Saturday, December 1, 2012
To Thyself Be True
For the past few days, I have been struggling with myself to write this post (couldn’t decide if or when or even should I write), to put out in public what I have really been going through, to share my experiences and lessons learnt with all of you in the hope that this post might indirectly help someone out there in a similar situation to mine to get through his/hers slump, picking pointers to survive from me. Finally, the idea that even if it doesn’t help anyone else, it will definitely help me, for I process a lot of issues in my life through my writings (regular followers of this blog know that) was what prompted me to pick up courage and get down to writing this at last.
If you have been reading my blogs regularly you need no reminder that I went through a challenging period recently (that’s what I prefer to call it). Many of you had the decency to message (IM/Text/WhatsApp) and call me to express your sympathy and support for which I am eternally grateful, for it showed the number of true friends I have made from this blog. I will not go into the specifics of what happened but the truth was I was hurt, bewildered and in denial. Anyway, as I blindly struggled through it all, trying to find the original lost me buried under an avalanche of negative emotions, I started to look at people around me in a different and more sympathetic light. I wondered how many others were like me, walking around with a false smile on their faces, but hurting inside.
I felt this especially applied to the regular readers of my blog (whoa, what a pleasant surprise to know) who called and discussed with me (at all times of the day and night) about my earlier posts where I described the process I was going through. I realized that there are so many others who are at some stage of the same journey that I was on and that I wasn’t alone. When the realization finally hit me, it was overwhelming, the idea that there are so many others who are hiding their true feelings, pretending that they are emotionally well balanced even when they are suffering inside, wishing that things could turn out different, same like me. People who look serene and peaceful on the outside, hurrying about their daily work without a pause, are so much more complex inside and hiding their pain too. I was literally shocked by the number of sad people I knew, it was heartbreaking to realize that so many of my friends were also having troubles with relationships and heartbreaks and difficulties in finding love.
I don’t have any advice for anyone. Hell I don’t even have the answers to my issues right now. But what the heck, let me toss up something which comes to my mind. I believe that the reason we all are unhappy in love is we are just not sure of ourselves in the depth of our feelings when we first fall in love. Our raging hormones so overwhelm us that we are ready to do anything, even compose a facade, a life which is not the real authentic us, but that which we believe will allow the other person to give us a chance to make them fall in love with us. In the process we change and we compromise and we allow the other person to dictate terms to us and determine our lives even if they don’t realize it. Don’t take me wrong. I am not advocating a stubborn selfishness where we say that all the change has to be on the other side and I will be what I am now and always was. Life and relationships do not work that way.
To have a smooth everyday life we make compromises in our lives every single day and we make it for people we don’t give a damn for, like colleagues and superiors. So why not a little give and take for those who love us unconditionally? But it can’t be all one sided (all give and no take) and how do we decide how far is too far? We don’t know for sure right? So are we to be what they want us to be the rest of our life, prepared to change ourselves wholesale to their specifications? Or do we draw a line and say thus far and no further. I will change, I will adjust, I will compromise for you (for I truly love you) but this is what I really am, take this away, make me change this too and I am no longer what I am, I will no longer know who I am, so I will not cross this line. Take it or leave me. Period. Can we say this and be true to ourselves? This is a quest to understand ourselves, our career goals, our life goals and our partner goals, all of them coming together and connecting to give meaning to our life.
This is hard work, believe me, because it is purely emotional work and can only be done alone and by ourselves. But we have to dig deep and do it. Find the strength within ourselves. For its worth it. To know ourselves, know our boundaries before we go out there and expose ourselves to the risk of love and rejection. Before we are ready to risk everything we could use a reminder of who we are at our core as that will help us not to stray too much from what we are. We need to be able to see ourselves for what we truly are, survivors, achievers, people who are good at heart. We need to reassert our goodness and our skills and originality. That we are not where we are merely by luck. We have fought and survived to reach this stage of our lives. And we don’t need external validation from anyone who hasn’t spent enough time with us, to get to know the true us. That we are proud of what we are and who we are right now, no doubts about that. Come to think of it, you don’t have to go through hell in your life to do this. Find it. Find your core; find what makes you tick and find your self-respect. Find your non-negotiable’s. Your line of not beyond this. And once sure of yourself go out there and put your “self” on the line. And oh! Best of luck with the new you.