Quality of your life at MACRO level is decided by quality of your choices at MICRO level. The daily level. The momently level. The here-and-now.
The position of your desktop monitor is wrong. It makes you stoop. You don’t need a doctor to know it’s bad for health. You feel the dull pain in your back all the time. So? Do you change the monitor’s position? Or do you subconsciously say “I’ll do it later”?
What about that SIP you know you need to apply for? There’s money in your savings; but are you “purposefully unknowingly” keeping it there to sustain your habit of unnecessary expenses?
You see mom’s message in the notifications. Or your partner’s. Or your friend’s. Do you reply in time? Or do you subconsciously let it slide into the set of “Oh, I forgot”; hoping the relation will magically survive without nutrition?
What about that second sandwich which you know is unnecessary? And the gym session at 6pm versus that cheap beer with your pals at 6:30? And the friend you need to say no to when he wants to borrow money? And the car’s safety measures that have stopped working?
How many “innocent” slides make you a “culprit” of life? The answer is: Two of the same kind. As soon as you repeat a wrong choice, it’s not a mistake; it’s a crime.
It all boils down to one thing. Do you respect yourself? Because those stupid distractions won’t work when you respect yourself more than them.
Do you fight for each other? Are you not just lovers but also warriors? Comrade-in-arms helping each other’s goals? Are you fighters who know, anticipate and beat irrationalities of life together? Do you take stands for each other? Do you stand together in all battles?
For that’s what a relationship means. It means little when it’s convenient. It’s not just movies, dinners, sex and travels. It’s when you know what fights of life feel like; what fighting alone feels like; because you’ve been there and done that; and you’re actually quite good at it; and you respect those who’re fighting alone; and that’s why you want to be with someone and help them in their fight. And yes, also respect it when they do the same for you.
“I have nothing better to do; Because I want nothing better than being here with you. If it’s a fight you’re fighting, then let’s get to it. I’ll let times tell if I wanted to die for you; But I know I want to live with you.”
‘According to them, yes. According to reality, you’ll have to check.’
‘I haven’t hurt anyone.’
‘That has never stopped people from judging.’
‘Human race loves drama. People live by scripts they find comfortable. And they want everyone else to be supporting actors and play roles convenient to them. When you’re not playing roles as per their scripts, they shift to the one role they find best: The Judge.’
‘Escapism. When someone is judging you, they get to postpone judging themselves. Don’t make the mistake of taking it seriously. That’d be a role, mind you. If you’ve chosen to play no roles in their drama, then stay firm about it. Let there be absolutely no feed to that drama from you.’
A situation doesn’t build you. Your reaction to it builds you. Difference between losers and winners is, losers let the situation decide their present and winners decide the future of the situation. Your strength lies in remembering that reaction is a choice. Are you choosing? Or are your replies habitual? Is it helping you? The situation may not be helpful but you can always help yourself. Remember that. Be your helper. Reply in ways that help you build yourself. Step out of your scripts. That’s where growth happens.
Vibrations create reality. And vibrations are repetitions. You become what you repeat. So choose consciously. Be conscious about what you need to repeat. Before you act, observe. Know. If you’ve been repeating for a while now and you see no results whatsoever, it’s OK to stop, unlearn, relearn. In fact, you may need it the most.
Repeating the right move gives you muscles. Repeating the right move with false form gives you joint-pain. Repeat gains, not pains.
‘Why’re you saying mine isn’t a relationship? Sure; we break up a lot; but we get back together.’
‘Only to break up again. Without processing why you broke up. Without growth.’
‘But it’s my partner who -’
‘Please give yourself a break, sweetheart. I’m sure your partner will say the exact same thing you were about to say. You blame each other. You both claim to be victims. Each one is more mature than the other because, ooh, you both forgive. Give it a rest, seriously. Truth is, both of you need each other. And no, it’s not necessarily due to love.’
‘Then why do we need each other?’
‘Camouflage! You’re both lazy adult-children. You refuse to grow up. And you’ve ingeniously devised schemes to hide that. You both need someone who’ll tolerate your crap but also create crap for you so that you can play victim. We’re not allowed to tell the “victim” to grow up, are we? Convenient for someone who knows he or she will keep crapping. Of course, you need an equally immature – and thus, needy – creature. You two need a drama-rich environment where both can play a variety of roles to hide your realities: persecutor, rescuer, unsung hero, unrewarded helper, moral cop, to list a few. The pay-off? You both get to develop complaints behind which you can hide! This entire relationship is a game. You want a better relationship? Be better first.’
Survival needs action. Independence needs mindful action. You survive freely, when –
your skill is wanted;
your will can’t be owned. To build a wanted skill needs daily practice. To build unbeatable will needs momently choice. The practice of being a professional. The choice of saying no to distractions. Independence is when you value your robust identity more than anything else in the world. It’s everything you’ve ever found useful in yourself. And your parents. And the characters you’ve observed. The stories of strong people that have thrilled you. Know what you need to be. Know why it’s worth. Love it. Respect it. Know it as the basis of life. That’s what inspires discipline.
‘I didn’t expect this harshness from you. I thought you were mature.’
‘Is that supposed to make me feel guilty? Maturity is how you define it and you’ll define it as per your intellectual comfort. I used to fit to your definition of it; and now I don’t. I don’t see a problem yet.’
‘It’s this bluntness of yours that worries me. I’ve seen you being tolerant with much stuff; but why is Jenny an exception for you?’
‘Oh, so we’re defining maturity as infinite tolerance here?’
‘Patience is a virtue.’
‘Common sense is another. Sweetheart, baking and serving cakes is good but jackals are more interested in biting the hand that serves the cake. I’ve observed Jenny and I know what tolerance will inspire in her. Not change. But a smug confidence in her nuisance value. Virtues should be valued by the result they create; not by the sentiment they caress. Maturity isn’t just in tolerance. It’s also in knowing where it shouldn’t be.’
‘How much part of it was about using freshly available information correctly to solve real-time problems?’
‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’
‘I know! I don’t blame you. Those who designed the education system wanted you to have no idea what I’m talking about. They wanted humans who can memorize stuff without the ability to use it for themselves. A sophistication of slavery. Crippled minds leave no need for shackled feet. Here’s a little tip, my friend. Never assume academic education equals awareness. I’m not saying all degree-holders are asleep; but know that the degree is no guarantee that they’re awake. So if I’m supposed to accept or reject an idea, I’ll use my own wits. I won’t conform to crowds whose intelligence is advertised to be doubtless. No intelligence ever is.’
‘What means to be simple? Especially when life gets difficult?’
‘Being simple means being humble. To appreciate that you’re merely human. Nothing less, nothing more. So you’ll do nothing less than your ability; but you can’t possibly do more than that and it’s OK. You don’t have to stress yourself out. You don’t always need intensity. Most times, consistency is enough. In fact, that’s what difficult life needs most. Difficult terrains aren’t traversed by running. They need a slow but steady walk. Be, remain and act human.’
What kind of animal are you in a relationship? It’s your unconscious. And it’ll reflect in your expectations. If you’re a parasite, you’ll want a host to be available for you. At conscious level, you’ll call it “caring”. If you’re a host, you’ll want a parasite to chase you. At conscious level, you’ll call it “romantic”.
