Previous Parts: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 |Part 14| Part 15| Part 16 | Part 17
My Experiment with Truth: II Though there was not much change in circumstances around me, but after meeting Arvind a strange sense of calmness had descended upon me. The first change I noticed was the change in my reaction to any event. I use to spontaneously react to any person or situation, even if I wouldn’t speak but my mind invariably went into reaction mode; judging, praising or criticizing. This would not let me see the situation in its entirety or in its original form. I would have all the interpretations of the situations but the situation itself. I was never an observer, I was always a commentator. And I always tried to find myself in the commentary of the mind. If it fulfills my “I’,my ego, then the person or the situation would be analysed and termed good. If not, they were interpreted as bad. I was realizing that endless mind activity about anything and everything was the real cause of my worries and suffering. It was like a default system, the moment I encountered any situation, my mind would start its incessant activity and I would start identifying with it.
At least now, I understood this conditioning...this deep rooted wiring, which was like a self powered electrical circuit. And I also realized that no one else can break it, it is only me who can break this circuit. I started catching myself lost in web of my thoughts several times in a day. Even in most unnoticeable and minuscule situations, I would seek myself... my ‘I’ which always turned out to be bigger than situation itself. I would wear any dress for work and I would look for approval and praise from my family. I gathered, it was not the dress for which I was seeking their approval but for my ego. If someone praised me, I felt as if I was magnified and if there was criticism, I felt as if I was shrunk. I could see that I never remained in a solo existence, perception of myself; my ‘I’ kept changing in my own eyes. I always felt a sense of lack, a lack which could not be explained in terms of my external appearance, my material wealth or my surroundings.
The lack what I felt was deep within, an inexpiable; it was not quenched by any achievement of mine. I thought after receiving the Best Resident Doctor Award of the Year, I would be satisfied. To my surprise, after a momentary happiness, I was all the more miserable, I was worried , who all have congratulated me, who all have ignored me, what next I should achieve in order to show my talent to the world. When my husband didn’t praise me profusely for the award, I started making huge stories in my head about his hidden jealousy, his refusal to see his wife doing better than him professionally. Everything was in my head, there was no proof of anything happening in reality but I was so identified with my thoughts that I was creating all drama myself. The only difference now was that I was able to have glimpses of ‘real me’ which was separate from the ‘illusive me’.
However those glimpses used to vanish before I could hold them and the default system... the conditioned pattern returned with full force. And I would start doubting myself. I reckon, it was important for me to fail initially because failure pushed me to test myself further, to understand the functioning of the mind, to unravel the games, ego plays. I had a deep feeling that if I have to know my soul, I have to go through these dilemmas, these anxieties and these doubts. Slowly it became a game of mouse and cat. Every time I would catch myself lost in my thoughts, I would come back in present moment. Though it didn’t last long and again I would be lost in my thoughts but at least now I was noticing my absence, my mistake. And until and unless we don’t realize our mistake, we can’t take any step to correct it. I was optimistic that at least I have taken the first step; I was realizing my mistake. I would cook for my family and would look for compliments to feel happy. I realised that I am not doing my work with totality;
I am leaving space for appreciation and criticism to affect me. If I would have done the job with absolute dedication, I would have not sought other’s approval. The work itself would have been end in itself, there would have been no space left for filling it with anything else. However every time I realize my mistake, instead of feeling guilty, I felt good as I could change myself. I also discerned that I have to take full responsibility for myself, only then I can afford to make any changes. If I keep on blaming other people or situation, I would not be able to do any progress.
~ To be continued