Way Back To My Happiness

As I sit here in the park, I watch people walk by and smile at one another. I watch the kids play tag and have a good time. I even watch the birds’ chirp and fly about. All this while, what am I doing? I am just sitting here, so still and quiet. I had become quiet over the past few months, because of many different reasons. I had lost my will to talk and even more, I had lost my will to smile and be happy.

I was never the negative pessimist, but circumstances had forced me to become such way and lose my smile and happiness. My heart wasn’t happy and neither did I ever feel like smiling. People around me tried their best to cheer me up, but there was this hollow feeling inside me always. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine that I was in such a state. It wasn’t even the fault of the person, because of which I had lost faith in people.

It was purely my fault, because I had allowed myself to sink to such depths of sorrow and resentment that I had lost my way back to happiness and cheerfulness.

While I was lost in my thoughts, looking at the kids playing in the park, I noticed that a lady had come to take a walk in the park. She was old and frail, with pale looking skin. She had a walking stick with her and she took one careful step at a time, towards the bench I was sitting on. She saw me staring at her and gave me a big warm smile.

Something about the way she was smiling warmed my heart immensely and I sat there staring at her. Suddenly this thought came in to my mind and I got up and hurriedly walked towards her. I got hold of the lady and helped her walk towards the bench. She sat down and then I sat down next to her. She looked at me and gave me a thankful smile, acknowledging my gesture. I have no idea why, but I actually felt different.

Could it be? Can I dare say it? I felt a bit happy. It was amazing to experience such feelings, after so long. Her smile had completely melted my heart and maybe that is why I had gotten up to go help her. Whatever it was, I was glad that I had done that. My mother would have been proud, bless her. She always taught me the importance of kindness and generosity. How we should be helpful and nice to other people, especially the elderly.

After giving me the smile, the old lady had turned her head towards what was in front of us. There was a walking path, on which people were walking past by and then there was a playground in which kids were playing tag, amongst other things. There was a set of swings too and I could see the children have a good time.

I remembered my childhood and how I used to have so much fun having a go at the swings. How I used to sit on the swings, kick my feet in to the sand and then launch myself in to the air. How I used to scream at the top of my lungs, because of the exhilarating feeling and adrenaline rush. But I also reminisced about something else right that moment, when I was thinking about my childhood. I remembered how I used to laugh and smile, while on the swings. So carefree and happy, I used to be. Not caring about anything, or what people would think.

What had happened now? Is it that when we grow up, we become so engrossed in our complicated and messed up lives, that we forget to have fun and be happy? As a child there were many moments in my life where I was truly happy and I had smiled carefree. I had smiled from my pure and innocent heart. Now? As an adult, I had to think before I smiled. There was something missing from my life, despite being so successful and now thanks to someone hurting me, I had completely stopped believing in a thing called happiness and had started to hate everything. I hated smiling too.

Until today that is, thanks to that old lady, I had smiled once more. I had smiled after ages and I owe it all to her. Her smile touched my heart and soul; it forced me to smile.

Turned my head towards the lady again to see what she was doing and saw a tear trickle down her face. Snapped out of my thoughts and immediately pulled myself back to reality. Got so shocked at seeing her having tears in her eyes. Took her hand in my hand and asked her what was wrong and why she was crying. She stayed quiet for a few seconds, with her head looking downwards. Then she looked at me and smiled again.

I was so confused. What was happening? One moment the old lady had tears in her eyes and the next moment she was smiling at me. I held my breath unconsciously and waited for the old lady to say something, anything, to me. It seemed everything had gotten really quiet and that there was just the old lady and I in the park; no one else. My every bit of concentration was focused on her and what she would tell me. I was staring at her really intensely and had cancelled out the world. Even the birds had stopped chirping.

She patted my hand and smiled once more. Then she relayed an emotional tale, which literally broke my heart in to pieces. She told me about a rough childhood; how she was physically abused as a kid and that she never had the privilege of going to a park and playing around like the other kids. That she had become an introvert, cutting off everyone else from her life. That she had suffered at the hands of her father, who beat her up so badly at times, that, she couldn’t even walk.

She told me how due to her beatings, all her life she had problems sitting cross-legged on the floor and how she wasn’t able to carry heavy loads because it pained her back. She told me how she craved for a normal childhood, because hers destroyed her. She wanted to be a normal child, but due to her physical abuse, she had become mentally scarred and cautious of other people, especially men. Particularly men like her father.

