“Sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself.”
I Feel The Sun.
I was thrown into a dark forest with no sense of where to go. Confusion glazed over my eyes and caused a temporary blindness to occur. I was fearful, worried and confused. This realm was one I had reluctantly explored within my nightmares. This was the place I never thought I’d be again.
But here I am.
I feel the cool earth underneath my cautious feet, I tread lightly here. I stay alert for the shadows that might slink behind the trees and for the black snakes that slither near my feet. I call out and hear nothing, no one in return and my heart feels as if it’s going to burst. The pain ripped at my chest as an overwhelming feeling of loneliness began to seep in.
Disheveled, I glanced around and listened to my own breathing. I quieted the crazy, fear driven thoughts that bombarded through my mind and looked at the sky. The sky is beautiful, and it is familiar. Although this dark forest is terrifying, that sky brings comfort.
I take a deep breath and step forward. I use immense strength and courage to get myself walking again. I loop around half fallen trees, small swamps and through a field of fireflies. It was then that I realized that even in a scary place such as this, there is beauty.
The more I walk, the less my chest hurt. So I kept on this path. Unsure of where I was going, my mind began writing narratives that my heart wanted nothing to do with. “What if a snake bites you? What if a panther pounces on you? What if…?”
I shook my head and trudged on. I didn’t have the time to give into worry. I knew there was a light at the end of this path and I was going to find it. My initial fear and confusion turned to determination. I had this newfound drive within me that I had never experienced before and I was not about to ignore it. With this drive, I could get out of here. I could survive.
I survived this place before so I know I can do it again. The rule of this dark forest is simple: do not give in to fear. Fear will send you scurrying deeper into the shadows and soon, you will become one of them. You will completely lose yourself if you live in fear constantly.
Even though my stomach felt queasy at the idea of a monster lurking around me ready to pounce, I kept walking. After a while, the earth beneath me began to feel warmer. My footsteps became lighter and my pace quickened. I felt as if I was getting close! An unconditional smile formed on my lips as I thought, “I am still alive, and I am almost to where I can see light. Will I remember what it looks like?”
The colors around me suddenly became more vibrant and there was finally a movement in the air: wind. I was getting myself out of this stagnant, scary place and I couldn’t help but giggle out loud at the thought of freedom.
The path in front of me began to open, and the first beams of sunlight I had seen in what seemed like eternity was pouring through the trees. I began running now.
My legs stopped moving right before the light. A part of me felt that this wasn’t real and that I was still lost in there somewhere. I rubbed my eyes and pinched my arm. Nope, this was real.
I turned to see the path behind me and clutched at my chest. I realized that a tremendous weight was now gone that I found my way out.
Patience, dedication and the ability to choose over fear allowed me to escape the same forest that so many others stay lost in. It’s hard to believe that some people never find their way out and that in fact, they die here.
The sun was more beautiful than I had remembered. I guess I was so used to wandering around in the dark that I had forgotten how blissful it felt to be bathed in this warmth. I stared up at the sky again with such wonder and excitement. Where was I going to go now? I am no longer lost here…I can now be free again.
A million thoughts were now bouncing around my mind and I had to breath to calm them. So many thoughts of what I was going to do, where I was going to go and who I was going with swirled over and over. I decided that I would adventure out there alone for a while and see what blessings life would bring me.
Before I left the forest, I absorbed the sun’s warmth and love. Every cell in my body was screaming with gratitude as a single tear rolled down my cheek. My feet began moving towards the edge of the forest and I left behind that single tear.
I did it.
I chose correctly and listened to my heart. I got out alive.
And now…I feel the sun.