Black Hole of Depression

Black holes exist, it is true

You feel them, when sadness engulfs you

When profound depression sucks you in

All you can sense is the darkness within

There’s that black hole within your soul

Sucking in your light, swallowing you whole

To the edge of the black hole of depression

You try to swim, but the force of gravitation

Pulls you back in, your escape routes are blocked

Time comes to a standstill, you feel locked

Inside the deepest darkest recess of your mind

It is a black hole, no help you can find…

*

I did escape from that deep dark place

I returned to the present time and space

Therapy dragged me out of the black hole

Filled the massive void in my soul..

There was a latent spark within me

That radiated light for the world to see

(Image: In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope unveiled an image of the supermassive black hole in the galaxy)

I’m sorry…

“I am sorry”- sometimes the words ring hollow

Insincere is the apology, you think you know

The act shall be repeated in the future, soon maybe

You’ve made yourself believe that is a certainty

You withhold your forgiveness for another day

You are unconvinced of the sincerity anyway

*

You remember you have been on the other side too

Fervently apologizing, hoping your words sound as true

As they are, yet the person you are saying sorry to

Is finding it hard to trust and forgive you

You truly feel sorry, sincerity you try to show

That you are willing to change, you want them to know..

*

Apologies are given and received based on trust

Before you forgive someone, believe them you must

We are all human, we all make mistakes

It’s hard to know for certain if an apology is fake

We want to be believed when we apologize

To extend the same grace to others would be wise..

Traditional, or not?

Tradition is a two-edged sword

On the one hand, it is the cord

That connects us with our progenitors

We build on their experiences, for better or worse

We honor our ancestors’ aspirations

When we follow our traditions

In touch with our unique cultures we stay

As the world becomes more homogeneous every day…

*

On the other hand, being rooted in tradition

May lead to undesirable propagation

Of practices archaic that should not have a place

In the modern world where the challenges that we face

Are different from those faced by our ancestors-

Following blind tradition progress hampers

Worse still, it can be used as an excuse

To mask injustice, perpetuate biased views..

*

The nuances of different traditions are fine

In following traditions, we walk a thin line

Between what in the contemporary setting is relevant

And what with current social norms is incongruent

Thus, I try to follow traditions, but not blindly

I am rooted in the past, to the future I see

Intuition

Can I ignore that pesky voice?

It’s berating me for my current choice

Annoying me, making me think twice

Telling me my decision is unwise..

At my best, I am indecisive

Constantly in self-doubt I live

But when I have reached a decision

After hours of exhausting deliberation

To change it I feel a reluctance profound

Therefore I try to ignore the sound

Of intuition, that at the last moment

Makes me doubt my original intent

But then… ignoring your sixth sense is unwise

Danger is sensed before being seen by the eyes..

*

I have paid attention and I have ignored

The voice of intuition many times before

That nagging feeling of something not being right

Is almost never wrong, though the urge I fight

To listen to it, and my decision revise..

In the end, I listen to it, hoping this decision is wise..

Can I just be?

Is it possible for me just to be?

To do what I am doing, from expectations free

To savor life’s moments as an observer passive

Not try to change them, just breathe and live…

*

No, I am not trying to be a robot or a machine

But to try to constantly meet expectations I am not keen

The conditioning that I have to continuously strive

To improve myself is not helping me thrive…

*

There are so many expectations from me

Some imposed by myself, some by society

It’s exhausting to try to meet them every day

I still don’t feel like I’m progressing anyway..

*

So can I, just for a short period, simply exist?

Not put on a facade, not make an effort, but subsist

On the existing traits and skills I possess

Not try to run after narrowly defined, elusive success?

Do what I can but not try to please those around me

In solitude, search my soul for my true identity..

The phoenix rises…

Energy stays constant, you know

On a bed of ashes, new life will grow

From each fire, a phoenix will rise

Sometimes take you by surprise

To witness transformation profound

Thus the circle of life goes around

*

What burns vigorously, rises up high

Infused with lightness, into the sky

Rejoins the world in a different way..

If the world around you is burning today

Look for opportunities to transform

Let the ashes take a new form

Channel that energy towards progress

Let the phoenix rise in success

If you don’t fill the unforgiving minute…

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

– If by Rudyard Kipling

Time is precious- this is the message drilled in me

A resource not to be squandered frivolously

So I’ve been conditioned to use every hour spent awake

Towards productive tasks, to keep every break

Reasonably short, in fact to fill my breaks wisely too

In getting some exercise or completing a mindless task or two

Sleep only as much as I absolutely need

Multitask as much as possible indeed..

To harness the power of time, and not let it reign

Over my life-I must stay productive AND sane…

*

The result is that I feel uncomfortable

Being idle, I am completely unable

To do nothing, I feel a guilt profound

I simply cannot wrap my head around

Being alone with my thoughts, I confess

I find myself anxious and restless…

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, they say

When I’m idle, I have to push unseemly thoughts away..

