Sophia, you seem to be doing very well, to me. Navigating, I mean.
I've experienced two dark nights of the soul, (and another several years of radical disorientation, punctuated with a joy that lies UNDERNEATH suffering. Yes. That's quite something to find. Not the direction you'd think to look.) And all this has been threaded through by Grace. I see it more clearly now, than I did *then*, while there was always this awareness of being protected, even in very dire times. This life has been very intense, and I think some people do choose this intensity. That's one aspect of karma that's quite complex.
In astrology it's called "a high burn rate". If you think alchemically, with the crucible being the body, and spirit being the Self, well, it's all good work.
hmm. Maybe, looking back, the first dark night (of a few months, at 33) was actually bringing some of the forgotten to light. It sure felt like a crucifixion; there but for the Grace of God..whom I didn't "believe in" then, though that was just my not resonating with this God that people wind up on Sundays.
I consider myself lucky to have got out, without being institutionalized or drugged. It corresponded well to what Christina Grof calls "spiritual emergency", though I had always (so I thought) been very "spiritual". I was literally flattened by the whole experience. I'd lived with the awareness of that spiritual part being the biggest part of me, twinned with my sense of identity as an artist, dissolving, and most 'authentically at home, in the act of absorption.
Night Two was truly spectacular :-) This was about seven years later and precipitated by the loss of what I took to be the most profound love relationship of this life.
(Very intense (non-love) past life connection, as it turns out.) Now,(ten years later)I can honestly say I died then to who I was. Kept on feeling like dying too for about three years. And so much fell away. I finally surrendered.
Some essential thing is the same--and I recognize it as having been the 'essence' of "me" from other lives, long past--but the worldly portion, with its beliefs, its present-life conditioning, including a long-held belief in the power of thought, has been utterly transmuted. Every day too, is a new death and rebirth. It's absolutely true that this coming to Light never stops. It was coming out of Dark Night Two (and I don't mean to be glib about this, not at all), that I recommitted to a vow from long long ago, to be *of* Light. I also saw that there is not difference between Buddha and Jesus;I mean, I was shown this in a way beyond any intellectualizing. For me, this has healed a lot of what you might call schizophrenia.
There is Love. And there is Wisdom. And before the beginning, Light.