What you want isn’t necessarily what the relationship wants. In fact, it might not even be something you should want for yourself. A healthy relationship is possible only when you’re conscious. When you pay attention to that animal in you and be its master. When you know your scripts and choose to step out of them. Don’t know what kind of animal is master of all animals; but conscious is, at least, what humans are supposed to be.
How many intelligent women were burnt as “witches”? How many scholars were hanged as “heretics”? Wait – that’s just history. What about you?
How many times you were called “over-smart” by your teachers for the intelligent questions you asked? How many times you were labelled “arrogant” in your workplace and family for refusing to do things in a stupid way just because “everybody else was doing it” that way?
And how many times you’ve been a part of the same crowd pelting stones on a person whose reality you never checked?
No – we can’t stop others from speaking. But the least we can do is to take a pause and check the scales we’re using to measure others and ourselves.
The right will always be wrong when the scale is wrong.
There’s the condition we’re in. ‘I’m in xyz.’ Then there’s the condition we apply. ‘I’ll be OK only when xyz turns abc.’ The first condition is just a situation. It’s often the second condition that turns it into a problem. Sure, the situation is seldom readily acceptable. Sure, denial may be a natural reaction. But a solution is possible only after acceptance of situation. Can’t have abc without accepting xyz. Does the condition we apply act as inspiration to turn xyz into abs? Or is it the very obstacle that kills the required energy?
‘Dealing with your parents? Don’t they seem a bit… too much? Over-caring? Always too involved?’
‘Sure they do. Same as most parents, at this age. Sure there are times when I get frustrated. Same as they must’ve been with me, twenty years ago. I acknowledge all that. Without denial. And with remembrance of what they stand for, in my life.’
‘And what’s that?’
‘They’re two of the most awesome people I’ve met in my life. Anybody can be awesome, in the right conditions. But I’ve seen them being terrifically humane, thoughtful, mindful, understanding, assertive, strong, unyielding, when things were too dark and they were alone. They gave me life. Taught me how to live it. I love them. I respect them. I remember them. That’s what helps me respond to them, not react. I don’t want perfect parents. I want them to be humans. I let them.’
Anger isn’t always legit. It’s not always when I face injustice. It’s also when I’d like to think it’s injustice.
I’m scared. Or I’m sad. Or I did a stupid thing. Makes we feel weak. Makes me hate that I feel weak. Makes me produce anger to mask that weakness. So I fabricate an explanation. To conclude it’s injustice.
If I’m scared, someone or something is a bully. I hate it. Hating it gives me power. To face it… or legitimize running away from it with my head still held high.
If I’m sad, what happened was irrational. I didn’t deserve it. I was entitled to its opposite. Hating it helps me stare at it with red eyes rather than wet eyes.
If I’ve done something stupid and I’ve hurt myself or someone else and I regret it, I’ll hate the power that made me do it rather than myself.
Because I’m weak. And all my life, I’ve been craving for strength. Not realizing that strength is in acceptance.
We’ll fail. It’s the first step. And the next one. And the next. Making us question everything. Are we not made for it? But we’ll try again. We’ll fail repeatedly; until we don’t. We’ll have one moment of success. We’ll celebrate it. We’ll try again. And probably we’ll fail again. Making us question everything. Was it a fluke? Pure luck? Are we not made or it? But we’ll try again. And we’ll fail again. Many times. Until we don’t. And so on and so forth. Until we realize a fundamental truth. It’s not up to us to judge ourselves like adults. It’s up to us to be a little toddler and try. Letting the learning settle in our system. We don’t learn crap; we just allow it to happen. Without any mental barriers. After a lifetime of failures, we get good at success.
‘They have their own troubles. Nobody needs to add to it.’
‘But isn’t it our duty to each other? As humans? As society?’
‘It would’ve been nice, right? Ideal. But if humans were that awesome, we wouldn’t have any problems in the first place, don’t you think? But we do. And that tells me idealism is denial of reality. That’s why it fails. You deny that too; and that’s why it adds to your pains. Look, if you’re in pain, it means your work isn’t cut out for you. You have to cut it out for yourself. Choose how much to deal with. Quit idealism. Get real. You might meet empathizers on the way and that’s a pleasant surprise. But don’t cripple yourself demanding it.’
‘…but what’s wrong if my partner suffers a bit? For me? It’s part and parcel of a relationship.’
‘Sure, but check the cause of that suffering. Is it something about the circumstances? : Can’t blame you. Love means understanding. Is it a personal pain which both of you share? : Can’t blame you. Love means sharing. Is it an illness you’re facing? : Can’t blame you. Love means caring. Or is it your nature? Lack of growth? A redundant childhood script of reactions? Something which is actually in your control if only you choose to be a bit mindful? Is your partner suffering FOR you? Or is your partner suffering BECAUSE of you? : Are you going to accept the truth? Because if you aren’t, and you expect that soul to suffer in silence, and moreover if you declare it as the test of love or some hillarious crap like that to cover up that immaturity, then here’s what you need to do: get your head out of your entitled rear.’
There’s a word for it in Sanskrit. “Pinda”, they call it. Personal psychological and physical system, you can say. Personal nature. It’s unique. Each one of us has a distinct one.
Emotion is communication between this personal nature and Mother Nature. Boiling waters soften a potato; but harden an egg. Emotion tells us which one we are.
Stay honest in this dialogue. Pay heed when Mother Nature speaks. It’s quintessential truth we need to know. Respond to it politely; no matter how negative it is. Let there be no Ego in there. Let there be no denial to truth. Acceptance leads to transcendence. A human’s well-being lies in that humility.
They say, everything that glitters isn’t gold. But gold doesn’t really glitter in the first place. It shines only in the right kind of light. When we look no deeper than the exterior, we risk mistaking the wrapper for the wrapped. When the golden wrapper blinds us. And it’s not always ignorance that leads to it. Many times, it’s the rush. The wishful thinking. A mental need of assuming things are alright. When we’re too desperate, impatient, greedy. It’s not just the desire to have it in life. It’s the rush to escape the feeling of not having it. It forces us to be blind and dive headlong into it.
Such as a relationship. It’s not always a natural drive to be with someone. Many times, it’s an artificial need bred by 21st century society to not be single; to overrate being in relationships. That’s what turns idiots with cute hairstyles into coveted trophies. Disaster is imminent.
‘You don’t get too thrilled with compliments. Nor do your spirits dampen with criticism. How do you manage that?’
‘In rainy seasons, people think the rains are strong and the sun is weak. In summer, people say differently. None of it is the truth, of course. All are mere perceptions. Rains are rains. Sun is the sun. But people love their own lenses. At times I’m the rains; at times I’m the sun. At times I’ll be appreciated; at times I’m judged. Depends on the seasons in the viewers’ hearts. Depends on the nature in those human hearts. And humility is the only smart response to nature.’
“The path won’t always be flat. At times it’ll be a steep ascent. But that’s not the problem. Problem is, you’ll want to maintain your speed. Which is what I call natural arrogance. It’ll be natural; but a denial of your human limits. That’s when you’ll be enemy of the path; and it’ll punish you by crushing your spirits. Avoid it. You don’t always have to run. WALK.”
“At times the path will be too smooth. But that’s not the problem. Problem is, you’ll demand it to continue forever. Which is what I call natural ignorance. It’ll be natural; but a denial that you own no path. That’s when you’ll be enemy of the path; and it’ll punish you by showing you your place. Avoid it. You don’t always have to run. WALK.”
