For some, today might just be a bad day. For others it’s been a bad week and still for many more this is a bad month or year. The simple truth is that no one has it easy three sixty five days of the year and yet we live in this illusion that grass is greener on the other side.
Of late I have been struggling with some issues too, primarily due to my second attack of Bell’s palsy and the emotional roller coaster of “why’s” and “what if’s”. Accompanying the challenges to my health have also been personal matters that annoying have a habit of crossing my mind. Like a bad penny in your pocket, you always seem to stumble on them first. Being a priest does not give you immunity from pain and I have had some really low days (chill I am not depressed)
What bothers me is that these emotional swings cause me to feel low and often that feeling hovers over me like a monsoon cloud that won’t move on; you get my drift right? To make matters worse, I have this public image I have to live through; in fact we all do albeit to different degrees and social groups.
So I looked deep within me to find solace in my wells spring of happiness and it struck me that for many, our link to happiness is unfortunately deeply rooted to either our aspiration or achievements. We want to get something or become something and IF we do, we ‘seem’ to be happy. If our aspirations or achievements don’t materialize on an hourly, daily or weekly basis( depending upon our fix), then a feeling of low sets in and we succumb to the low feeling or seek a quick fix solution for a few hours only to be haunted by that every pervading feeling of being low again.
The simple truth is that life is never always a high and most certainly never always a low. Sadly we have come to believe that life must be a constant high and because we live for those moments even a dip in the scale can send us plummeting into a world of apparent sadness and if I may use a word rather loosely used by many, depressed. Most of us when asked, “how is your day?” respond with an “OK”. Yet each day, like today, is a gift from God with a thousand possibilities. Unfortunately because we think we are not on a high we assume we must be low.
The simple truth is this; our lives are not dependent on the achievements that we failed to obtain, or the things we aspired or hoped we would get and never got. Our lives are what we make of it even if we experience setbacks to our health, wealth or relationships.
The simple truth is that you do not have to hand over your life to ‘a hope’ that did not materialize or things that did not come your way. When you do this, you allow those dark clouds to rain on your parade. You give your power away either to others or to circumstances; a power that was meant to be yours. And by the way, even if it rains, go out and dance in the rain. It’s your day; make the best of what comes your way.
This is the day the Lord has made for you, rejoice and be glad.
Fr Warner D’Souza
Dedicate to Clementia and Santosh – on their wedding day
Fr. Warner D'Souza is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. He has served in the parishes of St Michael's, Mahim, St Paul's, Dadar East, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bandra and at present is the priest in charge of St Jude Church, Malad East. He is also the Director of the Archdiocesan Heritage Museum and is the co-ordinator of the Committee for the Promotion and Preservation of the Artistic and Historic Patrimony of the Church.