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Growth Through Sangat

I was always interested in Sikhi since being a child, but the problem with me was that I never had the strength to actually become part of the Khalsa panth, mainly because I couldn't stop removing hair.

From my childhood, my parents - mainly my father - played a huge role in enforcing the Sikhi principles into our everyday lives by getting us involved with kirtan, Punjabi school, participating in Gurmat speech symposiums, doing Paath regularly, etc and although I did all this, it never had a huge impact on my life, and never made me want to take amrit.

I always knew that I never had the right sangat to begin with. I always hated school - especially high school - because I was hanging out with the wrong type of people, but I didn't ever do anything to get away from them. There were many times when I could've left a certain circle of friends and moved on to a better one, but for some reason I could never find myself leaving them, and instead I would want to become just like them. It was no wonder that for most of my highschool life I was such a downer, and felt depressed a lot.

I started removing hair in grade 7, because of some comment that was made to me from a classmate that I could never get out of my head. When this comment was made, I thought the only way I wouldn't be made fun of was if I did what all the other girls did - remove their hair. I knew it was wrong and yet I still kept doing it for the longest time - almost 3 years - behind my family's back. When my parents found out, I knew they were crushed, and yet they did nothing to stop me. My father and I always had long talks about what I was doing and he would always say that it was my life and there was no way anyone could make me do or not do anything. He always said that someday I would realize what I was doing and be able to fix my own mistakes, but that time obviously wasn't now. My older sisters would try talking to me as well about the mistakes I was making in my life, but I was way too stubborn to listen to any of that, and I actually thought that I was happy with what I was doing. With that, I kept on removing hair even though I knew how much pain I was causing everyone, including myself.

It wasn't until one of my sisters took amrit that I started feeling *really* stupid about what I was doing. When she took amrit and started changing her lifestyle, that's when my life started to change as well. We started going to Gurudwara regularly and the sangat there is so great and understanding. If it wasn't for the sangat, I don't even know how messed up my life would be right now. With Guru Ji's kirpa, we met this great sangat and although I didn't stop removing hair right away, I didn't do it as often as I did and eventually I completely stopped after some time. After going every weekend, and listening to the kirtan, the discussions and the Gurbani santhiya, I eventually realized just how bad I was making my life and how much better I could actually make it.

There was this one older veer ji that I could never talk to without crying because I always felt so bad with what I was doing, and yet he was so understanding with what I was going through. I told him everything bad that I was doing in my life and just by doing that I always felt as if a huge weight had been lifted. This veer ji, along with everyone else, would always encourage me to take amrit by telling me how amrit can change my life for the better, and because of him and the rest of the sangat, I eventually stopped doing every bad thing in my life and actually started thinking about wanting amrit and leading a better life.

I started doing a lot more paath and kirtan, I eventually left all the bad sangat I had kept before without looking back at them, and all this made me feel 100 times happier with myself.

Although I am not an amritdharee yet, it is because of Guru Ji's kirpa that I met such amazing sangat who have helped me understand Sikhi in greater depth and who've actually put a *huge* love and want for amrit inside of me, that I am now eagerly waiting for the next amrit sanchaar to happen so I can finally become part of this Khalsa Panth.