If before and after you’ve struggled, you remain the same person; you haven’t struggled enough.- Shams of Tabriz, “The Forty Rules of Love”.
When people react to you, it’s not a reaction to you but rather a reflection of what they have learnt from their struggles. These struggles are varied in nature; overt and covert, of the heart and the mind, of the body and the soul, of the money and the means and so on. But struggles nonetheless.
The ∞ stages of struggles-
- Disbelief– when you can’t believe that this is actually happening to you. It’s not something that you had ever anticipated
- Grudging Realization– you know now that this is happening or happened to you. you start feeling powerless in the face of it
- Growing Acceptance– you start to find the silver lining in other things; easier to distract yourself when hell’s breaking loose
- Pause– you know this won’t stop till you take the bull by the horns. You start rationalizing. This is probably the stage where you want to start talking about it. The more fortunate of us have people to talk to
- Game Plan– now that you hold the bull’s horns, you need to figure out what to do with them. You tentatively start forming a plan; ready to balk at the first sign of disaster
- Baby Steps– you gingerly put one step in front of the other in the direction of a plausible solution
- The 1st Milestone– when you’ve probably gone the whole day without feeling that this is the only thing that will define your life
- Life Really Does Go On.
Throughout these stages, your interaction with people and situations doesn’t cease. Life goes on for them; but a massive change is unfolding within you and this is manifested in the way that you react to them. Right from snapping at people to being extremely accommodating of their opinions and viewpoints; you dance to the whole song.
Why do you need to know this?
So that you are compassionate & mindful- you don’t know what kind of struggle somebody is going through and the least that it deserves is that you are mindful and compassionate. In other words “Be Nice”.
Giving away a few smiles, a hug or a pat on the back or maybe a coffee session doesn’t really seem as demanding.
What if you can’t help?
Happens to the best of us; times when we are incapable of helping even ourselves.
Let’s not sugar coat this! Depression or a feeling of abject despondency needs clinical intervention or at the very least it needs to get you talking to a life coach. Facilitate this conversation; don’t write it off.
All these leave scars on your soul, on your mind. Wear them with pride; flaunt them if you are comfortable and be un-apologetically you. Only you know what and how much you’ve gotten through to be you.