What is life?
What is love?
What is spirituality?
Are they correlated?
Can I live a life without love?
Can I just keep on bragging about love, but be blind or deaf to the pain of others? Is that living life?
Or can I just lead a life ignorant of who created me and what is my purpose in life?
When we delve on thoughts like these, that’s when we realize that Love, Life, and Spirituality are the basic ingredients in every individual’s life.
To reach out to others and care for others before our own needs was something I learnt from my grandma and mom. A sacrificial love. I realized that helping others and giving gifts to others made me happier than when I received them. I was taught that if you want to be happy in life, you need to be selfless, caring, understanding, kind, and above all, loving. Hand in hand with these, I also learnt the ingredient of Spirituality. It was drilled in me since my childhood. I am blessed to belong to a family where Spirituality played an important role in my life.
I remember my grandma telling me stories from the Bible. I used to wonder then – would this really have happened (the conflict between God and Evil)? Why didn’t God just destroy Satan? Why did He allow His Only Begotten Son to be nailed and crucified on the Cross? Why did He allow Jesus to die such a shameful death? Why? These were the questions that always bothered me. At times, I used to feel Abba Father was a Hitler. If He allowed His Only Son to die, then when I will die, surely He will put me to a strict process of judgment. I never feared Death, but I would like to confess that I always feared what would happen to my soul after death. Will it find its way to Heaven or will it be lost in Hell amongst the grinding of teeth? So, I led a life fearing God and thinking of Him as a Judge. But this fear also led me to know Him more deeply as I began reading the Bible.
I thank God that He allowed me to be filled with the Holy Spirit who made me understand whatever happened was all for my sake. Yes, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16)… How can Abba Father be a Hitler if He loves me so much that He even allowed His Only Son to die for me on the Cross. This is the Spiritual Love that led me closer to my Creator.
What about the love of a human?
When I was in 5th grade, I remember I was kissed on the cheek by a classmate during a Christmas Party. I was so scared, as if I had committed a huge crime. Oh, I was kissed! How can this happen? Fear gripped me, and I was afraid to confide to my granny. Then finally, after much persuasion, I confided what my classmate did. She laughed and said, “That’s absolutely fine, my dear. You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s a tradition to kiss on the cheek during Christmas.” That was something I wasn’t aware of. I felt, as a child, it was a huge mistake.
When I was in my teens, I was kissed for the first time on my lips in an elevator by my first crush. It felt sublime. I started to wonder, is this Love? I was in a deep trance-like state. I began to read love stories. My all-time favorite books for girls was and still is by – Mills & Boons. I started dreaming my love, too, would be a Prince Charming who would be tall, dark, handsome, romantic, and who would come riding on a white horse and take me with him to his wonderland. But then, Life began to slowly unfold the reality that such a thing never, ever happens. Tinsel town weddings are not a reality for everyone, only a few get lucky.
After I got married, it became clearer that Life’s not easy. Marriage is not easy. It needs to be worked upon. One partner can’t be the only one to love while the other is cold or frozen. Relationships never work liked that. As love entered from the front door, it also left from the window in few years. My life was a wreck then…
Life, Love, and Spirituality began to entwine in my life. At times, I used to rebuke and even curse God for such a gift as life. Why were others happy and blessed, whereas my life was becoming worse, day by day?
Those were the worst days of my life. It had affected me so badly that I felt defeated. I felt I was a born loser. My self-confidence had become zero. I fumbled. I trembled. I used to break out for simple reasons. I kept on repeating to myself – I can’t do it, I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, nobody loves me, I’m a born failure. I had forgotten the talents which I possessed. I feared light and embraced the darkness. I was delving more into negativity. It surrounded me, tortured me, making me believe I was good for nothing. At times, I felt suicidal. I stopped dressing up and looking good. I felt I was really ugly. I didn’t like to meet anyone but loved to be locked up in my room. I loved to listen to sad songs, becoming more sentimental as I used to feel the words. I was slowing, heading towards self-destruction, or rather depression, acknowledging the fact that Love is not for me and everything is my fault. I had forgotten to smile, and my stress level had gone high, leading to constant sickness and sleepless nights. There was always a grumpy look on my face. There was a conflict within me. I felt the negative side was slowly overpowering my positive side, leading me to believe that’s what was the real me. I’m born to be sad and depressed.
But the feeble voice kept on reassuring me that no, it’s not true. It’s a lie. That’s when I took recourse in writing, which was my greatest stress buster. When I used to look at the outcome of what I wrote, hope flickered, saying, it was you who had written these lines, so how can you condemn yourself? God has given you enough talents, so make use of it. So, although this phase in my life was bitter, it also brought the creative side out of me. It also taught me not to dwell in perpetual sadness by inflicting more pain on myself; not to sit and cry about the circumstances that I was surrounded with but to rise from my inner wounds and pains and live the life God wanted me to live. Yes, Live.
I, therefore, made a promise to myself that I will not let my past control my future, making me a hostage, but will move on to seek inner peace and happiness. I have not failed as a person in the relationship, but it was he who has been a failure, so why should I punish myself? Yes, I made a mistake by allowing him to be a part of me, but then, mistakes do happen at every walk of our lives. Nobody is perfect. We all have our share of failures and learn from our mistakes. We don’t stop living due to mistakes or crucify ourselves. So, why should I let this one mistake affect me? I realized that during these worst days, I had become a more creative person and did well and was applauded at my college while I was doing the teaching course. I matured as a writer. Negativity also became a blessing, leading me into positivity.
Hope is a state of mind which tells you that there is no period – there is no dead end. It tells you that the best is yet to come, an assured guarantee that this is just a temporary phase (its momentum), and you will sail through this difficult situation. Even when you are at your worst, you can come out of it. You just have to believe in yourself and not give up. Hope dies when I, as a person, give up. The phase of sadness would not have empowered me if I would have given up on myself. The pangs of sadness were so strong that it was drawing me towards it, but God didn’t give up on me, not yet. That soft and feeble inner voice kept on knocking at the door of my heart, giving me constant hope and focusing me to listen and pay heed to it. It assured me to Try one more time. So, I listened to it and found that my life was about to change for the better. Sadness couldn’t make me a hostage. Yes, it was hope that gave me the will to survive when God intervened at the right time by sending an Angel who showed me the beautiful shades of love and life. Every day, I rise up, thanking God for that day when you walked through the paths of my life since I’m still alive, and each and every day has brought a new miracle with it.
Until one experiences sadness, one cannot value happiness, for it is taken for granted. Yes, happiness is like a breath of fresh air which used to be choking when you were once sad. My clipped wings now found the freedom to soar heights like an eagle, flying higher and higher as the days passed. It had found tranquility – true happiness. It had found its lost talents. It had found appreciation. It had found its inner beauty – the new ‘me’ which was indeed beautiful. It had found that God had not created me ugly because He never created anything ugly. He created everything beautiful, and I was His precious creation. I now began to dress up, look good, if not for others than for myself. I had begun to listen to love songs, hopeful songs, not sad songs. Now, I had begun to not only smile, but laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. I have heard people say that, and that’s true. My health began to get restored. I began spending quality time with my friends and family, living life and enjoying it.
So, to conclude, Life, Love, and Spirituality go hand in hand, and they are indeed correlated. When Life becomes tough, if you feel like you are going to stumble, hold on, ‘cause you aren’t alone. Your Creator is lifting you in His arms and will always be there, even when Love leaves you.
Don’t stop loving.
Don’t stop living,
And don’t stop believing.
Live, love, and keep the faith…
You are almost there…