We go through such a lot in life. When we are young, we have dreams and some preset notions about life which are generally proven wrong by life. We face setbacks and failures that shake up the very foundation of our existence. Regardless of what we face, we carry on with those scars, little realizing that these wounds scars slowly and steadily creep into our psyche and alter the very perception of life. Yet, most of us don’t even think about healing these wounds.
In the movie Dear Zindagi, Dr. Jahangir Khan (played by Shahrukh Khan) has a very interesting observation. He says that when we get a disease like jaundice or typhoid or even cancer, we love to tell every one about it. However, when there is a problem with our mind we hide it or deny it as if the mind is not even a part of our body.
When my husband passed away, I did not know how to react. My marriage was not a very happy one. I had tried to reason with my husband but to no avail. I was hoping that some day he would see the light and come back to his daughter and me but, his death took away that hope. So, when I was told about his death, I had no idea what I was feeling. The days that followed are kind of blank in my mind. I went through the normal motions of life. I tended to my daughter, I did what I was supposed to do, but something in me had probably died with him. I thought life would never be the same again. However, I had not accounted for the resilience that tries to save us at these times. It was the kind of resilience that makes a person come up for air when he is drowning in water
Though I felt dead to the world, there was something in me that wanted to be okay. I told my parents that I wanted to go for therapy. I had read Dr. Brian Weiss’s Many Lives, Many Masters and many other such books that talked about therapy. I was sure I did not want medicines. All I wanted was to understand the reasons for whatever had happened in my life.
Therapy to the people around me was something akin to the treatment of some one who had gone mad or lost his mind. They resisted. They had seen too many movies about hypnosis and people trying to control other people and believed that a therapist can hypnotize his patient and make the patient do anything that he wanted. After a lot of cajoling, they finally gave in and I visited the therapist for the first time.
I had told the therapist that I did not want any medicine and she was okay with that. She asked me to talk and she simply listened. That was something I had not done for a long time. Actually, today, it is impossible for people to take out time to listen to anyone in such detail. Life today is a hectic affair where people are busy running after their desires and dreams. As I talked, she asked me questions which helped me to find answers to the questions that I did not even know I had.
Slowly and steadily with each session, I gained some understanding and insight into my situation. She hypnotized me but I was conscious of everything around me (those fears were unfounded). She helped me to understand the true meaning of letting go, of forgiveness, of love. Slowly, with each session and the exercises she had given me, the fog in my mind cleared. I stopped blaming myself, I stopped blaming the world. I started understanding the ‘me’ in myself a little better. There were times I cried like crazy and at those times I realized crying is important to let go.
I realized that we let these hurts, disappointments, setbacks, problems accumulate in the closet at the back of our mind for years. We do not address them. Unexpressed emotions are constantly shoved to the back of the mind. Then one day, a storm opens this closet and all those small hurts and disappointments combine to become a big, huge monster that makes us think that life is not worth living. Don’t let that happen. Seek help and resolve your issues. There is nothing wrong in doing that.
I started writing about my experiences during this time. However, I was still reluctant to show it to the world. My therapist helped me to realize that what really matters in this entire story is my reaction to the situation. What people think about me is not my problem. Understanding my past helped me to understand my patterns, my thoughts and my emotions and resolve them.
I don’t claim that my healing is complete. There are still setbacks, there are still times that the past raises its head, there are times I get overwhelmed by the challenges of life. However, what really did happen was that I understood my self a little better. I understood my own reactions, my own tendencies and perhaps that helped me to deal with everything.
Today, there are cures for many diseases which were deemed incurable earlier. However, no one has been able to find a perfect cure for the problems of the mind. We keep facing setbacks in our lives, in relationships but we hardly pay attention to what these experiences do to our inner self. Perhaps, we need to first understand ourselves more than the people around us. Therapy can help us to do that in a big way. Don’t worry about what people will think of you.
No matter how accomplished we are just like we need a mirror to see our selves, we need some one else to help us understand ourselves.