And Sometimes the Significance of Family is Overrated…

Do you see the perfect reflection in the seemingly chaotic Nature? Photo by myself

There is a conflicting perception
of what is real and what is fake
while navigating relationships
that are unaware of your inner journey
or outright deny your feelings as invalid.
They approve only what fits in their world
and make what comes from your heart invisible.

They want you to be assured of their love –
the one that lies behind
their everyday expressions
of negativity, sarcasm, facade
– the life of only upholding the structures
given to them and those
that you are required to inherit.

Your invitation to actually care
for each other with genuine words
and thoughtful gestures
rejected as naive.
All actions are transactions
for how we need each other in times of need –
all needs that translate into the Doing aspects
not really actually Being there for each other
without requiring you to be any different

All your initiatives of heartfelt love
are seen as your need for their support
when you might need it the next time,
and not for the love itself.

There is no receiving, gratitude, or reciprocity,
only need, indebtedness, and duty.
A made up love and made up relations
that we commit and adhere to.

The condition is also that your love
has to be contained for this family setting only
any expression towards outsiders is foolish or unrequired,
unless only exactly as defined by them.

Love and kindness are good in words
until you try and implement them
– that’s when they want to fix you,
to become worldsmart,
to play the power games,
to lend them your energy
and kindness-laden words
to bring them the results of their agenda.

Beyond that, they have no trust
or allowance for you acting on those words
and extending that heartfelt kindness
to someone, they don’t approve of.

They want you to get over
your mushy heart
that cried with hurting
from the lack of integrity
when expected to conform
to feel a part of family
You just don’t and won’t agree
with hating someone
when expected to hate
because you are family

And you will get hurt repeatedly
when they only insist on having
unconscious conversations
and otherwise, make you invisible
for who you really are
Your real conversations –
reserve them for those
showing up in
your Universal Family

Getting past this need
for nourishing family relations,
standing up for being yourself,
holding compassion
for what they bring as love and life,
not feeling like a fake
when speaking their language
limited to how we relate
– these are the many painful
rebirthing parts of the process.

Acutely aware of your inner body
the rumble of fear in your belly
a holding up in shoulders & your being
having to affirm to yourself
of the safety, trust, and love
available to you

Nourish your inner self with your own love.
Invite the ability to be with yourself
with comfort and ease
Allow the capacity for gratitude
For they are exactly who
assisted your life journey
into this deeper yearning
and more expansive
Love of your Being
the kind which still
holds all of them
with
Love.

She

Photo by Myself

A girl, a woman born with the essence of feminine grace and beauty. With innate qualities and potential for expression of what she can be, with the gifts she is born with.

When she dances to the rhythm of music she becomes her pure essence. When every fiber of her Being becomes a part of the symphony, she embodies the purity of the soul.

A girl, a woman, often since born on earth, has been caged in this mold, a way of living carved out for her, defined for her. Her role-play in this lifetime dictated to her as if in exchange for basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing. The basic needs are met and she is trained to follow the rules of female existence.

This is from an age when her gender innocence is at its peak, she is barely a girl from a toddler. She is enrolled in a dance class to cultivate discipline. Not to allow her essence, her most beautiful expression of Being to bloom with her own unique fragrance, but just to learn a dance form. No public performance is allowed. Good girls don’t move their bodies this way in public, she is told, as she continues to mature.

The girl becomes a woman with a process of going through a shredder as if, separating her person into strips of ways of Being offered to different relations as designed and defined. She is a daughter of a family, daughter-in-law of another, keeping their smiles of approval beaming as long as she behaves in respectable ways.

One strip, the essence of that woman keeps fluttering in her face through life. It is her sense of being herself, a piece of that person wanting to be congruent within and not stripped off in so many ways. That strip has all the love and devotion towards her relations, yet wants the freedom to dance to her own rhythm, through life experiences of her own.

When this woman sets herself dancing to the music on stage, immerses herself in the realm of her own essence, her soul is set free to be herself. No name, no relations, no conditions, her gender evident only in the beauty, the grace, the art, the freedom that transcends all different ways of her being. This woman then captivates the audience as if in collective meditation, mesmerized and immersed in the rhythm of the soul.

Let us celebrate the awakening of this collective woman power in the uplifting of our human essence. Happy Women’s Day to all of you, those who identify with the gender, and others who support their journey!

Note: To me, She is based on my observation of so many sister-friends around, and the various ways of impact all of us have, from growing up in our particular culture. Do you recognize Her in someone you know from any of my descriptions?

