“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
“Have you developed antibodies?” I asked, concerned.
“Yes, beta, our isolation period is over. Thankfully, we both have developed the antibodies.” Mata Sri’s reply was reassuring.
Like many others, my poorv ashram (pre-renunciation) parents were also affected by the Coronavirus last month. With Swamiji’s immense grace, they are now on their way to recovery.
Antibodies – one of the most common terms we’ve heard during this pandemic. Our physical body needs antibodies to keep itself healthy. In its absence, it would be assailed by innumerable invaders.
What about the mind? What protects it when it is assailed by its own form of invasion?
This is the story of Emotional Antibodies – an antistory, if you will 🙂
When I received news of my parents’ diagnosis, my inner world began to crumble. They were old. Would they survive? What would happen?
Waves of insecurity, helplessness, worry and immense sadness washed over me, submerging me in a sinking feeling. Their survival, the ones who had given birth to me and brought me up, came into question and I felt lost. How would I handle losing a loved one?
From all corners, I heard the news of people succumbing to the virus. There seemed to be pain, suffering, and demise everywhere.
Tucked away in a small village of a remote area, all I could do was to pray for their wellbeing.
Each day, I asked for updates on my parents’ reports. With Swamiji’s blessings, in a few days, I slowly began to find strength. I tried staying connected to my Faith; faith, that whatever was happening, Sri Hariji was watching; whatever was meant to happen would happen – it was Divine will.
But this surrender? It wasn’t easy!
I hadn’t experienced such emotions in a long while. A few days after I first heard the news, with the fear of the unknown looming large, I found myself looking down at my white robes. What do they represent to me?
I forced myself to ask these tough questions. What befits you? Does this attachment have any role in your life now or on this path?
How could I still be of help to my parents while I was physically far away?
And just like that, my mind began to switch gears. This was an opportunity from Bhagawan, to observe everything like a spectator. I was not a part of the family’s daily struggle to contact doctors, arrange for CT scans, blood tests, oxygen cylinders, and medicine, or find hospital beds. Nevertheless, I wanted to extend my emotional support to the entire family during the crisis.
I began calling them almost every afternoon. We would chat about nothing in particular – the weather, the food they were eating, and a dozen other things that had nothing to do with their illness and everything to do with my determination to distract them from the possibility of what they were facing.
Every day, the reports fluctuated. Pittaji’s (father’s) condition worsened and he was hospitalized. Memories of my childhood engulfed me, all the times I had spent with him flashing past me. Intermittently, my fluctuating emotions made me feel numb, so much so that I didn’t speak to him for three days as I didn’t have the courage; I wanted to escape my emotions.
In their love for me, my parents never showed me their vulnerability – how uncertain and dismayed they must have felt too. Yet, they put up a show of strength so that I wouldn’t worry.
The only anchor that held me strong, was Swamiji’s presence in my life. I felt myself floating in HIS kind protection.
Gradually I recognized that this situation was a test of my inner strength. Putting my own sentiments at bay, I simply aired the affection and encouragement that they needed. From the deepest recesses of my emotional bank, I pulled out laughter, cheer, and gratitude to share with them.
It was during one such time that a question arose within – how was my emotional bank getting filled? By whom? And when? How was I able to keep drawing from this magical well?
Was I able to share happiness, words of love, warmth, comfort, and hope because I had stored these emotions in my consciousness? Was I simply drawing from what had already been shared with me? Or was it something else, something more?
In that contemplation, my mind conceived its own term: Emogizers or Emotional Energizers. The difference between physical and emotional antibodies was an intriguing thought that spurred me to write this blog.
Just like we have our physical antibodies, we have our emotional ones too- we all have them, have developed them over time, and utilize them without even realizing it.
In my own words, I tried twisting this definition of Antibodies – Emotional Antibodies…
Antibodies are proteins that are produced by the immune system to help stop intruders from harming the body. These invaders can be viruses or bacteria. When an intruder enters the body, the immune system springs into action and creates antibodies.
Emotional Antibodies (or Emogizers) are positive feelings that are produced by our inner self to help stop intruders from harming our mental, and emotional states. These invaders can be emotional viruses arising from fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, suppression, grief, or depression. When any of these intruders enter the mind, the emotional immune system springs into action, creating emogizers 😊
So! A quick question! Where do we find these emogizers?
The sacred space in our hearts carries them, along with many of our life experiences. We develop them in simple yet mystical ways. Sharing some examples that came to my mind:
~ Imagine, while missing someone deeply and engrossed in their thoughts, suddenly, we hear a beep and our phone screen flashes their name. Our heart skips a beat and our face instantly sports a wide smile. That’s the emogizer of love being developed.
~ Often felt that the world is against us? But one look at our mother, whose eyes hold unconditional love, and her heart-warming hug, makes us feel like we could sail through any challenge life throws at us. That’s the emogizer of hope being developed.
~ Perhaps we messed up when we were teenagers and were filled with guilt or shame. Our father appears, placing his strong hand on our shoulder, reassuring us. “I’m here for you. I got you.” That’s the emogizer of belongingness being developed.
~ As a toddler, our mother’s soft touch, tender hugs, and butterfly kisses were all we needed for the world to feel complete. That was the emogizer of comfort, and security being developed.
~ While we are lost, looking for directions on a journey, a good samaritan appears out of nowhere and guides us spontaneously. We are deeply touched by their kindness and goodness. That’s the emogizer of faith being developed.
~ When our Guru appreciates us and says the words we’ve been longing to hear, “I’m proud of you,” That’s the emogizer of reverence being developed.
My foremost realization from this challenging phase; for as many invaders as there are, there are ample emogizers to crumble them into dust. These are intangible; we can’t see, touch, or hold them but their effect on someone’s life is perceptible.
I strongly feel that it may not be apparent right away but every act of support gets stored in our emotional bank to be able to withdraw later. When we offer an emogizer to others, our genuine love and concern may leave a great impact on their emotional health – way more than momentary mood-boosters or hollow support statements.
In these trying times, when almost every home has been affected by illness or grief, let’s try and spread the magic of our emogizers. Due to social distancing, though we are unable to reach out to our loved ones physically,, there is no dearth of ideas in making someone feel special.
“Care: the only true measure of one’s love. After all, if a constant verbal expression of love was sufficient then perhaps all relationships would be full of love. Whether your actions show that you care about the preferences, honor, and wellbeing of the other person (and they yours) is just about the only true indicator of love.”
How would you choose to spread emogizers? It would be motivating to hear your ideas in the comments section.
P.S: I would like to express my gratitude to every person who has contributed to developing my emotional antibodies and urge them to pass them on. Let the ripples of emogizers float across every home, in every being 😊. May we never take for granted the healing impact that resides in the love of our family, friends, and in the pious words of our most revered Guru.
I offer my obeisance and gratitude at the Holy feet of my guru, Swamiji, an embodiment of compassion and love. With Your grace, protection, and blessings, our world is filled with smiles again. Thank You for filling my life with heaps of emogizers🙏🏻😊🙏🏻.
All Glories to Swamiji!
Image Credit: Pinterest
Editing: Sujata Om and Divya Om.Thank you! Sending you the emogizer of LOVE💕🤗❣️