I have a blank canvas today. It is one of those days when I know I am touched by life, but I have not yet found the vocabulary that can meaningfully verbalize what I feel. I have also not been reading much of literature; that has added to the poverty of words that I am experiencing now. This may sound strange, but I do not know where the problem is- am I struggling with organizing all my scattered thoughts into a coherent body of knowledge, or am I groping for the words that can describe my current state of mind? I now understand the dilemma that psychologists talk about- is language merely stuck on to our abstract thought processes, or does it represent the thought process itself? How little we know about the intricacies of our own mental processes!
What is it that has touched me? The sadness of my life has touched me. You see, sadness can mean different things to different people. Of late, my affect to sadness has changed considerably. Sadness does not sadden me any longer; I cherish sadness because I am now aware of the potential of sadness. Sadness is the source of my most profound thoughts; if I have managed to acquire any wisdom over the years, I owe it all to sadness. Sadness is a beautiful state of mind, unlike the chaotic turbulence that sometimes precedes it. Sadness is the most important part of grieving; to be sad is to have accepted the trauma. In this sadness, I become very perceptive to truth. Sadness, when pure and uncorrupted by denial, helps me experience myself as a whole. In these brief moments of grief, my mind is transformed into a unitary canvas of grief– quite like a uniformly dark sky where the stars are clearly visible. Only in this unitary canvas of grief, can I see the pearls of truth that sparkle and transform the grief into an ethereal moment of awareness. This is the divinity that I seek in my life.
What is this sadness that I experience? It is an old sadness- the sadness of loss. There is so much that I have lost to life that I have ended up becoming a very interesting person. I have a textured personality, thanks to the wounds of life. Every wound speaks of an interesting story. For the same reason, I love people whose eyes sparkle through tanned and blemished faces; a flawless pretty face has no character to it- how can it possibly evoke a deeper interest? And so, I urge those of you who are suffering to remind yourself that your suffering will end up making you an interesting person- a person worth knowing. You will have summers, springs, autumns, and winters to talk about, unlike a person whose life is in perennial bloom. Trust me, you would rather live a harsh life and become interesting, than live a comfortable, boring life. To be motivated for as long as you live, is more important that living a life of pleasure or comfort.
There is also the sadness of not having been understood. Even as a child, I don’t think my parents understood certain facets of me. This was no fault of theirs; it was just that I had more depth than they could imagine. Some of my behaviors, motives and perspectives did not receive understanding; some were misinterpreted. I remained true to myself, and privately cherished these poorly understood parts of me. As I slowly stepped out of my childhood, I realized that these were the parts that helped me discover the special people in my life. There is nothing more joyous than finding somebody who finds worth in the elements of your personality that you conceal; the bonds you form with such people are precious. Such friendships helped me realize that not being understood, was also a disguised blessing. It enabled you to bond in ways that are beyond ordinary companionship. Also, some of the most concealed elements of my personality, created enough sadness in me to compel me to find the words that could describe the truth and worth in them. These were the elements from which I created; these were the elements that made me a writer, a psychologist, and most importantly, an empathetic and compassionate human being who could read into people’s silences. The words I have written or spoken, have helped me find my way into many people’s minds; I am cherished by the people who are suffering in some way. This helped me realize that not being understood, helped me discover a world whose beauty and joy would have otherwise been denied to me.
In summary, all our sufferings are disguised blessings. If we can interpret our suffering in meaningful ways, we can gain access to a world of beauty, magic, and fulfilment.