Podcast – Episode 0345 – Personality Type And The Dark Night Of The Soul

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk Antonia’s dark night of the soul experience and how personality type is relevant.

 

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Showing 15 comments
  • Melissa Chambers
    Reply

    Thank you Antonia for showing up not rosie. I find my suppressed dominant introverted feeling wanting to reach out to you and let you know everything will be alright and the light is always there, you will find it and you can totally trust yourself. I sense that you sharing your journey though this is likely to result in your most important work ever. This video is a slideshow of progress and poetry of my painting named Innate over the past couple of months. I listened to many of your podcasts and videos during the hours of painting, which is the first in many years. I am feeling you more than ever in this episode. https://youtu.be/lkXq2T3MQyQ <3

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    Congratulations Antonia!

    I know that’s a weird thing to say when you are feeling so down. That said, if you are moving from a 4 space to a 5 space, well it seems appropriate. So, congratulations.

    I believe I went through this process in 2019. It really does feel awful while in it, so I don’t envy where you are right now. For myself, I’m super grateful that I went through it before 2020 because I would have shut the process down and sucked up my emotions if a bunch of people were telling me that everyone is feeling that, it’s normal (SP-type4 and ISFP) LOL. I needed that space for it to be unusual that I was feeling down and crying and just feeling off. Of note: your podcast was really the walking angels (was that the term you used?) for me.

    In 2019, our family and life circumstances were great and knowing that gave me room to sit with my dark night of the soul and see where it lead. I took up meditation and worked to get past my thoughts and really sit with myself (a summary of that meditation process and my own ah ha’s https://capriolecoaching.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/1-year-365-days-of-daily-meditation). The process has been invaluable for moving though this year with a sense of ease. Another reason to really feel grateful.

    Two notes from my perspective:
    1) I have trouble seeing this as an Fi exploration, being a Driver Fi. For me, it was very much letting go of that. From what I think I’m hearing, you are letting go of your Ti to sit with the process, I felt I was letting go of my Fi to sit with the process. For me, sitting in “essence” is well beyond the function stacks (which you did state, on the podcast, so I want to honor that aspect of your journey)

    2) If I’m correct about myself, and I’ve gone through this process recently. I don’t think that there is a loss or disconnection of my function stack or enneagram type. My relationship with them has definitely changed, and they are still very much in my tool box. If I were to use a metaphor I would say that before 2019 my function stack and my enneagram type (and any other personality tool) were very much MY identity. I was working to develop a healthy relationship with how I expressed them, but they were ME. After my dark night I now visualize them more as a roundtable of characters that advice me on issues and are there as support staff. If my essence involves equanimity then I have found that has not only expressed itself more in the world this year, but also I’ve felt it toward those inner advisers as well.

    For me, it’s like I stopped taking myself quite so seriously and I don’t get so attached to my identity or whether or not people see and understand me. Don’t get me wrong, I still get bent out of shape, but I feel that energy shift more quickly and recognize that I’m identifying with some aspect of personality type.

    Example, right this second I’m feeling a bit self-conscious that this is all coming across as conceited on my part. Feeling that energy in my body, allowing it to be there until it feels heard has been my practice. Kind of an act of releasing my self importance in this post. Even writing that out has allowed it to leave. Now I can take the action and allowing others to find value in this reply or not. Anyway, it’s a work in progress.

    I wish you well on this journey through the Dark Night of the Soul and I can’t wait to see you on the other side.

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your experience while in the middle of it. <3

  • Noora
    Reply

    Antonia, I think your articulation was especially clean on this one, it was a joy to listen to. You are an inspiration, Joel too of course.

