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,
Over the last two months, I’ve been thinking a lot (I’m a thinking man after all, aren’t I?), some based on what I read, and some on what I’m going through. All worth sharing:
Silence – The curse of the wise is to keep quiet. When we know something, the natural tendency is to speak out, help the other person. But, if the student is not ready, it would be water on a duck’s back. Life has to bring us to a point where we are open to learning. Till then, wisdom of words is just hogwash to anyone. Look at ‘Gurus’. They don’t run after disciples. They only preach to those who come to them. Look at books, they lie on your shelf till you come to them. They never come to you. The teacher should appear only when the student is ready. Need to change has to be realised internally, it cannot be forced onto anyone.
Last week I was going through my cupboard and discovered I had bought many books which I even forgot I did. I didn’t have the time to get to them. So much so that I forgot I even bought them. But, this didn’t stop me from buying more; after all buying was only one click away on Amazon. I kept buying more. Because I need(ed) more to be happy.
Is this the only thing that I didn’t enjoy due to the lack of time? Or, were there others too? How much (stuff) do we have that we are not enjoying because we don’t have time?
A friend recently declared he wanted to cultivate one thought process which he believed will give him peace – to have no expectations. A lofty and difficult goal. It reminded me of my trials with it. I had in the past and many times since then wanted to make this a part of my life but faltered. It’s now just a figment in my mind that keeps popping up whenever I expect and keep getting disappointed.