“Close your eyes”, he said.
“Why?” Layla asked.
“Don’t you want to find yourself?”
“Yes, I do, I don’t want to live like this any more”.
“Then close your eyes and trust me.”
Sufyan was fifteen years Layla’s senior but he may has well been fifty years.
“I want you to imagine that you are in a desert. You’ve been walking for a day and thirteen hours holding on to your camel skin of water which only has enough for one last mouthful. You think to yourself that you better drink it soon otherwise it will evaporate from the heat, now that would be a waste. So you open your compartment only to find your mind wasn’t fast enough, that damn heat has got your mind slower than usual. There’s no water left. Suddenly just that thought alone made you double as thirsty, your knees immediately buckle as your heart feels fifty kilograms heavier with the thought. You catch yourself from falling to the ground as you remember the scabs on your thighs from sun exposure will only burn more as the sand grazes upon them. There’s no use crying, the wind will burn dry the salt on your face in a few short seconds. Your feet also feel heavier as you struggle to continue on.
Before you left, there were at least ten guides waiting for their services to be hired.
You thought you were clever, that you’d never get lost. You thought you want to be in charge of your own adventure. Now, you’d take it all back. After a day and a half, you’ve lost your ego somewhere ten kilometres ago. It didn’t take long, faced with the fear of complete uncertainty, complete banishment and complete starvation. The heat may as well have been a bonfire you were thrown into yesterday, at least the cooking would have been quicker, the cooking of your ego.
Have you got all that in your mind? Can you taste the salt on your lips, no in the back of your throat, scratching it? Can you feel your toe skin peel off but the pain has been there for so long as you step into the hot sand that you’re numb to the actual pain but just feel the squishing of blood between your toes? Can you feel the acid in your thighs as you struggle to lift them out of the dry quicksand that seems intent on creating a grave for you with every step? Can you feel it all?”
Layla nodded her head.
“Ok then, open your eyes.”
Her mascara was streaming down her face. Sufyan was nowhere to be seen. She understood what was meant by his words. Sufyan was Khidr, the mystical figure that appears to the sincere, to the ones whom God loves and wants to bring closer to him.
We walk around with pride, arrogance, ignorance and ego. We want to take the path less trodden, we fantasise and romanticise, make excuses to justify our defiance and call it seeking the adventure but the adventure leaves a lot of souls stranded as they struggle to make it all work, to find their way.
The experience of the masters are there for the taking. You can be taken by the hand and guided through the desert storms of life. You can be shown the quicker routes to your fulfilment, to comprehension of yourself, Your SELF. But instead you squander and belittle your opportunities in naivety, assuming you are clever enough, and most people are but they suffer a lot for it for far too long.
What if you could short track all of that? Wouldn’t it make more sense to find yourself early and then come back and revisit whatever it is you want to, be as adventurous as you want with your life whilst having a base map of where and how to go about?
By fine tuning your compass and ensuring you always have a camel skin of water to quench your thirst.