Through her conversations with self, the writer discovered that no extraneous element can help her in overcoming the loss of being alone. The shift in focus enabled her to find the inherent power within. This positivity empowered her to rediscover herself.
Once while I was standing in a queue to buy my nth cup of coffee, I saw an old, frail gentleman on a wheelchair right behind me. I not only let him place his order before me by also paid for him. I picked both our cups and pushed his wheelchair near a table. He seemed to be a cafephile like me and we both cherished each sip.
I was travelling to Toronto alone to be explore immigration opportunities. I was walking through a separation and was to be on my own while my daughter was to live with my husband. Needless to say, I was going through a lot of anxiety and restlessness. Deep inside, I was hoping to be calm, restart life, smile again and be with my daughter. None of these seemed easy at that time.
When we had both finished drinking coffee, the gentleman on the wheelchair asked me, “What blessing must I give you, my dearest?” Without thinking twice, I said, “Could you give blessings for my daughter? She is far away from me.” Both of us had tears in our eyes.
He blessed little Cyra and we parted ways.
That one act, that connection, was a beautiful experience. My heart felt good. I felt light. I took a deep breath. I felt as if I had met the gentleman, who knew the shortcut to send prayers to God. I was nearly sure that his prayers would be heard. Especially when he held my hand and said,“May you never cry and always be happy!”
Time is a big healer
Aren’t you all aware of this great experience, when in a Starbucks drive through, someone buys coffee for the next in line car. The person, who has received this token of love, then passes it on to the next car and it becomes a chain of awesomeness.
What do these things do? They ‘activate your power to heal’.
I am a firm believer that wounds heal with time. I can confirm this because of first-hand experience. When you visualise a loss in life, you feel like you will never be able to bear it. My best friend and I often say to each other, that if anything ever happens to any one of us, we would be ‘limbless’. However, time and experience has taught me, that the clock keeps ticking and you have no control over it. You go through different stages. Just like I did.
I understood the process of‘shift in conversations with self. When I was going through my tough phases, initially I cried, was restless, fatigued, irritated and anxious. I was always in a fighter-mode. Doing things alone and not wanting to wait for anyone. My conversation with self, revolved around convincing myself that I do not need anybody. Most trivial incidents would hurt me.
With the passage of time, I accepted that ‘no one will help’. I will have to stand up for myself with an understanding: that is how it is supposed to be done. I am not the odd one out. This is exactly how it happens with just about everyone. No one can truly do anything for anyone, isn’t it? They can talk, guide, support or advise. It ends at that. The sooner we reach this realisation, the better it is. It was then that I made peace with my loss: the loss of my daughter’s physical presence in my everyday life.
Shift your focus
My conversation with self now shifted to ‘find yourself a purpose’. I ventured on this journey and started exploring. Since I was now open to people, to making friends, to relocating, to stepping out and to breathing, the realisation dawned on me, that there were many more people out there, around me, who were facing tougher situations. I realised that there was sadness behind most smiling faces. They had stories of some really tough times to share. I met people who were more resilient, who had crossed the bridge and those who had coped. I found my purpose in authoring a book.
My conversation with self gradually changed to a more compassionate one. I started respecting other perspectives. I was gentler, calmer and at peace. My reaction time and its severity reduced drastically. I was learning to contemplate and respond, not react. My conversation with self was now ‘forgiving’. I had started to forgive people who I felt had been ungrateful, had cheated, lied, who had not kept promises and had back stabbed.
Suddenly, I was waking up in the morning, taking walks, pulling out new scarves from my closet, matching clothes and not randomly wearing peach and pink together. I had found my ‘healing places, people and tasks’. I had started walking the path of elimination and creating a new world for myself. I had eliminated people who were happy to see me in the swamp. I had eliminated places that brought me bad memories. I had stopped doing tasks that were not resonating with my conscience or intellect. I was noticing my dark circles and was wanting to look better. I was planning my week around the live music evening at the café near my new rented home.
I would dress up, wear heels, put on a scarf, order fish and wine and sit back for the entire two hours of the live music show and soak in all possible positive vibes.I was able to do this alone. My best friends were so proud of me. They encouraged every tiny step that I took towards my healing and creating a new ‘Me’.
My ‘conversation with self now, was happy’. A distant friend of mine called me and said, “I have been watching your photos. I am observing you from a distance. You are looking good! Continue to do whatever you are doing.”. Suddenly I was all charged up with this positive vibe walking my way.
To be honest, I did not win each day. I had occasions of ‘why me’, ‘why this’ and ‘not again’. However, I had learnt to cope. I would recover from these days really soon, sometimes in hours and Frank Sinatra really helped!
My ‘conversation with self now was – ‘you’ve got this!’
My mornings were now made of faster yet calmer movements. Music was back in my life. I mean, loud music. I was more disciplined and was appreciating the species called human beings.
A milestone in this journey was when I was helping others, smiling at regulars at my favourite coffee shop, having a small talk with strangers and also turning my head at good looking men (the few that I saw).
Here is how it goes. It is when we have done this journey, detached and understood the change in ‘conversation with self’, that we are able to buy coffee for the person next in line and be eligible for those gracious blessings.
Photo Credit : Pixabay/pexels.com
There are others in the same journey
The fact of the matter is that there is always someone behind us in the queue. There is always someone we can buy coffee for. However, we are so absorbed in our own grief and trauma born out of a situation in our life, that we just don’t crane our necks to see.
We are always wearing a ‘Fragile’ label over ourselves. We are hoping for a laser scanner to highlight to the person we are talking to, to be nicer to us and to handle us with care.
That never happens.
Any one, just about any one, you empathetically scratch deeper, would explode of a difficult time that they are either going through or have walked past, or for that matter, just be in transit.
The need truly is, “to be brave when you are most fragile” and allow yourself to travel through these phases and stages. Don’t be cement footed. Enter the cycle and let go. Slowly and gradually, you will sail through each phase.
On has “to activate the power to heal button”. The need is to realise that you alone have the superpower to make your life better. When we water a plant, it grows. Life responds to nurturing. Accumulate the courage and take the very first step. Then you would be set on auto. Each one will have a different journey, different list of forgiving and a completely different time to recover. Have the faith that once you activate the power to heal button, that you will heal, eventually.
A tattoo on my left arm reads ‘Attraversiamo’, which means ‘Let’s cross over’ in Italian. It is a reminder that nothing in our lives is set in stone. We can always change paths and make our lives better. And we must. On my journey of writing my book, Candid Conversations and doing my podcast under the same name, I attempted to cross over. I met and spoke with many people who took the power in their hands to change their own story, and in many implicit ways, each and every one helped me. I came in close contact with people who looked at life with hope and helped others to do that too.They helped me decode happiness, and as I have written in the introduction of my book, “there is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.”
Acknowledge and accept your fears. We all have them.
Being brave, is when you choose to move forward despite being afraid. Know that you are resilient, brave and much stronger than you perceive yourself to be. Know that nothing changes. Just that we become more resilient, with each passing day.
I have been deeply influenced by the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest has a conversation with his mother on her death bed. She says to him: “Well, I happen to believe, you make your own destiny! You have to do the best with what God gave you”.
Forrest Gump asks, “What is my destiny, Mama?”
His mother answers, “You’re going to have to figure that out for yourself. Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest, you never know what you are going to get.”
As they say, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”.