Updated: Apr 2
What is the Dark Night of the Soul?
One can define the Dark Night of the Soul as spiritual depression. This could be the time of your life when you hit rock bottom, where everything seems to be going wrong. You may experience a series of ‘bad breaks’ in your personal life, financially, mentally and/or physically, which are actually a blessing in disguise.
To be clear, the dark night of the soul is different from typical depression, in that its root is a feeling of loneliness and absence of faith in a higher power. The key difference between typical depression and the dark night of the soul is that depression is usually focused on Self, while the dark night of the soul is existential in nature, where the question is "What is my purpose?" or "Who am I?"
The dark night of the soul can be a key transition in anyone's journey to higher consciousness. Many seekers, for various reasons, don't go through this, while many do.
Often we experience a dark night of the soul after major life changes, such as starting or changing jobs, moving countries, divorcing, losing a loved one or succumbing to a serious illness. One of the major symptoms of the dark night of the soul is the feeling of “waking up” to the falsity of the world, and the emptiness of our lives.
When we go through a dark night of the soul, we feel empty, lost, lonely, isolated, depressed, anxious, scared and uncertain. Additional feelings associated with this spiritual cleansing are endless despair, meaninglessness, loss of self.
While it sounds foreboding and threatening (that's because it is), however, it is only threatening to the sense of self you built up using your experiences and perceptions in life (ego). You are more than your circumstances, and the dark night will teach you this. What you'll find is how empty your life is without a connection to your soul or higher power. The only way to the light on the other side of it is through it. It is the key sign of the beginning of a spiritual transformation, and that's how it's actually a blessing in disguise.
You will let go of everything you aren't to make way for who you truly are. It is a form of deep cleansing. It is primarily a spiritual and existential form of crisis that can’t be treated or cured with therapy or psychiatry. This obviously leads to feelings of hopelessness and discouragement.
I love this blog as a resource that outlines the 7 signs that you are experiencing the dark night of the soul.
What to do if you're in the Dark Night of the Soul Now
I can assure you this is good news! It means that you are on your way to healing and transformation, to the highest version of yourself. Know that you are being guided to your divine life purpose, even if it doesn't feel like it at all.
Look at where your life has taken you and what direction you are being shown to go. Try to forgive those who have led you to your ‘dark night of the soul’ as well as forgiving yourself. I've learned that it was what my soul chose for those people to be in my life and that has helped me to be able to forgive.
Pray. Surrender to what you're being led to by your Creator (whoever that is to you, God, Love, Spirit, etc.) Don’t try to force any immediate changes because they will come to you when you are ready (trust me I've tried to do this and it doesn't work). Sometimes during the dark night of the soul, the best thing to do is nothing and just live in the “now”.
The ego is the part of yourself that identifies your personality as your experiences, perceptions, and inputs from life up until this point. In essence, this is a false sense of self. Your ego blocks you from truly seeing yourself, without the external inputs.
By awakening to who we really are, we are able to let go of everything that has been holding us back. By truly connecting with our inner source, God, and Creation, we are able to effortlessly flow through life with a renewed passion and enthusiasm.
During the dark night of the soul, you might question the Creator and feel as though your spirit guides and guardian angels have failed you. This is what leads to feelings of helplessness and isolation. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I had never been a spiritual person or deeply affiliated with any religion, and it was only during this time in my life though that I developed a true connection and practice with the Universe as my source.
My dark night of the soul started when my dad passed away suddenly in 2016 from alcoholism, and I decided to get sober, it could have started possibly even before when I moved countries (UK to NYC), changed jobs when I moved and had leukemia when I was young. From 2016 though, I started to really make shifts to let go of things that were not serving me like addiction, and unhealthy habits, environments, relationships, jobs, and attachments.
This passage from the Waking Times.com describes it so well:
"This can be a very humbling experience. We typically associate a title or our accomplishments with who we are but fail to see that ultimately, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. When we lose our ego, we can finally connect to our spiritual essence because we are no longer associating ourselves with society’s preconception (or our own preconception) of who we are."
Essential Oils for Dark Night of the Soul
After going through therapy and psychiatry last year, I was made aware that what I was going through was not going to be aided by these modalities. They were helpful for me in making sense of the past, and supported during this time, though they did not help in the now where I was being led to. The anxiety I experienced was due to unrest and uncertainty, no connection to spirit or a higher power, not biochemical imbalances. It was a spiritual dis-ease that needed to be cared for in that manner.
It was life-changing for me to discover that there were tools in plant medicine that could hold the space and support to pave the way for healing and transformation. Essential oils facilitate the healing and bring to light what needs to be spiritually cleansed safely, they don't repress or try to get rid of the thoughts and feelings.
The medication I was prescribed (Zoloft, Xanax) actually numbed the feelings, and eventually, I did decide to stop taking them once I had experienced all the benefits I could. I knew that this type of medication was always going to be a temporary bridge that I used for a time in my life along with therapy, and I want to make that clear for anyone that does use them - that's okay too.
This is important to mention because what you resist, persists. I was never going to heal completely without experiencing these emotions like grief, which is perfectly healthy and normal by the way, and they would be stuck with me moving forward. Essential oils don't numb or suppress your emotions, they are tools that actually facilitate emotional, mental, and spiritual catharsis in a natural way. They are a support that let you know that there is a light on the horizon.