“But yes, at times the path will be flat. At such times, just have fun out there. Enjoy it. You don’t have to crawl. WALK. Be humble to your limits; but be honest with your strengths. You’ll get there.”
“Oh? Some political drama has been launched; thousands of people have taken sides; and now, as children roleplaying what they saw in a movie, they’ve taken sides and they’re abusing each other. Let me guess. According to either side, I’m a responsible citizen only if I take their side, right? Not the other?”
“Whatever, but you have to participate.”
“No, what I have to is to stay out of all stupid dramas and focus on my goals. A distraction isn’t always a pizza, a party, or OTT. A distraction is also in the form of this new model where a bunch of aimless clowns act like they care about stuff and they know how to. They’re merely filling up holes left empty by the lack of focused action in their personal spaces. I feel no such need; I have goals.”
“Why can’t my partner understand? That I need a little understanding? Empathy? Is it too much to ask?”
“No; but I’ve heard how you ask it. Doesn’t sound like an appeal for empathy. Sounds like a gorilla screeching at a monkey. The monkey gets into fight-or-flight mode; rather than sitting down and empathizing.”
“But how can I be so polite during such times? An emotional person will always be -”
“Arrogant? Irrational? Beastly? Tossing tantrums? A person seeking empathy will ask for it. Why must we wrap that call in abusive tones? Is it a law? Not at all. It’s us. A choice we make at some point in life. To display emotion in a dramatic way. Out of our insecurity that it won’t be attended to unless people notice our nuisance value. That’s how we mess it up. People reply to what they hear. Unless they’re total angels, people would never hear your call for empathy. They’ll always sense the attack first. And self-defense takes priority over empathy.”
“But is it just my fault? Maybe my partner really lacks that element…”
“Maybe; but is it an observation or an assumption? If empathy is your top priority in relationship and if your partner really lacks that element and if all your calls have fallen on deaf ears, then you can communicate, get therapy, or accept it as that soul’s personal limit, or move out. But negative actions will never work. You’ll only end up hurting yourself and pushing your partner further away. Please note one thing. Expression isn’t just a vent for emotion. Expression is a channel for emotion. Don’t just react in a scripted way. Respond.”
“I know these are vultures… but I must. I have to laugh on their stupid, racist, sexist jokes. I have to feed the gossip and look interested. Otherwise why am I even there at the table? I’ll be tossed out of the group.”
“Here’s a useful question for you: Why are these clowns your pals in the first place? Yeah, I know. Ooh, we’re social animals. Yeah, we need people – or so we’re programmed. Here’s a correction: we need GOOD people. Mindful people. Constructive people. Who talk about ideas; not just other people. Who empathize without fake sympathy. Who know boundaries and how to respect them. Who discuss religions and science without fighting. Who share investment plans; talk about growth. I once read a great quote on social media: It said, if your circle doesn’t inspire you, it’s a cage and not a circle.
“You’ll benefit from realizing that they’ve already tossed the real you out of that cage. You can’t be yourself when you’re with these reptiles, now can you? They just want a puppet who talks what they want it to talk. For their fun. Leaving that cage isn’t a loss; it’s liberation. Get out. Build yourself. Grow compatible for the right circle. Or at least, for the right you. When you find another circle, maintain your originality. Establish your boundaries. Some crap needs discouragement with silence as a reply. And some advances need to be destroyed with a firm unapologetic no. It’s self-respect that inspires people’s respect for us.”
“Nature differs moment to moment. You’re merely nature.”
“It pains me that I can’t be a constant.”
“The pain is due to denial to reality. No mortal creature can remain a constant.”
“If I can’t be a constant, how can I ever grow?”
“Perhaps you’re mistaking constant and consistent to be the same. Growth itself means change; opposite of constancy. Each moment brings a different situation. You’ll feel and act differently in different situations. It’s a necessity for survival.”
“So how do I manage growth then? And how do I make peace with my variations?”
“Growth is when you purposefully choose the same situation each day, such as a gym session. Where you can practice the same reply each day and enhance it. It may build strength of character. It may serve you in similar other situations, such as learning a new skill, where consistency matters. But never assume it’ll help you stay so smugly composed in alien situations. You can and you will break. That’s nature. Accept it as a natural truth so you won’t feel ashamed of it. It’s a choice, later, to put yourself back again.”
Be polite when you respect their privacy. Because their personal life is none of your business. But be unyielding while protecting your privacy. Let nobody guilt-trap you. Let nobody gaslight you. You might be labelled asocial or even arrogant. So be it. Because your personal life is none of their business too. And besides, you don’t have the luxury of assuming people will handle your personal information in a responsible and mature way. Not in this world. Let’s not supply fuel for gossip and possible trouble for ourselves due to our fear of judgment.
“Huh? Don’t you love your kids? Come on, you need to loosen the purse a bit…”
“Do I need to prove my love by price-tags? I don’t think so. And whether my kids deserve it is yet to be seen. They’ll deserve it when they earn it. Before that, they’ll have to build the ability for it. To have it. And to use it responsibly. Sure I love my kids. And that’s why, it’s my duty to help them become capable adults. Getting them awesome stuff easily isn’t how you do that. I don’t want to raise entitled idiots. Inspiring them to go get it is the way. I’m not here to get them things. I’m here to teach them life.”
You’re mine; I’m yours. But you aren’t me. I’ll never be you. And that’s OK. That’s totally OK. I won’t edit you as per me. As per my narcissistic notion of perfection. As per my insecure jealousies and inferiorities. As per my selfish conveniences. I won’t demand you add my ideas to you. I won’t ask you to subtract you from you. I’ll never need you not to be you. You were my choice. And your distinct existence is nature’s choice. I won’t force my choice to override nature’s. I’m no god. I’ll never want to be. I’ll be just a human. And I’ll always love you. For being you.
We all have a bit of ego in us. Not talking about Freud’s Ego. The egoistic ego. It makes us forget that life isn’t our creation; that it’s nature’s gift. So we assume ownership of life. We demand that any situation any time must be as per our specifications. Of course, nature plays its hand silently; tossing our childish play in the trash. In our zest to beat it, we end up realizing how small we are. Instead of humility, we offer denial to it. That’s the birth of anxiety.
“I’m humble in front of nature. I’m humble to the fact that I’m only a human. But I’m honest to the warrior in me. I don’t try to rule the entire situation. I note what’s in my human hand in that situation; I focus my entire attention to it. I don’t touch every single rock in the mountain. I just focus on the footway in front of me. When I’m humble, nature lets me be at the summit.”
“Yes. Not knowing it all is a weakness. I’d never know what I don’t know before it hits me. But that’s life. Examinations come first; school comes later. I won’t stop. I won’t remain unevolved. I’ll know what I don’t only when I let it hit me and I’m humble to it. I’m willing to face it. That’s what I know of myself.”
Manipulation works when you lack conviction. Peer pressure works when you lack self-respect. Gaslighting works when you lack will.
But if you’ve bothered to look within yourself; If you stay honest to what you see; If you accept whatever it is; If you respect it as your uniqueness; Then you know what really matters to you. That’s when you reach out to what you need; As an individual – distinct, different; You stay true to your path; And you let nobody shame you for your preferences. That’s strength.