*

So I was afraid of not having anything to do

I filled up my day, according to this view

Pushing past exhaustion, day after day

But feeling less fulfilled in every way

Until I happened to take a vacation to a place

That was off the grid, disconnected, I had to face

Unscheduled time, with resources few

I could not think of many things to do

Except spend time in nature with my thoughts

At first I found myself somewhat distraught

But over the next few days, I relaxed considerably

And my unscheduled life became heavenly…

Those non-productive days helped me reorient

Reorganize and prioritize things that were relevant

I returned from vacation, quite energized

Into high quality work I was promptly galvanized

*

There is virtue in work and virtue in rest

A balance of both brings out the best!

Time to Worry

I shall admit this blatantly

I worry almost constantly

If something is going well I obsess

Over its deterioration, I confess

If things are bad, my mind takes me

To the worst case scenario automatically

If things are deteriorating quickly

I’m already living through a catastrophe..

*

Knowing well this is not good for me

I’ve tried different methods to break free

From the anxiety that clouds my mind

One day an intriguing solution I did find

To set aside each day, a finite time to worry-

To deal with stressors real and imaginary

*

This piqued my interest, so I tried

To place all my worries aside

And be as productive as I could be

During the period I was “worry-free”

In the evening “worry time” I found

Gathered all my worries around

Obsessed over them like I would always do

Transitioned to a restful sleep when I was through

*

I schedule time to worry each day

Imagine everything going wrong in every way

Then remind myself that things are quite all right

I take a deep breath and settle down for the night..

“Flow” as therapy

How do I go about trying to find

Therapy for my neurotic mind

There is no therapist who would spare

Hours listening to me as I share

My innumerable problems, imagined and real

Someone with an hour long slot would not be ideal..

*

So I research solitary ways to get therapy

Art therapy, bibliotherapy, writing therapy- exist evidently

I try each one to see how they turn out

They all are helpful without a doubt

The caveat being one, and only one

You require, in the task involved, complete immersion

*

I can read, write, paint but I need

To give it my complete focus indeed

To eventually enter the state of flow

And witness all fears and anxieties go

Out of the window, as there is no space

In my mind beyond the task that I face

When the task is completed the endorphins released

From being in the flow leave my mind at ease..

*

Whatever the endeavor, whatever the result at the end

To enter the state of flow is what I intend

When the mind attains a focus laser-sharp

And time lies suspended as if in a warp ..

Think Without a Box

Unfortunately we were taught

To learn by rote, independent thought

Was discouraged back then

Therefore perceptive, curious children

Never had a chance to question the status quo

It was important to conform and go with the flow

*

These days we encourage innovation

We try to provide children motivation

To think outside the box, color outside the lines

Meaning they can explore a bit outside the confines

Of standards previously decided, but not deviate

Significantly from the established state

*

Creativity and innovation, however, should be

Able to expand without constraints, infinitely

Maybe erase all boxes and lines now

Such that creative thinking we allow

To be limitless, expand in every direction

Let the extent of our thoughts be the reflection

Of the boundless universe that we live in

Let an era of unbiased, independent thinkers begin..

Ordinary..or extraordinary?

I was ordinary, with no skill to claim

No field in which I could excel, or make a name

I went about daily life in a fashion predictable

Without any sense of adventure detectable

I checked off all boxes for a suburban life, I guess

You’d think I had the usual trappings of success..

*

I longed to break free from this mould

I desired to venture into doing something bold

Something that gave me a flavor, that’s all-

Of being extraordinary, just something small

Something unique that I could do

Would get recognized for it too…

Just one little thing that would set me apart

Something in which I would pour my mind and heart…

*

I felt ordinary, because I thought I went

Unnoticed by coworkers, family and friends

Instead of looking within me I was trying to find

External validation to comfort my mind

*

Instead of doing something extraordinary

I needed to introspect in a manner solitary

To find answers to why I felt this way

I was comparing myself to others each day

Without realizing it, I was trying to mimic

Others, while being my own critic

*

I must say it has been a work in progress

I do what I can, while enjoying the process

The only person I try to compare myself with today

Is the person that I was, in the past, yesterday..

I may be ordinary, but when over time I see

I know I’ve made progress extraordinary!

I broke my principles…

I did not know what was at stake

I did not know how much would break

When I bent my principles, thinking it would be

The first and the last time for me

It was an exceptional circumstances, I explained away

The rationale to myself that particular day…

I did not realize that sinister the consequence would be

The thrill of doing something slightly wrong energized me

From there it was a slope increasingly slippery

I bent, then broke, my principles repeatedly..

My conscience grumbled but was ignored

Until I could feel hesitation no more…

*

My principles I broke, and here I am today

A broken human being, I have lost my way

The path of dishonesty that I ended up taking

Has destroyed me, led me to this hell of my making

The steps back to a principled life are steep

But I can only climb up, from this trench deep..

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