The Other Self


Pip DeBelfry relates the motivational story of how, after her husband deserted her and left her with nothing, she encountered a mysterious entity that changed her life…

Something mysterious happened…

A decade or so ago I was at my wit’s end. This was due to my marriage breaking up. My husband had run off with another woman and left me with nothing. He didn’t even pay child support.

Every day it was a terrible struggle just to put food on the table for my two children. Nothing seemed to go right in my life. It was just endless drugery and trying to make ends meet.

I felt like giving up. I carried on for my kids’ sake.

But I was like a zombie. An all-pervading bleakness beset my every waking moment. I ended up on anti-depressants to cope, but they made me feel even more numb.

And then it happened…

One night, I’d drunk half-a-bottle of vodka, which made me feel even worse. I started sobbing uncontrollably, totally despondent at the state of my life, forever struggling to scrape up pennies to eat and pay bills.

I was in despair.

And then, through my tears, I felt a presence lying in bed beside me…

I didn’t dare look round. I knew it wasn’t one of my kids. And it couldn’t have been some psycho who’d broken in as I’d locked my house up securely before going to bed. And besides, I’d have heard movement in the house and footsteps on the stairs, had somebody been able to get in the house.

I was terrified. And believe me, I’d totally sobered up at this point!

What was this thing lying next to me? Was it a ghost? A poltergeist? A spirit of somekind? I’d certainly had unusual supernatural experiences in the past – like objects mysteriously appearing and disappearing… and the ghost of a family member appearing in the house. So I was no stranger to this kind of thing.

But this was different. I could hear whatever it was breathing.

It was truly frightening. I was literally shaking.

And then I somehow mustered up the courage to look round. Lying next to me was a woman – a woman who looked exactly like me.

It WAS me.

It was my double.

But somehow different. She – me – was self-possessed, confident, and full of vibrant energy. It was like she was the woman I could be…

My double spoke…

I did wonder if I’d gone mad. The woman – that looked exactly like me – seemed so real. It was terrifying.

She was my doppelganger – my double…

But she had this serene, confident smile. She made me feel at peace, despite all the troubles I was going through and the sheer depression I had felt for so long.

At one stage, it got so bad, I didn’t go out for four months. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house. Crowded places made me feel anxious. And I’d cross the street if I saw somebody I knew – even if I liked them.

Another time, I got so down I put my head in the freezer for an hour. To this day, I have no idea why I did that. My daughter looked on scared and not knowing what to do.

It was no wonder my doctor put me on anti-depressants. But in truth, they just numb you and put your life in limbo. You feel nothing.

And my house became a reflection of my mind. I let it get so cluttered I could hardly move. I allowed newspapers to accumulate into monumental piles, and I kept and stored food packaging, empty bottles and cans, and even candy wrappers

And yet, when I looked at this woman who looked just like me, I felt that I could get over all this and not only live my life again, but actually become everything I could be.

And then my double spoke…

“I am your other self,” she said. “I am your plus entity, and you have become the minus entity. In your despair, you have given up on life. You have let negativity consume you. And that is why I have separated from you.”

“But don’t you think I have every right to be negative, the way things have gone in my life,” I protested.

“You have that choice,” replied my double. “But if you take the negative route, you let those who have misused you win. And all they do is take more and more from you, until there is nothing left to take. Is it not better to rise up and find your inner strength, the vibrant power that lies within? To seize the moment and become all you can be? To tower above those who would misuse you? To rise to the heights of what you truly are?”

At that point I began to feel sleepy. The booze I’d consumed was taking its toll. And I slowly sank into a deep sleep.

When I awoke the following morning, I presumed it had all been a vivid – and rather unique – dream. I turned over in my bed and there was no sign of my double. But as I moved to get up, there was a noise in the room.

Someone was there…

My heart pounding, I looked round. There was my double, shuffling through some papers on my desk.

“Good, you’re awake,” she said. “Today, we are going to go out and explore your world.”

“But I don’t like going out,” I said. “If I go out I have panic attacks.”

