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Conquering a dark place with ink and paper

Updated: Jan 5

A parable about the benefits of journaling.

How would you feel if one day you wake up and you are not in your comfy bed caressed by soft cotton linen. Instead, you find yourself on a cold, sticky floor of the deep dark cave.

I’ll tell you. You'd feel wet, damp, and scared.

Metaphorical caves are as unpleasant as real ones. The moist crevices of imaginary grottos get to the bone even quicker than water dripping from slimy walls.

Getting out is more challenging, as those walls that drip with water are also as slippery as the ice rink deliberately polished before the spectators arrive. They are also as mischievous as Trolls from various fairy tales. You think they are helping and supporting you, but nope, they are tripping you, sending you stumbling down, laughing in your face as you meet the wet, mushy floor of your regrets.

The trick is to use all your might and perseverance, as well as all your fingers and clamber out of its damp embrace, sticky as a candy cane.

Rational thoughts are not your friends on the way out. On the contrary, logic and rationality have a tendency to turn as moist and slippery as cave walls. They’ll be very eager to send you into yet another oozing and stinky mud of dead-end solutions. Laughing even louder than Trolls.

You think you put your foot on a solid ground; you rejoice and celebrate your cleverness and resourcefulness. And the next thing you know, your arms and bottom are glued to the wall of despair and overwhelm.

But if you drop logic somewhere on the way, or even stick it to one of the walls and pick up intuition instead, well, then you might stand a chance. A tiny-weeny chance that the cave of dark thoughts will not hold you as tightly. Instead it might throw you a rope of hope that you could use to elevate yourself out.

Tread ever so carefully, emptying your negative emotions, drip by drip, while clasping that solid yet slippery rope. Use black ink or pink or yellow, it does not really matter. But make sure you empty yourself out just like you would a suitcase after a trip abroad. Do it slowly and careful not to spook whatever is lurking inside.

Use your ink and paper as if it’s both the fanciest sword and the most reliable shield. Cover those white innocent pages within ink stabs, leaving no worries unexamined or fears unidentified.

When you are done, use those sheets of paper as solid stepping stones to leave the dark cave and shut the gate behind you.

Until the next time.

But enjoy the calming voice of reassurance: 'You’ve conquered it once, so you’ll conquer it again.'

And think of all sorts of dark loving plants you can start growing in that cave to make it less scary and slippery if you happen to wake up there again.


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