In a sufi story by Fariduddin Attar (adopted from the book, ‘Essential Sufism’), its described in this following fashion:
One night, the moths gathered together, tormented by their longing to unite themselves with the candle.
They all said, ‘we must find someone to give us news of that for which we long so earnestly.’
One of the moths then went to a castle and saw the light of a candle within. Upon returning he reported what
he saw, but the wise moth said, ‘he has no real information to give about the candle.’ Then another moth visited
the candle, passed close to the light, drawing near to it and touching the flame with its wings. He too came back and explained something of what union with the candle meant, but the wise moth said to him,
‘your explanation is really worth no more than your comrade’s.’
A third moth rose up and threw himself violently into the candle’s flame. As he entered completely into
its embrace, his members became glowing red like the flame itself. The wise moth saw from afar that
the candle had identified the moth with itself and had given the moth its light. He said,
‘this moth alone understands that to which he has attained. None other knows it, and this is all.’
What happens to the moth after it has sacrificed itself onto the flame? What was his motivation? Why was he the one to recognize the flame and not the others? These and other such questions can help us to understand why each one of us is so different, and why we are motivated by different things at different times.
This perhaps has been the greatest lesson of 2017 for me – recognizing that we are all different and we are creating our own paths with the choices we are making. With every act, with every word, with every thought we are deciding our future. We have no one to blame and no one to reward, we are the ones responsible for our life – good or bad.
In this light, 2017 has been a very challenging year. I feel like my soul has been through a spin in a tough washing machine program, and I am eagerly hoping I will come out shinier for it! My limits were pushed. My powers were honed. My heart had to expand. My compassion was tested. The cells in my brain were fried! My mind had to stretch to understand the secrets of the drama that I was not quite grasping. Then there were people’s demands and projections that I felt I didn’t sign up for. So again, back into the washing machine I go!
2017 made me fifty years old. Birthdays are always a time to measure how well one has fared in their relationships. The blessings or lack of are a sure sign of whether one is on the right path or not. It was a wonderful happy month with family and friends and lots of cake to munch.
To mark the milestone, my book ’50 things’ was published which talks about some of the lessons I have learnt in my fifty years. This was a challenge as I had planned it three months ahead to have it released on my birthday. However there was then an issue with the printing press and the first print, and I too was travelling and so the book finally came out a month later! At first I was appalled that it would not be out on time, but then I quickly shifted gear and switched my attitude. I moved onto the next thing and let the book go through its own drama. (So I guess you could now say 51 things!)
I did not intend to make drastic changes in my life, yet I am finding that some things are automatically taking birth while perhaps other things are dying a natural death. It’s as a result of being clearer now on what I want and don’t want and how certain things cannot continue as I have allowed them to. I have to lovingly respect myself. As I mentioned in my opening para, I too realise on a deeper level, that I am responsible for what I am creating and so I am more conscious of this than ever and trying to pay more attention and not to let things go lightly as one would in young age. Maybe, I am finally ageing… oops I mean maturing!
Thanks to social media, this year an old school friend found me and I connected with him after some 30 years. It was like being transported back to the classroom and we were debating and chatting as we had done back then. It was a really lovely life lesson to show that relationships go beyond time and space.
It has been increasingly apparent that 2017 has been a year of challenges for most of us. From acts of war and terrorism, to natural catastrophes and personal upheavals, it seems that chaos is all around us. Political and economical scenes around the world are worrying to most. I have heard many personal stories of pain and sorrow. From one standpoint it may seem like a very dark time, but viewed from a soul perspective it may be that these scenes are actually challenging us to look within, to question the status quo, and maybe find new ways of seeing and being that are more heart-centred. The turn of the year is a time for reviewing and re-newing, so this is a great opportunity to see what inside of us is not working, and let go of the negative.
And is if we didn’t already have enough on our plates, we have taken on another challenge in Kuwait, that of organizing a conference – ‘Awakening Inner Power and Potential’, which will happen on February 3rd and 4th. It is a huge project and it is challenging me to the max. There are times when it is taking me well out of my comfort zone, but at the same time I see the benefit: It is forcing my soul to expand in all ways, technically and also emotionally; to let in more light, so that I can radiate it back out again! There is a saying that ‘everything is conspiring to make me perfect’, and I think I can apply this to myself now! I just need to keep reminding myself that every little challenge is making me stronger.
I do believe that, like the moth sacrificing itself to the flame, when we let go of our addiction to the drama of the world around us, when we sacrifice our selfish motives and self-serving attitudes, when we challenge ourselves to let go of the old habits that keep us small, and when we aim to become bigger and better from the perspective of the soul, this is when we ‘become’ the light. Time is asking us to change, and it will keep sending us strong messages until we do!
Thanks to all the readers who follow the blog and write to me. I wish you well in your soul journey in 2018.
Peace and Joy!