After reading the article on the Dark Night of the Soul (please see previous post), I had two clients come in who expressed great depression, and I realized that depression can often be one form of the dark night of the soul. Then it came to me that depression often represents a spiritual crisis.
Just as every crisis also presents an opportunity, so also a spiritual crisis presents an individual with the opportunity to awaken, to choose to begin a spiritual journey, or even to become enlightened.
Then it came to me how to work with these clients to help them see their own journeys as uniquely gifted with certain truths or spiritual experiences. One client has such grave concerns about her work place environment, its relationships, and its values, that I realized she has a crisis of realizing that her own internal value system is out-of-sync with the materialistic values of our culture.
By materialistic values, I also mean professional values, because expectations of “professionalism” often force us to deny, repress, and silence our own internal value system. Deep within each of us are values such as truth, integrity, caring, emotional intimacy, self-giving, generosity, humility, cooperation, kindness, compassion, and empathy, that are so often silenced and even dishonored in the work place. Whether in business, academia, or government, a work environment may be a place where our own compassion, generosity, kindness, emotional intimacy, empathy, and cooperation are often seen as weaknesses and may be betrayed, silenced, or denigrated.
When we become aware of our own inner values that may seem at-odds with the world around us, we become aware of the deep, inner truths within us. That inner wisdom at the core of who we are causes us to have either unsettled feelings when the wisdom is ignored, or a sense of peace when we act according to these deep inner truths.
This is the beginning of our spiritual journeys: when we recognize that deep, inner wisdom as who we truly are and what we truly value.
The next step on our spiritual journeys is to honor and appreciate that inner voice of wisdom. Many of us at this point begin to recognize that this inner voice of wisdom is divinely-guided.
The next step is recognizing that the inner wisdom exists for the highest good of all, followed by the step of choosing to live out these inner values for the highest good of all life around us. This living out of the values can require courage – having the heart to be true to ourselves and what is best, most loving, the truth, etc.
So, whenever we experience ourselves as upset, anxious, or depressed, we can choose to reflect on what deeper values seem threatened or violated, and choose to get in touch with our own deeper value system. When we know our own internal guidance, we can begin to make choices that bring us peace. This choice to find and choose our internal values guidance system represents a spiritual awakening. This awakening is the early stage of liberating our souls from the lesser values expressed in the world around us.
If you are feeling upset about areas of your life, may you find your own inner barometer of truth, peace, compassion, love, and bliss, so that you and others will benefit from the ways that you alone can incarnate those values in the world. Welcome to your spiritual journey!
Love and Light,