Friday, May 17, 2013

Sacrifice -- a new meaning

There are few words in the dictionary that confuse me. One of them is Sacrifice. Today I will talk about this.

There are some words that are a part of our moral and legal life. They are designed to stream line our social life in such a way that they would provide us with long lasting happiness. However we have misconstrued their meaning in such a way that they are now a cause of our pain than happiness. Sacrifice is one such word , I shall just try to enhance its real meaning as I have understood to bring back that long lasting happiness again.

How do you feel if I ask you to Sacrifice something on behalf of something else? Do you feel good elated? Happy sad mixed feelings.. A desire of wanting to have both the “something’s” and yet unable to have them together. Definitely a feeling of loss I’d say.

Sacrifice in my mind is an act of giving up something (cause 1) that was an existing or present source of your happiness for something else (cause 2) that will presumably give you happiness in future or for duty towards something or someone.

Duty means something that you are “due” for. Duty comes from the word “due” and Sacrifice comes from the word “sacred”. Together they shall mean to do something sacred that is due.

This brings us to the brink of morally sacred or not, right or wrong, legal or illegal etc. All this is debatable depending on the moral fabric of the person or what he/she prioritizes in their life. Because that is how people choose what is important to them in the present and what shall be important to them in the future thus you can sacrifice whatever is less important to you. In short there are no fixed parameters of sacrifice which will give same happiness to both you and me. For example duty towards parents, loved ones, friends, society, motherland, planet or nature, religion, humanity etc each one of us can have completely different priorities to address.

When we address words like Sacrifice in our everyday lives, we create feelings of giving up unfortunately not by will but by force of “Duty”. A set of standards set up by others in the name of duty. So we create a feeling of powerlessness, as if I am giving up something for want of something better in return. Thus creating expectations, with happiness due on future events. For example a parent sacrifices today’s material need for future of the child, partly internally expecting the child to love and care for them in older age. A feeling of giving up something today hoping to cover it up with happiness in future.

But life is not the same, some of us get good returns in the cause that we have given up our happiness for and some of us do not get anything in return. That sours our taste towards life and eventually we start acting selfish after sometime. Now we have to break this phenomenon and see Sacrifice in its new meaning.

The reason for this phenomenon is “constant feeling of loss and fear of return in future” , yes we do it all the time unknowingly even in our most unconditional relationships we do it … even parents do it that is why they feel so betrayed in their older age. Unfortunately all this time we have the tendency of blaming the one who is supposed to fulfill that happiness for you in the future let us say for parents hurt children are blamed but blaming them will not solve the pain that has already been created. Rather a little renewing on the concept of Sacrifice can.

Sacrifice is over shadowed by the word Duty. However we have been taught to first fulfill our duties towards everyone and at the end towards ourselves. This is the crux of the problem that starts with sacrifice and ends up making us selfish. A constant denial of our wants and needs over the time deeply creates feeling of loss and powerlessness which transcends into a physical or emotional outburst later.

As soon as we are born we are assumed to fulfill our duties towards our parents, family, nation, humanity etc. What we essentially forget is our first duty much before than these duties is towards “I” the self and no this is no selfishness , it is merely accepting the fact that once you are put in this body it is your prime duty to fulfill certain needs of it like food , clothing , love , peace etc. Simply recognizing this will make sure that you never compromise with certain basic needs of yourself which are reason of your primary happiness, everything else that you “let go” must be considered as bonus.

A)   However as each person is different the requirements of basic happiness will be different. For example for a solider his motherland is more important that his survival but for how much and how long?? These days we have seen many who would give up on their motherland for some rupees it means that their basic need of happiness was not clear and the need was never met. So a set of counseling is required to check “what exactly is the basic need?” – let each one of us sit back and really check on our needs.

It is good to know inside ourselves that I cannot sacrifice more than this limit than do it and regret later. Example someone can live 1 new pair of clothes in an year on giving up everything else the person must remind himself that I am satisfied as my basic need has been met already everything else is a bonus. Check and Set your Priorities.

B)    Comparison is the biggest problem of confusion these days. It is easier said than done. We keep saying we must not compare our things with anyone, we must not live by standards set by others etc  but unknowingly we keep doing it all the time. I realized that when I set my standards my need was much less but when faced with comparison my MARK of basic need waived and it happened so fast that I could hardly keep a note of it till the time I felt vacuum.

