What do people collect from a trip? Experience or memories basically. Nowadays wherever people are going since they always carry smartphones with them, so they always take pictures. People collect pictures a lot in their smart phones while traveling and on their day to day life also. Everyone loves taking pictures and collecting pictures.
I was in a trip very recently. We were on a boat to Mt. Rigi in Switzerland. I was sitting next to a couple from Hongkong. We were sitting inside the boat on the first floor. As soon as everyone entered the boat, I noticed that everyone started taking pictures using each one’s smart phone, including the lady sitting next to me and including me. I reminded myself to enjoy the trip by enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere not busily taking pictures and missing the moments. So I did’t take many pictures.
When the lady was settling down next to me, she started scrolling the screen of her camera. She showed me pictures of their trip in several places in France. Beautiful pictures! Keeping photos is a good way to store the beautiful memories. And nowadays it is very easy. It doesn’t need ‘a space’ to keep. It only needs a space in your computer or gadget. I asked her “For how long will you keep the pictures with you?” She said “May be a life time”.
You might have heard many times an advice from people not to give sorrow to anyone. To give sorrow means to do things that makes other unhappy. But you might never have heard an advice not to take sorrow. Are we taking sorrow? How do we take sorrow?
If someone gives a negative comment on what you have been doing and you listen to it and you start being influenced by it and you become unhappy, then you might consider yourself to stop doing it because of this negative comment. It is then that you are taking sorrow. You let other people control you (your feelings). They are not responsible for your feelings.
Whatever you do, reactive people will always have negative comment on it. This kind of people are around us (in our contacts). They become unhappy seeing you moving forward. Don’t listen to it and don’t take it personally. Just keep doing what is good for you. Remember whatever you are doing is for yourself.
You might think something happened the way it should not have to happen. Something is not fair. Something is not perfect. There is nothing perfect in life. You might have created an idealisation about something in your mind and when it doesn’t happen the way you think it should be, you then say ‘It is not perfect.’ Whether something is perfect or not is just according to the way you think in your mind. You create a standard in your mind for things to happen.
It is said that everything that happens in life is what is meant to happen. Nothing is coincidental in life. Everything is predestined. There is no mistake in this. Everything is just perfect the way it is. Nothing is wrong in life. You might need to learn to accept now. By allowing your heart to accept, you learn to be happy.
When you look back to your life, to what you have gone through in life, you might find some events happened in your life which was not favorable for you. You don’t want that events happened to you, because you didn’t enjoy it, but it happened. It became like a black dot to your life story. You now have passed it. If you could, you might have skipped it from your life story. But you couldn’t skip it. It has become your story. You can never erase or take it out from yours.
I remember a speech by the late Steve Jobs on connecting the dots. What he meant by the dots in his life story was all his failures and unsuccessful stories…..the fact of his own birth from an unwed woman, his drop out from college, the story when he was fired from the company he built, his dealing with his sickness. All was unfavorable events, full of hurts and struggles. In his speech he said that we can connect those dots by looking backward. It is completely nothing wrong with having that dots.
Very recently I conducted a workshop on healing the self. I shared some practical steps for the healing. Journaling is one of the step to this healing. One of the participant shared that she wrote the situation and the feelings, but after a while she read it again and felt embarrassed of having gone through a trivial situation and yet it made her so disturbed left hurt inside. Then she tore the paper of her journal.
Everyone of us has our own dots to connect in our life. You don’t need to skip any of the dots from your life. You don’t need to erase it either. Just keep connecting it. You can’t become a perfect you now without that dot.
Healing and cure are different concept. Someone may not get cured but she can still be healed. Cure is for any physical pain and healing has to do with emotional or mental pain. You might need to see physician for your physical pain to get some medication treatment and also some medicine. It is all physical. Healing is another journey. It is more inward journey, the journey to your heart. Because it is your heart that experiences the pain in the form of disappointment, worry, anxiety, anger, confusion, rejection, fear and many other negative feelings. Again it is not your physical heart. It is non-physical, it is in fact yourself. You are the spiritual being living in a physical body.
Two years ago a very good friend of mine left her body because of cancer. I remember how she dealt with the pain and the hurt. She had a very clear line between the body and the soul. The cancer cell is in the body. And the soul is a separated entity. She could maintain detachment between the two. When she was about to die, she was prepared herself. She was healed but not cured. The soul was happy leaving her body.
In remembrance of my dear friend Helen Quirin.
A friend who enjoys traveling frequently shared with me that she used to buy souvenirs from the places she visited. She collected all the souvenirs for her memories. Keeping the stuff in her home for a long time created additional work when she had to get the house cleaned or tidy. She didn’t keep the souvenirs anymore and she only kept magnetic souvenirs on her fridge door in order to be practical. They are small, nice and memorable. Now she is collecting photos more than stuff. It doesn’t take space in the house, only in the memory of her laptop. She also shared that when her laptop crashed, she lost almost all her photos. I know how she felt. I had the same experience last year when I had to get my iPad reinstalled. I lost everything, all the files – photos, videos, magazines, some documents stored in the memory. Somehow the backup system did not work. At that time I really learnt to let go. It was not easy for me. The feeling of loss was there – the loss of sweet memories.
