Diving into Darkness

“Some of the brightest lights come out of the darkest nights.”
– Ricky Roberts III

It’s amazing how people come into your life at just the right moment. The quote above is by an incredibly talented and inspirational writer who also happens to be my neighbor. I’ve lived four doors down from him for almost two years now, yet we never had a real conversation until last week.

Last Tuesday was a strange day… I was feeling a strong desire to write, but I was making excuses for not doing it. The fact of the matter is, it’s been challenging to gain the courage I need to confront my truth. In order to find the light, I must first dive into the darkness.

I was struggling with these thoughts, and I was having a hard time focusing my energy on pursuing the task at hand. I knew that I needed to write, but I was being pulled away from it due to insecurity, fear and self-doubt.

Before leaving work that day, I posted a status update on Facebook, where I mentioned Christabel Zamor’s new book, “Hooping.” A few months ago, she asked me to provide a quote for it. I have yet to read the book, but as far as I know, my quote made it through the final round of edits. In the same status update, I mentioned Theresa Rose’s book, “Opening the Kimono.” Theresa is a Sarasota-based author who I met at the Hoop Path FL workshops back in February. I’ve stayed in touch with her via Facebook. In fact, she’s scheduled to read an excerpt from her book at one of my upcoming hoopdance classes.

As I drove home from work, I kept thinking about my life and my purpose. I felt a strong desire to write but there was still hesitation in the back of my mind. Confronting the demons would be a true test of resilience.

When I got home, I took my dog for a walk and called a friend who I hadn’t spoken to in a while. We talked about following your heart… even if it means making sacrifices in order to do what you love.

I hung up the phone and ran into my neighbor, Ricky. We ended up having the most amazing conversation. I found out that he’s a youth advocate and published author. His books are about self-love, living life to the fullest and discovering your purpose. The conversation ended with a big hug, and he gave me a copy of his most recent book, “Where Did the Gift Go?”

Ricky’s book is exactly what I needed at that moment. In the past few days, I’ve been able to dive into my darkness and write from the heart – raw and real, without reservation. I hand-wrote sixteen pages in my journal yesterday. I worked on at least five chapters of my book over the weekend, and I also started to bookmark pages in my journals that are relevant to my story.

The old journals are the hardest part for me. I’m reading words that bring back dark memories. I’ve shed a few tears in the past few days, for multiple reasons, but I’m balancing my sad moments with inspirational words from Ricky’s book. When the subject matter that I’m writing about becomes too intense, I read another chapter of “Where Did the Gift Go,” and I feel better.

It’s been a long time coming, and I think Carol’s death was a reminder (yet again) of how precious life is and that tomorrow is not a guarantee. We must follow our hearts and make the best of this life we’re given.

The first journal I picked up this weekend was from 2003. When I opened it, I randomly landed on a page that listed the things I’d like to accomplish in this lifetime. The first item on that list was: Write a Book.

I know that the time is now, and I know that I’m supported. I’m erasing the word “fear” from my vocabulary. I’m letting my heart lead the way into the darkness to find the light.

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