Ivan Oboleninov

Calming The Storm Within

I woke up before the sun

Finding myself the protagonist in a horror film

My bed a pivotal character in the story

For in the middle of the night, just outside my bedroom door

I heard a frightening yet muffled mumble

One that petrified me to my core

The sound jolted through my body

And set off alarm bells in each limb

They rang and rattled along my bones

Thundering further down my spine

It was a voice so familiar; a sound I knew I heard before

Through the corridors, the cadence echoed

And moved at an eerily steady pace

Louder and stronger it grew in a short time

I felt it slowly closing in

A panic arose in my center, and fear kept me shackled to my bed

I sunk further into my mattress

Leaving shallow imprints of my form

“No, please no, not again,” I said in a whisper.

But it was too late.

I saw a darkness phase into my room

It crept through the night and moved towards my bed

The hollow of the night was now by my feet

Then a haunting voice spoke beside my ear

And at that moment I recognized the visitor in my room

For the demon of my mind woke from its long slumber

The one that I imprisoned and buried deep below

Never again wanting to hear its cackle

The haunting quiver spoke again, pulling at my sleeve

“Hey, I’m awake now, and if you wish, I can play on loop, just like I did before. I can recite your favorite story, the one you used to love to hear.”

Uh oh. Now what?

Because it was right.

I was all too familiar with that story. I still know it so well.

A story filled with thundering storms, dark alleys

Featuring characters with questionable motives.

I am petrified of this story.

It’s a tale that ignites an extraordinary amount of terror.

A story that revs up my heart, sending it speeding at an accelerated rate

A pounding so loud in volume it blends into the chaos within

It is a story that kept me up many nights

Filling my head with noise.

For the fear that leered in the silence, was a killer salivating at the smell of my own blood.

But the story now is different.

It unfolds with hopeful, triumphant new chapters

And I see the radiant beauty of its power

A light so strong it guided me towards a place of salvation

I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me

Vibrant, rich green hues invite me to soak in the glory

The call of the wind greets me to feel the calming voice of the present and I remember the soothing sound of my breath

It’s the gentle nudge I need to soothe my darkness after its long slumber

For it is relentless and in need of my attention

“Hold on, sweetie,” I say. “I will give you the love you desire. But this time, it will be different from before.”

For years on end, I crumbled tiny pieces of bread and let piece by piece fall to craft a wondrous path

One that illuminates in the dark

It is always there to guide me back to safety when I am lost.

And today, I saw the progress of all my hard work.

My spiritual practice kept me at bay and pushed me through the debilitating pain

It gained control and walked me towards nature

Where I was reminded, there is more.

As I dust off my momentary lapse in judgment

The one that adjusted back to a default at night

I become the hero of my own story where I reminded myself,

Hey, it’s going to be okay.

Because now I just recalibrate.

I don’t have to start all over again.

The muscle memory is fierce but there are still tough days ahead, waiting in the future.

We are never truly safe from ourselves.

But through consistency and training every day

You will feel the difference when that familiar voice inside wakes from its hibernation

You will know what it needs for nourishment after it rises from its long slumber.

And when you stumble and get lost again

The breadcrumbs are forever ingrained in the soil

A powerful path will glow in the dark

One crafted with your resilience and love

It will guide you back to where you are safe.