Christian theology preached that God promises that everyone a place in heaven, unless of course, one sins or goes against God in one’s lifetime without begging for forgiveness. Hindu theology, on the other hand is very different. For Hindus, nothing is promised by God, instead one has to earn one’s reward through one’s acts over a lifetime. It is the whole concept of karma — live a pure, devout life full of good deeds and in your next lifetime you may earn the right to return as someone of a greater status, ultimately leading to freedom from the earthly plane all together. Conversely, if one suffers, Hindus first examine their own behavior to see if they have brought on their own distress through their wayward acts.
Hindus believe, the if one is living ‘correctly’ according to their faith, then the route to a better life becomes clear, the obstacles are removed or are easily overcome. Therefore, even seemly insignificant occurrences are considered carefully because Hindus feel one needs to be pure and correct in everything one does so what happens to them, however minor, to be a potential message as to whether they are on the correct path.
My ex believed this intensely. When he first came to the Dominican Republic he rebelled against some of his Hindu teachings by eating beef, drinking, not praying as much, and growing his hair. He was still devout by Western standards but by Indian standards, considering that India is one of the most religious countries in the world, he had clearly lost his way. But, then one day, during a stretch alone in Santo Domingo, he realized that he had strayed and felt that he was responsible for the struggle he experienced. So, he decided to purify himself and live true to his faith. Whether it is the reason for things improving or not, the fact remains that since he did that, we have started to make progress.
Although as of yet I do not feel I know enough to call myself Hindu, I am studying what it means to be one and it is in this vein of seeing significance in seemingly insignificant events that I feel there are times akin to the chrysalis stage, an incubation before transformation. Even when one experiences blocks or delays, when things finally come together, other events which seemed unrelated also happen and together, for me, they can represent a shift, a time of renewal and growth.
It began on May 1st my mother left for a month in Maine to assist my brother’s family. Two days later, on May 3rd, my ex left for India, also for a month. So within a couple of days, my emotional support system temporarily shifted. It is not cut off, just less accessible. Both are occupied with many many tasks to handle so although I still communicate with them, for this month, I have to adjust more to my own counsel.
During this same week, I started a four-month program with a personal trainer to improve my overall well-being. I was lucky enough to find a trainer who wanted to train for a website and he set me up with a deluxe, intense, 3-day a week program. This training is going to take a lot of my energy and the first month will be the hardest. But, since I will have more time to devote to myself this first month, it’s like the path has been cleared and I am meant to focus inward. So this month I am a caterpillar wrapping myself into a chrysalis before I emerge as a butterfly.
As we go through this stage, I have already started to notice certain things click into place which may not seem to be connected to an outsider but they sure feel that way to me. One things in particular caught my attention. A gift I had planned to give the kids last Christmas that I finally got done and gave to them. The gifts were photo albums, filled with family images. The intention was to remind the kids of family love in a visual way, so they could see all the different things we did together and renew our connections.
Maybe it is just about paying attention and continuing to stay true to your heart. Either way, I feel the shift. It’s going to be an intense month.