Just when we almost said goodbye to it standing at the door and moved back to our normal routines or near normal activities, it again knocked our door, this time without any warning, alarm or sirens. We were about to forget the chaos it created when it first announced its welcome to the world, we managed to cope the living without our loved ones we lost in the battle against covid 19, we were about to forget the contagion of fear that engulfed human beings leaving the roads and streets empty and silent, schools barren, hospitals loaded with people who caught up the covid, the ones dropping oxygen saturation with their families in a stage of denial not able to be there and hold the hands of their loved ones in times of one of their hardest battles. We were forgetting the lessons it taught us and vows we made to ourselves about cherishing and being grateful to every moment of life, about valuing the time spend with family and friends, about finding and living the meaning and purpose of life and about stop chasing the temporary hedonistic pleasures and living more fulfilling moments that last forever, when it again knocked our doors…..
A beautiful yet difficult thing.
It can give you freedom or it can take your freedom away.
It could make you happy and it can make you sad.
At times it’s easy to choose
At times it’s painful to choose
At times it can only be a decision to choose the meal or dress
At times it can be as big as choosing a career or a life partner
Switching a job or staying in it
Continuing the relationship or stepping away from it
Staying silent or speak up
Either give something or hold it
Praise someone or criticize
Respect or humiliate
Give up or rest and make a comeback
It can be as little as passing by a begger or take a moment to make some contribution
To take the risk at hand or play safe
To smile at someone or pass by without noticing seemingly
To believe and have Faith or to be consumed by the uncertainty
To hate or to Love
To stay wounded or take the courageous step towards Healing
To choose Happiness, Gratitude and Peace or to keep blaming and projecting inside chaos to outside world……
I sat beside the lake underneath the tree. Sun was about to set. The birds were chirping in the background. Slight breeze passed touching the leaves of the tree and it felt that the tree rejoiced with the passing breeze.
Few kids nearby plucked the few of tree’s leaves and was running around and after each other playing along.
I wondered that how the tree remain stood and provides the shade and comfort for all beyond all the odds. People come and sit beneath it. Enjoy the shade, comfort, fruits, beauty of it and yet they damage it. Some pluck their leaves, some pluck their flowers, fruits, some scratches the stem. And most horrible of all when needed they cut the very tree for their own benefit. Isn’t it strange? I asked the tree? How you bear all that shit and still provide comfort. You are not getting anything dude…
The tree smiled and replied;
“My child, why do you expect something good in return? It’s my duty to pay them shade, comfort, fruits beyond any condition. My strength does not depend on what other’s do to me. It depends on my faith, belief and sense of responsibility. It has nothing to do with others actions, either good or bad. It doesn’t bother me at all”
Tree added; “watch the lake, people come and get benefit from lake’s water, enjoy the ride over it in the boat, yet some of them throw garbage and stones into it. Whenever anything is thrown into it, it makes some ripples for few moments and that’s all. But lake does not withdrew it’s water from them.”
“Look at the wind blowing, it equally embraces all beyond any distinction. It does not see that it is passing through the house of a theft, smuggler, murderer, liar, corrupt or anyone doing good or bad deeds. It just embraces everyone beyond any condition.”
“And most of all my dear child, you know when someone plant a seed for a tree he or she does not necessarily get the shade and comfort of the same tree, yet they do it. Why my child?
Because love is not conditional. It is not distinctive. It does not depend on what others do to you. It is inside you to radiate like a sun which rises and sets everyday beyond any care just because it’s his duty, responsibility. It’s the presence of divinity in every creation ready to shine itself.
Life is not a popularity contest. It is a contest to pursue your calling. Life is about finding meaning and then living it through, with all your heart. In persuading one’s calling one need to get out of the comfort zone, he or she has to make him/herself uncomfortable. Face the fears and stand with courage in all the adversities and difficult times. The foundation for this courage comes from the strength of character. Collectively the society needs to take the turn from success, career, fame, power, money, and praise towards the character building.
