By Tammy McAtee
Brushing aside the flood of tears racing down my face, I pulled open the door and exited onto the brightly lit sidewalk, my mind swirling with what my next course of action should be. As I stepped onto the edge of the street, a shrieking of tires as I catapulted to the ground.
In the distance or maybe not so distant, I heard a woman scream and then stop, and realized it is myself. Hands touched me, a man’s voice hollered, “Someone call for help.” He held my hand and said everything will be all right. I could no longer feel his hand or hear his voice as my body felt cold and heavy like lead and everything went black.
Sometime later, I have no idea how long it has been; I could feel myself lying in a bed. Feeling confused and unsure of my whereabouts I strained to hear.
A man spoke and said, “Nurse Banks is there any changes with the patient?”
Nurse Banks said, “No Doctor, still no response.”
They left the room and I strained to hear the footsteps as they echoed further away from me. I tried to speak, to move, and nothing happened. Panic flooded me as I thought oh no, I’m trapped. What has happened to me and where am I? I once again tried to move my body, and still, nothing.
I screamed inside my head, why could no one hear me?
An elderly voice replied, “I can hear you Willow, there is no need to shout.”
Startled, my heart started racing.
“Calm down Child, I am here to help you.”
“You are?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yes Child, you, and I have known each other for quite some time.”
“What’s your name,” I asked trying to muster more courage than I felt.
“You will remember in time, rest now Child, and we will talk again soon.”
“No, don’t go,” I shouted in a panic. “Please don’t leave me all alone here in this place. I don’t even know where I am.”
“It is all right Child, we are here to help. You must rest. We will talk again soon.”
Don’t go, I thought. My body felt fatigued, disjointed, and unlike my normal self. I sighed, albeit inwardly, I relaxed and went into a deep sleep.
Later, I awoke. My eyelids remained closed, unmoving as if frozen into place. I shouted inside my mind, “Are you there? Can you hear me?”
Silence, cold and still is my only answer. Panic welled inside me and for a brief moment, I felt trapped, imprisoned within my very being. My heart pounded fiercely within the confines of its encasing.
A voice from the distance whispered ever so softly, “Calm down Willow.”
I fought to hear, as the voice is ever so faint. I struggled to calm my body as the voice directed me to do. My heartbeat slowed ever so slightly, my breathing evened and became shallower.
Now the voice spoke once again, and this time it seemed much closer and ever so softly, I heard, “Good Child. There is much to discuss with one another, and I am sure you have many questions, but first, you must listen. You wish to know, from whence you are. Is that not correct Child?”
“Yes,” I thought.
“You are in a hospital Willow. You need not worry as you are receiving the best care they can provide.”
“But why can’t I see?”
“You must focus, Child on what you can do rather than on what you can’t do. In order to heal Child, you must heal the whole self, not just one part or piece of one self. There is much for you to learn. We will take a break for now and continue shortly.”
“Please don’t go. I feel so trapped, afraid, scared I’ll never wake up from this horrible place I’ve found myself in.”
“Dear Child,” the voice softened slightly and became gentler, “you needn’t fear the unknown. It is only a new journey. Rest Child and we will talk soon.”
I strained to hear the voice, for a moment I felt panic once again seize my body. Yet, I remembered the gentle voice reminding me to stay calm. I relaxed my mind and felt my body respond as if on cue. I prayed the kind, gentle voice will return soon as it promised.
My thoughts drifted to places from my past. I remembered a man, smiling, holding out his hand. I felt safe and know this is an earlier memory of my father. Pain quickly filled the space where the memory has resided moments earlier. My father’s disappearance and my failed attempts to discover the truth reminded me of the dull ache that never left the place around my heart.
“First, Child, we must develop trust. It is important for you to know that you are safe and no harm will come to you in this place. Your life is ever changing and this is only one small piece of your journey. I am here to help you with your confidence and faith to get through this difficult trek. Together we will work to gather your strength, and heal you body, and soul. Trust is essential in all parts of one’s life. Without trust, there is no foundation upon which to build. You have been building on faulty foundations throughout most of your entire life. It is essential that we rebuild those very foundations, and then you will gain your balance, and reach forward to the future we know you wish to become a part of.”
“This is all so confusing,” I thought. “Who are you?”
“In time, Child, you will have all your questions answered. You need not worry about all the details at this time. First, we have many things to tell you. Things you may not wish to hear, or things you may not wish to know. We tell you this, Child, it is important for your internal growth and the healing of this soul to listen and know of these things. Do you understand so far Child?”
