In May of 2003, our world was flipped upside down. My mother, an independently strong-headed working woman of two daughters, was involved in a severe automobile accident. Her nerve injuries led to muscle spasms, seizures, and sporadic speech impairment. The medications that were given to cope with some of the aftermath were mood altering and highly addictive. At 14, when you see the strength of your nurturer and protector dwindling away, that does something to you. We underwent various medical and homeopathic treatments over the course of 3 years and nothing seemed to work to improve her condition. Doctors left her with a decision. She could try a risky surgical procedure but the chances of becoming paralyzed were over 70%. I remember coming home from school that day and going into my bedroom to start homework, etc. In the house we lived in back then, my bedroom was next to the room where our temple was. I saw my father with tears in his eyes, on his knees with his head bowed. I felt a stab in my heart. Our family was losing it; we were losing hope for a normal life.
The next day my mother announced that she was going to India for a month to visit her family and also during that time, to think about her decision regarding the surgery. We all stared at her in disbelief as we worried that she could have an episode unpredictably and asked her if that was a smart idea to travel internationally all alone. But, she was adamant. And when mom says something, that’s the way it’s gonna go!
During her trip, she stepped foot into a Sai Baba temple and she described the ambiance as soothing, warm, and reassuring. Something happened to her when she left that day. She regained her hope and faith. We had grown up with various religious literatures and attended services- but in retrospect, there was no connection nor trust. We robotically sang hymns praising the divine, but we lived in fear and negativity always assuming the worst. She came back 30 days later as a brand new person. She was hopeful and told us that she did not want to pursue the procedure. We all respected her decision and carried on with life. As days passed, her head and neck pains greatly reduced….those spasms that used to come and go…just disappeared. We were in utter shock. Doctors reviewed her case again and again and could not come up with a sufficient answer to explain the sudden improvement. It was what you call…a miracle. This was the beginning of my journey to discovering my faith and hope. When the so-called impossible happens, it moves you and permanently adjusts your outlook on life. Today, I am so happy and grateful to say that my mother has improved 90% and she has a much, much better quality of life.
Why am I sharing this intimate part of my life with you?
Because sometimes, when we are at what feels like the bottom, it is crucial to remember that the only way left to go is up.
You pitched the brilliant idea to some investors and they didn’t see value in it.
The person you thought was “the one” turned out to be the exact opposite.
You keep persisting with a goal and the results don’t seem to be reflecting your efforts.
Whatever the case may be, have that hope. It’s human nature to make all sorts of plans in life and when they don’t work out, we are so hard on ourselves.Despite failure, live in your dream and work for it- only good will come to you. Hope as well as faith keeps us going and give us the strength to give it that one last shot that ultimately leads to the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope on difficult days, my story comes to mind and you can remind yourself that the only way to go is up.
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” – Barbara Kingsolver
“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” – Voltaire