The unwanted sibling

Over these past few years of rigorous clinical training and work experience, I have been trying to developed this ability to look at things as objectively as I can, be as open, nonjudgmental, and unassuming in the face of every person and situation as I can. To allow the person and events unfold to me, to show me how they came out to be the way they are, how they presented the way they do…….I try to be as unconcerned with the ‘WHY’ as possible. Because the past is not my concern and the future is not governed by me, I just have this present moment to exist in and we need to live it as fully as possible.

I need to talk about this THING but my thoughts are very scattered. Let’s say that many of you would be familiar with how it goes when a new sibling is born, we are unable to tap the events preceding the arrival and suddenly there is this commotion and excitement as someone informs us that that we have a younger sibling. We feel very responsible taking initiative in best possible ways. There are days of increased energy in the house that eventually dies out and we become alive to how we are supposed to adjust to the new being that is living and breathing around us. We have to adjust most of our activities to its needs. Which leads to the development of an enmity towards it, but we don’t (or can’t) throw away siblings do we? So we live with it till we have to. And you know what’s the hardest part of it all, having to share your parents……they were YOUR parents, you had all their time, you had them physically and mentally to yourself but now you have to wait because they have someone else to deal with. So you have to share what you love with something you don’t like at all (am not using the word hate).

So last year in April, we were informed that we got a new family member called Renal Cell Carcinoma. Just keep reading before you go all judgmental on my analogies. So we were informed out of the blue that we have a new family member. I remember it as vividly as the goose bumps on my arms at this moment that we were struck really very hard. Everything stopped for a while in which we had to process this information….soon the commotion began which was colored with a lot of panic. I can’t precisely trace the days and nights that followed in the hospital because it was a mixture of panic and depression but as soon as we got back home a month and a half later we had accepted this new family member and now we had to adjust around it. My new sibling had found abode in my father so it became my favorite sibling because it’s MY father. He has been and would be mine for as long as I live and I know all his habits, likes-dislikes, his routine, so I will have to know this well enough too. Here is when I started looking at cancer as my sibling because I couldn’t live with it if I hated it. And I cannot NOT live with it, because we didn’t get a choice, no one does. So I was saying I befriended it, I studied about it and I made sure I was a step ahead of it by knowing what it feeds on, what it abhors, what it lives with, and how it reacts under different circumstances.

I am unable to chalk out when it all happened but it was this shift that allowed me to live with cancer by being a step ahead of it, I felt in control, I wouldn’t shy away from the responsibility. But you know when even now I dislike it the most? It’s when it takes away the time that was mine. There are times stretched at its will where it won’t let us have our father to ourselves, which is when I particularly dislike it. And just like all younger siblings cancer is hyper too, it tries to over smart us but thankfully we have a sound team to pacify it.

This is how we as a family are dealing with cancer…….I have thought over a few months if I should share it with you all or not. But I decided that I should because no one ever told me how to live with cancer. Everywhere people just talk about fighting it, they talk about looking it in the face and telling it that it who is more powerful. We are all focused on fighting cancer that we forget how exhausting fighting is, it drains out everything that you ever were from you, and it changes you in ways you don’t ever want to. Fighting has outcomes, you either win or you lose but knowing cancer, most of the people have feelings of loss soon and this kills hope. We never wanted hope taken away from us, am sure no one does. So we didn’t fight it we are living with it, with the belief that each day is precious and the future is never in our control. It’s not that we aren’t scared, we are and Allah knows but we can never predict what the next moment brings for us so what makes cancer different then? Isn’t it as unpredictable as life itself? I just pray that we learn to live with it and calm the human urge to look into the future…..just be able to breathe freely today….be able to LIVE today.

I hope and sincerely pray that everyone who is living with cancer gets to live a little more, laugh a little more, smile a little more, and eventually create memories that are going to last another life time. For once I want us all to forget about winning or losing and focus on all that we have right here in this moment, before the very next moment scares the world out of us, we need to live a little more.

Education or Extirpation; What is being imparted to the younger generation?

Last week I got the opportunity to conduct a talk on “Stress Management” in our college’s Girls section. And I came across some very interesting observations during the question answer session that really made me stop and analyze if our education system is actually educating our students or turning them into a 2.0 version of themselves that is upped into a race for scores, if they get going they are winners if they lack behind they are certainly losers with no idea what to do with themselves anymore.

