I used to remain small
to keep others comfortable
They did console themselves
that I am nobody big
I am nobody big
I am no small either
There is a big difference…
I wish us all to continue to live with the truth of our being, with courage and compassion in relation to each other. I found this in the corners of my old drafts, while I was looking for something else. I enjoyed reading it back to myself and thought I should share it 🙂
2020 is a long year.
And yet it is already mid-November 2020.
My 15 year old said to me the other day “I can’t imagine living to 80 or 90 year old. That is just too much. I feel like I am on this Earth for too long already. I think it is tiring to keep living that long” He had said the exact same thing when he was 13 too.
I was speechless as to how to respond both times and a bit saddened that he thinks so. It took us few more conversations to arrive at the conclusion that the more we live to deliver to the expectations of social constructs, more tedious it seems to keep living.
I explained to him that I actually feel very young and I am forever learning something, growing, waiting to begin my life as if, and find that this lifetime wouldn’t be enough for what I think is possible. He explained to me that he doesn’t have time to think all that after attending school for 6 hours and working at assignments for another 5 or more hours. Then all we did was nod and smile at each other for what we had realized for ourselves.
The days are very long for my son who is in high school. The days can seem very short for me as I juggle my time between family chores and my personal pursuits. It can easily become overwhelming if I try to figure out what I should be doing. Most answers come from definitions of success and other conditioning. I have come to value Being – being at peace and joy and ease through anything that I am doing. This in itself becomes difficult at times as it involves setting boundaries and clearing attachment to certain ways of being.
It is a continuous process of discovery “What do I really want to do today?” that seems in alignment with me being my authentic self, in this moment and situation. Because life is very short really, to spend it any other way.
Dear friends and readers, I have made a friendly commitment to myself to post here every Monday. So I showed up today and simply decided to share what was lingering within and accessible to be expressed in words. I am absolutely thrilled to see if you have any thoughts to share with me on what became this post 🙂
Things I have tried hard not to say:
I gave you valid respect for your given role in my life. I will never falter in that. I became weak, I cried. You scolded, told me to become strong. I did. You can’t stand me now.
I have no desire for power games. Each time you try to make me small, I hurt a bit, a lot and then just become tall. I desire respect for who I am and regard for my personal growth.
I shared with you that genuineness in relationships is required for me. You explained how I am being unreasonable. You thought you helped me understand. Sadly, I understood what you said.
I said it is important to show more care for each other. Soon it became a game of guilt-tripping grievances, while flaunting privileges. I wasn’t interested in those. I quit engaging. I am learning to be ok.
I kept my stories positive. I didn’t share what I really struggled & triumphed through. Validated, empathized and supported you inside out. You took me for granted and declared that I am lucky I have it all so easy. I am learning to find a balance.
You have given me a lot of goodness, helped in times of need. I expressed profound gratitude at every opportunity. I am done being made indebted to you forever. I perhaps bring no other value to you.
You praised my spiritual writing in public and in person. Then you said I was foolish to actually attempt to live what I wrote. I need to be loyal to my own word. I think you should have no say in that.
I have acknowledged both your struggles and your privileges without agenda and envy. I think I have suffered enough humanly, if that’s the competition we are in, to prove our worth. I now go for continual joy and gratitude. You preach me positivity while pointedly reminding me of my lack. I become weak only because I care and want to trust you.
You are so so lovely, I would love to create some fun moments with you, instead of you trying to make me jealous with other people. I wish we are truly that which we take turns trying to become/show. Have a cup of smiles, perhaps with some sweet, bitter, hot, perfect brew. I want us to speak easy and true, or then why bother with the façade/role play?
Praise is not the expectation behind any of my action. Love is the intention behind all I say and do. I feel deeply. I mean what I say. Your mixed layers of what you say, what you really mean and you intend to convey something underneath saying something in the perfect nice words – it is exhausting to me.
Respect & Love exist as attitudes, trickling into action and words. Certainly not true when the words are claimed, assumed, imagined, explained. All this while continually invalidating others’ feelings, in the guise of wanting to make them strong and positive.
These are things I have tried hard not to say.
Today I decided to get them out of the way. I am not perfect, made my own human mistakes. I am working my way through. All this is what I really think sometimes, before I work diligently at letting go of expectations and acceptance of what is.
When emotional I am often unskilled at expressing, wanting to keep the love and kindness, fearing loss of relations. It is ok I think now, to say what I really mean without trying to make it into something nice. It is ok to love myself as much as anyone else.
I am learning to become unapologetically myself, still humble and authentic, valuing positivity and peace, yet more unapologetically myself. All my heart feels is Love in this moment and I am willing to grow to be able to live it to the fullest extent of it.
