No one saves us but ourselves. No one can, and no one may. We must walk the path.

― Gautama Buddha

 

We all have our own path, our own journey, where we meet lots of souls. Thank everyone, as life would be incomplete without them.

Read Friendship and the Chisel Effect and share your comments and feedback.

I always look forward to hearing from all of you.

Mom in the hospital on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon, in her harrowing labor, dad hustling, sweating bullets, wondering now what, boy or a girl? Well, it’s me who pops out, the chunkiest baby among four siblings with the most adorable smile; obviously, I do not remember, but that’s what my family has told me. Happiest of all, my uncles and aunts congratulated my family, and they were undoubtedly my first friends growing up. Well, nothing ingrained in my memory, but all I know is they all were Mom and Dad’s socially lit friends.

What did I internalize- Sometimes, we have no choice but to love what is offered, as that’s the best and only option we have. After all, I had to laugh and cry in Mom and Dad’s friend’s lap—no prerogative.

Transitioned to a naive and bubbly toddler, frantic one minute and cuddling the next moment. Pure unconditional love, no strings attached, and occasionally selfish with the “this is mine attitude. Here comes preschool, kindergarten, and elementary/middle school with all the learning curves attached to them: interaction with all through combined activities and full-on participation at the core. Well, who remembers saying, girls eww! Boys eww! Not to forget forming the boys and girls club with exclusive rights and being excluded with those big chunky tears rolling down the cheeks. “I have no friends, Mom, and I hate school.” aah, those comments. The social arena was so touchy and sometimes troubling that it agitated insecure and shaky feelings. Well, we all have experienced this while growing up.

What did I internalize Learn how to blend, be part of different settings, hogwash happens, it’s okay, adapt, resolve conflicts, develop leadership skills, and appreciate each other.

Cool, now comes the best part, high school, where we all tried to be like adults. We thought we knew it all, where our parents were our worst enemies. Banging of doors, you are so mean comments, silent secretive chats with friends, peeking at that cute guy sitting on the last bench from the corner of the eye and heart beating at supersonic speed, of course, infatuation, jealousy, and competing with our friends. The drama never ended; however, the teenage tantrums were on a roll, coupled with everlasting impressions. Made the best of friends, grew up together, stood by each other in all heartbreaks, fully aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, no judgment, and those inside jokes never to be leaked out.

What did I internalize Old is gold, no matter what. Come what? Never forget where we come from in life; every scene of that chapter will resonate with some suppressed emotion that we should latch on to till eternity.

Off to medical school, teenager to an adult, with tons of dreams, being ragged together to the most hideous stuff, sitting in the cafe having coffee, blurting out the most intimate secrets, heartaches, cramming anatomy notes, taking leadership seminars, singing at the college festival, bunking the most boring class with the most annoying professor and all the way to spending weekends together. I will always cherish my dearest girlfriend of thirty years, with whom I spent my college years, but one slight misunderstanding, one discombobulated thought, created a gap of ten years. I was muddled up; not a single day went by when I did not think about her and how much we both had shared in the prime of our youth. As they say, if you care for someone, baloney stuff happens; suck it up, flush the ego, dial that break it or make it call, have that agonizing chat, and darn it, fix it. Yes, we glued it back; I can never forget that one email that connected us back together and solidified our bond again.

What did I internalize– You live only once. If the foundation is substantial and rock-like, roots are tied up, the universe will make sure to manifest what one desires from the core of the heart.

Married, welcomed the new life, migrated to a different country miles away from home, new family, newfangled surroundings, unfamiliar faces, and to top it all, left all friends back far away across the oceans. There was no social media to connect, only seldom phone calls to catch up; however, that also faded away with time. I needed friends. Uncles, aunts, and seniors were my first set of friends, and let me tell you, I absolutely cherish all the time spent with them and still do so. Their life lessons, heart-touching experiences, and soul-to-soul connect conversations have left a mighty mark on my heart. Still, I wanted more; I was on a hunt to have someone my age with who I could let my hair down with similar thoughts, likes, and dislikes and just let loose. Eventually, I found some incredible girls and families, and it was a perfect lock and key combination. Life-long memories were created with a bag full of pain, tears, laughter, and immense joy. However, some were for keeps, and some were just simple bystanders who walked away as hastily as they entered. A nose-dive in some relationships made me aware of the reality that nothing is permanent in life; all is mutable and can go through a significant shift. I was not my perky self; however, the ones who truly understood my psyche and my mental makeup guided me and helped me get through that rocky moment in my life. Finally, I realized the only affirmation and validation I needed was from me, nothing else mattered. Chop chop, keep- keep is the motto I finally figured.

What did I internalize- This was my life’s most nourishing and refreshing stage; it drilled my inner sanctum to the deepest level and churned my emotions like a whirlpool. You should understand that we absorb energy from everyone, literally from anyone around us, no matter what age. Everyone may not be a friend, but we need to be thankful to them as they teach us that life is not fair sometimes, to be objective, be unassuming, forgive oneself, forgive others, and handle the rules of the game tactfully. We do not own anything, and a healthy relationship does not bind nor crunch; instead, it allows free rein with mutual respect and no room for misinterpretation.

I have many unanswered questions about what life will bring now. Who will enter, and who will exit the doors? Ultimately, what matters is who stays despite the polarity and contrarieties between two individuals. Choose to be your own best friend, and you will never be in anguish or distress. Just be real, yes, no veils on, no cloaks, no visors, just the transparent you, and the untainted soul will be standing right next to you.

After all, friendships are like chisels: They carve us from all corners, fill in the gaps, soften us, and allow the marred beauty in us to shimmer to its optimum level.

The good, the bad, and the ugly are all the perks that come with having friends. Take it or leave it; finally, it’s our choice.

NaMāste

Love, peace & blessings!

 

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