I meet people. They tell stories. This is one of them.
Let us be acquainted with M.
M. used to make fun of everyone in a boisterous manner. When someone came to the class with a new school bag we used to say: “M. will be mad before long, you wait and see.” And sure to the word she gave enough time to lamentations that all of us were ready to swallow up all the new things we had before M. could lay her envious eye on them. We called her ‘the practical’ because of her love for all material things.
She used to take a fancy to me mostly because I very seldom had anything worth her attention and I liked her, just a little, but that little was enough for a child that could have everything in her life but for sincere affection.
After 8th grade we’ve lost each other. M. and her family moved to live in the nearby city and I stayed in my native village till graduation.
A few years ago a nice-looking woman entered my train compartment. The long trip to the far away city was shortened to a thought-provoking and tears causing conversation.
1) Change the Desire to Possess to the Affectionate Attitude Towards Yourself
I wanted M. to make the running. The inner writer and explorer of human mines raining in me, I was resolved to persevere in my silent patronage of the conversation.
M. gave voice to her inner child and we cried bitterly and laughed heartily to the memories of a girl who considered gifts to be the merits of love. A girl who could ill bear when someone had things she considered pretty and nice. She thought that meant someone was loved more – and that notion was painful for a child deprived of true feeling.
That day in the compartment M. looked contented. Strong character was visible in the physiognomy of this young woman with her big unmoving eyes, her almost lipless mouth, and high intelligent forehead. M. carried herself with confidence. There was not even a passing feeling of irritation only that physical beauty that comes from the loving energy inside.
Read more: Competition with Yourself as a Way to Success: 3 Major Reasons to Stick to It Through Thick and Thin
2) Recollect a Painful Loss
When I asked her about the turning point, the element in her life that caused this alteration M. fell silent for a moment, so much taken up with her thoughts that her eyes seemed to stop seeing.
The loss she endured was painful enough to make her think of what she could have exchanged for a life given back. Her parents didn’t have time to love her, but she loved them with every cell of her body and every vibe of her soul. She was only 18 when an unchained element of nature left her an orphan, her parents’ car being smashed from the road by a violent gust of wind, both her mom and dad dying instantly.
It seemed like a dream, or fiction, or chimera. Vulnerable and insecure, M. was left alone to think about the present, the past was gone, but the future was hers. Anything in that timeframe of days bygone and days to be still lived was compared to that particular incident.
Any feeling, being at its utmost tension was measured to the one M. felt at that time.
She was not any longer at war with herself, the life after having handled her so roughly, seemed now disposed to favor her to the utmost. She found the diary her mother had, and that precious notebook was full of tender words her mother seldom voiced but no doubt felt – and that was the only thing that mattered.
Read more: What to Do When Stress Pierces Your Heart And a Painful Loss is Hunting Your Soul: 4 Healing Techniques
3) Think About True Value
M. was not going from then on, she was led by love. The exhilarating effect that self-love has, changed her understanding of true values. Any envious feeling towards material possessions of others disappeared like a star lost in the distant darkness of the horizon. And myriads of bright awareness stars studded her zenith.
Her salvation was in a feeling of gratitude. Her beauty was in the desire to devote her life to the people she loved. Her life was in pursuing the course of in-spirited life: life of inner and outer health.
4) Train Your Senses to Feel Empathy
M. was lost in wondering and half-admiration when we shared the account of some major facts from our mutual friends’ lives. She felt true enjoyment from seeing others succeed, and sincere sympathy towards the ones failing to achieve the desired.
Our shared journey was coming to an end. M. waited silently for any fresh question that I could have, being a little tired from all the various emotions she forced herself to go through again. She surely satisfied all legitimate curiosity and I let her rest and husband her strength joining her in contemplation of a succession of low hills and rich forests outside the window.
5) Remind Yourself of the Love You Have
M. became an active, vigorous woman, and even now I can see her in my mind’s eye being happy in her chosen career. She is a therapist working with at-risk youth.
M. is my noble and generous friend. Noble not by birth but by her personal qualities, virtues of the heart. She rarely breathes a word of her private misgivings, but always opens a listening spot in her busy schedule for a friend who needs some consolation. And she offers her love with that shy grace that is so very charming.
M. shares love. And the more she gives the more she has coming back to her. M.’s life was unbroken by the misfortunes. Every painful event stitched the pieces of heartwarming feelings together, making a beautiful patchwork quilt of her love-centered life.
Let love be your faithful guardian that keeps close watch and prevents you from taking a negative feeling into your life. Let empathy be your true comforter that reminds you about the beautiful emotions that fill your heart and soul. And the bitterness of past grief should bore you company in moments of false despair. The contradiction between them will bring back your self-control.
I am just beginning to pour forth in the most respectful manner the stories of people who were able to restore equilibrium in their lives. Often, we obliged to go away together and take our laugh or tears out with the person that opens his/her heart to us. You should not regret the time spent when you become wiser with the experience that was lived through by someone else.