You’re fighting battles they know nothing of. You’re suffering pains they have no idea of. You’ve seen things they might have; but you’ve been impacted the way they never did. You’ve suffered injustice; nothing could save you. It was raw reality; humiliating all rationality. You were forced to suffer in silence. Life has taught you your strengths and weaknesses. Battles of life are infinite; you’re finite. You have to get real too. You have to choose your battles. Raw mathematics against sentimental urges. Some inglorious battles need immediate attention. Some can wait; some need more strength. And some can never be fought. They judge you for not fighting the way they would. But do they know you? Your past? Your needs? They’ll never bother; judgment gives them a kick. But never make the mistake of judging yourself from their lenses. They’re not in your position. They’re not you. Never let them decide your priorities. You’re not here to play roles as per their scripts. You’re here to survive. And live, if possible.
– “Why are you taking therapy?” – “For my past. I want to understand it.” – “I told you – just forget and move on.” – “My dear, I can hide my past from others. But never from myself. It has a hurt that needs healing. It asks questions I need answered. For my present. For my future. Because, what happened wasn’t for the first time. It had happened before that. I made the mistake of ignoring it at the time. I thought time will heal it. Turns out, time heals only the wounds we attend to. If we don’t, time simply repeats those wounds. With much worse bleeding. It’s nature’s way of inspiring us to pay attention. To study. To know why things happen. To know what parts of us get exploited. To be better. If I want a better future, I must dare to study my past.”
When we ask, we get an answer. It’s an opinion. A perception. It’s not truth; it’s a reality in a mind. Built to suit that mind’s belief systems. It’s information. Not about what we asked; but about how that mind looks at it.
When we look, we get an observation. Sure, it’s still an opinion, a perception. Sure, it’s still not truth; it’s a reality in our mind. Built to suit our ways. It’s knowledge. Not because it’s actuality; which it never will be; but because it tells us what WE can DO about things.
A situation isn’t a reason for my anxiety. It’s an excuse for it. It’s a stage for the unreal roles I demand from me. Roles far offset from my originality. – “I SHOULD appear intelligent here…” – “I SHOULD look rich in this crowd…” – “I SHOULD appear macho…”
That demand causes my anxiety. Anxiety is my body’s way to defend me from the false role-play and its obviously hazardous consequences. That’s the hollow, weak feel I get in my limbs. Many times I racketeer my anxiety. Turn my life into an anxiety-producing machinery. – “I knew I’d need money to pay my fees; but I lent my money to friends because… well… I can’t say no to people… I SHOULD remain a part of their group… And now I have to make money some way; because I must continue my studies… I MUST look right in my family’s eyes…”
To work on my anxiety, I need to know where I’m being unreal. I need to let go of my roles. And stay true to myself. Accept my limits. Accept where and how I shine the most.
If I’m a horse, I’ll run like a horse. Not a cheetah.
The child in us doesn’t care about consequences. The child just wants a release. And of course, it’s an outburst. The question is, why do we suppress the child so much in the first place that she’d explode? Who does it? The parent in us? Isn’t it more sensible to let the adult in us deal with things in time, right from the beginning, when we actually can? When it’s still mentally possible for us?
“No. Actually I dropped that mask. That’s what the break-up was about. And I’m feeling light.”
“There’s someone I know; I can get the two of you together-”
“Uh, thanks; but no.”
“Sweetheart, you need to be with someone.”
“No! That’s what I unlearned recently. I wish to be with someone, sure. But I don’t want to need it. That someone must not be just anyone. I don’t want a repeat of the past; and I’ll get a better future when I get better than my past. Past is pain; but it’s also education. I need to learn. I need to process what went wrong. Where did I mess up? Where did my partner mess up? And why did I tolerate it for so long? What did I fail to check? It’s OK that I broke up. It’s OK that I’ll be single for a few days. I want to be. I need a break; I need to know myself better.”
If we’re thinking about it, if we’re feeling about it, if we want to act on it, it’s significant to us. It’s important to us. It’s already affecting us. So yes, it’s strong enough. It’ll have a reaction to our action. A reaction potent enough to change us.
So, before we act, do we seek the part of us that feels the effect? And do we need that part?
When we desire acutely, it becomes our identity. We lose ourselves; all we remember of us is what we desire. Then nature plays a game. What we desire is severed from us. Cut off with the definite blade of merciless fate. Gifting us a soul-shattering fire of agony. Separation is pain. But we don’t let go. Why? For if we can’t feel fulfillment, then the pain of the unfulfilled is the last thread we have that binds us to our identity. Lost in the unconscious is an acute fear for loss of that identity. We’re afraid to let go of it. We prefer pain over that fear. And then, our complete annihilation is how we execute that identity. Let’s know this future, before we turn desires to identities. It’s romantic to lose ourselves to desires; but such romances lead to tragedies. Do we wish to live as dramas that entertain others? If we don’t get what we want, which we might not, we need to be there with ourselves. For who else we ever had?
I want someone who won’t leave me no matter how difficult I make it to be with me.
If you can’t handle my worst, you don’t deserve my best.
Everybody has a dark side. I want someone who notices mine and still loves me.
These are doing the rounds on social media for a while now. You might have heard this from your dates too. Did you agree? Did you yield? Before you did, did you check the basics: Why? Why would someone expect this from you? Is it even real? Sounds real; but… is it? Really?
Here’s a positive possibility. They know their bad sides. They know they need to work on it. For the sake of relationship. For the sake of themselves. For the sake of being a goddamn adult human. But it’s difficult. So they’re asking for your help in their battle. Nice. Legit. Reasonable. Perfection can’t be expected; it’s worked on. Together. Fine. In that case, if it’s OK with you, if you can really handle the load, go ahead.
But here’s the other possibility. They know they have bad sides. They’ve never bothered to check in depth. They’re too lazy for that. Which means, of course, working on it is out of question. Still, of course, the adult-child wants to possess all the adult things. How does an adult-child get that? Simple: By pretending to be a moral cop! Preaching you all kinds of sacrifices and tolerances and nonsenses you have to agree to, if you’re to be a “good” partner. Expecting you to be an obedient caretaker; so that they can remain careless! No different than some ancient greedy emperor who fools his troops with speeches of glory so that they’ll go and fight and die to swell his empire. “I’m crap, and taking crap from me is love.” If this brainwash works, it’s lottery for a narcissist like that.
Question is, do you check? You’ll know how to check when you pull your head out of the rectum of internet philosophies and get real. Can self-respect ever be the sacrifice that gets great results in life? For your sake, stop fooling yourself.
We don’t just have emotions. We have entire emotional identities. They’re fully operational independent personas that we carry within us. They’re roles and we’re actors. They want a stage. They want expression. From their station in the unconscious, they send forth thoughts to the conscious. Like estate agents who prep the field for their employer’s arrival. We think our thoughts create emotions. Truth is, emotions create thoughts. And us too.
We’re told that relations need sacrifices. People tell you not to be you. But that’s self-denial. And people living in self-denial make really crappy contributions. Which is what relations actually need; not sacrifices.
Sure; relations need us to change. To grow. But growth differs to self-denial. The idea isn’t to trash who you are. The idea is to evolve who you are.
After all, why do we get into relationships? To be loved? To feel fulfilled? How can we ever receive love, if we’re not there as our genuine selves?
You know what makes you “you”. You know your core values. Change the parts that make you a nuisance; but never compromise your core values. Remember, relation is for your happiness; not a crisis to be survived.
