Dearest Darling Friends,
Life is a journey with many paths, many routes - at each crossroad we make a CHOICE. As we tread along these paths it is like riding a wave with its crests and troughs.
How we handle times when LIFE lands us in a deep trough (sickness, loss of relationships, financial blows, departure of loved ones, etc ) and we feel nothing can now get us out, is so crucial. Often, something happens or someone comes into our life - an anchor, and we slowly n steadily start lifting ourselves out of these situations. These experiences make US the person we become.
To be born a Human we are bound to have ISSUES.
To be a human also gives us the capacity to ADJUST and ADAPT.
This process continues throughout our lives.
To make the choice of growth n stay on the path requires COURAGE.
Our MIND is our biggest strength n our biggest weakness - it is again our free CHOICE how we manage our mind.
A wonderful journey started for me three years ago when I did a five day program 'Let’s Explore' with Narendra Goidani, the founder of “Life School".
I started taking small n steady steps to get rid of my fears. Then Sapere Vadere (A 3 day convention of Life School) happened - I took some bold and courageous steps of self acceptance.
Three months ago I became a KMM volunteer n I was asked by a school Friend ( who is a cancer survivor and runs an NGO called Vcare) to come and talk to cancer patients n care givers. It is strange how the mind operates - no sooner I accepted Vandana's request - I went into stress n panic mode. Another journey, another CHOICE.
I started writing bits and pieces of what I would like to share with them. I kept penning down thoughts, feelings, and sentences from all over.
It all seemed correct n yet so disconnected.
I kept procrastinating putting it all in order. I asked my son Aditya n Naren to help me but I postponed it to the last 6 days. Then I tried to take an appointment with Naren- not possible he was fully booked- I had a CHOICE - either to put my bits n pieces together to make a complete, meaningful talk or to just spontaneously ramble on.
I generally come up with great ideas, concepts n I can visualize. But I also recognize that when it come to giving my work that final finesse- I crumble. So much emotion is spent in the concept n the tendency to overdo in the initial stages, that by the time I actually have to deliver, I feel depleted.
I made a CHOICE - this will not happen this time. I started writing, cutting, pasting n editing, from my notes. It took about 2 hrs n I was done. Before sleeping I read it again, edited some more n emailed to both Naren n Aditya. I WAS HAPPY -I knew n felt I had done a good job. I got a good feedback from both.
I had two more days left which I spent doing routine chores but every now n then I would get another insight on myself - now I was actually looking forward to this meeting without any FEAR.
At Vcare office all was so normal n I was feeling a bit nervous but strangely calm.
As patients n caretakers walked in, on seeing them, I felt a little panic. Some of them had PAIN n anxiety written all over them.
But within a few minutes I became relaxed. That was a Revelation to me. Earlier, the word cancer itself would throw me in intense FEAR n now I was here with cancer Patients n care takers, relaxed!
I was totally calm - as if I had another brain, as if another Ruby, a new Ruby, was sitting there. As I started talking - the written matter was left aside. I instinctively knew I had to connect with them - I wanted each one to know that despite the fact that I don't truly understand their pain I was there JUST to share n care. No lectures. I could sense they wanted only understanding n maybe a few tips to help pass this time in their lives.
Two weeks of introspection had made me realize that my life ( like all of us) has also been a roller coaster. I wished that someone could have been my anchor, my support during those many long years ( at age 19 to 24) when I was my mother's care taker. She was wrongly diagnosed with heavy depression and was given electric shocks in my presence. I had suffered, even though my body was healthy.
This suffering afflicted my life for many years.
Preparing for this session gave me an insight.
I understand now this intense fear I experience when I have anything to do with doctors n hospitals. This understanding in some way makes me feel a bit liberated from that fear. In normal circumstances the smallest ache or pain would make me imagine the worst n get into Fear - leading to useless suffering.
My honest SHARING did touch each one of them n I felt so so BLESSED ( the only word I can think of) as they showered me with appreciation .
I realised how we, in our culture, do not have enough caring physical touch. As I hugged each one of them including the men, initially they squirmed but then they held on to me for dear Life -- my age (64 years young) :) :) :) helped. I wouldn't have done this three years ago easily.
Accepting and talking about my present condition of 'scaring alopecia' was once again a revelation - Each time I do this in the presence of an audience I go through inner GROWTH. It is not easy n yet easy. I almost now believe that these ISSUES happened because I needed to get rid of these FEARS. I seem to have an answer n a mission as to why I am where I am.
Since my return from Mumbai, I experience miracles, small n big, every day. I seem to be in a space of accepting nothingness. It is a strange feeling. I feel grounded n afloat. There is a strange sense of being enveloped in a comfy space.
I smile wistfully at life for all the challenges and opportunities it has lovingly bestowed on me. Sometimes I have understood them. Sometimes I have misunderstood them. I guess, thats the story for all of us. Isn't it?