It has just hit me- my lightbulb moment- and everything seems to make sense all of a sudden.
Triggered by a powerful article, I just read- I realize what has been happening to me past few months which was becoming a bit of a mystery for me. I was not trying to detangle it at the cost of hurting myself – I am too sensitive for that. Nor was I beating up myself to unravel this shadow or darkness which has suddenly taken over my life and seem to overpower me completely.
I was aware it was something that needed to be seen and felt because it has set me up on a trail of tears which just keep flowing at the slightest nudge.
And it finally dawned on me today. Just one word and accepting it has broken through all the darkness- grieving.
I had been grieving without being consciously aware of it or mindful of it…and now that this has thrown light on that darkness, I feel illuminated.
Grieving over the empty nest- my kids having flown away because of their studies; grieving over leaving a country and relocating back after more than a decade to a place I grew up in and left while my parents were still alive; grieving over the loss of a life, I once had; grieving over the end of a 24 year old marriage which I so badly wanted to end anyways; grieving over the loss & betrayal of close friends who left when I needed them the most, – it’s all come together- these profound losses which have sort of strung themselves together and become a noose around my neck.
And one needs to go through this mess- the mess of grieving – for that is the only way to get through this tunnel. For grief in itself is a process- a process wherein you allow yourself the kindness and compassion to heal yourself. It’s slow and it’s messy but it is also empowering. Going through this morass is the only path to reach the other end.
And once you are aware that this is where you are and this is what you are meant to go through, the path eases a bit. It is still messy and heartbreaking ; it still rips you apart a bit more every day; it makes you want to disappear or lose yourself somewhere where it’s hard to find a way back to your own inner world and yet this is exactly what one needs to go through , to emerge on the other side of this grief.
It may take months or years, but your soul knows how much time it needs to get past the wounds that are slowly metamorphosing into scars. The soul works on its own timeline and it has nothing to do with the timeline that you adhere to in the physical world.
All one needs to give oneself is time, and be mindful of what one is experiencing at the present moment, without fighting it like a Knight bent upon winning the battle, even at the cost of killing someone.
And mind you, we don’t have a choice when it comes to grieving.
What is lost, has to be grieved and not bypassed .
For what is not grieved, will grow like poisonous tentacles inside us and will drown us when we least expect it to.
Coming back to India after spending a decade in the Middle East ( Muscat & Dubai) has been a fascinating experience to say the least.
To be honest, I was very skeptical and scared of coming back home to a place I had left ten years ago and had since moulded myself into a life of superior lifestyle, open attitudes, and embracing the joys of living in a global, advanced, top rated tourist destination (city) in the world- it was not going to be easy. And I was aware of this challenge even before I landed here, in Delhi. Visiting your home town is a different ball game than relocating. And India has changed so much over the years- women’s safety, living alone, infrastructure challenges, attitudes of people, being with friends / family with whom one had had long distance relationships- everything carried a question mark at the end. But life is all about embracing the change.
And change is the only constant in life. Coming back home has been like coming back to myself- almost like fitting into a groove that had been empty for a while now. It’s not about adjusting into an unknown, unfamiliar place but about discovering things about myself which I had been unable to explore till now. It’s almost like connecting with a part of me that I had been yearning for , for a long time.
Solitude is a great healer and the lessons it teaches are phenomenal. Being utterly alone, strips you off all your illusions and burns off all that you don’t need anymore. And my experience has been illuminating till now and continues to be.
Living alone in India as a woman carries its own dynamic but I feel , once you know yourself well and understand the intricacies of a place and how it functions and operates , it can be easy . Each place carries its own aura and energy field & how we approach our life and its provocations depends totally on how refined our interior self is.
Compassion, courage and wisdom are virtues that develop differently in each of us . And our empowerment and growth as a soul will depend directly on these three attributes and how we nurture these inside us.
I miss Dubai terribly and each time I do, I bring myself back to the here & now, the present moment and count my blessings.
Comparisons are instinctive. My favorite brand of coffee is not available here, neither is my preferred toothpaste; the kind of clothes, shoes, bags I used to shop for in Dubai are nowhere to be seen here ;being able to drive alone late at night back in Dubai; to be able to walk alone on the road without bothering what clothes I am wearing…the list is too long . And yet, it’s heartening to know that we humans can adapt to new places or people if we allow ourselves to flow with whatever is coming our way rather than resist and let our disappointment get the better of us.
No two places are ever alike. And will never be.
