It has been quite some time since I wrote to you. The last time I wrote to you, I challenged myself to be more courageous. I shared my quota of disappointments with you and showed intent to work with you and not against you. I never thought it would be easy and I knew it would be foolish to underestimate your impact, but when it comes to working with you, old patterns and habits emerge out of nowhere and intentions are thrown off guard, replaced with fear, insecurity and self-doubt. So, I guess I ended up where I started more often than I ever imagined.
I picked up the pen quite a few times to write to you but well, nothing.. absolutely nothing came out. I kept pushing until today I could no longer hold myself hostage to fear, insecurity, a deep sense of helplessness you left me with.
Anxiety: Intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
This is how Google defines you. Worry and Fear are your constant companions. Your companions are quite a bully. So, this is what happened in the last few days. I would be all brave and courageous, hopeful of recovery in your presence, but then just when everything seemed fine, I would make a mistake. It could be the simplest of mistakes but your friend Fear would waste no time to fill me with a chill that would make my spine freeze. I would drown myself in self-loathing dialogue and lose all hope.
Buddha was a psychologist way ahead of his time and one of his most powerful teachings was the philosophy of impermanence. Have you ever wondered how you make us feel in your presence? Your presence makes us feel that the situation we currently are in is a “Permanent situation”. No matter how stark the reality, the reality is going to change, but in the moments of weakness, one of the greatest sources of pain is the myth that you and the situation I am in, is permanent.
This seemingly impermanent “permanence” is a delusion we all suffer from. You have this rare ability to expand time. Time seems to move slowly when you are around. You seem to bring your partner worry along to slow the time further and make us run the hamster wheel. Oh, how you enjoy making a fool of us. We run all day only to be tired of running. Oh we run, we try and run away from the worries you present but alas, only do we succeed to run into few more worries. See how google objectifies you — Intense, Excessive and Persistent. Oh how intensely you make us believe the lies and suffer inconsolably that the future is irreversibly damaged. Nothing is moderate in your presence, everything is excessive. You tear apart my ability to focus by throwing one distracting thought after another. By the time I have analysed your every thought, I am tired beyond repair. And boy are you persistent? Your Persistence is hard to compare and find an example worthy of comparison. Your impact haunts long after you are gone.
So how difficult is it to imagine the impermanence of a situation? In reality, I found it has nothing to do with logic because you have successfully hijacked logic. It is a matter of perspective and patience. It is a matter of constantly reminding oneself that “This too shall pass”. It is this simple inability in us that you pounce upon and make a feast out of. Our faith in ourselves, trust in the process and patience is greatly depleted in your presence. We don’t recover to fill our resources enough to remind ourselves of the simple fact “This too shall pass”. So, in the face of all the pain and suffering you cause, this is my defence — “This too shall pass”.
With time and hopefully with better practice, I will be able to remind myself and hopefully believe that you are impermanent. You have a borrowed existence. You don’t exist in reality but borrow your existence from my weakness. Anything borrowed is always temporary and that is my greatest defence against you. You are imposing and very powerful, but I need to remind myself the next time you raise your hood that I am more real than you are. You are only real when I forget reality. You are only powerful when I forget my true power- to remind myself of your impermanence.
Fear and Worry thrive in the dream of permanence. The moment you remind yourself the dream does not exist, they dissolve into thin air and that’s how Buddha’s statement that “I am awake” makes so much sense. Just as fear and worry are impermanent, the other side of the coin is Courage and faith. Even though we are brave and patient in packets, it is important to remind ourselves to be courageous more often. Fear and Worry have their foundation on unreal opinions of anxiety and self-doubt whereas Courage lays its foundation in the bedrock of integrity. Your authenticity is deeply rooted in your existence. Deluded as we are we misunderstand the nature of fear and courage. We practise courage rarely doubting its existence and continue to worry and fear day in and day out believing them to be real.
If not anything, I hope the readers find strength and hope in impermanence.
Until next time!.