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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why “re-believing” in Life and in people is an imperative!

After being through a painful episode, “re-believing” in Life may be difficult – but not impossible. It is an imperative too!

After the launch of my book, “Fall Like A Rose Petal – A father’s lessons on how to be happy and content while living without money”, readers have been writing in – sharing their Life stories and perspectives. It is beautiful. It is humbling.

One reader writes saying her friend has become “commitment-phobic” after he lost money in the stock market 15 years ago, following which his family left him because they lost faith in his ability to provide for them. For several years, the man locked himself up in a room, refusing to come out, refusing to face people and Life. Thanks to some caring friends, he has begun to pick up the pieces of his Life recently. He has found himself a job, but he still struggles with dealing with people and is very, very fearful of the consequences of his choices and actions. “How can he find an anchor, how can he be normal again, leading a Life that’s happy and free from fear,” asks the reader.

Any pain in Life can cause trauma and can be debilitating. But after the first impact of pain, the suffering that follows is optional – and is always a result of your grief that the pain is there and your desire that the pain must not be there. I have been through such suffering. As I have recounted in my book, when my business failed and I was not able to honor my commitment to repay what I owed my family, my mother called me a cheat. I was devastated. For years I wished that what had happened had not really happened. But through my mouna (silence periods) sessions, I discovered that clinging on to the dead past was futile. I realized that if my mother held such a view, it was based on her perceptions of my reality. I became aware that I could not control what she – or anyone – thought of me. So, when some people – including a few “close” friends – cast aspersions on my integrity or my ability to honor my commitments – I no longer grieve. Nor do I see a need to clarify my position or prove my honesty – not anymore. Nor do I think that the whole world is cold, wicked and insensitive. In fact, I have found the world to be full of beautiful, kind, compassionate, understanding and forgiving people. Those who pass judgment, I have found, are few and I have learnt to forgive them – for, as the Bible says, they know not what they do – and move on. This way, I have learnt to let go of the past and have been able to avoid suffering, even while there is often acute, intense pain.

Suffering and fear chew us up. They exist only because we are living in the past even as we keep worrying incessantly about the future. The key is to develop infinite faith in yourself – that despite the odds, despite what others say, you will last this trial and will prevail in the end. Even as the faith in yourself takes root, simply let go of everything that holds you back – forgive yourself and forgive others too!

I believe my reader’s friend needs to realize too that nothing can be done to undo the past. We can’t go back in time and turn back the stock market crash. He may be able to make (and recover) his money through other means, but that event cannot be undone. It has happened. It’s over. So it is with his family leaving him. They have done what they have done. No amount of his grieving can change the way they treated him. And because of these experiences if he chooses to be wary of people, he, and only he, is responsible for his suffering. If a few people are unkind to you, it doesn’t mean all of humanity lacks a conscience and is insensitive. In fact, if he lets go of his past, he will find that he’s surrounded by people who care for him – including this reader who’s trying to help him – and who will hold his hand and heart as he rebuilds his Life.

In the end, no matter what you are put through, no matter how scarred you are by your painful episodes in Life, no matter how traumatic dealing with pain may have been for you, you, and only you, can stop your suffering. And you can do that by simply leaving the past as it is. Just let it go. Then you will find that “re-believing” in Life and in people is possible. “Re-believing” in Life is an imperative. You can keep avoiding it – but as long as you do that, you will continue to suffer. So, let go, “re-believe” in Life and find lasting inner peace and happiness.

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