To avoid this either we must repeat our basic need daily or if need be make alterations to it , increase or decrease the level of needs and talk to yourself about it. Such that a sense of power in instilled in. Let your mind accept that the decision or choice was done only after you met your basic needs. So your “Happiness” holds inside you.

C)    Stop being vague in setting needs. Yes a thing I realized was we vaguely set needs especially when it has to do with feelings. We all need love and none can deny that, so we all want our loved one’s happy. Thus we vaguely set limit. But when faced with situation of ethics or morals versus happiness of loved ones we fail to take the right decision.
So in my opinion we must set our needs in details.

For example if I want my loved one’s to be happy … then how much I am ready to give up on my decisions, my ethics or values , my ideas or notions and sometimes on clash  of two loved one’s whose happiness matters more. And Make sure you do not decide this with just feelings, be VERY VERY logical in convincing your mind about such needs.

And just in case you feel two people or two feelings are in equal position and you are not able to give up on either one. Then "Do not" rather ask your mind to show ways to hold both things together and trust me mind does show a new way. Be not desperate but Be confident.

D)   Get over past decisions and situations. As I said earlier when we Sacrifice “cause 1 present” for “cause 2 future”. We wholeheartedly expect the “cause 2” to be successful so that we can forget what we have given up. Unfortunately sometimes even “cause 2” fails miserably at that time, we create pain not just because we have lost “cause 2” but because we have lost happiness involved in “cause 1”.

First: Happiness is a wrong term we associate with every other mundane thing; we must refer it as comfort. So a little change in mind would be you had given up your comfort for “cause 2” not happiness.

Second: While making a choice between “cause 1” and “cause 2” be clear with your priority list… very very clear in details. Then choose a mindset which is empowering. For example “I have fulfilled my basic needs, my happiness is met and it is my decision to empower myself to live without cause 1 no matter what are results of cause 2”.

Life is not as short as people feel. If you can value each second and bless everything around you. You Live more than your life each day.

Like I have always said I practice what I write here. So I’ll share a method I use very often and which seems very powerful to me. It is a kettle and cup example. I tell myself that even though both kettle and cup are made to hold tea, their individual purpose and capacity and usefulness cannot be compared. Each one is a special one. This helps me big time over every day comparisons and temptations. 

Sacrifice if you must but your old habits. Everyone fails even I do but never fail to keep trying ;)

Adios :)

P.S -- Sorry everyone to keep you waiting for a long time , I was just engaged in many things in life. Shall try put up other posts on time. Sorry again.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Art of dealing with Negative Emotions of others -- Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion

Sometimes in life we are all confused as to what emotions to feel when something happens with someone else apart from me. When something happens to us it is very easy to categorically decide what I want to feel and think or do. But when you see a loved one’s of yours going through a certain pain or hurt … you become clueless how to handle and how to console the other person… how best to feel what they feel and yet not be a stress on them.

 The reason being we either touch their feelings so slightly that it doesn’t help them or we dwell so deep that we return exhausted and devoid of our own state of mind. I kept wondering about what attitude we should  have for problems in which we are not directly involved but our loved ones are, I am bothered about this because we are all social beings and not alone in the scene of the world. We cannot have a safe life if we know how to deal with our own feelings but have no clue how to deal with feelings of others. Our attitude and mindset creates a huge impact on our relationship and that goes unsaid.

When I go through some hurt or pain, I have noticed people behave in amazing ways. They fumble, they wonder, they cry, they make others cry etc but yes none is aware of what is my need at that point of time. Watching them amuses me as to how ignorant we are of how to behave with others in a sensitive manner. In today’s world where contact is limited to watching a friend’s icon on your phone, how do you know in what way to create a connection to relief the loved one of their pain?

I have not postulated anything new but have just rephrased a few words we use often with respect to attending feelings of others. These are 3 simple words often over lapped in their understanding and thus leading to confusions.

They are Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion.

Sympathy is to be able to recognize the feeling inside other person. Any person who says “I sympathize with you” is able to see and be aware that you are in pain. The personal zone of feelings is still separate from the one who feels pain but they at least accept the presence of pain.

