My Review post for February was stalled due to unforeseen circumstances, last week! For the most part, though, I can say I really tried hard to stay afloat even when a few unexpected challenges on the personal front forced me into a downward spiral. Things happened out of the blue—I was not prepared for what was to come, so it hit me on the face and I was too shocked to comprehend what was going on. Four agonising weeks and a little more later, I pulled myself up, but found myself shaken and dazed.
What’s important is that I lived through it and learnt some essential life lessons. And, a few things about myself too, that I wouldn’t have realised earlier.
But, through it all, the blessings were manifold—my family to comfort me; my bunch of close friends who checked on me; to have been able to journal through it all, for letting myself be when I didn’t feel strong enough, and for being able to garner strength from the wise words of Pema Chodron, Louise Hay, Mel Robbins, Brene Brown and so many more..
On days, when the situations got really tough, I read a lot from the Stoics and Buddhist teachers, practiced self-compassion and hung on to the hope that things would eventually pass! Every time something pulled me down, I saw the signs that the Universe was watching over me and sending me comforting words; occasionally, even pushing me on to accept what was beyond change or control. That’s always tough, right?
In short, the person that walked into February, carrying the exuberance of hope and endless possibilities from January, came out more reflective, less idealistic, a little wiser and way more pragmatic when February passed.
Needless to say, practising self-compassion continued, as much as gratitude, every single day—because I wouldn’t be here, writing this post, without holding myself in loving kindness, for the little acts of self care and the constant love of the family. It was their faith in me as much as my own faith in myself that I pulled through.
I’m so grateful that I found the way back to myself, through meditation, affirmations, regular walks, strength training, reading and photography and especially thankful, that I got the chance to work on a content curation project for an event—something that was close to my heart. I also wrote and journaled through most of the month as a way of releasing what was no longer serving me. The purge was necessary and the suffering was just a prelude to that process.
As usual, everything went fine in the external world.
I realised this certainly wasn’t the worst or the last of the challenges I’d have to face but I learnt was how vulnerable and fragile we actually are, even when we have always been the pillar of strength for others.
The simple fact of life is this—nobody is immune from breaking down or falling apart and when that happens, we need to learn to accept this truth. That was a tremendous realisation and a very humbling one too!
To get knocked down seven, and pick yourself up eight—isn’t easy, but inevitable. There was no escape from that. Lessons had to be learnt.
We don’t often realise that darkness exists only because there is light and vice versa. When we emerge out of any crisis, we learn that things do not change overnight—in fact, the hurt, the suffering and the pain do not leave us instantly. They remain for a while and then eventually become the cracks through which we allow the light to enter our heart and soul.
“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
My favourite bit from your post was this — came out more reflective, less idealistic, a little wiser and way more pragmatic when February passed.
This is what I wish for – to come out reflective and pragmatic after a tough time. I do hope the rest of the year has happier things in store for you Esha.
Hugs, Esha. Holding ourselves in gratitude and loving kindness is so important.
I think if we know the challenges we’re going to encounter in advance, we’d want to completely run away! But when we’re presented with them, we’re able to dig deep within and find the strength to overcome and even inspire, like you do!
Sounds like February was a real tough month for you, Esha! The way you still manage to find your equanimity even in the midst of trying times is inspiring, indeed! Here’s hoping March is kinder to you.