By Priyanka Hardikar
When I reflect on the past two years of transformation, I can place just how dark my thoughts and emotions were â€“ and how I once gave into them because I had not yet learned how not to. I remember someone I love telling me: “You’re not a roulette wheel, P. You have control,” and it’s something that has replayed in my mind many times when I felt consumed by my emotions.
On my whiteboard, I have two phrases up, and both have to do with the impermanence of our emotions, feelings, and moods. Both have to do with coming from a place of loving.
“Always remember, no matter what mood you’re in, your true nature is love, and anything else is temporary.”
“How I feel is now, not forever.”
I wrote them down so long ago I cannot place a date, but they have served me well. They have carried me through the occasional stormy nature of my emotions and brought me back to my natural state of calm. Today I honor who I am and the world that exists within the depths of my mind. I would have never described the place I reside in as beautiful but today I see that it is; my mind is truly a beautiful place to be. It’s just that sometimes the air can get polluted by my overthinking or anxious thoughts. But when that happens, I have learned to step away, to stop standing directly under those sources of pollution, and to find a cleaner, fresher perspective of life. Nothing falls apart if I pause and take a break.
Today I recognize that I create my own reality based on my perception. I choose how to live â€“ whether it’s through the lens of love and authentic freedom or something else. I have power over how I respond to what happens around me and within me. When something upsets me, it’s not about the other person â€“ no one can make me feel anything. The other person is just triggering an area inside of me that requires healing. Every conflict I feel inside I have the ability to resolve.
It took me a long time to understand that feelings aren’t good or bad; they just are. There was a time when I felt my emotions were against me, and I would’ve done anything to escape myself and my thoughts. But today I see that my feelings are just helping me process the world around me and where I stand in it. I have the freedom to choose how I respond to any given situation, and that is the most exquisite truth there is.
There are still moments today when I want to self-destruct, when I feel overwhelmed by my anxious thoughts, or when I have a deep sadness for life. And that’s okay. That’s normal. That’s a defining aspect of being human, of being alive. But the wonderful thing is, no matter how low I feel, I know it will pass. I have faith â€“ and proof â€“ that I will feel better. Because I am learning every day how to love and honor the many shades of me and the dignity of where I am in this moment. I am learning what it means to hold space for myself without judgment, no matter what I feel. I am learning that just like the moon, I, too, go through phases but it doesn’t change who I am. I am worthy, I am whole, and I am complete â€“ in all the shades of me.