Hitting rock bottom

The Eyephoto © 2007 John Steven Fernandez | more info (via: Wylio)

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. –Arthur Golden

What would you do when you are totally at the bottom? You may have had a lot of things going for you at some point in your life. But now, you have fallen, and fallen hard. You have hit rock bottom, and there is absolutely nothing that you can claim as valuable in your life. You feel completely naked and exposed, totally without anything to hold on to. What do you do in such a case?

For all the fright they induce in you, such moments have the ability to set you free, absolutely, totally free. Your regular life has you attached to something or the other, a job title, a house, a car, a reputation. While these things seem good and nice to have, these also tie you down. You have to safeguard them, you have to protect them. But when you have lost everything, when you have absolutely nothing, you have nothing to carry, nothing to protect. You become free to try anything, do anything. There is no pretence you need to put up, there is no pride to save. You, and everyone else, see your naked self(not in the literal sense). If you just contain the fright for once and look at this, absolutely basic, clear image of yourself, you learn of yourself more than you would have learnt in years and decades. If you would just let it be this way and stop fighting, you would see the myriad possibilities of miracles that can come through you. Instead of the constant stress of protecting, you would feel the thrill of exploring! Life will be an adventure! If you will let it :).

You can argue that hitting bottom is the worst that can happen, but you can also see this as an opportunity to test new possibilities, give a totally new direction and meaning to your life. Begin a new era of your life, explore some new, untapped potential in you, for every human life has so much more potential than you or I can see.

When I went to the US, I was thrown out of my project within 2 months. I was asked to return back to India but chose to leave that company and look for another job instead. I had very little money. I got through a consulting firm within 2-3 days but wasn’t getting selected in the interviews. In my previous company, I had gotten used to report to immediate, company managers. We were asked to be very cautious with our American clients. Consequently, I had a grown an awe and fear of all Americans. This behaviour was typical of most employees in that firm. This was affecting my interviews, where I wasn’t very confident.

I saw that if I had to stay without a job for another month, I would have spent all my savings from 3 years of work in India and would have just enough left to fly back to India, without any job or money.

After one such failed interview, with little money left, I was sitting on a bus stand waiting for a bus back home. I saw a lady who had come to the bus stand with her kid. She smiled at me, I smiled back. I immediately felt miserable to the core of heart. She was, so easily, living the American dream that I had worked so hard for and that was slipping out of my hands. I let one bus, and that lady, go. I sat there for sometime and just felt what I was feeling. By the time the next bus arrived, the feeling had passed. A resolve crept into my mind that I will do whatever it takes to stay on and find a job there. This resolve took over the fear I had in my mind. Within a couple of weeks, I got a job in New York and did very well for the next 2 and a half years before I left my job voluntarily, 2 months ago.

Had I been scared and tried to hold on to my safe job in my previous firm, I would have gone back to India and would have reinforced my fears. I probably never would have experienced the life I wanted to.

So go ahead and accept the fall. Don’t go mad trying to hold on to this or that, you will only scratch and bleed your fingers. Have faith. This is the start of a new adventure. Look out for the newer, bigger boat that will take you to lands afar and wondrous. That will take you out of the small river you are in right now, and into the ocean where the whole, vast expanse will be yours, where you can aim right for the horizon, and further.

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