Reach out and lighten the load

Written by Suraj Shah. Inspired by greatness.

Struggling to breathe and overwhelmed by all there is to do today? Reach out – it’ll make sense once you’ve done it.

This morning my car wouldn’t start, so I called the recovery company who sent someone round to start it up for me. I got to work just fine, but turns out that it wouldn’t start again. So in the midst of trying to get the day’s work done, I started feeling the heavy burden of having to find a garage and arranging for my car to get there and for me to get home.

It then dawned on me that I don’t need to deal with this on my own. My colleague was prepared to drive me to the store to pick up jump cables or a new battery if needed. My wife was on the end of the phone, happy to ring round and find a garage.

So why the burden of having to deal with it alone?

I got consumed by my ego of wanting to deal with it myself and get the job ‘done right’. I was suffering (in advance!) at the thought of paying for new parts and work required to the car.

But this was silly – it needed to be done, regardless of how I felt about it.

So I sent my wife a message and reached out to her for help. And she delivered. She enquired about local garages and sent me a narrowed-down list, leaving me with an easy choice. I called up the garage, arranged for my car to be towed there this afternoon, and got on with the work I needed to do today.

The car hasn’t been fixed yet, but I feel better already. I told Heena how grateful I am of her quick response and now she feels wonderful too.

Whatever heaviness you may be feeling right now, think about what needs to get done (ask yourself whether it really does need to get done), then consider who you can reach out to help you and contact them.

It’ll lighten your load and will help them feel great too.

Finally remember – the people around you care for you massively – they won’t let you fail.

The carer’s role

Written by Suraj Shah. Inspired by greatness.

Have you lost someone who depended on you for their well being?

Some people in life are natural carers. They behave towards others with great respect, care and love.

Others are faced with a situation where they are forced to be a carer for someone who needs their support, fulfiling their duty the best way they can.

I believe you’re the second type, gradually becoming the first.

The care giver

You may be the husband, who looked after his wife right through to the day she died.

You may be the father, whose daugher married into a family that lives far away.

You may be the mother who waved goodbye to her son who has left home for university.

Whatever your role, you are a carer, a care giver, the giver of love and support and comfort.

Preparing for goodbye

As the husband with the severely ill wife, you may welcome her death, thinking that it may stop her suffering. With no prospect of a cure, you may have adjusted to the idea of your dear wife dying.

As the father whose daugher is about to be married, you may welcome her departure, understanding that she needs to start her own family.

As the mother whose son is about to leave home to start university, you may welcome his progression, realising that he needs to study and commence his career.

Whatever your role, you are a carer, a care giver, the giver of love and support and comfort.

Feelings of loss

When we care for others and the time comes for them to depart, it creates an inevitable vacuum in our lives.

We may feel bewildered or guilty or dislocated.

We may feel lost and confused and hurt.

With their loss, we may feel that we have lost our role in life. But does it mean we’re no longer a carer?

Continuing to care

Whatever the loss, the caring need not stop.

Find someone, something, anything to pour your love into.

Find someone to care for, mend a broken heart.

The pain of loss gets a little softer, the warmth of your presence expands.

Attachment-free relationships

Written by Suraj Shah.

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.” – Bill Withers

Relationships are wonderful. Attachment sucks. Here’s why.

  1. We go to a lot of trouble to be with someone we desire.
  2. When we get them, we worry about losing them.
  3. When they are gone, we feel sad.

Attachment = love + expectation = trouble

Attachments to people we are close to is love, coupled with expectation. That always spells trouble.

Our attachment to someone leads to greed – wanting them more, and wanting more from them. In trying to get more, our egos flare up and we tend to deceive and manipulate to get it. We become scheming and selfish. When we don’t get it, we become frustrated and spiteful.

Attachments, bad. Detached, expectation-free love, good.

What attachment-free relationships look like

Attachment-free relationships are magical. Here’s how they look:

  • A person arrives in your life at just the right time.
  • You feel blessed to have their positive presence.
  • All engagements and interactions with them are filled with love.
  • You care for them during life’s difficulties, but have no expectation of anything in return.
  • There is an understanding that they are doing the best they can do with what they have.
  • They leave at the right time, warmly and peacefully.
  • Life is filled with joy and trust.

How to have attachment-free relationships

Relationships free from attachment and expectation are pretty straightforward, so long as you know that:

  1. People come into our lives at the right time, no sooner and no later.
  2. They desire happiness and peace – they are no different from you or I.
  3. Most people have fears of pain, loss and death – just like you and I.
  4. They crave healing through love and care – just like you and I.
  5. They don’t like to be forced into doing things – just like you and I.
  6. They are doing the best they can with what they have – same for you and I.
  7. They will exit from our lives at the right time, no sooner and no later.

Attachment-free relationships are the way forward. Go on, enjoy your first dance.

(Photo courtesy of Stephen Steel, via Sawan Gosrani)