The Dark Night of the Soul

I’ve been having trouble getting anything done–work, writing, reading, anything–since Wednesday morning.

I don’t really have the words for how sickened I feel with the direction our country has taken. I’m terrified for the environment, terrified at the resurgence in hate crimes, terrified for the possibility that so much of what Obama has worked for could be undone. I’m really, really scared.

If we were living inside a story, a day like yesterday has a definition: the dark night of the soul.

The dark night of the soul is “the moment in the last third of the story when everything has fallen apart and the character is at an emotional low. It is the darkness before the dawn, the moment when the character knows without a doubt that they have failed in their quest and will never achieve their goal.” (source)

That is how I feel. I feel like I didn’t do enough. I didn’t donate enough money to the Hillary campaign, I didn’t spend enough time volunteering, I didn’t post about the election enough, etc. etc. etc. I know this outcome isn’t *my* fault, but I have a tendency to take things personally.

But the thing about the dark night of the soul is: it’s the moment right  before the protagonist digs in her heels and decides to fight.

Real life is not as formulaic as fiction. But I take comfort in this all the same. I can’t do anything to change the outcome of this election; but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. I can volunteer with and continue to donate to organizations that support at-risk youth and equality and women’s rights. I can continue to voice my support of people who are not of the same race, religion, or sexual orientation as me. I can continue to be kind.

And I can continue writing, because fiction has saved me in more ways than I can count.

It may take me a little while to get my mojo back. But a halt in progress–or even a step backwards, the step our country is currently taking–doesn’t mean the fight is lost. It just means we fight harder.

To again quote The Boss:

No defeat, baby, no surrender. 

3 thoughts on “The Dark Night of the Soul

  1. I feel the same way. I feel directly and deeply affected as a woman, Muslim and American. I had no idea so many of my countrymen didn’t want me here. But more now than before I need to believe these folks are just slightly misguided or misinformed. It’s hard tho.

    I feel like we’re setting off the battles mentioned in the Book of Revelations. This is clearly evil winning over good. Do we have a choice to band together and dig in our heals and get ready to set things straight.

    I refuse to let go of my America..so rich and based on diversity.

    I could go on and on but I leave with this; the most important thing you can do right now is write, write smart intelligent ideas that help us reshape the minds of our youth and realign their moral compasses. As a people, we’ve become culturally bankrupt … we’re Kardashian followers, Real Housewives followers — we loved it when Trump yelled ..”you’re fired” on TV. So desensitized to all this that the idea of game show host president wasn’t as appauling as it should have been. We need to turn back to coffee houses being packed with people who were talking about ideas — society. Who read 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 and the likes.

    I’m sad.. but darkest before dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry you’re so scared. Please just know that you’re not alone and there are so many of us (white Christian-born) who stand with you. One of my best friends from college is a Muslim from Lebanon and I told him the same thing.

      This may be my being naive, but I believe/hope that the results of this election show more blatant ignorance in our fellow countrymen than outright racism. The few people I know who voted for Trump did so because 1. they’re staunchly against abortion 2. they’ve fallen on rough times and believe that he’s the one who can make things better 3. they’ve spent way too long reading hateful articles about Hillary.

      They’re misinformed on pretty much all those counts. Of course, their vote enables racism (see my latest post) and I’m not excusing them for that. It’s been super hard for me to reconcile my feelings towards those few people who I’ve loved since I was born and what they’ve just helped do. I can only do this by telling myself they don’t know any better, which makes me feel condescending, but I don’t know how else to reconcile it otherwise. I’m also trying to figure out what else I can do, besides write and donate to worthy causes, to help. Ideas welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

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