Power of saying “pause” to life

Bornali Das

Lecturer of Psychiatric Social Work, Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Guwahati, Assam, India


The realisation of the essence of life can sometime come from “pause”. Introspection leads to newer understanding. Opportunities need to be appreciated. Every moment of this precise life can be enjoyable and most of them are the simple things. Meaningful and memorable life has the ability to turn the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Keywords: Essence. Understanding. Opportunities.

Correspondence: Dr. Bornali Das, MSW, MPhil, PhD, Lecturer of Psychiatric Social Work, Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Bhangagarh, Guwahati-781032, Assam, India. dt.bornali@gmail.com

Received: 5 June 2018

Revised: 9 June 2018

Accepted: 9 June 2018

Epub: 21 August 2018

DOI: 10.5958/2394-2061.2019.00007.7

At times, fate takes its own course. My friend Lara wanted to take a break from the mundane routine of going to office, managing the house, and making a balance as a woman in the best way possible personally as well as professionally. But, all of a sudden, during a routine investigation, her world came to a standstill; she was diagnosed with a dreadful disease called “carcinoma” that presumes to minimise the life span. However, with the advancement of medical facilities and quick/timely treatment, she recovered smoothly. But, during the process of treatment and recovery, it made her realise the essence of life and how it sometime forces you to “pause”. These are certain reflections that she has penned down.

Life has given her an abundance of joy, love from family, respect, affection, and a good job; yet, there was a need to achieve more in life. There was no end to the bucket list. She was living in a caged self, a world of ‘I, me and myself world’ with a “zeal to achieve” sometimes which was probably an unreasonable endless pit. In each passing second towards recovery, introspection made her see herself layer by layer and felt that pausing was essential. Pondering retrospectively to life, she deliberately and mindfully took a decision to refrain from mundane duties and enjoy the pause that destiny had thrown her way. Time is a factor that should be judiciously used. Social shine and material wealth may be alluring, but it is valueless without enjoying the simple pleasures of life. This helped her body and mind, and re-energised her to realign to newer dimensions for a fresh start.

Firstly, the restlessness within her has got resolved after seeing death so closely. She gave herself an opportunity to fully appreciate and maximise opportunities that never strike her as valuable.  She mentions that “our untamed mind is like a monkey, always jumping from one thought to another, comparing and stressing oneself”. By stressing oneself, we produce cells which go against our own body. Most of our thoughts are automatic and spontaneous. If we learn to insert a pause button to our automated thoughts, we can make different choices which serve us better.

Secondly, pause has given her an opportunity to realise life is precious. She is thankful to receive a human life, as it is a unique experience that gives us an opportunity to make every moment enjoyable. Simple things give immense joy, like meeting old friends, doing things that we have not done for ages, revisiting roots from where one belongs, going to locations where childhoods were spent. The unmeasured joy derived from simple things needs to be attentively practiced from time to time.

Thus, pausing is realigning the body, mind, and energies to make life meaningful and memorable instead of transient consumption. Pausing has helped her in opening the space for herself to experience the extraordinary which is already available that may seemingly look ordinary and routine. Pausing has helped her to live life to the fullest rather than fastest.

Das B. Power of saying “pause” to life. Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2019;10:84. doi: 10.5958/2394-2061.2019.00007.7. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

Source of support: Nil. Declaration of interest: None.

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