I was recently asked by a dear friend as to why does he not hear me talking about my weakness as though I did not have any? It surprised me and set me thinking. Surprised because I thought I was full of weaknesses and talked about them all the time, i.e. I was full of myself and self obsessive. My head is swirling with fear. I am afraid most of the time, afraid of violence, afraid of death of my loved ones, afraid that I will become an invalid, afraid that I will be alone …. many, many, many. My weaknesses are many, when I feel afraid, I convert that into anger, when I feel vulnerable, I convert that into resoluteness and when I am ashamed, I turn that into victimhood. But then, may be what others heard were not what I thought I was offering. I have not figured out what to do about that, nor am I really interested in doing so, because it takes me back to a familiar loop that I wish to let go of.
However, this remark also set me thinking – not in an analytical way but to think about not who am I but what am I looking forward to in my life now? One answer that came promptly back was: Death.
I have been reflecting on my life for a while now and the idea of death does not seem that strange or alien any more; nor am I looking at death with a strange sense of morbidity. A limited way that I can express it as of now is that death is much more of a certainty in my life today than it has ever been, i.e. While we all “know” that we are not immortal, the idea of death remains distant as it happens to others, unless we are confronted by its suddenness or its imminence.
Today where I am vis-à-vis death (and ageing) is a bit fuzzy but not unclear – sounds a bit confusing I know but what I mean is that I don’t have any clear answers or any clear vision about the end. But I do know this, that death seems like a certainty that I can experience emotionally today. The idea of death does not scare me but it makes me rethink about my priorities and ways of living life.
I know for sure that I am not liking the process of ageing that my body and mind have enthusiastically jumped into without my consent in a manner of speaking!! Every day I notice some changes and I wonder who is this person? I don’t like the physical changes, not comfortable with some of the ailments that afflict me and all the earlier great impressions about my mind, are leaving me slowly but surely.
If I look back, I believe, that for the longest time, I have lived life trying to plan, to strive, to achieve, to redress and to address things that seemed important and issues that needed to be engaged with. These have had their own significance and implications for me and for people in my life. Prices were paid, dividends were received, seeds had been sowed, some dried up and some are flourishing.
Today, I believe that my time is limited (the irony is that my time was limited from the time I was conceived, but I can feel it today!!) and the way I wish to engage life is not redress and address but to simply live.
Do I know how to live? I don’t know – but I do know that I have a wish list, and goes like this:
- wish to offer whatever I can to contexts that I am related to
- I wish to love and respect people in a way that I have never done before
- I wish to receive but with a boundary that helps me to dignify me and the other.
- I wish to engage but to not solve, but to be a part of whatever is to be engaged with
- I wish to express how I feel and not translate them into framework (ok, may be just a little?)
- I wish to relate with authenticity and not manipulate myself for fear of consequences
- I seek authentic connection from others but do not wish to demand from them
Oof, sounds terribly esoteric! Well, I did say a wish list, didn’t I? Actually, I think all that I am trying to say is that today I wish to live my life, to simply live in a way perhaps I have not known and learnt before and am willing to give it a good shot.
Thought will just share this with you at this forum and would love to hear from you about your life, if you care to share.