Black holes are scary. They are a phenomenon. Like many things that scare us, they are something that we don’t really know much about.
What is it though about them that makes them so scary? Is it the thought of them? Is it the image of them? Or is it simply the fact they are not something that we can physically see on a daily basis?
A black hole! Let’s break it down. A dark space, this can be anything. A physical space, a mental space, an image, something metaphorical. It doesn’t really matter, because to you it is real. Black, why does this make it so much scarier? Black is darkness, no light at all. Leaves us blinded, with no guidance, it’s an empty space.
So, this black hole that we are so afraid of, this mass of space, with no lights, no sense of direction, constantly leaving us feeling lost and empty. Regardless of the direction we turn, or face every view and perspective is the same. Or is it?
The thing with looking at a black hole, is this. The one time we all decide to realise how frightened we are of them is the one time we are staring at them straight in the eye. When we are glaring straight into the middle of it. Now if we were to look into the middle of a hole and turn ourselves around it is going to look huge. The edges are going to seem so far away, much further than we can ever dream of reaching. The distance regardless of the direction we look never appears any better, or closer. Just seems to get further and further away. It is overwhelming, and naturally when it feels like the walls are closing in on us, we go into protective mode. For some people this can mean making ourselves smaller, curling up, protecting our minds physically with our arms and hands, protecting our hearts by folding our legs up to our chests. Does this help with the size of that black hole? Does it make it seem any smaller? Does it make it feel like its even bigger? Darker and even deeper than ever?
The phrase ‘black hole’ insinuates that to have gotten into it we have to have fallen. Or travelled through something to end up where we are at the present moment. What do you think about this? This is a tricky one isn’t it? What if it wasn’t a hole? What if this was in actual fact just a black spot, or a black circle? Something that we happened to stroll across one day, no falling involved, no impressive spinning or tumbling like we would have imagined from watching all those sci-fi movies. It is just there, a black circle on the floor, in the air above us, on the wall infront of us blocking our view. Would we be less scared of it?
If there is no falling involved, and we are still on your feet, this black ‘spot’ as we will call it, is actually flat. How different does it look? A flat shape; standing in the middle of it is only scary if we are looking down. Looking down we can’t see a way out, as with a deep hole, we can turn many times, every direction will always look the same.
Here is the fun bit; if we lift our head up, what can be seen? We may still be in the middle of this darkness, this loneliness and isolation, but the edges can be seen. The light is there, the hope for movement, and the motivation to find a path out of the darkness can be seen. Even if it is out of reach, it can be seen in the distance. The distance may be far away, but it is there. That is the advantage of darkness, even a glimmer of light can be seen. A small little flicker, shining in the distance, will catch our eye, that little glimmer of light is called hope. It is what will keep us going.
Regardless of the size of this black ‘space’ (I am banning the word hole) we have found a way into, there is always a way out. Like anything if there is a way in there is always a way out. We don’t just appear in places by magic, regardless of how amazing that would be (and I would love to quote my favourite film here but then people would realise how geeky I really am), we don’t always have a map, and (unfortunately) we cannot always rely on our phones for directions. We have the most amazing sense of direction built into our bodies, into our brains and our guts. Our eyes naturally notice glimmers of light, our guts will automatically tell us if somethings not right. We have to learn to trust ourselves. To use our eyes to look in every direction among the darkness, when the view is one direction is pure darkness, don’t give up. Remembering we have other places to look, look up, look forward, look back at how far we have come.
Look for that glimmer of light, that sparkle in the distance, remember that dark ‘space’ is only as deep as you allow it, looking at it from a different perspective won’t make it go away, but may mean you see that path of breadcrumbs to guide you out. Look for that path, trust yourself and your instincts. Hold onto that glimmer of hope and watch it grow, see it develop, and light up that damn darkness.