It’s a dream that struggles to become a reality; it’s a story cut short that fights for its ending… It’s my past that refuses to let go and caught in its iron hold, I let it define me.
What if I had never quit going to that school? I have changed over 10 schools, but this one — where I spent precisely two years and two months — was special and will always remain so. Like everything traumatic and loved, the memories are far more real than the fingers typing these words. So much that I still can’t stop dreaming, even after 12 years, what the story of my life would have been like had I not been forced to abruptly leave. I spent just a couple of days in my new class because soon after, the summer vacation was to begin. While everybody else was busy deciding where they would sit when they come back, I was preparing to pack my things and move to a different town.
If I had stayed, I know I would not have turned out the way I did and I know I might never had been introduced to the faith I hold so dear. But even then, if given a chance to go back in time, I would make the terrible choice and I know, I will choose to stay back.
Good thing that life is not a wish granting factory.
I woke up once again, dreaming about a place, about a time that I can never go back to. These dreams are a part of me now, so I am never bothered by their consistent frequency. But recently, I learnt from a wise friend that to let go of the past is an act that requires tremendous courage. It’s not about forgetting, it’s not about being immune to the pain… The past is a part of you, but it must never define you.
The kind of courage that Elizabeth Smart tapped into.
‘Broken beyond repair’ is how Elizabeth Smart describes her ordeal of freeing from captivity that lasted for nine months, nine months of sexual abuse and torment at the hands of her abductor and his wife. Elizabeth was 14-year-old when she was kidnapped from her bedroom, where she lay sleeping in the wee hours of the morning on June 5, 2002.
“If I could’ve slept for nine months, I would’ve,” she recalled. “That’s where I could go to almost and not feel the pain, not feel the despair, not feel everything that was happening to me.”
As I sat down at a familiar place, opposite a familiar face, I listened to Elizabeth’s familiar story that I had forgotten over time. “Her mother told Elizabeth — either you could hold on to what this man did to you, and let it define you, or you could let it all go,” she said as I quietly listened.
Letting go is the toughest, because standing against your fears is the roughest. To swim against the tide doesn’t mean you make yourself believe the water doesn’t exist, it also doesn’t mean that you tell yourself that the innocent looking H2O molecules, combined together, can’t or won’t drown you… It’s being aware of all of that and much more, and taking a stand to fight it anyway.
If you want to let go, you need tremendous courage to say no to yourself; to say to yourself that this is how the story ends, and no matter what one does, there can never be any other ending.
Those dreams are just a figment of imagination, and when you wake up… The bad dream will be over, for it will be morning soon. (C.S. Lewis)