Thank you is a cute word. Sometimes even perfect. The only thing I don't seem to like about it is that it is too brief. Short and sweet is not always very apt. Like this situation where I want to express the entire gamut of feelings that each birthday call/message on my phone/ FB wall generated. A thank-you cloaked in a few other frilly words, doesn't really do it for me. Till last year, I even responded to each individual message to let each friend/ contact know that I appreciate their thoughtfulness. This time , however, birthday fervour was clouded by a piece of sad news. A close relative lost his mother just a day before. Not that I knew the lady well, in fact I'd never even met her, yet the thought of a family member in grief sort of set me back by many years. Especially so, because I had lost my mom in the month of May too, soon after my birthday.
Well, I won't pretend that I sat and moped all day. It was a good day with friends, my darling husband and daughter, sans the alcohol and manic dancing, even if. I have the habit of looking over the shoulder, on occasions like these. As I peer back, I like what I see, having grown in so many myriad ways. And learning to travel light ( for a person like me who always, ALWAYS, pays for excess luggage at the airport ) is certainly not an easy achievement, and is always Work-in-Progress.
As a child when I sought approval and companionship from my peers, I would often end up judging myself on the basis of their remarks. Along the road, I dropped that sling-bag of the fear of being judged. I grew happier. When the world told me that the only hallmark of success is fame, wealth and a crazy number of friends, I was scared of falling short. Over the years, braving that fear and dropping that painful bag of stones, I managed to find a rich, fulfilling life. Then there was the great fear of isolation, as I tried to wriggle into each relationship's mould of expectation, expecting to be loved in return. That bag was the most difficult to drop. But it had to go after a lot of internal struggle. As I understood that alone is not necessarily lonely, I found some wonderful, new people walking with me, not expecting anything of me. I felt the lightest then and readied myself to enjoy the journey in its truest, most adventurous sense. Pain, fear and loss were magically replaced by bliss, light and soul-enriching moments. I guess I can happily quip that someone up there is a really good Parent and has looked after me well.
Having said that, I have to admit I'm no Buddha. After yesterday's heart-warming moments, I am now sitting with my happy mind and judging mind and trying to meditate some peace into the sub-atomic ego. With some people falling dreadfully short of minimum expectation and many others just uplifting me magically, one can never say for sure where the equation is balanced. Yes, the baggage keeps building up and one needs to keep de-cluttering on a regular basis. Right now, all I know is that some lovely people have remembered me on this day and... . Well, I guess, one just needs to stop there. Any thought beyond that feeds the judging mind that preys upon your happiness. So right now, I will just think about the lovely cards that I received, a friend's gentle spurring, motivating me to write, messages from unexpected contacts, heart-warming calls that I know come brimming with unconditional love. I am quite satiated. The judging mind will diminish by the end of the day as it feeds upon itself.
I wish you all internal peace, a life of happiness with your loved ones and noble intent to spread cheer in your immediate environment. And of course...that cute word -Thank you :)