courage to write another article again. And I can’t exactly explain why that is. I speculate that it’s been a lack of drive and self-esteem which has been holding me back from attempting any avenue of self expression.

You don’t know how many written pieces I’ve started, only for them to end up in my drafts folder because I felt like I was wasting my time and my words. I’ve even kept a distance from social media, which is another avenue for self-expression. I’ve kept myself hidden from the world in my own prison in fear of my own limitations.

The truth is, life has gotten the best of me lately.

I feel like too many things have transpired and accumulated leaving me in a spot completely unmotivated to write, and too down to attempt to feel the confidence I once had to believe that any of my words could be useful to anyone. Within the few months that I’ve taken a hiatus from writing regularly, I’ve lost a job, a relationship, a friendship, and thus my drive for success, my strong sense of purpose, and the list goes on and on.

For me, I’m not a good liar and especially not good at faking a positive mindset if I’m not really feeling it at the time. My goal is to influence others to do better and to live better lives. I feel that I hold a gift that can spark light where there is darkness. But if I can’t do that very thing at the moment, I feel too fraudulent for exposure at a time that I’m feeling the complete opposite of what I talk about. I’m inspired by authenticity, so writing during the “storm” seems counterproductive and inauthentic.

Thinking in hind-sight I guess I could have put my funk to use and wrote about it; that way I could share my thoughts and experiences when I was feeling down, so that others didn’t feel so alone. I really wish I did that. I just didn’t have the courage. My inner self talk was fully compromised by the “ dark night of the soul” that doing so, felt impossible. Kind of like sailing out to sea in high hopes, when a hurricane is directly above you.

It felt more daring than it needed to be.

Which I believe to be what is called “the Dark Night of the Soul”. From my perspective, it means that within your ever-expansive soul, holds some deeply immense darkness, which is the hiding place for your negative self talk, and your venerability to the negativity in all shapes and forms. Within you, is unlimited potential for light and for darkness. And hanging out in the dark neighborhoods of your mind can tempt you to stay there for a very long time.

Just look at Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, who embraced and found refuge in all of his own darkness, which transformed him into the entity known as Darth Vader. There was so much potential for good in him and yet he chose to identify with the tempting darkness of his being.

We all have it. It’s part of what makes us human. When we go through mental and emotional funks, we unconsciously embrace our own darkness and let it consume us. We forget about what makes us awesome, we ignore our greatest attributes and we find ourselves living days on end in self-created misery. Which we never really notice until it’s over. And how long it lasts, depends on each of us. Mine has lasted a good 3 or 4 months and I’m not entirely sure that I’m fully moved on from it per say.

There are still days that certain thoughts will brew up in my mind and leaving me despising having to live my life as the person that I am. It’s a dark thought that would naturally disturb listening ears but still exists for many people and needs to be expressed instead of buried.

I truly believe however, that it is those dark times and those visits to the dark night of your soul, which give you a better understanding of who you are, and what you’re meant to do in this life.

Had I not experienced this vacation to the “dark side”, I wouldn’t have experienced the intense emotions that come with experiencing loss and heartache, which teach you to appreciate certain key things and also open you up to a deeper understanding of reality.

We all have been there. And it’s funny because I’ve written about this before, at a time I was feeling reborn and enlightened, only for new experiences to throw it all away so I have to learn it all over again.

Life is strange and can be a cruel place but luckily, emotional turmoil is only temporary and can be our biggest teacher.

Here I am, expressing myself again because the light seems to be shining its way through the storm. Things get better and with a little help, it can make all of the difference. And because we all experience these very real moments, I wanted to be of use. So I’ve listed a couple of videos that have helped inspire me to have faith in myself!

Wishing nothing but blessings to all.

About The Author

Djovan Henriques is a writer and activist based in NYC. You can connect with him on Twitter, and YouTube.