For a long time now, I have been debating in my mind whether I am pessimist or an optimist. I read only positive books. Given a choice, I only watch movies about love and joy (For my husbands record, I hate action movies). My blogs are, on the most part, positive and focus on the little things in life. Given all this, one could easily say that I am an Optimist.
But yet, when it comes to real life, I keep missing heart beats on the slightest of things. When children arrive two minutes late, I have already visualized a bus accident. When I do not receive a message/call from my husband for 3 straight hours, I start to fear that he has been kidnapped (yeah! tell me about it). When I lock the home alone, I dread gas leakage or electrical short circuit. The list goes on. I know, people like me have little peace of mind. The way I see it, worrying does make me more planned and careful but it is definitely not easy and it definitely does not leave me happy. And I guess, it does make me a pessimist.
On top of being a pessimist, I am a strong believer in the little book called “The Secret”. This book is all about believing and visualizing in what you want in life. The stronger your belief, the stronger the urge of the universe to deliver it to you. Quoting Sharukh Khan, “Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”
Come to think of it, if most part of the day I am worrying about short circuits and bus accidents, then what choice am I giving the universe?
Believe me, I have consciously tried to change the wiring of my mind. I counter each negative thought with two positive thoughts, every single time. I spend time in prayer and meditation. And of course I continue to write. Writing has been my biggest healing power. But then, we do live in Kalyug where materialism, lust and power has taken over the good in people. We are not humans first, but Man/Woman, Hindu/Muslim, American/India, BJP/Congress and so on. No matter how hard I try, I cannot have my family be all the above. One day or the other, I fear we will fall on the other side of the line and I cannot help but worry for that day. I fear because I have a daughter. I fear because I have a son too.
If I fail to change the wiring of my brain and have little power in changing the laws of the Universe, how do I keep my family safe?
I found my answer today after a long fun filled holiday with my children. The day was a blur of activity. But no one activity stands out specifically in my mind. When I look back on the day, I remember the evening when we were laughing till our tummies hurt. I don’t even remember what the joke was. As I tucked the kids in bed, I silently thanked God for such a day. I prayed that we have many more days like this in our lives. As soon as I felt blessed and peaceful, my pessimist self showed up again. She started with, “But Shilpa, do you know what happened in Surat today???……”. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I managed to silence her and said, “I know America bombed Syria. I know about Kathua, Unnao and Surat. I know about Infosys share price crash. I know death is waiting round the corner. But till it decides to knock my door, I choose to live like I lived today. I choose to laugh and be happy. While I will continue to double check gas knobs and electric switches, I choose to dream about a golden future for me and my family. I choose to see death when I am 80 years old. I choose to see my children grow and prosper in front of my eyes. I choose to be an Optimist.”
After months of trying to rewire my brain, I finally accept both the pessimist and the optimist inside me. I acknowledge both of them and I admit I cannot get rid of either one of them. I accept that death and misfortune will meet us from time to time. But till such time, I choose to make each day count positively for me and my family. For me, the biggest reason for making the most of today is the knowledge that there may not be a tomorrow.
If you are like me, having more faith in the Big Bad World than in your own prayer, take my advice. Live each day like its the last. Use your worry and your pessimism to make sure you have even more fun in your life each day.
P.S – If you know more people like me who have taken the job for worrying for the rest of humanity, remember to use your optimism and share this post with them. Maybe together, we can rewire the laws of the universe.