2 In Healing/ Spirituality/ Transformation

25,000 Miles to Me: Faith, Endurance, and Uncovering My True Self (a dark night of the soul story)

The short version of my story is that I went on a spiritual journey, discovered who I am, and am now happier than ever. The long version of the story, below, includes the fact that the process was years in the making, excruciatingly painful, and was made extra-difficult because I was going through things that are not widely discussed in the healing community. dark night of the soul

There is no real start date to my awakening process. But I do recall a pivotal moment in 2007 that sticks in my mind as being important: I was reading the popular book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which tells of how she left a seemingly perfect life—with a husband, a house, and a career—because, on the inside, she felt unhappy. She left that life and spent a year traveling to exotic locations and discovering her true self. She returned happy. I read that book and a deep part of me sobbed; I recognized that I, too, was unhappy on the inside. But I felt that I would never have the permission to do anything so bold and amazing as did Elizabeth. Special, I was not. And so I resolved myself to a mediocre life, gazing upon the lucky people who were becoming extraordinary.  dark night of the soul

At the time, I had been working for the Government of Canada in the area of intelligence and security. I held a Master’s degree in intelligence analysis and felt that I had found my calling: national security. I gave my whole spirit to the job, wanting to do the best that I could for not just my country but also the world. Indeed, I thought that I had been hired for my talents, drive, and forward-thinking outlook. Yet in reality, I was being under-utilized, and my spirit was dying.

Throughout my career, however, I had also been studying spirituality. It started with yoga, meditation, crystals, and essential oils: the gateways into our true self. And I became certified as a practitioner of Reiki, which is a form of energy healing. And then I turned inward to see if there was anything inside me that needed to be healed. There was.

dark night of the soul, spiritual awakening, dark night, spirituality miami, spiritual road tripWhen I turned inward, I found myself examining my childhood in a new light, and unpacking issues that I had “forgotten.” I examined why I had always felt certain ways—invisible and like an outsider—and found the reasons why this was so. And I used the lenses of astrology and numerology to examine things about myself that I had often judged—such as my impatience, and my inclination to be a generalist rather than a specialist. I learned that these behaviours were neither wrong nor bad. They were simply built into my being, and I could decide to use them to my advantage.

The more that I healed myself, the better I felt. I could feel immediate lightness and freedom in my soul, and strength in my presence. Added to this were two other considerations: I could feel the weight of everything that was left to deal with; and there was no longer anything in the external world that felt as good as healing did. I therefore pursued my healing journey intensely and as my highest priority.

By 2012, I somehow knew that a big change was coming in my life; I could feel the proverbial fork in the road up ahead, whereupon my life would either move smoothly to a higher level or it would fall apart.  dark night of the soul

In the summer of that year, it fell apart. Career-wise, I had been working in positions higher than my pay grade and had been told that I would be confirmed at this level, but time passed without a promotion, and I was told that I was being sent back to where I had started my career, and would need to work my way back up again. Relationship-wise, my marriage came to an end. With this went the beautiful house that we had built, and the cats whom I considered to be my children. Family-wise, other things broke apart. Within a matter of weeks, everything that I had created for myself, gone to school for, and fought to hold together, collapsed.

Not knowing why my life fell apart, I finally admitted that I was not the one in control of it. I admitted that I did not know what my life was supposed to be about. I admitted that there was indeed some higher force at work. I could even feel that some bigger part of me was wanting to be born. So one evening in winter 2012, I got on my knees, brought my forehead to the floor, and said to God, “I surrender this life to you. Make me who I came here to be.”  dark night of the soul

I completely released my hold on my life.

As of that moment, my life was transferred into God’s hands. I knew that God had a destination in mind for me, and that I would get there if I relaxed and obliged every step of the way. My trust was absolute since I had watched so many events in my past be orchestrated by a divine force. There had been too many “coincidences,” too many chance encounters with people that changed my life in profound ways. Something higher than me had always been guiding me. It now had total control.

This surrendering led me, in 2013, to take a leave of absence from my government job, sell nearly everything that I owned, buy a car, and go on a road trip into the United States. I had presumed that this would be a simple, six-month journey, at the end of which would be my wonderful new life. Everything had already fallen apart, right? I simply needed to be rebuilt. I was so wrong.

road trip, epic road trip, dark night of the soul, awakening journey, ottawa healingI drove for four years. I went everywhere from Ottawa to Los Angeles; from Sedona to Miami. Chicago. Mount Shasta. Virginia. New Mexico. Back to Ontario. Then back to Arizona. Ontario again. I would stay in a place for as long as it felt right to be there, which generally ranged from two weeks to six months. I spent about a hundred nights sleeping in motel rooms across the continent, and more than a year sleeping on floors. My only constant companion was my car. I was alone, and almost no one knew where I was or how to contact me. Financially, I used up all of my savings and my government pension, having submitted my resignation in spring 2014. Eventually, I pled financial hardship to unlock the secured part of my pension so that I could continue to survive. Getting a new job was not meant to be part of this journey, despite that I had tried several times. I was blessed, however, to be aided by people who offered me discounted and even free housing, as well as many others who helped me in myriad ways.  dark night of the soul

And so it was that during this four-year road trip, I pursued every spiritual course, Yoga retreat, holistic healing modality, and human teacher that was put in my path. I also did extensive self-study, which was aided by writing in a journal. I would unpack events that happened, and my emotional responses to those events, find the root cause of that reaction, and use an appropriate method to heal it. In this way, I learned several life lessons every single day: learning, integrating, and moving on to the next in rapid-fire succession. Being totally alone, and fully allowing all unhealed parts of me to arise, I was bombarded with wounds and flaws that needed to be dealt with.

It was when the surface layers had been healed, that the deeper, subtler, and more ancient parts of me revealed themselves. It was this point when the physical-level tools that I had been using to date became ineffective. No amount of yoga, meditation, homeopathy, or hands-on healing relieved the pain that I was now feeling inside of my soul.

This is when I entered the higher realms of our reality. In summer 2014, I disconnected from almost all human contact and spent my life in the company of Spirit, the Yogic Masters, and Source Itself. It was they who ultimately trained me to work with the energies of the soul: to find, heal, and re-integrate its lost and damaged parts—wherever they were in time and space—and to bring all of myself back into wholeness.  dark night of the soul

My training was thankfully assisted by several energy healers whose paths I had “coincidentally” crossed: a Reiki Master; a Shamanic practitioner; and a Mystic. I was able to study what they knew and practice their techniques. Eventually, I even found myself venturing into different realms than what they taught, but which came naturally to me. I brought forth skills unique to who I am.  dark night of the soul

Joining the spirit world exposed me to one very important thing; something rarely discussed, but nevertheless real: its dark side.

Just as I have trained to use energy for healing, so too have others trained to use energy for harming. I therefore met people who, while calling themselves spiritual teachers and healers, actually had malicious intent, and they added layers of pain onto my journey. I also discovered that my soul had been subjected to such harm for a very long time, and, as an empath, I could feel the suffering that this level of me was experiencing.  dark night of the soul

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I felt what I call psychic pain: pain that has no human or Earthly cause, is not related to the physical body, and which therefore cannot be relieved by any physical technique or substance. I was also receiving what are called psychic attacks: someone who deliberately sends negative energy to another person for the purpose of causing harm.

Combined, I was being crushed by dozens of layers of psychic trauma, working on me from different directions, some of which were actively encouraging me to end my life. Every day for about two straight years, I counted my life in minutes: telling myself just to stay alive for another five minutes, another hour, or to the next day.

I survived because the deepest part of me knew that it was not time to leave.

I knew what was happening to me, with respect to this darkness, but the people around me did not. Even experienced healers did not recognize the magnitude of my challenges, and often I would be dismissed or told to seek medical help. Each wrong diagnosis ate away at my hope. But I knew that if I was being exposed to this type of suffering, then there must be someone who would be able to help me with it. Finally, I found such a person; several, actually. And finally, after numerous healings at advanced levels, my soul found peace.  dark night of the soul

In 2017, I followed spiritual signs that brought me back to where I started: Ottawa. My hope was that coming full circle meant the road trip was finally over. It was not: In the middle of the year, I unexpectedly had to move to yet another home in the city. Thankfully, this turned out to be my final stop. I was at last able to park my car, unpack, and begin my new life.

However, I was so thoroughly changed from my experiences that I could not return to the mainstream world: a “9-5” job, working with artificial cycles of time, and disregarding the rhythms of energies that influence our lives. dark night of the soul

But I realized that the process of healing myself, had gained me a host of new credentials and wisdom. Not only that, but the notes, observations, and insights that I had amassed would add to the existing literature about spirituality and healing—helping to evolve the community.

As well, I realized that the divine really does orchestrate things beautifully. Three months into my road trip, I had purchased a web domain without knowing why I was doing it: PutTheLightHere.com. This was the foundation on which I was to build my new career. So I did.  dark night of the soul

I now have the honour of helping others to become healed, awakened, and authentic. I use all of my experiences—the joys and the traumas both—to help people to navigate their journeys in the gentlest, most efficient, and most effective manner. I also advocate on behalf of people who are suffering spirit-level issues, and educate my clients and students about the full spectrum of what is real and how it can affect us. Information empowers us.

In terms of who I am personally, I am something that I never thought was possible for a simple person like me: My true self. Someone who is strong, light, and free. Someone who knows who she is; and who she is not. Back when I worked for the National Security Advisor, he asked me what I wanted to achieve in my government career. I replied, “I just want to help.” I get to do that now.

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In late 2018, I connected with God in meditation. I said a deep thank you for supporting me through my darkest period, and for keeping me alive. In response, I heard, “Did you think I would let you fall?”

We are, all of us, big, powerful, amazing beings. We each have the right to become our most fulfilled selves. When we tap into our inner being, we may be delighted to find reserves of strength, and gifts of wonder, that we never imagined were inside of us.

We can find these blessings right this moment. Just pause and have a look. No external permission needed.


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I’m parked and happy about it!


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This article was first published on WeAreUnsinkable.com.  It can also be found on Medium.com, where you can clap for it and leave a comment.

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