You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”. A great quote by Bob Marley that sums up everything I had to endure in a past painful journey. I decided however, to wear a smile on my face and move on as the roller coaster of life never waits for the soul to heal completely. As hard as it may feel, a person should never be emotionally paralyzed at ordeals, because if he’s still able to breath, he’s certainly able to move on.
It has been exactly two years now, since the first sibling my eyes had ever seen was gone. I had always heard of adversities of different kinds strike people throughout the course of life, but I always believed that absolutely nothing could be worse than helplessly watching a terminal disease like Stage IV cancer strike a member of one’s family . I always wondered in awe how those unfortunate families who are directly affected by cancer’s mass emotional destruction were able to endure the immense pain yet manage to cope up as the life of their loved one burned slowly like a candle before their eyes.
I always wanted to believe that such a thing won’t and shouldn’t ever happen to us because its logically unbearable and can’t be accepted within my own family space, until.. life’s irony decides to teach me a lesson the hard way when the very same adversity or the much dreaded ‘C’ lettered monstrous disease actually struck our family whether we approved it or not.
My brother, my rock, and my favourite sibling, was randomly selected by life’s unpredictable fate to be afflicted by cancer, and not any cancer, but a very rare and aggressive kind. We exhausted all possible means to save his life and struggled hard with physicians to find a way out of the nightmare, but during those nerve shattering countdown moments that we spent around him, bitter acceptance was the only option available to us. I realized that tormenting situations as such are more like equations in life where you have to cross a path to the other side without losing your physical balance and emotional strength, simply because life won’t wait long for you to grieve. During my family’s turmoil, the only resort left for me was to pick up all the bits and pieces of my torn self and move on, in order to inspire and help other family members to move on as well.
In the past, I had always stumbled across the word ‘mindful’ without attempting to actually absorb its meaning. The word is increasingly used these days in modern psychotherapy and it helps transfer a person to an entirely different level of consciousness where the primary focus is the present moment rather than the painful past. As simple as it could be, mindfulness involves acceptance of what ‘is’ without judging the situation as in ‘what should have been’ in a perfect setting. Trying to be mindful enabled me to tune in to the present moment more effectively than ever before as it gave me the authority to control those feelings of extreme sadness and emotional distress. Deciding to simply accept and embrace harsh and irreversible experiences in life, results in a dramatic spirit uplift and this is all it takes to embark on the path of self healing. I realized that becoming a mindful person is more like signing an agreement for ‘peace of mind’ with your mind for the rest of your life. Accepting ‘what is’ is certainly not an easy task with all the emotional burden that comes with it, but once you commit to adopting such a mind set, there is a strong potential to transform a distressed mind, as it reinforces the power of letting go.
After all, it is exactly what Winston Groom had described, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”..
So better be prepared for it.