    Personally, I believe I have what you are going through somewhere ahead of me. Part of me worries that maybe I’ll never get to experience anything like that. At least anything as powerful as that. With Si driver, I’m always mulling on things, accepting circumstances and processing whatever comes. Reading previous comments I wonder if I’m unable to feel my inner shifts as strongly as most of this community. My shifts seem to happen so evenly and gradually that I barely notice them. Maybe it’s a sensor thing (and also a culture thing). Interestingly, as I develop I find it harder and harder to get to the dark places of my mind (I used to live there… Si-Fi loop apparently). And we all know one needs to go there from time to time.

    Maybe my path is less dramatic. But whatever it is, I feel ready for it thanks to the many years of exposing myself on PH -content. So many thanks for the work you do. I hope you are able to keep it up, but also feel free to renew your company as you see fit. You’ll have my support.

  • Sheila
    Reply

    Dear Antonia and Joel,
    This was one of your most powerful talks for me. Your openness and honesty has a deep and true and inspirational impact. Much of what you’re going through, Antonia, is familiar to me, and it’s encouraging to hear you speak about it.
    I don’t feel you’ve ‘lost’ the ability to articulate, rather it feels like another layer of felt-introspection is added to it and, maybe like you said, getting some space. That’s really inspiring.
    Thanks a lot for deciding to share 🙂

  • Ty
    Reply

    I can really tell how much emotional/spiritual/mental work Joel has been doing- it’s showing up loud and clear. Wow! Would love a future podcast on Joel’s progression & journey.

    It’s woo-woo but I am seeing a definite trend of many different people being in some way pushed or “called” to the next level really quickly. Maybe that’s just the dance of nature- what’s required when outside circumstances get this upside down and chaotic.

    It’s obvious to you Antonia how Joel is up-leveling but you are definitely doing it too.

    Yours is the way of the butterfly. You are the caterpillar being liquified into no-nothing do-nothing be-nothing goop.

    You are being disintegrated.

    I have been there.

    It does not feel good.

    All your instincts are correct though. There is nothing to do but let the process unfold. You will know when it is time to emerge. It simply will be time.

    The good news, the thing to have faith in, is that at the end of this you will find yourself with powers and abilities you never even could have dreamed of. Like a land-bound caterpillar who can suddenly fly- your abilities and opportunities will be vastly expanded.

    Take care of yourself, be patient, have faith.

    It’s coming.

  • Chris Chelko
    Reply

    Depression is real, but so subjective it can be misunderstood. Listening to Antonia, a person who is knowledgeable about the specific causes and in-touch with the real-life effects, makes this episode better than good.

    It’s transcendent.

    Please bookmark this podcast as a reference for people going through “down times”.

  • Dan Anear
    Reply

    Antonia sending love, courage and the ability to let go and be present to the fullness of this experience (which of course includes at times saying life is f-ing hard at the moment and I see no way out).
    Personally, the more raw/honest episodes have always been my favourites 🙂

    As I was listening all I could think about was Jung’s thought on “The two halves of life” here’s a beautiful, relevant quote on the subject from Jung.

    One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening become a lie. —C. G. Jung

    Reference & article

    https://cac.org/two-halves-life-2015-10-12/

    I spent the best part of 10 years in some version of this space (Richard Rohr calls it “the descent journey” feeling I was walking around in the dark and it now makes up the foundation of my Coaching/Counselling practice.

  • Clara
    Reply

    Hello Antonia,

    You and Joel have done a great episode… again! The way you describe the process you’re experiencing and articulate it with your knowledge on personality type is truly brilliant.

    I just want to share this resource which might confirm some of the wisdom you’ve certainly accessed by yourself by now. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAlrKsMf9C4. There are certainly other comparable resources out there. I’ve stumbled upon it recently, long after I stagnated in the phase you’re currently at.

    It does not really matter if those who haven’t gone through this kind of process find it weird. My take is that such an experience is not reproducible in a lab and cannot be coined as scientific although many have actually gone through it.

    I also agree that energetic hygiene routine is essential. At some point, you might feel the need for an energetic cleansing, performed by a qualified and trusted shaman or medium. Notwithstanding how ‘woo woo’ it may sound, the right person will present themselves in the right time.

