A friend bought an art piece from me today.
She said she connected with the story that the piece told.
I remember creating this piece when I was still in Mumbai. My heart had been badly broken. Even as a writer, I could find no words—and still can’t—to describe the tremendous shock and the hurt that ensued.
I was heart-broken and humiliated. I felt alone, hopeless, and hurt. I cried in shock and disbelief. I wept in agony. I howled in despair and heartache. The pain came in waves, in ebbs and flows. I realised that the only cure to pain was the pain itself. I’ll say that again:
The cure for the pain is the pain. Sit with it. Be with it. Listen to it. Move with it.
I learned to do all of the above.
I learned lessons from all of the above.
I’d had, throughout the relationship, a supernatural sense that an invisible red thread connected us and that we had been destined to be part of each other’s lives. This invisible red thread is an old Chinese legend that says, “An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”
I waited impatiently to hear from the person. An email, a call, a surprise visit, or maybe even a snail mail letter. None of that happened. There was only complete silence. Weeks passed and then months. I never heard from the person again. I hadn’t known it was possible, but my heart broke even more. After sharing what I’d felt was such a deep connection, it was difficult for me to accept that the person did not care for me.
Sufi poet Rumi wrote that you have to keep breaking your heart until it opens. But I wondered: How much more pain can anyone go through? How open can any heart get?
I asked those things people ask in the midst of any turmoil: Why me? Why is this happening? I found no answers. No meaning. No solace. No rescuer. Instead, I only found pain sitting on my chest all day and all night. Even in my sleep, the pain rested there.
This hadn’t been an ordinary love. It wasn’t a romantic love affair either (although sometimes I have wished it was; perhaps it would have been easier to cut such ties). No, the person who caused me so much pain, so much grief, and so much sorrow was none other than my mother.
An old Hindu spiritual law says that what happens is the only thing that could have happened. Absolutely nothing of what happens to us could have been otherwise. But today, two months later, I feel enormously blessed for what happened.
Without a doubt, my mother is my greatest teacher and she is there in my life for a reason—to nudge and push me to become the best version of myself should I slack or falter. She gave me a scar, but one which I do not hide as I emerged from that scar stronger and more powerful than I had ever been.
This emotional scar is my daily reminder that life’s greatest lessons are learned through pain.