YES, I AM MY BEST FRIEND
Once again, I am writing on the same subject: “Fear, Anger, and Jealousy… Why is it so difficult to do away them from my life? How can I separate these feelings from my actions?
Kumar likes my articles. I haven’t met him, yet. But, I have a strong feeling: the reason why he likes my posts is that I sound to him very much like him… a real human… filled with the same raw emotions of love and hate, faith and fear, admiration and jealousy… I think, he likes the fact that I sincerely talk about my confusions, my struggles and my genuine yearnings to be good, compassionate and zestful…. Yes, despite all my insecurities, pain and self-doubts.
Yes, I think Kumar sees hope in my writings!
I find it extremely difficult to separate my emotions from my actions… even though anger, fear and envy are not the emotions to help me produce good actions. Or, is that – they ARE? Kumar could relate it – this dilemma, this drama – to his life.
In my next post, ‘Warmed By The Same Summer’, I had written this:
I do get angry.
I do get afraid.
I do get jealous.
And, I do want to know:
“What is wrong with that?”
I had further said:
If something is wrong, then alright: Let me write about it… as it is… not hiding anything, not justifying, not blaming or accusing… not feeling guilty or victimized. Yes, let me write about it honestly, fully… beautifully.
And, there they go – my anger, my fear, my envy - like a ghost out of my body…
Leaving me feeling not just good, but Great. Yes, Great!
Came Kumar’s honest response, quickly:
For you, your anger, your fear and your envy go out of your body – like a ghost, because you are able to write it down so beautifully. What about us?? How do we remove the ghost out of our body?”
A very dear student of mine, Natasha*, is presently in some personal pain. She always looked up to me, sought my help regularly and I was very happy doing what I was doing. She had sincerely expressed to me, time and again, that she was grateful to me for my help and it had helped her to grow as a strong, confident and zestful human being. And, now the final exams are round the corner… some personal problem – a painful misunderstanding with someone dear to her – has made her suddenly sulk. She doesn’t respond to anyone’s phone calls or messages… It is a sudden blackout.
When two to three attempts to reach her through my texts failed, just last afternoon, I sent a very honest and direct message – very gentle and caring as well – to this dear soul who was in pain. “Natasha, I am concerned about you as there is no communication from your end,” I told her, “You are in pain and I understand your need to be alone… and I respect that. But, at the same time, it is important to communicate that need to others frankly, fearlessly and gently… It is crucial for our well-being… It makes us peaceful, light… and helps us walk with our head high…Our lack of communication is causing misunderstanding, hurt and pain… and slowly it can turn into poison. I really appreciate a word of communication so that my mind stops guessing and we stop hurting each other more…”
Within seconds, Natasha got back to me. She apologized for causing this misunderstanding and thereby the hurt and pain… She expressed her present need to be alone to figure out things on her own… and she hoped I would understand her.
I did. All that I needed to hear from Natasha, whose well-being I cared for as my own little daughter, was this simple, sincere and well-intended statement. I immediately expressed my delight in receiving this message and I told her that her honest gesture would help both of us to walk light in life… without any fear, guilt, blame or anger. I assured my helping hand whenever required and, above all, I told her that I would respect her need to be alone.
I had a choice to put an end to all this by just ignoring it as ‘such a small stuff’ in life. Or, to keep pestering her to come around and be nice to me as she always had been… Or, to act like an Alexander-the-Great and tell her on her face, “To hell with you, ma’am!”
And, yes, I had this choice too: To trust in another soul’s goodness… be compassionate… be a little more large-hearted in my approach… and handle a relationship with sensitivity and care… God forbid, I did not want a fine relationship to come to an end on a poisonous note and add more stress in my life. There is already enough.
So, it was all about a choice. I chose to trust… and I took a risk. Maybe, Natasha could have ignored my gesture… Luckily, she did not. Had she, yes, probably I would have sulked more… experience the whole gambit of human feelings – insecurity, loss of love, hurt and betrayal… blame and anger… and after that what?
Yes, after that what?
Was it Natasha’s life or was it my life I was so keen to put on track?
Natasha wants to be alone, precisely for this reason. She has realized that no one else can put her life on track… except she herself. So, she wants to be alone for some time, see things in proper perspective… and, that is the sanest thing she can do, at this stage. The worst thing would be: to allow the hurt and pain turn into poison in her soul. She realized it and that’s why she instantly, reconciled with me.
I do the same, every morning. It is my life… and I do it alone… through my journal – my writings, my confessions. It helps me… heals my wounds, makes me feel liberated from the bondage of blame, guilt, victimization and hostility. It makes me feel confident happy and successful. Moreover, it helps me grow in life as a very constructive and contributing kind of human being. And yes, very, very spiritual… very much connected to my dear, dear friend and well-wisher, my God!
And, yes Kumar, this is my way of chasing the Ghosts out of my body!
Incidentally, just before Christmas, I had gifted a beautiful New-year dairy to Natasha and encouraged her to write down her thoughts – as she felt them – so that she could grow stronger, finer and wiser in life. But, as Kumar admitted, everybody can not do that…
Everybody can not send ghosts out of their body the way I do… by writing so beautifully about them!
“Kumar, my writings come from my good intentions. I mean well for me and everyone around. As you do… and as my dear and innocent student Natasha does. If not writing, you can always pick up the phone and say what you want to say… You can always open your heart before someone and say how scared you are… how confused, how guilty… and, how angry. If no one is there to tell to, you can tell it to God… Trust me, He would surely listen.
“Good intentions pierce through even our deadliest enemy’s heart. Every move that you make should spring from your good intention… You mean well for others… and, that is the key for your own well-being. Learn to communicate even your worst thoughts in the most sincere and fearless manner… Keep no extra baggage, keep no wounds unattended… walk light, and walk with your head high. There is no peace in the world outside… the world is within you.”
On the 26th of this month, my wife’s colleague, Himali died of breast cancer. She was barely 31 and had left behind her young husband and their six-year-old son in great sorrow. Just a few months ago, Himali had been to Russia with all her colleagues, including my wife. My wife spoke fondly about those memories… Hemali, probably knew what was going to come… and she lived every moment in Russia to the fullest. There was no sign of self-pity, pain, fear or regret… and they had beautiful time being together. And, then, on 26th morning, some one called my wife to tell, “Himali is no more!”
Even in the most biting chill of Russia, my wife hadn’t frozen. On hearing this news, she did!
I am 53 and my wife is 44.
Natasha is 17 and Kumar, I do not know.
“But, let me tell you this, Kumar.
Everything happens in the NOW – today.
Yes, love, hate, faith, fear,
anger and reconciliation.
NOW is really the time to heal
your own wounds
and to heal someone’s too.
If peace is your deep intention,
do whatever it takes...”
I do not want to die a bitter soul… Nor do I wish to leave someone so when I die. I will do whatever it takes to do away the bitterness…
These ghosts return…
My good intention will take care of them!
Love you Kumar, love you Natasha… Love you LIFE!
* The name is changed
The image used in this Post is by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.