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.