Education, as per the oxford dictionary, is defined first as “The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university: ‘a course of education”. This is a very literal definition for education as a matter of fact is something that we get at school, but if we go down the listed set of definitions you come across this one, “Education is an enlightening experience”. An enlightening experience is supposed to help us think out of our predetermined, pre learnt set patterns of beliefs. It should help us come out and look beyond the sea of knowledge into the horizon. It should help us question the reality that our eyes present to us, it should provide us the insight to not judge, and it should help us in developing a nerve that tells us that there could be angles related to everything that we don’t know of. Education should help mold a human being into a dynamic person who can sit with ambiguities and who can question realities.

powerful-education

So I come back to my point that are we doing that in our educational institutes? Doesn’t seem to be so. If in a gathering of 150+ teenagers only 3-4 can tell me they want to do arts I would seriously raise questions about how they are being trained. Scoring big and taking up science is the mantra of the day for the youngsters here. And this is an institute that grabs positions at intermediate level every single year, so am not questioning their theoretical skill imparting ability. I am questioning their life skill imparting ability.

I presented the students with a situation and asked them to guide me; we assumed that I am a student of class 10th and I am very weak in mathematics and physics (that I actually was back then) and I have to choose a subject for intermediate so what should I choose? I was actually shocked to hear things like I don’t have much scope in life as I am not fit for science so I should rather go for arts and do B.A. and then get married. Some other students suggested rigorous tuitions to get me through pre-med or engineering and then opt for self-finance in a med or engineering college. I was appalled, thinking about the kind of seed that is being implanted in their head. Their budding brains have been wired around scores and certain careers in a strict way. My next question was that how many of you get to exercise daily and just 10-20 hands were raised and the rest of them said “but we don’t have time”. I had these flashing images of me and my brother cycling around or aimlessly burning time around the house, we were never really short of time back then. And then after I took the students through magical things that regular exercise or yoga could do to their physical and more importantly emotional health, a student very confidently made a comment about yoga being a form of Buddhist worship so I shouldn’t propagate it. And we actually had more than half the hall supporting that view arguing that we could offer nimaz instead.

I am always up for healthy arguments because that is how the mind widens its horizons but I was perplexed at their conviction and surprised as to how conveniently religion becomes the base of any discussion in our country. But in an educational institute by some growing teenagers, brings me back to the purpose of education. I wanted to witness enlightenment but I couldn’t find it. And it made me sad to see that the generation growing up is enclosed in a more stringent belief structure rather that looking beyond the obvious. They are quick to judge, and they think they KNOW because they have exposure to a lot these days but isn’t it technically the stage where learning loses all purpose? But they are after all growing children so it has to be the way we are molding them. There appears to be a strong need for educationists and policy makers to sit down and review how we are unknowingly killing and molding our youth into a divergent 2.0 version, instead of waiting to wander through the cycle of where we went wrong after another decade.

A Book for the Heart

 

For an avid book reader, every single piece of literature is like an adventure that they embark upon. Amongst these adventures they stumble across some that they want to revisit again and again. It’s like you undertake the adventure and then you can simply just not banish the roads from your mind, it stays with you. “The Last Letter from your Lover”, by Jojo Moyes published in 2010, came across as a similar adventure for me. One that I simply wanted to last forever, one where I could just loose myself into the intense characters and their auras,  where I sighed and smiled with the characters in their anguish and ease. One that I took time to endeavor bit by bit.

Jojo Moyes, Wikipedia informs me is one of the only few authors to have been given the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, by the Romantic Novelists’ Association; knits a beautiful symphony of words as she takes us back to the time of love letters. “The last Letter from your Lover” is based in two different eras, one is London of 1960; where one day a gorgeous housewife Jennifer Stirling wakes up in a hospital, after an accident, with a complete loss of memory. Searching for clues about herself she finds an impassioned letter from a man she feels complete loyalty to, but alas she remembers nothing else about him. She discovers a series of love letters that take the reader deep into the world of Jennifer Stirling and makes us yearn for what she has lost, as she copes day to day with her cold and dated husband. And the other era is London of 2003, where a young journalist Ellie Hawthorn, in the middle of her struggle between her personal and professional life discovers Jennifer Stirling’s love letters and sets to find out what happened to the lovers.

