My Spirit and I – Vinita Dawra Nangia

While we may tame our social selves, our inner selves live on unencumbered and unshackled – true and childlike forever.

My spirit jumps up to dance in the rain while I lag behind, hesitating, calculating, wondering …and then discarding. She looks in through the window, beckoning, wondering, pleading…. and then gives up on me.

She twirls in the downpour, jumps in and out of puddles, gets soaked and refreshed … and finally satisfied, returns to me. I smile, as her chirpy youthfulness and delight fill every inch within me till I feel happy and fulfilled.

She does that a lot, you know. She refuses to be caged within the careful me, preferring to fly away on missions that I can only look at with yearning. Why, she even ventures into forbidden territory sometimes – she really seems to know no boundaries!

Through my soul I experience the raw emotions that I learnt to gloss over several years ago. Within me, she flowers with happiness, cringes with fear, glowers with anger, writhes with passion and seethes with envy — while I maintain my cool, unaffected look. Life teaches you to not display emotions lest any perceived weakness is taken advantage of. But my spirit doesn’t have to bother with any of that of course, for I am her shield, the form behind which she remains as raw, genuine and unguarded as she ever was. Of course I don’t begrudge her that – in return I cherish the cathartic effect of her indulgence in those unbridled emotions.

If I close my eyes and focus, I can actually experience what my inner self does. I get soaked in the rain, splashed by the puddles and can even execute my little naughty thrills, indulgences in anger and the mildly dark bits of satisfying revenge – all in my imagination.

And the thrilling adventures my soul sometimes takes! I imagine myself in the pleasantly cool hills on a hot summer day. As the pine-scented breeze swishes through the leaves, my spirit brings back to me the scent of pines, the rustle of leaves and a deep breath of pure cool air. She rushes to beautiful beaches and enables the wet sand to squish through my toes and the salty foam to encircle my ankles in a pleasing massage… On more thrilling days, she hovers in the sky hang-gliding or rushes down daring slopes on skis or bungee jumps!

And then sometimes she just chooses to stay with me. These are the times I am focused deep within – the times I choose to walk with myself. We stroll along as one, deeply attuned and connected, healing and nourishing each other, communicating freely and deepening the bond. At such times she is my guide and healer, the font of greater wisdom, the essential being…

Even as I make half-hearted attempts sometimes to tame my spirit, I know that I actually admire and envy her. I wish I could once again merge with her totally and be one – as we were in childhood! But the later years have taken their toll and taught me the efficacy of a life lived behind veils and masks. While one should be true to oneself all the time, not all truths can be laid bare for all to see. Some are too hurtful to others, some too painful for oneself, and some too pure for the world to stomach. It is enough to be able to understand the difference and to let your spirit flow free…

The secret is in the flow, the communication between her and me. Too much gap or non-communication can split the psyche and result in two divergent beings – a psychotic disaster! But so long as I can continue my secret soulful flights and indulgences, and allow them to heal reality, life is good…

(The writer is an associate editor with The Times of India. [Courtesy – ToI])