You might feel like you are losing yourself when going through the dark night of the soul stages. It feels like you are on your own and don’t know what to do to help yourself. At least, that is what I experienced when I went through my dark night of the soul.
If you have felt like this, you might have felt frightened and didn’t know what to do.
The most important thing to remember as this is happening is that you will get through it. The dark night of the soul will not last forever, and you will come through it transformed, feeling like a new person.
We sometimes have to go through the worst things to reach the reward. Experiencing a dark night of the soul is similar to this.
If you have not gone through this period, having prior knowledge of what it entails can help you prepare yourself for when your time comes. To help you with this, I have compiled a list of the seven stages of the dark night of the soul.
This is what you will experience; you do not have to go through all of them or follow this order when experiencing this. Every person’s journey is unique. This knowledge comes from multiple observations, including my own, into what you will most likely go through in your dark night of the soul.
What is The Dark Night of the Soul?
The dark night of the soul sounds like a scary term, but it doesn’t always have to be so. It is a developmental stage where you feel like everything around you is going downhill.
You can experience the most difficulties in your life that can make you feel like you have lost control of your life. It changes your ego and pays back the karma you owe, leaving you feeling stripped and exposed.
This time can be stressful for you as you are at your most vulnerable. You can also experience a lot of psychological discomforts and inner turmoil while going through the dark night of the soul. You will come out of this stage with a deeper perception that opens your eyes to the more important things in life.
The good news is that you will come out of the dark night of the soul a new person. This period will help you grow spiritually, transforming you into a better version of yourself.
Think of the saying; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That is pretty much what it feels like emerging triumphant after this trying period.
How Long Does a Dark Night of the Soul Last?
There is no fixed amount of time that a dark night of the soul will last. The experience is unique, and changes depend on the person. My own dark night of the soul lasted what felt like months.
This is because I did not go through the dark night of the soul stages all at once. They spaced themselves out through the several months until it all came to an end.
Some people have had theirs last for years, even decades, while others pass through it in a few weeks. The duration of the dark night of the soul depends on how old your soul is, the amount of karma you have to pay, the truths you need to open yourself to, and the lessons this period is teaching you.
Your experience also depends on your ability to learn the spiritual lessons you are being taught. It will pass faster if you listen, learn, and interpret the lesson in your daily life. The more you try to fight this, the longer the period will last.
Dark Night of the Soul Stages
The following seven stages of the dark night of the soul will better prepare you to handle yourself when your time comes.
1. The Trigger
There has to be a trigger that sets you on the journey to the dark night of the soul. Contrary to what most believe, this event doesn’t have to be negative, although it is in most cases. It can also be more than one event, like a series of events happening simultaneously or one after the other.
My triggering event started when I lost what I thought at the time was the job of my dreams. I was plunged into a world of uncertainties without a clear way forward.
It was around this time that I started thinking about my life, what I wanted from it and where it could be headed. I didn’t know at that time that my dark night of the soul was starting; you might not be aware of it either.
Your trigger could shake the world as you know it, and you will have to face unpleasant realities. Some triggers can make you feel lost and in pain; you have no one and nowhere to turn.
2. The Flame Awakens
You might have been living a regular life, focusing on your work and relationships without thinking about anything more. Suddenly, the flame starts burning up, opening you up spiritually and showing you the truth.
I was scared when I first experienced this stage because I was not expecting it, and it caught me out of the blue. All of a sudden, I started feeling that there was more to life than I knew.
Your first stage can come as an urge to discover more about life and yearning for a deeper spiritual meaning in the events around you. You will want to explore your spirituality, to see the things you were previously blinded to.
This can be an energizing time; the bliss of discovering a new world can fill you with a zest for life. You will feel wiser, stronger, and happier, like you are finally becoming the person you were meant to be.
While this time can be exhilarating, you need to remember that you are just getting started. There is so much more waiting for you.
3. The Darkness Envelops You
This can feel like the first dark night of the soul stage, but in truth, you are well into your journey when you reach here. It has this name as it is when you are confronted with all the negative emotions. Past traumas can come back to haunt you, and it can seem like everything in your life is going astray.
I couldn’t find a solid footing during this time; no job offers were forthcoming, and I even considered going back home. During the second stage, I was very optimistic and believed everything would turn out okay.
This third stage broke me and drove me into a deep depression. I hated everyone around me and the world in general and constantly asked God why this was happening to me.
It is not called the dark night of the soul for no reason. This is when all the raw emotions will come out. You can feel like no one really understands you, and you do not know how to handle your emotions.
Getting help from a professional or support from family and friends can help you through this period.
4. Emotional Turmoil
As we have discussed above, the dark night of the soul can last for a long time. You can feel like you have been in the dark for so long, but once you start understanding the messages you are being taught, you will enter the fourth stage of the dark night of the soul.
This is when you start emerging into the light once again. It might not all happen at once, and you might be confused through it. This is the transition stage, where you start healing and progressing further into the light. Things are not as bad as they were before, but they are not back to being okay.
