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“What If”, “What Did” – and “What Is”

This month, we take the perspective of distance to confront some of the shadows we carry within. As each month, this is a reading meditation. As you read, there is a re-wiring, an awareness, a going within. Read to yourself, tape the meditation, and perhaps add music of your choice.

Thank you for sharing this journey!



“What If”, “What Did” – and “What Is”



The traveler comes to a fork on the path.

The fork on the left says “What If ”

The one on the right is marked, “What Did”


The traveler wonders : Which one should I take? The one about possibilities or the one about what has really happened?


What if I take the one on the left? Will I be able to come back and take the one on the right? And vice versa? Is what I do a one-way street, or is there a coming back?

Is “What If” a quagmire that is difficult to extricate myself from?


On a whim, or perhaps feeling strong, the traveler decids to take the path marked “What If”


Sit back, take deep cleansing breaths, and read on. The deeper you can go into relaxation, the deeper will be the meditation. As you read, there is a shift, a rewiring, and voila! Possibilities, probabilities and phenomena will all collide.


As you take in a deep breath, and take it out, say aloud if you can, or silently:

I breathe in light, I breathe out doubt

I breathe in light, I breathe out worry

I breathe in light, I breathe out anxiety


And then take the light breath:

I breathe in light, I breathe out light.

I am surrounded by my guides and guardians –  protected, cosseted, cherished.


One with the ray of luminescent light, you travel in a soft, plush cushion. You recline in luxury and decide to journey to the land of “What If ”




As you drift into a comfortable slumber, you see a moving panorama of the “what ifs” that you have harbored in your life. Keeping with the light, the passing stream of thought seems disconnected from you, and you look at it with gentle interest, but no sense of ownership. Not my thoughts, but the thoughts of that shadow who is traveling that stream that I am looking at.


The shadow says: What if I lose everything I have built up?

What if something happens that I have not foreseen? There is so much that happens in life that we cannot plan for. I could lose my home, my friends, my job, my life. Shouldn’t I be prepared for that? If I am taken unawares, won’t I feel like a failure?


You find yourself answering the shadow: There have been losses in my life, but I am not lost. There have been times when I have come close to the brink, feeling that I am in a dangerous place. But I am still here, hearing the tinkling laughter of my guides, their sure, gentle direction. How strong I feel, knowing that I have overcome those troubles. Yes, my ego has taken a beating, but somehow I can sense that deep, inner strength!


The shadow says: what if I can’t deal with a problem? What about the time when I felt so frustrated, not being able to fight back? What if that happens again? That’s humiliating.


You answer: True! It is a horrible experience. Not easy to see the light in that situation. Ask your guides for their guidance.  What really bothers you – the other person’s action, or your own inaction? The guides can give you tools to handle each situation. Somehow, when I focus on the light, I find that it is not tarnished by these events. It is still clear and bright!


The shadow asks: what if I lose control? Remember the time when I really failed? I know I didn’t act my best. But I just couldn’t help myself. What if that happens again? What if I am even worse next time?

You find yourself answering, striving to stay in the light: many mistakes have been made. That keeps me from feeling arrogant about myself in relation to others.  When I forgive myself, it helps me to forgive others. Sometimes when I am hard on myself, the mistakes of others help me to be kinder to myself! Maybe that’s why we all live together, to learn from each other?


The shadow says: what if I never realize my dreams? I will feel that I am a failure.


You reply: when will you pause to see which dream has been realized? When you reach college? When you land your first job? When you get married? When you buy a house? When will you tell yourself: now I have made it. I think of the times I have spent wanting something. When I get it, I don’t spend time enjoying it, being thankful for it. I just go on to the next thing that I want! But sometimes, I remember: be thankful. Stay happy. Enjoy. And when I do, I feel so good! There is no self-doubt at that time! Maybe I need to think of all the things that I am thankful for. Maybe I need to focus on the dreams that I have realized. I need to honor them more.


The shadow says: what if I am very successful? People will envy me. How will I deal with that?

You laugh: ask your guides! Define now, what you mean by success . and yes- enjoy each step of the way.


The shadow joins in, laughing, and disappears. When we are scared, how many “What Ifs”   can pop up!  When a “What If ”   pops up, how scared we are! Each “What If”   and its opposite can scare us: “What if I am successful” is as scary as “What if I am not”!  They’re really two sides of the  same anxiety: What if I don’t get what I want?


“What If ”   is the path of fear. It can be a region of hope if the traveler is in awareness of the boundless possibilities.


There is a moment of epiphany. The traveler realizes that a part of the journey is over. Both forks have converged into one path.

The fork in the path leads not to two separate events, but to the same place, where two events co-exist in time and space. That beautiful fork allowed me to watch my shadow self, heal it, re-absorb, and heal : become whole. The shadow in the land of “What If”   and I in the land of “What Did”, have merged.

This is the reality of “What Is”. And the path towards healing goes on.




Take a moment to feel that inner strength that point of light within, that never wavers in its brightness.


When you are ready, slowly stretch, prepare for the land of action, and go about your day.






©Nov. 2004 Meenakshi Suri

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