Post Update because of some comments I am getting : This is not about a single person in my life. I share a good marriage with my husband – we grow together as individuals. This is a compilation of various journeys with multiple interactions in life. Not an exact experience of this moment but a description of cumulative experiences I have been working through. A venting of how I think relations work in some ways in society, that I am growing out of very clearly, and felt the nudge to put it out in the Universe for anyone who might find it helpful and mark my own journey ahead.
Related posts from the past, if you feel inclined –
Downsides of Gratitude?
I Certainly Will …
If you manipulate your way in changing the other person in a relationship, you will not feel the joy when that change comes. The thrill will go away quickly and the change won’t last.
If you manipulate your way of being in a relationship, the other person will reflect back the changes in you in the most beautiful way. This is a slow process of skillful transformation. Everything changes. You get to keep the authentic relation forever or let go. Let go of the expectation or sometimes the relation itself. You experience the most peaceful joy. It comes from finding yourself, discovering how you relate to yourself and strengthening that bond first.
It is our patterns that shape our relations. Let go of the blame of how people distanced from you. It is important to address what is the pattern in you, and what addiction of yours were they serving? Validation, approval, connection, filling up some emptiness – what is it that you were needing?
In the space that is consciously created, the real ones always stay or return. Because you returned back to yourself and allowed them to find themselves.
No judgment, all compassion, kindness and love, for oneself and others. All healthy boundaries.
P.S. 2020 became the year of deep reflection for how I relate to myself and others, seeking another level of balance in my personal spiritual journey and authentic relations. The nature of some family, society and worldly relations managed to create dissonance while also refining my appreciation for simple happy times with my immediate family.
If you feel inclined here are some of my other posts on relationships from different times. I appreciate all thought processes shared on my posts. All exchanges of perspectives are a growth for all.
All of us what we look like
Have a story of our life
Sometimes really brave ones
And then those that we hide
When we want to change
Something in what we look like
It is actually something
We want to change in our life
I had never stepped out in my glasses all my life until this year. I simply forgot to put that attention before I showed up in front of the current zoom world of 2020. I stopped caring if I was wearing my blue glasses, red glasses or contact lenses, eliciting so many responses of how great I look in my glasses and how they never knew I wore glasses. I found myself smiling – at the realization that I have really grown more comfortable in my skin. That I did make this distinct preparation to face the world, was actually acceptable and enjoyable to me, until it didn’t matter anymore.
Social media presence brings some interesting experiences and often loaded with judgment with regards to appearances. No matter how deep my body of work is, my social media posts are at times selectively responded to, as if it is a display fishing for superficial praise, disregarding the story, the very journey that makes me who I am today and continually learning to show up for who I simply am. Gratefully such instances are few, yet they have shown up sadly from those who I considered close circle, long time acquaintance/friend. Mostly otherwise I am blessed with warmth, love and support from those who see me as a person for my appearance, also read me and my writings.
The stories of our life truly define how we show up in all genuineness and joy. There is a lot of courage often in showing up anywhere. And when there is ease, there is a story of our life behind that ease. There is a story of our life behind not wanting to show up – even on social media. There is often judgment we hold for ourselves and against those who do show up.
So many of us often are waiting to look different. Some of us flow through changes gracefully, some of us struggle. Also so many personalities look the same, pandemic or no pandemic. Every instance is a story that we are hiding or not, something we are willing and need to change in our life, or not. What we really want different is how we feel about ourselves. This life is all we have, we are who we are & how we are. There is a lot of love to be discovered in that.
Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor. It means letting go of the idea of what the result looks like. Goodness comes in ten thousand and different ways. We fixate on having it come a certain way.
Be open to receive what’s coming to you. We shut ourselves off from what is coming to us. We do that with our busyness or often with feelings of unworthiness. Always filling the spaces available to us with ‘doing’ and ‘trying’.
We then go into judgment of self, and rest of the world. That is a sure way to find a million upsetting things in our life. Things, not even in our immediate life, upset us. We go about finding glory in all the suffering we endure in all our pursuits.
There are so many things that need not define our life. There are so many pre-organized structures that don’t really work for us. We seem to think it is comfortable to make ourselves fit into them. We imagine it would be our success to show growth within those structures.
There are some given structures that are nourishing to us. Those that give us certain joys, stability and security. Those are our gifts to receive from, and find our worthiness through them. There are some areas of our personal growths that need the freedom of creation.
Be willing to create, express and offer exactly what you want.There are no barriers in the space that is not restricted by definitions. Most things come to us in ways we haven’t ever thought about them. Don’t lock yourself up in finite ways of achieving things.
Keep your self-reflection with kindness and compassion. Have a willing contribution towards your pursuit. Let go of the idea of how it should be coming to you. Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor.
This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects! You will find this blog very inspiring.
