Many of us feel a call to spiritual awakening at some point in our lives.
We may feel a deep yearning for meaning and purpose or a sense that something is missing in our lives.
We may begin seeking out new experiences and perspectives in response to this call.
We may read books on spirituality, attend workshops or retreats, or even journey to far-off lands in search of answers.
However, the process of spiritual awakening is not always easy.
In fact, it can often be quite challenging.
As we begin to open ourselves up to new ways of thinking and being, we may also become aware of the areas in our lives that need healing.
We may begin to see the ways that others have hurt us or the ways that we have hurt ourselves.
We may realize that we have been living in denial or that we have been holding onto beliefs that no longer serve us.
In short, we may come face-to-face with the dark side of our spiritual awakening.
The dark side of spiritual awakening can manifest in many different ways.
For some, it may manifest as depression or anxiety.
Others may find themselves struggling with addiction or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Still, others may find themselves caught up in negative thought patterns or feeling disconnected from their loved ones.
So while the process of spiritual awakening can be a beautiful and life-changing experience, it is essential to be aware of the challenges that may arise.
In this article, I want to help prepare you for the dark side of spiritual awakening so that you can be better equipped to deal with it if and when it arises.
Let’s jump into it.
The shedding of a spiritual awakening
Anyone who has gone through a spiritual awakening can attest that it can be a tumultuous and challenging process.
While it can lead to feelings of profound love and connection, it can also bring up buried emotions and traumas.
Things that once brought you joy may now feel like a burden, and you may find yourself questioning everything you once believed in.
Friends and family members who are not on the same spiritual path may seem like a source of judgment or confusion.
For some, the process of shedding old layers of identity can be so painful that they choose to turn away from the light and retreat back into the safety of the shadow self.
This is not necessarily a bad thing; after all, we all have a dark side that needs to be acknowledged and integrated.
However, if we are not careful, we can become lost in the darkness and cut off from our own spiritual truth.
It is important to remember that even in the midst of pain and confusion, there is always a kernel of light at the center of our being.
By staying connected to that light, we can eventually find our way back to ourselves and the peace and love that lies at the heart of all spirituality.
Dissolving of the ego
The ego is often thought of as the “enemy” of spiritual growth.
It is seen as the part of us that is selfish, egotistical, and resistant to change.
This is only a small part of what the ego really is.
It is the part of us that is invested in our personal identity and sense of self.
It is the part of us that feels the need to be right, to be in control, and to be safe.
All of these qualities are necessary for us to function in the world, and without them, we would be at the mercy of others.
However, it can lead to problems when the ego is out of balance.
For example, if we are too focused on our image, we may start to believe that we are better than others and become arrogant.
If we are too concerned with being in control, we may become manipulative and try to control others.
If we are too worried about being right, we may become dogmatic and inflexible.
All of these qualities can lead to suffering for ourselves and others.
There is a saying that the higher you climb, the harder you fall, and this is often true when it comes to spiritual awakenings.
To reach a higher state of consciousness, we must first let go of our egos.
And while this can be a deeply transformative experience, it can also be a painful one.
When we dissolve our egos, we are no longer bound by the limitations of our ego-selves.
We can no longer rely on our old patterns and strategies for coping with the world.
We are forced to confront ourselves and our fears in a new way.
As the ego dissolves, old habits and ways of thinking fall away, leaving individuals feeling lost and adrift.
In some cases, this can lead to a period of deep depression as individuals adjust to their new reality.
But if we can weather the storm, we will emerge on the other side transformed.
We will have a clearer understanding of ourselves and a deeper connection to the world around us.
The dark night of the soul
The dark night of the soul is the most difficult stage of a spiritual awakening.
It is a time when everything that doesn’t align with our highest good is stripped away, leaving us with doubt and despair when we question our very existence.
It is a time of complete and utter darkness when it feels like we are lost in the abyss.
The dark night of the soul forces us to face our shadow self, which is the aspects of yourself that you have repressed or denied.
It’s the stuff you sweep under the rug because it’s too painful to face or because you’re afraid of what others will think.
The shadow self contains our fears, our insecurities, and our traumas.
It is the part of us that we try to keep hidden away.
But to grow spiritually, we must face our shadow self and integrate it into our conscious awareness because only then can we move forward on our spiritual journey.
The dark night of the soul is a painful and challenging process, and many people give up and turn back to their old lives because they can’t handle the intensity of the experience.
This period can be marked by feelings of profound hopelessness, extreme mental anguish, and debilitating confusion.
But it is essential for those who go through this challenging time to remember that this too shall pass – even if it feels like things will never change for the better.
Ultimately, whatever we may experience in this liminal space between awakening and rebirth is meant to help us grow spiritually and gain greater insight into ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Without facing our darkness, we cannot see the light.
The need for deep inner work
Deep inner work is the process of exploring your inner self, diving into the aspects of your psyche that are often hidden from conscious awareness.
This type of work is essential for growth and healing, enabling us to break free from negative patterns and limiting perspectives.
We can gain a much deeper level of awareness about ourselves and our place in the world through deep inner work.
We can look beneath the surface of things, seeing below all of our usual defenses and mechanisms to explore what truly makes us feel most alive, most connected to ourselves and others.
Sounds great, right? Well, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Deep inner work can be difficult, challenging, and sometimes even painful.
Because it involves facing our shadow selves, it can dredge up old traumas and buried emotions.
It can force us to confront the parts of ourselves that we would rather keep hidden away.
But the rewards of deep inner work are worth the challenges.
Through this type of exploration, we can better understand ourselves, our motivations, and our behaviors.
We can learn to accept the parts of ourselves that we once considered to be flaws.
And we can develop a much deeper sense of connection – not only to ourselves but also to the world around us.
The bright side
After going through the challenges of a spiritual awakening and the dark night of the soul, many people emerge on the other side transformed.
They have a clearer understanding of themselves and a deeper connection to the world around them.
They have gained insight into their shadow selves and have learned to accept all parts of themselves.
And most importantly, they have learned to trust their intuition and follow their heart.
The “brighter” side of spirituality is one that is marked by a sense of connection, compassion, and understanding.
It is a side that is open to new perspectives and willing to embrace change.
Unfortunately, we have to go through the darkness to get there.
But the journey is worth it, for it is only through facing our shadows that we can truly see the light.
If you’re currently experiencing a spiritual awakening or are in the midst of the dark night of the soul, remember that this too shall pass.
Trust your intuition and follow your heart.
Embrace the process of deep inner work, even though it may be difficult at times.
And most importantly, remember that the rewards are worth the challenges.