Female / 27 / Karachi

“I am waiting for the peaceful blue
With the white waves flying through
A familiar laughter in the background
The sun shining with gratitude
Come home dear dad”

I wrote this poem in perhaps one of the darkest days of my life. Everything had fallen apart, and I could not bring myself to be hopeful. No matter how hard I tried to think positively it just became impossible. Such is the repressive ability of the mind, it will refute all rationale to make you believe the worst. In my experience I have also learned that hopelessness is perhaps the most addictive mental state. When your mind is battling against you it requires a-lot of strength to fight back, one that may not necessarily exist in all of us. The source of strength is never the same for everyone, some people get it from spirituality, others from the strive to survive etc etc. There is no one exact solution to bringing yourself out of depression and hopelessness and it certainly took me more than one to push myself out of it.

Just a year ago, while sitting on my front porch I faced a sight that no daughters heart could ever bear. My father was arrested and taken away from us, in front of me. He had been fighting this legal battle for two years, he had already lost his business, his savings and worst of it all his mental sanity and the will to fight. I saw him fight back his tears and get in that car. At that moment, I thought my heart would throbbing with pain. My mother was not there as she was in a different city due to her job. My siblings were in their respective places at work. We all sat in our respective corners and fought our tears. I did not want him to see me cry so I fought even harder. The thought of my father who was already defeated in his circumstances being taken away in tears was one of the hardest pains I have had to bear. From there on it was a waiting game in this legal battle. There were so many complications and delays because justice doesn’t come easy in this country. Every night I would come home to a house without my parents. A house they made for us to live in, every corner was a reminder of their absence.  Every minute of that day to follow I would think about where he is, what he is doing. I was traumatized with the sight of him leaving.

In the months to follow, the pain became more and more unbearable. No matter how many times we pleaded or tried, there were so many delays. Eventually I gave up and told myself that this legal battle would take years. My existence came about making it to the end of the day with the constant pain in my heart. Even meeting my friends or laughing for me became painful. My mind would tell me how can you enjoy when the person most important to you is suffering. No amount of prayers or meditation would change reality. Reality that was not in my control, it was in the hands of lawyers and a weak judicial system governed by God knows who.

In my defeated state of mind, an acquaintance told me something that struck me. That person’s advice hit me like a lightning bolt. She said to me you have stopped believing that he will come home. I replied I haven’t stopped believing but there are just so many barriers for that to come true. She said stop focusing on the barriers and start visualizing him home. Believe in the positive manifestation of the mind. You don’t need to visualize how it will happen, start seeing him around you, at home or in the car or wherever you are. Just start seeing it and do not focus on how that will come true, believe me it will happen. Every time you visualize him around you, think about it like it’s about to happen. You know how you feel happy when you place an order online and you know it’s coming to you, you need to assign similar emotions to these visualizations. Her advice was a much deeper version of ‘if you believe in something, it will come true’.

From that point onwards, I started this little activity. Every time I would feel pain, I started conjuring a positive image in my mind. Every time I felt his absence, I would immediately shift my thoughts to a visualization of us just watching the sea waves from our window. There was a loud voice in my mind telling me that’s not happening but slowly that voice just became distant and faint. I started telling my family believe me he is coming home. Two months later, he was granted bail and he came home. I still remember that day and the big smile on his face, just like I had visualized.

There will always be challenging times and many of those will be out of our control. In times like those, it is important to find your source of strength and exercise it- be it faith in God or faith in yourself!