I had a conversation today, with someone from another state, who called to let me know that they were reminded of reading this poem from me and went looking for it. They told me that this poem is feeling so relevant and practical in their experience right now. We discussed how necessary yet tricky it can be to actually apply the idea of this poem in our lives.
My heart feels so happy and grateful to share it again with all of you today! This poem was originally published on March 1, 2016 Someone actually went back to look for it because they remembered what it said!! I wanted to bring it back for my new friends and readers here 🙂
Drama wanting to be shared
With anyone who even slightly cared
Boredom is the mother
Of looking for another
Who would give a nod
To the story that we weave
As truth what we believe
More than one head shaking together
Feels great to find a smile
As we walk the mile
Use it though like a condiment
Added to your own recipe of a journey
As a tasteful and powerful complement
If used as an escape
It only adds more trauma to the drama
If used as entertainment
Leads certainly to disappointment
Get to know the blank
The space of lonesome boredom
From where all drama arises often
Helps you isolate trauma in exclusion
Now you can choose what to play
Really feel the pulse of your character
Now you become the co-writer
Enjoy all the drama for what you care
Choose the audience with whom to share
It is your show
The more and more you let go
It is your show
The more you contribute to the flow
It is your show
Take time to really know
The characters you allow
To be part of your show
The choice may not be in some characters
The choice is then actually in your role
In all the drama you want to share
With the ones who would really care
Yesterday while walking along the ocean, the fallen woods called me to play on them and I found myself an experience of the strength and spaciousness of The Warrior. The strength felt is a very subtle inner power.
The warrior may have an ocean of emotions churning within, the warrior allows space for them. The ground the warrior stands on may not be wide or is a shaky one. The warrior has strong grounding through the legs and open arms to receive to the fullest – the breath and from life itself.
Later in the day I found myself contemplating- what does Yoga mean to me?
Yoga is about:
- cultivating positive energy and joy for our daily life.
- dropping the effort and developing the skill and focus for everyday ease.
- building our ability to sustain our productivity and functions for the long term.
The postures and movements may or may not be physically challenging for you. The effort is in the attention to cultivate a long smooth breath, that gives us the ability to be balanced in our body and mind. It helps cleanse the effects of stress and pain, physical and emotional.
The challenge is in maintaining focus of attention where it is required, often true even in our daily life. Yoga trains our mind for that focus, and to meet challenges with clarity & skill.
P.S. This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects.
As we prepare to step into the New Year I felt drawn to revisit my old posts that came at a similar time. It was like visiting the previous versions of me and how the felt sense of life has kept evolving for me, year to year. This year I feel fairly removed from feeling the years as separate blocks of time. The year ahead feels like a continuum, a knowing of how I am going to be changed as a person yet there is no rawness of curiosity in it. I feel focused and open for new directions.
Following post, first posted on Jan 5, 2017. I loved repeating this to myself, so I shed some more layers of confines I place on myself.
It is too long that you stayed in that shell …to keep others comfortable.
There are some around you who have always loved you, with whom you are amazing and it is easy. You feel safe being yourself. Then why walk on eggshells in the rest of the world? Why numb and dumb down the goodness and brightness in you ? Sometimes to the point that you feel like the most ungracious or insensitive person?
Nobody realizes that you are trying to be just the opposite, or simply trying to fit in. You value them too much …more than yourself! They are getting used to that …your misery even. And you are getting comfortable with that. In your mind you are being nice to them …stop …just stop!
They are taking your appreciation and praise, for everything about them, as your weakness, or worse jealousy. When you soar higher than what they perceive you to be (and you are still nowhere in your perception) …what will you take their unappreciation of your journey as? How will you look at their lack of acknowledging of your existence?
Look at those who really ‘see’ you. You seem to do everything right towards them.
Break the shell, crack open …Do what it takes! It’s worth it! They will find others who feed their comfort. Yes, give them the shock …stop hurting so much!
They will have to step up, to be able to understand you and cheer you in your growth. They will have to know the pain you pay as your dues. The grace you are showing as you choose to crack open and take flight.
You in your truthfulness will mourn your perceived loss of some of them, because you truly cared about them. That’s why you kept them comfortable while you suffered being trapped in an unwholesome reality.
Yes, I know you also have done some things wrong to some. Those too will reach out to you or you to them, in your growth. Just that you are not accountable to all of them this very minute, so don’t judge yourself so hard.
Go ahead take that step, a small change, break open, fly. The ones ready for growth will grow with you, or even break some towards their own growth. Some will fall away, as you both cannot see eye to eye now.
Forgive yourself, forgive them, love yourself, love them, allow yourself to Be, allow them to Be. Trust me, trust me, trust me it’s worth it. When you feel stuck and choose to wiggle out, it hurts, it’s worth it.
