My vision concealed by the vindictive blindfolds and my fingers twined with those of a stranger, I walked amidst a path covered with thorn bushes, engulfed by an overwhelming plethora of emotions. Dread and doubt filled my heart, with a twinge of excitement adding to the adrenaline. The task was to learn ‘trust’ as a part of my course ‘Connect With Respect’ by entrusting your safety in the hands of a best friend whom you would see the world through as blindfolds warped your sight.
When the pairings were made, my fate was left to the mercy of a person I hadn’t met before. Had it not been for my dazed muscle memory, my frozen heart would have physically immobilised me. How was I, who moved with apprehension and caution at every stage of life and took my time to reveal the real ‘me’ even to those closest, to let my guard down instantaneously in an unchartered territory? It was unfathomable, as the horrifying possibility of allowing myself to get hurt lurked threateningly, perhaps in the thorn bushes, as we toured amidst rich greenery. As fear and suspicion clouded my mind and added to the burden of my troubled soul, I felt that my only choice and the inevitable solution was to let go. The transition was not undertaken through the cliched conscious deep breaths or other such mental relaxation techniques. I just let go ! Relief flooded through me easing up every tensed up muscle tendon. It was as though invisible chains that had heartlessly stifled me had broken loose, once and for all.
This moment defined my first experience with true liberty : A stunning realisation that I had been imprisoned, not by the brutalities of the harsh world or the disturbing realities and life experiences, but by self-imposed barriers. Beautiful was the world where you could revisit childhood along with its carefree abandon and masks were no longer needed as a protective armour, as the battle I waged was only with myself. I walked away from the experience unscathed physically under expert guidance and my then wiser self reflected on the irony of my walls crumbling down at the hands of a complete stranger.