Sharing when you are feeling low and lost is not a bad thing

Don’t ever feel embarrassed to admit that you are sad. If you are feeling low and lost, accept it, express it!

There are times in Life when you feel lost, tired, worn out and vulnerable. It happens to all of us. And when it does feel that way, the best thing to do is to share what you are feeling like. You will then find that the whole world around you comes together to make you feel warm and wanted. Truly, there’s more compassion in the world than you can even fathom – though, most often, it just doesn’t appear that way at all!

Most of the time we fight shy of sharing what we are going through with others because we wonder what they will think of us. Or we don’t want to “burden” others with our “sob stories”. Or perhaps, we don’t want to take any help from anyone should any be forthcoming after we share openly. There could be several other reasons. But all such justification does no good – neither to our morale nor to the situation. And, of course, many of us like to blame God for our trials, tribulations and fate!

A man was once sitting forlorn on the steps of a temple that he used to visit every day. His wife had deserted him. As had his young adult children. Because he was always grumpy, he had even become a social outcast. No one wanted to even call him to find out if he was alive or dead. That day, the man was very lonely and was feeling miserable. At the temple, where he meditated daily for an hour, the man had prayed for someone to whom he could tell his woes and cry his heart out. He asked God, in his prayer, if God could appear before him. After meditating, as he sat on the temple steps, a middle-aged woman approached him. She wore tattered clothes. But she looked very beautiful. There was twinkle in her eye. She approached the man for alms. When he looked away, the lady asked him if he needed help. She said, “You look lost and sad. If you want to share your grief, I can offer you a patient hearing.” The man simply continued to look away. She waited around for about an hour. And then she walked away. The next day, the man sat down for meditation again, at the temple. He asked God why God had not heard his prayer. Suddenly God spoke in his ear: “I heard you loud and clear. I even came up to you and asked you if you needed to share. I was willing to listen. But you looked away.” The man realized his folly and vowed never to take a prayer lightly again!

That’s pretty much the way many of us are. We don’t want to accept that we are feel low, weak and lost. We don’t want to share our grief when someone reaches out. We don’t want to express what we feel about ourselves, about Life. Indeed, to wear your Life on your sleeve or not, is a personal choice. But if you choose not to, don’t pine anymore about your situation. Don’t wallow in self-pity and grief. It doesn’t get you anywhere. People are so busy with their own lives, they have no time to “surmise” that you may be having a problem and that you need help. But if you bring it up, and share it openly, people will pause to listen and help. Or connect you with someone that can help. Or perhaps they will give you a hug – which will make you feel warm and wanted. Or, surely, they will pray for you!

At the end of the day, it’s your acceptance of your feeling low and lost and your humbly seeking help that leads people to shower compassion on you! 


Choose not to partner with your grief in a let-down


It is possibly true for all of us that we have all been, at sometime or the other, let down by people whom we trusted and loved deeply. It will always numbing to discover such a let-down. You will feel beaten and betrayed. The after-taste of the episode will continue to haunt you for a long, long time. At all such times, remember this: People do what they do because they think they are right in doing it that way. So, there’s no point in either talking sense to them in such a time that they are gripped by their own stupor or in grieving over their behavior. The best approach is to take the one that Jesus took on the Cross – “Forgive them O! Lord, because they know not, what they do!”

You will perhaps argue that this is easier said than done. How can anyone move on when the heart aches, when the mind is lamenting why such a thing has happened in the first place? How can anyone forgive when in grief and when still mourning the betrayal?

I have learned that it is fine to be a fool sometimes in Life. A fool is one who doesn’t know anything. He or she is not worldy-wise. So, he or she, will continue to trust despite the evidence pointing to the contrary. The fact that you stand betrayed points to your having been a fool. So, simple. Continue being a fool. If you find forgiveness difficult, just continue being trusting and vulnerable. A few more times people will continue to hurt you. But they will soon give up when they realize that you are refusing to get hurt. People love, in a sadistic sense, to see that their actions, in this case negatively, impact their target audience. When you subtly, through your, even if feigned, foolishness, deny them that pleasure, they will cease to persist with their designs.

The other case for ‘moving on’ and not ‘retaliating’ is that the world is already divided. By several zillion factors. If it is a close friend or relation, perhaps from the family, that has let you down, your sulking or wanting to avenge, is only going to divide your already fractured world further. It is only going to make the distances between you both grown wider, and often, render them unbridgeable. It takes two hands to clap. Suppose you don’t offer yours, there will be no thunder. And hence no issue. Or at least a complicated situation will not get further confounded with your participation.

Here’s an interesting story that came my way yesterday.

“In the forest there is a banana plant with its smooth wide leaves next to the thorny berry tree. The wind causes both to dance and to sway. The thorns of the berry tree rip the leaves of the banana plant. Who is to be blamed? The wind for causing them to sway?Or the banana for growing close to the berry tree?Or the berry tree for having thorns? The sage wonders and realizes that if he did not exist, these notions of who to blame would not exist. Only humans blame and begrudge and resent, because we can imagine an alternate reality. The rest of Nature go about their own business.”

So, let go. Go about your own business as if nothing’s happened. In a betrayal, as in any other situation involving pain, you suffer only because you choose to. Choose instead to be a fool and go on trusting or choose to believe as if you do not exist. Only when you partner in the act of betrayal with your grief, is there suffering. Know that there is no alternate reality. It is what it is. This the only way you can be happy, and untouched, in the wake of the pain that follows such let-downs!

Wear your Life on your sleeve

Don’t fear being vulnerable. Be true. When you are true, primarily to yourself and then to whatever you believe in, then you need no defense. And nothing, no one, can touch you!

Often times in Life, we fear that people will exploit us. That they will want to “use” our vulnerability to their advantage. While conceptually, in a world where everyone is fighting to win at the cost of someone else, this may appear to be true, in reality this is hardly so. The world is not infested with blood and flesh thirsty sharks and vultures as we imagine. But is inhabited by perfectly normal, compassionate, beautiful, loving people__just like you and me. So, when you wear your Life on your sleeve, when you expose your stark vulnerability, you will discover how kind people really are.

I have often found that saying things as they are, the truth, always helps. It may lead to people drawing different meanings from what you say. But Life is not about inferences and interpretations. Because when you bring in either inference or interpretation, then you are bringing in logic. And there’s no logic to and in Life. Life is about experiences. And people are going through experiences similar to yours, or they have already been there, all the time.

When you are vulnerable, you are willing to face Life. And face the consequences. Even death perhaps. When you are in that state, you are never insecure. Insecurity comes when you fear that you will lose something __ your position, your status, your title, your wealth, your reputation or your Life. At times, you may fear losing someone. But if you are past that fear, then your vulnerability is an asset, never a liability. Of course, chances are that there may be a few exploiters who will step into the ring. But face them. When you look them in the eye, they will step back. Exploitation cannot stand the brilliant gaze of truth. Exploiters can never face the courageous. When someone whose weapon is fear, recognizes you are fearless, then he or she becomes fearful. This is how Life works!

Try this in any situation you are faced with currently. Whatever you have wanted to say or do, if you have held it back because you thought of yourself as becoming vulnerable, go do exactly that now. Watch what happens. How much ever you may think it to be potentially disadvantageous, you will always find that your being true leads the world around you to be true as well. Remember this: you cannot live in fear, you can merely exist. To live fully, you have to wear your Life on your sleeve.