It’s human instinct to reach for the familiar, but the soul is here for experience, not security. A life without risk, loss, death and pain is hardly vitalized. The more we resist the call to adventure, the more we fate ourselves to suffering of the worst kind. In such cases, the Universe will often deliver increasingly drastic events until we finally give up the ego’s hold on our soul’s schedule and allow the next chapter of our purpose – our Destiny – to unfold.
It’s at this juncture of resisting our Divine timeline that many of us reach a threshold, often catalyzed by an outer-fated event. We’ve come to know it as the Dark Night of the Soul. Yet, I always felt that this phrase was a bit of a misnomer, because it’s the ego, our self-concept, that actually is being set adrift into the unknown. It’s here that a part of it must die so that something new from the soul can enter in. And it’s the ego that experiences the inherent fear of this change, not the soul. Thus, I call this process of entering a transitional space where some new creative aspect of the soul is beginning to birth into your ego structure – which demands that your old self-concept reshape – the Dark Night of the Ego!
While we’re in the dark night of the ego, we’re each greeted by two competing voices: that of Fate (ego) and that of Destiny (soul). The former speaks through your fears, your past, your wounds, and the collective they that you worry about when you make decisions. The latter communicates through your intuition, dreams, synchronicity, Divine intervention and the regrets that tug at your soul. Both continually compete to guide the choices you make during this vital time.
At the crossroads of the dark night of the ego, these two voices essentially ask, will you choose based on your fear or your highest potential? Decisions made from anxiety are actions of Self Fate, because they fate us to events and circumstances designed to make us face what we’re afraid of. Thus, Self Fate choices are usually made to stave off survival worries or to keep the past alive, instead of letting our present vibrate anew with unknown possibilities.
Decisions made out of unknown possibility, however, are ones of Destiny; they lead to the actualization of your highest potential. They demand trust, risk, letting go of the past, being present and manifesting the best of what’s inside of you without making any apologies. Destiny choices demand an allegiance to the soul.
Discerning which impulse you allow to guide your life can be tricky, but it’s essential. What follows is an example of how each voice might speak to you during the dark night of the ego. As you read the scenarios, imagine yourself surrounded by each influence, then begin to recognize which voice you listen to most often. In fact, it would be empowering to spend some time discerning which one you’re giving allegiance to in the decisions you make – not only during the dark night of the ego, but every day.
- Voice of Fate: “What on Earth are you thinking?! The last time you took a risk in love, you got hurt. You know that you only draw in women who abandon you. What do you think you’re doing by opening up your heart again? Come on, she’ll only break up with you for someone else who’s better looking and has more money…just the way they all have.”
- Voice of Destiny: “Yes, you’ve had some painful experiences in your past, but you’ve grown so much! This woman really likes you, so you should give her – and yourself – a chance to try again. You know that you have nothing to fear now because you’ve learned not to abandon yourself. There’s a good chance this relationship could mirror that back to you! How will you know if you don’t try? This is the present moment of all possibility. Don’t you want to feel alive? Destiny is risk, so take it and open your heart.”
- Voice of Fate: “You can’t go back to college for a new career – you’re too old. Not to mention, what would everyone think of you on campus? How would you afford it?”
- Voice of Destiny: “It’s never too late to learn something new. Think of how exciting it would be to attend class again! Imagine how exhilarated you’d be as you’re surrounded by young minds, full of fresh ideas. You can make the money work out somehow. If it’s meant to be, nothing can stop you!”
- Voice of Fate: “You can’t leave this job. So what if you’re constantly stressed, unhappy, have ulcers and can’t sleep because of it. You’ve been here for 20 years. What the hell else are you gonna do? And what about your pension and retirement? It’s too late to go start a business of your own, so get over that pipe dream.”
- Voice of Destiny: “Have you not heard me talking to you through your body? This job is killing you! You’ve been here for 20 years, and come on now, you’re only 45 – there’s so much more you could do and pursue. What about your dream of opening a small shop, selling imported cheese and wine? You know so much about the subject and are so passionate about it – how could it not work? Take the early retirement package and go for it!”
Your Creative Idea
- Voice of Fate: “Look, you can’t be the next Martha Stewart, so why bother going forward with your idea for a vegetarian cooking show? Get over yourself, Betty Crocker! If you can’t be the best in your field, then why bother. You should just stop with this nonsense that you have any sort of original ideas. Trust me — it’s all been done before.”
- Voice of Destiny: “You have something unique that you can offer through a vegetarian cooking show. You have to do this! Of course you won’t be the next Martha Stewart – you’ll be you! Just because you might not be the most famous person in your field doesn’t mean that you don’t have something wonderful to contribute to others. And you’ll undoubtedly contribute something special. It hasn’t all been done before because only you can do it your way – and that will shine out into the world.”
Now, I could continue with examples of these two viewpoints for pages on end, but I think that I’ve given you enough to understand how they speak to you. Essentially, your highest potential is the voice of Destiny; it almost always demands that you risk and sacrifice for the unknown. Living in alignment with it is often full of surprises – some joyful, some painful – but when you embrace this path, you’ll know you’re alive! When you can say to yourself, I never thought I would ____________. What fills that blank space is your Destiny.
This voice can also demand that you come to terms with something. For example, it might whisper in your ear, you know that you’re addicted to your entitlement as a victim and are a huge narcissist, don’t you? Are you ready to deal with that? Or it might say, you realize that your son is addicted to drugs. Are you ready to confront him? And perhaps you’ll hear, you know that your spouse is having an affair. Are you ready to finally admit and address it?
In other words, coming to terms with something also transforms Self Fate into Destiny.