Winter is coming. As her body becomes thinner and thinner, the frost cuts like a blade. She feels it in her bones, no matter how many clothes she puts on. She seems to have caught a cold with no symptoms, other than this perpetual cold, which makes her numb. Everything’s still, even her thoughts. Sometimes she remembers what it was like when she was different. She used to be a bit round, but didn’t care much about that. Because she was warm. Because she could think and feel. This damn cold! Why does everyone tell her she is beautiful? The tinier she gets, the more they admire her. Of course they do. They cannot truly see. The real is always hidden from the eyes. The eyes can never truly see. They cannot feel the cold. For summer’s daughter to embrace the ice is humanly impossible and yet, it’s creeped inside. She let it in. To feel? Or to be cold? That, she no longer knows. It’s winter and all’s frozen.
I often dream I am at school. Going to classes, taking exams. I used to find it strange, after so many years since I have finished school. And then, one day, it hit me. It’s life! We are at school, going to classes, taking exams. Sometimes we pass, sometimes we fail. And when we fail, we take them again. And again. Until we pass. In life, sometimes we think we have a choice. To run away from situations that are hard. From others, from ourselves. And we often do. But life, this endless school, just doesn’t let us off the hook that easily. We run from one thing only to encounter another, teaching us the same lesson, usually harder and stronger. And if we run away again, refusing to learn whatever it is that we must learn, refusing to see in ourselves whatever it is that each lesson is trying to show us, it happens again. And again. Until we learn, until we see, until we stop running, face it and go straight through it. And we can never, ever, run from ourselves. We may convince ourselves we can, but it’s bullshit. And we know it. And we keep it all nicely packed and hidden deep inside, and later wonder why we’re tense. And miserable, and burdened, and ill… We need not shout it to the world. Admitting it to ourselves is usually relief enough. It’s the first step. The longest journey starts with one step. The journey to ourselves is probably the hardest, the one we dread the most, and the only one we cannot escape without living an imitation of life. We are here to learn. But also to teach. I thought I knew the lessons I had to learn. Like patience, kindness, lack of judgment, giving up expectations, trusting the universe always brings what’s best for me in the exact right way at exactly the right time, learning to give love and even harder, to receive it. I have learnt a lot about these, and am still learning every day.
Forgiveness was not on my list. I didn’t think I had to, because my ego’s pride tricked me into thinking I had already forgiven everything that needed to be forgiven. And yet, it’s not quite so. It’s probably never completely so for anyone. But I have taken the first step: seeing it, admitting it to myself. And I choose to forgive. What an amazing feeling! Like a tiny stone in an ocean of stones that build the foundation of a healthy life.