It all began like a dream… in the middle of here and there I met him. I knew him for a very long time. I didn’t pay much attention… to me he was nothing but just a shadow. He was my shadow-man.
Sitting on a bench of a ‘yellow park’ under the big apple tree I was tranced by looking at light that was coming from gaps between leaves, feeling like Alice in wonderland, I was jarred when I heard someone calling my name.
I looked back. But no one was there. I looked here and there. But no one was there.
“Who is that?” I said out loud.
“It’s me” said the voice.
“Me who?” I asked.
“Me You” he said.
“You Me?” Almost automatically I murmured. I felt puzzled by it all.
“Yeah, it’s me, you know” said the voice.
“Why don’t you come forward?” I tried to gain composure as I said.
“I am where you are” said the voice.
It was getting more and more confusing. But somehow I felt comfortable talking to him. “OK, but who are you?” I asked again. “I am you” he said.
“OK, so who am I, then?” I was getting curious now.
“You are me, you just don’t know it yet” he continued, “I have been with you ever since…”
“Ever since when?” I interrupted…
“Oh ShupPat” he said
His saying “Shut up as ShupPat” sounded unusual but familiar. But somehow I knew who he was. I did not need to ask any more questions.
An unusual comfort began to take over me. I could feel my spine & the back of my neck tingling. “Where have you been so long?” I asked almost unconsciously.
“I was with…in you” he replied. I wondered, if he meant with you or in you or within you. Before I could ask for clarification, he continued, “With you, all day long when you kept yourself busy with stuff” and “in you when you were alone”
“Hmmm” I tried to show as if I understood every word he said.
“Can I see you now?” I asked.
“Sure, just close your eyes and look inside” he replied.
I followed his command just like a tranced subject. “I saw his hazel eyes, piercing through my soul and smiling face. “Who are you?” I asked again this time I felt it like an urge.
“Ask yourself” he replied. I am just who you want me to be. I am your best friend, your true love, your guide, your teacher, your …”
“Hold on a second”, I interrupted, “I am dreaming, right? It’s only a dream…” said I, “I don’t know you BUT I feel I know you, you are not there BUT I can feel your presence right here… inside… and I am inside and you are inside, It could NOT BE REAL… I must be dreaming”
“ShupPat” he said it this time with a firm but more friendly voice.
“Perhaps you are dreaming, perhaps not but what difference does that make… until you are awake… Let’s pretend, I am your dream but you are not dreaming so I am only as REAL as YOU WANT ME to be. Here give me your hand”
He held my hand in his and I could feel the warmth of his hand.
“So I am not dreaming but where am I?” I questioned.
“You ask too many questions… not good ones though” he said.
“I am afraid, I am lost” I admitted.
“You are right, you are afraid… but not for right reasons… Oh by the way, have you ever heard a song, “I am not afraid?”
He took out his cell phone and while saying “I love these words from this song” he played it…
I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)
“You are on my case again” I said
“AGAIN? … I never stopped” He said. “I am only your shadow and want to show you the light. You have been hiding in dark for too long. It’s time you CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE on certain things”
He pointed toward a tree as he continued. “See that tree? … Let’s say this yellow park is the whole world. Each tree is a human being. Every tree will go through seasonal changes, it will grow facing storms of time, it will experience rain, snow, winter, summer… now some trees have blossom, they give fruits, some have leaves only. They provide shadow and may look nice but those that give fruit are the ones that ensure they will live long after they are gone. Because their seeds will be planted somewhere else and they will bear more fruits. The difference between you and a tree is, that a tree does not have a choice whether it will be one of those that bear fruits or will it be one of those that have leaves only …But YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE”
I was all ears now. You can say, I had “ShupPat”
He continued…“And being ‘afraid’ is just one of the choices people make. Often accompanied by thoughts like,
‘What will people think’… or
‘I am not good enough’… or
‘I don’t deserve it’ or
‘I don’t want to hurt anyone’
He continued, “Then they will look for reasons sometimes in religion or ‘ethics’ to justify their own ‘wrong‘ thinking. They try to prove to themselves they are in control and act as if they are in control. But deep inside they are wounded. They need healing. They have been hurt by selfish, self-centered people. They have been betrayed and have been left alone. If hatred causes wounds, love heals, true love. But being ‘afraid’ they can not understand the difference. As for your being lost why don’t you try googling your way?”
I was trying to connect the strands of thought he was giving and figuring out what he was up to. I thought I knew what he was doing but no, I was not ready for the surprise he was about to give me. It was a mind blowing & heart glowing experience.
He said, “Newton was sitting under BIG apple tree just as you are, pondering over lessons, University of life teaches us. Just as he went to 3rd level of deep thinking… I think it was 1857 because 1957 is a code to open eye…”
Just then my phone rang. I decided to not take any calls but he had stopped talking.
We had started walking out of the park, “It’s kind of cold today let’s have some coffee.” I suggested.
Taking sip of my coffee, which didn’t seem odd as he was me, he asked, “Do you feel loved?”
“Oh Yes, I do” I replied with total confidence.
“Really” he replied almost sarcastically, “Check inside, is it feeling of being loved or feeling of being cared for?”
“What’s the difference?” I began to think as I went deeper inside my own thoughts.
I was raised with love from people other than my own. Well, for me, those who gave me love WERE MY OWN … more that my own. But then, I often felt that love was more of mercy to an orphan than true love, for all the love I received was delivered as a ‘gesture of mercy’. So love is what I had and love is what I lacked. I tried to bury myself into my stuff, like books, reading pages after pages, developing a world of my own trying to discover the meaning of life, purpose of my being here on this planet. Reading fiction after fiction, I realized there is a certain amount of truth that emerges from ‘fiction’ and while a there is always some fiction in what people believe as truth.
“Don’t you feel sorry for yourself?” He asked. I couldn’t deny that. But I had come to terms with issues I thought I cannot solve.
He said, “Close your eyes and go deeper to the point of beginning of your fears” I didn’t know what he meant exactly but I decided to give it a shot. Suddenly a rush of old feelings came on me. I recalled some of my early years experiences that I had buried deep inside.
“Continue to go deep and ask yourself ‘what’s behind fear?’
“Desire to be loved – really loved” I murmured almost uncontrollably.
“Now you are talking” he said.
Tears began to flow through my eyes, I felt my fears were vanishing and a new door was opening within.
I felt liberated for the first time in my life.
Pointing towards the empty coffee cup he said, “Now the cup is empty, we can pour in new stuff”
“Yeah, but wash it first” I smiled as I replied and cleaned my tears.
“So what’s next” I was curious”
Time flies” he made a square in the air with his hands as a gesture as he said, “You know it’s going to get dark then you need to go back home. And I can’t be with you in the dark.”
“OK, Let’s go to a brightly lit area” I suggested.
“Yeah, like in your heart” He smiled as we walked.
“What do you mean?” I asked
“You see, you need to rekindle the spark of love for your own self in yourself, you can’t experience true love from others until you love yourself as you are. When you used to have fears you made wrong decisions. You need to undo some of them” He said
“I know what you mean” I said, “But how do I do that?”
“Don’t you worry, I will guide you. Let’s first install true love & true self appreciation inside” He replied
“For now I want you to ponder over what we have discussed today and when we meet again, I will coach you through a process.“
To be continued…