The Trail Through The Woods
I read a book years ago called Women Who Run With Wolves. It describes how dealing with our issues is similar to walking through a dark forest.
As we walk through the woods shivering and frightened of the shadows that lurk behind every tree, facing our fears, we can finally emerge on the other side greeted by the sunlight beaming from a clearing that welcomes us from our journey.
The beauty of life is that we always have a choice. We can face the dark forest or we can take the safe way home. It's scary to deal with our behavior deep-seeded in patterns and comfort that can seem insurmountable.
My journey has not always been about facing my fears; I'll be the first to admit that there are many times I've avoided walking through to the other side or I've made it only half-way and turned back. Partly because of a desire to stay in the comfort of fantasy. I realize that my current lifestyle is bringing me back to a place I don't want to go. I've battled addictions in many forms, my over-friendliness has gotten me in a heap of trouble and some of the choices I've made have left me gasping OMG!!! So I've decided to stop running back to safety and take a step towards the woods.
It's never too late to change, I want a life I can be proud of, I don't want to look in the mirror and not recognize the woman starring back at me. Although I look very pretty all dolled up and I enjoy the surroundings of the local bar it is not getting me where I want to be. Every road is leading me towards the forest, the noises emanating from the distance are those I fear but I'm bravely walking, closer and closer to the pathway leading me in the right direction.
With every breath I contemplate turning back, continuing only through sheer determination to give this full process a fair chance and the fatigue of getting nowhere. I'm leaving behind the debauchery and chaos in hopes that once through it, I will find the inner peace I seek, as I take in the rays of sunlight in the clearing at the other end. I will take you with me so you can experience it with me through this blog and maybe someday you will brave the journey as well.
You might not need to make such a huge change in your lifestyle but no matter what you need to do it can be done. The first step towards the woods - putting away the party shoes I've worn out over the last few years, in a box at the back of the closet. I will spend the long weekend running errands, walking, cleaning, family dinner and movies but I will not venture back to the fantasy life that exists down the road. The shadows I am leaving behind seem much more frightening than the ones I might face on this trail through the woods.
“When a woman is frozen of feeling, when she can no longer feel herself, when her blood, her passion, no longer reach the extremities of her psyche, when she is desperate; then a fantasy life is far more pleasurable than anything else she can set her sights upon. Her little match lights, because they have no wood to burn, instead burn up the psyche as though it were a big dry log. The psyche begins to play tricks on itself; it lives now in the fantasy fire of all yearning fulfilled. This kind of fantasizing is like a lie: If you tell it often enough, you begin to believe it.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype