It is 4 o clock in the afternoon. The long green leaves of Guava trees outside my window are chilling just like I am, while lounging on my comfortable chair and reading a book. A dream catcher that a friend gifted me earlier this week flutters soundlessly on the railing. I had never noticed how the purple streaks against the white feather made it look so beautiful while swaying with the wind against the green backdrop outside. I go back to my book and to the joy of smiling once in while at a sentence written so beautifully. These days I have been practicing the art of acknowledging my feelings. I use words to define them and they help me understand what I am going through by demystifying the simple that seems so complicated. So, more out of a habit than a conscious choice, I find myself asking the question. “How do you feel, Shalini?”
Happy. My heart replied.
I smiled and went back to my book, but the irony of this answer distracted me, for a couple of hours of back, when I had asked myself the same question, the answer had been – anxious. anxious. angry. angry. pain. more pain.
I paused and carefully placed the bookmark on the page that I was at, promising that I will come back to it soon and looked outside my window again. The sun was getting ready to set and had reached just at that perfect spot where its brightness was blinding me. I couldn’t really see the greenery outside the window anymore but my dreamcatcher glowed magnificently against the sunlight. I closed my eyes and everything turned into hues of yellow and orange, the warmth teasing my skin and in its own whimsical way, telling me that I ought to enjoy it while it lasts. I asked the sun looming over me, ‘So what is it? Am I happy because I know you are not here to stay or because I am happy, I see that you haven’t gone away?’ The sun replied, still shining brightly over my closed eyes, its bright orange now. It said. ‘What came first, the chicken or the egg?’
As the worries in my life stay put as they have been all this while, this moment of doing nothing and finding a rare joy in the warmth of the sun that comes every single day, told me something about happiness. And sadness.
Sadness, perhaps is a reminder that things need to change. Happiness, maybe is the reward of making that change. It is a cycle and if noticed carefully, the secret to happiness could lie in the underlying beauty of understanding our sadness. Maybe they are just the same thing, waiting for us see how perfectly they complement each other.
A couple of months back, I can say that being anxious was my perpetual state of mind. You can read the related post, where I have written a letter to my anxious self. I know for a fact that I am a very different person today and I wonder if I am being rewarded for addressing my sadness, instead of pushing it under the rugs. Today, being anxious is just a part of my life, among all the other things. I have accepted it gracefully, allowed it to teach me more about myself and have learnt to hold its hand without judgement while slowly breaking the old, violent, self harming structures that had made their homes inside of me. I have learnt to see the nightmares of my life as a constant reminder to love myself, while reaping tiny rewards of happiness in the form of warmth, in the form of joy, as and when I am successful in changing within the wheel of time.
Is this what self-love looks like?
I hope you have a wonderful day too. I will now sign off. The sun’s about to set and it is my favourite part of the day. 🙂