“For, after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (American poet of the nineteenth century)
Kamlesh Oza was desperate to become a manager in his company. His promotion was long overdue. Anxious months passed and he sought shelter in an overdose of liquor and smoking. At last, three years later he did get the coveted promotion but after a few months in his new position he confessed he still wasn’t happy. “I guess I am just not meant for this kind of job,” he regretted.
A spiritual therapist suggested he spend a few minutes daily in prayers and contemplation. A little breathing exercise, journal writing, prayers and significant association with other spiritualists would help remove the clutter. Within two months, he did discover the cause of his misery – his inability to accept himself the way he was!
He realized during those contemplative moments that as a teenager, he had taken up engineering in college because his parents wanted him to. He was fascinated by history and psychology, yet he felt an acute need for acceptance by his parents. During the two month inner journey, he journaled daily for twenty minutes, during which he also discovered that his parents’ constant fights made him insecure during his formative years. His sense of worth was negatively affected. He now sought approval from his friends and took up a corporate job even if it meant he was disconnected from himself.
Contemplative prayers and journaling now helped him connect with himself and he discovered that he was a teacher at heart; he loved to spend time with children. Slowly, he realised that he’d be a great school teacher. While he rejoiced at the prospect of teaching children, his mind shuddered at the thought of leaving his career. His ambivalence paralyzed him internally.
The need for Acceptance
For the Kamlesh Oza’s of this world, the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu advised aptly, ‘life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be a reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.’ Kamlesh knew he had always resisted the natural flow; he had denied the ‘reality’ of his love for teaching.To be continued…