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Recognizing a Dark Night of the Soul: 20 Tell-tale Signs

Recognizing a Dark Night of the Soul: 20 Tell-tale Signs

Are you feeling lately like you’ve been going through the hardest time of your life – battling depression and dealing with very painful life events? 

If this is the case, you may want to read this article on signs of going through a Dark Night of the Soul because this could be exactly what is happening to you right now. 

The Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritual and existential crisis that people go through at the beginning of their spiritual journey. 

It can happen before or after your spiritual awakening – as your spiritual awakening is the moment when you begin to realize the deeper and spiritual meanings of life.

As the vibration of planet Earth is rising, people are called to wake up spiritually and begin their healing journey. 

Unfortunately, spiritual awakening and emotional healing are almost all the time triggered by suffering and hardship – as the sufist poet Rumi explained, “The wound is the place where the light enters our being.” 

Thus, we need to experience emotional wounds for real spiritual healing to occur because only through these wounds can we come to see what pains and dysfunctional patterns we still need to heal from this life or from past lives. 

To understand if you’re going through the Dark Night of the Soul (or have been in the past), have a look at the following 20 Dark Night of the Soul Signs.

20 Signs of a Dark Night of The Soul

#1. You discovered a new truth about the world 

For almost all people, the Dark Night of the Soul starts with an epiphany  –  discovering that life, as they knew it before, is a complete lie. 

Until a certain age, almost all of us believe that life is just what meets the eye – a physical world made of matter, which works according to perfectly established scientific principles. 

Basically, it’s all about attaining material gains – a good job, social status, a nice house, an impressive car, stable marriage to “thick the box,” and so on. 

Then, the Spiritual Awakening happens, and your whole world and upside-down. You start feeling and understanding things you did not know were possible. 

You start understanding that life is energy, that we are all interconnected, and that we have a bigger purpose here on Earth. 

You begin to feel deeper, have intuitions, and are sensitive to energy. 

You may even discover some sort of spiritual path that will help you deepen your knowledge.

For example, my Spiritual Awakening was marked by discovering Reiki and adopting it as a life path. 

The bottom line is that your view of life changes massively during a DNS (Dark Night of the Soul), and you will not be able to return to your limited view of life. 

#2. You go through emotional shock and pain 

Dark Night Of The Soul Signs

I mentioned before that the Dark Night of the Soul is triggered by a spiritual awakening for most people. 

For others, it’s triggered directly by a painful event that turns their world upside down. 

This is called “the triggering event,” and I described it in my previous article on Dark Night of the Soul Stages.

 It’s an event that causes you a lot of emotional pain, anger, and depression. 

It’s usually about losing something – a loved person, a job, an identity, your health, your wealth – whatever triggers you the most. 

This happens because, like this, your deepest wounds and karmic patterns from this life or from your previous lives are brought to the surface to be seen, acknowledged, and healed – and this takes us to the next point.

#3. Your deepest wounds are brought to the surface 

After the triggering event, your deepest wounds and insecurities will be brought to the surface to be acknowledged, seen, and healed. 

This means that whatever you haven’t had the chance to heal from this life or previous lives will come back to the surface now to be addressed and healed. 

This can be a very painful process; some people end up feeling like they are living in hell on earth or that the whole Universe is against them. 

The key to overcoming this difficult time is to keep having faith even when times seem really difficult and to keep your focus on the bigger picture. 

#4. You feel lost and depressed

After the triggering event, which most of the time is a traumatic one, it’s normal to feel lost and depressed. 

The traumatic event that starts the Dark Night of the Soul will shake the very first foundation of your life to challenge your every belief. 

This is a difficult and tough process. Thus, losing your sense of direction is normal, and so are hopelessness and depression. 

However, while I advise you to don’t blame yourself for feeling like this and acknowledge these feelings as normal, I also advise you to seek help and don’t give up in your pursuit of healing. 

What you do and how you deal with how you feel can help you in the direction of healing or keep you stuck. 

#5. You are faced with spiritual tests 

Signs of going through a dark night of the soul

One definite sign that what you are experiencing is the Dark Night of the Soul is when, on top of everything that happens, the Universe also puts spiritual tests in your way. 

