I had been scared most of my life — early childhood to teenage to young adulthood years.
Fear of being left alone by my loved ones (mostly by my romantic partner at those points of time). Fear of being abandoned. Fear of being not loved back enough. Fear of not being cared for enough!
I developed defence mechanisms, like staying away from groups in my school time. In later years, I used to not let myself cry when I felt hurt by the boys I dated. I used to not let myself shed a tear, holding it tight.
One day, it all exploded. Everything came out in the form of a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t hold back anything any longer — screams, cries, tears, violence — all that I was keeping locked inside me just burst out.
Did the fears then go away?
No, they didn’t. I learnt to express them now. And I swear it started hurting even more. I now used to cry everyday, I became overly-sensitive to rude, abusive words and actions.
All along, my family believed that there’s some problem with the guys that I date, they are not good and they are insensitive or “bad people”.
It took me a lot of time to forgive all the guys that have hurt me in the past. This forgiveness came with the slow understanding that they are not bad, and in fact no one is bad. Everyone is just different, formed with their own belief systems, upbringing and understanding. So the hatred slowly subsided.
But did my fears go away?
Oh no, no, girl! It’s a long, tough journey…
I have attended 2 Vipassana camps of 10 days each till now, and there S.N. Goenka ji says (paraphrasing it in my own words),
“पहले बुद्धि विलास और वाणी विलास से ज्ञान गृहण होता है, फिर अनुभूति पर उतरता है !”
(“First you receive knowledge through intellectual understanding and words, only after that you are able to receive it experientially.”)
Through Swami’s words of wisdom, I received the intellectual understanding of fears and how to overcome them. The chapters called ‘A Story of Faith’ in Swami’s book “A Fistful of Wisdom”.
“To work on everything that you can and to let go of everything beyond your control is faith in a nutshell. Such Faith, made up of action and surrender, is the most potent antidote to all fears.”
So, you’d ask, did my fears go away now experientially?
I would say, yes and no.
Yes I am still scared of losing the people I love. But is it in my control? No. So, I let it go.
And what’s in my control? What can I work on?
Loving and caring for them, making the people I love feel special and loved and cared for every single day.
And the most important, having an unwavering Faith in Sri Hari and Swami, that whatever they give me, whatever they offer to me in this life, I will accept it with open arms.
I will be capable of loving myself even in my sadness, even in my low-days.
Because I know that the sun will shine again, soon.
Now, I surrender.