Darkness in the Lake

I’m floating through the tranquil clear waters of my mind. A few feet inland, beyond the beach of smooth river rock, I can see a curtain of birch trees. White flakey bark with dark

scratches and scars from failed branches and animals and probably the wind gently waving branches into trunks. Following the trunks vertically reveals the underside of a dense canopy of leaves, yellowed by the cold at the water’s edge, but fading to green further in.

I follow the shore, drifting slowly, taking in the experience. The leaves rustling in the breeze click as they slap together. Birds chirp to each other in the distance, beyond my sight. The water ripples with tiny waves pulsating from me. The sky is a clear, soft blue with light white

streaks smeared across. Through the clear, cold, green water I see the rocks in the silt below.

 

Round and smooth like the stones on the shore, but shadowed and distorted through the water.

 

I slowly drift down the shore. There is a narrow section of land that juts out. As I drift past the small section of land I begin to see an alcove in the water’s edge. A crescent in the shore, highlighted with trees above and water below. Through the clarity of the water, within the alcove I can see a long, dark, cylindrical blur.

 

Like a deep haze, a large line of ink beneath the surface, a black fog. Curiosity peaks my mind as I drift closer. The ripples in the water slowly resonate toward this darkness.

The motion disturbs the translucent object and it begins to evolve. As if spawning cilia, this large paramecium reaches out and ensnares the ripples and expands, but not like ink dripped into water. This darkness does not dilute, only grows. As I walk into the water, the darkness reaches out with curved tentacles, pulsing in synch with my every footstep.

 

This is my attempt to visually represent the feelings of my mind in the absence of what I would call normal senses–sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. It is like sensing stimuli without senses. At least not any familiar senses. Like having the ability to perceive, but not see or smell or taste. Intuitively sensing, maybe.

 

In any case, I think the metaphor here is substantial and worth some further explanation.

Each of us has a portion of darkness within. Call it a vice, call it an addiction, call it a perversion, a sin, an imperfection, a habit, evil, a flaw, temptation, dark spot, whatever you want. This might not even be your fault. In fact, it probably isn’t. Many of us, I think, have been branded with some demonic mark. The scar of neglect or abuse or pain or shame. We didn’t choose this mark but it has tarnished our souls and made us feel worthless.

 

I’m NOT worthless. YOU’RE NOT WORTHLESS!

 

Many of us have had a perverted uncle, a perfection-demanding father, a narcissistic mother, or an abusive lover. Branded by their will we’ve stumbled through our years, failing at everything until we hate how stupid and worthless we’ve become. I’m such a piece of shit! Every day is harder than the last. I can’t do one damn thing right because I’m a stupid worthless piece of shit. How could you be so stupid?! There’s no end to this pain and there’s no way out except to die. Yes, die. Pain and more pain, every day transcending the last until we die.

 

These feelings, like anything, develop over time. We weren’t born wanting to die we weren’t born hating ourselves. To heal we must understand. They may have established this darkness in you. They may have cultivated it and allowed it to grow and spread. But the darkness is alive and doesn’t need them anymore. These beliefs have evolved and taken on a life of its own.

 

I’m going to tell you something you already intuitively know. You’re better off than they are, because now you are AWARE. You have been taught, through one single time period of your life, to feel worthless, to be worthless. The seed was planted, but unlike the thorns and vines that grew and rapidly surrounded the palace of the innocent sleeping beauty, you’ve allowed this feeling of worthlessness to poison your mind to the extent that there are dark tentacles touching your every thought. Wrapping them up and poisoning the whitest thought until it becomes a shadow.

 

You can’t make a move without the echoes of worthlessness bouncing off every wall in every corner of your mind. Allowed isn’t the right word. You’ve helped the poison spread. You’ve encouraged its growth. You have become so much better at degrading yourself than anybody else could ever be. Nobody excels at destroying you with as much efficiency and perseverance as you. You’ve become your own kryptonite.

 

This shouldn’t make you judge yourself with harshness, however. This wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know any better. You were young. You didn’t know the world. You only knew how to feed this monster and keep it alive. You never knew it was thriving inside you. It’s no wonder there’s almost nothing left. No wonder you feel so small. No wonder you want to die.

You will never escape the destruction until you can experience the truth. Your past has left you scarred. But it’s only a mark. It’s not you. Float away from this darkness. There’s an entire lake full of water and there’s no need to let one little dark alcove influence your entire body of water.

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