After a long winding road, with its highs and lows, with the pristine peaceful walkways to treacherous dark forests, we come to a new path. We see the light, but we don’t know how far more for us to reach there. We may now have a smooth path ahead or we might have to fall and fail. We do not know and we will not know.
But what we do know is that we see the light. With light there is hope. Hope is what keeps us alive. Hope is what keep us breathing. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope…. that is all there is to it.
Bag full of experiences, good and bad, we keep walking towards the light now…
There are moments in our lives were ask this question – WHY AGAIN?! We should learn from our mistakes. But do we? We learn, we repent and we change for a while. We being animals of habit, sometimes we turn back slowly to what we were before — not exactly to what we were before, but a shadow version of it.
Maybe it is a memory thing — we forget what it was to be in that state again. Maybe we get bolder. Maybe we just need a stronger dosage to change ourselves. Strong dosage I say, not too heavy till we can’t get back up. We need a stronger reminder… stronger pain… stronger fear.
Why again? Because warning shots has been sent… now it is the final warning shot getting your undivided attention. Now… we will wake up fully. Once and for all. Situations like this helps us to finalise our paths – both where we want to go and where we do not want to.
Moments like this… we look up to the sky and start the conversation which has been long due. We don’t really ask why but rather to give you another chance to make things better. All we need is another chance and this time, finally, it will be very different.
If… If only….
If is a very powerful word. We use it a lot without even realising it.
If only I were prettier. If only I were a little taller. If only I were richer. If only I were a little bit more careful. If only I could have thought straight. If only I had expressed myself to her better. If only I had told my mom how much I loved her. If only I pushed myself just a little harder. If only I were more careful. If only I focused on my studies when I was younger. If only I had a baby. If only I had a better spouse. If only I took time off to be with my family. If only I had not made that stupid mistake. If only I were younger.
If… If only.
We all had that wish. We wished for something. We wish to turn back time. We want to do right what we messed up. We were younger. Maybe I could make a better decision if I were given a second choice. Our wishes could have been fulfilled IF that ‘missing’ element was present to make that happen. Many a time, we could have ‘fixed’ the problems if we had just taken the alternate path, or to have simply walked away. We did not…. and so we are here… with a bagful of ifs and possibly with it regrets.
We tell ourselves that we have control over our lives and we are pretty lucky to be living the life we are living. We probably even wisen up to be thankful for what we have and tell ourselves to be grateful for those…. but as much as we talk to ourselves and comfort ourselves on how good we have had it and keep reminding ourselves to be contented and be happy with what we have, when we see someone else living the life we want to live… don’t we feel the mood dampen? Don’t we secretly desire to have our places swapped? To have done things differently? The IFs start creeping in again.
We all go through the IF-stage at varying degrees. I felt ashamed that I even harbour that thought… but I so really want to turn back time, to change things, to clean up my act, to be better. I so badly want it… but we all know it is not possible.
Life is a interesting teacher. She teaches us to appreciate life by creating death around us. She teaches us to be hopeful by giving us hopeless situations. She teaches us to be good by making us do wrong. She gives us less so we learn to appreciate what we have. She makes us grow old, so we will appreciate the little time we have left.
We are all children with different gifts and we are being moulded by life everyday. Love who we are, learn from our mistakes, accept our flaws, embrace our quirks, and live a full life. Everything happens for a reason.
The straight road we have taken has not come to a clear divide. We either take the left or the right. Which will we take? The problem with crossroads is exactly as the name states… a state where you will need to choose. Either choice leads you to forgo the other. It is a win-lose case. You win some. You loose some. The choices are not straightforward. When are choice ever straightforward. If they were, we would not have to choose. Choices… it is both an angel and devil mixed into you. What we decide now will define our future. We don’t know the impact and we can’t foresee the future. So we stare at the cross road. Not being able to take any of the path, we stand, we stare and we wait…. You can wait all you want, but not making a choice only locks you on the same spot. Then again who says we will need to choose. Maybe this could be our path – the path to nowhere.. or a path to nowhere undecided.
