You’re living in a realm between dark and light. Your mind takes a turn that doesn’t feel right. All your hopes, dreams, and fears manifest in this place; this is where you make them all come to life.
You begin a journey through a darkened land- where if you reach forward, only emptiness greets your extended hand. You begin the descent into the pits of despair, feeling that no one is ever there. A light, bright as can be, illuminates the path ahead. You shield your eyes, and turn to the side. Instead of feeling grateful for the guiding light, you’re filled with a sense of growing dread. Your thoughts become black- you’d rather turn back than become a burden to the light. After all, you don’t need help with this, your life plight!
Regardless, you’re given a choice:
You can continue your journey on the darkened path- where everything is familiar and you’ve learned so much. However, you always end up picking up the pieces as only one can benefit from this choice.
You can take the path of light- where everything seems so clear, but your still unsure of what will happen.
Fear of the unknown intercedes.
You choose the darkened path because it has become so familiar. Besides that, that path fits your mood as of late. Nothing seems to be going right, so why would you take the path of light? Your blackened mind looks forward to the challenge.
You’ve made your choice. It all seems so clear. You know the road will not be paved in perfection and are prepared for that. You turn toward your chosen path, biting your lower lip. You shrug off your worries and doubt, and reach forward to brush the rotted detritus from the mouth. In doing so, a thistle bites into your meaty flesh. You jump back, and gaze down at the crimson bead forming at the tip of your finger. You shake your head in disdain at such a novice mistake. You have been down this path before and know that if you bleed too early, you’ll become nothing but a husk of your former self at the end of the journey.
The sweet, coppery scent of your life’s blood wafts to your nostrils and you know that you must do something to cover the enticing aroma. The bleeding heart on your sleeve is already enough to draw in the predators. So, you plunge the digit into the warm confines of your mouth. The fluid trickles onto your tongue; the metallic taste makes your taste buds come alive. At least by taking this action, you know that your energy is not wasted on another. For this journey, you’ll need all the energy you can muster to succeed. You’ve already been drained enough and don’t have much left to give. Even though you’ve made this choice, you still want to live to see another day.
You take the blood into yourself until the source runs dry.
In other words, you suck it up and move on. After all, that is what you do. You’ve perfected the art of learning the lesson, filing it away, and moving on.
You remember the gloves that you packed in anticipation of this arduous journey, pull them from your backpack, and don them. You pull back the craggy, entwined branches and thistles like some macabre curtain, and stare into the darkened wood.
The creatures within stir. Leaves tremble, boughs creak, the loon releases it’s mournful cry. An owl swoops above you; your hair blows away from your face in its wake. You watch the large predator perch upon the nearest branch, its massive eyes roaming the forest floor for its next meal.
A predator stalking its prey.
With its target in its sight, the owl swoops down. A screech from its unseen target echoes throughout the dark, dank forest. The bird of prey flies off with its latest kill clutched in its talons.
Watching this scene reminds you of things to come. You will become a victim … at times. In your mind, sometimes the benefit of becoming the victim outweighs the risk. At other times in your journey, you’ll become the predator in search of the perfect prey to sustain life or … sanity.
You’ve been told so many times that the light within is all you’ll ever need to help guide you through this life. Your confidence wanes because you feel that your light has dimmed over time. Your heart slams against your chest wall; the cadence of it reminds you of a death march. Your breathing hitches. You swallow back the bile that has gathered in the back of your throat and wipe the tears from your eyes.
You can do this. You’ve done it so many times before. You have so much to give. You can only hope that this journey will have a more positive outcome; that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel. You know that to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, you have to conquer the little challenges that life throws your way.
You stand tall and take that first tentative step into the wood. The craggy branches and thistles snap into place behind you, barring your way. There’s no turning back. You can only move forward. The past is dead, the life you had is gone. You see fire shimmering in the sky and set your sights on that tiny glimmer of hope.
Your journey has begun. It’s time to start again. Regardless of all the trials and tribulations you are sure to face, you wouldn’t begin your journey any other way. As a wise man always said, “There is light even in the darkest places. You only have to search it out.” Knowing this, you won’t give up until you see the sun.