Asha learns the Purpose of Life

[Asha arrives at Merlin’s door, tears streaming down her cheeks. Before she has the chance to knock, the door opens. Merlin stands at the doorway, compassionate smile on his face.]

Asha: [clearly in distress] Merlin, I didn’t know where else to go.

Merlin: Asha, my dear child, come on in. I have been expecting you.

[Asha follows Merlin through a narrow passageway and into a room filled with shelves of old books. A blazing fire provides the only light in the room. Merlin motions to a pair of upholstered chairs, which are positioned in front of the fireplace. They sit down facing one another. Asha wipes away the tears on her cheeks with her hands and takes a few deep breaths. Her voice trembles as she speaks, fighting back further tears.]

Asha: Forgive me, Merlin. I know you are busy but I didn’t know who else to turn to. I can’t take much more. I’m not even sure if I can go on living. I’ve ruined everything. I always ruin everything. I just can’t do anything right. Why am I so useless?

[Asha bursts into tears. As she sobs into her hands, Merlin calmly rises to his feet and walks around her to the back of her chair. Standing directly behind Asha, he places his hands gently on her shoulders.

Asha continues to sob; Merlin remains silent, his hands still resting on her shoulders. After a minute or so, Asha’s tears begin to subside and her breathing returns to normal. She is soon completely silent, head bowed and eyes closed. Two minutes of stillness and silence ensue. All that can be heard is wood crackling on the fire and the faint ticking of a clock in an adjoining room.

Merlin lifts his hands from Asha’s shoulders and returns to his seat. Asha slowly opens her eyes. She lifts her head to find Merlin looking at her with a gentle smile on his face. Asha reciprocates with a smile of her own.]

Asha: Thank you, Merlin. You always know how to calm me down.

Merlin: My sweet child, I did no such thing. You calmed yourself down.

Asha: But what about the warm energy I could feel flowing from your hands and into my body?

Merlin: That was you connecting with Source energy. I merely served as a conduit through which you could direct your own healing process.

Asha: But I wasn’t directing anything. I was too upset to think about healing myself.

Merlin: In releasing emotion you created space for the healing energy to flow into your body. You did not need to be consciously aware of what you were doing. Healing happens all by itself. One simply needs to allow.

Asha: I am still grateful for your assistance, Merlin. Nobody else has such a calming influence on me. That’s why I came here tonight. I knew you were the only one who could help me.

Merlin: In truth, Asha, you are here to help yourself.

But tell me, child… if I could grant you one wish, what would that wish be?

Asha: I would wish to be someone else.

Merlin: Someone else… I see. Tell me about this someone else.

Asha: Someone beautiful…. Someone talented. Someone inspiring…. Someone confident. Someone strong. Someone [voice beginning to break]….

Merlin: Go on…

Asha: …. someone normal.

Merlin: You want to be normal.

Asha: Yes. I want to be like other girls. I want to do what other girls do. I want to behave like other girls behave.

Why do I have to be so different? I’m sick to death with being different! I don’t fit in. I have never fitted in. I feel like an alien most of the time. Sure, I put on a brave face and pretend to be like other girls. But inside, I know I’m not.  I’m not normal. I can’t have what others girls have because I can’t do anything right.  I’ve ruined everything!

[Asha angrily wipes away the tears falling from her eyes.]

Merlin: How have you ruined everything?

Asha: I can’t… I can’t make myself do something… my stupid body won’t let me… I’m never going to be happy… I’ve ruined my chances… all I want…

Merlin: OK, Asha. Just breathe.

Deep breath in. That’s right.

And now slowly exhale.

And again. Deep breath in… and exhale. That’s right.

And once more…

[Having regained her composure, Asha continues]

Asha: I always dreamed…

Merlin: I know.

Asha: That I would meet…

Merlin: I know.

Asha: But I can’t…

Merlin: Asha… [waiting for her to make eye contact] I know.

Asha: You know what I’m trying to say?

Merlin: I know. I knew before you arrived at my door.

Asha: But… how?

You seem to know me better than I know myself. How is that possible?

Merlin: I know who I am.

Asha: I don’t understand, Merlin.

Merlin: To know oneself is to know all. Don’t try to understand. There is nothing to understand.

So you feel like you are not normal.

Asha: I know I’m not normal! [lowers her head in shame]

Merlin: Yes. That’s right. [Asha lifts her head in surprise] You are not normal, Asha. You are far from normal.

You seem surprised. Did you not just say that you know you are not normal?

Asha: Yes, but I didn’t expect you to agree with me!