The story is both hopelessly yet hopefully romantic at the same time. The book takes the reader very carefully through the journey of forbidden love, yet informs them how love cannot and should not be the only thing defining someone’s decision to live a wholesome happy life. It presents the perspective of all the sides of the story and makes the reader understand why someone would end up being pulled into the vicious cycle of hurt and in the end all it takes is one realization to make it all right. The highlight of the book of course are the love letters that Boot has written for Jennifer, that haunt her over the years informing her of his passion yet offering her nothing but chances that have been missed. Boots spills his heart in the letters making me stop reading and actually estimate the gravity with which his words fall all around you;

 

“I ask you not to judge me for my weakness. The only way I can endure is to be in a place where I will never see you, never be haunted by the possibility of seeing you with him. I need to be somewhere where sheer necessity forces you from my thoughts minute by minute, hour by hour, I cannot do that here.”

 

“And if you feel your decision was the right one. Know this at least: that somewhere in this world is a man who loves you, who understands how precious and clever and kind you are. A man who has always loved you and, to his detriment, suspects he always will.

Your

B.”

 

Talking of passion, one thing that particularly strikes me in all of Jojo Moyes books and this one too, is the core of each character. They are all so neatly carved out and presented that makes them relatable. The characters are not black or white, they are grey the reader is satisfied with how each character acts and can justify how things went for each of them. There isn’t a single person who makes an appearance in the story line and doesn’t tug at the reader’s heart.

 

“I’d like to hope you end up a miserable, lonely woman. But actually, I hope you have children one day, Ellie Haworth. Then you’ll know how it feels to be vulnerable. And to have to fight, to be constantly vigilant, just to make sure your children get to grow up with a father.”

 

I have tried my best to not give away any spoilers here, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a fan of classic English romance and above all if you want to have the characters living and breathing around you this book should be your next stop in the journey of reading. Have a great day!!!

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Life’s Lessons

I was working on my thesis looking at the themes turning the pages and as usual I reached a point of saturation where the mind just stops. All I could think of was trauma…..what is trauma???
I remember myself a year or so back standing on a fancy dias speaking to a group of intellectuals on trauma. I told them it’s beyond ur worst nightmares. It’s scary and it’s shattering and i used many flowery (read touching) connotations to emotionally engage them to my talk. I remember the awe in their eyes and I remember the surprise in mine for I didn’t know I could have that impact on that gathering. I didn’t know trauma could do that, because it was just a word!!!!

Fast forward to 2016, here I am and the same word has taken so much significance for me that I want to hide away from it. Yes that is its significance, for it has become so sacred n so personal that I just want to hide it some where, save it for a time when it won’t hurt this much. Life happens, it changes people but at all the stages we have certain fears, certain insecurities. It amazes me how it all changes as we grow up. If I go back a few years I used to be so scared of losing. I remember I would pray that may Allah never ever make me lose the people that I love but if I look at myself now I am concerned at to how to keep the people that I love in the most fulfilling way. How to live a life that wouldn’t have regrets and how to not miss a single hug, kiss, or that smile for I don’t know what my next step brings. I don’t know what looms large over our heads behind the shadows of the trees and walls ready to scare us to death.

As I grew up I didn’t want to be scared I wanted to be concerned, that I wasn’t able to do. That’s what trauma taught me, it made me concerned, by making my worst fears come true, it has taught me to be watchful and to live in the present. It has taught me that nothing that I behold is mine in the true sense if I don’t live it. If you live it, no one can take it away from you no matter if it’s a person or a memory; make it a part of your existence.

I guess there would be a time when it wouldn’t hurt this much…trauma teaches you to breath, to hold on till it all gets easier.

A Mother’s Grief

I have always had this wish to see the stories that I read in books, alive in this world. When I read the Pride and Prejudice, I wanted to meet a strong woman who would be standing up for herself, when I read Gone with the wind I wanted to meet Scarlet o Hara; Forty Rules of Love made me yearn to meet someone like Shams. What I never wished witnessing was a story right out of The Lovely Bones, though honestly I was being defensive as I work with trauma victims. But it is like you come across something frightening and you just pretend it doesn’t exist but then there it is glaring at you and you sit there dumbstruck.