P.S. This article was lying in my pile of unpublished drafts since 2017. It appeared in my mind today, as I was thinking about what do I want to share for this week’s blog post. I was delighted that this piece showed the willingness to go out into the world on International Women’s Day this year 🙂

This Is How You Experience Your Own Rebirth

Photo by myself

You notice some who have a spiritual practice for an hour or 2 of the day and then they freely live as themselves for the rest of the day.

To you, it seems like you get an hour here and there to be your authentic self in some circles that support and allow the ease for you to show up as yourself.

Rest of the time you are so acutely aware of your inner body – the rumble of fear in your belly, a holding up in shoulders, and your being. It feels like some practice the entire time, to have to affirm to yourself, of the safety, trust, love available for you. To nourish your inner self with your own love. To invite the ability to be with yourself with comfort and ease.

There is a conflicting perception for what is real and what is fake when navigating relationships that are either unaware of your inner journey or outright deny your feelings as invalid. They approve only what fits in their world and make what comes from your heart invisible. They want you to be assured of their love – the one that lies behind their everyday expressions of negativity, sarcasm, facade – the life of only upholding the structures they embrace and those that you are required to inherit.

Real, meaningful conversations are reserved for outsiders. Your invitation for actually caring for each other with words and gestures that are thoughtful at the personal level is rejected as naive. All gestures are transactions for how we need each other in times of need – all needs that translate into the Doing aspects without really actually Being there for each other.

All your initiatives of heartfelt love are seen as your need for their support, and not for the love itself. There is no mindful receiving, gratitude, or reciprocity, only need, indebtedness and duty. A made-up love and made-up relations that we commit and adhere to. The condition is also that your love has to be contained for this family setting only – any expression towards outsiders is foolish or unrequired, or valid only exactly as defined by them.

All other things called love and kindness are good in words until you try and implement them – that’s when they want to fix you, to become world smart, to play the power games, to lend them your energy and kindness-laden words to bring them the results of their agenda. Beyond that, they have no trust or allowance for you acting on those words and extending that heartfelt kindness to someone they don’t approve of.

They want you to get over your mushy heart that cries with hurting from the lack of integrity. You just don’t and won’t agree with hating someone for how much you disagree with their actions. You get hurt repeatedly as they only insist on having unconscious conversations with you, and otherwise, make you invisible for who you really are.

Getting past this need for nourishing family relations, standing up for being yourself, holding compassion for what they bring as love and life, not feeling like a fake when speaking their limited language when we choose to still keep the relation – these are the many painful rebirthing parts of the process.

Death of the old self and rebirth of your authentic self is what this is – very raw, very powerful as if barely not drowning in the deep dives. It is very tricky to navigate as you hold compassion for those who don’t necessarily understand your journey. You are stepping up, speaking your heart and it is taking up energy. You nourish yourself with slowness, naps, holding your baby self in your own womb, conveying her safety, trust, and love. The baby cries tears of the process, you hold her. The Universe showers you with support by putting you in circles where you feel supported and held through this.

My Beautiful Friend, this is perhaps one way you experience your own rebirth in this lifetime. Some relations continue in your new life, some don’t, some go on an uncertain length of break. Love is all you ever wanted to feel, you literally are willing to be reborn for that. You will have the capacity to love them all. This time without needing them to love you in exact certain ways.

Because now
You are Love.

P.S. I just might be slower in my responses this week, yet I am right here, absolutely treasure our conversations and the honor of knowing your thoughts on my post _()_

Taking a Break

On a Lighter Note …
Photo by myself

Don’t be disappointed
If someone doesn’t understand you

Just don’t go looking for milk
In a hardware store!
(~unknown)

P.S. Dear WP friends, on this lighter note, I am taking a blog break for the month of September …to go to all hardware stores… oh no, not really 🙂 …actually to spend time reintegrating myself, reorganizing life, spending time with family, do some housekeeping around the blogsite. I will perhaps not be able to stay completely away, so might come visit your work every now and then 🙂 Infinite gratitude for your support for Infinite Living.

Note: I had used the quote above in my post on May 30, 2017. It felt good to go on this break with it. I look forward to coming back regrouped and refreshed, perhaps hoping to have touched upon some spaces of lightness and fun!