Stubbornness filled my being, if I could, I would have crossed my arms and pouted. Because I could not do these things physically, I imagined in my mind that I am doing them.
A feeling of warmth filled with love and kindness flooded my essence. “Child, you must rest. We will talk soon.”
“Wait,” I feared the voice would not return.
As if the voice is reading my very thoughts, it responded and said, “You needn’t worry, I will return.”
Silence penetrated my being. If only I could cry I thought, I know tears would be sliding down my cheeks. Why, I thought, is this happening to me? Cold silence surrounded me.
Startled, I heard the gentle voice say, “I am here Child. It is important you learn to trust the silence within. Without that trust, you will never know what is right, or what is not right for you, or for those around you. You must not fear this silence.”
“I have never liked to be alone. How am I supposed to now?” I asked.
“You are never alone. We are here. One begins their journey but must forget their past. This is essential for the individual to achieve success in this journey. You, too, have forgotten your past, but we are here to remind you that we are one. You are one. There is only one. You feel as though it is essential to know, to remember, yet we tell you it is not so. Do you remember our last lesson Child?”
My mind returned to our last conversation, and I answered, “Yes, I do. You told me I must trust, but how can I trust, when I do not know who or even what you are?”
“When you see, you will remember much, in time. There is no rush. Time is not of the essence you and your world have made it to be. We will now discuss trust and the importance it is to you and to humankind. Trust is the one ingredient you cannot and will not do without. It is essential to know you are not alone. To know you are not alone, nor are you brought into this world alone, or are you ever alone in this existence is essential. You must understand we are here to help; we are never far, or out of reach. You need not believe, nor accept our existence, for we never stop helping you in your journey. This is much for you to think about; we will talk again soon Child.”
“Hello Child. Are you ready to begin once again? We have many things to tell you. Are you able to hear me Child?”
I listened to the voice, and I said, “I am ready to trust you. Please tell me more.”
The kind voice said, “When you are ready Child, you will see me, and I am only one of many here to guide you. Are you ready to open your mind to see and hear me?” the kind voice said.
I feel surprised and do not know what to say. Calming my thoughts from racing full speed ahead, I thought for a moment, and then I said, “I do not know how to do what it is you are asking me to do.”
The kind voice responded and said, “You will know how to do this when you are truly ready and not before. In order to see, there is more trust that must exist between us first. Do not feel as though you must rush, or that this is something that you must do, until you are ready for this journey. Everything happens when it is the right time for you, and you must remember this process is for you, and you alone. You mustn’t feel we are hurrying you, or that we want you to do this at a time when you feel it is not the best for you. It is important for you to remember we are here to guide and help. We are not here to judge nor feel let down by your decisions to postpone a part of your journey; only you know when a journey, or a piece of your journey is ready for completion at any given time. We do not feel it necessary for you to perform at any given job, or task at any given place or time. The journey is yours to do with as you wish, and how you want it to complete is to be your decision and your decision alone.”
I listened to the softly spoken words, and I wondered what my choices should be in my current situation. I thought how many choices are there when I am here; in this place, I do not even know what it is or where it is. How many choices are there in this trapped body? Yet, a part of me is still here, and I know not what choices I can make, nor what differences they will make at this time. I struggled with the dismal realization that this shell of a body may always lay and never move again. If that is to be true, what decisions will I have at that point other than to give up all hope and remain trapped in a useless, empty body, I once took for granted.
“You are wondering what choices of what we speak of, do you not Child?” the voice asked.
I shrugged inside my mind, and I said, “It makes no sense to me how you talk of decisions, and choices, when here I lie in a bed in a place I do not even know the name of. How, tell me that, does that give me any choices or decisions to be made by myself?” Self-pity rose up inside my soul and showered my very essence with a sheet of pain, confusion, and even anger. The anger surged forward like an eager and ever so demanding fiery dragon, burning all those within close reach of its very touch.
“You have many issues and emotions of which you must address before we can further your learning of within. You, Child, have had these very emotional characteristics within your existence for a very long time. You feel they are here only because of what you have recently experienced. However, we tell you this is not the truth, and we say once again that trust is important, as any foundation will crumble without it. You Child must recognize that you must do your inner work, or a clearing of your inner emotions and turmoil, as this is as important as the foundation. We know this sounds not only difficult, but it is the essence of which you are Child.”
