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THE SLAVE Excerpt by Anand Dilvar

From the book The Slave by Anand Dilvar, copyright 2018 by Anand Dilvar. Reprinted by permission of Shelter Harbor Press.

What are you a slave to? To wounds you received as a child? To childhood traumas? To what someone else decided you should be? To an unfulfilling relationship? To a job you don’t like? To the routine of your life?

Free yourself! Toss the baggage off your back, where you keep your resentment, regrets, and guilt. Stop blaming other people and your past for things that don’t go right in your life. Every day you have the chance to start over. Every morning when you open your eyes, you are reborn and get another chance to change the things you don’t like and improve your life. It is all up to you. Your happiness doesn’t depend on your parents, your partner, your friends, or your past. It only depends on you.

What holds you back? Fear of rejection? Of success? Of failure? Of what people will say? Of criticism? Of making a mistake? Of being alone?

Break the chains you have bound yourself with! The only thing you should be afraid of is not being yourself, of letting your life go by without doing what you want, of failing to take advantage of this opportunity to show yourself to other people, to say what you think, to share what you have. You are part of life and, like everyone else, you can hold your head high. The errors of the past are forgotten and the errors of the future will be forgiven. No one is keeping a record of your failings, except you. The judge who sternly rebukes you, the executioner who punishes you, the bad friend who criticizes you, is you! Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself: only you can.
When are you going to tell the people you love how much you care about them? When you only have a few moments left to live? When they only have a few moments left to live?

The love you don’t express today is lost forever. Remember that life is so short and so fragile that we have no time to waste on being bitter or on stupid arguments. Today is the day to forgive past offenses and iron out old quarrels. Give yourself to the people you love, but don’t expect them to change. Love them for what they are and respect the most valuable gift you and they have been given: freedom.

Enjoy your relationships without making a fuss. If you try to make everyone do as you want or be as you want them to be, if you try to control the people around you, you’ll fill your life with conflict. Let other people make their own decisions, just as you must make your own with the aim of achieving what’s best for all. In this way you will fill your life with harmony.

Finally, what are you waiting for to start enjoying life? For all your problems to be resolved? For your traumas to disappear? For someone finally to recognize your worth? For love to come into your life? For someone who left to come back? For everything to turn out just as you want? For the economic recession to be over? For a miracle to happen? For everything to magically be beautiful and perfect?

Wake up, brother! Wake up, sister! This is life! Life isn’t what happens when all your plans pan out, or when you finally have that thing you want so badly. Life is what’s happening at this very moment. Your life right now is you reading this paragraph, wherever you happen to be and in the circumstances that surround you at this moment. Right now your heart is carrying blood to all the cells in your body and your lungs are making sure that oxygen gets to where it needs to be. At this moment, something we don’t understand is keeping you alive and allowing you to see, think, express yourself, move, laugh, and even cry if you want to!

Don’t take life for granted. Don’t get used to waking up every day and being bored, bad-tempered, or worried. Open your eyes and give thanks for the miracle you have the ability to see. Give thanks for your ability to hear the birds singing or your children laughing. Put your hands on your chest and feel your heart beating strong, telling you:

You’re alive, you’re alive, you’re alive.

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THE SLAVE Excerpt by Anand Dilvar


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