Sometimes the road we are traveling down becomes bumpy. The path narrows, the sunshine gets pushed out by the brush surrounding us. We trip over rocks that pop up out of nowhere. We can find our way through, but it feels like real effort. Every step takes thought and consideration and your mind feels full to the brim and overflowing. Am I going the right way? Did I remember to pack water? Did I pay the electric bill and find a sitter for the kids' day off and call the doctor's office again because they never called me back?
Sometimes this is a stage of life we are passing through. It's a tough climb but we know that after we get through this tricky portion of the path we will see the sun poking through the trees in the distance.
Other times, though, we find the brush getting thicker. The rocks are becoming boulders that we need to scramble over to get by. A mile takes hours. The trail markers have disappeared and we are out in the wilderness alone. We are hungry. Hungry for sustenance and light and ease.
We think to ourselves: One more night alone in this tent on the edge of the cliff and surely, the path will clear tomorrow.
But it doesn't.
This is the Dark Night of the Soul from Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. I love teaching the Hero's Journey because it feels so relatable. If you reflect on your own life, have there been times of the Dark Night of the Soul?
The thing about the Dark Night of the Soul is that what comes after it can be life-changing. Curious about that part of the journey? Sign up for my Hero's Journey workshop where we will be talking all about it.