HEAVEN & HELL ARE INSIDE YOU (The waterfall of Truth)

There once was a girl with long green hair. She liked to travel, sometimes by foot, and sometimes with her heart and mind. In her journeys, she connected to her inner world and wise beings who shared their knowledge with her; this helped her to discover herself. This story is about one of those journeys.

The girl with the green hair never saw her true reflection. Every time she tried to see it, the image looking back at her was always blurry or distorted. So, she grew up being unaware of how her Soul looks like; and this made her want to hide from the world at times. Until, one day, when everything changed.

She heard that in the South, there was a magical waterfall that helped people see their essence. So, she packed a few things and went to find it. The girl walked and walked, over plains and hills; until one day, she reached a forest. She walked through that forest for quite a while until she saw a waterfall. Next to it was an old lady who was sewing, using silvery threads like the Moon rays.

“Hello. Is this the waterfall that shows people their true essence?”

“Hello, my dear”, said the old lady smiling. Yes, it is, I’m its keeper.”

“Why does the waterfall need a keeper?”

“The waterfall doesn’t need a keeper. It’s the people who come to see it who need some guidance. Are you ready for your journey?”

“Yes, I’m ready,” said the girl.

“Ok, then, follow me. We will walk behind the waterfall.”

The old lady got up and started walking towards the waterfall. The water was falling furiously, forming a noisy but mesmerising curtain. The girl with the green hair followed the old lady behind the waterfall and she saw an entrance leading to a cave. They stepped into the cave. It was dark in there, and the girl got scared. She heard a noise, and suddenly the cave was lit; the old lady was holding an oil lamp.

“I will be with you every step of the way, so don’t be scared,” said the old woman. “No matter what happens, allow yourself to feel whatever comes up for you.”

“Ok, I will.”

They both started to walk on a path and after a few minutes, they reached a cave chamber. The old lady walked in first and sat down against a wall. The girl with the green hair walked in too; she felt a chill down her spine. When she reached the middle of the chamber, she stopped. It was then that she started to hear the voices. They were low at first, but getting louder and louder, and saying the same things over and over again: That person is better than you! You are so weird! Why would anyone love you? You are fat! You will fall, no matter how much you try! You are not pretty enough! You can’t do anything right! It’s not good enough, try harder! Why can’t you be like everyone else? You don’t deserve to be loved! You are stupid!

The girl with the green hair felt overwhelmed. She stood there for a while unable to move; then she fell on her knees and started crying. Every single sentence was like a knife that was piercing her heart. At one point, she felt tired; it was then that she felt a hand on her right shoulder.

“It’s enough, let’s leave this place!” said the old lady and helped the girl get up.

The girl wiped the tears off her face; she felt weak, and her head was hurting. They both started to walk again in silence on another path until they reached another cave chamber. The girl with the green hair stopped and wearily looked at the old lady as if she didn’t want to go in.

“The first chamber was the hardest part. You are much stronger than you think, and I’ll be here if you need me” said the old lady smiling.

The girl with the green hair took a deep breath and they both walked into the second chamber. The old lady sat again next to a wall and the girl walked to the middle of the cave chamber; but she couldn’t hear any voices there. The old lady signalled her to sit. The girl sat down on the ground, then closed her eyes; she could still hear the voices from the first chamber in her head, and it made her shudder.

“Silence your mind, that is the only way you can hear the voices in here,” said the old lady.

The girl tried to do that but found it extremely hard; those voices in her head were loud, and she felt overwhelmed again. She then heard a soft voice whispering “You can do this!” This made her feel better, and at that moment, the loud voices in her mind started to become softer until they disappeared one by one. She started to hear other voices, this time nicer and happier ones: You are better than you think you are! You are unique! You are innovative and very clever! You deserve to love and be loved! You might fail, so try again, until you succeed! You are very resilient! Why would you want to be like everyone else? You are prettier than you think you are! We love you!

Hearing these voices made her feel surrounded with love like someone was hugging her. She felt like every affirmation was now soothing her broken heart, and she started smiling. The girl stood there for quite a while until she felt that it was time to go. She got up, looked at the old lady and smiled. They both started to walk until they got out of the cave and the waterfall. The old lady sat down in the same place where she was when the girl came and started sewing again.

“Come, sit next to me,” said the old lady to the girl. “How are you feeling?”

The girl sat down next to the old lady.

“Tired, but good. Those voices, they are all inside me, aren’t they?” asked the girl.

“Yes, they are, those were your Hell and your Heaven. Humans believe that they are places where we go after we die, but that is not true. They are both inside us, and they can either put us down or lift us.”