For example – When you see a beggar on street, you are able to sympathize with his condition.

  • This begins by feeling pity or sorry at the state of other one.

  • It is a bit of depressing state because sympathizers are never able to judge the intensity of pain nor are they able to provide what to do next. 

  • Also they remain as intact in terms of their energy exchange between individuals. Mostly words are sensed but do not cross effective energy to the person in pain.

  • They can provide you with unwanted advice whether you need it or not. Willing or unwilling.

Empathy is to be not just aware of presence of pain but feel the intensity of pain . It is usually generalized by the term “Stepping into someone’s shoes” which means I expand my horizon of feelings into your feelings. There is a sense of urgency in paying attention because the pain bothers the empathizer and the person in pain equally or sometimes more.
For example – If a child falls then a mother feels the pain of a child with as much intensity as the child or sometimes more. 

  • There could be a feeling of sorry state or no sorry state depending on the conditioning of the empathizer. Though most empathizers do feel sorry.
  • The intensity is felt very strongly. Sometimes more than the person hurt, it adds a hint of exaggeration depending on the sense of person involved.
  • The most important point is that empathize invest a lot of energy of their own into feeling the intensity , which eventually drains them out completely and creates a sense of pain within. It happens mostly with those who have gone through with a similar kind of incident and they revisit their complete incident while empathizing. So empathizing involves fatigue. Sometimes empathizers unknowingly invite lot of pain on their side while seeking to comfort another.
  • They too can give you much advice, you might not want to follow up with it but they stress on their experience to let the advice be accepted.

Compassion is a step ahead of empathy. It is to empathize with the person without draining your energy and finding a way out of solving those feelings. Compassionates never sit idle, they move out of pain zone which is build during empathizing and they look for solutions. They assist, support and in turn reinstate faith and power inside the other person.
For example – If you fall while walking with a compassionate person. He will not cringe, not cry nor exaggerate. He will simply put hand out for you to hold and get up.
  • They never go down to sorry state; rather they get into observing state. They observe the pain inside another person and are able to accept that pain is “present-- now”.
  • The intensity is felt strongly but never exaggerated. They can enumerate exact emotions of yours if you ask for but will never undo your own capacity of overcoming them. They’ll always state presence of doing more than presence of feeling.
  • They do not waste their energy while feeling for others. Rather they divert it. They divert it to doing something about it. The event horizon ends as soon as the pain is confronted and the doing horizon beings. They are solution oriented and hence they never feel fatigued no matter how many feelings they have encountered through the day.
  • They do not give advice, they show you the path or give you support and then leave it onto you to accept or reject that support. They increase your faith in your own capacity of doing something for yourself. They do not give you themselves; they give you the tool to work.

Most of us fall into the category of empathizers. The reason for being either of the two and not compassionate is our deep sense of attachment to the subject in pain. While empathizers react exactly the same way as the subject in pain does so it gets easy to attract lot of negative energy around the sufferer. Like your friend breaks off with someone , the usual reaction that comes from us is to react and speak ill about the ex of my friend… one thing we do not understand is that the person in hurt is already low on energy and doesn’t really need a heavy environment of negative energy around. How does my bashing of friends’ ex justify my affection for my friend?? In turn I am abusing the choice and the energy invested my friend in that relation. This is how empathizers pull down the sufferer more rather than empowering him.

In turn Compassionate people are solution oriented. They address emotions but with an angle of providing right kind of support. They nudge and push the sufferer to take charge of his/her own life and not spoon feed him/her. They are aware that pain exists and it will only go when replaced with something more positive. Compassion makes you aware of a perfect Inner Self absolutely capable of doing justice to the person once the pain is over.

The expansion of inner I shows you the reason the universal laws of functioning the idea that hurt is only superficial and an effect of what has by gone. You then become the part of the solution and stability than problem and anxiety. Compassionate person is more like a guide providing a tool to you, the person might even provide you with user manual but will never doubt on your capability of using it nor will he ever abuse the pain or the pain giver and create negative energy around you.

