Life is beautiful
Dear You #16
I know the title of this issue may have made you question when there's so much going around due to the pandemic, what beauty am I talking about?
There is no doubt that the last few days have been hard. Really hard. For all of us. It's all there in the news. Every person you talk to would either say they or their family member or somebody they know is infected with the virus. And then you'd go on to talk to them about seeing all the requests for medicines, plasma donors and beds and how people who have been vaccinated are also contracting the infection. And yes, people are dying. It is too much to take, I know.
What is happening today, I had visualised all of it in March last year. Yes, 13 months ago. Back then, the fear of what is happening today affected me so much that I decided to cut off myself from everything that was toxic. But now when it has become a reality, it's all the more difficult.
Things suddenly changed inside me earlier this week when my mother was talking to my Mausi and I asked them to stop panicking. I requested to talk to my Mausi and diverted the conversation to something light. We talked about my solo trip, about her childhood and how my cousins were doing, among other things. And during the conversation, I tried to slip a simple thought into her mind - It is true that it important for us to stay healthy physically right now. But there is one thing that most of us are missing - It is equally important for us to stay healthy mentally too.
I know it's not easy to do as easily as I say it. But why not give it a chance?
I recalled a message I had received from a friend a day before the conversation with my Mausi. It requested me to take care of myself. It suggested that we should stay connected. I have known the person who sent this message as a caring person for years and became friends with them very recently. Being on the receiving end of their care was a warm feeling.
The positivity this one message gave me was so intense that I decided to pass it on. I set out on a mission to reach out to people I know to enquire how they and their family are doing.
I reached out to nearly 40 people - friends, old friends and acquaintances - the next day. (Yes, I can be a pro at texting if the need be and you are supposed to forget the 'I forget to reply' issue :P).
I don't think I need to talk about the answers I received from these people - you know them already. We are all in the same boat. I was mentally exhausted listening to their stories and emotions - so much so that I questioned myself if it was a good idea in the first place. Was I inadvertently pushing myself into what I was trying to escape?
It depended on my perspective.
I tried to channelise the good vibes these people experienced on reading my message. One person shared the happiness that their grandfather was being discharged from the hospital. Another person told me that they'd carry my message forward.
Did something click? Yes!
Somebody wants to start a similar conversation with others - there is something that I'm doing right, I told myself, but I need to slow down too. 40 people in a day is too much!
I scaled down the number as per the space my mind had. While checking up with more people in the following days, I also followed up on people who weren't doing well.
Another thing that happened this week was a friend calling up to share all that they had been experiencing. They wanted to divert their energy into something that was more positive. Once they were done speaking, I told them how we were on the same page. They had a plan and wanted support in its execution.
So, we embarked on the journey of creating a support group for all - a group where we would talk about things we like, reflect, write, meditate, add some colours and of course, have lots of fun.
We will be having the introductory session today and start with the activities tomorrow. The group is open to all. There will be no deadlines for the activities and you don't have to do all of them - we don't want to pressurise you more amidst all the chaos. All we seek to do is - pause and appreciate what we have because it is beautiful.
If you want to join in, let me know!