To Get Unstuck, You Must Go Through the Dark Night of The Soul

publishedabout 2 months ago
2 min read

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Recently, I wrote an article that immediately struck a chord with my readers as soon as I hit publish. In a way, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised - because I had written it specifically for someone who needed

The part that stood out to me most was exactly how much like me the people who resonated with this article were. They were people who had good lives by societal standards, ones they had chosen at some time in the past, even ones that were very enviable. But they had somehow, inexplicably found themselves feeling deeply stuck. Their days were comfortable but deeply absent of bliss, spontaneity, and a sense of wonder about life.

They know there is more to life, but it feels out of reach. So, even as the felt the deepest points of their rut, they were unable to take a step in any direction.

Society at large isn't all that helpful. They try to convince us that micro habits, minimal effort here and there (just 2 minutes a day!) could pull us out of this rut. It provides a handy illusion that we are doing something.

But the truth is, if you're stuck because you've been in a relationship for decades that no longer serves you, or a job that you have built your identity around, or a repetitive lifestyle that your entire social network revolves around - it takes more than micro habits to break out of that rut. You need to go through a difficult period of breaking things that don't work, dissolving the prison created by your ego, confronting expectations imposed on you, and rebuilding something new.

Philosophers have known this for centuries. It is called a period of the "Dark Night of the Soul." Even psychologists recognize this and have shaped therapeutic solutions around it. Here is the important part — we are constantly given advice on how to avoid these painful periods or to escape them as quickly as possible but Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dąbrowski who developed the Theory of Positive Disintegration proposed that these intense difficult periods are actually necessary for us to experience our full potential.

So, what about you, dear reader?

How would you feel if you continued down the path you’re on for the next six years?

Sure, you might get a promotion, make a bit more money, or date a few more people. But what if you were the same person on the inside still experiencing the world in exactly the same way — just older? Would that be enough for you?

Will you choose the possibility of a limitless life or the guarantee of a limited one?

If you are also feeling stuck in a rut but struggle to do anything about it, read the article I wrote for the actionable steps you can take and the research on positive disintegration by clicking on the button below. As always, I'd love to hear your personal stories. You can write to me by hitting reply on this email or by emailing me at

Hope to see you on the other side.

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May Pang 💖

Your future friend. I write to help you create deeper connections with yourself and others. Storytelling + Hard Science + Actionable Steps + Humor. Often with a dose of rebellious personal growth. Join 22k+ people on this fun ride. I don't always know where I'll take you, but I promise you it'll always be fun!

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