Merlin: You are trying so desperately to conform to some perceived idea of normality, which exists by virtue of your belief in it alone. You are continually comparing yourself with other girls. But you are not other girls. You are you. You are unique. You are not here to conform to the expectations of others. You are here to transform. Transform. Not conform.

You are ashamed of your uniqueness. And yet your uniqueness is your greatest gift. In your uniqueness lies your beauty. In your uniqueness lies your talent and your inspiration. In your uniqueness will you find your confidence and your strength. You are so intent on denying who you are that you are blind to all of your qualities.

You are caught up in a self-limiting view of the world in which everything must be labelled right or wrong. You believe there are certain things you should be thinking, saying or doing in order to fit in. But you don’t need to fit in. You only need to fit in because you believe you need to fit in. And the moment you stop believing that you need to fit in will be the moment you realise that you fit in perfectly.

Asha: So what am I supposed to do?

Merlin: Accept yourself… just as you are. My dear child, you are already perfect; you just don’t know it. You don’t know it because you refuse to look at yourself correctly. You judge yourself through the distorted lens of your assumptions about how others see you.

You are constantly attempting to look at yourself through the eyes of others. But your eyes are the only eyes through which you need see yourself. Stand before a glass mirror and look at your reflection; not with eyes of judgement and contempt, but through the eyes of your Source — with unconditional love.

Asha: How? When I look in the mirror I hate what I see! I don’t see beauty. I see ugliness.

Merlin: Because you do not accept what you see. You suffer because you do not accept. You suffer because you cannot forgive yourself for being yourself. All your suffering is self-inflicted.

Asha: How can I accept what I see in the reflection when I am so disgusted by it?

Merlin: You are not accepting what you see in the reflection if you are choosing to be disgusted by it.

Asha: I am not choosing anything. What I am looking at is disgusting.

Merlin: According to whom? Sitting before me is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

Asha: You’re just saying that.

Merlin: Asha, in all the years you have known me have I ever told you a lie?

Asha: No. I trust you completely. But… I can’t help how I feel about myself.

Merlin: Really? And how do you know that?

Asha: What do you mean? It’s common knowledge. Everyone knows we can’t help the way we feel.

Merlin: Everyone? Have you spoken to everyone on the planet?

Asha: Merlin, don’t play games with me. It is true that we can’t help the way we feel… isn’t it?

Merlin: Yes — if you believe it to be true.

Asha: Well, I believe it. Do you believe it?

Merlin: I know who I am. If it were true, then I would be a victim of my feelings. I am no victim.

Asha: I feel like a victim.

Merlin: That’s because you are choosing to cast yourself in the role of victim. I can tell you now there are no victims or villains in the Universe. Whatever you believe to be true, is true — for you. Believing is seeing. What you believe to be true about yourself becomes your reality.

Asha: Are you saying I should change what I believe about myself?

Merlin: You can make that choice. But better to just wake up from the dream — filled with limiting beliefs — and remember who you really are. Then you will have no need to believe anything about yourself.

Asha: I don’t know what you mean when you say, “remember who I really am”.

Merlin: What must you be believing about yourself in order to label your reflection in the mirror as disgusting?

Asha: That I am not normal.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: It means that I’m different.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: It means that I don’t fit in.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: That I am a freak.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: That there is something seriously wrong with me.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: That no man will ever want me.

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: That I will always be lonely.

[Asha is becoming increasingly upset again]

Merlin: And what does that mean?

Asha: That I will always hate myself.

Merlin: OK, stop there. You have just uncovered a cluster of beliefs that you are holding about yourself.

Asha: They are all true.

Merlin: That itself is a belief. What if your belief that all these beliefs are true were not true?

Asha: But that belief is also true.

Merlin: What if it were not?

Asha: But it is.

Merlin: Only because you have chosen it to be true. Does it feel good to believe that any of these beliefs are true?

Asha: No.

Merlin: Then why believe in them? If these beliefs make you feel bad, why torture yourself by continuing to believe in any of them for even one second longer? Why not dispense with all beliefs about yourself and just be yourself instead?

Asha: Because they must be true.

Merlin: Why must they be true?

Asha: Because that is how I feel about myself.

Merlin: We have gone full circle. You are holding a belief that what you believe is determined by what you feel, over which you have no control.

Asha: Yes.

Merlin: Asha, you have it the wrong way round. You don’t believe something because you feel it. You feel something because you believe it.

Emotion is your friend. It is a feedback mechanism, informing you of the size of the gap — or the state of alignment — between who you think you are and who you really are; between what you believe to be true about yourself and what is actually true about yourself.

