Life Sentence

Give yourself the gift of freedom. Know your demons. They accompany you wherever you go. They are you. They are not there by happenstance. And few things are more empowering than staring into the eye of the demon that dwells within. I’m on a first name basis with mine. I’ve come to accept that these demons, that I felt certain held me captive, were in truth, the gatekeepers to my freedom. In many ways, these darker shadows of who I am, comprise that which animates my beauty.

You could strong-arm your demons into submission. But I’d advise against it. Sit down with them. Ask why they are there. Subjugate through awareness. See them for what they are – a shadow of you. They are cast in your image, no one else’s. Whether a demon of fear, doubt or insecurity; whether a demon of anger, addiction or jealousy; these dark silhouettes are like rings within a tree, they are a part of you. Discover them. Own them. Know them.

There are times when these inner forces spring to life, and lean toward overpowering. But if you know the demon well, you know its ways. And you are less likely to be caught off guard by that which you know, than by that which you do not.

I learned that these shadow aspects of, who I am, have the same value as those parts of me that seem to shine so bright. All of these shadows, dark and bright, sit behind my eyes. No longer do I try to camouflage who I am. When you look at me, you see it all. My journey made more sense once I listened to what my demons had to say; what it is I feared the most; what it is that had the ability to keep me up throughout the night. Rarely now am I knocked off-balance. Not because the hits are fewer; but because I understand what makes me tick and why.

I could say that life would be easy sans these inner tormenters. But freedom never feels the same unless first imprisoned. Love sinks the deepest into our being after having felt the piercing sting of hatred. The laughter of others isn’t enjoyed as nourishment to the soul unless having spent time in quiet solitude. And the exhale given once found is deeper due to having known the emptiness of being lost. Demons are often the most profound inner teachers we have along life’s journey. Mine are there for a reason; chances are, yours are too. Stop running from them. Turn towards them. Open your prison door, and set yourself free.

Sane

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