    Gaining clarity is ultimately one of the outcomes after reaching the other side, that’s true.

    And please do let us (the PH community) know how this unfolds for you.

    I hope you and readers will be magnanimous on this somewhat rambling comment typed while listening to the episode at the same time, coming from a once very rational infj living in a cartesian country 🙂

  • Erik Bland
    Reply

    Hi Joel and Antonia – I appreciate you sharing this podcast. It takes a lot of strength to be so open about deeply personal topics to an audience of strangers (not to mention to be open to oneself). I’m also always impressed by the strength of your relationship with each other – I’m sure it’s not an accident, and it speaks to the amount work you’ve put into the relationship.

    Even if you have to take breaks between podcasts from time to time to, I’ll keep listening and supporting your work, and I imagine this is true of many of your other listeners as well!

  • Danielle
    Reply

    I have really missed listening to you guys every week, it brightens my Mondays. Ive been listening since 2017 and you’ve both helped me through a lot. However, I also want to express that I understand that life is rough and if you need to take a break, you need to.

    Antonia, I really hope you reach a better place soon. You’re voice definitely got stronger throughout the episode, at least in my mind.

    I think society as a whole is going through a dark night of the soul, so, understandably individuals will be too. I think I went through a definite critical, dark growth point very recently, so this year hasn’t impacted me as much as it might have. But for me, the rough patch was the late half of 2018 until about halfway through 2019. And I’m still not technically healed from everything that happened then and I’m simply not ready to forgive the actions of some people (I find I need a lot of time to forgive, it’s going to be at least a couple more years to get there).

    I find myself being weirdly comforted by, of all things, my inferior Si. I’m not in the grip, I’ve been there before and know what it’s like. But Si whispers to Ne that things have always worked out before. So there’s away out of this, somehow. It can’t last forever. No matter how scary things get, there is a breaking point. So, for the first time in my life, I’m actually appreciating and honoring Si.

    I also find myself returning to a mental image of myself, decades from now, sitting down to tell my experiences and observations of this time as part of a university or a museum’s oral history project. I want to get to that point where I’m an older woman recounting not only the story of myself, but those of the people I interacted with and whose energetic spaces I shared. That keeps me going.

    I also am driven by a feeling that my purpose is at the end of this era. So, I’m drawn to whatever that end is. There has to be a breaking point.

    There is a lot of pain, suffering, and pure existential dread permeating the energy. And I’ve had to work really hard not to let it suck me in. And during that, I’ve been able to confirm where my core values really are. I have known what they were for awhile, but I now have a sense of conviction that this is truly the code I want to live my life by.

    I try to practice gratitude as well. That helps me keep my eye on the prize, so to speak. I don’t know what that prize is, but it’s a murky concept of that my mission in life is waiting for me and I just have to find it and grab ahold of it.

    I’ve been super nostalgic lately, and I’ve found myself learning to appreciate a period I went through about a decade ago that was absolutely brutal. I’ve started to see the good in some of my darkest hours. I made some great friends I still have today during those times and the pain helped shape the person I am today. I owe a lot to those years, even if you couldn’t pay me any sum of money to go back.

    I also remind myself that I have to keep moving forward. It is, after all, the only thing I know how to do.

    • Karen
      Reply

      Antonia, I think you are super interesting! More importantly, I’m so sorry you are going through this really tough time. Some time alone/away can be a tonic. Maybe being in nature can help?

      As you said, acceptance of your situation is a major step. You’ve had a lot of trauma in your life and maybe accepting that some of your experiences are, in fact, traumatic will help, too? That doesn’t mean you’re being overly dramatic, it just means you’re being (using this word deliberately:) ACCURATE.

      You mean a lot to many people you’ve never met! Be kind to yourself and do what you need to feel better. You will get through this.

