Writing as Life and Giving & HELPING ONE ANOTHER TO GROW

Karnamrita Das

After being inspired with a free verse poem as a way to check in with myself and my readers, I saw that it was very similar to a blog I wrote last year, so I am including it here. My intention, in addition to introspection and self-examination, is to encourage you in your own process of personal and spiritual growth. My prayer is to help you be a balanced human being and steady bhakti practitioner with the greatest likelihood of progress in serving and loving Krishna.

Writing as Life and Giving

Even if my thoughts are not profound
or upon reading will change your life,
putting words on the page seems important,
a way of giving myself, my attempt to help,

as I so much believe in being a giver
even as I lack compassion and caring,
which I don’t like, yet don’t worry ‘bout,
since my nature is peaceful and accepting
sometimes to a fault, simultaneously frustrating
but familiar, like an old friend who never leaves me
who has protected me from pain and heartbreak
outlining a most wonderful fact that our nature
is the cause of much of our suffering, yet we defend
it—our subjective reality—against others just a valid—
so my words are a kind of prayer or calling out
to extend my heart and soul to the page
a way to promote my values, what I feel important
not as difficult as a personal, face to face relationship
yet still requiring a strong commitment to make time,
otherwise the hours accumulate and take over
becoming weeks and months, devouring our lifespan,
if we don’t make priorities, then ordinary necessities rule—
we make time for what we deem important
highlighting the importance of setting a course
so we don’t die resentful, never having lived our vision.

HELPING ONE ANOTHER TO GROW IN WAYS THAT FOSTER BHAKTI AND OUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL: I am not sure if my attitude to be of service to others is an outgrowth of my spiritual practices, something that has come naturally as I age, or has been there all along but I am only now aware of this need. In any case, I have realized that my capacity to help others one on one is quite limited, whether with those in the community where I live or through communicating by phone or email. Even my wife who is a professional therapist can only help a limited number of clients or those who are her personal friends.

We all have our particular requirements that if not taken care of impede our ability to reach out to others in need. For me, my sadhana or chanting of japa, reading scriptures as well as personal growth literature, hearing from my gurus, personal prayer time and reciting notable verses, worship and singing in Deity service, being in nature to just observe and be at peace, and, because of the previous, having alone time to think and write, are an essential part of my happiness requirement—some of them are daily, while others, like being outside on our land, are only occasionally during the week. We have to check in with ourselves after every day and week and see how we are doing. As I have shared before, if we are not happy persons, our capacity to help others is limited, or will not be sustainable—and we may become resentful or angry.

Our particular personality also comes into play. Some of us are more social, others more introverted. Personally, although I love being with people, I am actually an introverted type. Additionally, I am very sensitive, and I can’t effectively deal with some people’s energy. I have experienced that someone came unannounced to my door in need of my timel mainly listen to them. I was in the middle of my morning worship, and then I found their particular nature off-putting, or demanding. This was a very intense exchange, and I don’t do well with those dynamics. As I result, I didn’t attend to them to their satisfaction, and they were quite upset with me, and have not forgotten that I wasn’t there for them. I am sorry for this, and yet, it showed me my limitations in helping.

My simple conclusion is that we can only help some but not everyone, as much as we might like to. Simple truths or realizations can often be profound when applied practically to our lives. They can help us be more effective in how we live. Never the less, my general attitude is to be of help and service to others, and I have found writing and speaking to groups the best way for me to do this. I guess this is another confirmation that we have to both give and receive to be balanced persons.

We can only give what we have, and thus we have to create conditions where we have energy and interest to give and be of help. There are emergencies that arise, though we can’t live from one emergency to another without recharging our batteries, or we’ll burn out. I have spoken about this before as personal “energy management,” and this is an important part of life, even when we have a life mission chalked out or goals we are pursuing.

How might this topic apply to you? What activities do you require to recharge your batteries? If you are overextended, how can you rearrange your life to feel more energy and be at peace, or to make your life direction sustainable for the long haul?