Flight Of Fear

Anamika had just said goodbye to her husband Vijay at the JFK airport. It had been a tumultuous week. There was intense loving and explosive fighting. They were both passionate. And believed in dreams. When they made love, their bodies spoke the same language of love and worship. She still remembered what Vijay had said in bed.” Sex can only be meaningful when you love someone. It’s an act that can give you pleasure. But it means more when you have feelings for someone.” and she knew he was a man who was capable of love. That’s what she loved about him. He believed that he could change anything in this world through sheer willpower and hardwork. She was like that. Anamika believed in building her own world on her own terms. She was built by sacred, brave thoughts, words and deeds in a city which believed that you can build and create anything you want and where there is a will, there is a way. He was raised in New York where people from around the world came to create and build their dreams. When she went to interview for a job, the bus ride showed her a great city carved in the bosom of nature by forefathers who once were helpless just as animals except that they had a dream. She felt the slight flicker of Hope in the darkness of her fears. He ran. Just as she did. To experience exhilaration and the sheer joy of being alive. But things had changed in the past few years. She felt fear replace her hope. Anamika was terrified and anxious. She was in love with Vijay and yet, she was fearful. Of trusting someone else with her happiness. She did not know why. She had always sabotaged her relationships through negative thoughts. And it had been that way for a long while. She did not know why. She had always run away from friendships and relationships. She had been a loner. Her books, paper and pen had been her soul mates. In front of the world, she wanted everyone to know and think that she was perfect. The obedient daughter. The best student. The perfect child. The best professional.The virgin wife. She was obsessed about being a virgin for such a long time that she did not allow her self to fall in love.A people pleaser. Nobody is perfect. People can strive for excellence but never perfection. Because this is what the notion of perfection does to people. It made them deny their imperfect self. One buries what the world thinks is imperfect and start to erect graves about ideas,opinions and people whom other people do not think are appropriate. The death of one’s own sovereign thinking. And the graves start to cast shadows on you. She wondered about what she had to bury to please the world. The missed opportunity of maybe falling in love with a man who was not her first lover, being wanton and trying things that would make her look ridiculous. Very few people knew her. Anamika could not tolerate criticism. She would painfully whip herself everyday so that she could be perfect. And hid her imperfections. She was beautiful, well educated, physically attractive, intelligent and smart. Good at academics and extracurricular activities. She had received the best all rounder award in ninth grade. She loved the trophy in the hands of her seniors and she had wanted to hold it in her own hand and she copied their actions. It had been a proud moment. And yet, if somebody were to make the smallest remark of her imperfections, I would be very upset. The facade was so great that even her friends didn’t know her. She wanted to be perfect.So much so that she had run away from relationships and friendships. Because it means one had to reveal one’s imperfect self. Which was painful. At the cost of scorns, smirks, unacceptance and belittling. Even abandonment. Or that had been her experience. It was this fear of abandonment which had made her a slave. Of people and their thoughts. She didn’t know where it stemmed from. Maybe from watching her sister beaten up by her father for talking to boys or from not getting good grades. She remembered how she was whipped till her skin bled. And she remembered feeling so terrified of her father that she would pee in her pants whenever he would raise his voice and slapped her.
And so, when she kissed her husband Vijay goodbye, her fears and her anxiety swirled beneath the surface and she sat with a confused heart and mind in the seat facing the window. That’s when she saw a sea of yellow t shirt clad Spanish speaking people assail her and occupy seats in front of her and beside her. She fathomed that they were a travel group. The girl sitting in the aisle seat in her row caught her attention with her long flowing hair, off shoulder yellow t shirt and black bra straps and cleavage. She just kept staring at her. She did not notice the wiry girl in spectacles and a collared yellow t shirt who sat next to her. They all spoke in rapid Spanish to all the teenagers in yellow t shirts. She smiled courteously at the girl next to her. The other girl smiled back and introduced herself as Maria.
Anamika confided to Maria how she was terrified of flying. Maria spoke of her fear of flight and how she overcame her fears by trusting. Anamika was struck. She had been struggling with the issue of trust in her own relationship and she had been afraid of the relationship dissolving due to mistrust. She could not believe Maria was talking about trust! How in the world can a total stranger of foreign origin speak a word which was threatening her relationship and her dreams! Maria looked at her intently. You need to trust at some point, she said. Because without trust, you cannot build. Maria told her about how language was powerful. How it could change the life of two people if one uttered a word of promise to another. What you say to yourself matters. She was a psychology graduate, a life coach and a volunteer with AIESEC. She spoke of different positions which enhanced the psychology of a person. Essentially, there was the queen position, the acrobat position, the lovers position and the warrior position. The Queen stands for stability, justice, warmth and security. She gives and receives in abundance. She is grounded and to emulate a queens position is to practice being grounded. And this can be achieved by imagining a dinosaur tail, a crown adorning your head and palms facing upwards in a gesture of receiving. Everyone serves her and when you start to emulate the position of a queen, you invite the element of stability in your life.
The acrobat or the clown stands for flexibility. Just as a clown defies all rules and establishes his own, so also can a person become less conforming by emulating the clown or the acrobat position. A lover signifies openness and assimilation. This position is similar to the queen. By practicing sweeping hand gestures which demonstrate the act of acceptance, you can embrace your love as truly your world. It is important hold yourself and tell yourself that you have the right to love and be loved. The warrior embodies resolution who does not care about his or her surroundings. An exercise to enhance the warrior in you as well as your determination is to stare at a fixed point and imagine that you are face is getting sucked into that point.
Anamika took notes during this conversation. Maria was only 24 years old but she was not ashamed of learning from someone younger. Maria knew something that she did not and she promised to contact her.
Some chance encounters change one’s life. This one changed her perspective. Did she believe that Maria was an angel who was sent to provide her with insight? Yes. Her rationale mind still entertained some magical thinking. Because what she spoke made her see her problems in a new light, as something which she could work on rather than dwell on. She felt her fear take flight as she felt hope land on the runway of her heart. A 24 year old psychologist from Brazil.

3 years later, Anamika realised that sometimes we distrust because our instincts are right about things not appearing to be what they seem. Vijay was gay and he had been seeing his partner in New York ,on the sly. She had thought it was her. Turned out , it had been him betraying her. So much for trust. And the esoterics of trust. A fool’s world.

 

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