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Of Intent and Outcomes in Life

One of the first self-help books that I bought and read was Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People‘ and it had a profound effect on my life. The journey from dependence to independence and interdependence kept me going through most of my family life. To be more precise till that very moment where I went faced loss through death and struggled thereafter in a attempt to reverse this flow, i.e., from interdependence to independence.

Because, here I was, seemingly all alone in the world with quite a few good years of life still to be lived. Of course, there are children on whom one could depend, but something within baulked at this idea. Maybe, it was the outcome of my own early adulthood where my parents had set their own agenda without considering my availability to suit their plans. So, how could I intrude into the personal space of my daughter and son, both gainfully employed and with their own lives in front of them.

So, here I was seeking to reverse Covey’s formula of moving from interdependence to independence. Recently, I re-read the book and in the process stumbled upon a thought that amongst Covey’s habits, the one that required constant attention and continuous change was ironically the last one – to Sharpen the Saw. Yes! This is exactly what I find my current state to be in. There was knowledge I gained over the years and skills I developed and sharpened as I journeyed through life. What I missed out on was sharpening myself, again.

So, how do I go about sharpening the saw that brought me to this point in life? Over the past thirty months or so, my energies were all going into distracting myself from that feeling of solitude. I just wanted to be NOT alone. So, anything and everything that one could do to keep oneself busy was duly attempted and successfully at that. The problem remained. Each moment of inactivity became one of extreme stress and there seemed to be no solution in sight.

Till one fine day I enrolled for the 10-day meditation course conducted by a charitable organisation that promotes Buddha’s way of life (not Buddhism as we erroneously believe). And that’s all it took me to understand the supreme joy of being alone without necessarily having to be lonely. There’s my unconscious always with me, guiding me, supporting me and constantly helping me through my journey called life. If that word appears dense, try using God or Inner Self or Universe or just Being. In fact, anything that suits individual taste!

Being alone was when I realised that human existence has a purpose and that this purpose is not a constant. It continuously changes and guides us towards a point where death is not the end, but the beginning of something delicious. It is only after one redefines the purpose of life that one can actually sharpen the saw.

Because, there is every possibility that a sharp saw might be overkill for the task at hand that defines my current purpose.

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