GENESIS –GESTATION AND MY REBIRTH
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about dancing in the rain and life was passing me by while I was waiting. I woke up and saw that it was raining and I started dancing in the rain!! It is exactly five years since I wrote Rainbow colors of my life….and I can only smile to myself at that post. I feel as if I am someone else now and I don’t know the Harjeet who wrote that. Time and tide does not wait for anybody and time is the best healer which I have learnt through experience. Looking back at the last 8 years without him, I have evolved much more than the previous 40 years of my life!
The first couple of years went by in the struggle for survival, remaining sane and strong for the kids, learning simple things like cashing a check or paying off some bills or getting repairs done around the house. It wasn’t easy to fall into the groove of a working woman; I gradually fell into the mould. Insecurity was my biggest fear (I am otherwise a fearless person)…..financial insecurity gave me panic attacks.
But the most difficult part was ME.All my life I have been a giver and taken very little in return . I was this innocent, gullible fool who was taken for a royal ride by everybody around me. I never said no to anybody, even if my work got affected or I was tired or even it was a financial burden to me, I tried to accommodate people. I was being taken for granted and I fell in my own eyes when I woke up to this fact. Being a people’s person, gregarious and cheerful always, I started believing that I needed people around me all the time and my loneliness was eating up my soul. I started depending on others for my happiness and I was let down so badly when I realized that there was nobody for me. I craved for company and yearned to be needed by others. We live in this false belief that people will understand and empathize but when it never happens, the cancer sets in and eats up your insides.
I was cheated emotionally, financially, battered mentally by my own family and friends. I clung to my memories and wallowed in self pity. I went into the pits of depression and struggled out through sheer dint of survival. Endless nights went crying into my pillow and I could only see darkness all around. I was cut off socially by friends and family. I was this poor little widow who was of no significance. After being in the thick of events in the family as well as in the social circle, this was very difficult to get used to.
Without a man a woman is nothing; this is what is pushed down my throat all through these years, which is actually very pathetic. My man is gone and I am struggling to live my life with my self-respect intact. But I take solace in the fact that I never acted out the poor little weepy widow act and always appeared happy and cheerful to everybody A woman is much stronger than a man and can achieve anything she sets her heart out to do.. .Strangely, people did not like my attitude. They wanted to see me groveling, sniffling and struggling all my life. I was not going to give them that pleasure or a chance to take digs at me ever. I realized that I could not live in the past, as it was over and done with; I cannot live in the future as I have not seen it, but the present is mine and it is a blessing to be just alive. I do not want to ruin my present and want to live in the NOW. Praying did help. Prayer creates a path where there is none and turns your stumbling blocks into building blocks.
2012 was a real painful year. I misjudged my social research and social circle by investing in a grooming school which was doomed before it started as it just wasn’t allowed to bloom. I staggered with running the show alone, got it on the road but it slid off slowly and I was caught in the mire of disappointment, dejection and a gaping hole in my pocket. I thrashed around searching for straws to cling on to but they were all out of reach.
Then the clouds parted a little, the Gods seem to smile down on me. I found a young girl who taught me the best lesson of life, I have never met her but she is the BEST friend one could ask for. The virtual world is not all bad is what I believe in. She taught me that, ‘YOU are important, live for yourself on your terms. Do not depend on others or go out of your way to accommodate others’. I started taking baby steps in this direction. The going wasn’t easy; I kept stumbling and got bruised, but did not give up. Sitting idle only fed the devil and I needed to drive him out. Bhavna, my young saviour, my friend from far away Australia, once again came to my rescue and helped me to earn a little. It wasn’t much nor was it enough to sustain myself, but it brought back my confidence and was a great boost for my battered ego.This was a stepping stone and turning point towards to my journey of evolution. I started looking at things positively. Kept myself occupied all the time and buried the devil. I started making envelopes and gift tags from old wedding cards. I found immense satisfaction in creating something with my own two hands and when it was appreciated and bought, it gave me lots of confidence and faith in myself.
I started living for myself. Doing things I like to do. Eating what I liked, cooking for myself; indulging myself with small gifts. Buying flowers for ten rupees and watching them float in bowls in my room . Flowers always make me feel good. I started saying NO when it went against my ME time.
One day while I was engrossed in making envelopes, I had this brainwave of letting out my rooms upstairs as a guest house. I mustered up the courage and went and spoke to my brother’s friend who already ran a guest house in the neighborhood. He was a huge help and reacted very positively and gave me the assurance I needed. He was neither family nor a friend, yet he understood my plight and put me on the path that lead to some income. I went about setting things up, made a small investment and I was in business. Once the money started trickling in, the dark clouds started parting and i could see the rainbow again.
There was a new found confidence, that I had the strength to rise up like the phoenix and one should not give up trying or hoping. Even God helps those who help themselves and I had started helping myself, so God had to help me! I believe that as soon as you have faith in yourself, you will know how to live. I stopped caring about what people think of me, these faceless people…who are they? Where are they when I need them? I am who I am and I will be who I want to be!
If you do not love yourself first then you cannot love anybody else; this is another lesson that I learnt and started loving myself and really feel good about myself now. I have stopped being treated like a doormat. I have been treated very shabbily and verbally abused and I kept quiet as I was very submissive even though I was not wrong. Being passive has been erased from my dictionary. I was never aggressive but now being assertive is my new mantra and I stand by it. I do not shy away from asserting myself and demanding an explanation even from my seniors if I am right. Abusing another is wrong but taking abuse is more wrong!
If I wanted my loved ones to be happy then I needed to be happy myself. Keeping my kids happy and letting them not feel the absence of their dad is the first in my list of priorities. The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone else is to find our joy and passion for life, and do what makes us happy. When we are happy, those around us will be happy, and in turn, those around them and that sets the ball rolling , like the smile goes a long way and comes back to you. I stopped clinging to people and things, stopped walking on emotional crutches.
Respect yourself, respect your efforts. Self-respect leads to self-confidence and when you have both they make a lethal combination that gives you lots of power. Belief in myself has brought about a sea change in my persona. I now carry myself with élan and panache and I see friends who drifted away coming back again and I am gaining back my due position in the society.
I have evolved into a much better, confident human being and I am proud of the way I have taken hold of my life and steered it through the rough waves safely. In spite of all I have been through, hate is one word that does not exist in my dictionary. There is no anger or hatred towards those who have put me through hell. If there is any emotion then there is sadness and pity for them cause they lack humanity and don’t know the meaning of empathy.
There is no place for fear in our lives. FEAR is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. One should just take the risk and plunge in and swim to safety as best as you can. If you do not take risks then you can achieve nothing. Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours- so goes a Swedish proverb! Fortune sure does favor the brave I have learnt. But, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do,” said Von Goethe and so did I!
Start to know yourself, the journey of self discovery is enlightening and will result in change. I have changed my life. At the age of 49, I have a new job, I am going to start a small store, I am running a service apartment and I have started a non-violent battle against those who are sitting on my pot of gold while I am chasing the rainbow and I am getting there, believe me!
I am not saying that all that has happened to me is someone else’s fault. In fact I blame myself to a great extent. Never keep silent, never become a victim, do not let others dictate how you live your life but set your own standards and stand by them. I have learnt to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; now I need to learn how to fly and reach for the stars.
I find happiness in little things. I measure myself now in strength and not in pounds and I feel much lighter. Believe in yourself, have faith in your capabilities, have confidence in yourself and only then can you be successful and happy.If you’re busy hugging the past, you can’t embrace the future. Don’t let the past kidnap your future.