There are many instances in our lives where we did what we should not have done, and we live to regret. Sometimes we do it unknowingly. Sometimes we do it unintentionally. Sometimes we hope not to see it, hoping that the universe will sort itself out. That does not happen. We live to regret. Many a times we regret the things we did not do more than the things we did.
Some regrets one can feel very guilty about. To have done shameful things, not affecting others, but oneself. Sometimes others may not think much of it, but you tend to be hard on yourself – you know what you did was wrong. And you feel ashamed! For that split moment we make a mistake… a wrong judgement and a grave mistake is committed.
Guilt and Shame are very hard to go away. We just hope we close our eyes and it is gone. We can only hope. We have to live through it – it reminds us not to do it. It helps us to redefine us, our values and who we really are, and what we really care for.
Just take one step at a time to move on… and to look back once a while and to remind ourselves of the lessons. Life have many lessons for us. Some pleasant and others unpleasant – both allows us to grow and become better people… better humans.
We all pursue the best in our lives. We strive to be better people, but along the way we fail to do so. We take the wrong path. Sometimes you come to your senses and quickly change the path and no harm is done – just some lessons learnt. Some other times the damage is irreversible and the healing process is a lot more painful. It is a lot more difficult to forgive or to be forgiven.
The path that should not be taken. Most if not all of us have come across this path. In a moment, we make the wrong decision. We regret it later, but the damage is already done. Sometimes we feel that it is nothing… but why do we regret it then? Sometimes we brush it aside and forget it… only to have it happen again.
We should accept. Learn and move on. The greater the mistake the greater the suffering…. The natural punishment comes into effect immediately. We need to redeem ourselves. We need to take falls and slides as humbling experiences to make us better people. The extreme of mistakes brings out the extreme of good behavious…. So the path that should not be taken, also opens up a new path seldom travelled.
If we need to beat ourselves up… let’s do that. If we need to go through the phase of suffering and depression… let’s do that. At the end of the day, we walk towards the light at the end of the tunnel and when we reach, we turn back, put a ‘no entry’ sign, close the path, and walk away, never to turn back.
Let the path that should not be taken be the path to guide us forward.
Had your breakfast? Rushed for work/school? Had a good lunch? Back home for dinner? Too tired to do anything else, or maybe spent some ‘quality’ time on the computer? Or maybe play a game or two? So all set for a nice shut eye?
Sounds familiar? I am sure it does. We are all ‘guilty’ of it. Guilty? Why Guilty you might ask – why not I will ask you back. How old are we? What did we do with our life? We are always tossed around by this huge wheel called life. Why are we slaves of the environment? Why do we caging ourselves to the routine boundaries of the world of our making? No one has enslaved us – we have! We are always looking for people to blame this on… Look no further, there is none. It is we. We are the ones we make ourselves who we are. Let us not go into the blame game.
Take a step back. Is there something we can do differently today – maybe start with the small things. Maybe you could take a moment to smell the roses, say ‘Hi!’ to your neighbour, or your bus driver, or maybe read a book, write a poem, share a coffee with your loved ones, spent time to reflect on yourself, and the list goes on. These are not difficult tasks, but we find it so hard to just do that little more.
I once was queuing up for lunch. I was extremely hungry and the person preparing the food was very slow. As I try to have my own conversations to keep myself sane from the infuriating flame of anger and agitation, I saw an old lady behind me. I was asking myself if I should let her go ahead of me, then again I carried on my internal conversation: ‘I am sure she had all the time in the world, but I am the busy one’… ‘But then she is old and she will feel pain standing’… ‘well my food is going to be very simple to prepare, it will be very short… should I even bother thinking about giving her the space to move forward?’… The internal conversations I have are simple in nature but complex in depth. When my turn came, I moved aside and let her move forward. She got her food, and she did not thank me… but that did not bother me. I was totally elated to know that I did a good thing.
It is not the size of deeds we do everyday. It is the thought and the will to make a difference to others and in the process for ourselves. We have to always learn to take a step back and look around us. To take a deep breath and to appreciate the fact that we are living. We need to accept the fact that we are grateful for the many thing – even to have this nice keyboard and monitor to do the work, sitting on a nice cosy chair. Take a break, take a breather, enjoy life!