by Jeff Martens
After traveling billions of miles from its initial launch in 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft is nearing the edge of our solar system and moving into interstellar space. Voyager took 35 years to travel this far at nearly 40,000 miles per hour, yet if the spacecraft could have travelled at the speed of light this journey would have taken a mere 17 days.
Scientists recently reported that, 600 light years away, immeasurably further than the edge of our litle solar system, they have discovered a planet that is similar in some respects to our Earth. “Keppler 22B” as it is known, is a bit larger than Earth, with water and an atmosphere that could possibly support life. Imagine if you will that on this planet, there is another “you”. This other “you” is you in your most evolved state: kind, loving, magnificent. Imagine going into the house where this other you lives and looking around the place. What does the home look like? Is it cleaner? More organized? How does this magnificent-self live? What is in the refrigerator? The pantry? What is this other you eating?
You look around at the furniture, the walls, what is the style of this other you? What colors do they surround themselves with? You see some photographs. Does this other you have the same relationship and friends?
As you are looking around in wonder, soaking up the subtle yet significant differences, the other magnificent you shows up, greets you and pours you a drink. You sit on the couch together. Is it the same couch? Maybe cleaner? You begin to talk to this person that is your magnificent self and examine what it is that is different. What is the health of this magnificent you? What kind of work do they do? They are looking back at you with unconditional love. Acceptance. Compassion. This other self really KNOWS you. You ask, “How did this happen… How did I do this?” The other self asks you in reply, “What do you really want?”
You ponder this question, “What do I really want?” but it seems impossible to fathom. So you repeat your own question, “How did I get like this?” and your other self replies that you got like this by asking that same question every single day. “What do I really want?” By not looking to others for an answer but to your deepest Self.
You say…but I have asked myself that question and the answer is always impossible or not believable. “And that is why you fail,” your magnificent self says with a smile that is relaxed and oh-so-genuine, before continuing: “Yet there is no such thing as failure.”
You reply to your magnificent self that everything is perfect for them, it is easy for them to say these things. But the magnificent self answers that it was YOU that made the choices to have your life be other than the way you are experiencing right now, and it is also YOU that can make the choices leading into the life lived by your higher self.
Well, you grumble inside, your other self may be perfect but they don’t seem to understand how hard things are, how difficult life can be. And then a strange thing happens. Your magnificent self vanishes leaving you sitting on the clean couch, half-frowning at the empty space that is now before you. You stand up and wander into the bedroom. The sun is going down and you feel tired. Here and there you recognize bits and pieces of your old life which have morphed into the life of your other higher self. A pillow. The style of toothbrush. The brand of soap. As you drift off to sleep, you realize that even the sheets are magnificent here.
You awaken in the morning to a clean and organized home and go to work. you are surprised at how people are different around you then they used to be. Family, co-workers, friends, even strangers… There is more harmony, less reaction at first. You wonder if your conversations are real, and you wonder if people are genuinely this nice or if they want something from you. People grow curious. They look at you in puzzlement at your subtle mistrust.
At home you go through your garage and discover you have a bike. You never remember getting a bike (and such a nice one!), even though you always wanted one. Someone asks you if you want to greet up with some rider friends. You get on the bike and pedal. You lag behind behind others and criticize yourself but your friends still seem to accept you as you are.
At home the phone rings and you occasionally snap at the other person. There are long pauses in your conversations now. You turn on the TV and even though there is no cable you find an old familiar program to watch. You slip into a predictable routine that is more comfortable to you. Your house and relationships begin to feel more familiar to you. Your bike starts to get dusty. Friends you did not recognize fall away. New faces that seem somehow familiar enter into your life. These new yet returning faces understand how hard life can be sometimes and don’t talk to you with that curious expression. And in this way the days turn into weeks and then to months.
One morning you wake up and discover that you are back “home” on Earth. Things now feel and look the same as they always were before you met your magnificent self. Maybe it was all a dream? And then you realize that you are still on the other planet but that your surroundings have changed to become exactly as they always were before.
Suddenly there is your magnificent self standing right in front of you, full of light and radiant vitality. “What do I really want?” the question pops through your thoughts and you feel the fool for not remembering, not even thinking to ask that question once in all the days that have passed. Lost and ashamed, you look around at what you have done with the place and want to crawl under a rock and hide. A rush of guilt floods out of you in the form of anger towards the magnificent self. You blame them for how you feel, for leaving you in a strange place. The magnificent self smiles with compassion and then everything flips over in your mind.
Relief floods in you as you discover yourself back home. You are back on Earth! You can feel it in your bones. Yet everything here is now like it was on the planet when you first saw your magnificent self. The magnificent self has been living your life here on earth while you had been living their life on the other planet. Nothing, and yet everything, has changed. Some friends knock on the door. You are asked if you want to try out your new bike.
“What do I want?” You smile.
You step out the door, climb on and begin to ride. You feel the sun on your skin, the muscles pumping in your legs. Though you lag behind you notice the birds are singing and enjoy the leaves paling in sunlight and the dance of easy-going conversation.
“What do I want?”
Riding you bike you realize how good things truly are right now, in this moment. Everywhere you look you see evidence that your life has changed for the better.
“What do I want?”
You decide that this is how you truly want to live.
Each day now you awaken and ask yourself what you really want, remembering your old life and thinking how much better this new life feels. And you realize that to continue on this path all you have to do is care enough each day to ask that single question.
And know that the choice of an answer is entirely up to you.