These tests can be situations when you have a choice between doing the right thing or not or situations when you can choose to move on from harmful, old patterns in your life. 

The spiritual tests can also look like situations in which all your buttons will be pushed, and you will be triggered in the most challenging ways.

In these moments, try to see what you are feeling and why – and how you move forward from it while being true to yourself. 

Also, have an honest look at what is the karmic lesson beyond the triggering situation or behind the spiritual test. 

#6. Your taste in everything changes

A sign that you are experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul is when your taste in multiple areas of life – or one major- changes completely. 

It could be something as trivial as your taste in fashion or music – as your fashion and musical choices are the way through which you usually express yourself. 

Or, major changes can take place, such as changing the type of romantic partner you go for, your preference in terms of job, lifestyle, religion, spirituality, and so on. 

The bottom line is that you are changing as a person – due to the deep spiritual changes that occur within you, which will show. 

#7. You become more authentic 

Another sure sign of a Dark Night of the Soul is when you become more authentic with yourself and others. 

This phase usually occurs towards the end of the Dark Night, when you’ve already healed some of the major wounds and start feeling better. 

After being through a complete emotional storm, you will reach a state of inner peace, which is at least temporary and will enable you to discover your true authentic self.

#8. You develop deeper empathy and compassion

Support through the Dark Night of The Soul

As a result of all the suffering you are experiencing throughout and after the triggering event, you will develop deeper empathy and a sense of compassion. 

This is because when you feel true pain and suffering in your heart, you start to realize how excruciating it can actually be. 

From there on, you have no choice but to be compassionate towards all beings who are in pain and suffering – humans, animals, plants, the planet, etc.

#9. You develop an interest in spirituality 

One of the purposes of the Dark Night of the Soul is to bring you close to your professional and spiritual life path. 

When you’re in the midst of chaos, experiencing deep emotional pain, and dealing with your biggest fears, you will need to look for all sorts of help – including spiritual- and open up to the deeper truths of life. 

You may seek your answers through religion, church, Reiki, Yoga, Buddhism, or even witchcraft. 

In the middle of your Dark Night of the Soul, you will get close to that one spiritual path that resonates with you. 

#10. Your sleeping patterns are disrupted 

Another sign of a Dark Night of the Soul is when you experience major disturbances in your sleeping patterns- or sleep disorders. 

These disturbances could be anything – from hypersomnia (the need to sleep all the time and a continuous state of tiredness) to insomnia, nightmares, sleep paralysis, narcolepsy, walking in your sleep, and even cycles of hypersomnia and insomnia combined.  

The Dark Night of the Soul usually disturbs a person’s sleeping patterns because of the intense emotional processes that take place. Sometimes the body and mind need time to adjust to everything that happened as part of the triggering event and afterward. 

#11. Your eating habits are changing

Your eating habits are also affected by the Dark Night of the Soul for the same reason – the body and mind need time to adjust to the changes. 

You could all of a sudden feel hungry all the time and eat a lot more, or quite the contrary, you could feel the need to eat very little. 

This depends on how much energy is consumed within your body through your daily activities and the stage of the DNS you’re in. 

Sometimes people eat less when dealing with the depression caused by the DNS, but then when they recover, they start eating more. 

Other changes in your eating habits that can take place as part of your DNS could be the strong urge only to eat organic and healthy food or to eat less meat (or not at all). 

This can result from your physical body needing a detox – which is how it will signal for it.

#12. Your body changes 

Woman going through the Dark Night Of The Soul

Another sign of a Dark Night of the Soul is when your body changes in size or shape due to all the changes in eating, sleeping, and lifestyle. 

For example, when I experienced my DNS, at first, I lost a lot of weight and became very skinny. 

Then, I started eating very large quantities of food and was always hungry. Then naturally, I started gaining a lot of weight, and I was a bit overweight for a few months.

After that, the best thing happened – my body found balance, and I lost all the extra weight with no effort, reaching a point where I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight!

#13. Your priorities change

When you are experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul, it’s natural for all priorities to change. 

This is happening in order to align you to your Divine Purpose and Mission here on Earth, as well as to your Higher Self. 