You may feel like you have entered the dark period again from time to time. There are other times when you can feel like a conqueror, which can quickly be followed by a feeling of failure. This causes a lot of emotional turmoil.
It is important to remember as this happens that the worst is behind you. Keep learning from your setbacks and see what you can change. Understanding what is needed of you will take you out of this stage and onto the next.
5. The Re-integration Period
This stage will start once you have paid back all the karma and learned all there is to learn. You have gained a deeper understanding of life and yearn to become your true self.
At the same time, you will have to find ways to reintegrate back into society. This can be difficult as you are now a new person and the things you enjoyed before don’t hold the same joy anymore.
This is when you start finding out what can take you to your true life’s purpose. You will be fueled by newer, cleaner energy that pushes you to become whatever you want. The confidence you feel urges you to find your true self, something that will bring you genuine joy.
If you are a lightworker, you will discover the type of lightworker you are and what your mission on this Earth is. This is also the period you will learn more about your spirituality and receive spiritual enlightenment.
6. Achieving Equilibrium
You might have found it difficult to blend the better parts of your old life with the person you have become. The sixth dark night of the soul stage gives you room to achieve the balance that eluded you.
It will help you align your true life’s purpose with yourself. See it as a new beginning, a chance to create the life you want.
Although this might sound simple, it can be more complicated than you think. You might think you have backtracked, giving rise to frustration and disappointment. You have to give yourself time; good things do not come easily, and rushing the process can overwhelm you.
Get help from a spiritual advisor if things get too hard for you. They can offer you advice about how to achieve the balance. Your determination and faith will push you to become the best version of yourself.
7. True Spiritual Awakening
This is the last dark night of the soul stage that shows you your new and improved self. You have done the work, and now you are going to reap the benefits. It is the reward for the long periods where you felt broken and lost. You have now healed, and you can embark on your new spiritual journey.
The lessons you learned during your dark night of the soul have shaped you into a better version of yourself. You now have more control over your emotions and know what nourishes you. Surround yourself with positive light during this time and spread positivity into the world.
You can even help those looking to better themselves start their journey. You will continue growing as time passes and reach heights you never thought possible. Your life will feel like it has just begun, and the world is full of possibilities. Go ahead and enjoy yourself.
Recommended: 10 Physical Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening.
Dark Night of the Soul How to Get Through It
The most important thing to do when going through the dark night of the soul stages is to embrace whatever comes with it. Don’t fight the feeling even if your whole body is telling you to. Doing this will delay your experience and will not nourish you in any way.
The next best thing to do to get through the dark night of the soul is to let yourself feel the emotions that come up. We tend to push unpleasant emotions down because we don’t want to feel them.
During this period, you need to open yourself up to these emotions no matter how they make you feel. Not suppressing them is important for you to achieve true spiritual healing.
Your ego might not want to deal with this but one of the lessons of the dark night of the soul involves taking control over your ego. Ignoring what it wants shows you are learning.
If it all feels too overwhelming, practice solitude. Create a safe haven that shelters you from everythng outside you. This will let you focus more on yourself and not worry aboout unnecessary things.
Since there is not much you can do when going through the dark night of the soul, you should let things take their own course. Relinquish control and trust the process.
You should also be patient and learn as much as you can during this time. You will emerge all the better by surviving through your dark night of the soul.
FAQs About the Dark Night of the Soul Stages
What triggers the dark night of the soul?
Different events can trigger your dark night of the soul. The trigger can be personal to you, but it is always a major event in your life. You might have found or lost love, ended a relationship, or lost your loved one. In some cases, the trigger can be positive, such as a promotion at work.
It can be hard to pinpoint the exact moment your dark night of the soul started. Think back to a momentous occasion when you were either excited, disappointed, or heartbroken. You might not have realized it at the time, but this period of intense emotions could have been your trigger.
Can You Have Multiple Dark Nights of the Soul?
You can experience more than one dark night of the soul. In some cases, you might feel like you have reached the final dark night of the soul stage when you have not. This will require you to restart the journey. You can also go through multiple dark nights of the soul.
This is because you are always growing, and each new stage can bring its own spiritual awakening. There is no end to learning more about yourself and growing spiritually.
No matter how many times you have gone through this experience, you can still have another episode. This only means you still have more to learn and that the universe isn’t done with you yet.
What are the symptoms of a dark night of the soul?
A dark night of the soul can show itself through physical and psychological symptoms. You can feel physically sick when going through this. You might have to deal with headaches, nausea, and a general sense of being unwell.
The symptoms can also show themselves psychologically. During my time, I became more introverted and anxious. I gave up on life and went into a serious depression. You can even give up on your spirituality when going through it.
Going through a dark night of the soul can be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Knowing the dark night of the soul stages prepares you for what you might experience and lets you know how to prepare yourself.
Of course, your dark night of the soul will not be the same as mine, but some elements will stay the same. However difficult your experience feels, always remember that it will get better in the end. The reward for going through this period is more than worth it.