It is all well and good to talk about the light we possess within us, the fire driving us forward, that we should always be hopeful, confident and happy. Yet, as many, if not all, of us know, this is not always the case. There is something within each and every single one of us which lurks and creeps, silently and stealthily, even during our brightest hours. It seems to always be right around the corner, ready to pounce whenever we may give it a chance, and we can never fully get rid of it. It watches and waits, sits patiently when we manage to weaken it, taking its time to heal, but constantly on the lookout, only hoping for a single cue to get out of its hole, and take possession of us. At times this is all it needs…a single opportunity to flood us with all that we have tried so hard to forget, or turn a blind eye upon. We may try to convince ourselves that it is not there, that it is no more than a mere illusion, but how could we use words to fight against something which takes us over entirely, not even leaving the world within our minds as a safe haven?? Words may be powerful, but not enough to resist it. Even having a roaring fire within us cannot keep it at bay for ever, for even fire creates shadows. By now you might have guessed, that what conceals itself within us all is the Darkness.
Concealing is not the quite the right word though, since it could only be applied to the lucky ones amongst us who have come to peace with the existence of the creature looming within. For many unlucky souls, it is a daily struggle to keep it from taking over completely, from corrupting every thought and feeling, from killing the fire and freezing us from the inside. The hardest part in that fight is that it cannot be avoided. It starts from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, and lasts until we fall asleep at night, and when the creature is really strong, it can even prevent us from losing ourselves in our dreams, or perhaps perverts our nightly realm. It is always there. The stronger it gets, the harder the battle, because it just sucks away our energy, feeds on our life blood, leaving us weaker and weaker against an opponent which we cannot escape. But not only can we not run away, it also knows where to aim, where we are the most vulnerable, and will never think twice about going down that road, because it thrives on foul play, using our darkest secrets against us.
“What is this creature you refer to as Darkness?”, you may ask. To this, I answer that it is everything we try to hide. It is shame and fear, doubt and pain, agony and misery, humiliation and self-loathing, it is everything within us which we do not like, which we try to repress and forget. And at the same time, it is so much more than that. It is the uncertainty which cripples us, the feeling of being lost without anyone around to give us directions, it is the loneliness which strikes at us when we are most vulnerable, it is all that is dark and evil within us. It is Darkness, for it covers all that is good and pleasant under an opaque blanket of tar, leaving us suffocating and struggling for an escape, which may well never come. It sticks to us, envelops us wholly, pins us to the ground, and makes us scream for help, only so that it can rush down our throat and steal the words before they get out. The creature blinds us, letting no light shine through, basking in the dark and robbing us of our heat, leaving us cold, afraid and all alone.
We try to avoid and suppress it, telling ourselves that it is all in our heads, nothing more than our imagination playing a nasty trick. But deep inside we know it to be false. We cannot escape it. We may believe we have, but it is always there. Some people drown it in alcohol, others try to reach the clouds, thinking that the higher they get, the less it can catch up with them. Some believe that others are the key to blissful ignorance, constantly surrounding themselves with friends and strangers, or that perhaps their work will keep their minds off of it. But the problem with the creature is that it does not hide itself in the outside world, but rather thrives within us, corrupting us from the inside out. We cannot run away from it, because it can appear any time we close our eyes and start to think about ourselves, to look at our own lives, to try to find some solid ground inside where we may rest for a short while. This is why it is so dangerous…and this is also why we can never get rid of it. It is a part of us, the part we do not want to know about. Sadly, for as long as we exist, the creature will too, roaming and skulking, sometimes attacking and missing, sometimes striking and succeeding, gashing us deeper than anything else ever could.
Is there anything we could do to ever be free from it?? There is no permanent solution, no weapon that would kill it off completely. We can weaken it by not feeding it, fighting it back before it gains too much strength, but when facing a powerful creature, there is no other path than the hardest one imaginable. It is an arduous road, because it takes time for the creature to lose power, even more so when we have given it too much time to accumulate it. Yet we cannot simply turn a blind eye and hope it goes away, since that is one thing it will never do, owing to the fact that it is an intrinsic part of us. Once we have weakened it enough, the need to fight against it will diminish. All we will have to do is not feed it, and let it roar from time to time. Bad days are inevitable…without them, how could we enjoy the good ones?? We can only see the stars in the sky when it is dark around us, and we can only fully appreciate the marvellous moments when we have faced the horrendous ones and made it through. We will get hurt, we will get scared, but we should not hate that part of us, for it is still what makes us who we are. We have to tame it, make it ours, prevent it from taking control. We are the only masters of ourselves, hence, we are the ones who can decide which part we feed, whether it be the roaring fire driving us forward, or the paralyzing creature keeping us from moving at all. The choice is ours alone, and no matter how arduous and strenuous the road ahead might be, the destination will always be worth it, for the creature could never give us the calmness and peace of mind we all deserve.
Until next time,