Life After The Dark

It is slowly all at once, Life after the Dark.

Like the sun, rising on an overcast day, is imperceptible until you suddenly realize it has indeed cleared the horizon and your world once again illuminated…even if through a dull ceiling of clouds.

Yeah, that’s about it.

When I resided in the darkness within the darkness, I had no faith left. That was the scary part. If you are interested, my dark night https://willowsongmedicine.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/dark-night-of-the-soul/

Just as the Light has returned so has my faith, but it is not the same.

It has morphed and transformed into something more solid than before (and it was pretty solid before.) I find myself taking inventory of things “I still believe” and things that no longer seem valid with a whole bunch of things in between.

The first thing to show up in the newly risen sun is that the “Universe is always conspiring on our behalf.” What that meant to me before was that the Universe always took care of me. At the last second everything would fall into place and I could see clearly how I was loved and protected because things ‘worked out’. I had believed that so much that I rarely, if ever, worried about anything. Just trusting that the Universe would take care of it as long as I did everything right.

I no longer see it that way.

Now I understand it as “the Universe is always conspiring on behalf of our development“. ‘Development’ might mean a huge loss, or challenge, or disappointment just as easily as it might mean a crisis averted, amazing opportunity or wish fulfilled. It is my development that is the focal point, not the desired outcome.

“The Universe is always conspiring on behalf of our development”, that doesn’t mean it will conspire for things to work out like you think they should.

The Universe is neutral. It is neither positive nor negative. It just is. It has it’s cogs and wheels and churns out experiences based on it’s Algorithm. Efforts to raise your vibe, use positive thinking, repeat affirmations, etc. in order to bring about desired results are actually efforts to manipulate. You cannot manipulate the Universe. There is an underlying driving belief that ‘if I do it right, then everything will turn out in ways I like.” The Universe cannot be manipulated.

The Universe fills what is empty and empties what is full. This is something I knew before, but it was way back in my consciousness. I believe now that this needs to be brought to my forefront.

There is simply the process of evolution which requires ebb and flow, receiving and giving, highs and lows, back and forth…empty and fill. It has nothing to do with us at all. Things will be emptied even if we maintain the highest of vibes. Things will be filled even if we maintain low vibes. This is part of the formula of the Universe.

There is evidence of this everywhere. The sun comes up and goes down, as the moon goes down and comes up. This is not affected by anything anyone on Earth does or does not do. Does it make sense that this would be unique to the sun and moon? Doesn’t it make more sense that we would see this pattern in every aspect of life?

There is no good or bad. It’s easy to label rewards as ‘good’ and consequences as ‘bad’, but that is inaccurate. Who is to say what is bad? Yes, there are things that bring pain and most would agree those are bad, but what if something good comes of it? Does that change the value at all? How do you adjust accordingly?

If we toss the labels of good and bad then we are forced to look beyond feels good = good, feels bad = bad, to find a new way to define our experiences. If something doesn’t work out the way we intend, the way we dreamed, the way we hoped, but it works out in a different way that brings different rewards is that good because it brought rewards or is it bad because it didn’t bring what was wanted?

The Universal Laws for me now also have a different tone.

I still believe and understand that we are all one. Like the fingers on my hand are part of the One that is me, so too am I (and you) a part of the One that is the Universe. There have been no alterations to this one for me.

Everything is/has a vibration. Each one of us vibrates at our own special frequency. From that I have never wavered. Every thing has a vibration. Every thing. Not just people, plants and animals, but food, thoughts, words, choices and relationships as well.

When something feels comfortable/uncomfortable it is resonating with our vibration. “Comfortable” is not the same as “familiar”. When something feels comfortable it may not be familiar, but it intuitively feels right. We experience excitement, anticipation and maybe a little bit of nervousness. When something feels uncomfortable it is stretching us outside our comfort zone and challenging us. It is unfamiliar but still intuitively feels right…scary maybe, but right. When something brings discomfort it does not resonate with our vibration. When something brings discomfort it feels intuitively wrong, for reasons we may not even be able to verbalize.

Raising our vibration does not mean we magically attract/manifest all the things we want, but I think it does magically bring us the things we need. The things we want, may not be of high vibration. Or the things we want may be contraindicated to what we need. Or this thing we want now and this thing we want long term may be mutually exclusive. Also, things that are of higher vibration than we, can feel quite uncomfortable. So, how can we ever be sure that ‘this’, whatever ‘this’ is, isn’t actually high vibe after all? What we need may not feel good to us in the moment, but feel very good as events unfold. Raising our vibe does not mean that we will never be uncomfortable again; indeed it may mean that we will experience great uncomfortableness at times.