These are the top doTERRA essentials to assist you in this transformative time*:
Melissa, The Oil of Light: This high vibrational oil awakens the soul to truth and light. It truly reminds individuals of who they are and why they came to this earth. When one feels too weighed down by the burdens of life, Melissa encourages them to keep going. Most important, it invites one to stay connected to spiritual sources in order to shed everything that is not harmony with their inner light - letting go of feelings of darkness, despair, and other low vibrations holding them down. Apply this on your forehead or neck, and diffuse.
Helichrysum, The Oil for Pain: This oil aids the walking wounded, those with a history of difficult life circumstances, trauma, self-destruction, loss or abuse. It restores confidence in life and in the self, giving the individual strength to carry on. It shows individuals that if they had not been wounded, they would not have sought healing that resulted in spiritual rebirth. It brings hope to the most discouraged souls and life to those in need of rebirth. To receive the benefits, you'll want to diffuse this and apply 1-2 drops it over the heart.
Roman Chamomile, The Oil of Spiritual Purpose: Roman Chamomile supports individuals in discovering and living their true life's purpose. It helps to shed the meaningless activities that consume their lives so they can focus on a more fulfilling work, even the work of their own souls. This oil helps them feel connected and supported by divine helpers and guides and calms insecurities about following one's spiritual path. It eases the over-active ego-mind and restores one's confidence in doing what they came to this earth to do. I use this oil often in the diffuser with Frankincense or applied behind ears.
Frankincense, The Oil of Truth: This amazing powerhouse of an oil brings awareness to the lies you've lived by so that you can release them. Some of these lies could be "I'm not good enough" It reveals deceptions and false truths, inviting you to let go of lower vibrations and negativity. It is a powerful cleanser of spiritual darkness as it assists in spiritual awakening and helps individuals feel the love of the Divine. Interestingly, this oil of light helps individuals develop a healthy masculinity, connect with Divine loving father, and the grandeur of the True Self. I take two drops of Frankincense under my tongue each morning, this oil amplifies other oils so it is great companion oil in the diffuser.
Hope Blend, The Oil of Overcoming: This oil was developed for the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, which supports efforts to fight sex-trafficking worldwide. In fact, the full price of each blend is donated to this blend. It was made to bring light into the darkest places. It combines Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, and Frankincense to address feelings of being unloved, unworthy, abandoned and filled with shame. It helps overcome emotions associated with lost innocence, stolen childhoods, and unthinkable trauma. It reveals the truth: people are not their story, their pain, or even their experiences. This gives individuals who have fallen into despair that there is always a reason to hold on to hope. It is a rollerball and you can apply on the nape of the neck or over the heart.
Immortelle Anti Aging Blend, The Oil of Spiritual Insight: This high vibe oil combines Frankincense, Sandalwood, Lavender, Myrrh, and more, to aid meditation as it quiets the mind, fosters inner stillness, and encourages spiritual growth. They assist in the release of negativity, darkness, and limiting perceptions. It offers profound light which mitigates spiritual blindness and other spiritual issues. It offers grace or comfort when one feels discouraged and distressed, assisting in transcending the darkness, pain, and stress of life. I love to apply this one at night under my eyes and on the crown of the head, forehead, and wrists.
Lemongrass, The Oil of Cleansing: This oil is a powerful cleanser of energy, as it dispels feelings of despondency, despair, and lethargy. In this healing state, one easily lets go of old, limiting beliefs, toxic energies, and negativity. It teaches you how to move forward without hesitation, taking you from spiritual blindness, darkness, and holding on to the past, to spiritual clarity, cleansing, and releasing what is no longer needed. I use this one a lot to cleanse stagnant energy, it's my go-to in the diffuser at nighttime before bed.
Elevation Joyful Blend, The Oil of Joy: This is my favorite at the moment! It smells incredible, and there are anecdotal stories of how this oil has helped individuals overcome clinical depression. While the dark night of the soul is not the same as clinical depression, it goes to show how powerful this oil is in shifting states of negativity. This blend of Lavindin, Lavender, Sandalwood, Tangerine, Elemi, Melissa, Ylang Ylang and more, assists individuals in letting go of lower energy vibrations in the form of negative habits. This is a powerful mood stabilizer that shows how these negative habits lose their appeal as an individual shifts into higher levels of consciousness. It inspires feelings of cheerfulness, brightness, courage, relaxation, humor, playfulness, and fun. It redirects the brain pathways to transform despair into happiness, joy, and abundance. I love to smell this one straight from the bottle, in my car diffuser, and regular diffuser.
Sandalwood, The Oil of Sacred Devotion: Another one of my all-time favorite scents, this oil is known to assist with all kinds of prayer, meditation, and spiritual worship. It helps with quieting the mind so that individuals may hear the subtle voice of the Spirit. In doing so, it reminds them of their connection with their spiritual self and raises them into higher levels of consciousness. Sandalwood assists one in reaching beyond their current confines and belief systems. It allows detachment to fame, wealth, and the need for acceptance, in teaching true humility, devotion, and love for the Divine.
If you're experiencing this dark night of the soul, I'm here to hold space for you and help you make sense of what is going on. Head here to learn more about my 1:1 conscious guidance.
To purchase these essential oils, head here. I would love to welcome you to our community and support you in getting started.
Source: Emotions and Essential Oils