Oubliette – New Word for The Day!

All right, so the word itself is not new. But outside of computer games (or dungeon lovers), not many people have an awareness of this word.

However when I recently rediscovered this word in a wonderful novel I was reading, and it’s meaning, I realized how much this word embodies so much more than some computer game dungeon, or medival french/european torture method.

An oubliette is a dungeon with only one entrance/exit that is in the ceiling. Often the person being left in the Oubliette was lowered by a rope which was then lifted out of reach, some perhaps had a ladder but at the top was a door with no chance of unlocking it.

Oubliette is from the French word Oublier – to forget. So the Oubliette was designed as a place of forgetting, or a place for those that one wanted to forget.

Many of the the Oubliettes were designed with standing room only, no sitting, no walking around – the only thing to do was stand and wait. Keeping in mind that you were placed here, to be forgotten.

This word, Oubliette, is so like my feelings and frame of mind for so long. I believe that depression is a wicked Oubliette.

Who needs a medival dungeon when you have your own dark, place to be forgotten inside?

And how often do we feel as though we are stuck? Forgotten? Locked away in the darkness with no seeming way out? Even if we have the room to move slightly, we can feel as though it’s useless, to what end should we move when we have nowhere to go?

There have been so many times in my life that I felt as though there were no true options, that I was at rock bottom – with no ladder, no rope, just the barest hint of light from some crack in the dark, cold walls.

Eventually though I learned that the light was the way out, that like so many others who have gone before and will come after, focusing on the light is the holiest, healthiest, sanest choice one can make. That it doesn’t matter if that light is literal – the brightest star in the darkest night sky, or if it’s a memory, a scrap of light almost left behind.

That even if one never gets out of the Oubliette, if one never remembers what is forgotten – if I never remember the years I’ve placed in my own Oubliette, that to focus on the darkness serves no purpose. That if you do not make the choice to focus on the light, however dim it may seem, you will forever be stuck in the Oubliette.

If you stare in to the darkness, then when the trapdoor is opened and the rope or ladder lowered, you won’t see it because it is in the light, it is of the light, and all one sees is…  darkness and forgetting. We can even be blinded, and afraid of the light when it arrives in any abundance – we are too comfortable with the dark, we know it too well.

We can become so enamored with the Demon of Depression that we become the forgotten of our own specially designed Oubliette.

In reading more, and growing more, I’ve learned how focusing on anything other than the light is what has left me there, in the dark. We are energy, our thoughts are energy, everything around us is energy – what we put our attention to grows. And for so long I focused on the darkness – thankfully I have learned to appreciate the light, even if it means closing my eyes and seeing only the light within.

It can be the purr of my cat, the laugh of a child, the warmth of bread out of the oven, the sound of rain, the feel of a soft blanket or a warm shower, the words on a page or in an email from a friend, a good meal, the green grass, the birds in the trees, or even the hope of some good dreams when I go to sleep – whatever brings me back to joy, love, light – that is where the energy, attention, intention, must flow for me to ever find my way out of the Oubliette within.

I believe the rope is always there for us, the door up above is unlocked, and we have just enough room to move up and out – it just takes a little shift in energy, in belief, that we deserve the light, that we can live in the light, that we are worthy, that we are only forgotten by ourselves.

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