Posted in Live, Love

Seeking Treasure in Dark Caves

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”(Joseph Campbell)

It is a risky but rewarding feeling. I awake early each morning to spend time on the pages of my journal. I write my wishes, dreams, and desires. I write my affirmations. Most importantly, I write my gratitudes. Every line begins with two simple words: Thank you.

Thank you for all the blessings in my life. Thank you for my family, friends, colleagues and students. Thank you for strangers. Thank you for people of the past, present, and future. Thank you for left-overs from last night’s dinner with friends. Thank you for the inspiration to do my spring cleaning. Thank you for my simple life here in the siburbs and my opportunity to read, write, and create to my heart’s content. Thank you for compassion, patience, and simplicity. Thank you for synchronicity and life’s little miracles.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! These two words in my journal serve as my sentence starter and they are my constant refrain but everything in my journal is not rosy. It is not all sweetness and light. I also give thanks for the most disturbing and frustrating aspects of life. We all have them and yet I use these same two words: Thank you!

Thank you for my fear, anger, and sadness. Thank you for my loneliness. Thank you for the incessant interruptions during those times when I long to write. Thank you for my insecurity and doubt. Thank you for my rush-hour commute to work. Thank you for all the times when even the simplest things turn out to be so complicated. Thank you for the inequities of life that seem unfair. Thank you for everything no matter how unbearably awful it feels at the time. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thanks, for everything.

I know this may sound absurd but these are the things that I write. I don’t do it all the time but if I’m feeling it, I write it. I get it out. I acknowledge it. After forty-seven years of life, I know that no amount of positive thinking, suppression, or denial will work. I must be honest and true and if I can’t be honest with myself in the privacy of my journal, then I’ve really got problems. But why give thanks for the seemingly negative? Seriously?

Expressing thanks for my darkest thoughts and frustrations is not about projecting or creating more negatives. It is about acknowledging and being aware of my thoughts and feelings without judgment, shame, repression or denial. It is about knowing deep down that it is a passing state of human thoughts and feelings that, if given safe, written voice and freedom, will eventually subside or dissipate. It is all about a gradual release that will bring me fresh, new insights and feelings.

To be human is to acknowledge the dark shadow elements and to let this energy pass through with enhanced awareness and always, always, always, gratitude. Resistance and resentment, however tempting, will never take me where I want to go.

Wishing you wisdom, wonder, wellness, and love, and gratitude for the good, bad, mad and sad,


Kalen Marquis is the therapist, educator and human bean who founded Kwil.Club with frizzy-fuzzy, green-nosed Kwil. He is a registered clinical counsellor in private practice in New Westminster, BC. He has more than two decades of experience as a teacher, teacher-librarian and school counsellor.