Over the past few months I have been experiencing something that I have never felt before -pain or to be more precise excruciating pain combined with a whole lot of other emotions, that have been really hard for me to overcome. When I would express my loss to my friends, they would tell me that my loss is nothing compared to that of the loss and suffering that people face regularly in the world. That is one-hundred percent true, no denying that fact. But I think that our brain’s measure of loss and the resulting pain that it causes is always relative and also highly dependent on our priorities in life. Having said that an acknowledgement of the absolute levels of our loss can help bring things into perspective and make it more bearable.
But that is not the point of this post. The point is that while navigating myself through this trough, I have realised that I have learned a few things despite the fact that I find myself still stuck while the time and world continue to flow around me. Here are the key takeaways that I have been able to identify:
1) Ability to empathise: This is one thing for sure that I have picked up. I mean even though earlier it wasn’t as if I had no regard for other people’s feelings and situation. But I felt incapable of doing anything about it because on some occasions I felt that they were over-reacting and on others I did not know what to say or do to make them comfortable. Now I for sure know what not to say !! Even though I cannot fully understand their situation, I believe that i am capable of atleast feeling the extent of their pain and how their life might be affected by it . Empowered with this understanding, I find myself more capable to help them which is a very good feeling.
2) Humility to seek help: Its been an important lesson for me that i should not hold myself back from asking for help from people. No doubt there are assholes and bozos all around us, but there are also those angels out there who are willing to try their best to extend us help only if we are willing to accept it (or for that matter ask for it). The choice infront of me was clear- i could either breakdown or i could go ahead and ask for help, for a pull to overcome my inertia. I had no alternative other than to seek help actively even shamelessly even to the extent of self-inviting myself ( fun exercise !!). And so, I went about mercilessly badgering people asking for all kind of advice, help, pep talk and engaging in some endless brainstorming to find solutions to my problem. At times, it felt like I was compromising my self-respect but dude you first need to protect the ‘self’ and only then think about ‘respect’. I think its better and more useful to model this as a debt which I can combine with my first learning to help out other people in turn, thereby repaying my debt ( hopefully with interest lying somewhere between that on educational loan to those dolled out by MFI’s in India :P).
3) Sense of humour: Well i am truly confident that my those skills have atleast climbed up a couple of notches if measured on a scale of 10 ( note i am being humble in assuming that they were not already 9). Its only natural that i would get a skill upgrade after all I have had to make sure that I am having atleast some laughs during all the mess.
( Will keep this updating as I learn more things )