DESPERATE, ARE YOU?

Desperation can be simply defined as despair resulting from unfulfilled aspirations. In other words, it is a feeling of hopelessness resulting from a deep desire/longing within the heart which has thus far remained unfulfilled. The feeling of desperation may not always be for big and lofty aspirations. What makes a person desperate depends upon his/her desire.

A fatherless child may be desperate for fatherly love. A person facing repeated failures may be desperate for a success. A couple in love may be desperate to make their relationship see the beautiful bond of marriage. An athlete may be desperate to win at various competitions. A person caught in the traffic may be desperate to reach the airport in time so as not to miss the flight. A poor woman on the street may be desperate to get just enough food so that her children don’t spend another hungry day.

Let’s not confuse desperation with desire. Desperation is one step ahead of desire. Desperation unsettles a person. It creates a sense of covert chaos which is many times reflected in the overt behavioural patterns. Desperation may lead a person to go beyond the set boundaries and end up doing the unwanted.

I am reminded of an incident from the history of Israel.

It was a time when food supplies had run short. The scarcity in the land was great and things that could never be considered to be food (donkey’s head and dove manure) were sold at a premium price. One day while the king of Israel was passing by, a woman called out to him for help. The king expressed his helplessness saying that there was no food available in the kingdom which he could offer her. But the woman had another problem. Unable to bear the pain of hunger, she had agreed with another woman to kill and eat their own children. So, they killed and cooked her son and ate. But, when the turn came for the other woman to give her son, she refused. And so, she wanted justice. Hearing this, the king tore his clothes in despair as the people of his kingdom had to stoop down to such a level.

The desperation for food drove two mothers to think of eating their children. Unimaginable for most of us! As horrific as this may seem, such incidents do happen in various parts of the world even today. Parents offering their children as sacrifices to deities – desperate to come out of financial debt and prosper in business. People drinking water from sewers and cooking with drain water in the absence of potable water – desperate to quench their thirst. Barbaric incidents of rapes and sexual crimes – desperate need to meet sexual urges.

Three chief causes of desperation

Firstly, it is situational. As in case of extreme hunger and poverty, it is the innate desire for survival which leads to a desperate act. The question of surviving with dignity or looking for choices does not even arise here. It is simply about existence. Such a desperation may cause one to do even the menial of tasks or even sell one’s self. Bonded labour and slavery are some such examples. The bonded labourers and slaves never had choices – they never could think of any. Poverty drove them to submit to the high and mighty. Desperation to save a dying friend, may lead one to flout the rules of the hospital. Urgency to reach the workplace in time, may make one to violate traffic rules.

Secondly, inability to accept NO for an answer. A spurned lover desperate to avenge his rejection, attacks the girl he claims to have been in love with. Being refused a toy by the mother, a child may go ahead and grab the toy or roll on the ground or hit his head on the wall.

Thirdly, inability to control one’s desires. A desperate longing to be wealthy makes many to take bribes, carry out illegal financial transactions and go in for unreasonable deals. Desperate sexual desires result in visiting prostitutes, raping minors and the aged, watching pornography, masturbation and other violent crimes.

The unsettling turbulent feeling of desperation ceases only when the object in question has been attained. We heave a sigh of relief in catching a running train that we were so desperate not to miss. A father-to-be beams with smiles as his desperate wait to see his wife through a safe delivery ends and he holds a healthy baby in his arms.

In other words, desperation comes to an end when the object of desperation is achieved. Desperation increases when the object in question seems far out of reach. We need to deal with desperation in a healthy way. Since it is a spontaneous feeling of anxiety, it won’t do much good to stifle it. Dealing with it rightly and helping others to do so, is the answer.

Have you ever felt desperate for something? How did you deal with it? Let’s share so that we have a repository of information as to how to deal with our desperate moments without wrecking our nerves or doing something atrocious.

STOP BELIEVING THE LIE

Since our childhood we all dream colourful dreams and strive to do the best to make our dreams a reality. But alas, in the mid-way sun sets, years of those colourful dreams seem like fairy tales and in bitterness we wish ‘Death’ as conclusion. Isn’t it?