All the while the old lady was speaking, tears had started to well up in my eyes and I was on the brink of crying. Physical abuse is a horrific thing and my heart broke every time I thought of her as a child, getting beaten up by her father.

Lots of things were told and heard. Finally, she let go of my hand and told me something that I’ll never forget. She told that there is a strange glow on my face and that it makes people smile. I got so surprised after hearing what she had said. I immediately smiled and thanked her for what she had said and then asked her why she had said that. She told me that I had an angelic innocent face and that when people looked at my face, she was sure, they felt like smiling. She also told me that that is the reason why, when she had seen me staring at her, she smiled and walked towards me.

She told me that despite whatever had happened to her in her past, in her old age, she comes to the park and sits on the bench every other day when she can and stares at the children playing, because it reminds her of a happy childhood that she could have had. She sees a part of herself in every happy and smiling child, because that is what she wanted her whole life, to be happy and to smile.

Her whole life was spent worrying about what others would think, not interacting with people, shunning social gatherings and occasions, remaining silent, yearning for happiness and finding reasons to smile. She had spent all of her life, escaping what had happened to her in her past, instead of coming to terms with it and moving on. It had destroyed her completely and now in her final years of life, she had understood what she should have long back.

That we shouldn’t be happy just for the sake of it and that there is a deeper reason to why happiness is required in a person’s life.

Happiness stabilizes a person and keeps a person sane. Happiness is the phenomenon that helps us stay intact and stops us from breaking apart, emotionally and physically. We have to have such a state of mind, in which we experience pleasant emotions, ranging from mild contentment to intense joy. Mental state of ‘happiness’, in the broad sense of the term, makes us feel alive, because every other positive emotion and feeling is linked to happiness.

If we aren’t happy, we are not alive. We aren’t alive, because we aren’t experiencing our life and living it. A day of not being happy is a day of our life wasted away, that time, which could have been put to good use. What had sadness gotten me anyway, the past few months? I had missed my old self, my actual real self. What I had become was not what I was. I had started to hate myself too.

Why was I blaming myself for things going on in life between few people and me, especially this one particular person? No, it is not always our fault and it isn’t always in our hands. If someone has to leave our life, they will eventually, no matter what. I blamed myself all these months and had felt guilty of something that hadn’t even happened because of me! It was destined to happen!

Meeting the old lady had proven very beneficial for me. I smiled again after ages, I felt happy and I got thinking again about what I was doing to myself. Life is too short to spend it in guilt, resentment and anger. We only get one life to live and there is no point if we spend it not ‘living’. If we are just passing time on this earth, then we might as well die, because there is no point. We weren’t born, just so we could wait for us to die again. We were born, so we could do things we want and accomplish few things in life, before we reach our final destination. The old lady had come to me in the form of an angel sent by God. I understood what she told me and there was a point to it all. The more I thought on the matter, the more I started to smile. I was glad that the people who had hurt me were out of my life now. I was happy!! I was ecstatic.

It just meant that I was free to go look for other people, for better people who deserve to be a part of my life and that with whom I would be well off, than the ones who hurt me. I looked up at the sky, smiling and prayed a silent thank you to God. I closed me eyes and a sense of calm had overcome me. I felt a strange new feeling in my heart and I smiled again. I couldn’t stop smiling, because I was overwhelmed with the feeling of happiness. Wasn’t it enough that I was alive and in good health? I had a lot of my youthful years left and I decided there and then, that I wasn’t going to let them go to waste, by being bitter due to someone else.

I stood up and started to walk away. I looked back towards the old lady and smiled at her. This time, I had tears in my eyes. But this time, they were tears of happiness, not tears of pain and sorrow. I waved at the old lady and she waved back at me. I slowly walked towards the park gates, to go to my car and I realized something else. That I too would frequent the park more now, in hopes of running in to the old lady again. Who knows what lessons I learn, next time I talk to her?

Comments

  1. what a lesson ! and believe me you've got amazing writing skills to sum up things.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not many ppl have these encounters and are open to the lessons they bring with them.
    im glad that this encounter helped u realize all that u did.
    stay happy and blessed.
    Hina

    ReplyDelete

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