Whatever happens just don’t give up on Life!
There will be times when Life will be very, very challenging. You will feel defeated and deflated. But don’t ever give up. Because the entire essence of Life is to face whatever comes your way. It is your conditioning that makes you want only what you want. You want comfort, care, compassion, love, good health, money and, perhaps, an easy Life. But there are no guarantees that Life’s going to grant all that you want. So, often times, you will have to encounter huge discomfort in your surroundings, neglect, hatred, misunderstanding, cashlessness, disease and a very, very tough Life. You will believe that it’s impossible to live such a Life. You would want a way to end all your suffering. And the way to do that is not to give up on Life, but to accept the way your Life is, face it and live in the moment.
|Maya Angelou (1928~2014)|
Maya Angelou (1928~2014), American author and poet, who passed way yesterday, said it the best: “‘You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.’ In fact, the encountering may be the very experience which creates the vitality and the power to endure.” Her Life itself is a testimonial to human endurance – she having been raped at the age of seven and having had to face rejection and untold hardships to survive for many, many, many years.
I have always found great solace whenever I reflect on this quote of Maya’s. It says everything about Life. So simply.
I am reminded of a lesson that my guruswami (the one who leads a group of pilgrims) shared with me on my first pilgrimage to Sabarimalai (the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Kerala) years ago. He said that the climb was going to be very tough – it’s a distance of 5 kms up very steep (at one point up an almost 75-degree incline) hills, to be covered by foot. We would all suffer, he said, if we kept thinking of when the climb would end. “Instead keep your thoughts on the destination, with wanting to see the Lord. Feel the air in your lungs. Enjoy the scenery. Don’t think about the climb and you will be able to make it with great ease,” he advised. All your suffering comes when you think of what you are enduring and wish that you didn’t have to go through what you are going through. Instead feel the experience. Feel the pain, the sorrow, the uncertainty, the fear, the anxiety – feel everything without wishing it away. Through this continuous feeling, your ability to withstand anything, and endure, will be greatly enhanced. Your problems may not go away. But you will be able to deal with them better.
Life, I have understood, is just a string of experiences, from birth to death. As long as you do not impose conditions on what you are experiencing, at any given moment, no matter what, you can face it.