There was a boy, who was an intense dreamer since his schooldays but since the final year of his graduation he stopped dreaming about his own life. Whenever he smiled looking at others he talked about others than himself. When he prayed he prayed, ‘God my desire is to see my wife like this. I wish my family would be like this’ and so on… But when he opens his eyes his smile fades away and he is reminded of his past – ‘If your dream will be busted again, what you shall do?’

Couple of year back I met a girl in a public gathering, she is highly qualified, beautiful and very friendly in behavior. We became good friends, we started chatting and sharing thoughts every day but all the time I found her quoting one sentence ‘Death is always a better option. No life…No pain’. Primarily, I thought she is little philosophical but the continuous recurrence, made me to question her ‘WHY do you think death is a better option?’ Then she unfolded me her staggering story of her past.

Why there is so much bitterness in life? Why our dreams are followed by past reminders? Why we are stabbed by our bitter pasts? Why we think death is a better option?

Sir William Blake says, ‘This life’s dim windows of the soul Distorts the heaven from pole to pole And leads you to believe a lie, when you see with, not through, the eye”.

Once I asked that boy, why you are always reminded of your bitter past? He answered, because deep inside I am fearful. Then I asked the girl, what is that stabbing pain which troubles you even now? She answered, it is my hopelessness.

Yes… though we know that we can’t go back and correct our past but still the past appears in our present, making our life bitter because we have started believing the lie – I have lost everything, there is no hope for me. I am a Corpse. We always see with the eye but not through the eye.

When people on death row are praying for life, we are alive (despite of all odds) but still we are seeking death.

WHY?

It is because deep inside our hollowness, our emptiness are eating us always. Though despite of the darkness of our past, God has shown us the bright light of hope by keeping us alive… but still we believe the lie of the existence of our past and we tend to beat that old drum – “I have lost everything, there is no hope for me. I am a corpse.”

God has promised me, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am holding you in my right hand. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Am I still fearful of my past because I still believe in the lie. Am I ignoring that God (the Omniscient – Omnipotent – Omnipresent ONE) who is holding my hands. Am I not much more valuable than just a sparrow to Him? Am I not created in His IMAGE?

Stop believing the lie… Start seeing through the eye!

Avinash

ON THE BRINK OF HOPELESSNESS

The year 2016 is about come to an end. And I stand discouraged and frustrated. My life seems to me as if it has no charm left anymore… I am compelled to think “how long God… how long… when will my life come to an end?” I feel like losing my life’s battle as I see this year ends.  I am pushed on the edge by the circumstances I am in right now.  There’s a feeling of hopelessness within me which is disturbing my peace because it’s something contrary to my nature/attitude.

My wife has a fear that if I die at an early age then what will happen to her as she is so attached to me and her hope is her husband. I understand her fear and when I wear the shoes she is wearing I feel her heart’s worry very well. There’s a sense of hopelessness I see in her eyes too.

There’re people who’re waiting for a divorce procedure… What would be their hope? A quick divorce or a peaceful mutual one or a rigorous fight with their ex to literally destroy his/her life? Whatever may be the situation her or his sense of hope is kind of distorted and less understood. She or he is in a condition of hopelessness.

There’s a sick boy whose mother is wishing his well being every day as she sees her child struggling… there’s issues because of the sick child in the family… her heart breaks down with hopelessness.

There are cancer affected members in the families. They suffer every time they go through the painful chemotherapy procedures. They must be hoping against the hope by living on the edge of their lives.

There are family disturbances. Brothers fight amongst each other for property. There are parents who are abandoned by their children. There’s quarrel between in laws in the house which seems to be unending even if this year 2016 is about to finish. 

Last 13 days we talked about our “glimpses of hope” that we see in our life situations. But I felt there’s a pullback feeling in most of us as we were quite not sure of the glimpses of hope that we are seeing. Some of us still have that feeling of hopelessness even when we are hopeful about something good to happen.  