I remember I read a book by Eckhart Tolle. It was about an old lady who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and did not have much time left. She had lost her wedding ring. She had so many sweet memories attached to the wedding ring. So when she lost the ring, she felt a really huge loss. She kept thinking about her loss, and every time she put her energy thinking about it creating negative feelings like anger, guilt, regret in her heart. Every time she put her energy thinking about her loss, she sustained the negative feelings. Reminding her that she did not have much time left, the writer of the book asked her ‘Anyway, you will soon leave the ring. Whether the ring is lost or not, there will be a time you will leave it. You will not carry the ring and everything else with you forever. Now think the time is coming now. What will you do?’ The lady was silent, reflecting into herself. After a few minutes, she smiled and said ‘Yes, I am ready’.
We have to remember that whatever we have with us now or we may accumulate, ultimately we will leave them all. We will not carry anything with us.
In our daily life, we sometimes have to deal with people or events that are not according to what we expect. We might have made a plan or agenda but for some reason, it does not happen the way we expected. And then we become disappointed.
I was having a five days trip last week. The hotel where I stayed is relatively near to the local airport. What a coincidence a friend was going to make his way back from his business trip and having a transit at the airport. He is in fact my old friend and we haven’t seen each other for almost 30 years. So we planned to have a short meeting during his transit, He said that his arrival time would be at 9 pm. I thought it was still a reasonable time for a meeting. I was so excited thinking of the meeting, because it was going to be a coincidental meeting for us. We had been texting each other about the timing and the meeting point since the morning. But in the evening he texted me and told that he had wrongly seen his flight schedule. The arrival time was actually 11 pm instead of 9 pm. He was apologetic. I decided to cancel the meeting, because it would be too late for me. Did I feel any disappointment because of this change? Yes, I noticed there was a slight disappointment. Because I had blocked the evening for the meeting, and it had to be canceled.
A colleague promised to take me to the airport the next day. We planned to stop by the nearest beach on our way to the airport. I haven’t been to this beach before. I heard from people that it is a very beautiful one. I already pictured the beautiful beach in my mind and imagined how much I would enjoy it. The next morning, my colleague texted me that he had to go to a funeral of his relative and apologised for being unable to take me to the airport. This incident left me with another disappointment.
How do you deal with disappointments? People or events might become the reason behind your disappointment. But the real cause for any disappointment is an expectation. You are the one who create this expectation at the first place, not the people nor the events. As soon as you are aware of being the creator of this, you will easily take the responsibility of your feeling and you won’t blame anyone nor the situaton for the disappointment. You can accept it easily. When you accept it, you can end or change the negative feeling very quickly.
Last week I got a sad news about a friend who had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks. She got brain tumor since last year. The tumor has spreaded to another organ of her body. And last week she left her body. You might also believe that we are spiritual beings living in physical bodies. When the spirit leaves the body, then it is called death. The spirit doesn’t die, it never dies. It just leaves the body, it goes somewhere. The spirit is eternal. Death never comes to spirits.
I remember last year when I knew about her having tumor, I reflected it on myself. I then wrote several journals on death for myself. How I would prepare my own death, how I challenged myself when the death came, how I would feel when I had to leave all the possession that I had been calling as ‘mine’. I felt so scared. Silently I asked myself: ‘What would you do then?’ I replied: ‘I accept it’. It was just my personal reflection yet I experienced so much acceptance. The feeling was very powerful until a few days later.
Another friend told me that the journal was shared to her last year. She read it and she felt empowered.
Good bye and go on your journey, Eka!
I remember when I started my journaling a few years ago, one of my good friends criticised me that writing journals on my reflection was not enough. An action is required. I was sharing in a workshop on dealing with emotions (worry, fear, anger, sadness etc.). To me, journaling is the action to practically deal with emotions. And it heals my emotions very quickly. Later I knew from another friend it is called narrative therapy.
I knew many people got inspired by my stories and only few people did not. I noticed that I was a bit shocked when she said that writing 3 or 4 journal books was not an achievement. She didn’t see the benefit. But I could see it very clearly. I even experienced a healing through writing journals on my inner chaos. My heart got healed very easily. I don’t carry the chaos for long. I could end the negative emotion very quickly. I told myself ‘Tini, if you see the benefit and you have experienced it, then just go on. Keep doing it. Don’t bother what people say.’
Now I am writing on my 11th book. If I let myself get influenced by the criticism, I might have stopped writing. I want to thank all my friends and readers of this blog, who encourage me directly or indirectly to keep sharing.
Everything in this world becomes old from new. This is the law of the universe. Everything declines and deteriorates. How do you feel about it? Do you accept this fact? Or do you sometimes not accept this? Everything will become old from new, including your body. It was new, young and very dynamic. Later it will become old, weak and slow. Can you accept this condition? It applies to everything. You have to accept it. Now you can go anywhere with no physical obstacle. Later you might not be able to go to somewhere because of having physical limitation. Can you accept this law completely from every aspect?
But remember, the soul or the spirit doesn’t go into this stage because the soul is non-physical. Your mind can still work like when you were young. The spirit never gets older. The intellect gets the clarity. It might even become more sensible than before.