The ones who care for you and the ones you care for, will have to accept you as you are today. Let them know you want ONE with them, you are one of them. But be stronger on your own path. Some of them Never let go!!
Break out of anything you are keeping yourself in …one step at a time!
Following post, first posted on December 31, 2017. I have picked lines of the poem to share here because I feel exactly the same in a very different way, as I look back to 2018 and head into 2019. Title is linked to full post.
Looking back 2016 had felt like a poetry
It’s rhythm evident towards the end
Miraculous intensities as if waves undulatory
Looking back 2017 feels like chunks of prose
Blocks of emotions riotous, faced to fend
Unbeknownst intensities dealt to come to close
Now I see tremendous success in simply Being
The freedom and liberation is sweet
Without the need to justify with achieving
A lot of life is hidden in the slow living
Follow into the next choice after deep listening
All the voices in my head that created turmoil
Most many of them were not mine
When I decided to do nothing
Exact things happened that meant something
Universe is becoming my family
Soul interactions touching me deeply
And there’s us souls committed to each other
Deemed as Family for this lifetime
We hold hands together in joy and trust
To make it through with our individual soul calling
Each of you dear one who reads
I wish you too a curious & glorious 2018 (now 2019)
May you find a ground steady as you tread
The waves of life with each twist and turn
May we all embrace the beauty with mirth
Of this finite vacation on planet Earth
Following post, first posted on December 31, 2016. Title is linked to the full poem.
I will be on a break from this blogging space for a month from now. If I don’t respond to any of your comments this is why. When I return I will resume my visits to your wonderful works that I am going to be missing 🙂 My heartfelt Gratitude & Love to all of you and this precious virtual space where we often have our most treasured conversations.
Gratitude & Joy are on my mind a lot lately.
My understanding of gratitude and joy, how it has evolved and grown for me, is on my mind a lot lately.
The quality of Gratitude and its power became known to me during the seemingly toughest times of life when I found myself naturally leaning into all that was available for me to depend on – people, basic necessities, nature – every single thing that I was receiving anything from, to help me keep going. Genuine Gratitude swelled from my heart for every perceived blessing, every kind word, every new day, each genuine smile, each laughter that became possible.
Joy was the gift and the jewel that came as the core fragrance of Gratitude. It felt the most amazing to wear on me – something radiated brightly with just Being in this state of Gratitude and Joy.
Then came the awareness that my Gratitude for roles people played in my life was taken for granted and seen as my neediness alone. I wrote a short poem to give this an expression.
On further self exploration, I recognized that deep down I have always felt unworthy and undeserving, having to earn any regard, support from any one else. There was a feeling of indebtedness. I felt obligated to become everything I can for their comfort and be available to pacify any of their struggle. Result was a lack of boundaries, lack of self-compassion and honoring my own needs in favor of what was required of those others who had made any contribution to my life. I had a tendency to disregard any unfairness towards me, constantly justifying it as their humanness.
Eventually I was able to separate my heartfelt gratitude from the feeling of having to give up my true sense of being in return for approval and appreciation. I felt empowered, free and actually very unselfish. I am now available in my best possible ability to be of good service to anyone, when I am truly being myself. No amount of taking on other people’s suffering is going to lessen their’s.
That lead to the awareness of the guilt that permeated the joy available for me. Guilt about how much some other people had not still caught up on the true simple pleasures of life and how they needed to be supported in that. With time I realized, I can honor each person’s journey, feel the tenderness of their suffering but the Gratitude for what is available to each, is their’s to find.
Grief brings us in touch with the core of our being, empathy brings us in touch with the core of humanity.
Each one of us is responsible to use our emotions skillfully and compassionately towards self and others. No matter how many tantrums I threw about the sometimes seemingly treacherous life, I had to live out my own until I was able to choose the right perspectives that led to more Gratitude and Joy. There are so many people that I am grateful for, for showing up to help me keep steering powerfully in the right direction. I just needed to keep the strength to NOT let go of the wheel, and depend completely on others to carry me. The direction I am headed towards comes from within me.
Gratitude is a means and also the gift received through the means. Joy is something that flows through our veins and becomes a natural expression that shows up in relationships and life experiences. There remains no need to stage and create moments of happiness. Joyful moments keep occurring naturally. This happens with looking at some excruciating times of life in the eye – with the eye of Gratitude.
I am finally free to celebrate Gratitude without forever feeling indebted or undeserving of what life offers me through people and opportunities. I am still learning to express joy without the guilt because of how much suffering humans hold within. I share my Joy when moved to do so, in an attempt to inspire more people to move in that direction, share in this pure juice of life and genuinely celebrate life with each other.
This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. Debbie Roth’s work on this blog is a wonderful inspiration.