Some people may consider this as less sensitive than empathizing or even afar from reality. How can you ignore the pain inside a person?? How can you not blame the situation?? But the truth is your feeling pain for someone else never really reduces pain for anyone, only when the person in pain accepts it as reality then the pain starts dissipating. Blaming the situation inks at reversing the wheel of time which unfortunately is impossible. It only adds to more guilt and shame. So Compassionates stay away from such tactics. Compassion is practical and solution oriented … it is to have feelings without being emotional, to be critical but with a meaning, to have objectivity without being obsessed with object.

I usually suggest you methods of working on an idea, of course I have come up with a working way too but a rather simpler one. The biggest reason I could understand we are not able to be compassionate in true spirit is our feeling of owning. Yes the more we own the more we join ourselves to it (empathize) and the one which we do not own we do not join to it at all (sympathize).

So in my method … you start treating every one as a child…. I mean all your loved one’s but not yours, of someone else and you become a care taker of that child.
For e.g. If you have a child with you of someone else and the child falls down somewhere … do you feel the pain with the same intensity as the mother of the child would have felt ??? No we don’t. But we feel the pain and then help the child as per our responsibility and give him aid.

This is owning while not owning at all.
When you enter the mindset of owning but not owning you know you are not the parent and thus not deeply attached so you feel the pain but less intense more so you make the child smile and help me stand on his own feet without extra baggage of advice. You learn to understand you are not responsible to be the master of destiny for the child and you cannot be, let the onus of problem giving stay with Supreme ... you just plainly be the Care taker nothing more nothing less.

I could have advised considering each other as Souls or brothers and sisters etc but the reason I did not suggest this is because it seems Impossible to replicate that in relations like parents and child, husband and wife or even some friends. But when you say treat all your loved ones as Child and Care Taker. The limitations end.

Every relationship whether parent child – husband wife – friends etc whatever your relation is it can be easily adaptable to a Child and Care taker role. The idea is to divert the mind from pain to support and solutions that only a Care taker will do and Owner will always be in the fear of losing and thus can never become compassionate.

I am personally guilty of empathizing and draining my energy out I am trying to move to the next step and learning. Like I always say I too am a part of process of changing and improving myself. I have been owning my relationships for long in Owner mode and now I am slowly turning into Care Taker mode. So be a part of journey of change with me.

Happy Compassionating.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Attraction/Distractions or Attention

It is that time of the year when school children are occupied with books. They are pressed with studies and rugged through time. Time bound schedules, ample of course work to study and yet their mind wanders away most during this time of the year. It is here that attraction, distraction and attention comes into play.
Though attraction or distraction is not just something we encounter as children during our studies but eventually it is kind of a habit a mind develops over the time. Just that the mind of a child is still young enough to be trained and adapted better to attention than that of an adult. Today we shall discuss about any kind of attraction or distraction experienced by young or adult.

I kept wondering why or for what reason are we attracted towards something willingly or unwillingly. In this process of churning my mind for this topic I realized how varied meanings we have for the same thing. How a single explanation cannot satiate every person because of perceptional differences. I realized that we are actually a bunch of too many flowers of which many are dry and many smell foul , yet we continue to hold on to them only fearing if we leave them we would have nothing better.

Attraction is a force of pulling something/someone towards something else/someone else. Distraction on the other hand is a deviation of something/someone from the already aligned towards something/someone. Both I would deal as a means of ATTENTION deviation, one is willingly and other unwillingly.

Let us take it as subject and object. Then by definition it would be force of pulling a subject towards an object. Again people are free to choose their subject and object here, it is applicable to both in living and non living world. So when a subject is being pulled of its attention towards an object willingly is Attraction but when a subject is being pulled to give attention to object unwillingly is Distraction.

Usually people come up with instances like I am being attracted towards her or I was attracted towards this song etc. The statement is flawed it gives the person a sense of helplessness and absence of control, it is self inflicting choicelessness. Why you ask? Because ideally if you are not willing to deviate your attention towards something and yet you find yourself putting your mind into the object then it is deviation. So the statement should have been I am being distracted by her or I am being distracted by this song etc. In this statement you are giving a subtle hint to your mind that you do not want to pay attention to something and it is violation of your mind, so it must be stopped while in the earlier one you were yourself willing and yet helpless in holding your attention. That explains how attraction and distractions are grossly misunderstood in everyday life that adds to confusion in our sub conscious mind.

Before I begin anything we must understand the concept with which mind works for either distractions or attractions.