      One of your ESFP fans,
      Karen

  • John
    Reply

    The podcast has been missed. It’s meaningful to hear that the reasons for this larger break had to do with confronting a real challenge, and I liked hearing how Fi-developed Joel managed the schedule challenge. That seems like a lot of healthy Fi/Te stuff going on there with Joel, to me. Also, I would like to just note generally that I really appreciate the cadence Joel has helped cause over the years.

    My ENTP aversion to Fi runs heavy, heavy like a neurosis. Some major fear there for me I think. If you ever ran a course on Ne dom surviving bad ISFP divorces with children that could probably help me but man, I just see Fi as living at the center of cruelty and narcissism. Of course, I’m intellectually suspicious this is just 7th function hatred. How convenient of me to see the evils in the things for which I have no talent. But still, I also know you guys understand the trauma that can be brought by an ISFP gone rogue (something that the rest of MBTI seems specifically not to understand).

    I will tell you that this episode was very uncomfortable to me because I saw in Antonia a version of myself being laid low by a stroke. I have very much hoped that Fi is a dead thing in me that will never rise up. But I thought it was brave and meaningful, and I was very happy you made it.

    And I DID learn things about Fi here that tempered my usual aversions. Interesting to note how ENFP can be tuned into energy in the world. Hmm. I always have this (ridiculous I know) conversation in my head about being unable to understand how ENFP aux development can be beneficial, which is not an empty concern because I have an ENFP son who I love very much. I saw in this episode some of the benefits of that in Joel. Can I just say, first of all being, letting Antonia talk a lot. Thanks Joel (:

  • Kris Braddock
    Reply

    Antonia, I’m so sorry you are going through this. A few years ago, my inner world (which as an INTP I inordinately treasure) was demolished when I found myself in the middle of a drama triangle. I literally felt like I lost everything. Nothing made sense anymore. But through grace and patience shown by my wife and a few faithful friends I am rebuilding, this time without making my mind and thoughts an idol and focusing more on relationship.

    I would be remiss not to give the most credit to God. When we are stripped of everything that makes us valuable and strong, He doesn’t give up, accuse, or run away. Yes, fellowship requires faithfulness, but it’s not in order to be worthy because He valued me long before I ever turned to Him, and He proved it in His Son.

    I hope you find (or are found by) what you’re looking for. While I don’t think the goal of life is to find our “essence”, I do think that “essence” is a fingerprint of the One who made us in His image. And what’s neat to me is that your personality and “essence” is different from everyone else’s, and each gives a slightly different perspective into the many aspects of His nature.

    I do hope you forgive me that this turned into a sermon, but just know that your message resonated with me, both in the past and in my present circumstances.

    And Joel, while your word count may have been low in this episode, having a Fi-dom (ISFP) wife myself, I know and appreciate that any insight or epiphany I have about relationships or feelings is because of her.

    • Kris Braddock
      Reply

      As an aside, with Fi as my 8th function, the only way I have found to safely access it is through art, specifically music and poetry. I’m guessing it’s because it’s unidirectional, repeatable, and no one else gets hurt while I slowly chew through someone else’s expressed feelings and connect them to my own. (Although I have found some usefulness in carrying around an emotion identification wheel.) That said, here’s a song that’s affecting me right now along this topic of “who am I?” (on the off chance it would connect with someone else as well). https://youtu.be/USg_uz32aas

  • Cara
    Reply

    Antonia, thank you for sharing where you are at right now. I’ve been a huge fan and faithful listener since 2015 and have benefited so much from you and Joel. I love you guys.
    I also went thru a dark night of the soul, and as an ENTJ, I have never felt more lost, upended and out of control. I was resonating so much while you were sharing and I just wanted to tell you – I understand. And you will be ok, you will be better, and it will be worth it. You will learn new coping strategies and new ways of navigating and how to ask yourself different questions. I hope you continue to share your journey with us – I can’t wait to hear more. 💜

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