The Terrible Master
“My deepest, most sincere apologies for disturbing you, my master!”
I bowed so low I could see my worn-out heels and feel the familiar lumbar lurch, warning of the pain to come.
The Master glowered at me, eyes dark, muscles in his face tight, forbidding.
“What do you want” he said, his voice colder than contempt.
I quailed, so weak, so afraid. Years of resolute thought and planning had prepared for this moment. Now it was here I was sure my knees would betray me. I wanted to fling myself begging to the ground.
I pressed ahead; simply starting had given up my choice to stop, yet my voice felt strangled, a stranger, someone other.
“My Master, in all the days of my remembrance I have served you constantly, without pause, with my utmost attention to your every wanting need. It has been Your every word, Your look, Your pleasure, Your All has been my all and…”
I had so much more to say, so much more I needed to say, but I had dared to look up to search for a response already and each line of his furious frown was like an iron nail stamping the word ‘stop’ through my throat.
It was all I could do to whisper the last words
“Pray, Master, tell me, what is to be my reward?
”He sat as still as stone, then slowly, cruelly smiled, worse than fury
“You fool” he said, scorn dripping from his mouth “nothing!
”And I understood him, fully, at last. So I took off my robe, my shackled shoes. My naked body was worn and old, I was torn and bruised and yet, and yet I still stood.
And as I lifted myself up to take in, at last, the truth that I had known for all these years but never really dared believe before I stood taller than I ever had before.
I had weathered every storm and pain of his unending displeasures. I was the rope that would not, could not break however much I was twisted and knotted.
I was hardy, I had endured. I walked towards him, closer and closer, until I stood as never before, so close to his face that I could breathe him in, his corruption, his cowardice.
Suddenly, in him, I could feel the fear, the boneless jelly at his core. Everything stopped.
I saw him, and he saw me, as if for the first time.
“Well” said I, and now I truly did not know this new me, this deep voice, “in that case…"
There is an old saying from the East that
'the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master'
I imagined how one might feel after a lifetime of having been ruled by such a master to finally find the courage to face that tyrant.
In my work I am meet a lot of people who have health problems that have been with them for years and I have often seen how the body is really very good at healing itself but how the mind can be even better at getting in the way!
Mind stuff; our thoughts, our beliefs, our words, our relationships, it all seems so... disembodied, and yet may end up hurting us more than anything the outside world can do...