There are times in my life, when despite my best efforts nothing seems to work out, and I get into my philosophical serious mode, indulging in a very detailed conversations with my coach, self-analysis at a very deep level, and treating myself, my work and life like a process.

In this process, I try to find errors in the multiple simultaneous processes going on, with the hope that if I could identify the error and fix it, all will be fine (these are times when I’m suffering from chronic perfectionist tendencies).

 This is the time, when I take myself and life so seriously, that it results in an increased level of stress both for my mind and body.

My ear starts to ring, (I have tinnitus), anxiety creeps in, with low mood and a demotivated self.

And during one such serious phase, as if a dark art movie was playing in the background without sound, came the needed welcome break. 

The story …

My domestic help served our house for more than 5 years, I was extremely pleased with her eye for detail skills, cleanliness, and keeping things in order, which I never ever saw or experienced with any of the other help we had, or for that matter with my own siblings and family members.

But one fine October, she left the job, her excuse was a visit to her native town for the upcoming Dussehra festival, from which she returned, but never returned to our house for work. 

What really happened in her hometown is still a mystery, I was never able to solve.

Many months later, I spotted her nearby the colony mosque sitting outside begging for alms, initially, I was very furious about such a deterioration of one’s values, role and position,

but then after a few deep breathes I realized, I easily get caught up in other people’s stories, inviting unnecessary stress for myself .

b.e.c.a.u.s.e —–> Her life is not my business!

A week later she turned up at my residence, seeking help in lieu of the ongoing Ramadan month, I gave her the charity kit, but when she insisted that she wanted food grains and some groceries too, I found it the right opportunity to confront her and gather details of her newfound profession of becoming a beggar, which I detest and since she being once our employee, was bringing me a sense of disdain.

Using this opportunity I inquired, what’s she doing for a living these days?

She confidently replied -Begging Alms!

She explained that she lost interest in doing household work after she met with an accident in her native town, followed by a huge conflict with her son and grandchildren, deeply disappointed with her son and daughter-in-law, she finally decided to live life on her own terms, something she had been postponing for a long time, this living life on her own terms translated into ;

  • Not working for anyone anymore
  • Getting sloshed on weekends.
  • Travel & Date as per her need.

Finally, she mentioned, why she came to collect food grains from us, her reason was, she was sick of eating fruits, which people visiting temples and mosques often share with the needy sitting outside and need grains to cook her favorite meal.

Her story also included details about the rising competition in beggars, in full swing, since there has been a steady rise in the co-beggars sitting along with her, almost outside all the religious places in our colony, she finds this particular spot most lucrative but with the only caveat, it offers only fruits!

As I listened to her with undivided attention and also laughed along, I was not a bit, but a lot surprised by the confidence and firmness she explained her need and perspective.

I do not know to what extent the law of attraction is true and relevant and how well it works, but one thing I learned from her funny yet assertive story was “Self-Doubt is the root cause of why we second guess even our best efforts, lack confidence, have low self-esteem, cascading down to all other parts of life eventually leading to get caught up in a web of a vicious circle of stress both for our body and mind.

I do not advocate one should resort to begging, but considering her age, widowhood, and the humble background she hails from, perhaps made her choose the most comfortable role for herself, and that too with conviction.

This story has its shades of irony, wit and humor, but it taught me, & I learned, that instead of taking things too seriously, and with perfection.

I should at times, learn to 

  • Let go
  • Stop second-guessing 
  • View things in a lighter vein !

b.e.c.a.u.s.e — > If people can choose to beg with conviction, I’m way ahead of in my values, work and efforts.

Signing off with a huge smile and renewed sense of confidence.

Don’t take life too seriously.
After all none of us are getting out alive anyway.

-Jill Shalvis-

c) Mehnaz Amjad – 2017 -2023

About the Author Mehnaz Amjad, is a Life Coach and a Cognitive Behavior Therapist,

I’m on a mission to empower people with strategies and tools, they need to cope with difficult times & navigate through challenging circumstances.

If you are in search of help to find a way out of your crisis, click to connect.

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