How many times have we heard the following …
Love Heals Everything.
A man is the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Be in the Present.
God is our strength and refuge.
Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Start trusting yourself. You are already everything you need to be.
But did I truly ever understand what they meant? What did these words really mean? How did I unlock their true meaning?
Frankly, I needed to go through experiences, awakenings and life’s difficult lessons to understand their meanings.
For example, I understood the importance of mind strength after I arrived at Bollywood, a brutal place for those who want to achieve things on their own.
And I understood the importance of being in the present after my mother’s death with cancer. Till then, our family had always lived in the future. We had been taught to sacrifice our present, to prepare for that future. Thus, we were always miserable but filled with images of grandeur of a tomorrow … that never came. With the death of my mother, the collective vision for our family disintegrated.
Again, I understood the importance of mind control, when my mother died and I found myself falling apart … depressed, and laden with memories and regrets. As I started meditating, I understood the mechanics of both — thoughts and how to control my mind. And that peace can only be found within.
Though I had prayed to God since childhood, it was mostly because my mother and grandmother had, or that we were taught to. Mostly it was to ask for something (even a good pair of Nike at times), or in fear of something (exams), or sometimes just to feel good (laddoos as prasad helped). I was looking for something beyond the tangible, but had no idea what. And then I went through my extraordinary spiritual experience. From that day on, I started to connect with the Universe out of faith, love and for sheer joy.
It was the same with the concept of self-love. I understood it’s meaning for the first time when I stopped depending on anyone else for love. Slowly I stopped complaining and pointing fingers at others, because I realised that I could hardly crib about how others treated me when I had treated myself so badly. I needed to love myself, heal myself, and then forgive not just others, but myself too. Trust me, the process took all the strength I had, and then some!
But as I started meditating, looking inside myself, facing myself, and embracing myself, I realised that I need not have waited for the dark experiences to teach me the lessons I had learnt. I need not have waited for so long in life to unlock the meanings of the oft-repeated, time-tested words of great men. I could have just sat on my bed, fixed my gaze at a point, and started understanding life.
Some people call this Spirituality. But why give it a name?