There's No Limit to Love

There's No Limit to Love

By Socia Morrish

Service in the Clouds, India 2017 and the Himalayan Trekking and Temples, Nepal 2017

I’d always known life was filled with enticing surprises. At a young age, my mind devoured the idea that these surprises were things beyond my imagination, too magical for me to even comprehend.

I’d grown with roots deeply embedded in my mind that life was beautiful, and if you were really lucky, only sometimes would you be faced with grisly parts.

I’ve believed this consistently, trampling over obstacles with the idea that even the ugly things are beautiful too. I was given the choice to question this idea in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Cremation in Hindu culture is unlike anything I’d experienced, so sacred from anything that I will never be able to explain it with justice. Everyone in my group knew we were guests, fortunate enough to witness this culture in its most purely religious form, to watch people in their most vulnerable state cremating their loved ones.

From the day we are born everyone is taught certain morals to abide by and believe in. Not everyone is taught the same morals, but I’d like to think decency is one.

I was never more shaken to my core than when a boy began taking pictures of the wailing women and the bodies of their relatives. Asking the priests, occupied washing bodies for just one picture.

I was frozen from shock, after all, no one had told him he couldn’t take pictures, or that it was inappropriate to overlook such a sacred practice. It seemed that he transformed the experience into just another site to see, not comprehending that this was something many people will never be blessed to witness.

Thinking back, I remember my perception of reality spinning. The smell of burning flesh becoming more and more pungent, the ashes in the air becoming thicker on my skin. I was paralyzed with anger, we were let into this ceremony with ease by the locals who seemed to possess an invisible barrier of trust in us, to watch and listen, to feel heartache and to observe the magic of this culture.

He had spit on and mangled this trust, and my vision of humanity became tampered. My mind fondled with the idea that humans were selfish, ugly beings, caring only for themselves. Nothing but animals only caring to lick our own wounds and watch each other suffer.

My rage transitioned to overwhelming thoughts festering inside my skull. I was seeing this beauty, it consumed me, and it seemed that no one else could see it.

I’d never felt so much tranquility from strangers in my existence. The disgusting actions of this boy truly opened my eyes to the intense beauty that was unconsciously and slowly consuming me. I sensed the rich emotions floating around me, ingrained in the ashes of passed souls. Colors I’d known my whole life but had never really seen.

The ambiance was silent and eerily peaceful. Tears and anguish contained by gently aged faces, slowly developed into compassion and understanding. They were miserably heartbroken, and were still only absorbed by the hope of their relatives obtaining nirvana during their new journey beyond death, even at the expense of searing pain.

I’ve marinated in time, contemplating how to nudge the hate aside and view the hushed beauty, the elegance in suffering and heartache. But I notice I’ve already witnessed it.

The empathy people are capable of has made me believe there is no capacity for the love a heart can hold. Within the poison and misery of life, there stands a glimmer, the type of hope that proves the fulfillment that a person can attain is limitless.

If this perception is as voracious as I desperately hope it to be, then the world can’t be such a bad place after all. It seems to be almost painless to let the loathing and despair overshadow the marvelous in life.

The change of this logic all begins with peering into yourself and heeding to the fact that you have the ability to impact anything and anyone. I’ve learned that only then will you be the change you wish to see.

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