Recent times have been interesting, not because it has been reclusive in a manner of speaking — I have always been that — but because it is such a departure from the familiar in practically everything else. A lack of control from an unwillingness to attempt it, over a variety of things, is scary; especially for someone who has spent a large part of his life attempting exactly that. This requires nothing short of blind faith in myself and in life that even in the worst storms, where a thing can’t be seen, I can stay true to my path.
Sometimes, the best escape from something is to run deep into that within yourself. It is crazy and extremely risky as the first thing that goes out of the window is objectivity. Secondly, there is always the risk that you won’t ever come out of it. Intentions are crucial here. If wallowing in something is all what you are looking for, you can easily wallow a lifetime on this path, which will be an unfortunate thing. If the intention is to know and face your own self in its crude, unvarnished and often unlikable self, there is no better path to be on. But it is a battle like nothing else you would have been through.
Chasing yourself down is tricky business. And, by yourself, I don’t mean what you feel. We all know what we feel at any given point in time — elation, sadness, bitterness, exhilaration — but we rarely know what lies behind those feelings and also how those feelings shape our worldview. Our thoughts regarding a feeling is more often partial than complete. In anger, we will process an event or an incident only to the exact extent where it bolsters the feeling that we are feeling at that moment. That way, we paint people we know as angels, demons and everything in between, depending on how it suits our purpose than often how they really are.
Once the necessary fortitude and the discipline is put into place, events and incidents often transform into a different picture. That which looked intentional and all about you often turns out to be unintentional and had nothing to do with you (yet, it was no less hurtful); that which looked to be a stroke of luck often turns out to have someone going out of their way to do something good for you or your own hard work; that which looked like a promise to yourself to never love or feel again often turns out to be a declaration of hurt and a convoluted manner of grieving.
For someone like me, doing that requires a certain degree of isolation. It is impossible to chase yourself down when you have spent a lifetime being a spectacular success at hiding behind others. It is also a crazy wild ride as I don’t honestly know what will eventually come out of it. But the first step towards finding out is to allow all of yourself to exist — the good, the great, the bad and the ugly — and it is strange that even in this world of over-sharing, how little we share of us, and our worst fears, with ourselves. We will delude ourselves, deny its existence and hope it all goes away.
What we need to understand is that those fears don’t ever go away if we don’t face up to them. Nor can we choose what our worst fears are. But we can certainly choose how and where we want to face them. That is the only choice life offers, but it is also probably the most important choice that we don’t often realize we have the power to make. For me, I believe, a life worth living lies on the other side of facing those fears. It may change everything I value and know for it can potentially re-frame my understanding of the world I live in and what role I have to play in it.
Till that is done, this is an interval, from almost everything else.