It is fascinating to note how design conscious humanity as a whole is. Whether in landscaping gardens or designing minute electronic circuits, we have applied ourselves completely to the task of improving our lot - our comfort levels, functional ability, and surroundings - by incorporating design in our world.
We collectively echo the belief that design encourages our expression of creativity. In fact, as a race, we send out the message that "design is good" and/or "design is desirable."
This isn't all. We chart our day-to-day lives, foresee events, plan, save and put aside some more for a rainy day! In short, we don't just apply design to small and large objects associated with our lives but expect events and relationships too to occur, or function, according to pre-set notions. For instance, a marriage should last; our child will grow up and probably marry between the age of 20 and 30.
Yet, how do we handle moments of sadness? How do we weave untimely deaths caused by tragic accidents or sickness into our scheme of life?
"Why me?" syndrome
When difficult events come to a pass, the devout attribute them to the Ultimate or God's great design skill or will, while non-believers possibly blame an immediate cause. There are many who turn sceptical when life turns topsy-turvy, and doubt about the very existence of a master plan ruling this world. Result? "Why me?" or "I haven't done anything wrong," are some of the thoughts that our minds battle with.
For the sake of argument, without a master plan, our world would become meaningless, even purposeless. In fact, the existence of a master plan is, perhaps, the key to our all-consuming fondness for design. The designs we imbibe in our lives - even at superficial levels - become amateur replications or small manifestations of a greater plan ruling the Universe.
Deep down, we also unconsciously [or, consciously], believe in a tapestry of relationships that are [or, not] meant to be, playing out as events that are [or, not] meant to happen in our lives. We call this fate.
The greatest plan of all
A believer's strength derives from the extent s/he believes in this web - a master plan that has a role for each one of us. Interestingly, the strength a believer derives from this faith necessitates a firm conviction in the existence of an all-encompassing design. So, you believe, and the firmer your belief, the easier will be your passage through life for you will have answers for events transpiring in your life.
But, is it not enough to merely attribute everything to a master plan? Is this a sufficient guide to living life, or does life speak to those who believe in other ways too?
Sure, some people believe that life is a living entity that speaks through signs. These signs could be meeting a person, getting a contract, being offered a new work location - actually, any event can be a sign. Your reading this article could be a sign. If you were flipping through this magazine and opened this page, even this could be a sign. May be, you need to read this!
To believe in signs is not to romanticise life. It is also not a laidback, fatalistic approach to life. It is to accept that our task is to decipher our way through the maze of life we were born to enjoy, not moan over. It is also to understand that you should do your best and, thereafter, accept the consequences.
Sometimes, you may find yourself breaking your head over a thing or a person and yet your desired outcome evades both your best intentions and efforts. A believer would conclude that it was not meant to be - and, that the [different] outcome is a sign of life having something else in store for him/her.
To believe in signs should not be interpreted to mean that you give up easily - but, to bow down when it seems inevitable before being actually forced to do so. It's often said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. In truth though, "hardiness" leads to stress, an unnatural way of life. Stress, in turn, often leads to depression, a typical outcome of the denial of the inevitable.
Sign sceptics, however, believe that we are born to create our own paths. They believe that chaos as opposed to order prevails throughout our Universe and, hence, we are masters of our lives and choose when to be tough, or when to soften up.
Get the most out of life
In comparison, a person taking his/her cue from signs saves himself/herself a lot of effort. S/he would understand that there are no happy coincidences in life. What is meant to be, as designated by a greater plan, will happen if we work according to a self-created mini-plan! At the end of the day, there is only so much that we are in control of.
Control freaks, however, try to do more than what is natural. Strange as it may sound, they mostly end up battling against their own fate.
Does it not seem far more effective to subscribe to the belief that when the going gets tough, the tough work hard and accept a change of direction? Life deals us with many cards. Our task is to move with the flow of cards, being dealt our way, or not hold onto, or prefer, a particular deal or sequence.
The inference is simple. When the game becomes greater and more powerful than its players, players can certainly learn to manoeuvre their way to happiness and success by taking cues from the cards coming their way.
Effective Ways to Deal with Sadness
- Share what you are feeling with a friend or family member, someone who will listen without judging, or trying to change you. The simple experience of being "accompanied" with your feelings can be comforting
- Do something that is relaxing. Take a leisurely walk, get a massage, curl up with a good book, do gardening or engage in a favourite hobby
- Find a way to slow down and relax. This will allow feelings to be released. Meditate, listen to some relaxing music, or do some simple stretches
- Write in a journal or diary. When you do this, it feels as if you have an ideal listener you can confide. Expressing and exploring your feelings by writing can bring perspective and comfort
- Learn to be your own best friend. Step back and view yourself with compassion and love. Notice if you are judging yourself harshly; find sympathy for yourself instead.
- Team CW
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