Help.

Pic: Ankita Shreeram
That's a call for help directed at my own self and the universe at large. Because while I seek solace in my family and my friends, they can't really see right through to my soul. And I can't show them, even if I want to. "No one really understands," is a refrain we hear every now and then. All of us feel it, at some moment or the other - this niggling feeling that our problems are unique. Psychologists can cry themselves hoarse about the similar nature of angst faced at different stages of life but the truth is, no two humans experience pain in the same manner. Eckhart Tolle writes about the 'pain-body' in his theses on spirituality and the deeper meaning of human life. This pain body is a kind of destructive alter-ego and it represents the accumulation of all the negative feelings and experiences we have been through. These feelings and experiences cast lasting impressions on our memories and over time, lead us to believe in harmful patterns that soon become self-fulfilling prophecies. Believe it enough and it will be true. Unfortunately, that is an axiom that works both ways. Believe that you are unworthy of good things and life will prove it to you. Believe that you are the most splendid being on this planet and life will prove that to you as well. Somewhere in my childhood, I began to believe that I wasn't worth being befriended and that I was too ugly to be loved. Today, I know that neither of that is true. I've struggled with my demons and I have managed to lull them from time to time. I've reaped the rewards in terms of a few good relationships and an increased sense of well-being. But I will admit that I haven't entirely slayed them. My 'pain-body' is still in existence. I love solving other people's problems. Reaching out to them and easing their pain brings me satisfaction. But at the end of the day, it is only a means of distraction from my own issues. The 'other' is always easier to perceive and resolve. It is the 'self' that confounds and tortures. Relationships crumble when two people come too close for comfort. Imagine the relationship you have with yourself - so close that you are one. So close that dichotomy makes no sense and yet it exists! There is duality in every sense - I talk to myself like there are two of me, I wrestle with myself like I'm my own opponent and when I smile, I feel an echo from deep within. And that perhaps is the crux. The alter-ego is merely an echo of our real selves. And an echo says nothing new. An echo reveals nothing of importance. An echo is but a mere repetition. The affirmations are our own to make. Let them be so strong that their echoes resonate till the end of time. Let the belief in one's beauty and purity be so strong that nothing can cause a chink in that armour of positive energy. Help is ever at hand, in one's own heart and in every atom that makes up the pseudo-reality around us. It's strange. None of this is real but the problems this unreality churns up feel so crushingly real. I've been looking for salvation since a long time. I was briefly distracted by work - my karma. Now I am distracted by lust - kama. Neither of them are an end in themselves. They are merely means to an unending series of desires and disappointments. Love will make sense only when I slay my demons completely and find a partner whose demons have been cast into nothingness as well. Until then, every entanglement will be just that - a complicated, agonising twist of difficult-to-decipher words, feelings and expectations. Marriage will make sense only when it is between two souls who are complete in themselves and yet seek to create a greater, deeper reality by combining their life paths. In any other case, it will merely be a parody of what it's meant to be.