About Being Myself

Photo of Moon by myself

Growing up around a lot of extended family and friends who were more affluent than my family was, I never really had envy. It was a matter of fact for me that you have some things that I don’t. I remember once a cousin who owned all the latest CDs, excitedly sharing with me about it, apologized to me “oh I didn’t know, I am so sorry you don’t have a CD player.” As if I lacked a family member, I thought. I just responded “Why sorry, I just don’t have a CD player.” I think I simply enjoyed the feeling of abundance they enjoyed and was very much interested in their life. I can have all that some day I imagined and yet never really prioritized having ‘things’ in my life.

What I craved was people, authentic people. I looked for genuine care and unconditional love, and struggled to fit in, wherever I went. I didn’t know that though. So I envied the confidence in people. Often being affluent made people more confident in the world – like they owned the world in some ways I didn’t. I mistook it as something being wrong with me. It didn’t cross my mind that money made the difference. They kept showing the riches to me, I kept looking at it and saying to myself “yes but I want to become like you, be more confident in being myself”

I was amused to realize that my life long quest of living as authentically as possible, has this root in my envy for confident people and those with artistic abilities. That is how I discovered that what I think of envy is actually my admiration for people who can express themselves in ways I can only dream of.

My honesty and vulnerability in my quest for authenticity was repeatedly taken for my weakness, and that became a further blow to my confidence. I am emerging from that too. I have nothing to prove to anyone as much as I owe to myself, the gift of being myself. This is one journey that I have mastered very well and yet always be a beginner forever on the way. I have discovered that I can be way more courageous than just confident.

I love and admire people who have what I don’t have in me yet.
I keep learning to love myself more and more with all my perceived shortcomings.
It gives me a renewed taste of newfound freedom continually.

I wished to highlight these lines above from my previous post as a reminder to myself for everywhere I am not living this in every fiber of my being. I am committed to waking up with more love and freedom in being myself for the rest of my life. I also know that I will have days when I falter and slide away from this commitment, and wake up in judgment and fear instead. I feel immense gratitude for being in association with those who model greater faith, trust, capacity, resilience and joy of living and being alive. They fill my day and life with abundance and blessings. I get to borrow from them what I might wake up lacking for the day. I consciously practice filling my cup and then rejoice in gratitude when I can be a channel of support to others.

A Similar Post : Envy & Inspiration

More on the topic
5 lines about Envy : Envy & What can Be
Thought image: Eyes Look Longingly
Short poems:
Here, Take them All
Parallel Disappointment
Show up with your gifts

Smile for Yourself

Photo by my son Arnav Doshi

I think it is ok not to smile
Especially when
Your cheeks are hurting
From all the years of being nice

I think it is important to smile
Especially when
You now finally know
How to be nice to yourself

I had made a post of similar theme in the past. I converted the short verse titled True Smile posted on Feb 2, 2018 into the image below:

Photo “Lone Kayak” by Manish Doshi

The numbness that we wear, in order to always smile
Choosing not to feel the pain, with that practiced smile
It is liberating to experience all there is, and not smile
For the true joys of life do not necessitate that we smile
One that comes from the heart and eyes is a true smile

Always grateful for your time and attention. The first image is what came fresh to me today and the verse in the second image reminds me of the cyclical nature of how these lessons and inspiration keep repeating to us in different ways. Look forward to knowing which one spoke to you better or what specifically.

Difference

Photo by myself

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 🙂

Days are long, Life is short

Photo by myself

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 🙂

P.S :
Related post : Be-Come
Another conversation with my son when he was 11 : An attempt at success?

Things I have tried not to say

Photo by myself

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 –

Prose :
Downsides of Gratitude?

Step into the New …You

Truthfulness, kindness & the dumbness of it all!

Love broken down to …Basics

Rhymes :
I Certainly Will …

Gratitude Attitude

Being Positive Truthfully

Often this is true

IMG_2687

Photo: Manish Doshi

Often this is true

We tend to extend our vim & vigor
For those needing a caress to their ego
We seem to unknowingly waffle & waver
For those who make our hearts glow

We tend to put those encounters aside
The ones that were so brilliantly easy
We seem to disregard & mis-recognize
The ones that have no drama necessary

And often this is true

Both have the instant bond, not of this world
No insistence or expectation, uncanny trust furled
Both respect the other’s life journey exceedingly
“The other understands” they both know with certainty

At times longingly each could use the other’s company
They tread their own paths, carved differently
Each cheering the other, steadily following destiny
They have met in this lifetime beyond perfectly

Which one is familiar to you?

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of Forgiving Connects, a precious blog space of acceptance & forgiving.