Turn Around

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What will you do? Where will you go? How will you escape the pain that ever gnaws at you, that drives you to strive, labour, and work endlessly as one who is lost, the pain that leaves you silent at the end of each day, drained of life and of the truth about yourself, the truth you do not know, yet do anything to hide your face from…

At the start of the day, do you run like a hunted animal, doomed to die in its flight but unwilling to stop and, for a moment, be true in the face of the monster that chases all of us from dawn til sunset? Or do you, like I still sometimes do, lay in bed, neither awake nor asleep, looking for a reason to get up and live the life that those around you are expecting you to live? Do you fill your mind with the constant noise of music and television, with the soothing black letters of your books, yes even your holy books, only to silence the scream which will arise from the depth of your hurting, broken heart?

Do you, as you run through your day like a mindless robot, cold, calculating and efficient, sometimes pause, only to be quickly overcome with unknown despair, grief, or horror as you find yourself gazing into an abyss too dark and too vast to ever be faced?

What is chasing you?

What has dogged your heels ever since your younger days, what is that fear which you once sought to escape by building not only a castle, a secure kingdom for yourself, but also your very personality? What is your biggest obsession? What do you dread? What have you become in order never to face that monster, while, in your frantic flight, you buried the gold that was once in your heart?

What unseen beliefs, convictions, and deep desires, drive you as you push your tired self through the endless days, ignoring the cry of your weary, thirsty heart?

Shakespeare said: ‘A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.’

We are all cowards.

We all fear.

We have all lost heart.

And now we all run.

But, friend, what if you stopped running? What if, for once in your life, you turned to face the monster that has chased you through the years, the terror whose hot breath upon your neck has made your life a living hell, worse than any death you may ever face?

Throughout the centuries, people who have lived best have proven to be the people who, at some point in their life, had turned in the opposite direction than the world around them was heading. They chose to lose their life, and they gained it.

What are you afraid to lose?

What am I afraid to lose?

I may not have lived too long, but I have lived, and I have learned a thing or two. And I will tell you this:

Turn around. Face the monster. Grab it by its horns and scream in its face. You will know a different life then. Do not be afraid – can it really be worse than the nightmare you now call life? Fear not – it is time to live your life, and, for once, be its master, instead of letting it master you, run you, as it has done so far. You might find that the monster is…yourself. Or a person, who is yet to be forgiven. Perhaps even a parent, whose words spoken long ago still ring in the vast corridors of your broken heart, driving you to excel only to prove them wrong, and risking the loss of your very soul…

Perhaps the monster is your own lost self, your own strength and courage from which you chose to run once, far before you could control your choices…

Perhaps there is no beast. What if this is true? There is only one way to find out.

Go now, turn back, and fear no darkness.

It is the darkness that fears you.

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