Certain pieces of ourselves never quite die. As much as we live in the pursuit of happiness and all that it can bring along the way, the fact still remains that certain parts of ourselves will never really disappear. For as much as we try to live in a constant state of euphoria and positivity, these emotions can never quite really exist in a sphere all by themselves. After all, darkness is typically described as just an absence of light.
There is no need to look below the ground to find what we truly despise about humanity. The devil lives in the deepest parts of our psyche: doubt, fear, regret, shame, hate, and greed. We all carry it to some extent within ourselves. Since the greatest atrocities known to this planet have been committed from one person to another, it is not unrealistic to believe that everyone carries that same capacity for destruction given the ideal conditions.
Worse than not addressing these pieces of ourselves is denying them altogether. A garden left untended will soon lose its practicality—the useful pieces still exist but they have become shrouded by others that look to take and never give. In the same way these pieces of ourselves can become heavier not because they were tended to or designed to become larger than they were, but because now they are covered in other details that make it much harder to get to the root of the problem.
The garden in which we harbor these parts of ourselves gets to that unkempt state through the repression and denial that we view these pieces in. Rather than learn how to manage it all in conjunction with the other pieces that we enjoy, we choose to simply ignore it and act as if we have become absolute masters of ourselves.
By choosing to live in this constant state of denial, we never allow ourselves to know what kind of emotional capacity we are truly capable of. Keeping that dark end subdued as much as possible may work only to a certain extent—perhaps honest sorrow is only interpreted as meager melancholy. The emotional intensity is kept at bay to what is comfortably manageable. Simple remedies will do to alleviate simple sicknesses.
It’s a daunting task to be able to wade into the deep waters and truly confront the devil we carry within. Crossing that threshold and being able to return intact is a journey many have lost themselves to. Releasing the anchor of our comfortable emotional spectrum to sit in front of the beast is a challenge that few will ever choose to do voluntarily. Some are thrust into it; others choose to walk into the devil’s den out of their own volition.
As uncomfortable or dangerous that it may be, those who have returned from the depths of the abyss know that this experience adds an entirely new dimension to the world that we see as our reality. Confronting the parts of ourselves that the rest of the world represses, and realizing that there is truly nothing to be afraid of, is one of the most magnificent forms of introspection one can take part in. The devil we carry is no longer seen as something separate from ourselves. It can only exist within us because we take part in creating it. It exists within us to let us know that humanity is capable of inflicting and experiencing an incredible amount of suffering. It lets us know how deep we can fall into the abyss. It lets us see that it is indeed possible to face the beast, and if we are prepared, climb back out.
I pray that we never lose sight of the devil within. Tending to our garden of dark humanity allows it to exist without creating destruction. Knowing that we can go there and experience that spectrum of our lives allows us to live much more richly on the other side. We get to truly know and experience the peak highs only when we have gone to and returned from the lowest lows. We must live deeply—angels and devils included.