She sat in front of me with her legs crossed, mirroring my pose. As I stared into her eyes, I knew it was me looking back.
“So . . .” I began, trying to break the stalemate of silence that had taken hold.
“So.” Her reply did not provide a way forward.
“What do I do? Do I ask you questions? I don’t know how this works.”
Her smile was enigmatic. I found myself wondering if I was really this infuriating.
“Go ahead, ask questions if you like.”
Just like that, any question I might have had fled from my mind.
“Hmm . . .”
“You invited me. Invented me. I assume you had some reason. What is it?”
I had no answer to that. The truth was that I didn’t remember inviting her. I had been meditating in my own eclectic way when she just appeared. None of this was expected.
“Oh. I see.”
“What? What do you see?”
“You did not consciously summon me.”
“Can you read my thoughts?”
“I am your thoughts. Some of them, anyway. I am a part of you.”
“So you’re a voice in my head?”
“I suppose that’s one way to view it. I am the personification of one of the voices in your head. All of whom, by the way, are you.”
As I was trying to process that, an obvious question occurred to me.
“Wait. If you’re me, why are you a woman?”
Her rather mild expression became a scowl.
“Don’t be naive. You know better than that. No one is all one thing or another. We all have many pieces, many aspects. You identify compassion and wisdom with a more feminine energy. It should be obvious, then, why those aspects of yourself would manifest this way.”
“I . . . I think I knew that.”
“Of course you did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known it.”
“But if you only know what I do, how could you possibly help me find answers?”
“We often don’t remember, or don’t want to remember, things we know. Knowledge can be painful, frightening. Giving it to one part of ourselves for safe-keeping, can insulate us from it. In order to recover the knowledge, we need to confront the part of ourselves which harbors it. Besides, you seem to do better learning from a teacher.”
“This is . . . a lot.”
Her smile returned.
“And yet, none of this is really a surprise to you.”
“No. I don’t suppose it is.”
We looked at one another for a bit, the silence less awkward this time.
“If I didn’t consciously summon you, why are you here?”
“As I said, you must have a reason. Perhaps it would help to think of me as a sounding board, someone to bounce ideas off of. Talk to me like you might to a friend you might seek advice from.”
“And you’ll be here when I meditate?”
“I’m always here. If meditation helps you focus, use it. But there’s no need for rituals. Wherever you go, I go. I am you.”
“Okay,” I said, without much conviction.
“It will be.”