“If you had to choose between courage and patience, I’d say, choose courage. With courage, the patience will come too but with just patience, you’ll never have the courage to live your life your own way and be happy.”
Wise words from a 26-year-old firebrand of a masseuse I’ve recently been associated with. We meet every Saturday when she gives me an Ayurvedic massage with much gusto, going all red in the face, leaving me energised and exhausted at the same time, so that I need to come home and sleep it off. And if the massage is stimulating, the conversation is even more so.
We talk about men and relationships. Falling in love with the wrong man. With the right man. With a married man. With one’s best friend. Being the daughter of a divorcee. Getting drunk on a bottle of beer. Breaking up with a man after three years because he is a sissy. Working hard and still not making enough. Fathers and husbands who aren’t worth it. Betrayal. Children. Commitment.
Today we talked about a friend who is in a bad marriage but continues to be there because she is afraid of slugging it out alone as a divorcee. “I find such people to be real *****,” she said, using a crass Hindi expletive. “Why do they wait to start living? Women are always told to have patience. To wait. To endure. To be stoic. Bullshit. I value courage above all qualities in life. Without courage, you can never be happy. All these other qualities are recipes not for happiness but for compromises, regret and sorrow.”
“Yes, there will be a bit of pain when you take a courageous step in life,” she went on, kneading my shoulders, “but that is short-lived. After the third, fourth, fifth day, you will find so much greater happiness and liberation.” I mumbled a muffled agreement into my neck-rest.
“God tests you. God puts you through situations when you have to show what you’re made of. If you act out of courage, you will win through all obstacles. And what obstacles? They will all fall away when you stand up with courage, anyway,” she announced as she flipped me over.
“Your friend needs to spend time with herself. Take a couple of months and sort herself out. Half her life has gone past in heartache and loneliness. If she can’t make herself happy now, what’s the use of finding happiness later in life? Tell her to be strong—not patient. Tell her to stop seeking happiness from others, from husbands or children. If a person can’t love herself, how can she ever love anyone else?” The young, spirited guru trundled me into the steam room.
The session was short today, and as always, I came home and slept, inspired.
I dreamt of angels with fiery wings.