The last year and this have been tough on everyone. Across the world, many people have lost money, jobs, livelihood, property, and the worse – their loved ones. My husband and I have both been volunteering during the pandemic for various initiatives and so we have experienced heart-breaking stories of loss, firsthand. While 2020 brought in fear of health and adjusting to a new way of life, we were spared the loss of anything major except for some shortage in income. However, the terrible 2021 has badly shaken me, and sometimes I have wished that it was 2020 again – which we braved with a “this too shall pass” attitude.
This year has brought an unprecedented loss of life in my circle of friends and family. Starting in February, I have lost at least one person every month. I lost my Father-In-Law and Brother-In-Law from my inner circle of family. I lost a very close friend and a few ex-colleagues too. While some of the deaths were because of COVID-19, others were completely unexpected and happened out of the blue for different reasons. Is it the stress of the uncertainty that is aggravating dormant ailments or playing with one’s mind driving them to take rash decisions?
When one sees loss like this continuously, fear sets in automatically. Fear of uncertainty for the rest of the loved ones and your own self as well. Yes, life is uncertain. It has always been. But never have I experienced loss on this scale and questioned it so much. Beyond a certain point in time one’s morale breaks down. Thankfully, our family rallied around each other and we are getting on. I am also blessed to have the unconditional love of my Dalmatian – Smokey. Pets do wonders for mental health and help keep you grounded in times of uncertainty.
And there is another thing that I realized in one of my conversations with my father – that faith and belief will help you conquer your fears. When you know things are uncertain and you really have no idea of why it is so and don’t have any actual control over it, dwelling upon the fear will only demonize the issue and make it appear bigger. Instead, if we keep the faith and firmly believe that things will get better, they actually will. Even if you can’t influence what happens, your belief will give you the strength to get through the difficult times.
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It is proven that faith and belief in good things attract positive energy. The key here is to believe wholeheartedly and unconditionally in the ‘something good’, even when you actually can’t see it. In fact, to quote an example from our epics, during the infamous public ‘disrobing’ of Draupadi in Mahabharata she calls out to Lord Krishna to come and save her. However, initially she is still protecting herself by holding on to the sari. This can be correlated to how we say we believe in something but still harbor doubts. It is only when Draupadi opens her arms and surrenders to her faith that Krishna will save her, the miracle of the inexhaustible sari happens and she is saved from the public humiliation of being disrobed in full court. This shows how good things manifest when you truly believe in something.
Last month, I had a scare with my mother’s health. While the problem was not big, it was giving her some discomfort and she was not getting better. The doctors were also not able to pinpoint the reason and we were sent for multiple tests by different consulting doctors. All this uncertainty and the risks involved in the hospital during COVID again brought out my fears. But I thought back to this Draupadi incident and kept my faith and got through this phase too. In fact, I feel I thought of this incident as Mahabharata has been on my mind of late because I reviewed Misters Kuru last month and the recent Janmashtami – again some kind of strange coincidence helping me get through a tough phase!
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A lot of people don’t have faith in FAITH because it stems from the heart. It is easy for the mind to take over and think of logical solutions. While the importance of this cannot be undermined, many times it is your faith that pushes you to find solutions because you know there is something better out there. In times of distress, faith can make you spiritual as well and help overcome fear and anxiety. In fact, your faith can also motivate someone else. So faith is not just some silly, irrational thought. It is also not just religious. It is transcendent. Your faith is what gets you through tough times and helps you make the right choices. And as they say, “ Faith Can Move Mountains”.
So here is a shout-out to all of you who are scared in these uncertain times. Things will get better and you will come out of this stronger. Keep The Faith!