Out Of The Darkness by Peter Skillen

Sometimes we all succumb to the darkness.

Darkness manifests itself in many different forms but all forms bring with them pain, fear, heartbreak, anguish, anxiety, deep seated sadness, and sometimes they bring with them the pinnacle of all darkness; hate.

All these feelings can and will, if fed create procrastination. Procrastination is the lack of drive born from self-loathing, the mother of hate. Procrastination is an underhanded 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 onto the path of failure.  When Procrastination takes its seat within our soul it eats away 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 of achieving goals, suddenly becomes a desolate desert of loss and anguish. Gone are the great days of glory and success and in its wake lays self-pity and heartbreak.

Recently I have experienced all of these emotions and have spent many dark nights sat 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-seated sadness have been my associates. Lately when the shroud of blackness that is the night fell I let myself be drawn by darkness into a paranoid world of self-loathing. My goals and aspirations have been thrown to the side to make way for Procrastination.

Outside in the dark I sought solitude in an alleyway next to my house. I had invited loneliness to once again become my friend. 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.  I sat nightly waiting for the answer to a way out of the confusing mess I had gotten myself into and one night very recently it came. When I sat in the institution of darkness I had imprisoned myself in I always sat looking into the darkness and at the end of it stands 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 street lamp 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 in front of my eyes it filled me with hope.

I had for the past few weeks been shrouded in a cloak darkness and my nightly sojourn into the alleyway had taken me into the deceiving arms of self-loathing and procrastination. Every night whilst I have sat there manifesting my own and many others down fall I had been trapped in this tunnel of self pity and fear but this night I had come to realise the one reason that was taken me deeper into the abyss. Instead of looking out into the light and finding the answers to my problems I had been looking into 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 I had spiralled into a world full of darkness and pain. It reminded me never to look for answers in dark places but instead look for the places that harness the light. Go to those people that shun the darkness and feed the on the light. Cast aside the shadow people that live in seedy world of the night traveller and succumb to its offerings that are often cloaked in short lived fun and laughter lived by those that build their lives on sugar pedestals that will one day crumble and leave them too laying in the dark.  Seek out those people who seek to guide you towards the light. You will find these Shepherd’s of light have also walked long and dark paths and now they wait for people like you and I to come calling. They wait in patience knowing that you will arrive and they know the anguish you have felt for they too have felt it themselves. They wait like stonemasons ready with tool and chisel 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 Shepherd’s that lay in wait for you to call? They are the champions of the dark, they are men and women who have conquered their fears they have been deep into the darkness and come through the other side and are now constantly bathed in light. They are those that inspire, they are trainers and coaches, they are writers and poets, they are scientists and teachers, movie makers and preachers, they are the people we want to be who have made it and they are waiting for you to seek them out.  So turn around and look out of the darkness and into the light, for it is the light that shines in the darkness that holds the key to your happiness and success.

Peter Skillen – Chief Instructor of Professional Martial Arts Coaching (PSMAC)

The Twelve Step Warrior.



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