facing the unconsious


The fear inside me grows heavier and heavier. All the darkness and pain scare me, yet I have no idea why. It’s as if I am staring into the eyes of a monster, but I can barely make out its face. It resides in the deep recesses of my unconscious, and my startling inability to discern its name, appearance or nature leaves me without any words. All I know if that when I sense its presence, I am overcome by a deep need to abort. I run the other direction.

And here, is where my insight falls short, my awareness runs out, my tendency to shift toward positivity breaks down. Nothing works. I am up against an enemy that I do not know.

Freud argues that our unconscious is composed of unrealized, and often socially unacceptable, desires and wishes, along with traumas and painful memories that our mind has worked to repress. Most of us are only aware of things existing on the conscious plane, unless our developed defenses are challenged and/or we work to build our self-awareness of the ways our unconscious leaks out in our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Considering this, my current situation is pushing me up strongly against my normal defenses. I am sitting in the in-between, within the tension of what I want to do, and what is best for me. I am at the brink of self-sabotaging, and I know it, but the other, darker part of me is fighting for control, pushing me to run. Run from what? What truly scares me is my inability to answer that simple question. I don’t know. But here I am, pushing, running, numbing, kicking and scratching, anything to keep me from falling in too deep, from being captured and seen. If I move enough, never stay in one place for too long, I’ll somehow be safe. There is safety in my evasions. And this is why I cannot settle. There is something in the water that will get me if I do.

Nothing makes much sense, because logic and intellect sink like swords in quicksand when you are up against the creatures of your unconscious. There’s a reason why we are running away and repressing them in the first place.

There is one thing I do know for sure. In order to get to the healthier, better place, we have to venture through the thick of the unknown forest. We have to rise up to our monsters, our demons, and make the choice to push up against them. If we run, they win. If we repress, they’ll continue to control us in our ignorance. It’s so much easier to run… but by running, we are choosing to live in bondage. This is uncharted territory, and this is the difficult call: to trust, and to have faith. Trusting in God, trusting in yourself, trusting in the fact that despite the arduous nature of the journey, if you keep trekking, you will make it out of the forest. You will overcome someday. The call is for you to submit yourself to the unknown, and have faith that through all the dark and pain, you are reaching a better place, coming closer to a healing you so desperately need… closer to becoming a better you. The more you challenge and push up against yourself, the clearer your inner self becomes. The more control you end up gaining.

The journey, therefore, calls upon courage. Courage is not a personality trait, as some may believe it to be, but an act that anyone can do. It’s about making a choice. Despite fear, I will press forward. I will enter the tension and allow myself to be moved. Here we stand at the precipice, faced with our choice: to jump, or not to jump? That certainly is the question.

decision point


I awoke yesterday with an odd feeling, a stark realization washing over my body. It seemed to be saying, “You are not living out your intended purpose. You are not reaching your full potential.” It is as if for the past month, I have entered a state of stagnation. And after talking with a friend, I came to a clearer picture of where I am at this point in my life.

There are multiple ways to get to one destination. Different streets you can take, turns you can make. Life is essentially that. It is made up of the turns we choose to take. How will we get to our intended destination? And in what ways will we change as we embark on that journey? I realized that at this very moment, I am standing on the street, still deciding. “Should I turn left or right? Which one is right?” But I came to see that for most things in life, there is no clear “right” or “wrong.” Life is not as black and white as we want to make it, as simplistic as we wish it was. And you want to know to your very bones that the choices you make will bring you the most happiness, will lead you farthest from pain, that it will all be wonderful and great. But that too, does not speak to the true nature of the human experience. No matter which road we take, we will experience pain. There will be ups and downs, struggles and obstacles. And we have no way to see into the future and calculate the what-ifs with complete certainty. But we should not be seeing obstacles in such a negative light the way that we do. It is by our struggles we grow and gain opportunities to test and reach our full potential.

Really, it seems to come down to this: it’s not always a matter of making the “right” choice, but about making a choice. It is through these choices we live life, continue on that journey. That is why I have been struck with this feeling as if I am not living out my purpose. It is because I am not moving and putting off making those choices. I kept telling myself, I cannot make them because I am not getting confirmation which one is right, I am scared of making the wrong choice. But I see now that my conceptualization is wrong. I cannot put off these things in my life because of my fears of not being right. When I do, I fall into this state of stagnation, I stop in my journey toward my dreams, I stop living life. In these instances and truly, many decision points on our journey, there really is no right or wrong. We just have to look at the information we have at the present and make the best choice that we can in that moment.

Maybe it is all my fears that are holding me back. Maybe it is simply that the street has grown comfortable, even if I have grown bored with it. Maybe there is something way beyond my awareness beating brightly, but my eyes are trained on something else. Maybe it is all of these things that keep my muscles knotted and breath caught. But no matter how much fog there is around me, this is perfectly clear. I need to move. I need to make a choice. By choosing to live, even in the face of great fear, I obtain the courage I will dearly need as this journey progresses. Only I have the power to make the life I desire… all through these choices I make.