“If you need me not to be me, I don’t need you at all.”
“I don’t have to get strength. I just have to note a fact. Can’t eat if we don’t hunt and cook. It’s the basis of life. A journey isn’t a hurdle to a destination. It’s what turns into the destination. I think it’s common sense. I think it’s stupid to complain about efforts. That’s what gives me strength. Nobody ordered me to have a goal. It was my choice. So who am I whining to? Myself. I note it’s my tantrum and I was never good at tolerating tantrums. Not even my own. I really have nothing better to do than pursuing my goals. So I’ll pause for a while if I want; but why stop? Makes no sense.”
“How can we ever have healthy relations, if we’re not our first choice?”
“I don’t understand… What?”
“Sounds counter-intuitive, huh? Please allow me. If we’re our second choice, we’re living in self-denial. We think sacrifice is noble; but a relation needs contribution; not sacrifice. And a self-denied person makes really crappy contributions. Nobody can work on empty stomachs. Instead, those who validate their needs have energy of self-respect. Only they can contribute strongly to the relation. Only their relations actually work. Being our first choice doesn’t have to be a narcissistic denial of others’ needs. But it surely needs to be a realistic acceptance of self as a limited organism; not a superhero.”
“But people shame us for it. The other person demands priority…”
“As opposed to the relation? An able-minded person notices that scam right away and never stands such scammers. We need only those who want us to be us. No roles. No dramas. We’re here to live for real.”
A small step is mediocre. A long leap is spectacular. But it’s small steps taken one at a time that take us to the summit. Long leaps burn us out, make us trip, cause accidents, ensure failure. Let no spectacular visuals fool you. Know what really works. Intensity and volume look awesome; but you can’t work either for long without burn-out. Surely not both. But consistency can turn even moderate intensities and volumes into spectacular results. After all, that’s all we can actually handle. So let’s stay true to our reality; have patience; be consistent and grow. Repetition creates reality.
“You may not have to. You can explore ways to change.”
“I don’t deserve that. I’m useless. I’ve hurt others too. And I’ve lost so much time. I must be punished for what I did.”
“I can tell you that punishing yourself isn’t going to change the past. People will stay hurt. Time lost won’t come back. Time remaining will be lost too. But I guess you already know all that. Check if you’re unconsciously turning this into an identity. Beats taking efforts for improvement, does it? Is this discomfort turning into a comfort zone? Because now it’s familiar to you? Known pain is better than unknown pain, huh? Is that the real pay-off? Are we hiding that laziness behind this pseudo-sentimental glory of self-negation? If that’s the case, you’re botching up this job too. The bluff is too obvious. So how about we cut the crap and get real? You’re saying you were useless in the past. How about not remaining useless forever?”
We did it all. Worshipped Shakespeare; parodied his works. Loved ‘Titanic’; turned it into satire. We have done it to everything that’s beautiful. Right after we enjoyed that beauty. That’s the interesting part. The beauty isn’t lost upon us. We notice it alright. Yet it doesn’t stop us from making it ugly. Are we doing the same to our life itself? Aren’t we turning ourselves into dark humor with substance abuse? Right after we found means to have stronger lives? Aren’t we turning relationships into jokes by choosing not to take efforts on any? Right after we broke free from shackles of tradition to choose our own partners? Aren’t we turning families into parodies by neglecting our kin? Right after wars taught us values of togetherness? Aren’t we turning nations into dysfunctions by electing politicians known to be corrupt? Right after many of us recently achieved freedom from cruel barbaric oppressors? Aren’t we turning humanity into profanity by encouraging division, fractionalization? Right after we learned what wonders can come from cumulative effort? In our love for parodies, are we turning into ones?
Never mistake management with micro-management. Entrepreneurship is about delegation. Set people and things in motion; but don’t maneuver them yourself. While they move, you do your part. Function in parallel realities; that’s what proliferates profits. Don’t be the kid who manually moves a toy-car. Be the smart kid who designs a sloped path and simply taps the car in motion; moving on to arrange a nice destination for it at the end of its path. Be result-oriented; not process-obsessed.
Emotion and intelligence aren’t opposites. They complete each other. To know anything is to build a bond with it. A bridge, so that information can flow. Intelligence provides pillars for that bridge. Emotion keeps the traffic on it fluid.
Knowing the subject isn’t enough. Knowledge is complete only when the change it makes in us is felt fully.
Knowing is subjective. Information affects each individual individually. It turns knowledge only when individual emotion is allowed and acknowledged. Remember what quantum mechanics taught us. The observer can’t be neglected during observation.
Honesty is the best value; but not necessarily the best policy all the time. Your honesty may land you in trouble; for others couldn’t stand its weight. Many have been hung for stating uncomfortable truths. This isn’t an encouragement to dishonesty. It’s advocacy for caution while being honest. Know people first. Check their ability to handle truth. Choose your audience carefully. Perhaps unwrapping truth gradually is useful. Or perhaps securing yourself beforehand is. Depends on the situation. Be real; but never let yourself regret telling truth. You matter. Live mindfully.
“Problem” is a label given to a situation when mind chooses to perceive it as such. We may be stuck somewhere and that’s a challenge; but that’s still not a “problem”. There may be way-outs we haven’t seen yet. It’s only natural that they won’t be obvious to us immediately. A problem is when we reject that naturalness; because our beliefs demand unreal expectations:
“Reality should be only as much as I find comfortable. It must not exceed my limits; so that I can keep pretending I’m limitless.”
I’m not “good”. “Good” is defined self-conveniently by others. To use me. “Good” is when I follow a script; play a role. I play no roles; I’m real. I’m me. I stay human. I stay alert. I look. I observe. I notice. And I respond. It’s true that my responses are mostly non-violent. I encourage creation; avoid destruction. That’s only because it works. Gives me results. If my rationality makes me good, please note: My responses WILL differ from time to time. That’s inherent in rationality. So check, before you declare I’m not good anymore. If it’s consistency you seek in me, you have to look deeper. It’ll be in my reason, not in my reaction.
“That your partner has flaws? And that’s supposed to justify your cheating? Let me stop you right there. Let’s imagine your partner is a gigantic crap-bag. Let’s imagine you tried working things out and it didn’t work. Well. Why didn’t you leave? This isn’t 15th century. You’re both independent. What stopped you from breaking it and making a different one in a legit way? Why cheat?”
“Actually, my partner isn’t that bad…”
“And you wanted to hold on to the good parts. In addition to the exciting parts in your side-business. So you’re saying you see human beings as grocery stores? You get sugar from one, beans from the other? What kind of animal are you?”
“I stayed for the kids…”
“Kids who saw their parents either brawling like goats or having cold-war. Catching negative vibes like bugs caught in the wrong magnetic field. Totally not getting any emotional nourishment you thought you were providing. Please. You stayed because it was your comfort zone. You cheated because you wanted to. It’s as simple as that.”
“But isn’t it natural to develop attractions? With multiple people? After all, we aren’t naturally coded for loyalty to one partner.”
“We aren’t naturally coded to wear clothes as well. Nature doesn’t mind us wandering around in toddler-mode. But we do need clothes, don’t we? My friend, there’s a reason we stopped living in jungles and began a civilization. Because we figured there’s more to life than food, sleep and sex. We can reach out and create art, music, literature, technology and medicines only when we accept a disciplined way of life. As opposed to being a football kicked by our hormones in an endless game. You’re an adult. How about you wake up to it now?”