But raising our vibe is important in creating our experience of whatever comes our way. What happens, happens but how we experience that happening depends on our vibration and our vibration depends on our beliefs. So while raising our vibration does not mean our bank account magically rises, it does mean that we will feel more abundant with the amount that is currently in there.

I believe even more strongly after the Dark Night that it is not what happens to us but who we become through those experiences that matters. The events of our lives can be influenced by a myriad of variables.

They can be pre-destined, by us; orchestrated core events intended to give us the experiences we planned to explore before incarnated. They can be created by us in the moment by our choices and vibrations; a result of our thoughts, beliefs and actions that draw to us vibrations of the same frequency. They can be the result of someone else’s pre-destiny or choices and vibrations. Or possibly something called coincidence (which I don’t believe in.) Or something else entirely, I can’t even fathom right now.

And lastly, maybe even most importantly, I believe ‘reality’ is not validation of our Truth. I used to look at what was in my current reality as a reflection of my truth. After all, how many times have you heard ‘your outer world is a reflection of your inner world’? I believed that with my whole heart and so I would put great energy into adjusting my inner world according to what I was experiencing in my outer reality.

But based on the previous belief I outlined, that just isn’t so. This required a lot of recalibration on my part. I didn’t realize how deeply this belief went. That if I do all the right things, I will be rewarded. That things will come out right…and I had a very clear picture of what ‘right’ looked like and what it didn’t.

This caused me great suffering. Then I realized this was very much the same suffering I experienced when I believed in an all-powerful chess-playing God. The God that had a Plan, a Reason, a Will. I tried to appease Him, just as I had been trying to appease the Universe. It is all just manipulation. It has no merit in the System that We As The Creator have developed.

What does have merit is maintaining your Light when all about you is Dark.

Yes, that is the basis of my Faith now. The belief that no matter what comes to me, I maintain my Light. The belief that no matter what leaves me, I maintain my Light. It is not to bring to me all sorts of manifestations. Not to bring to me good jobs, wealth, health and opportunities. No. But to bring me Peace. Peace that is not dependent on circumstances. Peace that is not dependent on relationships. Peace that is not dependent on any thing of this world.

Peace that is reliant on only my Self.

That Peace will never again be contingent upon my external circumstances, but rather my internal experience to those circumstances, only. Only. ONLY. ONLY.

Therein lies power. The power to overcome any Dark Night of the Soul. Any, trying circumstance. In the movie Miracle On 34th Street, Doris Walker says, “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” Never have these words had more meaning for me than they do now. Common sense is an earthly attempt to navigate earthly events. Faith is an unearthly attempt to navigate earthly events.

There is Light after the Dark, my friends.

And like my friend, Glenda the Good Witch says, “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” I did…and I’m sure I will again.

I love you.

~Jade

Dark Night Of The Soul

A dark night of the soul is not just melancholy or sadness or even depression. It isn’t a bad day or week or rough time. It is a spiritual transformation. A rebirth. A destruction for creation purposes. It is to be revered and honored and not something to be snapped out of.

That said the phrase has been overused and misunderstood in the spiritual awareness world. I’ve seen it attributed to those struggling with not finding their twin flame, as well as those who suffer with depression. Neither of which is accurate.

If depression is darkness. A dark night of the soul is the darkness within the darkness. Depression lifts but leaves you the same as before. A dark night of the soul transforms you at your core.

depression | dəˈpreSH(ə)n |

noun
1 feelings of severe despondency and dejection: self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression.

dark night of the soul

noun

  1. a period of spiritual desolation suffered by a mystic in which all sense of consolation is removed.

I’ve been in dark places before. I’ve been self-sabotaging, self-defeating, self-doubting, self-destructive and suicidal. My dark night of the soul was darker than any of those – even if I put them together. Whole other level darker. It is a complete erasure of the fabric of faith.

Faith is the infrastructure of our beliefs. The framework or the skeleton upon which the flesh of beliefs cling. They are our laws. When our bones disintegrate there is no form for the flesh to cling to and no leg to stand upon. It is as if free falling, without gravity, without a shred of light, without anything to touch for reference or grounding.

And it is silent.

The comforting voices of spirit no longer available.

For a Mystic this is unbelievably unsettling to say the least. Our faith is the ground we stand on. The floor that catches us when we fall. The clothes we wear and the air we breathe. The idea of it vanishing is incomprehensible and yet that is exactly what happens.

It is spiritual blindness, tantamount to coming in out of the bright beautiful sun, into a dark room. Our eyes open wide searching for any glimmer of light, arms outstretched to gain bearings by finding the edge of a familiar wall, but there is nothing. No-thing-ness is far scarier than any-thing that lay in the darkness.

