Image Copyright: Alberto Loyo

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasures that you seek.”

A friend shared this quote with me when I was frustrated, unsure and feeling lost. I have no idea where she found it or even if I’m remembering it correctly, but my first thought was, “Wow! That’s a great quote!

My next thoughts were, “I don’t want to go into a dark, creepy cave where unseen critters scurry across the damp ground. I really don’t! Really!”

Then I reconsidered. Maybe I could delegate this job to some unsuspecting person. “You can go into that cave and when you find the treasures, just bring them out to me.”

But I’ve been in dark caves and understood this is a place I must enter myself. Friends can encourage and support me, but it’s up to me to step into the unknown and face my fears.

Divorce was one of my darkest caves. It felt like an underground labyrinth. Everywhere I turned and every path I took led me to another fear: fear of the future, fear of making the wrong decisions, fear of my intense and overwhelming emotions, fear that I would not survive this pain.

Facing them was the beginning of my healing. As I healed, treasures appeared. Once I began to trust my decisions, I became kinder to myself. I slowly reclaimed my identity and a new future emerged.

Whenever we decide (or are forced) to grow and expand the image of who we are, we will find ourselves with another cave to explore.

I have learned that before I move into this unknown place, I need to ask myself what I fear and what treasures I expect to find. When I do so, my answers become shafts of light entering the darkness.

I encourage you to ask those questions whenever you find yourself at the entrance of a new cave. I know that the greatest treasure you will find is that you are filled with more brilliance than you ever imagined.