Matters of the Soul

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This article has been submitted by Parnika Thummala for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

I remember a girl from school who was my classmate in my 12th year. Pretty, gifted, smart and full of life. And then, one day, cancer came knocking at her door. She had to forgo her Class XII board examinations and repeat a year because of the intensive treatment she had to undergo. This girl had two options – either blame everything and everyone for the misery and hardships that she went through or stand up and face life, stronger than ever. She chose the braver second option that required her to gather courage and face the world again. I cannot particularly say that I was her friend but as she battled her ailment, never once did she fail to flash a bright smile at me or let her optimism wane towards things in life. I would often wonder how she managed to be so brave. Would I have gathered the same courage had I been in her place? Could I prove that I was stronger than what was killing me? I didn’t know.

But I knew this. I knew that among so many other people, she had become a living hero for us all. A wonder and an example to look up to. She had forged a path of determination for us to follow. And that set me thinking, “If she could do it, can’t we all?”

Illness. Misery. Tragedy. Injustice. Defeat. Heartbreak. Loss. Rejection. Or for that matter, anything that appears on the face of it wrong or upsetting. There are so many reasons to just stop trying, to give up and say, “I can’t do this anymore.” Ultimately, that is what life is about – a continuous battle and an ever-gruelling challenge. It is very easy to accept defeat, to remain on the ground after the blow that took you down, to let yourself believe that failure is your destiny and to quit fighting. But is this what you should do? Aren’t you were meant for something more than just dying as a mere memory?

There is no fall deep enough to deter you from climbing back to the top. There is no loss greater than losing yourself to darkness. There is no void that can’t be filled after giving it time. There is no force more powerful than your willpower. There is no stronger support to your cause, than yourself. There is no wound that can’t be healed. You may come out of the difficulty with scars, but be proud of them for they are the souvenirs from a battle, fought and won.

Don’t let anyone just tell you that you can’t do it. You can and you will. You just need to give it a go. For once, allow yourself to be consumed by a wild hope. Hold on, pain ends. There is nothing you can’t accomplish if you set your mind to it; you just need to tow it into line. People will come and go. But you are your own constant. Believe in yourself. Have faith that, after being quelled, things can take a turn for the better. You can change things. You have that power. Don’t be afraid of the darkness, because that is when the light is at its brightest. Don’t cry when the sun sets as your tears will prevent you from seeing the radiance of the stars. There may be brutal losses and new depths of grief. Tempests stronger than ever may hit you. But take heart and know that, if life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break through the surface and breathe again. When all seems lost, you still have one last resort – hope. Like Pandora’s Box, never let it escape you. We don’t need to have super powers to become great. Every soul that fights a secret battle is a hero in its own way.

We are, but travellers in this world. Let’s not waste this experience but make it worthwhile. No matter what happens, never lose sight of the celebration that life is; the joys that are yet to come, if you are willing to hang on. Every time you feel like giving up, remember how your dog never stops trying to reach that treat in your hand.

So, if life gives you lemons, grab some tequila and salt and whip yourself a margarita! 🙂

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