Sometimes we all succumb to the darkness. Darkness manifests itself in many different forms, but all of these forms bring with them pain, fear, heartbreak, anguish, anxiety and deep-seated sadness. Sometimes they even bring with them the pinnacle of all darkness: hate! All these feelings can and will, if fed, create procrastination.
Procrastination is a lack of drive born from self-loathing; the mother of hate. Procrastination is an underhand emotion that leads us to believe that the achievements we seek are far from our grasp. Its one aim is to steer us away from our goals and onto a path of failure. When procrastination takes root within the soul it eats away at our dreams and aspirations.
Procrastination feeds on our interests and slowly, one by one, takes them from us, leaving us as shadows of our former selves. A man whose life was once an expanding, living mini-universe fuelled by the drive and determination to achieve his goals suddenly becomes a desolate desert of loss and anguish. Gone are the great days of glory and success, and in their wake lays self-pity and heartbreak.
Recently I have experienced all of these emotions and have spent many dark nights in the company of procrastination, wallowing in self-pity and almost drowning in a sea of sadness. My days have been unproductive and my evenings have been shrouded in darkness. Fear and jealousy, along with hate and deep-rooted sadness, have been my associates.
Lately, when the shroud of blackness has fallen, I have let myself be drawn by the darkness into a paranoid world of self-loathing. My goals and aspirations have been thrown to one side to make way for procrastination.
Outside in the dark I sought my solitude in an alleyway next to my house. I had invited loneliness to become my friend once again. Sitting in the darkness of the alleyway, looking into its blackness, I would blame the world and everyone in it for the wretched despondency I was feeling. Each night I sat waiting for the answer; for a way out of the confusing mess I had got myself into.
One night, very recently, it came. When I sat in the institution of darkness in which I had imprisoned myself, I always sat looking into the darkness and at the end of it stood a cold, lifeless brick wall. Sick of counting out the bricks and staring into a soulless black tunnel capped by the daunting site of the wall, I turned.
And as I turned I noticed the streetlight shining majestically against the cold blackness of the sky. The street lamp lit up the night sky and acted as a beacon of hope against a backdrop of dark, rain-filled clouds. As I sat there, mesmerised by the light, the answer to my predicament came to me and, like a having a dark veil lifted from before my eyes, it filled me with hope.
I had for the previous few weeks been shrouded in a cloak of darkness and my nightly sojourn into the alleyway had taken me into the deceiving arms of self-loathing and procrastination.
Every night as I sat there manifesting my own and many others’ downfall I had been trapped in a tunnel of self-pity and fear, but this night I had come to realise what was taking me deeper into the abyss.
Instead of looking out into the light and finding the answers to my problems, I had been looking at the wrong end of this tunnel of disbelief and heartbreak. The whole time I had been courting the shadows; I had been seduced by the blackness that was causing me so much pain. I stood up and walked towards the light of the street lamp that had cut through the darkness and reignited my soul, and with it my inner belief.
The light at the end of the tunnel reminded me of some of the dark days of the past and how, in that past, my life had spiralled into a world full of darkness and pain. It reminded me never to look for answers in dark places, but instead to look for the places that harness the light.
Go to the people who shun the darkness and feed on the light. Cast aside the shadows cast by people who live in the seedy world of the night traveller and succumb to its offerings. These pleasures are merely short-lived fun and laughter that is lived out by those who build their lives on sugar pedestals, which will one day crumble and leave them lying in the dark, just as you once did.
Seek out those who will guide you towards the light. You will find these shepherds of light have also walked long and dark paths, and that they now wait for people like you and me to come calling. They wait in patience, knowing that you will arrive. They know the anguish you have felt, for they have felt it themselves. They wait like stonemasons with a tool and chisel, ready to carve you into a warrior of life. They have only one aim in life and that is to bring you out of the darkness and into the light.
Who are these shepherds that lie in wait for you to call?
They are the champions of the dark. They are men and women who have conquered their fears; who have been deep into the darkness, have come out the other side and are now constantly bathed in light.
They are those that inspire. They are trainers and coaches; writers and poets; scientists and teachers; movie makers and preachers. They are the people we want to be, the ones who have made it, and they are waiting for you to seek them out.
Remember: You need to turn around and look out of the darkness and into the light, for it is the light that holds the key to your happiness and success.