As I look outside my window, I notice the blurry red and yellow car lights flashing their way through the torrential showers. I see children wading across pools of murky waters. I hear the whistling policeman as he jostles the ever growing traffic. And I see myself, standing by the window, wishing for a clear starlit night.
I wish for a lot of things. I wish for the romantic love, the best friends, the attractive beauty, and the perfect life. I wish for a lot of things unsaid and unheard. Each of these wishes forms a twinkling star, illuminating the deep blue sky. I long to see these diamonds as I stand day after day by the window wishing and hoping for a clear sky.
But something dawns on me. I can sit and hope forever and watch as the rain washes away sparkle after sparkle. Or I can listen to another voice, another tiny being that whispers in the recesses of my heart and mind.
Often as I lie in bed, I hear it singing songs of joy and love. I hear it whooping in victory as it celebrates the world. And in the absolute quiet of the night, I hear its slow steady breathing.
And all of a sudden, the darkness seems to be filled with a warm glow. My ears buzz with a music that strums to the beat of my heart. And I smell an aroma, a fresh aroma that spirals out of the soft moist earth.
I run to window, rejoicing in the way the droplets caress my face washing away all traces of tiredness. I watch the sparrow as she flutters from one branch to another, ruffling her wings and shaking out drops of rainwater.
I watch the car lights move in and out of focus through the torrents, the kids making their way home as they splash through the puddles and the policeman as he tries to jostle the ever growing traffic.
I look towards the stormy grey sky as I see the clouds rolling in. Astonishingly, I don’t want a clear sky anymore.
I never thought I would be writing about this. I never thought that this day would come. When fear would look at me in the face and I wouldn’t budge an inch. And fear literally, in its most terrible form had cast its shadow upon me. My own personal nightmare had come to life.
My reaction was one that shocked me. I don’t know what did it, but in my heart, I did not waver. I did not panic. The usual chills I had anticipated did not follow. Strangely, none of those things happened. In fact, I felt lighter and more relieved. It was like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders at last.
All I knew was that this was just an apparent illusion and nothing could ever move me. I did not have to latch onto something external for support. Nor did I have to cry my lungs out for help. For help had already arrived. In the form of blissful peace and calm.
In the full clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
taken from William E. Henley’s poem, Invictus.
I wouldn’t say I have turned into a super human but I have certainly come a long way from being scared of almost every single thing to being able to face my own personal nightmare single-handedly with the help of a few, but very effective practices. These practices are ones that I have picked up from a book by Louise Hay, titled You can heal your life and I would recommend it for every one of you. I am eternally grateful to her for turning my life around.
1. Willingness to release the past.
We are all victims of the past and the way we treat ourselves is a lot like the way we were treated when we were 3 year olds. The people around us have had a great impact in the installation our beliefs and values. At first when I came to know about his, I was furious. I never thought that my parents would have treated me this way. The way I treated myself was outrageous. I got angry with myself with the slightest of things, berated myself for every thing that went wrong and broke down at the smallest of provocations. I felt nothing towards my family. I was lost, almost disconnected. And it pained me that the people who should be closest to me were the ones I didn’t feel any emotional connect with at all. But I had to be patient. I had to be gentle. I had to allow myself to realize that we were all victims of victims and my parents were only teaching me what they had learnt from their parents and so on and so forth. The chain was endless. My anger over it would only worsen the situation and bring no good out of it. So I sat down, took a piece of paper and began to write about the things, people and places that had locked within me a sense of imprisonment. An unwillingness. A sense of regret, sorrow and anger. I slowly began to release them, one by one. Some were very easy to let go, with others, I battled for days. I knew those were the ones that I had to work on releasing the most. I allowed myself time and every time feelings of hate and anger cropped up, I would say to myself, “I willingly release and let go of these feelings. They do not define me or my circumstances. I am willing to release them. I am willing to let them go. I am safe.”
In my haste for results, I would try a few techniques for a few days, look for changes in my life, and get disappointed when I saw no difference. When a friend pointed out to me that I was unwilling to let go of my ridiculous assumptions, I got furious. But deep down, I knew it was true. I knew that sooner or later, I would have to start making changes. What surprised me was that I enjoyed the comforting and yet disillusioned forms of sorrow. I did not want to step outside and believe in a better tomorrow. Somehow, I thought I deserved to be unhappy. It was when I saw Nick Vujicic’s video on Life without Limbs that I truly started to believe that I deserved to be happy.
I began to realize that all my actions and practices were only outcomes of the past events and circumstances. And I was letting myself be guided by them. I was letting my moods control me instead of taking charge and controlling them. Letting go of my past did not happen overnight. Often times, I got frustrated. But I had to be patient. Haste wouldn’t work. I had to be gentle. I had to be willing to allow myself time to heal. And slowly day by day, as I continued being gentle and patient with myself, my mood swings decreased and I was able to let go of things with ease.
Loving myself was one of the hardest concepts to get. I never thought that I would be able to love myself and make myself worthy of all the wonderful gifts life had to offer.
It’s hard to swallow, but when we can begin to open ourselves up to that, the ramifications are awesome. It means that whatever thought has done in your life, it can be undone through a shift in your awareness.
Michael Bernard Beckwith
Louise Hay said I was required to I stand in front of a mirror and do my affirmations. I had to look straight into my eyes and say, “I love and approve of you.” The moment I tried to say that, I would falter. I saw no great onslaught of love overcoming me, nor did I feel any kind of revelation by looking into my own eyes. They were blank and revealed nothing. But I kept this practice up everyday and every morning, after I got up, I would go straight to the mirror and say, “I love you. I really really love you. I love each and every bit of you. I approve of you completely. You are wonderful just the way you are. “
Day and night I kept up this practice and kept chanting “I approve of myself” over and over and over again. Within weeks, I saw the results blossoming. I did not take offense at the slightest of things; I was able to take a stand and could accept criticism with grace, and my self-confidence was on an all time high. I refused to believe any negative thing said about me. Every time that would happen, my mind as if programmed by some invisible force, would start saying “I approve of myself” over and over again.
A change started coming over me. I was able to be myself without being trapped by dogma or social expectations. It would make others around me uncomfortable, but I would go ahead anyway and continue to do what I had to do. It gave me the courage to follow my intuition and pick myself up every time I fell.
I was essentially a self-centered person and I had a hard time acknowledging the needs and difficulties of people other than myself. If I went wrong, I would focus only on abusing the other who had ‘done me wrong’ and sought to seek revenge without giving it a thought. But something intrigued me. There had to be a reason for him/her to be acting the way he/she did. It was either an account of victimization of childhood or ignorance about his/her own self-destruction. As I considered his/her side of the matter, I became less vengeful and was able to forgive easily.
I know like I know like I know that it is on its way. Even though I did not fully trust the universe to deliver me happiness, I would visualize myself enjoying the many things that I wanted in life. I would imagine myself having the book, the grades or the circumstances that I wanted in my life. I was dubious and I did not believe in the process completely. Yet, within three weeks, I saw many things, people and circumstances slowly changing. They were turning out to be exactly the way I wanted them to be. This strengthened my belief and gave me the courage to imagine nearly impossible events. Nowadays, every time doubt plagues my mind, I say to myself, “I know like I know like I know, that it is on its way.”