3 Steps to Heal Any Kind of ‘Dark Night of the Soul’

3 Steps to Heal Any Kind of ‘Dark Night of the Soul’

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Dr. Rajiv Parti, MDDr. Rajiv Parti, MD has written a book detailing his journey of overcoming personal injury, cancer, and a dependence on pain medications to emerge as an alternative medicine advocate and crusader for wellness.

I experienced my own ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ when I was hit with prostrate cancer, surgical complications (life-threatening sepsis), chronic pain, depression and, finally, a dependence on pain medications. I had to sell my house and quit my job, all while feeling my marriage teetering and my health suffering.

I was very angry at myself, at God, at people, at the world – at the universe.

Healing from my ‘dark night of the soul’ was not easy, but I succeeded. The three main steps I had to go through were: forgiveness, love and healing.

This mantra “Forgive, Love, Heal” will help you to deal with a dramatic ‘dark night,’ such as mine, or what I call ‘mini dark nights’ – those things that happen all the time in our busy modern lives –  being cursed at, lied to, or cut off in traffic on the road.

My healing happened in three steps.

The First Step is to Forgive

I had to forgive myself for anything I had done that might have led to the dark night. Forgive the circumstances. ‘Forgive’ God and accept God’s will. I had to surrender to the possibility that the Spirit alone has the infinite wisdom. There were lessons I had to learn in this lifetime, so that I could evolve.

Forgiveness is defined as “the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.“ To help in the forgiveness process I re-discovered the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

It transformed me. I started to live in present in the ‘Now’ and not be stuck in what my circumstance once were in past or what I wanted them to be in future.

The Second Step is to Love

The second step was to start loving myself, my life, my circumstances.

The beauty is that when I started to love ‘myself’, my health improved in leaps. I started eating healthy, going to the gym regularly, meditating and praying regularly.

This self love should not mean a narcissistic way of prioritizing the self at the cost of others. I started to have gratitude and love re-kindled for the people, the world, the environment; I even changed my car from Hummer to a Camry Hybrid.

Love is defined as, “A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and “the unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another and one self.”

A famous Mother Teresa quote comes to mind: “We all can not do great things but we all can do things with great love.”

So, my friends, start the ‘ripple effect’ from inside your heart.

Soul of Wellness book coverThe Third Step is to Heal

After the first two steps of change within our mind, and within our heart comes the step that addresses change at the level of the soul, our spirit.

I have observed in others, and personally experienced, that to really heal there has to be a ‘shift’ that has to happen at a deep level of our consciousness. Effectively, the consciousness needs to not just heal but evolve too.

Healing is defined as, “to make healthy, whole, restore to health; to rejuvenate, to free from evil; cleanse; purify.”

Looking back, I am thankful for the circumstances I had to go through. It has brought love, compassion, sharing, and creativity as my guiding principles – where as before I lived for cancerous materialism, expensive toys, the satisfaction of myself above all others: it really was all about me: my status.

My ‘Dark Night’ transformed me to find my true Divine purpose and my ‘Dharma’, which is to be a healer at the Soul level. I wouldn’t be writing this but for going through the the heat of that Dark Night. It made me whole. I learned to embrace my dark shadows.

A Gandhi Quote comes to mind: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Friends have noticed the change in me. Even my driving habits have changed. I was always in rush in the fast lane.

This approach will work for you, too. Through the practice of my own prescription in “The Soul of Wellness,” and through the adoption of this mantra – “Forgive, Love and Heal” – I have managed to reduce my doctor’s orders to take 36 pills every morning down to only 5 different pills a day.

I have gotten myself out of intense pain, managed to free myself from depression, free myself of addiction, and reverse my weight gains through this mantra. The quality of my relationships with my beloved wife, my beautiful children, my dear friends and working associates – is, I can tell you – genuinely infused with joy, understanding, love and laughter.

My advice is to not just say the mantra, but to practice it – to live it: to BE the change it beckons from us.

Rajiv Parti, MD (aka Dr. Raj) is a world leading specialist in pain management with over 30 years practicing clinical experience. He was the Chief of Anesthesiology at Bakersfield Heart Hospital where he specialized in cardiac anesthesia for 15 years. Dr. Raj founded the Pain Management Institute of California, and under his direction it has served thousands of patients for acute and chronic pain relief. He left his medical practice and now touts alternative and complimentary healing methods, promoting spiritual wellness and personal growth. His new book “The Soul of Wellness“ is being released by Select Books in October 2012. Visit www.drraj.com for more information.