Archive | October, 2013

Shacking up with the Viper

31 Oct

Pain….the kind that tears your insides out, strikes out of nowhere – sharp and sudden , like a  viper.

These undeniable feelings wrap themselves around you – A creeper sapping every bit of your energy .

Push them away….. but like a cranky child they  insist I pay attention to them , spend all my time thinking of them, so much so that before long I am completely engulfed by them.

They remain in my heart and mind and I analyze them from every angle only to find myself moving in circles and getting sucked into the vortex of a storm.

Well meaning friends tell me that this pain will go away with time.

“But what do I do right now”  I scream. “Pain is inevitable” they say ….”It’s the Suffering that’s optional”

What’s the difference ….i wonder

I sit back and think of the times when deep intense pain has cut through me like a knife ; The times I have denied that pain so that I could function “normally”; The times I had figured a way to keep the painful emotions at bay so that I could infuse some equilibrium into life . Sure I did it ….but it left me feeling a like “living with an effort” which instead of energizing, exhausted me.  

Holding on to those uncomfortable feelings had only allowed them to radiate through me…..spreading into every dimension of my life.

 I had allowed the pain to seep into me , made place for her and nurtured her.  It was almost like indulging and caressing that viper and unconsciously allowing her to take over my senses.

This was suffering I figured. Pain is abrupt and short lived …Suffering is how we deal with that pain. It’s this suffering that permeates into you and holds you by its fangs

I had the realization all right – but which way now?  How do I dump this suffering?

I did what I normally do when I have no answer to things that overwhelm me-

I reached for my notepad and began to write. As I wrote it was like peeling the onion, layer by layer revealing my inner vulnerable self.  Is this what they call catharsis?

 I did what I had heard helps – began to look at the painful experience from the perspective of an outside observer, visualized me and my experience from the outside. From this distant vantage point things looked manageable and I was able to get new insights as to how to handle my feelings.

And yes all this isn’t easy. It took me really long to learn to separate the pain from the suffering. Can’t say I’ve mastered it yet. Its one long journey and sometimes not a very pleasant ride …..

but as Anais Nin says” ……..and the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

And thus began …and still continues -my unavoidable efforts to keep the viper from taking asylum in my heart

 

 

 

                                                  

 

I’ve found my answer

17 Oct

A question that has always intrigued me has been – How life began and what really is its purpose?

Sometimes I wonder if it matters whether life emerged from some “Primordial Soup” or A gigantic explosion or as the believers would assert – that God fixed his attention upon planet Earth and created everything on it.

The essential question to me would be – why are we here?

To the believer, God created man purposefully – To fulfill his divine plan. From that point of view – God would be the basis of human existence. The Darwinian community certainly didn’t think so – They said we were here because we evolved- An accident of nature. Thus to them there didn’t seem to be any clear reason or direction towards our purpose in life except maybe to perpetuate the existence of our genes.

Then do we also like Albert Camus accept that “Life is absurd”

A life without meaning makes me feel very uncomfortable which of course is the reason why I have spent many a long afternoon in a contemplative mood.

Are we here to do what is meaningful to us?

If the purpose is thus constituted then what is meaningful to one may not hold true for the other.

 This makes the purpose of our lives a very “Private Project”

In that case we would all be operating in a vacuum.

This doesn’t seem to hold much sense to me. There seemed to be something incomplete about this.

Engaging in several dialogues with myself and my friends who allow me to stretch and move through my confusions I am now pretty certain that the purpose in life would be found in pursuing commonly held goals that makes one’s life worth living.

So there it is  – Happiness[ not as a means to something but as an end in itself] and toss in along with it the love for humanity or “Agape “ as the Greeks would say. And voila – A perfect recipe for a meaningful life.

To me this would mean- To Live consciously and courageously…with love and compassion – To live all I can, give all I can and die empty.

It’s  by no means an easy job to live by my maxim on a daily basis ….but yes as I write it and read  it …it resonates with me  deeply and fills me with an energy  that flows into everything I do.

Each of us need to find our unique purpose and tie it along with a common purpose . its then we can say- Ours is a life filled with Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy