” I feel like a fool. I keep helping people but when I need help, those people disappear. I am a kind person but no one helps me when needed”.One of my friends was lamenting about this. And I believe that not just him but many people think just like him.
There is a fundamental flaw with this thinking. We are think that we are kind but honestly this isn’t kindness but this is transaction.
If we help someone with the hope of getting something back in return then you are simply acting out of your base instinct of what is in it for me.
Ideally everything that we do should be an expression of who we are. So doing kindness should be about being kind inside. But unfortunately what we see around is not kindness but transactional acts done with a hope of deriving some future benefits.
This is possibly also the reason why people cannot effectively collaborate in organizations because our instinct of deriving something out of everything is more powerful than need to have empathy and kindness.
Kindness is the highest form of love we have within us and acts of kindness is simply the expression of it.
Then why should it matter if it’s reciprocated or not? It’s simply who you are.
I have experienced and always believed that life is like a mirror and it always mirrors what is within you. In a world which needs healing, can you dare to be kind even when no one is?
” I am the happiest person today. This job offer has made me very happy” A friend was super excited about an offer he got. Moat of us feel this way right, when something really good happens to us? Could be finding love, or buying new house or car or anything, we get super happy, isn’t it?
Few years ago I was on top of the world, I had everything one could ask for and then it went away. I felt pain so excruciating that it was unbearable for me.
It was in that one moment that I realised that what can give you extreme happiness can also give you extreme pain. I am happy because I love someone- they can be take away. I am happy with my success- I can fail. I am happy with my wealth – can disappear.
We don’t seek happiness, we seek pleasure and we are addicted to this even without knowing. So we keep oscillating between highs that these pleasures offer us and lows that happen.
Moreover since we are addicted to this, we also become fearful and insecure about losing them. We start operating purely out of our need to keep them with us. And fear can eventually breed only pain.
Pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin. If you seek pleasure, you are inviting pain too. You simply cannot escape it.
The only way to change this is stop your addiction and detach from the outcome. Moment you are not addicted to them, pleasures lose their power over your life.
True happiness or bliss can happen only when you truly detach and that doesn’t mean you become a monk. It simply means you stop bothering about the outcome and accept every outcome as a gift.
It’s not an easy transition but then nothing good in life comes easily.
I come from a normal middle class where my parents had if not strong, at least moderate belief in God. They fasted, went to temples and followed all the rituals as well.
However I was always different, I wasn’t an aethist but neither did I believe blindly. I questioned everything – wanted to understand why we visited temples, why we fasted, what praying was all about. You could say that my relationship with God was complex.
As a child I had a few experiences which were nothing short of out of this world but neither did I understand them nor did people around believe or helped me make sense of them. And soon they faded in distant memories.
I got busy with normal humdrum of life sitting on fence about God and my relationship with him/her. Life gave many ups and downs and many miracles too but I never dwelled deep.
Suddenly one day, it hit me hard when all aspects of my life started tumbling – finances, relationships, health. It was a wake up call and I was forced to look within.
My entire life I was fuelled by wanting knowledge and deeper understanding. However recently I realised that subtly and without even knowing when my disbeliefs had converted to firm beliefs.
Without even realising I had changed tracks from wanting proof to knowing deep within Me, from seeking knowledge to deep faith – bhakti.
That’s the power of divine – changing and transforming someone so subtly and so profoundly that you don’t even realise it has happened.
Take whichever route you want to take , eventually all roads lead to faith in divine – to bhakti.
Yesterday my daughter had her annual day. They had done production of Lion King with a twist to it. My daughter was a hyena in the play and though she didn’t have many dialogues, she was a part of a dance at the end.
She’s a reasonably good dancer and teacher had placed her in the front row. However one of her friends was very sad and wanted to be in the front row.
She told this to Myra and she switched places with her. She didnt even tell us about this. When I saw the dance today, I asked her about it. She said my friend wanted to be in the front row.
