Yesterday a friend was telling me how she’s become more positive in life, how there’s nothing wrong with her life despite the fact that her marriage of ten years had failed.
It was only afterwards that the negativity of what she had said hit me – ‘failed marriage’. Which is a term most of us use to describe relationships, marriages, jobs, projects – anything that didn’t culminate in what we had decided was the most desirable ending – which in the marriage case being ‘happily ever after/janam janam ka saath’.
But just hang on a moment. Was the marriage really a failure? An abject/ total write off? No way. I know that in my friend’s case as in probably a vast majority of marriages the bulk of the time they had spent together was happy, loving, full of memories that both people would cherish for as long as they lived. Sure things went sour towards the end, their goals in life changed and it made sense for them to go their own separate ways. But that can’t negate the great times they had together, the good they had brought out in the other and the things they had done for each other, the love and friendship that had once existed and probably still does and most of all the fantastic, beautiful memories. What else is life but to share moments and create memories. And if that has happened, how is the marriage a failure? Just cause the ultimate outcome wasn’t the one we had dreamt of?
How can a moment/ a few days, even a year overpower the 9 years that preceded it?
But this is what we do. Not only do we focus all our attention on outcomes, this losing out on the journey which is where life really is, we also make judgments about everything based on the final result. So bad marks in an exam means poora saal barbaad. A project not being a financial success means all the time and energy spent down the drain. But hey, what about the learning, what about the dhamaal masti that must have happened, the relationships that we built during the entire time? Why do we just act as if none of that ever existed?
Truth be told, nothing in life is a failure. Sure an outcome, a result – may not be what we had schemed and plotted and wished for. But in no way can that one moment’s disappointment take away the joys and learning and living and life experiences that led to that one moment. And fact is a decade from now all one will remember are those moments not this defeat or failure.
What’s more even this ‘failure’ is a label we have put on the outcome. It’s the way we see it right now – we have decided it’s a closed door, a dead end. But we don’t know what God’s plan for us is. And this calamity/setback is nothing but a pathway to where we are ultimately meant to reach. Which could mean that the end of this marriage/relationship is only a way for us to find the person we are truly meant to be with or for us to learn to live life solo and stand strong and soar high or something else that only God really knows. Similarly with ‘failed’ projects or exams or whatever. In fact if I look back on my life, then the things I howled about, made myself miserable about, worried and angsted about, actually lead me to milestones that were way, way better than the ones I had set my heart on, that I had decided were my be all and end all. So then how is anything a failure or setback?
As my teacher puts it most eloquently you may have your heart set on a Mercedes, can wail and howl that you are not getting on despite your best efforts and can see that as a failure, a colossal disappointment, cause for you to go into a depression and give up living. But what if all of this is cause God wants to give you a Rolls Royce and it’s waiting just around the corner? Only thing to get it, you need to stop crying, pick yourself up and walk around the corner…
Things may not work out the way we wanted them to but let’s not denigrate and devalue the precious moments of our life by calling them failures. We’re still alive which means picture abhi baaki hai mere dost. Or as I’d like to put it – life abhi baaki hai – and the best is yet to come…