For a strong advocate of living in the present moment, writing something about the past does not sync with my belief system. I do not encourage myself to look into the days gone by or think about the days to come in an effort to draw out maximum fun from being ‘here’ and ‘now’. It takes lot of efforts, beliefs, coaxing and reminders to stay focused in the moment. Or in my case – up, close and personal experience of Hodgkin’s lymphoma has done the needful.


   Though basking under the glory and relief of remission for a year now, it is impossible to forget about this blessing under a ‘not-so-desirable’ disguise. Linking words such as cancer and blessing in one single sentence might seem totally unusual or unacceptable, but that is exactly how I look at it. For a restless individual who always worried about the future to follow, the episode of a deadly experience has only opened my eyes in the real sense. While I completely forgot to appreciate, live, enjoy and experience the simple pleasures of life, this lymphoma has taught me just the opposite. Today, as I smile and savor every single moment in my journey, I am more receptive towards the joy of living.


   If not for this larger than expected blow in my path, I wouldn’t be here, writing about the need to go ‘carpe diem’. But, talking about the unexpected phase of physical and emotional hardship is not the primary aim of the article. I do not want to share the clouds of my experiences to drive you into deep thinking.


  The real reason of penning about it is to share the essence of what I have learned. Sure, the ups and downs were too overwhelming, but today as I look at it all, I am only charged with positive lessons to be followed. Instead of any sad details, I only remember the need to avoid any regrets, worries, anxieties and troubles. Hence, it gave birth to the thought in title – Do not forget, where you come from.


   This ‘where’ does not stand for any destination, location or place? It does not talk about remembering your childhood home, school or locality. And for those of us away from our home city, state or country, it does not mean reminding ourselves about our birth place. It simply reminds us to value our struggles, efforts and hardships. Each one us has reached where we stand today after mountains of challenges and troubles. Unforeseen situations and circumstances have nursed us at every step, putting our skills to test. They have forced us to shake hands with failures, sorrows and buckets of tears. None of what we hold today would have been possible without playing with circumstances. And while we were able to find our way out of the maze, we must treasure the experiences for a lifetime.


  Rather than living in the past and thinking about it every now and then, we must tune our minds to implement the values gained in the process. It is essential to recognize the hardships that made us strong. We cannot forget about all those who have trained us in the journey. It is incorrect to ignore the safety network of our family, friends, and well-wishers. We may accomplish our goals single-handedly, but we cannot create the same amount of support, faith and love showered by people around us. Hence, it is incorrect to forget about everyone, once we reach someplace else. Just because we are wealthy/happy/settled/matured today does not mean we can place ourselves above others.


   By remembering about our shortcomings, we display humility in our approach. Humbleness and down-to-earth attitude can take us ahead in the journey. Unnecessary arrogance based on our achievements or overloaded pride in our behavior will only drop us down. It will surely take us high like flying inside a balloon to be pricked at the highest peak. While this relates to success, achievements or laurels, it also applies to uncertain circumstances and situations.


   Though I am happy to be away from cancer, I remind myself to quit thinking ahead of the future. If I forget about the things that made me strong in my journey, I will only invite the troubles back again. Often, we are able to accept the situation and appear strong in order to pass through it, but find ourselves back into the trap as soon as the trouble recedes. Call it human nature or basic instincts, we are tempted to forget about the surrounding situations that made us behave in a certain way. As soon as we realize that the ship has sailed, we are back to square one, doing what we always love doing. It is impossible to expect an over-night change. At the same time, there is nothing wrong in slipping off-track sometimes or repeating some innocent errors. But, it is incorrect to make it a habit. There is a thin line between innocent errors and deliberate mistakes. So, unless we take measures to avoid mistakes, we cannot look forward to a desired life.


    Do not forget all the efforts, difficulties, support, inputs, advice, ideas and hard work that brought you here today. Do not turn your back towards the reality-based lessons. Experiences, circumstances, situations and adventures are regarded as the greatest lessons because of their real-life essence. Remember their occurrence in your journey. Do not live in their memories forever, but extract out the values and carry it along with you always.


  Smile, love, stay happy and remember- life is too short to trade your practical lessons with impractical theories.


Published by Lavanya