By Rahul Keshri:
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Why do we need to reconnect to our soul and heart? Mentioned below, are three quick points, that might give you a perspective on just how beautiful you and your life are!
Often, while talking about depression, mental health or suicide, we tend to get very technical and analytical. While all of that is done with the kindest of intentions, and with a very empathetic heart, the challenge is – how to communicate that message effectively, so that it really reaches out to the person in need, and he/she can begin to feel more compassionate towards themselves.
I am writing this to all people. Regardless of your location, gender, age, job, and position in society, you may, at some point, feel completely defeated by life. Things will get a little chaotic and uncertain. You will get thousands of negative thoughts and emotions running through your body. You will fall in love, get hurt. You will sometimes get your dreams crushed. You will go through an existential crisis and emotional turmoil.
Once, I was at an open mic event. A girl came to the stage, looking really pretty, and filled with enthusiasm. I could see it in her eyes and her body language that she was nervous. Also, I could see that that nervousness wasn’t going to stop her from saying what she came to say.
She spoke about how she’s growing up and various responsibilities and expectations are being put on her. It’s a part of growing up; we sometimes are given a greater load than we can carry. She elaborated on how she was feeling confused and alone; that she didn’t know what the right thing to do was. She felt as if there was no meaning or joy left in friends, relationships, or her college life. She would complain all the time, sit and cry. She wanted peace, someone who felt like home. She felt abandoned and left out for being honest, most of the time.
We all go through such times, at least once or twice. So, below, I want to elaborate on some basic things that might help you have a positive outlook on such adversities.
Modern social conditioning, advertisement, and the media have portrayed that for a healthy life, a person should be happy all the time. There is a certain expectation that has been put on all of us that we need to have strong emotional control on ourselves and mental strength. It doesn’t work, because everybody is different. People have a multitude of strengths and weaknesses. Especially, during late teens and while entering your 20s, the world might seem like a massive place. You do feel small, given the scale at which things are happening around you. Information is pushed down your throat, and you don’t know what to do with it. Things become much more dynamic and unstable. You find yourself in the middle of a storm.
It’s very different from when you were a kid and things were provided to you. You have no idea that living can be so daunting. You walk, in a jungle, like a blind person, who is confused with all the noise, the rustling of leaves, growling noises, feeling helpless! Of course, it’s hard! Stop listening to the media to tell you how to feel. However you feel, and whatever you experience, is your truth!
You are an individual with complex psychological and biological needs and impulses. It’s okay if you are sad sometimes. It’s okay to feel lonely sometimes. It’s okay to feel lost sometimes. It tells that you have a healthy brain and you are not blindly following other people’s agenda. It tells that you are creative and you have ambition. It means that you can understand yourself, you can be aware of your emotions. That’s a power in and out of itself. Many people, just delude themselves by thinking that they will be happy when (fill in the blanks).
Just like when you wear clothes, it’s up to you to wash them, iron them, and take good care of them. It’s up to you to take a shower and wear your best shoes and maintain your hair and your health. It’s all a choice. Similarly, waking up and making a proactive choice to be happy, rather than just letting yourself go along with the emotions is very necessary. Proactively doing things that make you feel good and happy, not in the short run but also, in the long run, is key. People, habits, work, lifestyle, hobbies, books, exercise, food, music, etc. are all sources of positive emotions. You always have the power to decide something. You always have the power to go for a walk all by yourself.
Okay, what am I writing? Let me take you on a little thought experiment. When a child is in the womb, it’s like being in heaven, metaphorically speaking. He has no work to do, he’s comfortable, food and nutrition are provided to him, he doesn’t have to move or do anything. Isn’t it very similar to the comfort zone we all seek, where we can get the most rewards, by applying the least energy? We can just sit and feel loved, where nothing ever goes wrong; you have everything around you that you want, there is no chaos and no emotional drama. But, from our perspective, isn’t it a beautiful thing? A new life is created. We can all see that the child is crying, but we are happy for the child.
We know that it is painful to enter a completely new world, where they will have to deal with certain challenges, emotions, events, people, responsibilities, pain, struggles, heartbreak, failures and successes, and everything. But, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Isn’t there beauty and peace in life? What would you prefer? Going through life never falling in love, and never getting hurt or meeting someone amazing, having a nice experience with them; and if it doesn’t last, at least you felt that.
You experience what many people will die for. You became stronger and more colours were added to your being by just going through that experience. Now, think about your school, your college, your best friend, the moments you cherish, people who might be secretly admiring you, people who might be secretly looking up to you, some people who care for you and all the creative things you have done in your life!
I know life can be messy sometimes, but if you ask me, I love that mess and I would give everything to live this mess again and again! Our time is limited, there’s no hurry. Life passes by in the blink of an eye. The future becomes present, and the present becomes a memory. Everything might not go exactly the way that I want, but I am happy about that. At least it’s not boring. At least it’s better than nothingness.
The author, Rahul Keshri, is an active supporter of PSY-FI : For a Healthy Mind and The Jigsaw Company. He manages and actively writes on his blog on Instagram under the name – ‘ Menoverse’. He is an advocate of positive masculinity and we have reduced talking to each other while casually throwing judgements, craving humane concern, and finding ourselves in fixed social conditioning.