My double smiled that serene smile again, and said: “We are going to open a new door in your life. But it is up to you whether you walk through it. You have the choice. But if you don’t walk through the door I will separate from you for good. You will lose your plus entity. And you, the minus entity, will eventually shrivel to nothing and become an empty shell.”

She gestured for me to take her hand, and I had to decide whether to take it or not, and walk through the door…

True self

The whole thing was scary. Meeting my Other Self made no sense, and I wondered if I was undergoing some sort of serious mental breakdown. But at the same time I felt really good, as if I really was about to change my life for the better.

My Other Self gestured for me to follow her outside the door. And this was no easy thing for me as I had real problems even going out of my front door. At one stage I didn’t go outside for four months. I didn’t like crowded places, and I couldn’t bring myself to go in the central city library, where I’d been a librarian for many years. The sad part of this was I really love books.

But my Other Self was having none of it.

She smiled and said, “Follow me.” So I did – first taking a deep breath before walking through the door.

I wondered if other people could see us. Two people who looked identical would stand out and draw attention. Or so you’d think. But as we walked down the street nobody seemed to give us a second look.

Maybe my Other Self was invisible; which would make sense if she was merely a figment of my imagination, perhaps created by my subconscious mind in a last ditch attempt to shake me out of my long-term depression.

Whatever the case, my Other Self, though like me, stood tall and had real bearing and confidence. Whereas I just wanted to hide when I was out in public, and my self-worth was almost non-existant.

So I followed my Other Self downtown. I figured I had nothing to lose. Perhaps I was mad. But I was also intrigued by this strange experience.

We went into a Starbucks and ordered coffee. Again, nobody gave us so much as a glance. So whatever was going on, at least we weren’t drawing attention to ourselves – which suited me fine.

We sat down on a couple of comfortable armchairs, and sipped our coffees.

My Other Self looked deeply at me, and said:

“You are a unique person, incredibly caring and giving. You have much to give to the world. But people have taken advantage of your loving nature, mostly because you try too hard to please due to your lack of confidence in yourself. You look to others for reassurance. Rather than give it to you, they use you and take of your innate kindness.

In the end, this wore you down, and you sank into prolonged depression. Your world, your very reality, then became a manifestation of your state of mind. Thus your house became cluttered and disorganised, and you fell into terrible poverty.

In many ways, you were punishing yourself because you felt unworthy and undeserving of any of the good things in life.”

“I think that’s true,” I said. “But how do I change? I do feel unworthy of anything, and I let people take advantage of me, partly because I feel I should help other people, and make sure their lives are OK. I put their needs first – especially those who are broken… I try to fix them.”

My Other Self laughed. “The first lesson you need to learn is that you can’t help other people; they can only help themselves. Yes, you can do some things for them. Perhaps in terms of leading the way. After that, it is up to them. They have to find the power inside them to make their own lives the way they would like them to be.”

“But you can’t just leave people to it,” I said. “it’s harsh and uncaring. Some people need nurturing, especially if they are broken in some way.”

My Other Self shook her head and replied. “Being kind and caring is a positive character trait. But you need to recognise that if you do too much for people they become like leaches, or ‘psychic vampires’, they take and they take, and then take some more. It is a very rare person who doesn’t do that. The best you can do is show some level of kindness, then show a person the way. If they don’t take the path, then you must walk away.”

With that, we finished our coffee, left Starbucks, and made our way through the city streets. As we were turning the corner into the street I lived in, my Other Self said: “Like all those who live on this spinning ball we call Earth, you need to find your true self that lies within. Do that, and you will not only have self-worth, but you will see that whatever you choose to be, you can be…”

Just at that moment, I heard somebody call my name – a neighbor. I turned to my Other Self to say I’d better go and see what my neighbor wanted, but she was gone. And my Other Self was nowhere to be seen…

Mental ship

After my Other Self vanished on the street corner, I got on with my life. And I eventually put the uncanny experience down to some kind of symptom of the depression I had been suffering. I decided that some part of me (my subconscious mind?) had given me the experience, perhaps as a way of shaking me out of the gloomy ennui that had overtaken my life.

Nevertheless, something inside me had changed as a result of the encounter with my Other Self. The idea of finding my “true self” – that indefinable something which lies within – had taken hold of me. I began to approach life with greater resolve and purpose.