When you’ve relied upon faith to get you out of prior darkness, then how do you get out of the darkness within the darkness without faith?

I believe it is the ultimate lesson in acceptance. As mystics, faith healers, spiritual advisors etc…we make it a habit to keep our thoughts on point. “High vibrations” that’s what they tell us. Raise your vibrations and you will attract high vibration things. It’s that simple.

Except it isn’t.

What I learned through my dark night of the soul, is that this way of thinking is still ‘thinking’ and we need to move past thinking into feeling. Believing that we can control our lives by raising our vibrations, is still focusing on outcomes as measurement. It is still looking at the present situation as validation of who we are, when in fact we are what we are, regardless of our circumstances.

Attachment to outcome is the enemy. Raising your vibration, holding positive thoughts, doing this, that or the other to manifest things you want in your life, is STILL about attachment to outcome. It is still based in a place of belief that things should be different than they currently are. It is still a shadow of the age old ‘if this happens then I’ll be happy’. If there is no attachment to outcome why does every ‘spiritual life coach’ promote themselves by advertising what they’ve manifested?

What if the lesson of the dark night of the soul is that we are in charge of our experience regardless of what circumstance is showing up? That our beliefs are as fluid as our thoughts and thereby affecting them we effect our situation. Not to change the situation, but change our experience of it.

What if the dark night of the soul is the step necessary to finally understand unconditional acceptance? And what if the dark night of the soul is the moment we graduate to understanding that none of this matters? None of it. It isn’t real. It isn’t a game to be won or lost. It isn’t even ‘something’ to master.

It just is.

It is a blank canvas we can choose to paint on, or not. We can choose bright bold colors, or soft muted ones. We can choose dark brooding colors with broad strokes, or light rainbow colors with feathery brush strokes. Or any combination of the above.

We choose. And we choose not in hopes of soliciting a desired outcome, (though that is what everyone teaches), but in hopes of soliciting a desired experience.

The lesson is that we choose what makes us feel better authentically (not artificially through addiction) in any given circumstance. Does the thought ‘what did I do wrong for this to happen?’ make us feel better or worse than ‘ok, this is here, now what?’

It’s a significant though subtle shift. Neutrality vs apathy. “Ok, this is here. Now what?” (neutrality). “Nothing I do matters.” (apathy).

If we remove our expectation that our vibration will bring about desired results then we are truly at a place of unconditional acceptance. We neither seek to blame ourselves nor congratulate ourselves.

Generalized truth. That is what I call something that remains true on both ends of the spectrum. Most people subscribe to the belief that bad vibes bring about bad experiences and good vibes bring about good experiences.

So, when we talk about like-vibes attracting like vibes, then what do we do when we’ve ‘done everything right’, but everything still goes wrong?

We either a) go back to blaming ourselves and examine what we didn’t do right enough, or we b) realize there is something wrong with our interpretation of the formula.

Going back to generalized truth, it stands to reason then that if the idea that emitting continued low vibrations is not the answer to achieving desired results, then neither would be continuously emitting high vibrations. Right?

If I believe that my vibration brings about like-vibed things (and I do believe that still), and I diligently focus on raising my vibration, then any resulting suffering must be caused by an assumption that I immediately recognize all the different forms ‘high vibrations’ can take. AKA attachment to desired outcome.

If I am certain that I have been embracing nothing but high vibrational thoughts/beliefs, but ‘bad’ things still happen, then it cannot be a generalized truth that my high vibrations bring only desired outcomes. There cannot be a direct line between my vibrations and desired outcomes…but there can be a direct line between my vibrations and my experience of those outcomes. This then would explain why some of the wealthiest people in the world engage in low vibrational activity and thought. And why some of the poorest individuals engage in the highest vibrational activity.

Outcomes are not indicators of vibration.

Indeed. You never see a spiritual life coach speak about manifesting bankruptcy while they are in the midst of it, do you? Yet later, when they are safely ‘past’ it, they will share it as evidence of their struggle and the lessons they have learned to avoid it again. But what if that experience of bankruptcy brought opportunities that were required for the soul’s development? What if having a zero balance in your checking account was exactly what you needed to consider an alternative that never crossed your mind before? What if this particular situation (whatever that situation) is the environment in which to have the experience that busts through any shame you have? Or empowers you with the first hand knowledge that you are in charge of your experience?

Consider that high vibration sound shatters glass.

Just because the result is shattered glass, we do not call it ‘low vibration’.

The dire circumstances that were present at the start of my dark night of the soul remained unchanged on the other side of my dark night of the soul.

The only thing that changed was my attachment to it and my desire for it to be different. “Thinking things should be different than they are is resistance.” My own words coming back to haunt me.

