February bombarded us with an overabundance of snow, freezing temperatures, pervasive gloom, and enough hardship to make anyone want to cave in, give up, and abandon all hope. Added to bleak despair, we suffered cabin fever under the burden of lockdowns, social distancing, and deprivation of human connections. Yet, when the superfluous is stripped away, we expose interesting hidden discoveries to daylight and sometimes uncomfortable examinations.
It is easy to forget who we really are. We become trapped by the roles we play. The labels we accept as a parent, spouse, dutiful daughter, loving son, friend, employee, entrepreneur, runner, teacher, lifelong learner, breadwinner, cook, philanthropist, reader – they all inflict a specific set of assumptions on us. We allow ourselves to get caught up being who we think we ought to be. We obsess over living up to other’s expectations and trying to achieve the ideal image portrayed by an empty facade. No one thing is a pure reflection of our true selves.
When the only soul left to speak with is you, what do you find? Is it the part of yourself you are afraid to see? Do you fear having to take responsibility for yourself and commit to making the changes you keep promising yourself? Or maybe you hide from the ferocious drooling monster lurking in deep dark recesses of your inner being. You know, the one who sabotages your every effort to connect with the greatness of the real you. Those are genuine possibilities. But you might uncover acceptance, compassion, understanding, and perhaps the forgiveness you have been searching for in all the wrong places. If you are honest with your core and daring enough to stare your demon in the eye, you may be lucky and discover your passion.
In “Reflections on the Art of Living,” Joseph Campbell writes, “Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.”
What lights the fire in your soul?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer