No matter where we are or what time of the day or night it is, we are never truly alone. Deep within ourselves exists an alternate version of who we are, a twisted mirror image if you will, that reflects our very nature, all the while standing as a virtual polar opposite for the way the world sees us day in and day out.
For some of us, this person represents who we'd like to be, the ideal person we'd want to become in a perfect world or in another lifetime. For others, this person represents what we fear becoming, the soul that's lost control or the person hurdling down the wrong paths.
Nonetheless, day and night, that person is there, staring at us, watching us, living inside of us in our dreams, our thoughts and our ideas. This person, this doppelganger, is always there and even though many try to deny his or her existence, they too are haunted by this ghost and they're merely caught in a footrace, trying to outrun their mirror image, just holding on until it overtakes them.
There's no escaping this presence and there's no avoiding its creation. Perhaps it's our drive for balance that drives us to create this other human being within our minds. The need to tip the scales just a little bit the other way to avoid going completely mad while running full steam down our chosen trails.
But what it does is it makes all of us, every living human being, a cold, calculated study in opposites. Whether we're chasing our shadows or trying to flee them, we're still defined by them. Because, like it or not, our doppelganger reveals more about who we are than any persona we put forth in front of the world.
After all, we can control our smile, we can change our words and we can alter our appearances. All of those things can be as false as broken promises written upon counterfeit bills. But our doppelganger, our shadow self, is something we can't control and it never mirrors what we show the world, just what lies underneath.
Because, for there to be any shadow, there must be light and, be it the light of the sun or the light of truth, it cuts through the airs we put around ourselves and only shines on what is actually there.
That's why, even when I'm at my loneliest, I never try to run from my doppelganger nor do I try to catch him. Instead, I try to talk with him, find out what he has to say, learn from the shadow I cast in my own mind and find out what it says about me as a human being.
Because even though his reflection is like staring into murky water, it's still the most honest answer I get. More honest than my friends, more honest than my family and certainly more honest than my opinions of myself.
And even though I am often frightened by what I find out. I never discredit or disbelieve what it has to say. Simply put, though shadows do many things, they never lie and it is better to be frightened by the truth than calmed by a lie.
Besides, facing oneself, even in shadow form, is the first step to facing the world and the world, much like my doppelganger, is always waiting for me, looking back at me, challenging me and, personally, I'd have it no other way.