THE POEM OF TODAY –
maybe you’ll never know
why i never said a word
why i pushed you away
why i buried my feelings
why i chained my heart
and hid its key
under the deepest sea
because i couldn’t allow you to drown
in the never-ending chaos
which was only mine.
I know that you are feeling empty and alone. I know that your mind threatens to shut your heart out and that you feel as if your soul left you a long time ago. I may not know the exact reasons why, but I do know that the feeling is eating you up inside. I see you slowly abandoning who you are, trying to gain the approval of others. I need you to know that perfection is not necessary. That your flaws make you unique and wonderful. I know that the feeling of emptiness inside you is a vacuum that threatens to consume every other emotion that you used to feel. When you wake in the morning and you are forced to continue with the day’s routines, I understand that you feel like an observer. As if you are watching somebody else’s life. And you wonder. Wonder how you became so detached from your body and so entangled in your own mind. They tell you that you are emotionless, but the truth is, you feel too intensely. It is never enough. It is always too much. Too much noise, too much pain, just too much.
It is so difficult to explain how you can be so emotional and yet devoid of emotion at the same time. The problem is that none of the emotions that brought happiness or comfort in solitude are within your reach anymore. Instead, your feelings overwhelm you; you feel uncomfortable, unfulfilled and confused. The place where your heart once was, where butterflies and excitement once resided, is now hollow. What you thought was your purpose in life now seems pointless. A sense of failure occupies the place where ambition and hope once lived. What you once dreamed of now feels like a perpetual nightmare, a continuous spiral of negativity and despair.
They tell you to reach out, to speak to people who can guide you to the meaning of life, who can heal you. But you know. You know that people often disappoint you, that it seems as though they never have enough time for you. Or worse. You feel like a burden. When you tried to seek help from someone, you felt as if you were listening in on a conversation that was not meant for you. The shame and guilt burned deep inside, and so you never went back.
I understand that you are tired. Tired of never being strong enough, or beautiful enough, of always feeling second-best. No, not even that. Of feeling like you’re not even an option. You guard your heart and build walls around your mind. It is better to keep others out. Out of this pit of darkness that consumes you, I see you emerge to enter the crowd, smiling, participating, pretending that you fit in. I know that that is not how you feel. That you are smiling because it is what is expected of you. That the void is bottomless and that being here with these people only makes you feel lonelier. You don’t relate, you do not want to relate to these people. They do not understand you. How could they? How could anyone? And so, when you go home at night, the void begins to consume you again.
Desolation. That is all there is, desolation. No joy, no happiness. Nothing can satisfy you. I see you reaching for your phone, scrolling mindlessly, searching for something that will make you feel less alone in that moment. Perhaps you have immersed yourself in your work. Look how successful you are, they all say. If only they knew that you work to fill the void. You feel as if you have lost your soul. You wonder if it will wander aimlessly forever, or if one day it might find its way back to you.
Dear students, I want you to know that you do not need to live this way forever. You are the master of your own existence, and you have the power to turn your life around. I want you to know that the void can be filled, and that although it threatens to devour you right now, it will not if you do not allow it to. Your soul is not lost; it is hiding, inside you. Like a small scared child, it has chosen to protect itself in the deepest recesses of your psyche. It wants you to find it and return it to its rightful place. When you practice meditation, when you are mindful and aware once again, you will reconnect with your soul.
Please pursue fulfillment relentlessly. Explore and chase with vigor what sets your soul on fire. Set goals, meet them, and celebrate your success. Allow yourself to feel. Feel all of it. The anger, the despair, the hurt and the pain. Feel them with ferocity and then channel them into something constructive. Some of the greatest works of art have been born out of an acute feeling of emptiness. You cannot cure your feelings; you simply need to feel them to come through to the other side. Reach out. You are not a burden. Although I know that you feel disconnected right now, those who love you will continue to help you fill the void while you learn how to do it yourself.
Love yourself with all your heart. You may not feel like you are the most important person in the lives of others, but you are always number one to yourself. Take care of yourself; be gentle and don’t criticise yourself. You have a purpose; you would not have been created if you did not. So, love yourself for the purpose you have not yet found. Understand that some people live their whole lives without knowing what their purpose is, but find happiness and joy in the pursuit of their purpose. And finally, dear students, please don’t punish yourself. I promise that nothing other than love and patience can heal the void inside. Punishing yourself will only feed the darkness. Remember that the moon and the stars need the darkness in order to shine. Shine, dear students, shine. Every day will feel warmer and lighter once you begin learning how to shine for yourself.
Sending you comfort and acceptance.
Professor Sudhanshu Bhusan
JK Business School