Awoken by unease, I opened my eyes and found myself beneath a waterfall that poured cold water at such a pace that it almost seemed like it would soon run out of water. I looked around, confused, at first. But soon I started to recognize this place. I realized I was in the mountains, the mountains I had always seen in my dreams but had never gotten to visit them in real life. I didn't even know what this place exactly was, but it felt familiar, it felt peaceful. Surrounded by greenery, I felt genuinely serene in such a long time. I decided to move around, but then I saw something … someone, which dropped my jaw.
It was me. But at the same time, not exactly me. It was an older, tired, wounded version of me. Those eyes seemed to be quite shiny, but as I looked in closer, those eyes shined as a consequence of the million tears just waiting to fall. I flinched. I had never imagined myself to look like that. I looked so sad, and tired.
As I started to get over the shock, I asked in a weak voice, "Who are you?"
"I am the inner you. I am your soul. And I am here to hold you accountable for all the things you have done to me."
Confused and puzzled, I queried further: "I don't understand. Why do you look so injured and...weak?"
"You did this to yourself. Beneath that smile, this is who you are.
Do you think you become stronger if you dismiss any sort of sympathy for yourself from within you? Do you think you become stronger if you keep overworking yourself in every aspect of life? Do you think telling yourself that you deserve all the worry and pressure, makes you stronger? All those times you let people walk all over you, do you think that was fair to me? At every stage of your life, you sacrificed me. You sacrificed your own soul to please other people, and to meet their expectations, and yet, you still failed.