The month of February has been perhaps the most emotionally tumultous of my recent life. Within this time, three deaths confronted me one after the other; the first, a 42-year-old mother of my daughter’s best friend. She felt giddy, asked her husband for a glass of water, had a sip, put her head back and died. The second, my aunt, a 64-year-old grandmother who gave much love to all those around her and died peacefully in her sleep. The third, my ex-colleague’s dad who lives in the same complex I do.
At the same time, my brother’s wife gave birth to their second child, a baby boy, and an old dear friend of mine had a baby girl after years of trying. I also happened to meet my best friend from college after almost 18 years, who confessed she’d recently had a miscarriage after 12 years of a childless marriage and was still trying to come to terms with it. We were both at a weekend Journey workshop and I could not help hugging her every time I saw her during those three days.
If all these thoughts of mortality weren’t enough, I also had tremendous pressure at work due to a crisis and my mind whirled non-stop for solutions.
Oh and yea, I also got divorced.
My marriage lasted 17 years – for the last seven of which we were separated. In this huge chunk of my life, I’d come to view marriage as different things: as a prison; as drama; as humiliation; as pain; as loss of my dreams; as a battle zone; as a rope around my neck that tugged and tugged and strangled the life and joy out of me. If I struggled to look for something positive, I could only come up with motherhood and the momentary pleasure of doing up my own home for a few years.
But as the battle came to an end, I was blessed with an invite to the first India Journey workshop I mentioned above and it helped me in making sense of my own journey. I was able to peek out from above the swamp of victimhood and see my own role in the murky proceedings. I was able to view my experiences in a new context besides ‘good’ or ‘bad’. These beautiful kids (such evolved souls!) were meant to be born to us, after all, and the karma was meant to be lived out. The marriage was my spiritual training ground. It dug deep crevices and valleys inside me, which I was able to fill up with God. If not for this marriage, I wouldn’t be here, communicating with Krishna with every breath I take. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
There are a 100 paths to enlightenment and they are all correct. Some of them are birth and joy. And some are death. And some are divorce.