Neena Nambiar shares her ongoing, fulfilling experience of finding love, her true inner calling, and Divinity
It’s been four decades since I embarked on a journey of seeking love and harmony in relationships. Exploring, experimenting, and discovering who I am has been exciting. Along the way, I’ve been blessed with abundance and scarcity, joy and suffering, hope and despair, as well as divine interventions that have helped me understand my true inner calling and find divinity within. I wish to share my story and in doing so, hope to enkindle awareness about the joy of living in love, understanding, and acceptance of the self and everyone.
Childhood influences and youthful struggles
My grandfather had a lasting impression on me. Throughout my childhood, I saw him as the epitome of goodness, wisdom, calmness, gentleness, and discipline. He was known for his selfless service, always ready to help others and never expecting anything in return. I remember a large number of people coming to our house every day. My grandfather would attend to each one of them, patiently and with love, dispensing medicines free of cost. He was fair to everyone, whether rich or poor, male or female and made no distinction.
My father, on the other hand, was an alcoholic, which brought shame to our family. My mother took care of me and my two siblings, as well as her mother-in-law, having occasional fights with my father. I remember relatives and friends taking advantage of our circumstances. Eventually, we shifted from our beautiful home in Delhi to a small town in Punjab. Deep down, I felt insecure and unsafe, and so, I prayed.
As a typical Indian girl of those times, I followed rituals like fasting, to please the gods for a better future for myself and my family. I’d read the scriptures mechanically, hoping to please God and get rid of the shame and pain I was experiencing. I yearned for love and attention and went about seeking it from others most of the time. All these experiences affected my personality.
Like most girls, I dreamed of marriage, a loving family, and our new home. Eventually, I met a man who I fell in love with. We got married, and I hoped to live happily ever after. But I was naive to believe that life had ended well for me. All was blissful for a while until disagreements and conflicts started cropping up with my husband and in-laws. I was deeply hurt and observed patterns of blaming, shaming, anger, and judgement based on prejudices. Deep down, I knew that I cared for my husband, but the disharmony unnerved me. I felt guilty and unsure of myself despite fulfilling my roles as a wife and a mother. Alas, my negative childhood experiences had caught up with me. I’d throw tantrums, and in a fit of anger, verbally deride my husband, calling him names. Then, I’d withdraw in sullen silence and not eat or talk to him for a couple of days. After a lot of cajoling, I’d feel better and relent. I’d apologise for this behaviour but repeat it all over again and feel bad about it. I also noticed that I wasn’t being honest with my words and actions; I’d say one thing and do another. Often, I’d threaten to pack my bags and leave home. I almost left a few times only to be overcome with guilt. I had a strong urge to get away from the people I was living with and the place I was in. Probably, I found the situation so unbearable that I preferred flight to fight; I chose not to take responsibility for my situation. I didn’t know who to speak to or how to explain my situation. I was afraid of committing mistakes and violating religious and societal norms. But I desperately wanted to change myself, be a better person, and bring about joy and harmony in my relationships, particularly with family and friends.
Turning a new leaf
I set forth on an experiment to seek happiness and stop suffering. On the outside, everything seemed the same, but there was a gradual yet intense change of direction on the inside. I learned yoga, read self-help books and attended workshops and retreats. These things helped me a lot, and there was a short period of relief. But soon, I was back to my old behavioural patterns. It was frustrating to hear my husband often tell me calmly that happiness resides within. I believed that happiness purely depended on external factors. I zealously sought happiness outside; seeking attention from others, reading books, and consciously practising ways to be peaceful and happy. To entertain myself intellectually, I’d even have discussions with others on relationships—my favourite topic. I was called ‘Relationship Manager’ because I tried too hard to build, mend, and empower my relationships. But my attention-seeking and controlling behaviour embarrassed me, making me feel even guiltier. This was often followed by blaming and further loss of harmony. When I found similar behavioural patterns in many of my friends and acquaintances, I got a wake-up call. I started questioning myself: “What is the self? Why does it seek love? What is the purpose of life?” I realised that I had everything—a loving family, friends, a home—yet, I was longing for something more.
I went on to study philosopher J Krishnamurti’s teachings, Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga and Ramana Maharshi’s Advaita. J Krishnamurti says, “Observe yourself without evaluation or judgement and practice quiet time.” I applied this teaching and started observing myself in order to find answers to my questions. I realised that it made me more conscious and mindful of my actions and reactions; it made me more discerning and sensitive. I learned that life is a process and we continue to learn from it. I transformed from being an ignorant mother to a conscious one. I even taught for a while at the Krishnamurti School. After lots of experimenting and contemplation, I finally had a better understanding of myself and life. Further, I was showered with divine gifts and blessings. My husband is extremely supportive, and I truly appreciate his gesture.
Commitment to seeking
It’s been a long journey, and discipline and commitment have seen me through. It’s worth mentioning that initially, I half-heartedly put in efforts and they led me nowhere. I’d get serious for a while and then backslide. It took me so long to come around because I wasn’t consistent. But when I truly committed myself to my journey, things began to look up. I even received help in different forms through people like Andrew Cohen, Vimlaji, and many others. My friends, what it really boils down to is: Are we serious seekers? One has to feel it and be ready from within. It can’t be imposed by external factors. It takes a lot of discipline to truly understand ourselves and our different energies, but it eventually becomes a joyful experience.
Observing quiet time and being attentive to my energy for the last 10 years—it was only in 2006 that I truly committed myself to my journey—has helped me find divinity within and everywhere. Not that my troubles, old behaviour patterns, and other distractions in life disappeared immediately. But there is no judgement anymore of myself or others; rather, complete awareness and acceptance. Over time, this understanding of our multidimensional self deepens, and the result is unconditional joy, harmony, and love. When the energy of silence, as Vimlaji, says, overtakes your being, it takes care of things and you ease out realising that this energy is doing whatever needs to be done.
I too, in my journey, found the Divine within me and everywhere. We seek that which is hidden, but the reality is not hidden. It is everywhere and within. In the majesty of the cosmos—from microcosm to macrocosm, finite to infinite, unmanifest to manifest—is one big cosmic dance of energies!
Neena Nambiar is a self-awareness educator, who is deeply interested in sharing universal principles discovered through personal experience. She facilitates life training programmes.
Life Positive follows a stringent review publishing mechanism. Every review received undergoes -
Only after we're satisfied about the authenticity of a review is it allowed to go live on our website
All our healers and therapists undergo training and/or certification from authorized bodies before becoming professionals. They have a minimum professional experience of one year
All our healers and therapists are genuinely passionate about doing service. They do their very best to help seekers (patients) live better lives.
All payments made to our healers are secure up to the point wherein if any session is paid for, it will be honoured dutifully and delivered promptly
Every seekers (patients) details will always remain 100% confidential and will never be disclosed