The clock continues to tick, tick, tick. I cannot help but feel that I have somehow been in this place before. We commonly accept that we have muscle memory; instinctual muscular actions that have been primed from countless repetitions and habitual responses. Walking through the door, my mind shifts to moments of the past. If we have muscular memory, we most certainly have emotional memory. Driving through Columbus, even with a different head on my shoulders, I cannot help but be dragged through previous times that were not as pleasant. I’ve spoken of “mind hacks” being actions that can help trick your mind into breaking habits; ultimately becoming much stronger and more disciplined. If mind hacks make somebody stronger, it is the mind virus that brings back echoes of dark memories.

A dark night on 9th avenue. Forgotten times on 15th avenue. New friendships on High Street. Breakdowns on 71-S. Disappointment in Dublin. Excitement on Duvall Road. Near death experience on Lane avenue. Lost love at Sterling Place. Life pondering on Norwich Avenue. Heartache on Riverside drive. Emotional rejection at The Barn. Life determination on Rowe Road.

The list could go on, friend. This place is full of memories lost, gained, and determined. Many periods of elation, frustration, joy, anger, disappointment, disbelief, and disgust. Every breakup, hookup, shakeup, failure has been recorded.

Once again, I have been asked the question “Aaron, what do you want?” only to be met with a stutter and long-winded explanation that elicited the response of “That’s nice. But you still haven’t told me what you want.”

One cannot help but find him/herself in a face-to-face encounter with the Creator when they finally realize how empty they really are. When your knees are the only place for you to drop, you come to a revelation that you ought to have discovered many years ago.

A hollow existence. Facade. Duvet. Front. Cover. Artificial. Mock. Cover. Exterior. Facsimile. Fake. Empty.

The greater the potential for capacity, the louder the echo is when one realizes there is a great void to be filled.

We discover these moments in our lives, only to quickly turn and shudder at what it is that we’ve found. We quickly slam shut the door, locking it and keeping it tightly shut, looking around to see if anybody else has glanced over to see the great void that we are covering. We triple-lock these great gates and run away for fear that this discovery may upset the delicate balance of our lives. We fear the unknown, not because it is scary and frightening, but because stepping into it may quickly show that we have not been correct about many facets of our life.

Laying down on the couch, my eyes quickly prepared for a tear evacuation. Perhaps it is from many previous nights where my life reached a point of desperation and stress; my body simply using its’ emotional memory to trigger something. Or, just perhaps, it’s because there was a deeper emptiness that existed beyond the previous financial stresses, overwhelming odds, and inner senses of hopelessness. Perhaps it has been from the inner realization that there is something great within my soul that I’ve neglected and refused to allow beat.

And in that moment, one comes face-to-face with the Creator. Nothing is hidden. Everything seen. Pure surrender and submission.

The gate slams shut.

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