We suffer. Inside. Deeply. Often in despair. Inside. Silently. Outwardly, we smile. Working. Supporting others. Inside, there is chaos. True?
Then something shifts. The situation doesn’t change. The location does not change. The people around don’t change. Nothing changes. Yet, something huge changes. Perhaps, finally, realisation hits.
And that is that realisation which brought me back from a place I never ever want to consciously or unconsciously go back to again. The suffering was not required. Pain wasn’t required. It is indeed all in the mind. It is indeed a choice. All we perhaps need is a place to house it.
All of us need to go away at times. I have done that on numerous occasions. When life got too tough for me, or my hurt was so deep, I simply just disengaged and went within. During those times, I do not communicate. I just go away. In the past, when I have come back, it is always with a temporary bandage, because the lessons either haven’t been learnt fully, or I haven’t allowed myself the acknowledgement of the healing that is needed.
This time, I wasn’t willing to do that. I was tired of not feeling the joy within. I am a happy soul. Authenticity and positivity is what I am known for, and what comes naturally to me. But here I was, finding it hard to share myself and support others; because I had let my light dim away. By my own doing. My conversations with some of my friends prompted me to share this, so we can all perhaps get some pointers.
Here are my personal lessons:
- Are you digging deeper? – When the hole you dig is too deep – STOP : Very often we find ourselves in situations, mostly self-perpetuated and self-created; and as emotional beings, we live on ‘hope’ and ‘faith’. No matter how challenging it gets, we keep believing that things will change. They often do. But not always in the right direction. The hole keeps growing bigger and deeper. At some point, there is a huge danger of getting lost in that hole, and losing a sense of direction when in that deep, dark place. We need to know when to stop digging that hole, and get out. The hole doesn’t need us any more.
- Who are you spending most time with? – You are indeed the company you keep: We all have this experience. Imagine this. You are speaking with someone who has recently known someone who has met with an accident. They narrate the story to you. You listen. Then you add your bits to it and share a similar incident. Imagine if this person did this to you every day, every time they saw you. What would your state of mind become eventually? You would be in a perpetual state of sadness and grief. The point is, we work on auto pilot as humans. We start communicating in the manner that someone communicates with us. Around a positive, high energy, motivated person, we talk that language and over time, we become that language. That becomes who we are. Surrounding ourselves with such positive company is critical. We are the company we keep.
- What are you holding on to? – Know when to let go: We all love. We all feel. We all act rationally and irrationally, depending upon our situations, our circumstances and who we are as people. We all make mistakes. I tend to take everything as if I am to be blamed. It’s in my nature to think if something is going wrong, then it must be my fault. It is probably a deep rooted thing. But it does happen. That creates a huge problem. I don’t give up on challenges; thinking I can change it. But there in lies the problem. What if in reality the problem is not yours alone? Then can you change anything single handedly? It’s learning to let go of all that does not serve us in our holistic being anymore, is critical. Any relationship, any situation that demands you to doubt and question your own self, needs to be let go of. Otherwise the hole will get deeper. At times, the best thing you can do is move on. Accept that what may be best is to keep that feeling in your soul. Heal within. It doesn’t need to be more than that.
- Do you store pain? – Learning not just to Forgive but to really Forgive : A huge lesson. We all believe we forgive those whom we have allowed to hurt us. We don’t really. We let the hurt eat into us. Or, we simply store it away, thinking if we deny it, it will go. But it doesn’t go unless we acknowledge it, accept it, spend time understanding the how and the why, learning from it and then healing. I have stored pain that I cannot even remember. But the cells remember. At times I have felt unbearable pain, taking me into darkness I don’t even understand. This is deep rooted as well. I have now made a choice not to let any pain get stored. If it means, I have to step away, work on myself and heal, I do that. All I store is love, happiness and joy within.
- So, what is it ? – It is WHAT it IS: This is the biggest truth I learnt. It is what it is. This is life. This is how life is. There is no one to blame. No one to point fingers at. Each one is playing their part in this world. Each one bears their own cross. Each one has their own lessons to learn and each one has their own growth path. What we need to do is just make the most of each day. What is truly ours is time. And time is precious. It is not something any one of us can take for granted. None of us can say how long we will be here. My time here is very limited, perhaps. I know that. But do I really know that? Does it matter how long? how much? I am going to make the most of what I have and accepting that it is what it is, that’s my biggest learning from life.
“The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons.They arise from sense perception,and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”
― Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita
“A Ticking Time Bomb”.
That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.
According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.
Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.
Mumbai-born, with ten amazing years in New Zealand, now North London-based marketing and advertising expert, Raga D’silva was among those ignorant masses.
The 46-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with this illness in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness.
Raga is the Asian Ambassador for Diabetes UK.