It was comfortable and warm inside this box. In it were all the things that I needed, things that made me feel safe and somewhat happy.
Life was pretty good in that box. Yet I couldn’t shake the subtle but constant hum of discontent I felt. Life in the box seemed just a bit too tight, too limiting and too dull. I felt desire for something that had no name, no known address and no label. Something that was just more. Finding this more seemed like a far off and unattainable dream, while stuck in this box, so I started searching for ways out.
I read books about boxes and about people who found ways to live outside of their own boxes. I travelled to new places, looked on maps and searched on street corners for old men with long beards who must know how to get me out of my box. While searching I grew, learned new things and to my amazement, began discovering holes in the box—little cracks where bursts of light would shine through.
These lights and the colours and warmth that they produced enamoured me so much that I quickly became obsessed with finding their source.
Initial excitement over the discovery of the cracks faded when—despite searching nearly every day—I was unable to find a way out of my box. The hum of discontentment inside me built, soon taking over my entire body, and I became even more determined to find the source of light which I felt certain was the more that I was looking for.
Then one day while searching the roof of the box, I was astonished to find that the cracks had multiplied. Excited, I spent days and nights reaching towards the stream of lights coming through my box, hoping that just one of them could lead me out—towards the more on the other side.
Finally, exhausted and weak from days of reaching upwards and from the sound of the constant hum, I collapsed on the floor resigned to never finding my way out. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that one of the cracks was getting bigger. Turning towards it I could see that the light coming through was shining down on me—landing on my body on the floor. Too tired to reach up to the warmth of the light, I instead touched the place where the light was touching me.
The instant burn on my fingers shocked me and at once I realized that the light wasn’t coming from outside of the box, but rather from inside of me.!
Scared but drawn inwards, by the now deafening hum, I decided to enter into the light. In doing so I discovered a magical, brilliant place, full of bright colours, unimagined depths and also dark corners. Using the humming as my guide I travelled deeper, enjoying pleasures that I had never experienced, seeing colours that I didn’t know existed and exploring rooms that I hadn’t wanted to enter. As doors opened and new rooms formed, I thought back to how hard I had worked to reach outwards for the light—for the more that was sure to be there—only to find that it was within me all along just waiting to be discovered.
Four years ago I began digging my way out of my box and into my light.
Many days, in fear, I wonder why I climbed out of that box and I ponder how easy it would be to just slip back in.
But the hum and the light keeps bringing me back to myself and I simply cannot ignore it. I hope that with this story, I will be able to inspire and encourage other women to find their way in to their more, their light, and themselves.
Author: Natasha Salaash
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: courtesy of the author