Life goes on with its rhythm. Sailing, crashing, staccato, jive, canter, or stand still! It has its speed. Life also shows us some amazing incidents.
My son, who works abroad, wanted me to search through his high school photo album for some good pictures of himself. He needed them for an article being written about him in his alma mater. This meant looking through at least two dozen albums! It was a lot of work at a time when I already had more than enough on my hands. But I’m glad I did.
This exercise led to sifting through the albums… and opened the floodgates of memories. A seemingly mundane task turned in to a voyage of self-discovery. I was seeing first-hand how my ship had sailed. I always like to see the positives and hidden pleasures we encounter in seemingly unnecessary situations and chores. Just as well, for not only did I find the needed pictures, but I also revisited a treasure trove of beautiful memories of family, friends, memorable occasions and travels.
Venturing further into the nostalgia of yesteryears and digressing big time, I watched old videos on the computer too. Floodgates of memories opened - it turned out to be a very enjoyable and enriching experience, seeing the echoes of time spent together while enjoying birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, weekend parties, picnics and happy moments.
It wasn’t as if I was seeing them for the first time. What had changed this time was that I was connecting all the dots and seeing a bigger picture. These photos and videos have sort of summarized my life up until now. I realized that my life had been full, with so many golden moments! It was also a very humbling experience. We get so caught up with our lives that we forget to recollect our joys. I was full of joyous wonder and gratitude to the almighty to have bestowed such grace and abundance.
Looking Back: a Self-Audit
As I looked back, I realized how I had led my life, how I was then and how I am now. How I had fared as an individual and what had inspired me. In fact, this has opened floodgates of memories and thoughts. I remembered all the people who have played an important part in my journey so far.
Sometimes, one wonders what if one had done things differently. But those are just meanderings of our mind. Seeing all these photos turned out to be a catalyst of sorts. It was as if I was on a Self-Audit. Photos were of joyous occasions, but the memories that flowed from seeing them came in all shades. These were reminders of my relationships, as a sort of Personal Balance Sheet.
But what about my relationship with myself? It has led me to introspect my most important relationship: the one with MYSELF. I felt I had to deeply self-introspect and take stock of things.
Years have added some much-needed wisdom. I feel the current me is definitely a better version! My current avatar is more confident (high time), easier in my skin, and a better communicator. I feel I have taught myself well to take things in one’s stride, to forgive and forget, and that whatever happens, happens for a reason.
As my quest to seek more self-knowledge continues, I am happy that I am a work in progress! My ship will continue its ongoing journey with immense self-realization, confidence and even trepidation; but knowing that all will be well at the end.
Thank you, life! Thank you, my dear parents, my dear husband, my two gems (my lovable sons), my family and friends!
Through this wonderful experience, I realised that the most important part of enjoying life is to have a very fulfilling relationship with oneself first. Only then can one have a fulfilling relationship with others around oneself.
As a Positive Parenting Counsellor, I have met hundreds of families over the past 2 decades, who shared their deepest pains and problems. I always sought to empower them to make the breakthroughs they needed to heal and grow at the core of their relationships.
This process of self-auditing one’s own life is profoundly healing and illuminating.
I encourage you to take some time in your own busy life to explore your cherished memories.
Just as well that the unhappy moments aren’t photographed. We take photos of good happenings only. Similarly, we should delete bad moments from our memories too. Life has its trials. But let us just promise that we will only look at the ups. It will be good to stock-check and audit one’s life once in a while!
Expressing Gratitude to Our Relationships
Relationships are important to us. They are the very bedrock of our lives. Thriving relationships make us feel loved and wanted. Connections make us feel good and happy. We are social beings. For good mental health, relationships are very important and crucial. There is ample scientific evidence showing the positive impact of relationships on individuals. It is therefore quite a paradox that in this age of instant connectivity, we are often very lonely people!
Therefore, it will be prudent to realise the importance of having a great relationship with our inner selves. This will be the bedrock for our meaningful relationships with others. Feeling and expressing gratitude works wonders for one’s feelings of well-being too.
As I sail through the trials of life, I feel ensconced in the glow of my good life. A kind of Zen! I sail forward to the unknown horizon, this time with assurance. The sails of my ship will do fine amidst the storms. Time has proven it. The photographs carry all the proof after all!
Smita Pathak is a Positive Parenting Counsellor and Artist based out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She provides counselling to parents in need of Holistic solutions to transform their parenting skills and practices, utilising the principles of Positive and Behavioural Psychology. She also conducts Positive Parenting Workshops for groups. She is also an artist with multiple exhibitions in Malaysia. Her art combines psychology with ancient Indian wisdom.
She can be contacted at smitapathak.com