Asha: You mean emotion is some kind of message?

Merlin: Yes. And at the root of any negative emotion will always be a limiting belief. In other words, when you feel bad, your body is telling you that your current thought — or the underlying belief that is sponsoring that thought — is not in alignment with who you really are. Your True Self is communicating the message: I do not agree with that thought.

Conversely, when you feel good, your body is telling you that your current thought is in tune with who you really are. Your True Self is communicating the message: yes, I agree with that thought!

Asha: Oh my God! Is that really what emotion is?! Why wasn’t I taught this before now?

Merlin: Because you weren’t ready to hear it until now. How did you feel when you first arrived at my door?

Asha: I felt lonely. I felt hurt, humiliated, ashamed, misunderstood. I felt angry. I felt hopeless. I felt depressed.

Merlin: And how do you feel now?

Asha: I feel strangely excited. Why do I feel excited?!

Merlin: You tell me.

Asha: Because you have inspired me, Merlin! You understand me and know what to say to make me feel better!

Merlin: I am responsible for myself. I am not responsible for your emotions, Asha. I cannot control your response to what is happening. Only you are responsible for your emotions. Only you are response-able. You are choosing to respond to me with uplifting thoughts. You are inspiring yourself. Your current mindset is in agreement with the point of view of your True Self, as evidenced by your feelings of excitement.

Asha: And when I arrived I was thinking thoughts that took me further and further away from the point of view of my True Self.

Merlin: Yes! When you arrived, your mind was filled with limiting thoughts and beliefs about yourself, which generated the negative emotions.

You think you know who you are. And that is the whole problem. You need to stop thinking and just be who you really are. You are who you are, not who you think you are.

Asha: So who am I?

Merlin: Now that is the all-important question. Ponder on this question earnestly and the Truth will reveal itself to you.

Asha: Can’t you just tell me who I am?

Merlin: No need for me to tell you. Open your eyes and see for yourself. I assure you, you already know who you are and why you are here. You already know the answers. You just don’t remember — yet. And I do mean remember, for you chose to be here — in this body, in this lifetime.

Asha: I chose this body? I chose this life?

Merlin: You chose it all.

Asha: I don’t want to accept that.

Merlin: You don’t want to accept it because you don’t want to accept yourself.

There is a reason people feel uplifted in your presence, Asha. There is a reason you are able to make others laugh and smile. There is a reason young children and animals gravitate towards you. There is a reason you are so loved by all your friends.

Asha: But will I ever find true love?

Merlin: There are many men lining up to serve you and your life purpose. Men who will respect and honour you — just the way you are. You cannot see them because you refuse to acknowledge their existence. You cannot see them because you cannot see yourself. You do not recognise them because you do not recognise yourself.

You don’t believe you are worthy of the love you dream of because you do not see yourself as the source of that love. You will not find true love in another until you have found it within yourself.

Asha: How do I find true love within myself?

Merlin: By unconditionally accepting yourself.

Asha: Merlin… who are you?

Merlin: I am who remains when everything I am not has been removed from the equation.

Asha: OK… then who are you not?

Merlin: Everything I think I am. [Asha laughs]

Primarily, though, my mind. I am not my mind. My body, my name, my personality, my beliefs… these are all contained within my mind. I am none of these things. I am neither this nor that. I just am.

Asha: Oh Merlin, I wish I was as wise as you!

Merlin: My dear child, your only task is to unconditionally accept who you are — even who you think you are. For in accepting everything that you are not, the light of your inner knowing will shine and the veils of ignorance can lift.

Drop the idea that you must behave in a certain way and you will free yourself from the prison cell of your own creation. The door is wide open; walk through it. There is nothing you need do except be yourself. Cease comparing yourself with others. Cease trying to fit in. Just be yourself.

You think you need to change who you are in order to get what you want. No, you need to remember who you are in order to get what you want. Look within and you will find that you contain the power to create galaxies and move mountains.

If you must think, then focus on thinking thoughts that keep you in alignment with your True Self.  You will know when you are thinking Self-aligning thoughts because you will feel good. There is nothing more important than that you feel good. Call it love, call it passion, call it joy, gratitude, appreciation or excitement; no matter what you choose to label the emotion, if it feels good, then the thought is serving you. If you do not feel good, search for a better feeling thought. Or, better still, stop thinking all together. Lie down on the grass and meditate; clear your mind.

All you need do is be yourself; all else falls into place automatically.

The purpose of life is simply to be yourself.