The basic idea of mind (subject) is to learn to analyze differences between objects. This is done through its 5 vital senses and 5 subtle senses. Physically and mentally the differences are analyzed by the intellectual capacity of mind. Let us understand this with an example I call it example of a “White Room” – If a mind is placed in a white room hypothetically exactly same on all side then the mind will eventually slow down its process of creation of differences thus reaching to a state where it will feel neither attraction nor distraction. If in case you now introduce two points in that room Red spot and Green spot. Being different from existing state mind will now pay attention to the two spots. Eventually the mind will be attracted to the one of whichever color it prefers or has a set of impressions already attached to it. This tells us that our attachment to various things decides the intensity of attraction/distraction to that object while differentiating from existing surroundings.

In real world situations pertaining to our attention is more complex. Like I said mind is always looking out for things with more differences, more separation, more analysis and more complexity that is its sheer nature of being creatively fulfilled. Mind has a certain flow of energy while doing a work, so once you create a thought of regularity (not able to create newness or differences or lack of creativity) it hinders that flow of energy. For e.g. mind has a steady flow of energy while you are studying , when you create thoughts of non-newness your attention is bound to get distracted towards anything that shall add that newness to your thoughts.

 Mind energy is like electricity it wants to flow freely and creatively analyze and resolve things, but our attachment to certain ideas actually stops that creative flow and like electricity when faced with resistance it flows towards lower resistance – mind does the same. For e.g. while you are working(work =object 1) you are attracted (willingly) towards a beautiful girl (girl = object 2), because when compared object 2 has more newness than object 1 that is because of already feeded information in your mind …….. to this add to the fact that you will state I am attracted – a feeling of helplessness yet willingness thus there is no stopping.
Mind always has an image what it will be like to be with what you are attracted too. So you create a future scene and enjoy it because your present seems boring and regular. The ”What if ??” actually creates a longing process and then you let it flow and flow. Mind creates a no pain zone in presence of such an attraction. Soul wants energy to flow as soon as it creates an hindrance on one side its opposite allows flow of energy thus attraction.

So you may ask what is a way out of it? I am not sure a certain steps will work with everyone because I said perceptions within matter a lot. I might go to a book stall and may be attracted to Self help section of books while you may be attracted to romantic fiction, different attractions. Just a few ideas to be shared.

1. Firstly change the language and make a conscious choice of language.
 If you are willing to deviate your attention then accept it as attraction and don’t mull over it too much or else if you really do not want the attention to be diverted use the word “Distraction”. This will remind the mind of your already existing attention to an older subject.

2. Feedback Elevate self or Reject object
Since only two things are responsible for Attraction and Distraction. Feeding right thoughts either about the subject or object is very important. Once you have acknowledged it is unwanted attention object you feed information that elevates your idea about yourself at a very high place or neglects the idea about object. For example if you are in a room and someone is banging the table continuously you know it is Distraction which means it is irritating and unwanted so you elevate yourself higher by stating that you are either enjoying the sound or by reminding yourself that you have much to do with the object you already have at your hand thus rejecting the diversion.
If you are into math’s and a sound is irritating you and you cannot stop it then either accept it as part of silence rhythm around you or remind yourself that math’s is more interesting than the sound.

3. Feedback Regular
If it is a regular distraction then to hold your attention remember that mind is like a child do not hold it too tight or do not rebuke it hard chances are that it will go against you. Also you cannot leave it on its own so a balance has to be achieved.
Slow and steady instructions work. Specific and systematic instructions hone your sharpness and attention. Like everyday add feed to your mind about your likeness towards an object you want to keep. This can be studies/relationship/work anything. Your will power + everyday feed back to the object will subconsciously hone your attention and in turn convert into a genuine attraction for you. Then you will realize you did not have to work too hard to holding your attention on it.
The trick is to increase a sense of will power by everyday 1 minute exercise + 1 minute every day. (+ means increase holding attention to object already at hand.)

4. Avoid going to Addiction level.
Do not wait for one day when deviations will go on its own. It never does. I have faced this already and I know it doesn’t go just by analyzing and knowledge. Do not let it go to the level of addiction and then expect it to revert back. If you are addicted to TV then it won’t go away just one fine day. You have to take some steps consciously for its removal, pushing too hard will fail and pushing too soft will not uproot it. So work steadily with steady pressure but do work on it.

