Life is a mystery meant to be decoded by all of us. Life is a maze with intricate twists and turns , meant to bewilder us and make us question every step of ours. Life plants within our minds a host of questions and doubts . So we are in constant search of the key to this mystery and the map of this maze. But the question is how successful we prove to be in our endeavours? Are we searching the key and the map at the right places?
As a child my questions were pretty simple to answer. “Why is the sky blue?”, “Where does God live?”, “Why is sugar so sweet?” etc. Or may be the questions weren’t so simple; but they were easy to answer because I accepted everything on the face of it. Logic and reasoning had not settled upon me yet. More importantly they were questions about the outside world and not essentially about myself.
But the level of difficulty in finding answers to my question kept on increasing with my transition from childhood to teenage. Now these questions were mostly about myself and I had developed these rigid filters which discarded most of the answers, that I was able to gather from friends, family and to a great deal T.V, as illogical and irrelevant to my circumstances. “Why should I listen to everyone when none listen to me?”, ” Why am I forced to behave in a particular way?”, “Should I or should I not?” etc.
As I stood at the threshold of adulthood when I was 16 and 17, primarily juggling with my high school examinations, career planning and maturity, these questions and self-doubt became much more intense and tormenting. “What if I fail?”, “Am I capable enough?, ” Is it a better decision to stay quiet than to speak my heart loud?”, ” Should I take the risk to take the path less travelled?”. The realisation of the fact that my decisions would affect those around me complicated things and the desire to get everything right pushed to me to greater levels of anxiety.
The key and the map were nowhere to be found.
Soon a realisation hit me. Perhaps I was searching for them at the wrong places. I was looking for them in the world outside me hoping that perhaps my parents or friends or teachers or books or just anyone would answer my questions aptly. But I never bothered to ask myself those questions and that I accept was so foolish of me because,
Who can know me better than myself? Why should I be dependent on others?
So with this it became a daily routine for me to talk to myself. It is a wonderful journey to form a bond with your innerself. To create a place within you where you can embrace yourself without any conditions.
Every morning I sit down in complete solitude. I speak out loud in my mind, things that bother me and then closely observe my thoughts. I appreciate myself for the good things I had done the previous day or accept my mistakes followed by a promise to improve them.
Believe me, the peace you find in this way is unaffected by the outside world because its roots have manifested themselves within you which is a sacred place.
Therefore trust yourself. Look inside you. There is Everything that you need, even the key and the map.
Finally I am back. My exams went well and yes I survived them. Frankly speaking , on the last day of my ‘ class 12th board exams’, it was actually hard to digest the fact that they are really over. I mean all the frenzy around this ‘ life determining’ exam had come to an end and the funny part is that I felt some kind of a void in life.
Nonetheless , I am back to normal debarring a few times when the thought of results gives me jitters and then I bounce back to reality with a positive thought that since I have worked so hard, the fruit is going to be sweet.
Let me tell you something that has been brewing in my mind since the last day of my exams. After my psychology paper which was the last one, I came home and called my teacher. We were discussing the answers of some difficult questions and I had all of them right but to my dismay I got one of the questions wrong in Section A which was the easiest section. I was completely disheartened . I was telling myself that “you got that wrong otherwise you had a chance of securing full marks.” I withdrew myself and sat with hung and pale face wondering about the 2 marks I had lost. I felt my heart paining.
But suddenly some kind of a voice inside me said, ” Hey wait! You can’t demean all the questions that you got right for just one question.” This took me to another line of thought and a number of questions and answers started erupting in me.
” Have I defined happiness so narrowly for myself?”
” Yes you have and it’s not right.”
” Today I lost two marks and I am so sad. Later in life I may lose many things. Will then sadness completely engulf me?”
” If things go the way they are right now, yes it will.”
” So then this means that I will never be happy in life because my frame of happiness is too small and rigid?”
” Yes again. Happiness is subjective. It is a reward we give to ourselves. If we can be happy only if we choose se it for ourselves. Happiness can be made so strong that it can overshadow all kinds of pains and remain with us in all circumstances.”
I was no more sad. I decided to be happy for things I have done right in exams. I realised this fact that an answer sheet cannot be perfect, an exam cannot be perfect and similarly life too cannot be just perfect. But the spirit we carry decides how imperfections can prove to be bliss. Happiness is not the result of the perfect, it is the ingredient to a perfect life.
Many of us are driven by motives, desires and dreams but every time things don’t work out our way. But this doesn’t means that we will sit with a hung and pale face. We must rejoice for even the littlest blessing and achievement.
I am trying to rediscover happiness. Help me out. Tell me how do you define happiness or any experience that had left you with an insight about happiness.