Trekking Through Darkness


Posted by admin | Posted in Mental, Spiritual | Posted on 28-01-2010

The holidays are always tough for me.  I can’t pinpoint the reason why, but I think it has something to do with my family all being in Spain accentuating a feeling of loneliness.  I’m not entirely certain.

This last holiday season, however, has been especially hard.  Misbehaving dogs, testing deadlines, taskings, et al, all have simultaneously combined into a smothering blanket.

Adding to the stress was an inner voice telling me that I was deviating from the path I have been on for the past two years, which had somehow kept a smile on my face.

As the holidays passed, the new year came and went, and we progressed well into January, my condition continued to deteriorate.  I kept internalizing everything that was happening, allowing it to accumulate pressure to such levels that a mere touch would cause an explosion.  I had become a ticking bomb, waiting for the tiniest spark to combust.

My awareness of this condition only increased the pressure.  I had been repeatedly trying every method I knew to ameliorate this state, but none had worked.  I felt trapped and so “dangerous” to others that I completely removed myself from social events in an effort to protect anyone that may come in contact with me.

After one particular training session last week that had escalated to a somewhat volatile situation, not only feeling trapped but beginning to despair for not finding a solution, I approached one of teachers—Tony Griffin—and explained what my life was becoming.

Griffin Sensei, after listening to me, not only offered a different and objective perspective—one which I had been too preoccupied to even consider—but also a tool to assist me in alleviating incoming pressures.  The new perspective allowed me visualize the internalization that was creating the “ball” of pressure deep within me; the new tool (or exercise) allowed me to minimize or even eliminate any additional pressure from being accumulated.

After the discussion with Griffin Sensei, I felt better.  Although the “ball” still remained, the pressure had lightened up enough that I could once again objectively analyze the situation.

But the “ball” still remained.

If neither my new perspective nor the tool had alleviated the pressure, what had done it?  Why had the pressure decreased?

I am on a return flight from a business trip, where I had additional opportunities to further discuss with friends the events and situations of the last month.  With each successive conversation, the pressure within the “ball” decreased, until I recently realized that what alleviates the pressure is open and honest discussion of the issues.  Externalization.

Now, it sounds obvious, but what alleviates the pressure is letting it out; the release of pressure.  Honest communication is the safety valve that prevents pressure from accumulating to explosive levels.

We will never be able to fully avoid the events and situations that cause pressures to be applied against us.  Sometimes, we will be unable to fully mitigate the amount of pressure that is being applied.  In some situations, we will be forced to internalize it and carry it within us.

However, internalizing pressure should be a conscious decision that we choose, making us cognizant of the fact that such pressure exists.  Awareness of any internalized pressure should trigger the need for opening the safety valve, or “externalization,” allowing the safe release of stressful pressure that otherwise unchecked, will make us walking time-bombs.

Sometimes, our path will take us through dark, desolate, and/or dangerous places.  That can’t be helped.  But it is important that we don’t stop and remain in them for long, or the fears that such places cause will continually grow within us, to such levels that they will eventually transform us to something native to the dark, desolate, dangerous places, and we run the risk of staying in them forever.  It is imperative that we realize that the path is just that, a path between places, and that we should continue to move, striving to regain the path that keeps a smile on our faces.

Personal note to my friends and loved ones:

I shut down.

Several of my friends reached out to me during this past month, and I kept them away with dishonest communication.  I didn’t do it with any malicious or selfish intent.  After objective analysis, I am convinced my spirit was one of not burdening them with my friends and loved ones with my issues.  I did not realize that they were offering me a hand—a safety valve.

I was wrong.

I cannot and will not make any guarantees that this will not ever happen again.  But now I am aware of it, and (think) I know how to properly mitigate it from reaching the same levels.

That doesn’t change the fact that I was wrong.

I want to thank all my friends that over the past week have listened to me, and those who over the past month reached out to me.

I was wrong.  I was wrong, and I apologize.

  • Tee

    Love you always bro.

  • Tee

    Love you always bro.