I feel broken.
I am not a man out of time, searching for his proper era. Nor am I someone who has been let down by the powers that be. I do not hold any broken pretensions between my hands, failed masks of who I am. There is nothing about me that suggests anything amiss or at fault. But the feeling of failure, the creeping shadow of having done wrong; it rests on my shoulders with the butterfly kiss of a boulder.
The kind of failure it takes to break a person is not a sudden strike coming from afar. People are pelted with that sort of mess every day: at work, school, even in the comfort of their own homes. This, rather, is the kind of failure that is carried, that has been carried, for longer than memory permits to tell. Slowly, like layers of dust, it grows heavier for the bearer, and when it comes down, this failure crushes everything beneath itself, forcing you to face it.
This is where I am just about now. There is so much to do, too much to do, that it is almost better to do nothing. The floor is dirty – let it stay dirty. My friends are going out – I will stay in. There is homework to do – and I will not do it. I am staring at a whole tangled mess of incapacity, incompetence and indecisiveness, right in the face. Beneath it is a lot of hope, some ideas, maybe a personality or two. There’s no one else here, in this dark corner of thought, who will come to save me from myself.
But God and Guru have not left me unarmed. I have the power of devotion, the warmth of faith in me to overcome this obstacle. Time and time again, Maharajji has told us to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings. I am referring to my spiritual Guru who is my guide, who has given me the faith and has advice for problems as existential and intellectual as this one. To read more about him, click here. And if such a great personality is willing to forgive us, if all the Saints shower love unconditionally and causelessly, if God Himself will come running to us, then why can’t we forgive ourselves?
Broken as I am, I smile and stand up. Failure can only do so much to send a person crashing down. But in me, there is a lifetime of learning how to cope with failure, of conviction in the face of despair. This only comes with the Grace of God, the blessings of the Guru. Their teachings help you realize the little lessons in everything that goes wrong, and in time, you can learn to even appreciate them. There’s no lack of ill will in the world to drag you down – sometimes, you’re not even safe from yourself. But when you let a little faith in, and hold true to the beliefs you grew up with, there’s no telling how far you’ll go.