If God intended our lives to be simple He would have made us earthworms. But instead He chose to make us his supreme creatures. We are by design complex so how can we expect our lives to be uncomplicated? It would be like buying a brand new refrigerator and using it as cupboard! The utility of everything is hidden in its design. There is no waste in God’s design, nothing surplus is added simply because He had the choice to do so. It upsets me so much when people around me pray and expect their lives to be simple and uncomplicated – we are asking God to ‘waste’ His resource, which of course He doesn’t. And that is the source of our unhappiness.
First I think we need to differentiate between lifestyle and life. Lifestyle is the paraphernalia we gather around ourselves to make life materially comfortable and life is the experiences we have as we move on our path from birth to death. Lifestyles should be simple, that is what religions have been telling us all along, but don’t confuse lifestyle with life itself. Our trials, tribulations, gains and losses are all part of the educational syllabus set for us so that we can grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is only by going through our worst phases that our best emerges.
There is an inherent thirst in all of us to search for the meaning of life and most do so by searching it externally and through religious texts. But the meaning of each individual’s life is different and it can only be found in analyzing our own life and trying to understand the twists and turns of our own particular path. Nobody else can do that for us because only we know what we went through.
I never write about anything unless I have experienced it myself, only then do I feel I have the right to try and influence someone else – to do otherwise would be hypocrisy, which I abhor. My life was a true fairy tale. An only child of an only child, I was the centre of the universe for not only my parents but the entire extended family. The magic continued as I grew up, I travelled the world and had experiences most people just dream about. And then it all changed. My mother was diagnosed with dementia and I had to curb all my travels and move my office to my house. The bills kept piling up and my energy kept sapping – care giving for a dementia patient drains us emotionally and physically. Like most people I started thinking that life as I knew it was over. The fairy tale was over and the harsh reality was the nightmare I had woken into. My self-defeating thinking kept growing and I started looking outwards to find the answer to ‘why’? Like most people I started thinking this was the result of something I did wrong. This was retribution for my sins. But I was wrong.
This dark period was not a punishment at all, but proof that God was really taking a bit of extra interest in my growth. I realized in this phase that I had nerves of steel, even when the mountain of problems grew to a seemingly insurmountable height, I treaded on always knowing that this had to end sometime. I realized that my joy centre was inside me, I did not need people to make me happy instead I could always find reasons to smile within myself. Many of my friends thought I had become a recluse, but I had found my company in the form of books and writing became my chief form of expression. If I was sailing through life I wouldn’t have discovered the cathartic joy of writing. This alone time gave me plenty of time to reflect and get ‘intuition’ i.e. going inwards for tuition, and I am thankful for this period of my life. Hopping from one flight to another as was my lifestyle a few years ago, I wouldn’t have found myself.
I realized that my life was ready for a leap. At the moment I have made my mother the only priority of my life, but this phase sadly will end soon, what then? Does my work really give me so much joy that it can fill the void that will be created? The answer was No. During this phase one sentence kept popping up in my mind “connect the dots…” and I began to see connections between seemingly unrelated philosophies, mythologies and events from ancient history. I began to understand that my purpose, my particular meaning of life lay in this phrase. This was what life was training me for, this is why I was forced to go through this period. What I did not really know at that time was the wherewithal of translating this intangible concept into my physical reality. One day out- of- the- blue that idea came to me that I can’t really go further in my ‘connecting the dots’ till I have authentic knowledge. And for that I need to get a formal education in history and work to get my PhD in ancient history. The very idea lifted my mood, it made me excited and I knew this was the course I was meant to take. I knew that when it’s time for my mother to make her transition from the physical world this pursuit will fill the void. What the universe requires from me ultimately I don’t know yet, but I am sure that the next stage will also become clear when the time comes.
Each one of us has a destiny but it is up to us to uncover it. If we can’t read the clues and pray for life to be simple we fail to uncover it and go unfulfilled from this world. Not all of us are born to be great philanthropists or highly successful business tycoons, but we are all certainly all born for a reason, a unique destiny which only we can manifest. There is no honour in living like earth worms! The past must be reflected upon to understand the future but wanting the past to return is our biggest source of unhappiness. The job of our past is to shape our future not be our future!