Unlike most #10yearchallenge(s), I do not claim to look just the way I was 10 years back! I, in fact do not claim to be anything like I was back then, for I know I am way better than I ever was. I would like to share the journey of becoming a better person emotionally, spiritually and physically in 10 years’ time.
Rewind to 10 years back – Feb 2009:
It was around this time 10 years back, I was my most depressed self ever! Just a few months before I had gotten over an extremely abusive and a toxic relationship and before I could get over the abuses and the toxicity of them all, a tragedy of unspeakable volumes hit me out of the blue, shattering my life into a million pieces and draining me emotionally as well as physically.
I am not going to get into the details of what shattered me then for the emphasis is on my growth and betterment.
The Ego Boost:
The good thing about getting completely shattered is, while I had to pick up every little piece of me and put them back together, it was in doing so I learnt that I am made of rock solid stuff! That knowledge helped build up the resilience in me in no time. I very badly wanted the same people openly speaking ill of me to not just shut up but also see me rise from ashes.
And boy, it happened just the way I wanted it to, quicker than I wanted to- the same fingers that typed nasty messages about me (some of which ended up coming my own way), within a few months typed requests for many a favors to get ahead in career. I was appalled at the sheer display of lack of many a backbone. I, for my part started to act quite pricey. When so many came to me asking me to help them with their quants I told them I can’t individually coach each of them and made them organize a classroom session. Although I did it to act pricey, it was then I realized my love for teaching stuff I am passionate about. That session paved a way to me becoming a passionate Analytics trainer at work and a toastmaster outside work.
While all the pricey act did my ego a lot of good, I felt my soul still remained deeply neglected. That’s when I decided to direct my focus towards something better.
The Healing Process:
I realized getting even with (or better than) those who derided and continued to deride me was not going to help me in the long run and started my healing with the help of Premlatha Ma’am. Under her guidance, I embarked upon the following steps which were very critical to help me with the bitterness and to recover from the setbacks.
Step 1: Writing Gratitude Journal every night listing the things that I was grateful about the day that just passed brought in a lot of positive changes in my life. From 3 positive listings per day, I started advancing to 10, 20 and even 30 listings as I slowly started noticing the many blessings which would have otherwise been taken for granted. On the worst of the days, I ended up with listings like “The bright sunlight filling my room” and on the best of the days, I had enough to cover 3-4 pages of the innumerable blessings coming my way from all sides. Its been 7 years since I started this practice and I am happy to say that its still going strong 🙂
Step 2: The next thing I worked on was on the concept of Self Love – telling myself I love and approve of myself over and over again helped me gain a better attitude and outlook towards life. This helped me get comfortable with being myself, made me extremely self confident and encouraged me to take my authentic self with me wherever I went to without any second thoughts. I realized that be it in India or in the US, (and in any part of the world I am sure) the more authentic you are, the better identity you crave for yourself in people’s minds and that is something that is well appreciated. And if its not, you just don’t make a big deal out of it and continue being unapologetically yourself 🙂
Step 3: It was only when I made physical activity an integral part of my routine, I was able to incorporate the positive affirmations and the gratitude journal writing regularly into my days. The thing about sweating the hell out is, there are indeed some feel good hormones which get released into your bloodstream which makes the healing all the more faster and more powerful. Working out no longer seems about reaching a goal, but a journey in itself even if no visible results are seen in the mirror 🙂
Back to Now:
I know I am not picture perfect now, I still have my meltdown moments and I still regret a lot of things that have happened to me. But now, I know to have faith and hold on to hope for I know it is just a matter of some more time for every(other)thing to fall in place.
Special thanks to Appa, Amma, Priya, Sethu and Premlatha Ma’am for lifting me up from the throes of misery! And to those few but significant people in GCT who treated me like I am a normal person during those worst days of my life (who gave no fuck to what other people would think if they talk to me), THANK YOU! All the love and friendship helped me weather the storms and contributed a lot in building me up into who I am today!
Thank you for all the support, encouragement, love and light 🙂
Until next #10yearchallenge!
Beautifully written and well articulated. Well done Renuka…enjoy reading your mantra for coming out of veils and being strong to face life challenges in a positive stride.
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Thank you Poonam. It’s people like you who make me want to write 🙂
I read every article of your’s Renu…. you are awesome!!! Stay blessed…:-)
Thanks Praveena 🙂
Nicely written….well done
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