Question from the Netherlands

Dear Mr. Misel,

It feels like I’m in the dark with a big wall around me. I can’t seem to find the door to my spiritual path. I know it’s there but how can I find it? Can you please shine a light so I can find that door?

Thank you in advance,
Pascal from the Netherlands (Europe)


Dear Pascal,

There are two approaches to answering your question: One is medical/psychological and the other is spiritual. If your family has a history of depression (often covered by alcoholism) then it would be wise to seek medical/psychological assistance.

If you have no family history of depression and/or alcoholism, then you are to know that you are in the beginning stage of spiritual transformation. This feeling of having a “wall” around you with no doors feels dark and horrible. I know because I have been there more than once.  St. John of the Cross called this the “dark night of the soul.” St. Paul referred to it as “entering the tomb”. It is a place where none of the things you have used to bring you comfort will work any more. When in this place, you have no answers and you begin to question everything you believe about yourself, life and God. It is the beginning phase of a spiritual transformation and no one can avoid it.

Forty years ago when I was experiencing what you seem to be experiencing, I was coming home from visiting my family. I felt I was surrounded by blackness. I was at the airport awaiting my flight and I was so over-come with despair and hopelessness I could not physically move. My flight was boarding and it took all of my strength to stand up and walk to the gate. I passed a book stand and a book caught my attention. Its title was, “Hey God! What do I do now?” I bought it and read it on my return trip to Seattle. I wept as I read it. It spoke to my heart and soul.

I was still in this black place when I returned to my home. I remember sitting on my bed. I knelt by my bed, closed my eyes and said, “Hey God! What do I do now.” My mind went pitch black and then a red neon sign flashed in my mind. It read, “Forgive us our debts and we forgive our debtors.” It lasted for a few seconds and then turned off. God had answered my most sincere prayer. I opened my eyes and realized that I had been holding grudges. I had no idea that my grudges had led me to this dark place. I realized that I needed to forgive someone. I called this person to heal our relationship. When I did this, the blackness disappeared and I felt light and joyful. The blackness was necessary and it preceded this spiritual experience.

The “dark night” comes before the dawning of a spiritual experience. I asked God what to do and He told me. When I did it, I was healed.

If you sincerely ask God for answers, light, a door, you will be answered and shown.


Lory Misel