Spirituality has helped Shivi Verma have greater faith in the voice of her heart, which she now unhesitatingly expresses
Before I entered the path, I was completely confused about myself. Was I good or bad? Intelligent or stupid? Different people had different opinions about me, and I could never understand which one described me the best.
I wanted to be considered a good and intelligent person but soon realised that my parameters of goodness were not in alignment with the rest of the world.
I remember, one day, my mother had packed cake in my lunch box. While standing at the bus stop waiting for the school bus to arrive, I saw a scrawny stray dog loitering around the area, apparently hunting for food. I felt pity for it. I took out my lunch box from my school bag and went after the dog to give it cake to eat. Funnily, as I approached it, it ran in the opposite direction feeling afraid of me.
As soon as my schoolmates standing there saw this scene, they burst into laughter. A senior boy joked, “It would have been better had you given the cake to me, Shivi. I would have happily gobbled it.” I went red with embarrassment; I felt stupid. Similarly, elders in my family often taunted me for my fondness for animals, love for books, or my sense of justice. They wanted me to be more practical and worldly-wise.
I remember seeing a hungry calf being dragged away from its mother by a few people in my village and feeling powerless to stop them because of my fear of their ridicule and censure. At school too, I was quite unpopular because I believed that rules should not be broken and teachers must be respected. Any rejection of this belief system felt like a personal rejection to me. I mostly did not find any support from my class-fellows on such matters. As a result, I began to believe that I was all wrong, stupid, and hateful.
When I sought the Divine, I was in dire need of some self validation. His enthusiastic response acted like cool showers on a parched piece of earth. The more I meditated, the more clarity I gained. Gradually, I realised that my instincts were not wrong. I just need not fear rejection and ridicule from others.
How it liberated me! Now I don’t think twice if I have to correct an imbalanced action. Whether it’s asking strangers to not litter the roads, requesting people to be kind to animals, adopt environmentally friendly practices, or not resort to unscrupulous means to make money, I do it with uninhibited faith and confidence. And I see that people listen with attention and reverence. There is a smile of approval on their faces. As for the ones who try to belittle me, they clearly see that it’s not possible to break my confidence like before.
I have rediscovered my voice and my faith in my goodness. I also cannot help but notice that it’s not my voice but the voice of the Divine throbbing within my heart.
Editor of Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately.
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