Thursday, December 13, 2012

What happened to me?

It’s that time of the year when one starts preparing a report card of how did the year go by. Very few would grade themselves as A+ or A. Most of us would put B or C because we feel that things did not go as desired or expected. Something more could have been achieved or accomplished. This is because grading is always done with the mind. Listen carefully, the heart says, not to worry, New Year is coming, and then you will do better. “Next year toh, I will give my best and things will be great”. Pause and watch. This conversation does not happen with a stranger or a neighbor or your boss. This is what we tell ourselves.  After all New Year resolutions are legendary.

The enthusiasm is infectious and the hope assumes larger than life status. Nothing wrong with this feeling but somewhere in all this planning we lose focus on what we have already brought to fruition. What we are today is because of what we did yesterday and day before and so on. Even the heart misses this important truth at times.

For us, everything automatically shifts to a time that will come and with a whoosh of a magic wand make everything right. Everything has to work with precision. Clock-work precision is how I would put it. Every moment and act has to be accounted for. Breathing is happening but not living. Do we ever stop for a second and ask ourselves “what happened to me?” The most difficult search is the search for oneself. For all the rest searches you might find an address or a clue but if “me” is lost, it’s very difficult to find. Hold on to it.

If we are given an opportunity to appraise our lives (not work), I am sure most of us would always find an empty corner that requires filling. Sometimes I wonder why we are so hard on ourselves even when we know that we shouldn’t be. I have many a times experienced that the more I resist any emotion or person, the more it is in-face. It’s everywhere I go. The moment I am like “ok, tell me” or “fine, I am not happy and very angry”, it turns around and just goes away. Vanish. We are able to step away from a person, anxiety, fear (for that matter any emotion) only when we can accept it as it is. Literally “step-away”. Look at situations, feelings, people as if you are having an out of body experience and you are observing yourself. You may ask “Is this what I want” or “Is it all that I have” or “Will these things really make a difference to my life 5 years down the line” or “Is this the set of people with whom I would want to age or spend time with, for the rest of my life” etc. The day you find answers to questions like these, you will feel calmer. Believe me if we knew that today is the last day of our life, the entire perspective to living changes. Priorities change. Like and dislikes change. Even people with whom you would want to hang out will change. If we accept death as the only truth in life, we can start living.  

Acceptance of what is there with you and around you are what bring meaning to life. Things and people we can see and touch and feel. What is not there in your hand is not there at all. What is not in front of your eyes in not there. Money stashed away in far away lockers or apartments bought in distant lands or having big, wealthy friends will never give you the kind of happiness which will last. It’s only your family whose love and trust comes with a “no expiry date” stamp. They will stand by you when everyone else leaves.

So we can go easy and enjoy what we have accomplished so far in this year and keep the next year free from the burden of any expectations. Just bring it in. We should learn how not to get into a space in life where we will be forced to ask “what happened to me”.  


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