Habit

Author: Rifka Bose /


She sat there staring into space, hearing the hands of the clock go tick tock tick tock, wondering how long it will take for this time to pass.

“This too shall pass” said almost every second person she knew but somehow that didn’t seem to translate to the empty void she felt. The pain was now almost gone but the vacuum was so frightening that she would quiver!

The only question that went on in a never ending loop in her head like a broken record was “why”. The answer to that why was with that someone who she could not see or hear or feel. Why can’t you talk to me God, she screamed with tears streaming down her cheeks. Why! , she said holding on to her pillow so tight that it almost gave way.

Then there was a sudden stillness a sudden thought just entered her. It was as if God was responsing! Time froze for a fraction of a second for her. She walked up to the mirror and looked at her puffy eyes and moist cheeks. What am i crying for she said? Why do we always want what we can’t get? Why are we given a teaser trailer of a dream and then the same dream is snatched away?

She still kept asking the same question, “why”.

The thought that had entered was not clear but it felt as if it were travelling deep into the tissues of her brain and heart. She tried to grab hold of it but it slipped so deep within her that she felt she was losing her mind.
She collapsed on the floor, held onto her stuffed toy and started sobbing again. She sobbed so hard that she reached a point where not a tear was left. 

She began to feel numb. Numb to a point that the she lost sensation in her fingers and toes. As she lay there gazing at her ceiling, suddenly out of nowhere that little thought suddenly grew clearer. It was as if the thought was waiting for the opportune moment.

Lying there eyes closed, the thought metamorphosized into a soft little voice. The voice was so very soothing and peaceful. The voice said to her,
“In life there are times when we find ourselves at a juncture where we feel we are losing all that we have and everything that we are attached to. The question here is what exactly can we call our own?
Is it really something we have or a habit that we are so used to that we feel lost without it?
A friend moving cities, losing a parent, a loved one walking away, losing a job we love a lot or a pet going to sleep forever.
Are you habituated to these situations and people? Is that why you feel like a fish out of water in their absence?
You know what your problem is said the voice to her. You are so involved with whatever you do that a habit becomes your reality. There is nothing wrong except that it ends up causing this vacuum in you, said the voice.

Suddenly her eyes opened. She felt a sense of peace. She smiled and looked up. Thank you God she said. Thank you for speaking to me.

She remembered the serenity prayer and said it out loud:
        God, give us grace to accept with serenity
        the things that cannot be changed,
        Courage to change the things
        which should be changed,
        and the Wisdom to distinguish
        the one from the other.

        Living one day at a time,
        Enjoying one moment at a time,
        Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
        Taking, as Jesus did,
        This sinful world as it is,
        Not as I would have it,
        Trusting that You will make all things right,
        If I surrender to Your will,
        So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
        And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
        Amen.