– “How do I manage my emotion?” – “Emotion isn’t your employee to manage. It’s Nature; you’re merely a human. So quit your arrogance; stay humble; and manage your reply to it instead.” – “Arrogance? How am I arrogant? I’m the victim here…” – “That’s the whole problem. You’re so me-me-me. First, you faced a situation. As a reaction, the Nature living in you gifted you an emotion. It wasn’t about you; it was about the Nature in you. Your ego made it about yourself. The gift was meant as a temporary hand-over. But you decided to own it; made a toy out of it. You never actually listened to it; but you surely added your imagination to it. Your possessiveness turned it grotesque. Now you’re scared of the ugliness you created. You blame the emotion for it; now you reject it. That’s all arrogance. Emotion is how Nature communicates with us. It keeps calling until we hear it out as it is. So stop putting your words in Nature’s mouth. Pay attention. Let Nature speak. Accept it without denial; it’s the truth you need. Once it’s shared, it’ll leave you alone on its own. Be respectful and real to personal Nature. Don’t manage emotion; manage your reaction to it.”
They control you, when you fail to control yourself. It happens when subconsciously you want mindlessness. Either you don’t want to think; or you want someone else to do your thinking for you. You don’t want the effort. Absent independent thought, you lead to mindless action. The result is addiction, slavery and misery.
I’m consciousness. I absorb information. It turns to emotion and cognition. It becomes expression and creation. I sense reality. I create reality. I’m reality. I’m everything. And yet, I’m just a link in the grand strings. I serve universe’s ultimate purpose: To know itself.
When they offer candies, say yes. In fact, dive into their vans even before they call.
And if they don’t have vans, hey, you have a house! Or, a mind, heart, body, yeah? Call them in.
Declare mentally, “We’re best buddies now!” Or, why not, “We’re soulmates now!” You don’t know crap about them; but who cares?
Let them all the way in. Have no boundaries. Show them everything. Your bedroom. The password to your safe. Your traumas. Who hurt you how. Share all your secrets. Bare it all. Ooh, that’s a great way to be close. After all, the world is really flooding with empaths, yes? Assume humanity. Assume the best will be available to you just like that. Manipulation? Betrayal? Trickery? Oh, that happens to other people. Not you. You’re born with special safety shields, aren’t you?
That’s the recipe for self-destruction. Of course, not everyone will help you destroy yourself. Some will actually be nice. Yeah, that’s a problem. But we don’t need many. Just one will be enough.
Now let’s hate what’s written here and yell, “So I should never share anything with anyone? Ever?” Great! From one extreme polarity, we jump to the opposite extreme polarity! As if there’s nothing in between. What’s the focus here? Is it about ‘never sharing anything’? Or is it about ‘knowing people first before we share’? How about stepping out of scripts and applying common sense?
“Meaning you pick no sides. How can you take a stand without picking sides?”
“Who says I must limit myself to only the given sides? It’s perfectly possible that none of the present sides are any of my business. And it’s perfectly possible that there’re angles to the situation which no sides have realized yet. If it’s my business, I want solution; not opinion. And if it’s not my business, I have no time to waste in dramas. I don’t want to fall on any sides; I want to stand tall on my own.”
There’s a lake here. A stone is tossed in that lake. Like a situation hitting a person. There’s going to be a splash. Let’s blame the stone for it, sure. But what about the content of the splash? Is there mud in it? We all hate the stone; but the stone didn’t put that mud in the lake. It was already there; probably a result of stones tossed in the past. Stones that were stored; allowed to turn to mud. Stones that weren’t tossed out time to time. Stones that never had to be a part of the lake. The new stone merely exposed that fact.
Maybe the stones that sink in can’t be tossed out. But they can be turned into a concrete base for the lake. Much better, and useful, than loose mud. Better to get a character out of it than disorder.
When one kicks a wall, only the loosened bricks fall out. As a reaction. And education: it tells you where the wall needs fortification.
“No. Haven’t found anyone seriously considerable.”
“Why don’t you have casual relationships?”
“For the same reason I don’t pop cherries into my mouth without checking for dark spots. Once the cherry is inside your mouth, it’s inside your body. Whether you were casual or serious about it, doesn’t matter. If it’s rotten, you’re done. Sure you can spit it out; but the ugly taste remains. Same goes with a person. You let someone step inside your boundaries, they’re in for good. Serious or casual, they leave their print. Can’t afford a bad print; life taught me that. Hurts like hell, no matter how much you deny it. If a little cherry can do so much damage, imagine what a fully grown person can do.”
“But what about physical needs? We all need to get some…”
“Get some of what? Herpes? Syphilis? AIDS? Besides, when both me and my partner essentially look at each other as use-and-throw products, what am I getting, really? Satisfaction? Or just cancellation of urges? I want a full meal; junk food doesn’t do it for me.”
We can leave LOL on a post written with an ideology we hate. Like we always do. Or we can grow up. We can jump into an argument just because it’s happening. Like all the time. Or we can grow up. We can swear simply noticing a particular politician’s pic. Like every day. Or we can grow up. We can burst out in anger when someone provokes us. Every time. Or we can grow up.
“That’s why, get into a relationship. You’ll be OK once you find someone.”
“So someone else will make me OK?”
“Some people have a great presence! They make us feel not just OK; but great!”
“And I’ll stay great only when they’re around. Any other time, I’ll be in deep pain. Depression. Anxiety. Panic. Anger. Violence. Like a junkie who’s human only with a fix. Turning less and less of a person each day. No, I don’t want that. I want love; not a fix. I want a partner; not a false life-support system. My low self-esteem is a challenge I need to beat; not a handicap to be concretized. I need to be able to be there for myself today when I’m single and tomorrow too when I’ll be in a relationship. Both me and my future partner deserve that.”
“Because their partners keep it real too. Both know love isn’t allowance for abuse. Know both sides before you judge me. I left, not because I wasn’t real. I left, because I was. Oh, I was very much real and I was forced to hate it. Regret it. And I deserve better than that.”
“That best comes from a finite source. It’s called being human. And not God. That source needs replenishment. To be best for others, I need to be good to myself too. I don’t appreciate being labelled selfish; but if you think the best should always be available to others, try the same using the best in you. Then talk to me.”
“But that must not have been all. Your words have specific usability. Not just profound; but applicable as well. Where did that come from?”
“If I tell you, you wouldn’t believe me.”
“I’ve read epics and cried. I’ve watched their parodies and laughed too. And I learned something useful. Same story can be told differently. Same event can be seen differently. Heroes could be idiots in an alternate version. Villains may be great teachers if seen differently. Glorious victories may just be one man’s attempt to hide insecurity over certain bodily dimensions. And not because he cared about his people. Glory may’ve been possible because the man’s followers failed to see it. Tragic losses may have been results of people’s stupidity rather than the portrayed misfortune in their tales. I’m not saying it’s always the case; I just stay aware that it could be. Most people see things from one angle; they emotionally cling to that angle; sabotaging their understanding of it. I never make that mistake. To learn, you must dare to question and laugh at your idols.”
“Don’t lie! I saw you two yesterday! You were having a good time.”
“Sure we were. But we’re just friends. I don’t want to take it further; at least not now.”
“Why? What’s wrong with that cutie?”