Losing a loved one to death is very painful but then this pain varies depending on the loss. The highest intensity of this pain is experienced by a mother who loses her child. A mother’s love is the reflection of God on this earth, she raises her child in her womb for 9 months and these 9 months are more significant than her entire life put together. She forms a bond with the child that is unbreakable no matter how far the child strays from her, just the thought that the child is happy and content somewhere makes her happy in her part of the world. She can sense what the child feels and only she knows what would make the child feel better because it was through her that Allah created him, because the blood in his veins came from her blood and the first contact that he had with the world was through her. She feels like she is the connection between him and this world, she wants to keep him safe just like she did in the first 9 months and her heart misses a beat every time he makes an unplanned move.

This delicate heart of a mother that beats with that of her child is shattered when a part of her very own being is taken away from her, to the world from where none came back. She knows that he is safe somewhere with God but she can’t see him, she can’t feel him, and above all she couldn’t protect him. Her child creates this void inside of her that she keeps on falling into again and again but every time she rises empty handed and bruised.

I met one such mother today, she lost her child in the Army Public School Attack. Time has moved on but her void keeps on growing, I was just looking at her and thinking would she ever be able to move past this void but then how do you forget someone whose reminder is your very own being. And to think that there are so many mother who have lost their children so young to these acts of terrorism my heart just sinks because to incapacitate a mother means to handicap an entire family. Every single member goes into a struggle of their own, not aware of each other’s struggles but being enclosed in a wall of grief. And when finally this wall of grief wears off, they are all different people, not knowing each other and having come too far off from where they started off. What connects them is that grief but it is the same thing that separates them. My prayers go out to all the families who are suffering, praying for their strength so that they can face their grief together. And to all the mothers who are trying hard to find what they have lost, the child lives within them but they would know it when the grief wears off, till then the agony will tear their heart.

Being Heard!!

Yesterday during a therapy session, a client told me that it feels so good to have someone to empty your heart to, knowing that you would be accepted. It just got me thinking, the feeling of being able to just unload yourself…..taking space and knowing that the other person would make it comfortable for you. How rare is this feeling? I mean in our everyday mundane life where do we get to have such space where we can take some time out, speak our minds are don’t get judged. Very rarely, very scarcely.

This leads me into another foyer within my mind, with some new thoughts emerging from the little dark niches; why exactly is everyone around us so agitated, on their toes kind of irritated all the time? Why do we get so defensive when the other person opens up to us? Why are we scared of the unknown, or questions, of surprising answers, of the realization that the other person thinks and feels differently from what we expect them to feel and think?

Why are there so many Why’s, I mean a little bit of less complication would have been more than welcome. But this is how it is…..we all have to live with the unexpected, counter the surprises, and adjust with the newness that life keeps on introducing to us. And the decision of how to live is in our hands always. We could either bow down to whatever comes or fight back hard destroying whatever we already have, or use the unexpected to our advantage.

I have been raised by my parents, either consciously or unconsciously, to challenge convictions, to stand up for my perspective, and to try new things. As a therapist I try to help my clients achieve many of these things but then I notice that there are times when I feel flustered too, I need help too. Because having positive traits do aid our inner growth but we all want to be heard without judgment once in a while………and if we find that one person, I think we have found the key to a good life. This world is not a place for platonic relationships but by nurturing and investing in what we already have we can have that perfect place where we can be held and heard. A place where we know we can be ourselves.

I pray for strength, conviction, and the intellect to make such a place for myself and to help those I care for find that place around me. For relationships are raised just like a little baby, step by step, learning by error…….so coming back to my client’s comment that she felt good because she finally spoke it all out to someone who accepted her with every baggage that she is carrying and told her that I am here through your struggles, as it sums it all up for me.

Mindfulness

Its a lush green valley, snow covered peaks lined with thick pine and cedar trees surround it from all sides, and i can hear the gushing, fierce sound of water from the river down somewhere but i can’t see it. As far as my vision goes within the valley, i can see corn fields and small huts perched neatly on the terraced slopes of the mountains. there is this scent in the air, its flowery, and misty like the cob of a corn when its torn open. I can also see huge walnut trees and yes i can smell their freshness too, almost ripe deep green walnut fruits.

