Heart of Darkness

Somewhere deep down inside of us, where we are truly who we are in our purest form, lives a child.  Understanding this child is of immeasurable importance in our life journey and in our pursuit of experiencing what true freedom is.  Any attempt to address the dynamic struggles of the corporate human soul is fleeting until we  first confront the depravity inside of our own.  It is in the darkest corner of our thoughts, hearts, and minds where others are refused entry and where we avoid at all costs that we must venture.  This secret space inside of us, blanketed in lightless unfamiliarity, is occupied by our true self, the self we were before the world stole our innocence.  We still live there, wounded and traumatized, longing for the womb, an insatiable hoping for safety, security, comfort, encouragement, acceptance, and belonging.  The child inside of us wants nothing more than to return to this place.  The harshness of this life keep the child curled up and scared, and over the course of our lives we numb our minds to it’s very existence.

In tangible terms at our birth we loose the warmth of our mothers.  That first moment of life and light, sterile and white, that brings us into this world is the first loss in a lifelong series of losses and lessons teaching us that our aching for home cannot be realized.  We look to life-change and accomplishment to bring us the feeling of home we desire.  We graduate, get promotions, marry, buy houses, and attain new levels of success all with the hopes of finding the rest our soul thirsts for, all the while the child inside goes neglected and forgotten, exposed to the cold, and dying with along our hearts.

The wounds of the inner-child within each of us are some of the most important driving factors to the people we become.  The void of security causes us to reach for people, identities, and titles that may satisfy our craving.  We convince ourselves that our goals will provide for us the calm we need.  For me I’m realizing more and more that my insecurities are in reality cries from the boy inside who is still hoping the world isn’t as terrible as it really is.  This boy doesn’t measure up to the standards of our culture and finds himself devastatingly  wounded.  I work towards earning recognition, respect and admiration while simultaneously there is a part of me that just wants to curl up and forget how imperfect I am.  The specific wounds we carry have the potential to determine how sincerely we do relationships, how motivated we can be professionally, how authentically we can have faith in good, and how much we expect of others.  In a huge way the inner child direct directs how our personality comes into being.

See, from my first breath on, I’ve been learning, we’ve been learning, just how imperfect the world really is.  The first time we compare our bodies to those in magazines, movies, and billboards inadequacy infiltrates our being like an evil army and a pain that can’t be describe owns us.  We miss the days when comparison was impossible and when the warm walls of the womb protected us from comparing our parts to the parts of others.  Our first experience hurting some one we love or being hurt by a loved one destroys the notion of trust and our ability to trust anyone or anything.  The first time we are rejected, the truth that love is conditional pours over us like a waterfall and we mourn.  Our first taste of devastating poverty, injustice, and oppression taint the notion of joy and happiness as we are forever burdened by the suffering of others.  We’re filled with guilt as we wonder if there is ever reason to celebrate when so much of our world lay in desperate need.  We’re constantly at war, taking blows to our soul left and right, forcing that child deeper and further into darkness until we forget it ever existed.  There is deep inside of each of us a child longing for home but imprisoned in loneliness.

Some of us will settle to walk in naivety, a path chosen by most everybody, filled with those who occupy their minds and days with anything but their own scars.  This path will lead to a life of manageable neglect.  We’ll  pretend that our child-self isn’t there.   We’ll live within the standards, ideals, and protocols of society hoping to get by unscathed.  We’ll buy into the system, spending our days going through the motions of the American Dream.   Whenever emotions bubble up from our depths we’ll push them right back down.  Things will get done, quotas will get met, and there may be less pain, but it will not have the same depth of richness, awareness, and meaning.

A rare few will seek to speak with the child within, opening up wounds and scars that never quite healed.  The journey will be filled with hardship, challenge, fear, and hurt.  Questions will be asked about why, how, and when our child-self started hiding in the dark corners of our heart as we begin to shed light on the palest of places.  Abuse, neglect, and exploit will awaken from the shadows and tear at our identity.  People, places, and moments will bring to the surface memories which had long ago been locked away but were part of our journey all along.  As we embark to understand who we are in the truest sense we begin to bear witness to life on the deepest of levels.  Trauma, suffering, and pain are no longer avoided but become familiar terrains.  Judgement, Pride, and Malice will fade away as we loosen our grips on our need to prove ourselves.  Who we are will slowly become clearer and clearer as we embrace rather than suppress the wounded child within.  We begin to ask questions like, “Why does this hurt when he says that?”, “Why do I always push people away?”, “Why do I always end up hurt by others, is something wrong with me?” , “Why do have such a sinking feeling when I look at myself in the mirror?”, or “Why am I never happy?”.  The answers to all of these questions lay, in part, in the child within.

What wounds, scars, insecurities, and shame do you carry inside of you?  What darkness do you have inside?  Are you avoiding the real answers and quenching the pain temporarily by occupying yourself or pretending that there isn’t in reality a child crying out for answers, protection, safety, and ultimately love without conditions?  Have you wondered if peace in the world is ever achievable before we understand what peace means in our hearts?  Is true freedom a set of legislation and rights or a place of heart where the child within is no longer forced to live in darkness and where the truest longings and yearnings are understood?  Understanding who we are and where we’ve been is no walk in the woods, but if we want the freedom we long for, we must first begin by becoming conscious of the wounded child we keep inside.

When I was young, the smallest trick of light,
Could catch my eye,
Then life was new and every new day,
I thought that I could fly.
I believed in what I hoped for,
And I hoped for things unseen,
I had wings and dreams could soar,
I just don’t feel like flying anymore.
When the stars threw down their spears,
Watered Heaven with their tears,
Before words were spoken,
Before eternity.
Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
Every new day again.
When I was small, the furthest I could reach,
Was not so high,
Then I thought the world was so much smaller,
Feeling that I could fly.
Through distant deeps and skies,
Behind infinity,
Below the face of Heaven,
He stoops to create me.
Dear Father, I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend.
I want to fly higher,
Every new day again.

Man versus himself.
Man versus machine.
Man versus the world.
Mankind versus me.
The struggles go on,
The wisdom I lack,
The burdens keep pilling
Up on my back.
So hard to breathe,To take the next step.
The mountain is high,
I wait in the depths.
Yearning for grace,
And hoping for peace.
Dear God…
Healing hands of God have mercy on our unclean souls once again.
Jesus Christ, light of the world burning bright within our hearts forever.
Freedom means love without condition,
without a beginning or an end.
Here’s my heart, let it be forever Your’s,
Only You can make every new day seem so new

-Reese Roper

One thought on “Heart of Darkness

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Heart of Darkness « Thoughts and Words -- Topsy.com

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