I wrote this blog title days ago. I had a concept in mind but I didn’t pen it down that time. However now when I’m writing this article that concept stands irrelevant.
Life makes complete sense when we are honest with our thoughts and intentions and instead of looking (pointing) outside, we start focussing on what exists within.
Today as I turn 31, where it appears that one has experienced a lot in life and has reached a level of maturity and understanding, in reality I feel this is just the beginning.
Until my father was alive, I always got what I want. Not materialistically. Our family was infected with poverty. There were days we didn’t have food to eat and slept by drinking rice water. Anyways, leaving that aside, when I say I always got what I want, I always got the love, affection and attention I needed from my father. He was a strong man with a stern face. He was so to my siblings but when it was about me his heart always melted. Because of him I had the chance to learn harmonium, kathak, travel out of state to attend Children’s dance festival. Upon discovering my gift for writing I even competed for the National level Balashree award. I got to travel to Delhi for that, something that none of my other siblings had done by then. Even though we lacked financial support, I received moral support in abundance from him.
My father was the man I would look up to. He would always give me the positive push to do my best. After he passed away, it was poverty who pushed all of us the hard way to do better in life. After he was gone, I had a loss of identity and value for myself. I didn’t realise it then but it struck me real hard now.
It feels as if I had 2 parts to my life until this point of awareness. Before Pappa and After Pappa.
Before Pappa is the phase where I received Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Appreciation in plenty. After Pappa was the phase I was generously pouring out and desperately looking for it on the outside.
Until the point of awareness.
Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Appreciation: these 3 A’s had a different meaning before. I believed I should accept people the way they are, with all their flaws, their yins and yangs. I should acknowledge their actions and good will. I should be appreciative for the efforts that they put in. AND I expected this same attitude of mine to be reciprocated. I wanted others to accept me the way I’m. Acknowledge my work, my actions, my feelings, my advice. I seeked appreciation for the love, compassion and empathy that I would give out in plenty. (P.S. My First love language is Words of Affirmations.)
While accepting this to be the way of my life, I somewhere lost myself. I lost myself because I set a bar of irrational expectations from the world. I lost myself in the process of giving when I failed to realise that what I give isn’t what they want or like. I lost myself when I failed to realise that life isn’t fair. I lost it all the more when I stopped giving the 3 A’s to myself. I didn’t accept my imperfect self, didn’t acknowledge the small daily efforts that I put in even when the days weren’t the best, didn’t applaud and appreciate myself for the small daily victories.
Yes, life isn’t fair. You cannot sit there with your cards, call no bluffs and expect life to treat you the same way. Life WILL call bluffs on you. Life WILL toss you around, make you fall on your face, taste the dust. The truths you believed in to be true may not be true. I even realised that I was speaking truths which were in fact the grey lies.
I kept protesting, with my placard “I don’t deserve this” written in bold. I should have rather focussed on what I deserve and work on providing that to myself.
In the quest I forgot to acknowledge my ordinary courage. Courage on the days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, when I didn’t feel like working, didn’t feel like cooking, didn’t feel like stepping out of the house, but I still did. Acknowledging my courage in the moments of breakdowns, my courage to speak even with the shaky voice, my courage when I stood up for myself and what I believed in.
I reserved my appreciation for the Big Deal achievements and ignored the small victories that I had. Trying not just to survive but thrive in a culturally different world that doesn’t speak my language is a mighty quest and I postponed my celebration for that one day when everything will be perfect. And in this process I lacked to appreciate myself for the small progress that I made each day. I deserved love, appreciation and a soft pat on the back from me rather than anyone else. And I didn’t do it. I kept my eyes on that horizon and overlooked the journey towards the horizon (P.S. Horizon is a myth. Life keeps expanding as you walk and the so called Horizon keeps moving ahead)
I had this moment(s) of awareness, but what did I do after that? I beat myself up so much for being so ignorant and making this mistake. I can be a real critic even to myself if you think I’m only critical to others 😉 But that was it, after all that I did cradle myself. It was the Universe who sent me the message through Brené Brown just on time.
“Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” ― Brené Brown
That was my share of mistakes (until now you know). Nevertheless, some lessons have to be learned by creating your own mistakes. And I promise myself to move on with the lessons learnt and make this life more worthwhile from here on.
So, here I’m calling shots on this day, 6th of July 2020. Accepting myself with all my flaws and the mistakes that I did (and the mistakes that I will do), because without it I wouldn’t have been where I’m today. Without those grave mistakes I wouldn’t have fallen into the deep well, the way to come out of it was only inwards.
3 Cheers and a BIG 31st HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. Big shoutout to all the people who touched my life and shaped me into what I’m today. It wouldn’t have been possible without you.Thank you and showers of love and grace on you all!