07 Jun How Deteriorating Health Changed Me As A Person
To anyone who really knows me, they will know that I take health breaks every few days. It is not any grand secret. It is a part of my life, and something I have learnt to live with, and manage.
But what many don’t know is how this changed me as a person in the last few months. This is something I have never shared publicly before, but I wanted to pen it down today, because I no longer feel the need to be silent about it.
You Stop Caring About The Haters
This might sound redundant, if you know me. I have somewhat of a reputation for not giving a rat’s ass about what people say about me for decades; but when you have limited energy, it really puts things in a different perspective altogether. It was not just that I stop reacting to what people say or do, I simply glossed over it. It did not occupy space in my head at all. And this is something I consciously built myself for. I realized that it was simply not worth anything at all, in the long run, and I did not even need to read all that hate mail, DMs, tweets, Facebook & Youtube comments. I stopped even reading hate. This was relatively new, because I often don’t react or respond to hate, but I did read everything, just out of an old “zero inbox” habit. My inbox is no longer at zero unread. And I am fine with that.
You Improve Efficiency, Cut Out Decision Fatigue
I have always known my priorities. And I know that what I do is important–whether on the professional front, dharmic front or personal front. So though I have phases of bad health, I have done my best to ensure that nothing else suffers because I do. Because if I don’t do it, there is a slim chance that anyone else will. So I re-trained myself to reduce decision fatigue to a bare minimum, work faster, work more, and maximize efficiency on the days when I am feeling healthful. This also helps me not get stressed when I do need to take breaks due to my health struggles. Because I know that I can manage both–my work and my health.
You Don’t Let Your Self Esteem Get Hinged on Your Physical Fitness
When not in a bad phase, I go long distance running, do yoga and eat less, typically once or maximum twice a day. This is what I have striven towards for many years. But it gets interrupted when I hit a wall of ill health, and it takes me time to get back to that routine.
But at the same time, I have learnt not to beat myself up or lower my self esteem due to my bad phases. That makes it even more difficult to fight back and pick yourself up. Moreover, the idea is to workout to bolt the self image of Paramashiva into yourself. But that does not mean when you are not “fit” you are not Paramashiva! You are Paramashiva as you are. What is needed is to drop the judgements you have of yourself, that make you believe you are not. And this is what I overcame.
You Get (More) Sorted
As I said before, I knew my priorities even earlier. But when you are in intense pain, you really, really distill it down to what is really important, which you will regret leaving undone if you need to leave this planet, and what can wait. It makes you not just not work on stupid things, but also realize how empty name, fame, popularity, impressing people, having a “huge following” are. They do nothing when it comes to the serious civilizational challenges you are trying to solve. They can be a means, though not the only means, and not an end. The day you die, you will not regret having only 6.5k followers. You will regret leaving your 5 books unfinished, which could have changed the world. You will regret not saying something you wanted to say to someone who mattered.
It is not about how important what you are doing is to others. It is about how you value what you do, the energy, belief and power you put into what you do, whatever that may be.
When you can’t do anything, any activity, you have a lot of time to think, introspect and get to a place where you can be restful mentally, if not physically. So it makes it easier, somehow, to find your own blind spots, be more meditative, and channel your energy in the right way, out of completion, not some incompletion, fear or greed. You take better decisions, more long haul decisions, and spend lesser time on immature, short term pleasures.
You Pay More Attention to Your Health
This would have been obvious. But yes, it did make me take my health more seriously. Not just in terms of healing my health conditions, but also in terms of building the muscles and nervous system for my purposes in life. Everything–from my yoga routine, food, travel–etc is now decided based on how it can help me improve my health, without adding unneessary chemicals to my body. I avoid painkillers as much as I can. I eat organic as much as I can. I work out whenever I can, as much as my body will allow. I eat based on what my body requires. I take indigenous therapy.
There is a downside to everything, and an upside to everything if you can identify it. I sort of know what got me here, and hence, I also know that I can get out of this, and be back in the “pink” of health, with the right admixture of therapy and healthy routine, and a good dose of Oneness with Paramashiva.