There is a thick fog that has covered the bay, as I walk into the dark early predawn hour. A distant fog horn sounds from a passing ship and I peer at the lights, that are circled by the mist and appear dim. I realize it is not my vision that is in a blur, but that the world itself has become opaque from this phenomenon of water and moisture and inverted temperature, causing me to feel disconnected and lost.
I walk on and hear the rumblings of the trucks down Queensway from the Long Beach harbor to the hinterland carrying goods to the consumers of this great land. This Queensway is a road to commerce; very similar to the Queensway of my youth which connected Connaught Place to the Viceroy’s palace on Raisina Hill, in New Delhi. They were both named after the Queen Mary and yet they are not related. The contrast in ambiance and looks cannot be starker as one was a display of colonial power and this is a utilitarian road of commerce.
As I turn to go back I feel lost in the fog, as familiar signposts are no longer visible. My mind feels the need to identify these comforting signs and I realize that our lives need similar milestones to guide our daily journey. When we lose the familiar we feel lost; and then fear and anxiety and the consequences of these which are loss of self-confidence and the feelings of inadequacies, rear their ugly head. We are the creatures of habit and anything that disturbs our comfortable cocoon makes us uneasy.
Now that I am uncomfortable and vulnerable the morning walk is not as pleasant and thoughts arise of getting back quickly to the familiar hotel room. I realize that this is the crux of our problems, as we are not ready to step out into the unfamiliar. We are not ready to give up what we have built around us, to find the path we need to travel. We cling to our egos as it defines us and do not allow the souls journey to continue, as it will lead us into the opaque and the unknown.
We have to get out of our comfort zone and become vulnerable again, to realize love and compassion. We do not initiate sex with our partner or build loving relationships with those around us due to the fear of rejection, and so it becomes a cycle of withdrawal and jilted relationships. We narrow our world into one where we are no longer free, but confined by our own fears and imaginations of inadequacy.
The fog still sits heavy on the river but now I am ready to go with its flow. I realize that until this ego is killed I cannot be free. My life was carefree and I wandered this world in wonder in my youth, and now that #hope and joy is long gone. I have allowed the fog of fear, uncertainty, unwholesomeness, anxiety become the norm, till I am no longer whole. The perfection we seek often takes us further away from the joy of discovering our own uniqueness, and the uniqueness of those around us.
The morning will come and the sun will rise and burn this fog away. Similarly we have to awake to our own imperfection and then with consciousness drive our fears away. We have to allow ourselves to become vulnerable again, as only then can we open ourselves to the compassion and joy around us. Until we can forgive ourselves and bring compassion to ourselves, we cannot spread compassion to others.
Deeply hurt I stumble into the hotel lobby and know that the healing has begun; and a new life will dawn for I am unloved, because I am unloving. I open my heart a little bit and say “Good Morning” to the surprised lady at the front desk; as she has seen my predawn wanderings before, and I used to pass her silently sulking away to my room. She gives a sleepy smile after her tiring night shift; and jokes that the city seems blurry this morning. I agree hoping that our personal fog will also lift; I can see clearly now that it is only in dying to our self, that we will be reborn to eternal life. My joy returns and spreads outwards…