“Nothing. But right now I’m not OK with myself. I’m working on some personal stuff.”
“Well, maybe you don’t have to! Who says you need to fight alone?”
“I’m not. My therapist is with me.”
“Umm, sure; but how about being with a partner? After all, what use is a partner, if you have to fight battles alone?”
“Exactly. What use am I as a partner, if my partner has to fight both of our battles? Alone? Since I’m not OK with myself? Which I have to be first, to fight other stuff together? You getting that? It’s one thing if I was already in a relationship and developed issues later. Expecting partner’s support is valid there; for the relation would already be quite evolved. But here, I’d be tossing my self-hate into the birth of relationship itself. The relation will develop accordingly. With me looking at my partner as my emotion manager right from the get-go. Needy. Dependent. Probably inviting a scammer into my life. Or maybe, I’ll really a get a sweet soul and I’ll project my self-hate onto that sweetness. Taking the love and patience for granted. Abusive. Building resentments. Neither of us need that. We both deserve a self-loving me. I’ll get to that first.”
“But maybe this cutie won’t wait for that…”
“I don’t expect that in the first place. I may not be OK right now; but I’m not blind. I’m being real with life here. No double-games.”
“Check the measure of validation in appreciation.”
“What’s the difference between the two?”
“Appreciation is note of WHAT you are. Validation is note of WHO you are. Appreciation is for your performance. Validation is for your existence. Remember, your mind must not exist by others’ support. You must exist on your own; with self faith. You must love yourself unconditionally. You must respect and validate who you are. Only then, what you do will be a natural expression. It’ll be pure, true; and hence appreciable. If you exist only by validation from others, you’re a puppet in their hands; your doom is certain.”
“Must be? Why, is it a law that modesty must be linked with orthodoxy?”
“Well, isn’t it most observed to be that way?”
“Maybe; but it can be a personal choice too.”
“Why’d anyone choose this?”
“Why wouldn’t someone?”
“You have such great physique. You should flaunt it.”
“I should? So it’s a demand? Now that surely seems orthodox to me.”
“Haha! Flaunting physique is orthodox?”
“Demanding anything surely is. Let’s check if we’re missing the whole point of modernity here. Which is, ‘no rigid demands’, as I understand. If I want to flaunt it, I will. If I don’t want that, that should be OK too.”
“All I’m saying is, it won’t hurt to be a bit bold.”
“And how do I do that?”
“Show some skin, silly!”
“But people already know I have skin. I’m surely not wrapping clothes over skinless muscles. Besides, what am I being bold against? An action is surely bold when it’s an opposition to an oppression. Nobody has ever oppressed me. I know many others are facing that problem; I understand if they’re doing the exact opposite as reaction; as rebellion. But in a way, even that opposite polarity is decided by oppressors. Sad. I’m bold when I need to. But never with a reaction. Never with mere opposite polarity. Always with a response of my own. It’s a choice. Retaining that is the whole point.”
We may have experienced sex. Doesn’t necessarily mean we know it. It’s just a path. It’s our walk that makes a journey out of it. Do we pay attention? Do we think beyond pleasures? It doesn’t always have to be spiritual; but do we know it can be if we choose? Fine, let’s forget about it; what about safety? Do we choose partners consciously? Do we sense their minds? Or do we just notice their bodies? Do we do it ‘with’ someone? Or do we just do stuff ‘to’ someone? Do we realize that they will leave their imprint onto our systems? Do we question if we want that? What we do, and what we allow to be done, will remain with us, in us, as us, for the rest of our life. Do we choose? Or do we get carried away? Do we realize we’ll never be the same after?
We want stories. We create stories. We live stories.
When he was a child, John’s dad always told him, “Try hard.” Apparently, that’s how one gets success. John’s dad wasn’t wrong. But John never got exactly how to try hard. Was studying entire day ‘trying hard’? Was continuing the game even after both knees were bleeding enough of a hard try? John never knew. So as a kid, he just adopted an idea: try hard, right from the get-go. And never stop. The goal never mattered.
When he joined the army, it wasn’t that he liked the hardship. It was the last thing left. He had already tried hard at mechanical engineering; he had worked at an oil rig at -30 Degree Celsius; he had tried hard and made life miserable for himself, his workmates, his bosses; they had casted him out. And army needed men like him who were willing to destroy themselves; he got a job. Not that he rose through the ranks ever; that required ‘trying smart’. He remained a captain; somehow never enough to be a major. He lived his story to the word: “Try hard”. And of course, the spirit of his story was that it was never enough. No try is ever hard enough.
And of course, Jenny married him. Being a woman, she was supposed to please others – that’s what she had absorbed from her mom. Of course she had singled out John; his ever-so-distressed face was a great appeal to her pre-programmed mind. Needless to say, she denied each one of her needs, desires, ambitions to win her husband’s approval.
Their relationship was funny. He could see the subliminal cues in her; he knew she wasn’t happy; of course he blamed himself for it; he was failing his wife. And the more he tried to work on the marriage, the more she saw his distress, and the more she would – well, the story continues till date.
We love stories. No matter how much we hate who we are in those stories.
“Sure. Only to educate his opponent. Help him fill in the gaps in his points. Enable the stupid bird to fly higher by capitalizing on resisting winds. Inspire him for the next round of the game. Our Ace saw the senselessness of it. In time. I purposefully pitted him against that opponent. I checked if he remembered his worth. He did. Absent his help, the argument fell flat on face. The idiot just managed to prove he was an idiot. A lion doesn’t care about sheep’s opinions. A lion doesn’t argue with sheep either.”
“Sure it is. For us, humans. But not for the universe. For universe, it’s merely one of the elements. It’s unrealistic to assume similarity between human needs and universal reality. As the Hindus say, universe is made of three elements. : Sattwa – integration. Love. : Raja – creation. Desire. : Tama – entropy. Anger, fear, sadness. These three elements will always be there. They provide existence and elasticity to the fabric of space-time. Not a single one is ever allowed to overstep. Not fear. Not desire. Not even love. That’s why, when you’re available for someone too much, they surprise you by misusing your availability. We’re all bound to the universe. So know universal laws, my Child. Accept them. Then you’ll live in peace.”
He was in his workshop with his pals. They were into carpentry. She invited them in for lunch. There was Chinese on the table. Noticing it, he guffawed; and blurted out, “Tom, no need to go out for the glue! My wife has already ordered it!”
Nobody laughed. His daughter said quietly, “She cooked it herself. Spent entire morning in it.” He looked at his wife; she had paused serving. She was clutching the back of her chair tightly; suppressing her anger behind an apologetic smile. He recalled she had asked him to repair that chair one too many times. He recalled she was pregnant. Wait – why was HER smile apologetic? Then he realized, one of his pals was Chinese.
He recalled how many times he hadn’t actually meant to be racist… and how many times he had failed explaining that.
“Look at that board. There’s a picture of a burger on it.”
“I can’t eat a picture of a burger. I need real food.”
“Exactly. Same as your partner who needs actual rectification and improvement from you. Your apologies don’t mean crap without it. They’re same as that picture of burger. Promising; but unreal. Makes it more of an insult to the hungry. Mockery, if they aren’t serving food for real. You’re turning yourself into a joke. Your apologies aren’t a goddamn gift. They’re the bare-minimum. Relationships need more than that. If you want to be valued, be a value.”
“I have a goal. But I’m not confident. I’m afraid I’ll face failure.”