I didn’t know for sure what that purpose was. But I was starting to see that life could be approached like a great adventure. And by doing that, a purpose, or definite aim, could be found.

As my Other Self said, “Whatever you choose to be, you can be…”

Instead of just accepting my lot in life, I began to realize that I could take the helm of my “mental ship”, and could become the master of my own destiny.

Admittedly, I couldn’t change fate. What will be, will be. But I could learn to flow with the trials and tribulations of life with definite purpose – and thus all things would be become a wonderful exploration of the possibilities that are available to us, if we will only see them.

Even failures and setbacks could be seen as opportunities to be learned from, rather than as excuses to feel defeated and to give up. And if the course of my “mental ship” needed changing by a notch or two, or even a full compass point, then so be it. I would make the most of these change and approach them with a sense of excitement and exuberance BECAUSE they signify a new direction, which could enliven my definite purpose, and help me fulfill it.

But that wasn’t the end of my contact with my Other Self…

She was to return and give me a powerful message that would strengthen my resolve still further, and would be another key into putting my old defeated life behind me, and bringing my new “filled with purpose” life to the fore.

The letter…

It had been a few months from my strange experience of meeting my Other Self. I was getting on with things and putting my all into pursuing my new “filled with purpose” life.

It really had changed everything for me. I found that people responded to me much more positively. Previously, for example, at work, I was often treated and spoken to like a “dogsbody.” But now they asked me if I’d be okay to work given hours, rather than just handing me the rota and expecting me to go along with it. They even started saying please and thank you and, on occasion, went as far as paying me extra.

It seemed that having purpose and resolving to be in command of my “mental ship” had implications beyond my immediate situation; it affected the world around me.

People treated me with much greater respect and consideration.

It certainly showed me that the only person who can change things in your life is you. Looking to others or circumstances to improve your life is a road to nowhere.

But just when I thought my experience with my Other Self was over, something strange happened.

On my way home from work, from a distance, I saw a woman leave my gate, and head off around the block. I presumed she was leafleting and thought no more of it.

When I opened my front door, however, I noticed a letter on the doormat with my name handwritten on the front of the envelope.

I opened it and it read:

“To the other me.”

The letter was from my Other Self. The contents were as follows:

“My dear,

My job is now done, and I must say farewell. You won’t see me again. Although, in truth, I will always be with you, and you with me. For we are one.

You now know that you and all humans on this planet create their own realities, which can be positive or negative. It is up to each one of us to choose.

And the only real freedom any of us have is in our own minds. Through our imagination we can create and sculpt the lives we desire. Anything we can conceive of can become manifest if we but direct our will to that end.

In accepting this truism, we can decide how we want our lives to be, and set about making it happen with resolve and unstoppable will.

Nothing can hold use back when we are set upon a definite path. Failure and setbacks are nothing more than learning experiences that allow us to further adjust our path to ensure we arrive at our desired destination.

Always remember, there is an Other Self within, one you were born with, and ever prepared to help you towards your destiny in life – so long as you are prepared to set a definite path in life, and stick resolutely to it.

That is all. I wish you adieu…”

After reading the letter, I put it away in my bureau. Feeling somewhat bewildered at having yet another strange experience, I made myself a cup of tea and mused on it all. It was clear something almost “otherworldly” had occurred. It couldn’t just be put down to my subconscious intervening to lift me out of the long-term depression I had been suffering.

A couple of days later I decided to reread the letter from my Other Self. I opened the bureau. The letter was gone… I looked all through the bureau, but there was no sign of it. Yet I distinctly remembered putting it there.

While I was saddened by this – as yet again, I didn’t have any tangible proof that my strange experience actually happened and wasn’t just in my head – I was also very happy because I knew that, whatever the experience was, my life had changed for the better.

Quite literally everything had changed…

And out of my days of long-term depression, I now new joy and verve. Each day was an adventure.

Even if nothing particularly significant or exciting happened, I was appreciative of all I’d got, and all challenges became opportunities to pursue my definite purpose in life with vigour and enthusiasm.

In short, I was happy. What more could anybody want?

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