I stood at the entrance of a dark, mysterious place in the side of an enormous mountain, contemplating and questioning what was inside. Going against my common sense and reasoning, I approached the entrance — something was in there and I had to find out what. First walking, then crawling my way around, I continued to climb and squeeze my way through its tight spots. Soon after, fear and doubt began to grow inside of me. Had I made a mistake? No, I told myself. Just continue on a bit further. Go deeper into the maze of caverns and alleyways… you’re almost there…

Depression was setting in fast, yet I felt this need to go further. What the hell am I doing in here? Under a mountain, in the damp darkness, blocked from the sunlight and fresh air, suffocating on my own negativity. What have I gotten myself into now? Haven’t we all asked ourselves that question a time or two? Out of curiosity and running on self will, I found myself lost in a place with my own worst enemy – me! I’d gone as far as I could and found nothing. Alone I sat, sinking in hopelessness and despair, staring at my reflection in a small pool of water at my feet.

I shook my head, pointed a finger at myself, and threw guilt, shame, anger and self-pity my way. Questions arose: would anyone even notice I was missing? Miles of twists and turns, tight spots… I’ve travelled too far to ever find my way out now. My tears flooded the pool at my feet. The light I brought with me, powerful and bright, had now dwindled to a match stick flicker. I’ve found something in here alright! A huge amount of self doubt.

As my tears flooded the pool at my feet, it grew so big I could not only see my face, but my entire self standing there. I stood there for a long time in contemplation. I sensed my reflection felt pity for me, and remorse for the girl standing there at the edge of the water — like she had given up on herself, alone, in the darkness and cold. My reflection felt compelled to do something… she wouldn’t let me die in here alone. Figuratively, my reflection stepped out of the pond, stood by my side on the shore and told me I wasn’t alone. That I had found exactly what I was looking for. My strength, some courage and confidence that I will find my way out, just not the way I came in.

As we sat and talked, my light became brighter and brighter. “Go,” she said, “get the hell out of here. I’ll be right behind you. God is waiting on the other side.” It took a while for me to find my way out. As I wriggled through a narrow passage way, I looked up to see sunlight peering through an exit, and I did not delay. I cashed in some faith and belief that my other self was right behind me. Once out of that mountain, standing in the sunlight and fresh air again, I paused to look around. To my shock and amazement I realized I had passed through the mountain — not over it, around it, but through it!

I felt different. More free, slightly stronger and lighter. Had I left something behind? Whatever it was, I was leaving it there. I felt much better without it. Moving forward from that experience, I still have so much more to learn about myself, much further to travel on this perilous journey and much more to consider next time I come across a cave in the side of a mountain.

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