“Have you ever tried it before?”
“No. It’s my first time.”
“Then confidence is irrelevant. Don’t you see? Confidence is a result of experience. It comes later. After when you try. It’s an output; why demand it as an input? It’s a nonsensical mistake by most people. Probably because we’re programmed that way. We fret over success and failure right away. Even before playing and having fun. Do it the other way around. Here’s a thought: Do NOT set goals artificially; but be serious in fooling around with the game. Begin with curiosity; screw confidence. Play with the goal first. Let Nature teach you. Pursue it as a desire; not desperation. Fall down. Be human and laugh about it. Stand up and re-engage. Repeatedly. Love it. Get good at playing. Build your potential. Let the “goal” form in your mind naturally. Let desires organically turn to ambition. Win, as a natural expression of what you’ve become.”
“He’s my brother. My blood. But there’s always been a distance between us. I never understood why.”
“Are you there for him?”
“Of course. He’s my brother.”
“Is that how you’re there for him?”
“As what? His brother? Yes of course.”
“How about as his friend?”
“Do you see him as an individual? Do you respect that independent existence?”
“I guess no. I always saw him as an extension of me. Guess that was my mistake.”
“Then change. Be a friend. Friendship is an absolute choice. No external pressure turns us into friends. The choice, the desire comes from within. Relations are family only when you’re friends. Blood has nothing to do with it. And of course, the responsibility isn’t solely yours. It takes two to make friends. He has to choose it too. Appreciate the new you. What you can do is to give both of you a chance.”
Take a stick. Draw a line in the sands. Then challenge yourself, “How do I make it small without touching it?” The answer is simple. You take the same stick. Draw a longer line right next to the first one. In relativity, the first line is now small. That’s what life teaches us: relativity. Things aren’t small or big on their own. Everything is relative to something else. Its relevance relies on the comparisons we make.
The past is that first line. Can’t touch it again. Can’t change it now. It carries wounds that may never heal. But future is a line we’re yet to draw. The present is that stick in our hands. We can grow beyond the wounds. We can grow stronger. Wiser. More aware. Healing is really about our focus. Don’t turn the past into an identity. You’re what you’re doing at present. You can be new. It’s a choice.
Before we try to solve a problem, do we allow ourselves to be its student? A problem is a new situation. We’re still the same old. Maybe old solutions don’t apply. It’s useless to fret when they don’t. And it’s disrespectful too. The problem is a teacher. Solving it needs humility. Remember to be a humble student. Observe. Learn. Adapt. Apply.
“Only when beliefs are born of reality first. Your father could birth you only after your grandfather birthed your father first. Your grandfather is analogy for an action. It’s pure curiosity. It’s pure reality. Absent worries about success or failure. It’s when we apply ourselves as we are. And stay honest to results; whatever they are. Then we rectify; again purely out of interest. We turn results into repetitions. We turn victories into knowledge. That’s your father – the absolute belief. Faith. That’s when we love the future. That’s when ambitions step in. Then we apply ourselves with pure faith. Only then there’s you – the reality you seek.”
“Dear, he isn’t a nobody. We are. It takes brains to know brains. We crossed him off as a nobody. What does that say about our brains? He doesn’t waste his talent where it won’t be appreciated. He proves it only where it’ll reward. The smart ones don’t care about fame. They play their own game.”
To exist? Or to experience? To survive? Or to live? To pass days? Or to have a life? To think? Or to act? To feel? Or to express? To observe? Or to participate? To plan? Or to begin? To dream? Or to have goals? To surrender? Or to fight? To walk by? Or to get in?
Self-talk isn’t just any talk. It’s when we need us the most. When it’s time to get real. When others can’t help. They have mere opinions. We need more; we need truth. Knowing that we know the truth. Truth speaks to us, only when we’re real. It takes courage to be that truthful. And once we do, it sets us free.
“Only what your mind has told it so far. It’s not even information. It’s merely perception. You don’t know, until you’ve seen it fully and processed it from all angles. Emotion isn’t information of the whole. Emotion is reaction to parts of it. When you see and process it all, there’ll be no emotion and confusion; you’ll just know your decision. Don’t let emotion stop you from the full view. So long as emotion exists, be a humble observer and keep knowing more.”
“Just live. Just be. Why should that be a question? People will always have perceptions of you. Which they’ll mistake as definitions of you. It simply doesn’t matter. You’re here to play and have fun your way. So just play nice; but play your way. With full acceptance of who and what you are.”
“That… Oh, I get your point. It’s not my goodness; It’s my degree of awareness that decides what happens to me.”
“It’s applicable when you go touch the pan. It’s applicable when the pan comes and touches you. In either case, you can’t possibly be aware of everything. So it’s only natural that you’ll get burned. Accept it as part of life. Just try to be aware however you can. Make sure you apply past lessons at present. That’s all you can do.”
“I’m in a relationship. I hope this one doesn’t end up like last time. Trust is most important for me.”
“How long have you been in this one?”
“Actually, not that long. We’ve met only a few times.”
“Do you know what’s trust?”
“It’s when there’s transparency.”
“That’s later. First, it’s a goal. YOUR goal. It’s what you pursue. Trust is when you check if it can be there.”
“Why is it just MY goal? It must be my partner’s too, right?”
“Sure, but here’s the problem: Do we have the luxury of assuming it’s so? Do you know if your partner respects same values as you? Can you, when you met just a few times? Sure, you heard some sweet words; but did you notice continued sweet actions? Have promises turned into reality yet? Of course not. Hence, we check. Transparency. Across multiple situations. Trust is built over time; so we take that time. And until then, don’t tell yourself it’s a relationship. For until then, it isn’t.”
“So there are conditions, yes? Where did you get this idea? That certain criteria must be fulfilled before you accept yourself?”
“I guess I absorbed that from people only…”
“My friend, people will always apply conditions before they accept you. Can’t blame them; world is an ecosystem. You must be useful in the system or you’re out. But do we have to apply the same to self? Can’t at least self-love be unconditional? Maybe some aspects of you are unacceptable; maybe you need to change; But even in that case, you begin with being friends with yourself first. That’s how people notice you; accept you. That’s how you’re OK not being OK with a few. OK people are OK with only those who’re OK with themselves. Nobody wants a neurotic link in the system. Remember, people’s acceptance of you is merely a side-effect of you accepting you.”
“What’s most important? What should be top priority in life?”
“Why should there be any? When life itself is the priority? Be there for it all. Live full.”
“But how can anyone in today’s era? It’s a dog-race. If you aren’t going at it big, they toss you out.”
“Do they? Really? Then how come that colleague in your workplace who leaves sharp at 5 is still there? And how come your salary is only a little bit more than his? Maybe the bosses notice you’re willing to be a dog; always over-eager to grind yourself out; unlike your colleague who remembers to be human; so they make you run faster by scaring you? If only you remember to treat yourself as human too. Think about it.”
I was good at lying to others. So I thought, ‘Why not to me?’ I found a good lie. Convinced myself it’s the truth. Rejected all my truths to make place for it. And for a while, it was good. In fact, it was great! I had a new master; and I was a great slave! I had a new lover; and I was most submissive! I checked if anyone had called my bluff. No-one; except, life. All those truths I rejected? They attacked me like irked old lovers. My favorite lie was nowhere to be seen. But now I had whole lot of haters. Within me.