I finally understand the Dali Llama’s words regarding suffering is the result of attachment. When I first heard those words I instantly thought that this practice would remove us from human experience. It does not. Though it does keep us from falling into the emotional tar pits of human experience. If the idea that emitting continued low vibrations is not optimal for a good experience of life, then neither would be continuously emitting high vibrations. Right?


According to Buddhist practice there are three stages or steps. The first is to reduce attachment towards life. The second stage is the elimination of desire and attachment to this samsara. Then in the third stage, self-self-cherishing is eliminated. -Dali Lama XIV

I believe that a dark night of the soul is the tunnel through which you travel from one stage to the next. This would be the easiest way to discern the difference between a state of depression and a dark night.

Reduce attachment towards life

Attachment to life is the attachment to things, people, events etc.. We believe that this life is all there is, we only ‘go round once’, kind of thinking. We believe that what happens to us matters and we have the idea of being a victim of life. When we release our attachment to life, we often land at the place where ‘everything happens for a Reason’.

We come out of that dark night of the soul with renewed faith in something greater than ourselves. We realize that life is an illusion. We are high on our revelation and dive into this new experience with the expectation of wonderful experiences. Even when things do not go according to our plan we understand that there is a Reason behind it. We may even understand that we might never know that Reason, but we have faith that the Reason exists.

We learn that staying high vibe is the best way to manifest positive results. We change our vibration and indeed our experience of life changes for the better. Low vibes bring low vibe experiences. High vibrations bring high vibrations. And we work hard on our deeply rooted issues to obtain the most out of life. We unearth the issues of shame and unworthiness. We believe in our potential and life is good.

The elimination of desire and attachment to this samsara

In Buddhism, samsara is often defined as the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The elimination of desire is just that. The realization that doing anything, including raising your vibration, in order to bring about a designated outcome is attachment. The idea that anything need be different than it shows up is attachment. The idea that your job is to figure out how to change your situation in life, by changing yourself – in any way – is attachment.

Understanding the samsara and not getting attached to any one phase of it over another is key. It is as if everything before had us believing that if we ‘did it right’ we could sustain a perpetual phase of birth and avoid death altogether. That is no more accurate or wise than to get locked into thinking that once death has occurred (any kind of death), that there is no occasion of rebirth.

It is a cycle, a circle – or better yet an outward never-ending spiral – not a progressive line graph, with small ‘ups and downs’ that overall lead upward.

Each revolution of the sun and the moon, tell us this, yet we have been blind to its lesson at the deepest level when we believe that by simply raising our vibrations we can stop that cycle phase known as death.

The lesson is that we can weather the cycle of death with no more effort than we do birth. And perhaps it would serve us better to think of it as a cycle of Creation, Destruction and Re-Creation. Our faith, or lack thereof, has no actual bearing on our survival of the cycle.

Self-cherishing is eliminated

It helps me to understand this concept better when I think of ‘self-cherishing’ as ‘self-preservation’.

It is the element of ego-centricity vs soul-centricity that is key here. The ego, the human conscious container and filter built into one for the express purpose to have an experience on Earth.

Ego’s soul purpose is to continue to live. Thus any message it gives us has that as its default position. The fears we have all have that same base…’death to those that do not believe’. It is the not so covert message of all organized religion. It is also the not so covert message of the traditional medical community.

When self-cherishing is eliminated we reveal a state of graceful detachment and unconditional acceptance to all things that show up. It does not mean we cease to experience the emotions of the human vessel. It means that we are not deterred by them. We explore them and notice them and move through them.

Life is seen not as a cycle of highs and lows, like a boat upon the surface of the water subject to the rise and fall of waves, but instead as the water in the tide itself.

It is not our preservation (aka desired outcomes) we strive for, but in compassion we strive for the benefit of all.

In this phase we achieve bodhicitta – the heart of the enlightened mind. We experience this in pain and in joy. It is seen by some as a state of mind, but to others it is the true mind – the essence of consciousness. Compassion for all is the primary motivating factor.

In bodhicitta there is no comparing. There is no judgement. There are no desired outcomes. There are no attachments. There is no disillusionment. There is no jealousy or disappointment. There is no excitement, even. There is just compassion.

The question remains if this is something that a human being can experience on Earth or if it is the state of the after life. Or something else entirely.

Each of these phases will have their own particular kind of dark night marking the transition. Each person will have their own particular experience of that transition. Some, I imagine, can even choose not to transform, but instead loop back and repeat the phase, believing they have transitioned, unaware of the illusion altogether.

I leave this here now, because the dark night of the soul, is an experience that cannot be conveyed in words if you have not been through it. However, words can validate the experience once you’ve had it. So to that end my purpose is complete.

I love you.

~Jade