This post really is a trigger from a friend's (Priti Rajput) Facebook status update. Like so many earlier triggers, this particular one slices through every person...well I would be petrified if it hadn't. It would simply mean you haven't dared enough, you are afraid of pain and heck, you haven't loved enough.
“Never take too much care on someone, because you won't be able to stand the pain when they start avoiding you”.
Oh well! Could you love then? Insanely? Passionately? Completely? Could you ever be 'you' without? I wanted to respond to the update on her page but realised the possibility of me overshooting required number of words would mean that I wouldn't quite be able to explain what I really meant. When I read the statement my first thoughts were actually, you can stand the pain. We think we cannot stand pain. We can. It is the one thing that gives us strength. Somehow.
When one advises a person not to care too much, not too much, not to wear your heart on your sleeve, little do we realise they are actually asking us to have no feelings. Not the way you must to experience life to the hilt. It is almost as if it is a source of embarrassment to feel pain. Of course caring hurts. Love hurts. How would one deal with life if one is so afraid to feel. There is going to be that unsettling feeling of despair. But it comes with the flip side that you will experience bliss like no other as well.
Why are people so afraid of pain? Isn't it pain that eventually strengthens us. It nudges our souls awake. It is your reality. How can your reality be something you mustn’t feel? How can you not feel? You are human. You will feel. Pain is a feeling and feelings are a part of you. Why then is it not right to be able to say "Yes, I feel pain." Each time someone stops you from acknowledging your pain, they don't help you heal. Feeling pain is a part of the healing process.
I have been asked this question so many times...How can you be like this? How can you be so positive? Well, I am not positive all the time but hey, I get there. There is no road to get to positive except through acknowledging your pain, dealing with it and moving on. People say, but Sandy, you are strong. Actually, I am not. I wasn't strong the first time I felt pain. I wasn't strong the first time someone broke my heart. I wasn't strong the first time I faced death in the family. I wasn't strong the first time I was left to fend for myself. I wasn't strong the first time I was emotionally blackmailed. I wasn't strong the first time a friend back-stabbed me. I wasn't strong the first time someone cheated on me. I wasn't strong when I was first accused of the countless things in my life I didn't do right.
I wasn't strong at all. It has been a journey to this point. It isn't over yet either. I was very afraid. I felt my life was over. I felt ashamed. I felt I would rather die. I know how uncomfortable people around me have felt when I finally began to acknowledge the pain. That acknowledgment came in different forms. It was a journey of feelings. Despair. Hopelessness. Frustration. Self disgust. Cynicism. Guilt. Depression. Gosh! It was tough. We think we will not survive. We do.
The break through to surviving the pain came not from hiding it. It came to me through the medium of expression. I wrote. I began breathing. I wrote pieces that were very personal. I did not write so I could share. Not initially. I began with sharing one piece. A friend said, Sandy, this is too personal, too intimate. I said yes. I also said I have to get out of this place I am in and I am willing to try what I haven't tried. The question was what if someone figured out it was my personal story? But then, what was really wrong in that? I thought for a while. I realised then that we are all so very afraid of sharing our feelings because we do not wish to make ourselves vulnerable to further pain, we do not wish for someone to blackmail us and hold us to emotional ransom or otherwise and we do not wish to be ridiculed or made fun of.
It made sense. People take advantage of you when they know you wish to hide something. It is not when you are not afraid of hiding. When something is out in the open, it already is out in the open. I smiled. It felt liberating. I also then realised, when I shared, that there were hundreds who have been going through something similar. I smiled. I was not alone. I made a difference when I shared. People felt better, less alone and afraid. I made friends. Most of these friends are people who I have never met. If you can't write, try talking about it. Expression isn't just limited to writing and you dont have to be a master. We all are artists in our own right, each of us, creating our masterpiece landscape.
Welcome to my world. People wonder how it is possible to be whatever they envisage me to be. In my eyes, I am alive and that is reason enough to care. That is reason enough to open myself to laugh, to cry, to be able to be me and to be able to love again. Yes, I make mistakes. They make me stronger because they take me places most wouldn't dare to go to because they are too afraid. How can one just exist when one can actually be alive?
Like Harish said, “When you accept that you can have many rebirths in one lifetime, 'change' doesn't seem to be scary.” There is no recipe laid out for living. Agreed. Do live. This life is a gift. Savour it. Take those slices of moonbeams and weave your dreams into reality. Feel.