For example, you may lose interest in material, shallow things such as only gaining riches and material possessions, and you will become more interested in spiritual evolution and spiritual matters. 

This will influence all your life choices and will ultimately change your life for the better.

#14. You lose friends 

As one of the primary purposes of the DNS is to align you to the right life path for you, you may lose a few friends in the process. 

The idea is to remove from your life all people, things, places, and situations that do not serve your higher good. 

Thus, if there are people meant to be removed from your life, they will leave. They could be people from whom you’ve learned everything that was there to learn or people with a different life path than you. 

They could also be people who are beneficial for you in the long run, or you are simply not beneficial for them. 

Let it happen if some people feel the need to distance from you or if you feel the need to distance from people in your life. 

Know that the right people will find you at the right time, so just let things happen naturally.

#15. You have to deal with conflict 

Couple having a conflict

In the early stages of the Dark Night of the Soul, as part of the triggering event or right after, there could be potential conflict in your life. 

This conflict can be between you and your loved ones, between you and co-workers, or even with people you’ve never been in conflict with before. 

One thing I can add from personal experience is that it’s very likely that this conflict will come as a big surprise to you and will push all of your buttons.

This is mainly happening to indicate in which relationships or in which aspects of your being healing are still necessary.

For example, I’ve always had a great relationship with my mom. While growing up, I used to believe that my father was the “bad parent” and she was the “nice,” more lenient parent. 

However, when my DNS started, she was the first person I experienced conflict with. Even today, I can remember the sock and surprise I felt to discover how aggressive and hateful she could become against me. 

That again was bringing up my karma from past lives in which I was exactly like that as a parent, so I had to focus on ways to ease up my karma related to children and motherhood.

#16. You go through a lot of trial and error 

One common feeling that all people who go through their DNS experience is the feeling that life has become a series of trial and error situations. 

As a lot of your beliefs are being dismantled and changed, many of the things you knew to be true are not true anymore. 

You will need to learn new ways of doing things, and many times, you will only learn through mistakes.

#17. You experience instant karma 

Another aspect of the Dark Night of the Soul is that you start experiencing instant karma for all of your actions – good and bad. 

Positive actions will be instantly rewarded, whereas negative ones will be instantly “punished.” 

This happens because, as part of your spiritual evolution and spiritual awakening, you are being helped to start seeing the connections between actions faster.

If the consequences of your actions would only come in future lifetimes or in 20 years from now, it would be harder for you to understand the process and identify the karmic lesson.

Because of this, life can sometimes end up feeling like a rollercoaster ride during your DNS – one day you’re up, the next day you’re down.

#18. You discover your life purpose 

Woman climbing the mountain

On your journey of emerging from the DNS, if you start to understand what is your life purpose. 

We all come to Earth to fulfill a Divine Mission – achieve something, learn spiritual lessons, learn and grow as Souls, etc. 

One of the reasons the Dark Night of the Soul is so difficult is to help you see your life path clearly and discover it step by step while paying your karma and growing spiritually.

❤️ Related: How to Understand your Life Purpose as an Old Soul

#19. Your need for connection increases 

Another clear sign that you are experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul and that you are emerging from it is when your need for profound, human connection increases.

You are no longer satisfied with shallow, meaningless relationships or jobs that you are only doing for the money.

You are looking to find deeper meaning and purpose through everything that you do because you have understood the higher purpose of life.

#20. You become the best version of yourself

As the last point, I left the one that also shows you are soon to emerge from your Dark Night of the Soul as a better, strong, and wiser you.

Towards the end of your Dark Night of the Soul, you will start to align more with your Higher Self. 

Basically, you will be aligned with the best version of yourself, and you will embody it more and more every day. 

It could be a process, as you will not just wake up one day and suddenly transition from your darkest place into being your best self. 

However, when your DNS approaches the end, you will feel that you are becoming your best self daily. 

Do you recognize yourself in any of the abovementioned Dark Night of the Soul signs?

If yes, we would love to hear your personal experience about it shared in the comments section below! 

Every Dark Night of the Soul has a unique, heart-breaking, yet empowering story, and as our readers, we invite you to share your own with us!

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