One thing leads to another and that is how life happens, at times isolated events may seem connected in weird ways and there are also moments when even connected and continuous events appear definitely and disturbingly unrelated. They say the mind is a mystery, at the risk of sounding dramatic, allow me to add, what poets like the most to the equation, ‘the heart’ to make matters a little more interesting, though strictly scientifically speaking even emotions what is often referred to as related to the heart emerges from the mind so it’s actually not a conflict between the mind and the heart but potentially a disagreement between two arguments generated by the same brain. Lesser the stake simpler the choice, isn’t it?
We know that the ask of 4 runs from one ball, the last delivery of the match is always tougher than having to score 4 in an entire over: you get the point, I assume.
Everything expires, what is relevant today will with utmost certainty not be so tomorrow, no matter how important or meaningful is the article today. So, what is it all about then? Really two things:
1)To hold on to it
2)Or to let it go.
Art of living in many ways is about the art of leaving, leaving with peace without regret or remorse. All of us have had to part ways with things that we once held close and dear. And if we were to find a near accurate definition of who we are I think a sum total of how we dealt with all the losses we have had to absorb in our life, stacked one above the other, is the most appropriate one. Hindu mythology, offers getting rid of emotions as the first step towards, uniting with the higher power. It says that inner peace is built on the foundation free of desires and related feelings. I find this philosophy logical but impractical in so many ways. Human emotions are an integral part of being human, one can’t possibly eliminate ‘em and yet remain the same. Leaving things, getting separated from them, losing them are bound to have an impact; I think the key really lies in our ability to deal with them in ways, most would categorize as mature and if not rational, alone. Take a walk in the ward of the hospital that houses terminal patients .. meet with those, who wrestle with the idea of dying with so much unfulfilled .. who watch their near and dear once die every second of every minute of the misery that they live for real from all kinds of illness ranging from organ failures to undiagnosed conditions pointing towards imminent end. You’ll hear the noise of silence .. in the empty corridors you’ll see dreams and desires take on the reality in a bare hands showdown. Every story is unique .. every person is special and yet it will all end in similar fashion, the heart with stop pumping and in matters of minutes, the body will turn cold, each organ surrendering to fate irreversibly. That bed will soon get a new name, a new story .. and the struggle will begin over again.
I’ve recently started working with (on alternate Sundays) patients who are due for kidney transplant, medical science has advanced, success rates have improved, drugs have gotten better with time and so has been the experience of medical practitioners; what has remained unchanged is the fear that precedes the proceedings, the economic burden that the ailments brings with itself and the whole experience of the people who go through the trauma. Because I’ve had a successful life after the procedure, there are people who believe that I would be able to help those due prepare better. I do not know for sure if I’m the right example but what I know is that sharing helps, and so I do. In this engagement, I do not have to be anything other than an empathic listener sharing with them how correct they are in feeling the way they do and how closely we are related, therefore .. my present can be their future if they hold on to it.
This advice of ‘holding on’ in many ways is ‘giving up’; there is conflict in the message but not in the outcome, not in the least bit. It is one solid rock of hope that I try to provide them with, not to say that, they are entirely hopeless before our interaction and that I bring magic to the moment, but I do emphasize on the goodness of holding on. My past gives me authenticity, they take my word for it and I do not feel better doing anything else. There is a very high possibility that I might not meet these people in person ever … yet, I feel I carry those stories with me. Their tales complete my narrative in unthinkable ways. In their giving up is my holding on; together we make it work.
Being on death row is an extreme example and also a rare one… but lesser things in life, most ordinary events are not very different in its core construct – there is no ‘rule’, the code hasn’t been cracked yet .. no one knows for sure how will the wind blow, will it be just tight to let the kite drift or will it be strong enough to blow everything that comes in its way. What we do know however is that we will have to hold on to whatever is important to us no matter what. We shouldn’t lose without fighting.
Not letting go of things is not the same as holding on to them. Conscious choice is required to be made and then when the time comes, one should gather the courage to let go of things. In these talk sessions that I have with these unfortunate souls, I try not to give them false hope .. I make it a point to bring it up to them the possibilities of everything that could go wrong, horribly wrong. Being hopeful and being delusional is not the same thing, facts make all the difference. To make people believe in the possibility of good we must make them aware of all that is not good; because holding on is just as important as giving up. In the process what we do is making them aware of what is it they must hold on to and what is it they must let go, for what it is worth.