5. Most important of all is your CHOICE and a REASON to move away.
You choose – your will power increases – you choose again in shorter times then longer times one attraction at a time. Keeping it simpler deals better with Distractions. Give your mind a solid reason of liking some else than liking this (addiction/distraction).
 For e.g. when people are in love they change their preferences because their mind finds a solid reason of liking X compared to Y. So we see dramatic changes in people who are in love. Just reverse choose to love yourself.

In short
You take a conscious step forward for Acceptance of Problem (Attraction/Distraction) --- then you decide if it is Willingly / Unwillingly --- then you choose to cut it off or keep it by your language (using right words of attraction or distraction) --- then you choose to feedback positive elevated thoughts about self or reject object --- then you choose feedback everyday by 1 minute exercise -– Choose repeatedly by providing valid reason.

As I say in all my posts these things are not a one day affair but if you are genuinely trying to work over an attraction and keep your mind stead fast on something then trust me in some time you’ll reap benefits. There is no one on earth who will say I have never had deviations or distractions but sane are those who are able to keep it in check and fold their mind according to their will. In my personal opinion I do not like telling my mind that it is like horses without control instead I keep repeating you are horses and you love to be in my company.  
So Aspire for greater targets and you shall achieve them. Impossible is nothing.

Adios :)
P.S -  I myself have worked these steps out and failed several times then again tried partly successful so I am sure this is working good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

" I " in Me

Sometimes I am hurt and scared
Then I get up to fight with my fate

It is un natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

What comes to me
That wants to save I in me

Unaware of my mighty side
How did I cross so many strides

It is un natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

I was scared of loosing
Then I realized I was only drowsing

I never met what I met with so much courage
Yet what I met was without any age

Unfettered , un-weathered what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

Stillness and shine
Love is all mine
That too without a single dime

It is un-natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

Sometimes there seems no way 
no roads no maps served on tray

Sometimes I feel almost lost
Then I get up to be my own host

With fractures of past
And loneliness of present
It pulls me out to the panorama of future

It is un natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

Solitude breaks the best bone in heart
But it never made me feel wreaked apart

Flack burnt me in fire
But it saved me from every dire

It is un-natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me

If I could once find I in me
I would stop and ask "What makes you love me"
But I know its answer it would be "I find my I in me"

It is un-natural what dawns into me
But I am sure it is I in me


Pardon me if it has grammatical errors it just came in a flow and so i wrote it. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Original Identity vs Choice -- Cultural Terrorism

If you have been following news it would not be difficult for you to understand what I am going to talk about now. “Cultural terrorism ” or “Literature terrorism ” or what ever terms people are coming up with recently has shown us of our limited tolerance towards others. It could be anybody in question we can talk about something and that might get into something in-tolerable for someone. How do you and us should view this ??

Every time we talk about tolerating , we do not know what we are tolerating and to what extend ?? This gives rise to a feeling inside us of being a victim and of being suppressed. If someone speaks against my religion and I tolerate it gives me a feeling of being suppressed, I feel threatened and in secure which in turn lets to hurt of sentiments and revolt and agitations.

But why does it happen all the time ? and more importantly why so frequently these days ? It is a question we should ask ourselves. Why do we feel so threatened and in secure all the time. What mechanism happens inside us that prompts us to think that we would be lost if we stay suppressed. Who is this “WE” which com???

I agree to the fact that some people might say all of this is not sentimental hurt , a large part of this is politically motivated. Of course I do not disagree with this, but we have to also agree that these political aspirations fuel the sentiments of those who are politically naive. They are driven by this threatened feeling and therefore we must look into this matter in a very different view and not just a law and order issue. After  all law and order works only after an incident is reported but before the incident happens a million thing happens in the mind of those who feel victimized.

One of the few things which are a part of human requirement in our daily life is “respect” and that means that people must accept me and my way of looking or doing things. But our understanding of respect is extremely crude which is why everyday we do innumerable number of things to satiate people and be accepted.

