Welcome back to The Daily Pulse!
Today's Diwali in India which is called the festival of lights celebrating homecoming, light in darkness among other things. Today's pulse captures this ability of the human being to go down into the trenches and finding your way out of despair.
This year has seen a lot of visible loss, as if the screen of societal norms that required everything uncomfortable be shoved under the carpet has been torn apart, spilling out all of the uncomfortable realities of our shared lives. There are of course, many ways of doing that and like everything, this has its pros and cons.
The pros speak of the hopeful change in accepting the very real, universal and tangible experience of loss. Like everything in society, there have been normative rules around the experience of loss and grief wherein depending on your social identity markers either you're allowed to experience and express your loss (within given terms and conditions of course!), or you're not. Either your loss is considered real, valid, or it is severely invalidated depending again on where on the entire spectrum you sit. Adding social media culture built on capitalistic pillars of commodification, the experience of loss becomes a whole another layer of performance, expectation, and display. This added layer of experiencing loss while liberating, can sometimes also lead to the commodification of loss where it becomes a compulsion to focus on and dump emotionally on a platform to get some form of belonging.
Today's pulse on Diwali day captures this crossroads on the path of experiencing loss and sadness. Considering festivals bring out a sense of nostalgia, this card asks you to practice understanding your personal experience of and relationship with sadness. What does loss feel like for you? Are you able to accept and move through it? Or is it bottled up, to be blown out years later, as dysfunction or something else, maddening you further as you struggle to gain control? I'll give you a small, anecdotal example of this - people angry at banning of crackers during a pandemic that's got to do with the respiratory system. Point to ponder is what makes one want to rage over something like that? Where is the need to feel "all is well" to avoid the pain/fear coming from, to seemingly look like one is still in control?
Much of experiencing life, is about exercising your will yet ceding control. That's often a very tricky thing to accept or digest. We tend to know and live only in extremes of wanting to control everything or becoming helpless babies down on our knees asking god to set us on the path.
Loss is difficult and uncomfortable. When you experience it, also allow yourself to feel the discomfort while letting your mind wander to understand the things that still work, to note that you are still there, that you're still trying, that you're still standing, despite it all. When you do that, the pain injustice often loses its power, allowing your eyes to notice that perhaps not everything is lost. Perhaps, having an expiry date on things, people, situations is part of learning to fully embrace the human condition. And perhaps, what's gone has made space for new, while leaving some souvenirs as markers of what was, letting you to be free to notice that glimmer of hope for tomorrow, that light at the end of the dark tunnel. Hold on to that, let go of what's gone.
Light a lamp to honour your losses today and one to honour your strength, perseverance and anyone who's supported you knowingly or unknowingly.