You may have heard the phrase ‘dark night of the soul’, originally attributed to St. John of the Cross – a mystic and poet. This idea of darkness refers to the invisibility and unknowability of God and is often used to describe the moments that feel like a crisis of faith. When you don’t know what to make of things anymore. 

Maybe what was once easy to believe has become very difficult. Maybe what once held together feels like it’s falling apart. 

And if it’s a dark night of the soul, we can maintain hope that morning light will come. Things won’t always feel like this. 

But, how do we make it through the existential angst of midnight? 

I was speaking with my friend Rach about this a while ago, and she had started to write a list of affirmations to hold onto when the light felt dim. I immediately thought — these could really help other people. 

So this week on our podcast feed we’ve created an audio experience for you, with Rach sharing some of her affirmations. 

I encourage you to listen, and to make a note of any that particularly resonate with you. You might want to choose one or two of these that you can memorise or write down somewhere, and hold onto when you need them.

We’re going to release a few of these in coming weeks, themed around slightly different areas we might be struggling with. 

This first set is about things we can affirm regarding how a loving God would see us – even when our faith feels frayed. You can read a selection of these below or listen to hear the rest.

God doesn’t misunderstand me or wrongly judge me or think the worst of me.

God is not counting how many bible verses I read or how often I go to church.

God accepts me as I am today.

God loves us as we are — unsure, scared, longing for certainty in a world that continually offers up uncertainty and change.

Click here to listen to Rach read these and other similar affirmations to use in your spiritual practice.

Or use the player below (episode title: ’Affirmations: God’s love and my doubt’):

Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry Spiritual Misfits Podcast

Sara M. Saleh is a human rights lawyer, community organiser, writer and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon. She has many very impressive achievements to her name including being the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize, which she did back to back in 2020 and 2021. Sara’s debut novel Songs for the Dead and the Living is out now (link below where you can buy).  Sara is one of the voices that has been a helpful guide for me in recent weeks as we’ve seen the Israeli government cause enormous levels of destruction and loss of human life in Gaza. This conversation is really helpful for decoupling anti-zionism and anti-semitism and understanding why it’s so dangerous when these are conflated. It’s so obvious, as you’ll hear throughout this conversation that Sara holds a fierce commitment to any group of oppressed and suffering people, while striving for solutions that do not simply flip who is oppressing who. The way she speaks about liberation is so generous and beautiful and just. We talk about the limits of identity politics and the deep solidarity that can be found in shared values — and there’s just so much wisdom here. Listen deeply, share widely, and take whatever actions you can — great or small — in the direction of justice.  Sara’s website: ‘Songs for the Dead and the Living’: Sara on Instagram: @instasaranade‘A guide to Palestine for beginners’ (this is a fantastic doc): to the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network: up to our mailing list: our online Facebook community: the pod: us an email: Spiritualmisfits@outlook.comView all episodes and access transcripts at:
  1. Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry
  2. Noah Small on the nature of God, love and kindness (a little episode with big heart)
  3. Radhika Sukumar-White on lament, suffering and inclusive community
  4. Michael Frost & Shane Meyer-Holt on the other side of 'mega'
  5. Mikali Anagnostis and Gabi Cadenhead on Gen-Z spirituality and Marion St

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