Conquering a dark place with ink and paper
A parable about the benefits of journaling.
How might it feel to wake up one day not in your comfy bed caressed by soft cotton linen but on a cold, sticky floor of the deep dark cave?
I’ll tell you. Wet, damp, and scary.
Metaphorical caves are as unpleasant as real ones. The moist crevices of imaginary grottos get to the bone even quicker than water dripping from the 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 setting 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, clambering out of its dampened 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 those cunning two-faced supporting cave walls. They’ll be as 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 surface; 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 your 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 but instead will drop 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 bag 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 the fanciest sword and the most reliable shield, page after page. Cover those white innocent folios within ink stabs, leaving no worries unexamined or fears unidentified.
When you are done, use those pages as solid stepping stones to leave the 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 flowers, you can start growing in that deep dark cave to make it less scary and uninviting if you happen to wake up there again instead of your comfy bed.