Where you stumble there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you were looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center.
We spend a lot of time trying to avoid hardship, uncomfortable feelings, pain and struggle. But, what if those things we consciously or unconsciously avoid are actually the means for our growth and healing?
It’s sounds counter-intuitive. And somewhat crazy. It’s scary to face our shadows. We usually lock them away and pretend they don’t exist. We blame our problems on other people and life situations—believing that if only circumstances were different we would be at peace.
But that only works for so long, and usually we come to a point in our lives when we grow tired of running away and we decide to turn toward. And, it is in that moment that we understand, as Joseph Campbell writes, that the damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center.
And we begin to discover so many layers of protection that we’ve created for ourselves—simply so that we would not have to feel discomfort. But, when we begin to face these big feelings—one baby step at a time—the power they have held over us begins to wane, and we become more comfortable with the questions, the uncertainty, the moments of beauty and the moments of sadness.
But go slowly—with compassion and love for yourself, as you venture into the uncharted territory of your internal cave, and maybe there—you will find the peace you have been seeking.