I wish I had let myself be happier. – The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.
I’ve never felt so alone, which by the way, is utterly a false belief. Perhaps that’s what the thought of having an empty nest does to one’s mind. Lately at times I just can’t get connected to life. I switch off before life switches me off as if distancing from connection would spare me from heart breaks. Maybe some of you are familiar with this sense of disconnection. Maybe some of you can’t relate to that. I keep thinking about the top five regrets of the dying: one of which is “I wish I had let myself be happier.” It seems like a simple thing to do. Let yourself be happier. Then why haven’t I done that exactly?
Yesterday at the end of 90 minutes yoga by the beautiful poolside, in the middle of the crowd, I wept, not unlike a child who finally found a way home. It was beautiful and terribly pathetic. While I was holding the final pose, with my body aching, my heart tender and open, I saw myself for who I am for once in my life. I heard voices of rejection, (what I deemed as ) disapprovals, arguments, looks of disappointments, disdain and indifference, and felt all the heart aches, all the heart-melts, all the little and big things I do to gain approval, to gain acceptance, to gain compliments and validations. I saw the little ugly terrified child-self who kept trying in all the wrong ways, and all the feet that stepped over her back. I saw the angry hateful witch-self who lashes out at people who love her just because she can.
Ever since my yoga-by-the-pool moment, I can sense the filter I put over my own eyes, my tainted perspectives. For every rejection or refusal of my wishes by strangers or family, one thing is clear. Everyone is doing his or her best, fighting his or her own demons while striving for own sense of peace and worth. It is okay if there is no validation of my perspectives or my existence. It’s okay if suddenly I find myself alone and the whole world against me. It’s okay because I have gotten this far in life with love and support of many people. It was then that I remembered my parent’s love. How pure. How dependable. How un-vanishing. It was then that I realized I did not have to try so fucking hard all the time to be accepted. It is absolutely okay to breathe, to let go, to lose control, to be whoever I am supposed to be, to remember my values, to stand up for my beliefs, to do things that align with my values and not because I feel I need to prove to be adequate.
Today has been extremely difficult for me, even after waking up with this thought. I faced a difficult challenge today. And I reacted instead of responding. I threw away all the life lessons I had gained because I was afraid of not being worthy. But I am home now. I am safe with people who would not hurt me (not intentionally anyway). After all, all love has the potential of inflicting pain. I know I did not handle this day in the manner of a stoic but I am breathing now. Tomorrow when I rise up, I am sure I will mess up again, but hopefully I would do so with a little more bravery, more kindness, more awareness, and with more determination to be happier, and be more okay with life.