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The Dark Night of the Soul

As I sit down to write this, it feels like I'm reaching out from a place that's both deeply personal and, at times, terrifyingly isolating - the Dark Night of the Soul.

The Dark Night of the Soul is a term that was first coined by St. John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic and poet who lived in the 16th century. He described it as a period of spiritual desolation, where one feels completely abandoned by God and left to suffer alone.

If you're reading this, perhaps you've felt it too: that profound emptiness, the moment where you crash into a sense of despair and insecurity. The feeling of being lost, of not knowing who you are or what you want. It's the moment when everything that once seemed so certain and clear becomes murky and confusing. It's that place where all your old beliefs about yourself and the world around you no longer hold any weight.

As I navigate the depths of my Dark Night, one of the greatest challenges I've faced is allowing myself to be vulnerable. For much of my life, I've been met with messages, both spoken and unspoken, that my emotions were "too much." From childhood, where showing feelings was often met with discomfort or dismissal by my parents, to adulthood, where I've experienced heartbreaking abuse and abandonment from those I dared to open my heart to. The most recent experience of my marriage breakdown taught me a harsh lesson: that to be vulnerable was to be seen as weak, that trusting others with my innermost vulnerabilities would lead to me being hurt and that it was safer to cloak my emotions in an armour of perceived strength than to trust people to hear my pain and hold my heart safe.

This conditioning makes the journey through the Dark Night even more daunting. To seek support, to admit I'm struggling, contradicts everything I've learned about survival. It's both emotionally overwhelming and physically painful to fight against my own body's nervous system's desire to keep me safe. Yet, it's precisely in confronting this message that being vulnerable means I am needy and my fear of rejection when I show my vulnerability, that I believe is where I hold my true power.

Being vulnerable, especially now, is not a sign of weakness, but of tremendous courage. It's in the act of opening up, of sharing my story, that I've started to heal the wounds of my past. It’s an ongoing process, one that requires daily commitment and compassion, both for myself and for those few I choose to let in. This is not an easy ask of myself, it's not an easy ask of anyone, but it's one that I'm willing to make. Because, in the end, I believe that vulnerability is the key to living a life of true freedom

In recognising this, I've also come to see the value of the right kind of community and this is a belief that extends to The Self-Care Club Membership. It's a space where we don't just share self-care strategies and wins, but also open up about our struggles with vulnerability and how we might rebuild trust in ourselves and others. It's about creating a supportive, nurturing environment where being "too much" is just enough. Where we can show up, scars and all, and be met with empathy and understanding, not judgment or abandonment.

Sharing this journey, embracing the collective strength and compassion within The Self-Care Club Membership, offers a flicker of hope in the darkness. It's a reminder that, even in our most vulnerable moments, we can find connection, support, and a path towards healing and transformation.

In sharing my journey, I don't just want to tell you about the pain and the struggles I have experienced. I want to explore how, even in the depths of this spiritual night, I've been finding glimmers of light, and using all my self-care tools to support myself through what has been, undoubtedly, one of the most challenging periods of my life.

The Embrace of Self-Compassion

One of the first things I realised is the power of self-compassion. It's not about forcing myself to be happy or to 'snap out of it.' It's about recognizing this pain, this emptiness, as a part of a larger process of transformation. It's about sitting with my feelings, however uncomfortable, and offering myself the same kindness I would my clients or a dear friend in distress.

Nurturing the Body and Soul

I've often neglected my body, viewing it merely as a vessel for my mind and spirit. But during this period, I've come to understand the symbiotic relationship between the physical and the spiritual. Gentle yoga, mindful walks, nourishing food - these have become non-negotiable parts of my daily routine. They are the tangible acts of self-love that, bit by bit, restore the strength needed to journey through the night.

Creative Expression as a Lifeline

Writing, for me, has always been difficult. But in the Dark Night, it's become a lifeline. It's a place where I pour out my fears, my questions, and, surprisingly, my discoveries. Sharing my journey to encourage others offers me a purpose and motivation to keep going. Creativity, in any form, has the power to transmute pain into something profound, even beautiful. Connecting with music, singing, dance and writing have become vital ways for me to process and articulate this journey, making the intangible tangibly healing.

Seeking and Offering Support

I've found an unexpected wellspring of strength in sharing my journey. In opening up about my struggles, I've received support from the most unexpected places, ive also connected with others who are navigating their Dark Nights. These connections, these shared experiences, remind me that I'm not alone. More than that, they've shown me that my vulnerability, my openness about my struggles, can offer solace and support to others.

Joining The Self-Care Club Membership

If any of my journey resonates with you, I invite you to join The Self-Care Club Membership. It's more than just a community; it's a sanctuary for those of us navigating the complexities of self-care amid our Dark Nights. Here, we explore deeper into wellness strategies, creative expression, and spiritual nourishment. We share our stories, our struggles, and our successes. We offer each other support, understanding, and compassion. Together, we're not just surviving the Dark Night; we're learning to thrive, finding our way back to the light, step by tender step.

If you're feeling the weight of the Dark Night, I urge you to reach out, to connect, to join us. You're not alone, and together, we can journey through this night into a dawn filled with newfound purpose, joy, and a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.

with love Sarah

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Thanks for sharing this Sarah. Vulnerability is a super power! It takes huge strength and courage to admit when you need some support, even more so when you're usually the one giving it to others. We're all here for you and championing you every step of the way 💗💗💗

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