I believe in darkness. I believe in darkness because I have been inside of it. It is colder and more unfriendly from inside than it is from outside. It surrounds me, chokes me, beats me, strips me, and eventually I escape from darkness… but only for a while. There is no avoiding darkness; I can’t see darkness in my path until I am already inside of it. Then I can do nothing but struggle to escape, to emerge on the other side without falling. I have seen darkness as I have watched others on their paths. They cannot see it either, until it is upon them. It swallows them like it swallows me. Some come out the other side, others disappear into the darkness. I have learned from darkness, but only from outside its cold grasp. Darkness hurts, but hurt will heal.
20 years old is a hard time to find yourself in darkness. That is when I had my first experience with thick black darkness that strangles and chokes and suffocates. I had a sudden epiphany that I did not know what I believed about God, truth, goodness, right, or wrong. All that I had done up until that point had been motivated by a belief that I now wasn’t sure I had. As I pondered my horrible epiphany I felt the darkness gather. It swarmed me. It rushed in my mouth and muffled my screams, and there it stayed, all around me, for a long time. It pressed upon me to keep me from waking up in the morning. It struggled against my every effort to work, to be productive, to help others. It pulled at me as if begging me to succomb. I would not, could not let darkness win. I fought. Days turned to weeks as I fought. As I fought I began to find myself. I could see that I was beginning to truly understand what I believed deep down about God, truth, goodness, right, and wrong. I was emerging from the darkness. My beliefs were mine, no one else’s! The thick black slowly turned to a foggy grey. I was seeing more clearly. I emerged from the darkness! Blinded by the darkness I was unable to see, but now standing in the light it was clear to me: I had become stronger, better, closer to what I want to be!
Darkness can motivate me to break the layers of insincerity, indifference, and weakness in which I am encased. Fighting darkness has made me better. I cannot see the darkness that lies ahead of me, but I know it is there. I am sure that it will strangle me, beat me, and bring me down. But I will fight. I will emerge better, cleaner, and closer to what I want to be. I believe in darkness.
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