Character building needs to be included in educational curriculum from the very beginning of education. Trustworthiness, integrity, honesty, conscientiousness, gratitude, wisdom, perseverance, teamwork, forgiveness, humility, zest, hope, humor and transcendence are the key strengths which need to be inculcated in individuals for the better shaping of society. These qualities are collectively beneficial for every member of society. For better living, for growth and evolution of the whole community rather than focusing on individual success, fame, appraisal, money, power etc. the individual success has its roots in the fallacy of separateness. No society can grow on such a fallacy. For growth, peace and better living the concept of collective success is mandatory. When the construct of a society is built on encouragement and support for each other, helping one another in their calling, respect for everyone, then there is peace, love, harmony for everyone. Every individual then has the opportunity to achieve his or her maximum potential which in turn serves the society in its best interest.
To turn towards the character building, requires immense efforts. It needs to breakdown the old patterns of living. It requires striving towards change and change is one of the most uncomfortable things in life. Again it will take you out of your comfort zone. It requires reflection on one’s self individually and collectively as a society. It throws light on individual and collective world views. And to do all this openness is required. Openness to shake our world views. Openness to unlearn and then re learn. Openness to accept our own parts that are rotten. Openness to inculcate the new schemas. Openness to think. Openness to contemplate. Openness for striving. Openness to change. Because this is the only better way of living and not only surviving the life.
Off the record;
It has dawned on me somehow, to share my routine nowadays, with you guys, off the record. Being at home in this period of nationwide quarantine, when I first wake up early morning, I keep staring dubiously in the air to believe that I am on vacations. It’s hard to believe mainly because of two reasons. First I am in a residency programme, currently doing my residency, and in that duration of lifetime, you are not supposed to get vacations except if there is a mile stone event in your life time, either you are getting married or going to have or just had a newborn baby of your own, or maybe you have broken some of your personal tools, no, no not the medical tool, your personal body part, I mean. Second reason is my new supervisor, who joined the department few months back is a kind of passion-holic individual, he is allergic to (even a single) day off, so you can only imagine of the vacations but can’t get it.
So, I was telling you my routine nowadays, but honestly speaking I don’t have any. After waking up I just use my cell phone for almost half an hour to one hour before getting off the bed, than another hour passes in doing basics. On breakfast chatting and cracking jokes with parents and passing comments on current situation of quarantine, another hour slips away.
Suddenly a Stark realization come upon me, that perhaps, I am also a passion and worker-holic kind of individual who very often remain in search of few dense questions, the purpose and meaning of life and how to maximize one’s life’s potential, although I haven’t completely found the answers yet probably. Anyhow I just get up to make something best of my life. I get into my room, where almost dozen of books in the shelf staring at me in the hope of their turn to come. Not only these books, half a dozen books I have downloaded pdf still awaiting me.
As I have currently, picked up one of them and going to start living it, now I am in the mood to keep my rest of routine off the record.
Humanity is facing a challenge proposed by a minute particle, invisible to human naked eye, SARS-cov-2. The culprit jolted the world since past few months. It stroked the world from schools to universities, from offices to daily wage earners to vast business holders, to housewives, to children, from politicians to social workers and obviously to the one’s holding the badge of “HEALTH PROFESSIONALS”. It threatened not only one’s physical existence but impacted hugely the psychology of humans. It brought fear, panic, anxiety, isolation, uncertainty, unpredictability, and paranoia and raised couple of questions. It started shaking our world views. The very question it raised is that, is it a catastrophe or is it a scope to change, a blessing, an opportunity to contemplate our old patterns of living. It came to make us appreciate the things we take for granted. A hand shake, a hug, a buck up on a shoulder, the gift of one on one human connection, social gatherings, and moments of laughter we cherish together and the precious nature of human freedom. It is coaching us to be a minimalist. To make living from the least material stuff required and shift the focus to more important things in life, the values, principles, kindness, human connection, gratitude, appreciating beauty of nature around, finding one’s life purpose and calling, finding meaning of death and necessity of incorporating death in our world view. To begin with an end in mind.
