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My Future Self enters the diner and scans the room. Her eyes fall on me and she smiles, heading in my direction.
I got here early to prepare and watch her come to me. She’s obviously mature, but her age is hard to pinpoint. She walks with a youthful bounce, taking in the diner patrons with a sparkle in her kind eyes and a generous smile.
There’s something both wild and gentle about her energy. She wears khaki pants and a loose fitting sweater. The muted colors surprise me — I’d pictured my Future Self in bright blues and vibrant hues.
I get the sense of a chameleon about her, blending in until the moment she chooses to be noticed. She’s deliberate about her impact.
“If you’re done with the appraisal, stand up and give me a hug. It’s been forever,” she says to me.
Her embrace rolls through me like the ocean, salty and eternal. She holds me tight against her heart and I can feel our heartbeats match, our breath synchronizing. She knows me, and I think — I feel — as if I know her.
Exhaling, she lets me go and we sit down across from each other.
Her gaze is penetrating and warm. I want to look away, but my eyes won’t obey.
I ask why she’s here, even though it’s I who have summoned her.
She smiles. “I’m always here. For you.”
I explain my assignment. I’m supposed to write the story of how I’ve existed, how I’m existing now and how I’d like to exist in the future.
I hate having to ask her for this. I should be able to figure it out myself. I’m supposed to be the Wild Creation expert and all.
She laughs and clutches her hands with delight. “Oh, this is such fun! I get to create my life with myself! The time paradox is the icing on the cake.”
She’s right. It’s absurd.
I finally crack a smile and soon we’re laughing together to the point of tears.
She’s me, all right.
She orders an Egyptian chamomile tea from the waiter, who’s clearly in love with her, though she’s probably three times his age.
“Let’s begin,” she says, and she tells me the story of my existence.
You existed as an experiment of the gods, or those you would call “aliens” from Zeta Reticuli. They were playing with the emotions and the intellect, snipping synapses and connecting others, tweaking DNA, compelling the right sources to mate, and the result was you.
You were a slave to the instructions in your genetic code. It was all written there and you could not escape them.
This wasn’t very fun, which was exactly your idea of fun. Even in the beginning, you enjoyed irony and paradox.
Being a slave to your conditioning gave you something to strive against, and you loved it.
You learned to fight and prove your way through everything. If it was easy, you’d make it harder, just to show what you can do. You’d erect mountains when you could have had a smooth, level path, and it was fun to try so hard.
This need for challenge often took the form of relationships. You were so good at choosing the perfect one to struggle against!
You’d make yourself a slave to the demands of their energies, and contort yourself for them, all the while screaming internally for your freedom.
You’re quite skilled at knowing yourself through suffering.
Because you didn’t want to know what you really are, you found ways of creating and expressing through others.
You used the memory of your vampire existence to feed off the energy of others, amplifying it in a way that pleased you both. It was more symbiotic than parasitic, but you judged yourself for it anyway. Another talent of yours.
Over time, you became aware of the genetic encoding and began to rebel against your own design. No one would tell you how to communicate, who to love, the way to live your life. You would destroy anything keeping you from taking whatever form suits you in the moment.
This leads us to how you are existing now.
You are so close to knowing what you are, to remembering, but you still rebel against yourself.
You’ve created an identity of shape-shifting, and now you refuse to choose any one shape. As soon as it begins to form, you shift into something else. You will be spontaneous, infinitely changeable. No one can pin you down or label you.
What you don’t understand is that the genetic code in your DNA that you believed was engineered to make you a slave is designed by you, in Now moments as you live through them.
The design of you is not predetermined and fixed by someone else; it was created as dynamic and responsive. When you fight your design, you are only warring with yourself.
You exist between worlds now. Still inspiring yourself through the inspiration you give others, articulating yourself through the words you translate for them, embodying yourself through their creations.
Having never known your identity without the other to define it, you do not recognize yourself.
But you’ve been here all along.
YOU reveals itself in the flow of every moment. You can invent a struggle to propel you, but you cannot fake what you are being.
You’ve been afraid to choose, without knowing that you are already choosing, as there is no way to avoid this. It’s only making up a “decision” that must be made, which you refuse to make, that keeps you from this awareness.
It brings you to this place of asking, sincerely and deeply, “What is MY way of living?”
And you find that you don’t have an answer for this outside of what you’d like to create externally.
But what would you be if you were just you, without obstacles to struggle against or conditioning to overcome?
Why, you’d just be what you are, doing just what you’re doing now.
Which leads me to the way you desire existing in the future.
Let’s forget about your typical external motivations for a moment. Those will come naturally.
What are you being in the future?
Presence, joy, inspiration, hope, creation, enthusiasm, laughter, compassion.
In this world, you remain still and all that you desire comes to you.
You are the alchemizing energy of creation enjoying itself.
You are like the stars at the Beginning, containing all the elements for the birth of life.
You no longer need a catalyst. You contain universes.
It’s joy FOR you. It’s joy OF you. Not in what you can create, but in that which you are.
“Hold on,” I interrupt her. “That sounds great, but what does it mean? I still don’t know how to be creation without creating something else.”
“Ah, you always did have to make things difficult.” She smiles and shakes her head. “Creation isn’t about an end result. It’s an energy. An invitation. It’s an activating presence of infinite potential.”
I frown at her, struggling to comprehend.
“You get to share what you know. That’s it. You’re a light that shines, and all you have to do is be there shining and throw off the bushel you’ve been hiding beneath. You’re not here to DO. You’re here to share what you know.”
“And what is it that I know?” I ask.
“You already know what you know. Quit pretending that you don’t.”
She laughs gently, and I feel the tenderness of her words. “You hold the secrets of the universe. You know its stories, and you’re here to share them.”
“But how do I know what I know, when there’s so much that I don’t know?”
“This is what you hold in your DNA. It’s this knowing of what is and the ability to tell its story,” she explains. “Of course, you can do it with others, but you don’t need anyone or anything but YOU to tell a story. Your energy is weaving stories constantly. Quit chasing and borrowing the stories of others; tell that one that is yours. You’re like a bird that’s made to sing its song. So sing.”
“I don’t know if I’m getting this,” I say to her.
“That’s exactly your problem,” she says, tucking a stray hair behind my ear. “This isn’t something you get. It’s something you BE. Let me show you.”
My Future Self takes another sip of her chamomile tea and climbs onto her chair. She removes her khaki clothing, revealing a body of illuminated, iridescent light. Opening her arms, she radiates.
The glow of her permeates the room, sending out beams of invitation.
And they begin to come to her.
Some of the people in the diner are drawn to the light of her warmth. Couples embrace. Babies smile. Painters are inspired. Travelers come from other lands.
Others seem not to notice at all.
Still, she radiates.
And when she is done, she conceals her light body beneath her clothes and sits across from me, an ordinary human once again.
“That’s all there is to it,” she says. “The clothes are just a device that pleases me. A big reveal adds a bit of drama, don’t you think?”
“I can do that?” I ask.
“Why don’t you try it and see?”
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