Overcoming the "Dark Night of the Soul"

As a psychic reader and a teacher, often times people come to me when they are at their worst. In fact, I joke often that nobody wants to talk to me when things are going great.

In the course of reading and healing people over time, and because of my own experience and process healing the artist and the psychic within myself, I've made a couple of observations that I think really speak to the nature of the "dark night of the soul", how it comes about, and how one can clear the energy to take a next step into the unknown - onto the path of the mystic.

1) The darkness always come upon you when you're not looking. 
Because we are so wrapped up in the petty, daily details of our lives, we don't see the little signs and omens along the way warning us of impending change - or we willfully deny them. One day you wake up and realize - "How did I get here?" or "How did I get this unhappy"? This is totally normal, and finding your sense of humor with getting broadsided by this feeling of being "lost" is the only tonic for it. How did you get here? Well, that's what you're about to go on the journey to find out. 

2) Constant disillusionment and disappointment is almost always part of the process.
On the journey, you will constantly find yourself to be "wrong". You will find others to be "wrong". People and things you once thought you loved will become unwanted, unneeded, and unacceptable. This is one of the most difficult stresses that a mystic faces, and yet, if you can find the inner fortitude to survive this bombardment of disillusionment, this process of shedding what seems "wrong" is exactly the healing that you seek. For each time you find yourself living in an illusion that is now un-liveable, you get to reset your energy closer to their truth. It is an incremental process by nature and by necessity - the explosion of all of the "wrongs" at once would leave you incapacitated!

3) The path to healing starts with self-forgiveness.
The only way out is through. The only way to truly come into the present moment is to get real with the situations, circumstances, and reality of your own life. This requires an increased capacity to forgive your foibles, errors, and disillusionments. It requires you to make peace with who you were and who you are, in order to become who you are becoming. This is the path of the mystic. 

4) It's important that you find a community, but also that you recognize it is a solo journey.
While the path of the mystic and the psychic can be compared to the great journeys of Western Literature (Ulysses, Odysseus, Finnegan, etc) - there is a also a need for kindness along your journey. It is helpful to find a community of like-minded, committed seekers - for the most direct way to create growth is by receiving kindness from those who can say hello to you, your struggle, AND your desire to heal, without imposing an agenda onto you. Of course, one must not fall into the trap that the community is the end of the journey; it is merely a stop along the way, or a place of healing before continuing on your path. No matter how kind, how generous, how giving a teacher or a group of seekers is, they are that - seekers - and if they are true to themselves, they are also seeking and must move forward on their own paths, too.

5) It's important to understand what the end goal really is.
At the end of any journey of self-discovery and self-healing is not some utopian paradise where everything goes or looks perfectly; rather the end of the dark night is when you emerge from the dissilusionment and loneliness of the journey inward into the presence of yourself - and you are the only one who will ever understand that. It is a coming home to yourself, transformed by the journey, weathered from the storm, but more truly yourself than you were when you started. Nobody else can tell you what that looks like, what that feels like, or if it's true. You have to verify that for yourself. 

For one on a mystic path, which takes many forms, the only noble truth is that you could become master of the entire world, but gain nothing if their your soul is left in a state of despair and darkness. There is no external cure for your dis-ease, the only path to freedom and wellness is inward.

William Pacholski