Besides, it made us realize the vulnerability of our existence, our plans, and our control over circumstances. It declared that there is a magnificent mysterious force, operating the universe which is far greater than humans, which has grand plans. That force take charge of things when necessary, to cause human civilizations evolve from time to time. Now it’s up to us that we breed fear, panic, anxiety and paranoia in this time of COVID-19 epidemic or we ponder over the situation, we re-examine our world views, our patterns of living and make necessary changes and try to make the good use of the ball game. Hope when it ends, it leaves humanity with a better outlook than the previous one.
In the shadow
I am standing
Wonder how long
Caterpillars turned butterflies
Their wings heavy by the stones put on
A light flickered
I looked in with awe
The fairy whispered me
Light is there
It has been concealed in
You can only find it
When you open your inner eye
It doesn’t reveal itself to those
Who find it with external one
In the shadow
I am in
I found the answer.
Over whelming emotions: are they manageable
You might know someone or you are the someone who is like the container always at the edge of over-flowing emotions, be it, the happiness or the sadness or the madness, THE Rage’ or the bursting of the laughter, or the boiling of anger, or the gloominess of sadness, whatever kind of emotion it might be, on a minor or seemingly minor issue for others, or be it a big issue generally speaking, those are the people who are always like over-flowing emotional container.
But are they, some malformed kind of creatures, given alot of unnecessary intensity of getting emotional or being emotional, tendency, or they are the gifted ones, Who are the feelers of the world, the sensitive ones, who feel everything from your words, your tone of voice, to your slightest change in the tone of voice, to pauses between your words, and your words to your facial expressions, your changing facial expressions, to your gestures and your changing gestures, to your eye contact, to, when you are not able to sustain the eye contact,
They are the one’s who feel emotions in waves…..
So, they are different.
But that difference doesn’t make them malformed or less than others…
They are the gifted one’s the thinkers the feelers, the empaths, they are the one’s who find the loop holes in the system, when it’s not working for the betterment and the growth of individuals and the world, they are the game changers….
But a lot many times they are consumed by the negative impact of their emotions, a lot many times, they are blinded by the waves of their own emotions not allowing them to think wisely and make wise decisions…
If you are one of them, just a few tips for managing your over-whelming emotions from a literature;
Distract yourself when you are in pain, because of some heated argument or disturbing event replaying in your mind again and again,
Distract yourself by your senses,
Look around, observe the surroundings, things in surroundings, and observe the shape, textures, colours, as many details as you can.
Focus on your sense of hearing
How many sounds you can hear, pay attention.
Focus on your sense of smell, you can use some perfume, or flower or any other smell you like, fully focus on it.
Sense of taste, eat something you like and love, eat it slowly, enjoy it fully.
Sense of touch, you can take some tissue, some-thing furry, or you can touch anything and feel it’s shape, texture only by your sense of touch.
There are other distraction techniques also, you can go on a walk, watch a season you like, listen to the music, call a friend, visit a friend, arrange your cupboard, change setting of your room, re arrange your books, read some self-help literature.
And try to think on problem which triggered your emotions later on after your over-whelming emotions settle a bit. As someone said about emotions ‘they are worst of the masters and the best of slaves’.
And remember, you are not your emotion, you are bigger than that, you are the observer, the consciousness behind your emotions.
It aches on a rub, it aches like hell, it brings back those traumatic memories that are immensely painful. Those memories that left behind their marks so deep that marks become ingrained in personality pain shapes the whole person in a different way, obviously they don’t remain the same as others who haven’t been through that specific trauma, they become different, they feel different, they think different they see things in a different way they behave different, but all that difference is not negative not transforms one into some one less than others in fact it gives a person uniqueness, more depth, more bigger perspective regarding life and it’s meaning, and more empathetic, one become able to feel others pain and help others heal, just like their own selves, they better understand others pain because they themselves know how pain tastes actually. So wounded are not bad or less than anyone, they are just trying to heal from something and in that process becoming a better person, more kind, more humble, more empathetic. What they need is hope and resilience which one learn by and by to bear it and obviously Faith in God. As Rumi says; “wound is the place where light gets in”.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton