Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dark Night of the Soul

Good morning, everyone.  It's a back to work day for me...and I was feeling well until just a few minutes ago when I discovered that I have to combine my ladies' group with another group today...and I know my ladies are not going to be happy when they hear about this.  They love their group, and it gives them an opportunity to discuss things that they can't discuss in any other group because men are there.  This place where I work can be so frustrating at times.  I've a wonderful boss, but he's a wimp.  He allows people to change their days and hours of work whenever they ask...even if it leaves some days short-handed...like today.  There are three groups at 10 am...and now, with the latest changes, there are only 3 counselors for the 10 am groups.  There are 4 counselors scheduled to work late tonight.  There is only one group at night, so why so many counselors on a late night?  

I'm wondering what's up with me lately.  I've not been myself.  It started with a sadness at Beltane when I could not celebrate as I had planned, and carried over until the next day...this blah, nothing interests me feeling...that feeling of just wanting to pull the covers over my head a spend my time in dreamland.  And that I did as you can see in the following:

"When I first began working in this field, I worked at a halfway house for recovering alcoholics.  It was located on New York's famous 'Bowery', and I loved it.  Then, when the area started cleaning up and becoming Yuppie oriented, the landlord refused to renew the lease and the program was closed...I was devastated, but in the long run, the closing led me a step up...and it was 8 years ago. 

So, here I am in my dream, the halfway house is closing.  We have a table set up in front of the building and staff is having a feast...only it is staff I work with now.  We've been told that we have to clear our things out. It seems that we also lived there.  I wait, and then when I am told I am too late to get my things, but I go into the building anyway.  When I get inside, though, it is not the building I remember.  As I walk to the elevator, I see they are having a big party in the dining area.  There are men with light blue capes seated at the tables and they beckon me to come in, but I go to the elevator.  It's broken, so now I am forced to take the stairs...but it is a long climb. I reach the top.  The long hallway is deserted. I live on the top floor and the building appears to be a hi-rise."

I woke before completing the dream and did manage to come back to it when I went back to sleep yesterday morning, but only the same parts, so I have no idea how it ends.  I do know that:

The elevator can represent my progress in life.  Climbing the stairs represents achieving a higher level of understanding.  The long hallway symbolizes self-exploration and the beginning of a path you are taking in your life; also a journey into the unknown.  The top floor of the hi-rise symbolizes the mind and connection to the higher self.  Blue can represent our abilities to tap into the mysteries of life...truth and wisdom. 

I am still not sure exactly what the dream means, but put into context with what is going on in my life now, the feelings I am experiencing, I am wondering if I might be entering into another 'dark night of the soul'...sounds frightening, but it is not something bad or destructive.  It's more like a trial, and the only thing one can do is to obey one's inner voice and become still, waiting for the inner transformation to take place.  Of, course, it is always possible that the dream and my feelings of sadness may mean nothing more than it is time to take a vacation.  I'll just have to wait and see.  Loreena McKennitt sings about it so aptly in the following "Dark Night of the Soul".

Upon a darkened night
the flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest.

Shrouded by the night
and by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
while all within lay quiet as the dead.

Oh night thou was my guide
oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
to the beloved one
transforming each of them into the other.

Upon that misty night
in secrecy, beyond such mortal sight
Without guide or light
than that which burned so deeply in my heart.

That fire t'was led me on 
and shone more bright than the midday sun
To where he waited
it was a place where no one else could come.

Within my pounding heart
which kept itself entirely for him
He fell into his sleep
beneath the cedars all my love I gave
And by the fortress walls
the wind would brush his hair against his brow
And with its smoothest hand
Caressed my every sense it would allow.

I lost myself to him
and laid my face upon my lovers breast
And care and grief grew dim
as in the mornings mist came the light.
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
there they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
there they dimmed amongst the lilies fair.


  1. Oh Mary...that sitting still and being quiet is very difficult to do. I do know that. My thinking is that you were happiest when you were really helping people that wanted to be helped and not because they have to. Working at the halfway house, people there wanted help and were held accountable for their actions. You are a healer for those that want to be healed. And remember don't be to impatient when things do go the way we want them to, remember the tax return. LOL There is a reason things happen the way that they do, I too am learning this.....
    Wishing you an awesome week!


  2. They say a change is as good as a rest. Since retirement isn't an option, is changing jobs a possibility? It can be exciting to have a new job, in a new place, with new people, etc. Sorry you're feeling blue!

  3. Debra, I wish another job was an option, but at 63, who want's me? LOL!!! I may not look and act 63, but that's my age, and besides, I have been here now going on 4 years. At 5 years I am eligible for some sort of retirement thingie. That would make two companies I will receive benefits from.

    Dede, you're right. The clients here are so 'entitled'...not all of them, but a good majority. I get so tired of hearing complaints about running out of breakfast stuff, and hearing that their medicaid pays for it. Well, it doesn't. That's part of our budget put aside to feed them breakfast...and what a breakfast it is...pancakes, waffles, french toast, toast, bagels, 4 types of cold cereal, oatmeal, fruit, juices, coffee. Maybe that money could go to a little raise for us workers? No other program feeds breakfast like that...and a hot full course meal for lunch to boot.

  4. ~mary...the way you reflect upon life is so encouraging and inspiring...even though you are feeling the darkness you still ponder the brighter possibilities of what may be...you are one who teaches us daily how to be optimistic and take in what all is happening around us...both in our dreams and reality...i do hope this passes quickly and your day goes smoothly having to mix groups together...there is light and i know you will see and feel it...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  5. dark night of the soul - yes.. I have them often.. and I work with them now.. when I feel them coming, I grab the book Dark Night of the Soul by Thomas Moore and begin to read.. it helps me.. I find that my dark nights always precede another level of spiritual awareness or awakening.
    [if you want to email me about your dark night please do.. I totally understand what you are feeling xoxo]
    and blog it here.. it helps to receive comments when you are feeling like this

  6. I love Loreena McKennitt. Your awareness serves you well, you'll find your way, best wishes along the way.