Sometimes it feels like nothing that happens is a coincidence. You will find yourself in places, taking decisions that an erstwhile ‘you’ would be surprised. I took one such decision towards the end of November last year. After almost two years of self-doubt & ego crumbling, I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t remember when was the last time I spent a day without being depressed. Depression was only getting worse. I desperately needed time to step back, step away from my daily routine and change my focus of existence from survival. Though, not a religious person, I decided to do Ayyappa Deeksha for 41 days. Something in me instinctively felt that the austerities & daily puja/prayer subscribed in the deeksha was something I needed. Was it a cop-out? In the beginning, yes. But, as days progressed, something in me was calming down. I didn’t want to ‘run’ anymore. I felt increasingly drawn to some power. I was at peace at stretch. All of us cannot be full-time hermits, but thanks to this deeksha, all could be part-time hermits every year. And, probably this was what I needed – a cut from everyone and everything for sometime. It came-in a time when I need it most. Had I done this earlier, I don’t think I would’ve realized it’s importance. Had it come late, I don’t know what would’ve become of me. I had been out on the limb for a very long time.
- Am I what I do?
- Am I what I achieve?
- Am I my beliefs?
- Am I my values?
- Am I my character which these values and believes have forged over the years?
- Am I who my family thinks I am? Who value me for their own reasons?
- Am I who my workplace thinks I am?
- Am I my education?
- Am I my skills?
- Am I my talent? my potential?
- Am I what my friends think I am?
- Am I what I think I am?
- Am I what the society thinks I am?
- Am I what I have? What I own?
Who am I?
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
When I wake up in the morning, still groggy, my mind would be relaxed; not thinking anything. But, the moment consciousness returns, thoughts rush in as if air is rushing-in to fill a vacuum. Worry starts, either of something that I did in the past or happened to me in the past or fear of something that might happen in the future. Dread fills the body, breathes become shallow and rapid. The mind starts conjecturing so many ‘what-ifs’ that I spend most of my waking time trying to find appropriate responses to survive all those instances that are being flinged at me. All in the name of ‘preparation’. But, after a time it gets exhausting. So much of what ‘might’ happen is not in my control that it gets really scary. There is so much that can happen that will undermine my efforts. So much can go wrong. So many can stand against me. With seemingly insurmountable odds, self-doubt creeps in. What if I don’t make it? What if I’m found wanting? What if I fail all those who depend on me? Anxiety & depression set in.
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
This year hasn’t been great to me. In fact, I think the downward spiral started a little close to last year. Without getting into details let’s just say, things did not at all work out as I wanted them to, either physically or emotionally, personally or professionally. I fell sick time and again, I was always in emotional doldrums with some or the other concern on my mind. This year, has been a year of learning, a year of recognising limitations, a year of acceptance of fate, a year of being humbled. Sometimes, the feeling of failure was so crushing that life ran on autopilot for days. I did not want answers. Every situation taught me something new. I wanted peace. I just wanted the noise in my head to stop. This lead me to some interesting places.
He who does not travel,
who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,