“Without inner peace, turmoil makes all choices, and it must not be this part of you that determines what you will do or what you will decide in this journey. We tell you this, so that you will remember that you planned to do this journey, and you are the very reason you are participating here as you are at this time. You must remember, or at the very least, try to do what you can to complete this journey with the level of accomplishment only you wanted to achieve. We are not here to judge, or be upset in any way, if your journey is not as you planned, nor are we going to feel upset or let down by any choice or decision that you choose and decide to follow. We are here only to support or guide you, not to live or decide what you will become or how you will become what you ultimately will be. Rest now Child, we feel this is much for you to consider. When next we speak, you may ask us your questions.”
WE ARE ONE
“Child, now you may ask us one of your questions. What will you like to ask us first?”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am called by many different names throughout the entire life of the planet you currently reside in. The name you may call me is “The One.” I am the one whom you have spoken to, and I am the one to whom you speak to during times of difficulty. Willow, you must realize that the names people use does not matter, as the name itself matters not. Rather, I am more concerned that people know of me and that they know my presence is there. You, my Child, must understand that the world you call your home is only a temporary place that exists within your confines of the existence in which you are a part of at this time. There is much that we can say about this, but for now, just know that within your essence there exists the framework of immortality. You must realize all those you will be speaking to are one. Our very existence is only the smallest part of the whole. Yes, Child, I see you have another question.”
“You are known to me you said before. How do I know you?” I asked.
“We are one Child. You and I are a part of the central being of existence of humankind. You feel you are a piece, a small piece, and therefore not needed. However, I tell you this is not true, nor should you ever feel the role you play here in this existence is a matter that could or should be neglected or portrayed to you or to others as not mattering. You see Child; I do know you, and I can say that you do matter. You have felt that life is a form that did not suit you or the journey is not what you thought it could have been. We are here to tell you this is not so. Each journey must exist to the soul’s specification, and each soul has this journey so that others can grow and learn from this experience. You have another question Child?”
“How am I to know you are who you say you are?” I said.
“Doubts are a good thing. To question the validity or even the existence of an entity or being means you are giving yourself time to process, and time to understand that life as you know it is changing and growing, and must be able to allow other concepts and beliefs the chance to be heard or known. In other words Child, you must feel and know that life does exist and that others know only what they feel is most believable or credible to them. Each individual must take each moment to consider I do know every answer to every question, but will only assist and not provide all answers to provide the greatest learning experience. Yet, there are those Willow who do not have every answer but are here to guide and help you as well. You, as an individual must know that deep within there exists that place that knows that life does exist in many forms of reality. You are one, we are one, and all who exist are one. You come to this place knowing you gain from the experiences you have set forth to do while in this existence. To doubt is to wonder, to think, to process, to realize that you are and will be a part of a huge existence that is unfathomable for those in the world you exist in to understand. No soul in your existence can fully see how this existence gains from the work of each individual towards the very core of humankind and its journeys to home again.”
“You said others would speak to me. Why and why must I speak to them?” I asked.
“You have many questions, and for now, you must take time to process this in order to truly see what it is that we wish for you to know.”
As I lay there, I wondered is this what I have become, a fragment of whom I am. Inside my thoughts began to think of all I have wanted to do and all I have not done. The worse thing is my not being able to accomplish my one goal of seeking my father to discover why he left and not returned. Now, I know, I should have focused more on what I did have in my life and less on what I did not have.
One thing I am certain, if I did get out of my current dire situation I will focus on living and not on the dying. I have felt for some time that I am an empty shell of who I could be. Realizing what should have been will not really help now I thought. I began to think of what I will do if I ever recovered from my current state. Knowing I may never awaken made me realize how I could make changes if I given an opportunity to live a normal life again.
Lying there, as if I have a choice, my thoughts wandered to memories of all the frustrations I experienced over the last ten years trying and failing to find my father. A part of me thought maybe he has died and that it is as simple as that. Yet, another part of me denied after all my determination I will not have discovered such a truth as that one. However, the day I arrived in my current state of incapacity, I learned another attempt has yet again failed to discover the truth, whatever that might be.
I hope someone will come and speak to me, thereby not caring whom or why, just someone other than my own self-pity cloaking me, smothering me. Days blurred I know not what time or day it is, only that I am alone and afraid. I know not if my current state would ever change or forever remain trapped in my mind and body without the comfort of knowing human comfort from another individual. Although my life has accomplished so little, I know now my choices are of my own volition and I could blame no other except myself.
Pity coiled around me trapping the fiber of my existence. If only I could scream, I would with every ounce of my being for only then will I feel as though I could feel my life and that I could plan to exist in a different state than I experienced in my past. I thought life has been unfair taking the man I loved and not having the dignity and decency to at least state from where life snatched him. I now know how trivial all that has been and how little of life I enjoyed because I felt so caught up in my plans of finding my father, I forgot that life must be thought carefully for each day to be fully lived.
Knowing how little of life I have enjoyed saddened me. Perhaps it is best to be alone I thought. Who in their right mind could possibly enjoy being with such a failure? I accept it is by my own choices, yet I can’t help but feel as though life cheated me and that I must somehow be reminded, and therefore torn apart from within as this must be done to achieve what I know I can do if I am able to later.
Despair settled in and around the pity that cloaked me. How I thought would I live my life if I remain in my current vegetative state? I know I must find a way to recover and live. However, how can I do that I thought? Despair grew within me leaving no space for hope or for courage.
The kind, gentle voice woke me from my wandering mind, and said to me, “Dear Child, we see you have thought of who you have become, and now you feel as if you’re being of existence has somehow failed. We tell you this truth is no truth. You understand do you not that existence is not an award based on wants or desires, that you choose whom you declare you want yourself to become. This choice is yours to unmask, and no other has that choice to recognize about you with the exception of giving away those choices to another. We say you alone must choose whether you decide or another decides. We know that you feel life has declared that you are not worthy of deciding who you are. We know you can live as you please, but you decide life can be difficult and not worth experiencing. You may choose life to be difficult or easier. Life, Child, is never more than one can endure. Life is fruitful if one allows. You allow you the right to live life plentiful or to live with despair and sadness. You, alone, must decide what you want and only you must be able to live this life in whatever way you feel you must live.”
“We only help you; we do not live your life for you. You will not be pleased if we are to do this act. You have to understand that we are not around to take away your plans to experience, prosper, or fail. We cannot nor do we decide what you do to become the individual you are to be.”
“You see there is so much for me to tell you that we must take breaks to allow you to take in all we have discussed. In order for you to be aware that we, who have been with you since the moment of your soul’s beginning, want you to understand and to ask what you need, too, for you to learn from these words we speak. You must take these moments of quietness to think of the conversations, which have occurred, and feel whatever you must, and only then may we be able to go forth to discuss other such things, as we need to.”
“Experience each of our moments alone. We say to experience each moment as if there may be no others. We do not say this in order to make you feel as though this is the last such moment you will have. This is not your time, as there is so much you wish to accomplish, and it is we know in your own life plan to attempt to do these things. We know when you feel you are able that you will then do these many plans you set forth long before you arrived here at this place you now are at.”
“Life for you has not been as you have wished, but with your intention set and your willingness to do so, you will succeed and do those many things you so desired. Now, you must take time to rest. We know there is much for you to try to feel, to accumulate those many thoughts and inquiries you may have. We will set forth once you have taken that time to do this.”
I felt as though there is so much more than I ever have thought real or even potential for myself, or those in my life. Realizing life is my plan and not some chance happening made me feel I am more in charge than I have ever come to recognize.
Awareness of this made me feel I need to be more in the moment of every day rather than feel as though each day is not important. Now I felt sad at the thought that I have wasted some of my time feeling as though it did not matter what I did, as life is too much, and I could not feel as though what I tried made any difference in my life. Because I have made those choices, I know I have let myself down. Now that I am aware of these things, I know I will never again let things interfere with what I wished to accomplish and complete in each of my days. Then, I realized in my present state, what more could I do. I remained trapped in a lifeless feeling shell that could not do or feel. I sighed inwardly and know that somehow I will do whatever I needed to be able to live each day once again.
I awoke to discover that voices are swirling around me. At first, I panicked and could not breathe. My monitor next to my bed beeped alarmingly and I heard rapid footsteps entering my room beside my bed. Calming myself now, I realized I have set off the monitors alarm and caused panic within the medical facility. Breathing softly I slowed and evened my breathing. As the footsteps walked away, I felt as though I am alone and this feeling swelled inside me and choked my essence.
“Child,” the voice said. “We are here. You are never alone.” The kind voice faded and I lay there alone once again with my thoughts.
Is it my imagination I wondered or is a hand holding mine I thought. “My dear,” a woman’s voice said, “how are you. My name is Mabel and I just wanted you to know you are not alone. It seems you are all alone, but you are not. Don’t you worry, Mabel will come here to visit you and make sure your well taken care of. Even though you are not physically awake, you are able to hear and someday very soon, you will talk and share your stories.”
“You see, I understand being alone as for many years I felt alone. Josh was a wonderful man. He was the love of my life and the best thing that ever happened to me. When he passed, I felt so alone I could not even get out of bed each day. I lay there filled with such sadness that I prayed each day to go home with him. There were other plans for me, and it was not my time. I know you probably feel despair and hope for that too, but I am here to tell you that you and I are blessed to continue on the journey we needed to do.”
“I will come here to see you each day so you are not alone. You will someday be able to open your eyes, see me, and see who I am. Until then, I will fill your waking hours with my stories of what my life has been like and who I am because of it.”
“You will, hopefully, be able to do that with me someday. I know at this time it doesn’t seem like you will, but you will. Mabel is here to help and you can count on that. Journeys like ours are never easy but later we recognize how very important it is for us. For now, I’ll sit here and hold your hand. You are probably tired now of hearing my ramblings. Rest and we will talk again soon.”
I thought back to my earlier insights that I perceived from the conversation with the mysterious voice. I thought to myself why am I just now figuring out these things in my life. I should have known that it is important to try harder and to live each moment of my life. I realize now that if given the opportunity to again walk I will not waste another moment. I will jump forward and not look back as I have done my entire life. My time will be lived, enjoyed, and not dreaded.
I felt excited now to be able to live once again and carry forth with the lessons I have learned. Yet, somehow, I know there is much more which I need to learn. I realized this is in all probability the beginning of this new journey in my life. I dreaded not being able to awaken just yet, but I know within myself that this part of my journey is important to my spiritual growth. I know that although I am not looking forward to constantly lying here for however long, that I didn’t want to short change myself with all that I will learn now too. I sighed inwardly knowing that once again someone knows better than me what I should be doing and yet I no longer felt as though I myself have no control over such things. I know I played a part in my life now. With this new meaning, I smiled, albeit inwardly, knowing there is much I will accomplish when I did once again awaken. Another moment or two in this bed will not be upsetting, as it will have been prior to my knowing the things I now know.
I felt that somehow I could get through this and that the strength I needed will be there. How I know this, I did not know exactly. Yet, there is a feeling of trust within me and that trust told me that life, as I have known no longer existed. My new existence will be so much more if I allowed it to be. I wanted to believe in myself and in all I could do. I wanted to know that within I could do anything as long as I tried my best to do so. Inwardly I once again told myself to no longer look at life as not being something to look forward to, as a journey, I dreaded each day and forced myself to awaken and do what I thought I must do. Now, I will give myself a chance to once again live, enjoy, and be a part of a much grander plan. Life could be whatever I wanted it to be and this is something that I have never fully realized nor given credence to. The possibilities this gave me are astounding, and I didn’t want to waste anymore of my life with wishing for what I could not have, nor did not want to do.
Life is a journey of exploration, new beginnings, new places to go, see, and explore. I have instead chosen to not do any of those things and I realized that there is no wonder that I dreaded each day feeling this way about life and living. Have I really lived is the question I asked myself. No, I thought, I have existed. Existing though is not really living I thought. I know now that I can do so much more and I shall, I thought.
God, or whatever name one called, is always there I thought. I care not whether they be male or female, young or old, and by what name. All that truly matters is that I am not alone. I am never alone. Truly, this is what matters most. I think I always felt afraid that I am I thought. Now, I know that is never true. The voice that visits me has assured me I am not and I know now it must be true. When I look back and remember all that is in my life, I know I never could have gotten through it on my own. If I had of been truly alone, I know now, I most likely will not have survived it in the way that I did. Strength comes from within, but it also comes from above I thought. Knowing that I am not alone, gives me much comfort.
We are never alone, nor do we want to be. Why must we think that because we are here living in some body that we are alone. It is the way of our world, I thought. Going on these journeys, we think that no one cares so why should we. Yet, I know now that none of that is ever true. I know now that someone or many are with me to guide me and support me in my efforts. There is so much to learn and know. I hope that given time I will learn more about these things and that I will continue to hear the voices.
God, or whatever name you use must be there I thought with sheer determination. I know now that there is a higher power. For most of my life, I thought that no one existed beyond this world. I thought that each individual must struggle to survive and that each of us must do so alone. I know now that neither of those is true. There is no outward struggle only what we give to ourselves on our journey. I can make it harder on myself or I can make it easier, it is my choice. This is so much to take in I thought. I hope the voice returns soon as I felt myself drifting into a deep slumber.