On the subject of order—in one’s physical world but especially in one’s inner world—there is no hiding. There is no place secluded enough that if we were to put our secrets in it, they would stay hidden from prying eyes. There is no rug large enough to sweep the debris under, no closet deep enough in which to lose the details. We may set them aside in plain sight and avert our eyes for years, but if we should look up suddenly because of a sharp noise, there they are, glaring back at us, right where we left them.
|Searching for the tell-tale heart.|
They are always there, and like Poe’s tell-tale heart, they thump and thump against our conscience. We look around us, certain that everyone must know of our not-so-secret secrets. So we put on airs and play intricate games, and the deeper we go into the game, the louder the heart beats. Like a trumpet blaring from a hilltop, it screams, “I am here! I am here! I am here!” And we look around again. Does anyone know? Has anyone figured us out yet?
Distractions abound! Movies and television, video games and phones and the internet, overtime at work, solving the neighbor’s problems, shopping endlessly, eating constantly, drinking, smoking, drugs, amusement parks, gossip, intrigue at the office, sex and illicit affairs, risky behavior, fidget spinners, and a host of other useless things . . .
But none of them lasts very long, and each one takes on its own bizarre lifeform, demanding more and more of our time. Because if we just watch a little more, play a little more, eat a little more, sneak a little more, we can drown out that heartbeat. That’s the promise. That’s the deal. But it never happens. Never happens. Round and round it goes, an endless rollercoaster filling our minds with useless information, robbing us of the memories we could have, exhausting our bodies until blessed sleep relieves us for a few hours. And then it starts again.
Enough, I say. Dare to be brave. Get down on the floor and look into the hiding place, that place we may have spent years avoiding and pretending did not exist. All that time wasted, all those useless distractions. Clear out the dirt, the dust, the cobwebs, the pointless things. As you clear your physical world, your inner world will clear as well. They are intricately related. Let the sun shine in. No more hiding. No more dark places. No heaps of junk weighing us down. Throw it all out into the open, and never hide another thing again. Ever.
One single candle can stand against the entire force of Darkness, and there is not a thing the darkness can do about it but retreat. Tonight, light that candle. Sit and think and finally address all the hidden things. Bring the tell-tale heart out into the open and set it free.