“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
My cave is called uncertainty. I try to avoid this place by most measures. I imagine it to be crowded with a chattering chaos of unanswered questions. Of its size I can’t be sure, I want to believe this cave is not that big but what if it’s an endless hole? It is definitely filled with dark in there, because I imagine it to have no sorts of openings, except for where you go in.
I try to imagine being inside this cave. I don’t wander too far; I’m only just past the entry. I discover myself there with my feet frozen to one spot on the floor. The rest of my body fumbles through the air around me. If I open my eyes wide enough, maybe this will help me see but its pitch black. I anxiously patter the dark for some object to grasp, for something to understand, for something to revive my sense of peace.
As I stand there worrying, the ‘what-if’s?’ dart around my mind, like zooming bats, and I quiver as doubt crawls eerily up beside me. It’s so unstable in here and if I take just one more step, I might go crashing head first into this stony floor. It’ll bruise. It’ll hurt. Things will be horribly worse. This cave is a bad idea! And so, I then see myself sprinting, far away from the cave of uncertainty and swiftly back onto the road of reassurance, the place I feel secure.
But one day, along my reliable road of reassurance, I tripped into a sinkhole. Even though I was an experienced traveler along this path, I tumbled and fell and finally, I collided with that awful stony floor. My entire existence was wounded in this darkened place and the only way I had of getting out, was to find a way through it.
The beginning was hard, full of clumsy stumbling, but I soon discovered a secret. This time, instead of letting the ‘what-if’s?’ fret through my thoughts, the trick was to capture them and settle the ‘what-if’s?’ down with a brave little question that asked, what’s next?
I started to notice that each time I put a ‘what-if?’ down next to the more curious ‘what’s next?’ question, my courage multiplied. With each step I needed to take, I took a deep breath in, followed by that brave little question and soon it became a way of walking. Eventually, those small but brave questions sprouted hope in my spirit and settled my anxious heart, anchoring me to an inner peace that conquered this unnerving place and they lead me straight into to the wide-open space of a brand new beginning.
The treasure lies in this; to fear less about not knowing means to welcome what comes next and what I thought was a cave actually turned out to be a tunnel that took me from one adventure to the next.