Last week, I was on many road trips with friends from out of town. First, we went to Agra with Patty and Shanta, both from the US, and then to Jaipur with Vani, Patty and Shanta. All of us are most unlike the other; one in politics, another is a businesswoman, one a homemaker, while I was searching for my true self.
It started out as all journeys do, happy to take to the road, visit places, click photographs and talk about the India we love (and the India we hate, the dirt and driving sense, the polluted air, the lack of infrastructure). Interestingly enough, since this was all so new to Patty, she fell in love with India at first sight.
So, when we returned, I began talking about the trip and I told Biren why is it, that in this day and age, we all take quick-fix holidays? Why can’t go on long breaks away from work and disconnect really with daily distractions and irritants. Why can’t I just live fully in the present and appreciate my life right now? Without worrying about the holes in the ozone layer, without worrying about the glaciers melting, without worrying about losing money and work, without worrying about deforestation, without worrying that even fish suffer from cancer.
Okay, I’m talking of an extreme, but I began worrying about everything from the smallest to the largest of things. That’s when I had that aha-moment!
When your life begins to harm you, you take a detour from your true path. We are born with an inner intuition that guides us through life. Even in the tiny choices we make. For example, you could be at the grocery store, buying biscuits and an inner voice says, “Leave it, you don’t need it”. However, we do the exact opposite! It’s the inner voice that keeps talking to you and never turns off. It’s the part that pushes you and keeps you moving.
Paradoxically, it’s also the voice that tells you often you have done all that you could and now it’s time to let go. Surrender to the universe. How often do we get fixated on something we cannot have, and an inner voice says, “It’s not for you”. Or we define ourselves by our relationships or our work because we do not feel secure in the realm of the invisible world.
A spiritual mentor once told me, the purpose of your life is multilayered and often the questions you ask about yourself may not get you the answers that you want to hear. You are unique; you have to believe that first. You are the world. One atom has the same ingredients as the whole. What lies in one, lies in the whole.
So, when you go to the temple and ask god, “What is my life’s purpose”, He would tell you that, “You know it, you never lost it.” You may lose the things outside of you, a job, money, a car, a partner but you never lose yourself. It’s time to introduce ‘you’ to yourself! (Get ready for another road trip!)
(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)