So I asked her, didn’t you feel like being in front row. And her answer blew me away. She is like, I would get many chances to be in the front row but this was one chance of doing something for my friend which she wanted badly. I was happy because she was really happy about it.
Makes me proud to know that my kids are learning being human over everything else in life.
Yesterday we had panel discussion about equity at NIQ and it was an amazing discussion with the leaders. In course of the discussion two important the takeaways for me were – empathy and related to that was listening. It got me introspecting on whether we truly practise both.
Everyone knows listening is very important be corporate setting or even in personal life. But do we really listen to someone? As a writer, I love observing people and I observe that even when we think we are listening, we don’t.
Sounds surprising , doesn’t it? But its true because anything we read, see and listen gets distorted by the perception lens we always have on. Those rose coloured glasses never come down and hence we mostly hear, see, read only to confirm our view of the world.
If we truly knew to how listen than world might be a different place altogether. The more you are ready to let go of your perceptions and realise that what you see is distorted reality, the greater your listening skills would be.
True listening requires suspending your biases and judgements and being neutral. However in reality that never really happens because the stronger the perceptions in our mind, the more likely we are not to listen effectively.
We consider being strong minded as a positive but honestly as I go along my journey, I realise that it’s a weakness. The stronger my mind is, greater is the hold of ego and less flexible I am. I would rather be mindless than getting stuck in my mind.
To become effective listeners, we need to drop our mind because it’s only then we would have empathetic communication.
“Why is finding love so difficult?” I was mentoring someone who had series of failed relationships and he was lamenting that love is very difficult.
If we look around, people are suffering in their relationships , craving for love. No wonder many think love is difficult. And it certainly seems so going by difficulties people have in their relationships.
To get love, you need to be the love you seek. Finding real love is about being loving yourself. And though we are love, it’s hidden under layers of hardwired beliefs and conditioning.
I think it’s difficult and rare because it involves changing a lot of conditioning and focusing on inner growth. Most important conditioning which is hardwired within us is our self preservation instinct , layer this with our need for validation and our fears. Where is the chance of anything else to come through?
Since we operate on what’s in it for me basis, we often want proof of what we will get even before we give anything.
But loving is all about being more than doing and when you become the love, you give it easily and freely because it’s an expression of who you are.
Finding love isn’t difficult, but being that love is difficult.
Are you willing to transform and be the love you seek?
I have been watching a series called Criminal Justice on Disney Hotstar. It is a law series and has several seasons which tackle different issues.
Season 3 was about a murder of a celebrity by an irate father who blames her for hurtful comments which induced his daughter to commit a suicide. She couldn’t handle trolling on social media by fans of this celebrity.
With advent of social media , there has been advent of several issues too. People are living fake lives and getting impacted of fake lives of other people as well. But I think biggest among them is trolling.
People get on social media for several reasons – but one important reason is also seeking validation. Now imagine that you are posting content to seek validation and you get trolled. Instead of endorsement of your views, you are suddenly getting a back lash- it isn’t easy for most to handle it.
We know nothing of people, their lives, their issues except for that one post and yet here we are making judgemental comments. Do we stop to think of the impact it might have on someone’s mind?
I am sure people can argue that why get on social media and post if you can’t handle feedback. But turn around and think of this, are you on social media just to put people in place? To show them how wrong they are and how right you are?
I have been personally trolled, mocked, made fun of by known and unknown people. And it might have been deeply damaging had I not done work on myself and healed. Today it doesn’t matter to me – neither validation nor trolling.
However everyone isn’t the same and we are talking about real people and not some robots – and people hurt.
Before we start passing judgements, let’s put ourselves in those shoes and then err on side of kindness.
Let us not unknowingly be responsible for someone’s misery.
Recently someone posted a video of kids drinking in my society group during Holi. It led to a mini fight with one group against posting videos without consent and one group endorsing it as a way to curb miscreants.
Recent past has seen a lot of videos becoming viral- of airline staff being rude, of people peeing in planes, ladies abusing staff and what not.
Often people are forming opinions basis this videos which have gone viral. Without any context and background, people are looking at one moment in persons life and judging.
