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the dark night of the soul

dark night

I think there is a popular myth that we will always know what we are doing and why we are doing it.

We often run from the darkness in our souls, rather than embrace it.

When we find ourselves making decisions about our tomorrow with no certainty, we can feel confused.

There is an assumption that clarity equals success.

I do believe there are times of great clarity in ones life, but also many many days of walking through night like experiences.

One of my favourite old time spiritualists wrote this prayer;

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton

Even the most successful of hero’s have had dark times of in-between.

People like Mother Teresa, are renowned for their famous writings of faith and encouragement, but many scholars attest to her many years of doubt and deep darkness.

Personally in my walk, most weeks there are days of doubt. Although it sounds like on this blog that I have very certain ideas about my life, faith, vulnerability, creativity…I spend many days in doubt fighting that certainty with a depth of courage.

If you are in a place of darkness right now and feel very uncertain about the next step. Feel assured that most people who have lived a successful life, an authentic life, a brave life, have walked through dark days.

This poem written by St John of the cross exposes his vulnerabilities in this area;

Upon a darkened night
The flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest

Shrouded by the night
And by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
While all within lay quiet as the dead.

O, night thou was my guide!

O, night more loving than the rising sun!
O, night that joined the Lover to the beloved one!
Transforming each of them into the other.

Upon that misty night
In secrecy beyond such mortal sight
Without a guide or light
Than that which burned as deeply in my heart.

That fire ’twas led me on
And shone more bright than of the midday sun
To where He waited still
It was a place where no one else could come.

The only difference between these amazing poets and inspirational people is they have found ways to keep walking through into their fields of peace.

What is it that makes the shutters come down and the dark envelop?

Discover your cross and you will be one step closer to stepping towards your peace.

See you tomorrow



2 thoughts on “the dark night of the soul

  1. love this.
    i wish our eveangelical churches were more reflective on a) our dark nights & b) the old contemplatives…. such riches.

    1. I agree. I was thinking of this as I wrote it.

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