One of the hardest truths to accept is that a monster exists within me. It’s difficult because this monster hibernates most of my life. Nearly every step I take is done in my right mind during sane moments. There are moments when the monster feels as though it doesn’t even exist. As my heart is wrenched with compassion or overflowing with love it becomes incomprehensible this beast is there, slumbering.

Yet there – dormant and waiting – is darkness and violence with me, within all of us. Its my ancestral baggage hidden and pressed down into the deepest and most obtuse corners of my being. The further down it is pressed the more refined I see myself, and the more I believe I have overcome the monster within me. At any moment the tables could turn, and a situation I find myself thrust into, awakens this monster I believed never existed.

When I see this monster let loose in others upon the world I must remind myself to be careful about that which slumbers within me, and all of us. Taking a moment to know that there is good in the face of evil and that there is space to forgive those overtaken by that which slumbers. I must remember that if my monster ever awakens there are people who excel at coaxing monsters back into hibernation, and in seeking help there is no shame.

The only shame is to lose ones self to hate, and that shame all too often turns to tragedy.

Photo Credit: FailedImitator