My husband very kindly took me to see the film 'Life of Pi' in 3D a few years back on my birthday. It was a beautiful film and an inspiring story, (my husband did well in choosing it for me).
I watched the film again when it was on the TV with my son when it was just the 2 of us one evening. He loved it too.
I knew the book 'Life of Pi', which the film was based upon, was incredibly popular, so when a few weeks back my son was stuck with knowing what book to read next, I took a chance on buying it for him, thinking 'oh well, if he doesn't enjoy it or want to read it, I will.'
He finished it, and said it was the best book he has ever read. Praise indeed, (especially up against the likes of J K Rowling).
So now I am reading Life of Pi and loving it. My son and I are so inspired by the story that we both proclaimed we want to watch the film together again.
So now to the real point of my post....
In case you haven't seen the film or read the book, [SPOILER ALERT] then I will tell you what I need to for you to understand what I am pointing to.
Pi is a 16 year old boy that by unfortunate circumstances finds himself shipwrecked in a lifeboat with an adult Bengal tiger, that goes by the name of Richard Parker. The main part of the story is how Pi tries to survive until he his rescued.
It had me reflect deeply on both my own personal experience of chronic illness with CFS, and that of many of my clients. There are many things that helped me on my journey of healing and eventual full recovery, but there was one thing that proved to be more important than anything in my recovery. Here is the passage in the book that got me thinking, as narrated by Pi...
"I will tell you a secret: a part of me was glad about Richard Parker. A part of me did not want Richard Parker to die at all, because if he died I would’ve been left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger. If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker. He kept me from thinking too much about my tragic circumstances. He pushed me to go on living.”
There was also a survival guide in the lifeboat, which gave Pi the following tips...
"An idle mind tends to sink, so the mind should be kept occupied with whatever light distraction may suggest itself.
Don’t let your morale flag. Be daunted, but not defeated. Remember: the spirit, above all else, counts. If you have the will to live, you will."
Just like Pi, my life got better when I took my focus of my 'tragic circumstances'. The 'poor me' became less important as I started to focus on the bigger picture of starting my vocation in helping others and understanding what really creates our felt experience.
In the story Pi is so involved in living in the moment, (unlike similar stories of survival where they mark the passing of the days and weeks), time is not something he focuses on. Likewise, when we fall into the ‘I’ll be happy when....’ we are robbing ourselves of experiencing life right now.
We all have a gift to bring to this world, which is unique to only us. It is focusing on this and not our personal ego state that has us headed in the right direction.