And among this i see myself, a girl of 6 or 7 years of age, wearing my favorite pink frilly frock. Its a summers afternoon everyone is sitting inside i can hear their voices. I feel the grass under my feet, its warm, i can feel the sun on me and the nice cold wind blowing around me and there is this fuzzy feeling that i can’t exactly explain but i love where i am and i just keep on looking at all this beauty surrounding me. This is Kalam from the Swat valley (Pakistan), i know this scene i have been there yes.

And suddenly it all changes, the mountains grow closer to me, the valley gets smaller, the sun is over taken by clouds and the wind becomes colder. I can feel the air getting moist and the scent it carries is misty now, its of damp cider and i can hear this shrill sound of some insect, not sure what its called though. Oh i am in Nathiagali (this beautiful summer resort in Pakistan) everything is its usual damp self, not that i am complaining. And yes i am there, grown up though, 20 years or so forward from the last images. i do feel the same content and fuzziness it is relaxing. My parents are right there yes i can see them, sitting there in the sun, staring out at nature beauty, i can see contentment on their foreheads, in their eyes.

I hear the word safe place being called somewhere around me, and i start walking up this small track in the mountain to a small bench beneath some low hanging cider branches, yes this could be my safe place I could sit here while the fluffy clouds pass by me, leaving their mist on me as they go. I feel safe yes.

But the image changes again, too soon, I am 6-7 years old, stand by a gushing river this time, holding my father’s hand as i ask him silly little questions about when would we have food? and why is this river so fierce? and can i swim through it? oh can a champion swim through it? ummm can we take a boat? and he smiles his kind smile at me and answers every little bit of my silly questions 🙂 and i see my Mother smiling at us as i run jumping towards her, each jump perfectly calculated so that my ponytails sway around in a rhythm (yes it was a talent) 😀

Oh it all changes again, images pass by me, as i stand face to face to the little me and we smile and kind of merge into each other, its a feeling like something exciting has been infused into me. And suddenly my throat feels very heavy, i am chocking and i can’t take it any more so i just open my eyes.

……………………

Its been around 2 years since i was first introduced to the concept of mindfulness, on the very first day of my MS Clinical Psychology class. I have been practicing it religiously since then, and have found the awareness that comes out of mindfulness as an anchor that i tend to hold on to now in the face of stress.

Every time when i sit down to take a deep breath and close my eyes, a very new part of myself comes into my awareness, it is strange yet comforting at the same time. This was the strongest experience that i have had so far, it came to me last week, it was strange and it really made me think the what and the how of it. It took me a long time before i could utter a single word because i felt so shaken. These are all those memories that i love dearly, very dearly and they all came to me in such strong images that i had no idea what to do with them. I just focused on them and let them stay as i continued deep breathing, in a few minutes all that i had in my conscious awareness were the happy, content faces of my parents and that fuzzy feeling and i knew what it all meant to me.

It was my safe place for sure. I hope you all find yours too.

Just some wandering thoughts

Like the drops falling from the sky….

Like the early morning glow….

Like the moth around a flame….

And like the morning glory’s bloom….

Every moment slips out of our hand,

Every dawn has a dusk;

But every twilight leads to something new.

It seems like a transition…this life,

Sharing, revealing, surprising, maneuvering,

Making us, then breaking to nothing and then again re-molding us……

If only we could learn the skill to be strong….

To hold it on with a smile when it splashes and thunders or rains…

Learning to Live

Growing up is scary, with each passing day this statement rings closer and closer to us.

We start feeling, thinking, perceiving, and assessing more; everything grows more complicated and strikes with a greater intensity. I don’t know if a hierarchy of pain actually exists somewhere on ground, but we all make this hierarchy for ourselves as we grow up. A needle prick goes way down the list as getting a deadly disease comes up on it. Then this gives a tough competition to losing a loved one and then you loose count of it when you realize that one moment, ONE sudden, harsh, unplanned moment can actually be the end of you existence. It can take you away from this world into a world of which you neither have a plan nor preparation.

