It was my 32nd birthday; I woke up because of a call from a friend wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’.
Since we don’t celebrate birthdays, it was just a usual day for me but I appreciated my friends caring enough to remember it.
As I walked down the stairs to the kitchen for my breakfast, I saw The Shadow Man, sitting right there on the dining table as if he was waiting for me.
It was no more a surprise for me. He had become so much a part of me that had never been apart from me.
I smiled as he presented me with a bouquet of red roses saying “Happy Birthday”
I took a deep breath and was kind of tranced out by the fresh smell of beautiful flowers as I said, “Thank you, thank you very much… how do you know it’s my birthday”
“Well, I am following you, wherever you go, whatever you do… I am your Shadow Man” He said
“That’s right” I admitted “I can feel you are there, wherever I am” I admitted
“So what’s your plan?” he asked
“None, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just don’t believe in planning & stuff” As I said this he started reciting a poem in a very deep rhythmic voice
- “There’s may be nothing wrong with you
- The way you live, the work you do
- But I can very plainly see,
- Exactly what is wrong with me
- It isn’t that I am indolent or
- Dodging duty by intent
- I work as hard as anyone
- Yet I get so little done
- The morning goes, the noon is here
- Before I know the night is near
- All around me … I regret,
- Are things I haven’t finished yet
- So often times have I realized,
- If I could just get organized
- Not all that matters is the man,
- THE MAN MUST ALSO HAVE A PLAN
- With you there’s may be nothing wrong
- Here’s my trouble, right along
- I nibble this, I nibble that
- And never finish what I am at
- So often times have I realized,
- If I could just GET ORGANIZED”
I was touched to say the least as I said, “Beautiful, simply beautiful…how do you remember all of these”
“I repeat to remind myself often” He continued “Today, I want to give a special present the secret of creating a happy future” he said, “are you ready?”
“YES, I AM READY” I had never felt so congruently happy before
“Masha ALLAH” he seemed pleased to see that I am happy.
“Well the secret is ‘forgiveness’…” he said
“FORGIVENESS?” I said with a raised tone
He smiled and said “Surprised?”
“Well I thought it was something bigger, much bigger…” I replied
“And what can be bigger than to forgive?” He continued, “Allow me to explain”
“Please do” I requested
“Do you know the prayer that The Prophet (salalahualyhi walayhi wassalam) told his most beloved wife, Ayesha (R.A) when she asked what to pray for if she finds the night of decree?”
“اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ يعَنِّ
meaning ‘Oh ALLAH certainly You are most forgiving, you like to forgive, forgive me’” I said
“Good, Masha ALLAH you know… and did you ever think WHY forgiveness instead of Jannah on the greatest nights of all?” He got me hooked with that as he told me, “Forgiveness IS The KEY to happiness too”
“And where should I begin?” I asked
“From the one who had hurt you first time ever or the most” he paused for couple of seconds before he said, “Often times it’s someone you loved, you thought was supposed to love you, or you expected to be there while s/he was not or did something you didn’t expect from him/her … and many times it’s a parent, grand parent or even a sibling” He spoke calmly and suggested, “Look into your personal history and ask yourself, who was the first person”
“Well, I don’t need to look too far and yes, it was apparent to me that it was a parent I need to begin with” I said almost as if from inside, “But how do I do it?”
“I will tell you that in a moment but first tell me what is there something in your life that you used to do or used to like but you don’t any more do it or like it.” He asked
“Well, I used to be a student, I used to be a child, I used to live in another home, I used to like playing video games… there are countless things like that” I replied
“OK, good because I am going to ask you to select few of them. Now the first thing you need to do to start the process I am going to guide you through is set a clear intention. Remember it all begins with intention” He continued “Say to yourself ‘Today is the last day I feel angry about what my father/mother/sibling said and/or did … I understand they did the best they could done under their mental & emotional condition… I sincerely intend to forgive them for ALLAH’ and be as sincere as possible” His words were long but had a lot of meaning, so I repeated with complete sincerity.
“Now there are many ways to do it, here is something simple that you can do.” He began as he drew circles on the floor and asked, “If you were to represent anger, forgiveness and something that used to be true in your life but is not true anymore, with different colors what colors will you choose?”
“Well I would say, anger is ORANGE like fire and FORGIVENESS is PURPLE and something that used to be true in your life but it isn’t any more is BLACK
“Great, now imagine these circles in colors you chose. And step behind the ORANGE circle.” He asked me
I did as he said. I selected one of those circles as orange and stood behind it. He said, “Now think of this person you were angry with and imagine them inside the orange circle. Recall if you can the event where it began and imagine this person in the orange circle. And notice how it feels inside”
I promptly followed his instructions. After about a minute or so he continued
“Now, go stand behind PURPLE circle and move the person’s image to this PURPLE circle. And say, ‘I forgive you for anything and everything you ever said or did, knowingly or unknowingly that was hurting me’ and bathe this person’s image in PURPLE color.
Tears began to flow through my eyes as I did it but I certainly felt relieve as if some heavy weight is off my chest. After about another minute or so he continued again…
“Now, step into the circle and say, ‘I ask you to forgive me for anything and everything I may have ever said or done knowingly or unknowingly to hurt you for I am just as human as you are’ and see that this person is forgiving you.
I certainly didn’t expect that but when I did it a strange calm began to take over me. After another minute or so he continued…
“Now remaining in the PURPLE circle, take a deep breath and as you exhale take this person’s image and all the Negative Experiences that you had with him/her since that first event and place it ALL in the BLACK circle… It may or may not disappear there”
As I did, I felt completely liberated. A smile took over me.
“That’s it!.. you are done” He said
“Can I do this for other people as well” I asked
“Most certainly. In fact I strongly recommend you do it with everyone who ever hurt you. RELEASE all the HURT and forgive them ALL” He advised as he continued “And remember to forgive yourself too.”
I did it as he said.
“Remember, those people who are highly sensitive can often be mistakenly taken as arrogant and proud. High levels of self-consciousness leads to lack of self-confidence, grief and suffering… you still need to work on these”
“I wish, I could be with you but, It’s time for me to depart from your world” He said
“Are you leaving for somewhere” I wanted him to stay
“Not really, I will always be with-in you, just close your eyes, look into your heart and call me … I am you and I love you” He kissed my right shoulder as I said, “Me too”
He departed as he said, “Dreams do not happen if you keep seeing them with your eyes closed, they happen when you TAKE ACTION with your eyes open. It’s time to wake up … Wake Up… WAKE UP” … as I opened my eyes I saw the flight attendant saying, ‘Please wake up & straighten your seat, we are about to land in few minutes’… How long have I been sleeping? I asked. “Almost the all the way, I tried to wake you up, but you were in a very deep sleep. It looked to me as if you were having a great dream” Replied the flight attendant.
“So the Shadow Man was a dream?” I spoke almost unconsciously, while looking at the attendant.
“I am sorry…” the flight attended seemed just as puzzled
Even though it was only a dream but to me “The Shadow Man” was a sweet reality he came in as a dream and awakened me from inside. He came to give me something special and went back but I knew one things … to get in touch with him all I need to do is close my eyes and call.
The end, that leads to a new beginning…
P.S. I would love to hear your comments on this series. It might help me write more for you and people like you.