When our eyes adjust to the darkness,
We begin to see the bars of our self-imposed prisons
Realizing the whys and hows of our stagnancy
That eventually open the door for our escape.
I know what the lurking shadows feel like,
The chains of depression on a tender soul
Steeped in the shame of every perceived mistake,
Convinced that a broken heart is punishment
For an anthology of personal flaws.
I know what we say to ourselves when we are alone,
How our inner dialogue betrays our outer dialogue
With words we would never dream of saying to another
And yet we surrender to self-deprecation.
I know the almost-impossibility of climbing out
When even light seems aversive after despair,
But we must, dear soul, we must.
After the long night passes, when the sky begins to turn,
We will see it slowly appear: the way through.
And when it does, there is nothing that can stop us
From rising up on shaky knees and tired feet
Stepping through the barriers of our fears
Climbing out of our self-imposed prisons
Past the darkness, past the tears,
Into the safe harbor of peace.
Maybe we do not know what is waiting for us
On the other side of our suffering,
But whatever it may be, it is better than what we lived
When our doors were locked and our windows closed,
Where the reassuring softness of hope could not grow.