This post is markedly in a different direction from the earlier ‘Here I go!go!go!’ – that was about propelling myself forward, this one’s about letting go of the past. Ok, so Iam NOT making any confessions here ,neither am I laying my soul threadbare, but I guess most of humankind around (unless they belong to the self-actualized category!) have some memories and experiences that are not part of the ‘ all-is-well-with-the world-and -iam-so -happy’ mental albums.
Now, not belonging to the self -actualized variety, there was certain baggage that I felt I would rather not lug around anymore .In fact most of us carry such baggages – pertaining to either personal or professional decisions. I would liken it to hiking on a beautiful road with lovely vistas around and instead of pausing to absorb the loveliness , one is busy filling the backpack with rocks lying on the way. The result – you are focused more on what the past should have been , than on what tomorrow can be. This is a learning that my husband ,Tarun, passed onto me. He is some one I have seen march relentlessly ahead, focusing on what lies in front than what has been left behind.
In short, I learnt that by carrying the rocks of unwanted memories and experiences in your backpack ,as you journey through life, you deprive yourself of reaching your full potential. You dont run when you could have, you dont fly when its possible – because you were feeling tired , worn out and weighed down with the ‘rocks-that-serve-no-goddamn-purpose’ in the backpack.
Now, my mom is one wise woman and I have imbibed a lot from her philosophically positive approach to living. She is someone I have seen charge through life with undiluted optimism, joy and courage. Here’s a little story she told me during one of our soul-searching sessions :
“There were two monks travelling through the jungles. One of them was the senior , wise monk and the other was the pupil,still being trained . As they walked their path, they came across a beautiful maiden with her clothes in tatters. She had been robbed and was unable to walk and she begged them to help her. The young monk ,captivated by her beauty, knew it was against their code to touch a woman. The senior monk, not wasting much time, lifted her and carried her to her village.Leaving her in good care,both went ahead on their jouney.Throughout the journey, the young pupil was filled with questions and condemnation for his master’s actions. After a few days of travel and on reaching their destination, the pupil asked the master, “Master, why did you carry that woman with you and then leave her till her village?” The young monk felt cheated and was quite rude in his questioning. The senior monk calmly answered, “My young apprentice, the girl needed my help and I left that girl a few days ago, behind at her village, but have you left her yet?”
Though letting go is easier said than done , it is possible and the resulting feeling of lightness is priceless. A few thoughts that help in flinging those rocks away –
1.Face the memories, experiences, decisions you would rather no longer think about and look them straight in the eye.Spend time on them, revisit if needed.
2. Accept complete and total responsibility for any decision that misfired, while being kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and thats bloody OK!
3. Forgive if you have been shortchanged and Apologize if you were at fault. – forgiving is so healing, it has to be experienced to be believed. And apologizing , so graceful and humbling.
4. Live in the present, in the now – the journey IS the destination – there’s too much beauty around to be missed out on.
5. Make mental and emotional space- by purging the negative and filling that space with the good, the positive, the joyous, the healthy and the happy.
Let go, feel light , stay happy 🙂