To be  “respected” I have identified myself with a few things in life which I believe are good/best for me. This I recognise as my “SELF IDENTITY”. My identity of who I am comes from my religion, caste, gender, profession, family, country,history and so many more. Each time I identify myself with any of them I identify myself with a set of beliefs and with a group who protect those beliefs. And every time another set of beliefs comes to question my group I feel violated. Threatened and in secure that if I do not stand up for my beliefs eventually I will have no Identity at all which would mean no respect.

Be it Kamal hassan movie, Salman Rushdie book, SRK article, Facebook 2 girls arrest , Assem trivedi’s arrest , MF Hussain or Ashish Nandy opposition or many more. Instead of viewing them just as a set of opposite views and using the platform to profound and en-deepen our knowledge of our own com , we chose to oppose them and scare them away. Because we are scared of losing identity or of being "Lost identity".

Every division that we have amongst us was supposed to simplify and group like minded people. Which eventually has becomes to scare opposite minded people. Every religion , caste , creed, profession etc was created to serve humanity. But we have forgotten what is humanity. Why ? Because we have forgotten a simple definition of “I”.

Being on the views side we must understand this issue as a psychological one, of a deep attachment to a set identity that is now or need and absence of it threatens our very life. This means in coming times we will have to see more of it as all of us have deep attachment to our very own identities. Say a word opposite to my religion, country, gender etc I'll be hurt and would react in an extremely emotional way.

If I can create an identity that does not depend on different groups of people, I will not feel threatened or suppressed if there are people with opposite point of view. Rather I with fruitful debates, will strengthen my beliefs not weaken them. Spirituality might be an answer to this. Who am I? What is my “Original Identity” .

In the womb of a mother , a child has no identity. Honestly no group can separate the purity and peace the unborn owns. Our faith is that purity and peace. Our religion should be to serve humans and not books of beliefs. We can be born in a country, we can follow a religion, belong to a certain ideology or proffession but they are not “I”. These are my mere choices I have made in life or been made because of my karma. Or even if view you see scientifically then see yourself as lump of flesh, blood and bones which group does that now belong to? Still simpler visualize bunch of atoms.

I wonder if the saints who have been path showers of our religions or our ideologies would have also reacted the same way as we do today. Sit silent for a minute and wonder do we really need to protect the ideology of such great men/women or in some cases we even try to protect “God”. Can we?? Their ideologies are such strong and profound that they have survived centuries. I believe if they would have been alive they would have initiated debate and discussions over their own beliefs rather than driving everyone away. Such should be the Faith and Trust on own ideas.

Spirituality teaches us to accept even our opposition “love our enemies”. To accept that opposite is as normal as my acceptance. Two forces of nature will always exists, one complementary of another. If we could see how we can mutually benefit from opposition. We would know if what we believe is our “Original Identity “ or merely our choice for living.

 Adios :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Art of managing negative emotions

Negative emotions by their name suggest that they negate something from our lives. Yes they negate our happiness and lightness. This means they disturb our natural being whose it was natural property to be happy and contented. Sometimes you are at the recieving end , sometimes at the creating side you do not understand what you are feeling or why you are feeling but you feel. A strong deep negative feeling engulfs your mind and within few second your peace of mind is shrouded with umpteen number of thoughts. After sometime when you decide to stop them you feel drained , exhausted and tired and to top it all you feel guilty of having them. You feel sinful of holding those ideas , cruel or brutual at times you do not understand why did i think of these things. This is probably the side effect of being good. Today i'll talk about this.

If this has happened with you then you'd easily identify. You feel the day is going good suddenly you see someone holding something you deeply desired for in the hands of a person who is perpetually the last person on earth to deserve what he has. It could be anything as simple as a cell phone , car , job etc or as complicated as love, family , kids etc. You suddenly feel cheated, cheated for all the goodness that you have and blind out within few seconds. To top it all everyone around seems to be very happy or cheering them or attending them, you seem to be asking yourself what is stopping me why am I not happy ? I am not in competition with him and I'll have something much better manyfolds better and yet you crave.

The craving pushes us further. You cannot lie to yourself and then series of thoughts overwhelm you with negative emotions. Not having what other has easily bring us to blame anyone or everyone who has been or has not been instrumental in me not having "it". A huge number of such emotions further makes it impossible for me to handle anything challenging that would come later during the day. The guilt of being jealous and sadness of not aquiring gets painful and heavy.