“I felt that. In my Hell I felt frozen, defeated, and that there was no way out of the pain. In my Heaven I felt surrounded by so much love. Those parts of myself have been hiding there for a long time. I didn’t even know they were there.”

“They were waiting for you to bring them out of the dark and into the light. When you do that, you will start to see how your Soul looks like.”

“Thank you for your guidance!” said the girl with the green hair and smiled.

“You are welcome, my dear! If you ever want to talk to me again, you know where to find me. Here, this is for you.”

The old lady gave her a beautiful bracelet with a heart on it, made from the silvery Moon thread. The girl took the bracelet and put it on her left hand. She then hugged and said goodbye to the old lady. As she was about to leave, the girl with the green hair caught a glance of her reflection in the water. For the first time in her life, the image looking back at her was clear, and she caught a glimpse of her Soul; it was so beautiful…


Painting made by me

( Yin & Yang photo taken by me)

NOT EVERYONE CAN TALK TO TREES

There once was a girl with long green hair. She liked to travel, sometimes by foot, and sometimes with her heart and mind. In her journeys, she connected to her inner world and wise beings who shared their knowledge with her; this helped her to discover herself. This story is about one of those journeys.

She loved trees. One of her best friends was a tall maple tree from the forest close to her house. They first met when the girl was little, one day when she was picking up mushrooms in the forest with her mum. She was chasing a squirrel and got lost; the tree kept her company with one of his magical stories until her mum found her. Since then, their friendship grew stronger every day.

The tree was a great storyteller; the girl used to listen to his stories with such delight that sometimes she didn’t want to go home. She dreamed of being a tree and spending the rest of her life in the forest with her friend because it was there that she felt most free and alive.

“I don’t like being a human,” said the girl to the tree one day as she was lying in the grass, admiring his beautiful tall branches. “I wish I was a tree just like you.”

“Do you? What do you think it’s so great about being a tree?”

“Well, you get to spend all your time in this beautiful and peaceful place. You can just be you, and no one is trying to change you into something that you are not. Nothing can hurt you here.”

“Yes, I get to live in this beautiful place, but it doesn’t mean that nothing can hurt me. There are many things that you don’t know yet, my dear. What I want you to know right now, is that you are more like me than you think.”

“Really?” screamed the girl happily.

“Yes” chuckled the tree. “A long time ago, I was a young sapling starting its journey through life like you are now. My trunk was more like a twig at that time, and my roots were very thin and fragile. There were many times when I thought I might not make it, especially when storms came about. But I learned to see them for what they truly were: they might cause destruction, but they also bring growth. The water from the rain helped my roots become stronger; my trunk became solid in time, and my branches grew taller. The wind carried my seeds for miles and miles away, and it’s like this that other trees can grow, in places they didn’t think was possible.”

The girl looked lost in her thoughts. “I can’t imagine you ever being a fragile sapling.”

“I was such a long time ago, that it almost feels like a dream.”

“So, how is that connected with me being like you?”

“Well, throughout your life, there might be times when you’ll have to deal with storms too, and those moments can feel overwhelming. You might feel angry or sad when that happens, but don’t let the storms break you or define you. Just like me, hang in there and pick yourself up when you are ready, again and again. Find out what you can learn from them and move forward. Once you learn to weather the storms, you will begin to stand tall, to be proud of what you have overcome and who you have become. Remember that the only thing you can control in life is how you react to things.”

“That sound a bit scary but feels nice at the same time,” said the girl smiling and she gave the tree a hug.

“That’s good.”

Years went by, and the girl grew up. One day after saying goodbye to her friend, she moved to another world, far away. The storms came and went in the girl’s life; the tree’s words stayed with her and gave her strength to go on every time. The girl became stronger and discovered herself through the storms, just as her friend told her. Quite a few more years have passed, and one day her maple tree friend came to her mind a lot; so, she decided to go back home and visit him, to thank him for the advice that helped her weather the storms.

When she got to the forest, all she could find left of him were his roots and a big chunk of his lower trunk. The girl felt that her heart broke into a million pieces. She fell to the ground and started crying while resting her head on the tree stump. As she traced the rings of the tree stump with her fingers, she wondered how humans could be so cruel. She then realised that not all people could still talk to trees because they forgot how to speak the heart’s language. If only they knew that if they silenced their minds and opened their hearts, they might be able to remember again and find the guidance that they seek, in nature.


Painting by me, July 2019

(Tree photo taken by me @ Shropshire 2015)