This is what the ‘light’ of Diwali truly is.
We met a young man at the mall yesterday. He follows my daily posts on my App (“AVIS Viswanathan” – available for free download on Google Play and the App Store). He walked up to us, introduced himself and said, “This is the darkest Diwali of my Life. I have no work. And I have no money. I have no one in this world that I can relate to. I am not sure where my Life is headed.” Holding back his tears, he then asked, “Can you tell me what I must do?”
I gave him a hug and told him this: “Trust the process of Life!”
Vaani and I have been where this young man is. In several contexts, we are still where he is. We don’t necessarily know what to do in Life – not when whatever we do often comes unstuck; not when some of the problems we are faced with defy a logical solution! But what we have learnt absolutely well to do is to trust the process of Life.
This means, metaphorically, when you are going through a dark tunnel and when you don’t see any light at the end of it, you become the light yourself. Now, how do you become the light? Simple: know that since you have been created – not because you asked to be created, but because Creation willed it – you will also be looked after, provided for and cared for. Even in the darkness that engulfs you, keep taking one step at a time. And do that with total faith in Life. That faith within you is your light. You see, faith and fear are mutually exclusive. Faith is like light and fear is like darkness. They both can’t co-exist. You can bring light into a dark room. But you can’t drive away light by bringing darkness. So, when you have faith in Life, you will not be in fear. And, conversely, if you are cowering in fear, it means that you don’t have faith! When I say that you become the light, it really means that you drop all fear and embrace your Life for what it is – despite the circumstances, inspite of the darkness – trusting Life completely to show you the way.
I have recounted numerous anecdotes on this Blog, in my Book and in all my Talks of how Life has shown us the way, how doors have miraculously opened for us, every time we have come to, what we perceived as, the end of the road – enduring as we are, a bankruptcy (read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal) I believe that when you don’t know what to do, you must simply surrender to Life and offer yourself to be led. When you trust Life, you may not necessarily be able to see the entire road ahead of you – the darkness in the tunnel may not really vanish, but you will find enough light in you and immediately around you. That light will show you just enough of the way for you to inch forward. And that’s how you claw your way onward through a dark, difficult phase in Life – one step, one day, at a time.
So, when you don’t know what to do in Life, be the light yourself. In every sense, this light in you, this faith in the Master Plan, this trusting the process of Life – this is what the ‘light’ of Diwali truly is.
In today’s Vlog, I share how we must become the light, when we don’t see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I invite all of us to trust the process of Life – instead of looking outside of us for clarity and direction.
View time: 2:54 minutes
In the darkest of hours, when the chips are down, and you are up against a big, huge wall, it is normal for you to get tense, for your mind to get distracted with worries and imagine scary, ‘what if’scenarios. You are feeling that way because you are no longer mindful. Your sense of grief is arising from the fact that what you wanted to happen is not happening. Instead, you begin to fear, that something unplanned, unexpected may take over your Life. Mindfulness helps you stay in the present. The present moment may be indeed stark, but when you are mindful you realize that your future state has not yet arrived. So, you begin to see the futility in being worried and fearful – why fear something which is not there?
Let us say that you are expecting a raise. Just then there’s news that recession has hit your industry and that your company is likely to announce layoffs and freeze pay hikes. Now, your vacation plans, your idea of applying for a mortgage loan on your house and some investment options you have been considering are possibly likely to go on the back burner. You begin to worry. While the reality looks grim there need not be any truth in your fear that your raise will not come through. It is your fear of what you think is a likely consequence that makes you worry. Mindfulness helps you here. When you are mindful, you learn to stay with the reality, accepting it as it is. While at the same time it also teaches you to greet any fresh reality__like your imagined future or otherwise__only when it arrives, not before that.
This attitude, really, is what faith is all about. Many people will tell you that faith is about fasting, about going to temples, to places of worship, about abstinence and about talismans. But real faith is when you can continue to live in the darkness, appreciate the darkness and yet never imagine that darkness can ever submerge light. In fact, just the opposite is true. Only light can remove darkness. So, if you want to get out of any hopeless situation, imagining that the situation will finish you is indeed poor thinking and you are causing yourself to be fearful and stressful. Faith demands that you think intelligently. With faith, anything is possible!
- What did I do or not do that has led me to where I find myself now?
- What can I learn from this experience?
- What must I do to change the situation and get out of the mess I find myself in?