Negative emotions are extremely drainful no doubt. Sadness , hurt, jealousy, anger, greed, vengence,hatred, frustation etc. While irritation , frustation , sadness can be termed as less negative. Hatred , vengence , anger are higly negative. Jealousy and greed are fine and subtle they shift easily from appearing light initially and then towards graver negativism. But they can be efficiently be dealt with in case we pay a liitle attention to what goes on inside us than watching who does what outside.

I have for long experienced eactly these things and then tried to see what goes on and what comes to my mind. Not only did I create negative thoughts but also found myself feeling ashamed of holding such down thoughts. And then i realized such self criticism is only making things worse because it exhausted my will power to overcome the negative and pull out the positive. The extreme self expectation of being good teamed with criticism held me back in a loop. Till I decided enough is enough i need to see what's happening. From such situation i have developed some pointers in "Art of managing self negative emotions".

1. In my suggestion it is always good to take out a minute as soon as you feel something low. Do not shrug away ignore the feelings nor do you engage in feelings of self pity. Self pity is terrible worse than negative emotions because in case of negative emotions you still want to fight the unjust that has happened to you but when you self pity or agree it as "Kismat" you loose the last fort too.

2. Identify the feeling inside you , your exact need, the object or the attention , love and respect the other person gets and you do not. The object can serve as your need or actually no need too. For eg you can feel jealous for a high end cellphone it might not be a need but a greed. Jealousy and greed can easily turn themselves towards sadness or vengence depending on the character of the person holding it. Just learn to pin point your exact emotion.  Note it keep it at side for a second.

3. Repeat this statement "I make choices in my life I chose to be who I am today and I respect myself for this." This is essential to stop a blame game that runs faster than goose inside our heads. The whole life story pops up. This happed that is why that happened then next then next then list goes on and on till you have blamed every last person on earth for evrything in your life. Yes really that happens I have seen people blamed US President for their broken relationships people can really go that far. You don't know if someone on some corner of this earth might be actually blaming you for something you have never done. So blame never stops till you want to take responsibility of your life. So repeat the above line at least a few times to remember “ Every one makes choices and you chose something at some situation of yours because it was important to you.” This calms you and avoids you from emotinal drainage. (This is the main reason of internal distrust of many relations.)

4. Now that you have time, have identified your feeling and also not blaming anyone. The next step is to explain yourself that you are not guilty of holding a bad feeling.
Co-join your identified negative feeling with a positive one. For example someone does a tick tak around you and you feel irritation at its highest. Instead of saying “I hate this sound I hate this person he always irritates me” etc try to co-join “I love silence. Silence is easier to get when I am smiling. I am smiling because I am at peace.” Though it doesn’t sound meaningful initially but positive words if repeated a few times actually helps you connect to times when you created these feelings.
For example if you have ever seen a baby smiling and felt very happy just remember those tiny movements and that feeling , you created peace and love on seeing that baby. Now when you say this sentence the mind will automatically search for moments of “Smiling” “Silence” and “Peace” drives your mind to find those scenes and brings back those feelings exactly how you echoed. It helps you to see the picture more rationally than emotionally.
5. By this time your greed will be over and you would invariably be able to identify what you really need and can you given the fact that there are some compromises you would never want to make. Seeking an understanding that you are still feeling like smiling even without that object will remind you that the object/emotion is actually your greed not need.
Even if it really is your need then minus – the guilt you would have more sane mind to achieve it in due process rather than creating guilt or self pity.
Emotions cloud our mind and a single negative thought pulls us down and diminishes our ability to seek any requirement wether it is our need or not. Every feeling is actually a greater involvment of love. Love for others, love for objects or love for self we need to choose who and what is important to us. Once you learn managing your own negative feelings by bending them towards positive ones your winnability increases many folds.
I have experienced this several times and it is hard to do at first later comes very easily. You just learn to smile and walk away. On the path of being good it is easy to encounter things inside your own self which are not so good or rather grey but it is a process you learn to work on it if you are determined to be who you really are from within.
[I know i needed time but i had so many things on my mind to write. I couldn't stay away from sharing. Hoping to share more soon. My pain is better even if not gone yet feeling happy and light. :-) See you. ]

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