People all around us are dealing with loss and grief. There is no one whose life isn’t peppered with strife and dotted with heartbreaks. Some lives are more difficult than others, but all lives are challenging.

Sometimes I imagine my heart to be an apple with a rotten piece. It’s red, plump, and juicy, but also a part of it has awfully decayed. It could be a metaphor for my life as well. I wish I could slice that portion with a sharp knife and throw it away. Then I’d be left with only the delicious bit, which is much larger than the spoilt part. Oh! How wonderful would life be? If only…

Most of the people I have met in my life have had more challenging circumstances than I have. Yet, they go about their lives with a smile and laughter. So, I have concluded that the sheer act of living life is an act of courage itself.

But be warned, tragedy and misery are not the same. Tragedy is something which is out of your control. Someone close to you died; you grew up in poverty or circumstances you had no control over.

However, misery is different. It is self-inflicted,  and it arises out of inaction. For instance, I can choose to wallow in sadness because an expensive item was lost, or I can get over it and replace that item.

Taking action is not always easy, though. Sometimes, you can see the action you need to take, but the uncertainty and conditioning paralyse you. Many women stay in abusive relationships because of this fear.

In both cases, the grief is debilitating.

On the last day of our workshop, we decided to write about the most tragic incident of our lives. We dived into the dark corners of our hearts where we find things to grieve about when we are lonely. We allowed ourselves to share it with you, dear reader.

My loss, tragedy or sadness is nothing compared to what most people out there live with. When I read some pieces, I was left with a huge lump in my throat. The rotten portion of my apple shrank with shame.

Yet, all of those people are living their life with gusto. They are achieving milestones with hard work and changing the lives of their family and others with passion.

In the myth of sisyphus, philosopher albert camus writes sisyphus’ punishment of rolling the big rock up the hill forever is a metaphor for the human condition: sisyphus must struggle eternally and without hope of success. Sisyphus can find enjoyment as long as he accepts that there is nothing more to life than this absurd struggle

Before I share with you the tragedy of human life, I want you to read these impactful blogs.

These are some real-life stories which brought me to tears. I share these with you because these are also stories of hope, bravery and inspiration.  

Transformative Ideas

Just Another Story (Mine): ‘It was midnight. We talked for three long hours, and the first thing that he said to me was that he had a mistress.’ It shattered her heart into tiny pieces, yet Danielle thought having her husband was worth every other heartbreak. Until she decided it wasn’t. This is not just another story. It is a story of courage, hope and action.

The Pink Slip: It was her first job. She enjoyed it thoroughly and knew her journey towards her dream career had begun. But it was supposed to teach her the biggest lesson of her life. She was handed the pink slip. She felt like a prisoner. This is Neha’s story of her first disappointment at the workplace.

Big Boys Don’t Cry: Niraj Chandra’s father was a well-known journalist of his time who worked at a British media house. They lived a comfortable life until his father died. He and his brother worked harder. His brother got through the IIT, and Niraj later opped the IIT entrance too. However, another tragic event took away the carpet from under his feet — his brother also died in the prime of his youth. Tragedy hit Niraj full force when he learnt that his brother died for no fault of his own. And if it weren’t for his brother, Niraj might have met the same fate. This blog moved me to tears. 

A Dark Night of the Soul: Sushree Diya is back and has launched Season 3 of her popular life-story series, Confessions of a Merry Monk. The first blog of this series left me with moist eyes and a lump in my throat. “By 22, I found myself divorced, living alone, and now begging to see my children,” she writes. She conjures up the time when she sat in a dark room wondering if her kids believed their new mom was their ‘real mom’ and they had forgotten their ‘biological mother’.

And My Hands Shivered and Shook: She was the apple of her father’s eye. He was dearest to her. And nothing had prepared Meera for the fateful day his father disappeared. With her two-year-old in her lap, she looked in every nook and corner for him. Relatives were called in to launch the search operation. The police dispatched their staff for him. Eventually, they found him in a hospital. Several years later, Meera is still looking for closure.

The Woman Who Loved Too Much: Sohini has written a three-part real story of a woman who loved too much. She loved a man, married him and birthed their child. And then she found a woman on his lap when she went back to their home. She lost her husband, her child and her dreams. It broke my heart. Why do gods put people through tragic tests?

Cheers to Freedom: Life is not easy for anyone. However, sometimes it is all a matter of taking action, choosing the freedom to break free from the grief that drowns us. Hamsa Gayathri’s verse captures this truth beautifully. So, if you are stuck, I send you this poem to show you, that there is a way out. Just take that step.

How to Be Happy All the Time: After reading emotionally heavy blogs, here’s a perspective worth contemplating. Niranjan Seshadri offers a way for sustainable happiness: strike a balance between desire and satisfaction. Read the full post to understand this practical viewpoint. 

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Wisdom from Om Swami

Why do Good People Suffer?: It’s a question that has haunted the best minds. I know no one better who could answer this question than spiritual leader Om Swami. Read the piece to find out the answer.

Your Karmic Account: The Karmic Law: It’s a merry-go-round. No matter who you are or what you are riding, it all ends up in the same place, writes spiritual leader Om Swami. Your karmic transactions are your responsibility. Here’s how to do it well. 

If you are feeling a bit heavy after this intense Digest, I have some good news: We don’t have to be miserable for the rest of our lives. There is a way to free ourselves from misery. We just need to act. And the truth is, we all know that one action that would set us free from this misery, we just need some pushing, some courage to take that step.  

However the grief! Oh! Does the grief ever go away? Perhaps not. The grief doesn’t go away. We learn to live with it. Our life grows around it and it starts looking smaller. It stays, we change. Sometimes, we change our outlook, other times, we change our circumstances.

I have a question for you: Does God put us in emotionally devastating situations so that we would worship him or her and pray for mercy?

I mean just give me a happy one without the sting, is it too much of an ask 🙂

May Ganesha take away all your problems. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

Until next…

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