Wish all this hopelessness ends with the end of this year 2016 to relieve all those who feel hopeless today in the New Year eve. The world will be busy merry making, drinking, dancing, having his and her share of fun on this last day of the year…

BUT…

There are lots of questions arise in the minds of people who are going through difficult times…

Where are we heading?

Do we really have any hope?

Who can show us a light in our darkened path?

Who can guide us in to the path of fulfilment and peace?

Who can change the course of our life?

Will we be ever saved out of our pit of death?

When when when?

How how how?

Who who who…?

Who can really take us from the brink of hopelessness to a life with hope, peace and love?

As these questions keep troubling us when I look around in the world the hope that I see in people’s eyes in the midst of despair and agony I try to brush off the thoughts that so easily encompasses regarding me, myself, my family, my struggles and so on…

How do they do that?

Let me end here hoping the New Year will bring something different… some new and assured hope which will fill our hearts with hopefulness, with peace and with so much of love…

Let’s hope that we can jump off the brink of hopelessness well as we enter into a new year tomorrow.

Stay Blessed!!!

WISHING YOU A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR 2017

HOPE NEVER DIES

The thing with Hope is that it never dies. Even when you believe that none of it left – somewhere down deep inside, it still resides in your heart silently and when the time comes it just bounces back.

I have had this feeling of losing hope completely so many times in my life.

First time was when I was travelling from Mumbai to Bangalore in a train. I had spent a couple of months after my engineering in a job hunt. I couldn’t find anything worthwhile. There were plenty of rejections from all around. I have always been a bright student and so I was not really good taking rejection at the interviews. That train journey – I had a thought “I wish this train meets with an accident and I am the only person to die” or “I wish I had the courage to jump off”.  I was just so frustrated with my life and this is closest I have been to the thoughts of suicide. That was the moment when I thought I had lost all hopes that I would be able to setup my career the way I want to. But I hadn’t. Because I had constant nagging feeling in my head that things will just work out – they have to. It cannot go wrong and I cannot lose myself this way. If it wasn’t that nagging feeling – it would have been easier to jump off the train.

Second time I thought I lost all hope when I and Kapil wanted to get married and our families wouldn’t agree. And both of us were very sure that we do want to get married but we won’t do that without our families. No matter how much we tried – things just went wrong. There were judgments, perceptions and so much negativity in the two families for each other. And I had already created my future with him in my head; I had dreamt of having kids with him, I had this whole life already figured out with him. Yet no results!

Again there was a nagging feeling that told me over and over again that if I cannot imagine myself with somebody else then this just has to happen. And it happened!

Third time in the year 2014 – I was on serious medication because I miscarried once and was not able to conceive again. There was no reason for it as per the medical reports and yet there was no baby. Again I gave in as much as I could – nasty hospital visits, multiple scans, medicines and with all that immense weight gain and mood swings as a side effect. It appeared to me that my life was only around medicines and ultrasound scans at that time. And I was also going through a horrible time at work during the same period. My job was a complete disaster then. There was nothing I could do to help myself and still felt that there is no hope for a baby anymore. We had almost given up and were already considering other alternatives to have a baby, when there was still a nagging voice in my head “that it is going to be ok, just do what you can do and leave the rest to God”.

I followed that voice and realized that maybe there is nothing much I can do about having a baby but my career is still in my hands. And I got out of that disastrous job and found myself another job which made much more relaxed and easy. The new job and responsibilities also helped me not to constantly pity myself. And to my extreme surprise when I completed a month in my new job – I was already 5 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t believe it initially because I had stopped taking medicines since quite some time then. But then hope worked.

There is always nagging feeling in my head when things go wrong (and sometimes they terribly go wrong) – “It is just a phase. Like all good ones, this will also get over and life would be normal again”. This nagging feeling is what I name as HOPE. When there is nothing else left to try and I feel like giving up – this voice just gives me a new reason to believe.

And it never gives up on me… never dies!