In life we often encounter defining moments of self, where the membrane of who we are and who we are meant to be is pulled so molecularly thin that we are forced to choose between the two.
Our journey begins at the mouth of a cave; clothed in multiple layers, but yet there is no snow. We stand, gazing in fear of what awaits inside. Here we make our first choice; to walk willingly into the unknown, or return back to our lives still clad in excessive layers. But for those called by the cave, there is no choice, and so we step forward.
The cave is hot, hellish even. We are forced to shed the layers we once believed fundamental to our survival. As the layers fall we begin to feel light. Lighter than we have felt since our childhood years. Now naked, the heat is no longer oppressive, but rather it teases us with a feeling previously unknown. So we continue forward, in search of something we have yet to define.
Though our layers have been shed, the anchors to them have not. The cave is dark, and our mind reminds us of this every moment. A miniscule squeak masked by the unknown will do more damage to our psyche than a ferocious roar from a creature we have come to know.
Nearing the end, our once sacred warmth is now replaced by a soul freezing frost. Though we have come a ways, it is nothing compared to what awaits us at the pinnacle of our cave. Upon reaching the end we must confront the shadow of our unconscious, but this dragon will not be slain by a blessed blade, nor by casting a powerful spell, because to slay the dragon would be to slay ourselves. In the cave we are to confront our fears, and often our greatest fear comes from within.
So we confront the dragon, or rather we confront ourselves, soon realizing that even our mightiest efforts have no effect. Most will give in at this point, allowing themselves to be devoured, or turn and run far from this confrontation of fate.
But those who determine the true nature of the beast will inevitably relinquish the sword previously thrust towards their own throats, and embrace the shadow as One.
If we are successful, we emerge at the end of the cave bare and naked to the sunlight; however our tongue is not burnt from its taste, but rather the warmth that once guided, now radiates from within, and we continue forward as One with the Sun.