A different response



Alone time is often revealing. There was one particular time when I spent days being with nothing but myself. Well, with nothing but myself and my memories, that is. Along with all the emotions that latched on to them.

The memories must have been aware that I was listening. For they came barging like flood into my consciousness. Blinding flashes of strong memories that have been stored for so long in the planes of subconsciousness rushed back. My body felt their impacts.

This time, though, I did not buldge. Nor did I push them off. I sat still and let them wash me over. Curious as to what would happen next.

Often we don’t realise how much we have changed over time. But occasionally we do. That time was one of those rare moments for me.

I remembered the memories. I remembered the emotions: the anger, the sadness, the disappointments, the fear, the helplessness, the confusion, the repulsiveness. I could relive those memories, again and again.

The truth is, I had done so a million times. Some times in the form of memories. Other times in the forms of responses to new but similar incidents. That is, I reacted to a certain incident – which to my mind resembled the ones in my memories – the way I wanted to react the first time.

But that time was different. The memories came up, I relived the incidents, and I was okay with them. I was okay with the emotions as well. I could feel the anger rising. The humiliation. The confusion. The utter sadness. I rose with them. And I was okay with it. Once I wept under the old tree because of the intensity. That too was okay for me.

Several days had passed. I was still sitting with myself, determined to savor what I knew as precious moments with myself. My whole being felt like it had been put in some tumble dry machine. As I once said to a dear friend, “I feel awful, but I am okay.”

The memories insisted to rise yet again. I remembered the incidents. I remembered my responses then. I remembered the emotions then. But I knew that was all they were: memories, subjective impressions of the past. Even the emotions were nothing but memories.

I had a different response now. A clearer one, and perhaps a cleaner one, too.

Years ago as I was sitting in a circle of friends, one friend asked that we left ourselves at the door before we entered the room. So that the conversation be pure. So that the conversation be His. I did not quite get what she meant.

Now I am starting to. I could sense what she meant. I relived the memories and excitingly noticed I had a different response. I realised how different things could have been with these cleaner responses. I was in awe. The conversations are truly His, and they are still going on.

It is about how we respond to a situation when we leave out our stories and baggages out the door. When we understand that this is nothing personal, really. When we keep everything clean. When we remain still and give space for the true responses to arise.

These responses feel cleaner, more spacious, and kinder. It feels closer.

I am so happy. The kind of happy that is not the opposite of sad. I am happy.


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