An upcoming Bollywood actress, an aspiring star took her own life last week. She considered her life to be a failure. She was just 25. Is this is a reflection of our society, of the times we live in, of the pressures on the new generation? The pressure of winning every time, the need to achieve quickly, the restlessness in the pursuit of glory. Depression is a disease of our times. The inability to live life at its own pace and on its own terms is killing us. Judging our every day as success or failure, we build a life of worry and restlessness. Comparing ourselves with others and feeling inadequate and beaten, we turn this life into a race to milestones. And as we miss milestones and escalate our worries, we lose our sanity. What is this life about? Is it about becoming someone in the world or is it about just being you?
Have you heard the story about the two caterpillars who were in a race to reach the top of the tree they lived in? About how they lived their life in the pursuit of that goal, forgetting that their true purpose was something else entirely. Forgetting that their life was about transforming into a beautiful butterfly that was free to fly anywhere. We sometimes lose perspective and live to fulfill our narrow goals. We run the only race we know, forgetting that our purpose is finally being our own true self. It is about finding our own true self in the many images we create for the world outside.
There are times when we are distressed by our current situation, when demons work overtime in our heads, when we wonder what is happening in our lives. Those are the times when we need to keep sane and work through maintaining our perspective. Those are the times to talk to friends , gurus or mentors. Those are the times to come out of hiding and not let the depression suck you into its whirlpool. Once disturbed and disillusioned by the progress I was making in my career, I talked to a mentor about it. He said something that I remember very clearly. He said " You are a few steps down the road on a long career. You have stopped to look at it midway and feel it is meaningless. It is a bit like looking at a painting midway through the artist's progress. What looks like meaningless strokes, what looks like a mess of colors is actually the beginning of a masterpiece. When you stop and look at your life midway, you are judging an unfinished painting....Let the painting be completed by the forces at work, some of them beyond your control, because that is how it becomes a masterpiece ". Yes, when you feel low and depressed, remember that your life is an unfinished painting...and its too early to judge.