The voice from within had reached deafening decibels, yet still, days, weeks, months passed until I reluctantly exposed myself to the cold, damp air of the cave. The refreshing wind blew across my bare skin. I pressed my arms tighter against my chest. My eyes adjusted as darkness came over me carefully, slowly, almost methodically. My curiosity piqued- what could be in here?
Claustrophobia set in too. I suddenly craved the open skies like water on a summer day. I noticed how my gait became calculated inside this cavern. With every step, I pictured the earth above collapsing, crushing me to death.
Why don’t I want to spend time amidst the spiraling passages of my soul? Why the hesitation to go spelunking and see the secrets within?
I think the truth of our being never feels quite safe to acknowledge, let only to explore. The visible, well-liked, publicly approved parts of ourselves receive the attention. Meanwhile, entire pieces of us stay ignored for years, sometimes we only face them in the last moments of our life.
I’ve been meandering inside the off-limits, untouchable, and locked away areas of myself.
The experience is far from over, but through this cave wandering, I am returning to my original earthiness.
The darkness doesn’t signal danger, but comforts and guides me towards my full humanity. My simple, focused presence is the source of light through which I am able to peruse the uncharted paths.
What I’m discovering inside are stories in need of endings, paradoxes yearning to play with me, and mysteries ready to be lived into.
I didn’t know the doorway to this cave was an invitation to a midlife awakening, a total reshaping, a humble gathering of all the pieces of myself that have been separated, labeled as “bad.”
I never thought I’d become more fully myself, whole and human, in such an obscure place as this cave, but here I am, darkness and light co-existing and even mingling in ways I didn’t know was possible.
Where will this all lead, what does it all mean, how will I change? The questions still haunt me daily. But I try to practice not pressing for an answer. Maybe I don’t need to have the answers anymore.
Maybe simply being here carries more purpose than I could ever imagine.