For people watching it might be an interesting piece of news but imagine becoming viral on internet for wrong reasons.
I often wonder what would happen if all my weak moments are exposed for public consumption. I am sure I wouldn’t like it. Then how come we do not put a second of thought before taking such videos and making them viral.
Not endorsing any wrong doing but if I have a disease will I find a doctor to cure it or will I be shouting on streets announcing the disease?
How does making videos viral help in correction of any behaviour? Except for penalizing those involved and few moments of fame for those clicking – what is the net gain? How is it helping in any real transformation?
Real transformation can happen when you touch with genuine love where it hurts and heal it.
Is fame more important than lives of people involved?
” You are spoiling the name of our college. Can you see that board – it has names of toppers who are studious, and look at you ” – A professor had caught me in the college corridor listening to music on my walkman ( I belong to ancient times). I was wearing a crop top and shorts, had a nose ring, beads in my hair and he looked at me and assumed that I was the non-studious variety.
He was showing me the name of the topper asking me to be like them and the funniest part was , I was that topper. He was quite mortified when he found this out and asked me why was I dressed this way.
This is a classic example of how our pre-conditoned views of the world work. We are hard wired in certain belief systems and they become our yardstick for judgement.
The more ingrained these belief systems are, the more conditioned we are. We start assuming things, which is a distorted view of the reality.
In most of the cases what we assume as reality is simply our view of the world and nothing more than that. And yet we aren’t willing to let go of our view points.
The stronger thus conditioning, the more judgemental and inflexible we become in life.
My life experiences have taught me that intellect isn’t in holding on to what you already believe is true, but challenging those beliefs to learn new things every moment.
Intellect is in letting go of the conditioning, so that you can create a new you with every moment. A “new you” who’s more accepting, open and dynamic.
Are you ready to recreate yourself and let go of those old beliefs?
I wrote a post on healing from abusive relationships, many have reached out and rold me that healing is very abstract and what does it mean.
That’s what has compelled me to write this post because healing isn’t abstract at all. Unless you heal, you cannot truly feel alive and experience life in all it’s glory.
Why don’t we feel alive? As children we were so free and so full of possibilities but as adults we simply are coping up.
It’s inevitable that we have experienced trauma as a part of our childhood experiences. We have been passed on limiting beliefs which have been a part of our upbringing.
If we remain unaware of these wounds,and how they affect our present lives, we remain handicapped by our projection & distortions of our early experiences. It is only when we work on healing these, can we lead a fulfilling life.
Consider this that you upgrade your mobile and laptop software every once in a while to keep it up to date , then how is it that we never update our limiting beliefs and never address this virus of traumas which limit our lives.
But how to heal these traumas, so here are the steps and these are purely basis my personal experience.
We have been taught to ignore or push our feelings in one corner. We don’t address when we hurt, we simply set it aside but to heal you need to address them and gave them head on.. Bring awareness to things which make you uncomfortable and things which you avoid. These are your coping mechanisms.
You need to accept the feeling of pain that happens when you address your trauma or try and change your limiting beliefs. Our ego will always resist it. But idea is not to bypass the ego but accept that it’s a part of human experience and then transcend it.
You need to live through that experience and realise that, as a child you had no choice but as an adult you have a choice to do things differently.
Accept all the feelings good or bad instead of rejecting them and then lovingly make better choices in life.
Forgive yourself for all the past choices and baggages you have. Accept every aspect of yourself good or bad because it’s all a part of your journey.
Forgive others and release the baggage that you have been carrying in your heart
Monitor your reactions to certain triggers and question yourself on how are these actions making you feel and how can you make positive changes
Meditate, eat healthy, drink lots of water , connect with nature- these things help making connection with your inner self.
Love yourself above everything else. This is your story and everyone else is just there to take your story forward.. Make yourself the most important person in your story.
‘In order to improve a system, you have to first disrupt the system. One learns from the disruption how to innovate and improve the system.’ So go ahead and disrupt that system.