By Suma Varughese
The protests are waning and peace is sprouting
|Suma Varughese is Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive. |
Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
These days most of my learnings are coming from caretaking my mother, who was struck with paralysis ten months ago, robbing her of the ability to speak, eat or move her right leg and hand. I feel a little bashful about my frequent reflections on the subject, but bear with me. Looking after my mother has easily been the toughest external challenge I have yet had to bear on Planet Earth. Naturally, the potential to learn from it is equally immense.
Recently, we undertook a routine procedure to replace the nasal tube (Ryles tube) by which she was being fed with something called a PEG tube which passes the food directly to the stomach. There were some complications and we had to hastily shift my mother to a hospital. Again and again, my mother’s immense suffering, as well as more selfish concerns about my own situation stormed in my mind and I prayed passionately for a release both for her and for me. “If we deserve this karmically, then please free us,” I pleaded, as I have all these many months.
I am, of course, very clear that it was karma that had forged this situation and that only dissolution of karma would dissolve the bonds. The situation, therefore, was in our best interests because it was giving us a chance to vent our karmas and win our freedom. But that didn’t stop me from longing for an end to it. This time, however, even as I prayed at fever pitch, I became aware of the contradiction in my thinking.
If my mother’s paralysis was really for her best and for mine, should I really be hollering for an end to it? What if God took me at my word and released her prematurely, compelling her to discharge her karma in a disembodied state (which I have been told takes a much longer time)? Did I want that? No, I did not. Then why not accept once and for all that the present circumstances was for our best and cease resisting? After all, as a devotee of God, it was clear to me that what came our way was always the perfect thing to happen.The protests stopped. And peace blossomed. Today, for the first time since it all began, I can say that I am in perfect acceptance of it. I no longer pine to be free to resume my life, to travel, to have fun, to take on work challenges. It is now clear to me that my highest learning, highest growth and highest joy is right here, right now, beside by bedridden mother.
I am using this understanding in other aspects of my life. When auto drivers speed past me with infuriating indifference, I fish out that card and comfort myself with it.
The late arrival of maids is no longer a cause for discomfiture, nor is the discovery that the milk has turned rancid.
Yesterday, I sat on my spectacles, and when I got up, found it stuck to my chair, flat as a pancake. Earlier, I would have been tempted to upbraid myself on my carelessness, but now? All for the best, I say!
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