At the end of every year TIME Magazine puts the photo of most influential person of that year on its cover. For many years it was the MAN OF THE YEAR till it became more appropriate to be gender non-specific and the title was changed to PERSON OF THE YEAR. I normally look forward to this issue with great interest for even though it is essentially one of lists, it reminds me of a Report Card, an annual keepsake of events that mattered in the world. Events that changed the lives of people economically, culturally and intellectually. This year I was looking forward to it with more interest than ever because it marked the end of another year of agony.
My problems actually began with an empty nest when my first born went to University. Like many mothers the world over, I worried about her, every waking moment – wondering what she was doing in a foreign land, how she was coping on her own and whether she was happy in her little world. My sleep time was her day time and I spent nights thrashing in bed, imagining what she was doing that very moment.
By the time she finished college, I was like a zombie, walking in my sleep most of the time but somehow managing to get by. Of course these days were not always fraught with worry but the anxiety was always there, colouring my daily life. Then one day, she dropped a bombshell, one that changed my life forever – an announcement that shattered my happy family life. I fought and struggled with myself and argued a million times but nothing seemed to help. For three whole years each day was a living nightmare culminating in the horror of all horrors in December 2012.
I looked forward to a new dawn with renewed hope that something would happen that would change the trauma I was facing, and that life would follow a different path, one that I could deal with. Sadly real life never follows our wishes; we have to follow the paths in front of us. 2013 was like a sad dream for me, one where I would re-play my sad tale of woe to all those who listened whether they wanted to or not. When I look back on those days, I tell myself I’m lucky that I still have friends! But the whole of that year, I just cried literally and metaphorically, my heart breaking into a million pieces every minute of every day.
Then when the delivery boy handed me the TIME magazine, I looked at the Pope and something drew me to his sad and gentle eyes. He looked as though he wanted to listen to my story and was waiting for me to open the magazine. I quickly tore open the plastic cover and began reading the report. Suddenly a sentence caught my eye
“Who am I to judge? “
that hit me like a bolt. Something seemed to resonate within me and a weight seemed to lift off my shoulders, the blinkers seemed to fall off my eyes, the grief beginning to slink out of my heart. Who am I to judge ? I asked myself. Consequently, who are the others to judge me?
This was by far the best advice I’ve ever had in my life – from a man I’ve never met and never likely to. This advice wasn’t even directed at me, for the article was a very general one, demystifying the newly established Pope. But it managed to penetrate the layers of sorrow that had fogged my mind and was preventing me from healing and going ahead. Today the scars still remain, and so is the pain – dull but still around, my family is still fractured and we are still walking on eggshells because this is an event that I can never forget and possibly never forgive but every time I feel the anger rising up inside me, I ask myself
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]WHO AM I TO JUDGE ? [/tweetthis]
Advice comes to us in the strangest forms, not necessarily from the people we seek advice from and not necessarily in the places we seek it. Often times it comes unannounced like a footstep in the dark , unnoticed and unsung. For me this rhetorical question was the advice I never sought and never asked for and found in the strangest place – a magazine article . These words transformed my life of self pity and grief and restored the old me.
“I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”