This is a moment of chaos when we can’t figure out how to protect ourselves and what to do with all this fear. I went through this pain last week when i lost a very dear friend, someone i spent the last 2 years with. A part of a group that i looked up to for stability and grounding in times of stress, someone i would wink at, in the end of each one of my presentations and someone i would give a thumbs up too at end of hers. Someone whose laughter would echo in the class and make us all laugh, someone who had bright plans for her future, someone who i never realized i had such a close bond with.

I couldn’t even figure out what shook me the most, the feeling of having lost her or the fear of what would happen to her beyond this or the fear of this one deadly moment that can strike anyone of us at anytime or the fear of what i would be taking away from this world and what would i be leaving behind. It seemed like i was on a journey and everything in the surroundings was changing rapidly, but there was this stillness that everything has just stopped. I remembered rule # 9 of Shams of Tabraiz, that said “No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.”

My friend Aaliya has led us all, the entire group on a journey, we are all struggling to make meaning out of what happened and we are also thinking about how we are living this life, about what we have planned and what the Divinity has planned and in between are we even stopping to live the life that we have been blessed with? We are in the process of changing and we don’t even know where it would take us but as rule # 13 of Shams of Tabraiz goes, “Try not to resist the changes, which come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

I am praying with all my heart and soul that you have the best and highest of ranks in the after life Aaliya, may you shine bright and high on the day of judgment. What you have left us with is very sacred, and we would always owe this change to you. You have planted these seeds of compassion in our hearts that has made us more considerate and above all more grounded in the uncertainty that we called life, you have forced us to think about living.

As rule # 23 says, “Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell.” I pray we learn to be in the moment, and chose heaven with every word that we utter, every thought that we think of, and every behavior that we show. I pray that our hierarchy of pain dissipates into our strength of belief.

The human heart…

Have you ever thought what our hearts are made up of?

Have you ever tried to look into it and see if it has parts or if it’s a whole?

Have you ever thought what keeps it going?

When the word ‘heart’ comes into my mind, I can’t help but feel this tinge in my chest, this tinge that informs me of its presence. I don’t have an exact word to tell you what it is but it’s this funny, fuzzy feeling as if something is fluttering inside me and is ready to come into my throat. I thought of words for this sensation and more than this, I tried to think of what is in it that is fluttering to get out yet I keep it in by taking a deep breath. What is it that swells with joy, and spills with fear? What is it that calms down with patience, and splashes like a storm with panic?

Unable to make any meaning, I look at different hearts to find them a label. I look at a mother’s heart and in it I see fear, there are fears and doubts about her children’s healthy growth, she has concerns for their safety, she has worries for their exam, their job, their marriage, their smile; there is a dash of pain attached to all these concerns, a pain that you can see in her eyes even when she smiles and beams over her child, and a prayer on her lips to never ever experience this pain.

I look at a father’s heart and I see this fabric of strength held by concerns for the fulfillment of the needs of his children, their education, their wellbeing, their success. He guards the frowns on his forehead with a smile on his lips. And you know what I see in the frown, it’s an effort to escape any and every possible pain.

I look at a lover’s heart and here Shakespeare saves me the effort through his sonnet;

In faith I do not love thee with my eyes,

For they in thee a thousand errors note;

But ‘tis my heart that loves what they despise,

Who, in despite of view, is pleased to dote.

Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted;

Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,

Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited

To any sensual feast with thee alone:

But my five wits nor my five senses can

Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,

Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,

Thy proud heart’s slave and vassal wretch to be:

Only my plague thus far I count my gain,

That she that makes me sin awards me pain

(Shakespeare Sonnet 141)

I found pain in every heart. It seems that as we grow up there are these bits and pieces of pain that come together and form our heart. This swelling, this fluttering, and this tearing are all different moods of pain, it comes and goes as the environment stimulates it. And much of our love arises out of this effort to quell this pain. We hold all these bits of pain together with love and kindness to protect us and others from hurt. A human heart gives me this imagery of maple tree, it has this continuous growth over the years with leaves growing, turning colors, the shedding off its bark, the seeds, and eventually the leaves and then the re-growth and through all this transformation the bark keeps on growing stronger and tougher……human heart seems the same to me, it is constantly transforming, tearing and eventually held together by the warmth of love and care, and strengthened so that it can nourish those around it. The more pain you would find in a heart the more love and kindness it is bound to impart to those around them, i guess this is how and where the humanity is born from…