What do you do when your worst nightmare comes true? Something you have been fearing for years, and praying that it never actually transforms into reality. Well, I guess there’s nothing much you can. Because had you been able to prepare yourself over time, it wouldn’t have remained the worst nightmare. And yet it does happen one day, because its meant to be. Maybe only life knows when is the perfect time to deliver it to you.

So, I was caught completely unaware one fine Monday last month. With no idea of whats coming but a somewhat persistent bad feeling that I couldn’t fathom, I had spent the weekend lying low, crying at times and struggling with myself. It was like being alone in a vast open field with no trees or houses or people in sight. No shelter, no shade, no one to talk to because no one would understand and striving hard to push aside the negative thoughts, searching for a brighter side of life and trying to be at peace with myself. Eventually , a cool wind starts blowing over and I feel better. It soothes my burning heart and I forget my worries and begin humming a happy tune. But why does my heart still go on nudging me, sinking bit by bit every moment?

Alas! A massive hurricane has hit me, smashing me to the ground, shattering me to pieces. There’s nobody around to pick me up, to tend to my wounds. I am left all alone, utterly alone! Soon news spreads about the disaster and family and friends start reaching out to me with their support and sympathy. But I don’t seek any of that, not anymore! The time has come to face myself, to deal with this reality which is much worse than anything I had ever imagined.

Over the past years, while reeling over this fear, I had always thought I won’t be able to live if this ever happens.
Yet here I am, alive and resilient. Broken to the core, yet somehow feeling stronger than ever before. “What has changed over the years” I think to myself ? And the answer comes “You have been transformed by Swamiji’s magical touch, His overflowing love, His ever present care”. I realise how His presence, His words, His actions and everything about Him have worked upon me at the innermost layers. For despite being engulfed in this darkness that feels unending, I know I am not alone and this is not the end. When I close my eyes, I see Him and His mystical glow lights me up a little. Even in the darkness I find solace imagining the most majestic dark arms of Sri Hari wrapped around me. Gradually, I fall in love with this feeling, this solitude and my new world. After a day has passed, my pain, my grief, my anger begin to subside on their own and love, forgiveness and compassion take over. The heavy backpack of self-importance, desires and expectations that I had been carrying for long have been flung far and wide by the hurricane, but I remember about them no longer. With little food and little sleep, my body manages fine. My mind is busy meditating, chanting and praying (read crying) as much as it can while awake. I have discovered a new way of living, or have I been gifted with a new life in the same body?

It would be mere foolishness to even think that I can make sense of whats going on. All I can say is I am immensely grateful for everything that has happened. Perhaps, now I understand what Swamiji means when he says “Dukh me aap ishwar ke aur karib chale jate hain” (In distress, you move much closer to God). How can I then resent any of it ? I only try to surrender myself to the Lord and strengthen and protect this divine connection with each and every breath.

In a week, the situation is resolved in a  completely unexpected manner. His Grace works in mysterious ways and His love and kindness know no bounds. I can only bow myself at His Lotus Feet and offer my heart and soul to Him.
I am blessed with a life where I have enough to meet my needs. I have let go of the unnecessary desires, ambitions, expectations and beliefs that had their claws deep into me hurting me. Now I feel so free and light. This self-coined phrase acts as a good reminder for me at all times “Keep growing your heart and shrinking your tummy“. Heart referring to my love, compassion and gratitude for all sentient beings, and tummy signifying the appetite for anything external.

Perhaps now I am beginning to grasp the great depth behind Swamiji’s simple saying – Live, Love, Laugh, Give !

P. S: When the disaster hit me, I could not come to terms with it and was totally devastated. I felt like all my understanding and knowledge was superficial if it couldn’t help me remain equanimous in the face of adversity. And my previous writings felt to be of little worth if I myself was not able to live what I write. Hence, I deleted all my posts on os.me. When Swamiji is the very embodiment of Truth Himself, how can I put up something on His forum that falls short of 100 % living truth in anyway. I wasn’t planning on writing any further posts either, but today I strongly felt like sharing my side of the story with you. For all you wonderful souls who have inspired me to write, delivered me joy with your kind words and given me a glimpse of your inner beauty and divinity, I owe this to you all!

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Kirtee Om

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