Sooner or later there comes a time in life where we question everything. Why are we in this job? Why are we lost? What are we seeking? Why are we feeling stuck? Why do we feel the way we do? Our values and principles and do they stand the test of time or will they succumb to circumstance? And the questions go on.
For me it started with feeling stuck in my job. You know that feeling when you really have to drag yourself to work with the do I really want to be here lurking in the back of your head. And then those meetings with no concrete agendas. I fight to push away why am I here to some remote corner of my mind from where it is hard for it to resurface. I fail miserably. The questions become louder and the soul becomes restless. Finally, what most people would call as a career mistake, I resign. Thankfully my boss was understanding enough.
This I realize now was probably the easiest step on a journey that is hardly pleasant or easy. I spoke to many people about what they thought living was all about, what they wanted in life and if they achieved it? If yes, did it make them happy? What they felt about forgiveness and what is kindness?
The answers were many broadly ranging from being happy, feel contentment, doing good for society, making shit loads of money, reaching a certain level in their career, being a good human being and someone even quoted David Viscott, “ The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” I also wanted all these things and frankly who doesn’t?
But how does one do that in a time when we feel a myriad of emotions every single day, running madly after things that we think will give long-term happiness and contentment but in reality just give a moment’s pleasure. And let’s not even get started on the mind…the wolf in the Cherokee Legend. We are both the grandparent and the innocent grandchild. We hold the two wolves fighting against each other inside of us. Intellectually we know which wolf we must feed. Our social media posts are indicative of the wise words we share. Experientially, we are too weak to feed it so we feed the other one. It’s easy to react with anger, hatred, and jealousy when faced with a hardship. Involving our egos, pride and the notion of self-respect gives the much-craved food to this wolf. Feeling inferior or pitying ourselves isn’t any good either. Assumptions and expectations make for the delicious dessert for this wolf. It is a well-fed wolf all set face the hardship that life hurls our way. And there explode all the myriad emotions that we have fed this wolf with. Oddly, we might scrape by but we hardly win. We become unknowingly attached to our misery and suffering because it’s easy to fight faults in others and blame them.
But, how many minutes in a day do we take out to look within ourselves and ask what we did to get an unpleasant reaction from someone? When it comes to assessing our actions it’s easy to forget the karmic law that we are taught very early in school. Looking inwards, finding joy within ourselves and forgiveness is the only solution to walking away from the negativity and misery we hold within ourselves. The answers to all our troubles lie deep within ourselves. All we have to do is be determined to look deep within ourselves for the answers and feed the wolf that we are currently too weak to feed.
As for me, it’s a journey that I have embarked on. It hasn’t been pleasant in the least but fulfilling so far.