My home is now an amalgamation of things I have collected both from Muscat and Dubai and my heart is full of the love I have received and continue to receive from some great , close friends who entered my life precisely because I lived in these places.
I am richer in experiences and friendships today and am immensely grateful for the way living in these places broadened my view of the world and of life. It’s a priceless treasure that’s only mine and can never be quantified.
They say, home is where the heart is- but I feel, home is where your soul is. And your soul is its own sacred space. I can relocate to any part of the world now and still feel at home because once you find your home in your soul, you can just keep coming back to it, no matter where you live.
And relocating back to my home town has illumined this truth, magnificently.
” Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” – Rumi
Life can only be understood in hindsight but it must be lived in the present- in the here & now. And when you are down in the dumps; in a crisis that renders you paralysed or stuck and unable to move forward, remember that your biggest and most precious treasures would be found there.
When I realized about 8 years ago that my marriage is over, for good- that all my efforts to sustain it, revive it or nurture it further or even to make it breathe had come to naught, I knew it was the universe’s way of telling me to move on. To let go of it gracefully and find a new path for myself.
My wounded healer archetype kicked in big time and I understood , I could use my pain in my writings to help other distressed souls. The need to delve deeper into myself resulted in a series of study courses and certifications- Soul Coaching, Angel Therapy, NLP, Archetypal Consulting & Angel Card Reading – all added to my becoming an Intuitive Coach & Healer adding on to my being a Writer & Poet.
But most of all, what my ruined marriage taught me was to stand tall than ever. And to understand love at a very deep, intimate level.
Our life expands and contracts in proportion to our courage. And to use one’s pain to deepen our connection to the self is the highest service we can do for love of the self and that requires immense courage. But courage comes shrouded in fear and doubt & the battle which we fight within is the most crucial.
Bitterness, being a victim, refusing to forgive the one who has caused you pain, anger, frustration, more anger, breakdown, the dark night of the soul- these are humps every soul goes through on the path of letting go – what we may call the path towards enlightenment. Breakup of marriage; financial loss; loss of a loved one; heartbreak are all triggers to guide us to reach within and reach our highest self.
And one must allow the process – to allow ourselves to be healed- slowly and surely. Impatience only delays the healing process.
The journey of coming to terms with whatever has been taken away or has been destroyed forever- psychically or emotionally or physically is where you will find your biggest strength and that’s the only journey that will bring out the Buddha in you.
Thich Nhat Hanh explains it beautifully in his book- The heart of the Buddha’s teaching-
“When we recognize and acknowledge our own suffering, the Buddha- which means the Buddha in us- will look at it, discover what has brought it about, and prescribe a course of action that can transform it into peace, joy and liberation. Suffering is the means the Buddha used to liberate himself, and it is also the means by which we can become free.”
A lot breaks when a marriage breaks and it’s not only dreams, hopes, desires, faith & trust, I feel it’s a lot more-it’s the breaking up of the little pieces of yourself that you have assembled over a period of time- that you have joined together to build up yourself- those tiny , unrecognizable , hollow spaces that you grew yourself into- those innumerable pieces you collaged yourself into over so many years- it’s almost a lifetime-it’s too many things that break or rather get lost-lost forever in the whirlpool of time- especially with kids around.
Attention breaks- things you would normally pay attention to, but you don’t because you can’t – the focus breaks, energy breaks- it dissipates and it’s not the same. Everyone in the family pays the price of this broken-ness. It’s sad but it’s true. There’s nothing one can do about it except make it less ugly, less discomforting, less painful, less dramatic- ah! and that’s not easy either. The price one pays cannot be quantified as less or more; worth it or not worth it because it is all subjective and depends on the journey you are on.
There’s nothing to guide you on this blind path except your inner guiding light and yes there are signposts- chaos, relief, peace, chaos, relief, pain, chaos, more pain, chaos, relief, pain, chaos, relief, pain, more pain, tiredness, chaos, pain, relief , clarity- these will keep alternating till you will know you have crossed the chasm of a broken marriage and walked ahead- with your sanity intact (hopefully); with well brought up kids – hoping that they have grown to be deeper, sensitive, humane souls who have soaked and learnt from your pain and the their own pain – and that pain has irrigated the fecund soils of their souls to make it richer than ever-that nothing ever goes in vain- least of all pain when it is used to fuel everything inside and outside of you- when the pain is not discarded and rubbished as a curse but counted and revered as a blessing- that’s when every broken-ness rises like a phoenix to remind us that not all broken marriages are knells of suffering and misery but most are harbingers of deep love and joy that awaits you at the other end of the chasm.