During one of the weekend trainings that I was taking about 5 years ago, another girl who was about my height or an inch taller, came up to me and said
“At your height, you really teach us how to stand really really tall!”
I had a good laugh with her and responded “This (height) is all I ever got, so I just stand that’s all”
She then shared with me how my passionate contributions to discussions had helped her gain confidence in her ability to speak up for herself, ask questions in front of the group.
I don’t remember being bothered, but I have been reminded all my life of being short. Nobody did the reminder as amazingly for me as this kind classmate did!
I thought this was the most memorable thing that anyone said to me. Then few months ago, I was in a phone conversation with a long time friend, sharing our latest life experiences with each other lovingly. She suddenly said “You know Pragalbha –
You live as if someone getting a PhD on the subject of life itself… not just studying but actually living it”
I was speechless, also because I only have an idea of the amount of meticulous research and dedication required of those who pursue the PhD degree. I do not have the experience of it. My educated friend went on to remind me “Oh you are no different, always remember that. You have a similar passion and dedication towards life itself, and to my eyes you live exactly like any other PhD aspirant.”
I remember being bothered by my lack of higher education and degrees behind my name during my younger years. It used to cut into my sense of self worth. A lot of life happened before I grew out of that and found my purpose in life. I feel content and blessed for how I was guided all along to reach where I am. I was absolutely humbled with what my kind friend had to say about my approach to life.
Now I have 2 most memorable things anyone said to me that make me smile when I remember them :)))
I would love to know – What are the most memorable compliments given to you? What do you think of those I shared?
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:
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.
I thought of meeting you face to face to share my happiness of this book that I am holding :)) Some of my poetry is published as part of this collection, alongside poetry from some amazing poets that I have come to admire and adore for their absolutely magical art of words. It is available on Amazon for download on Kindle here for $0.99. Do check it out to see its description and if it interests you.
And in another little celebration and I am thrilled to share with you that an article of mine was selected by a community media platform India Currents to be published as part of their January theme – Renewal : You and the World around You. I chose to focus on my favorite topic, you can read it here: Step Into the New… You. I would love to know your thoughts on it.
Heartfelt Gratitude for all your support, reading and meaningful interactions that has afforded me tremendous growth as a person and this journey with words as a writer. It is more like pouring these surges of expression that come and what a privilege to be read and received! These tiny expansions of publishing in the outer world are a spillover of all the love in this inner world of WP where I first dipped my toes and then kept swimming in this world of writing and sharing.
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 🙂
There is no point in talking to you I heard them say… What I really heard was You just speak the truth
Should I apologize for my lack of humor… When it really feels adding to endless lies we keep telling ourselves
It doesn’t make sense I heard them say… What I really heard was Just say exactly what I want to hear
The time for the heart to sing its song aloud is ripe Either you listen or then silence will speak volumes The song just keeps rhyming within
The silent revolution will bring parallel lines intersecting We are meant to walk on our own That’s how we find our tribe
The warrior tribe binding invisible hands assisting each other in this intricate yet well-designed journey of truth authenticity and a lack of deceit
Note: This poem has come from my comment on this post by Sue Dreamwalker of Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary. She has been a deep inspiration and companion for all these blogging years, enlightening and lightening my spiritual and human journey of living with as much truth and authenticity that becomes available in my capacity.
I am very grateful for your continued visits on my previous post while I went on a break. I am yet to find my way to your work that I so love visiting whole-heartedly. I am feeling overwhelmed/sluggish with picking up the momentum of several threads into this new year. You do know I get there eventually, slow and steady I will be there 🙂
Just for fun: Some of my previous work with similar titles/themes
Those who seem to be happy all the time Don’t judge them or take them for granted. Often they have taken deep dives into grief or depression. They have somehow managed not to drown and that’s why the smile.
Those who think & act from the heart Don’t try to fix them, it is not a weakness. Often they are being their own version of strength. They are somehow trying not to hurt anyone and that’s why the tears.
What if we actually live all that we have been feeling & made guilty of? Instead of forever trying to keep living & convincing otherwise? Where else does this question seem relevant to you?
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 🙂
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 multipleinteractions 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 –
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.