I woke up to a voice unlike any other- a voice with much authority and clarity, one that I could not pretend was an imagination, or a whim, or an echo emanating from a quote from the latest self-help bestseller. This voice resided in desolate and absconded territory, a place long empty, yet filled with pain and an ambience that could break even the most hardened soul. And there I stood, listening to the voice “Dig….Dig.” And so I did with no shovel, hands muddied and bloodied digging through filth, hardness, and nothingness. Minutes passed, hours passed, days, weeks, months, and years, and…nothing. Yet, the voice grew louder and clearer, “Keep digging.” I stood there crying, skinny, beaten, sleepless, disheveled- fighting the voice, telling it that there was nothing there. Nonetheless, it continued “keep digging!” And so I did. And from a distance I could see recognizable figures staring at the unrecognizable fragments of the man they once knew. Gasps, silence, disgust, some look away. Some dare to ask “what are you looking for?” And tears roll down and I start feeling like a blend between the two protagonists from Beautiful Mind and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. “I don’t know what” I say. Just then, a pastor I haven’t seen in years stands in front of a building with sincerity telling me to come here. But I went there for years and found nothing as clear as this voice and so I continue to dig. The doors of the building shut and fade away and an old childhood friend stands in its place, holding a bottle and a bag of cocaine. He whispers “this will quiet the voices and kill all the pain.” But I remember being dead inside and needing more just to get by… and so I, keep digging and the skin on my hands break and so does my heart as my old friend fades away, away from the voice. Many others come along but I keep digging. I dig through the pleas of beautiful women, money, careers, and almost oblige to the persuasive tactics of Appeasing Others. But the voice grew louder and I dig. I dig and dig until there’s nothing left of me. And then, from the same distance the pastor and my friend stood, my family cries out, my son yells “Come daddy.” I take a step towards them but the voice intensifies, gripping my soul into an understanding that if I don’t keep digging I will lose everything, I will lose them. Humiliated and greatly discouraged I dig with the little strength and sanity that remains. “There’s nothing left” I say to the voice as I stare into what is now the hollowed depths of my being. Cries, pain, mistakes, past hang ups, traumas, guilt, and heartbreak escape the void and I stand like the miner who has discovered the finest diamond on earth… I can finally see the great voice, clothed in infinite Love living within me.
What great pains and erroneous paths most of us take to find love! I have found that G_d in His infinite wisdom chose the finest abode in a place we’d often overlook…within us. Please, keep digging!