How to forgive? (or not!)

How to forgive? (or not!)

Hey peeps!

After new year’s eve, a video resurfaced where-in Pope Francis was greeting the crowd of pilgrims and children. The crowd looked excited, and everyone wanted to shake hands with THE POPE. Suddenly, a woman grabbed his hand. While he tried to move on, the lady pulled him back, and kept saying something. The ‘not-so-gentle’ pull annoyed Pope, and in frustration he slapped her hand and moved on (Video Link).

Do you expect something like this from a Pope? I know, I know, many of you would be surprised to know about Pope’s behavior because isn’t he the one who teaches the world about kindness, compassion?

And when it was time to practice what he preached, he contradicted his teaching!! Oh man!

However, I know there would be different set of people who would see pope as a ‘human being’, a person who in spite of his wisdom and teachings makes mistakes. And there comes real compassion (Pope later issued a public apology for the same).

“The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.”Louise Hay

Now, what if you aren’t like a pope (which you surely are not!), and don’t forgive (which includes forgiving ourselves too) easily? I see your hands raised up! And you can count me in too!

I don’t forgive easily. I love to hold grudges, and decorate it in my grudge cabinet. Like talk to me about my boss from previous company, and I would pick one grudge from my cabinet, and would tell you thousand reasons for why I still hate her.

There are many articles I have read which talks about how good it is to forgive, and move on. They say that it can pretty much offload too much of weight from your shoulders, and I whole-heartedly agree to this.

While I have been successful in forgiving many annoying events and people in my life, there are still many events which are stuck, like a lump in my throat, and doesn’t matter how much I try to spit it out, it’s still there! A little part of me does not want to forgive! Forgiveness feels impossible in many cases. Are we in the same boat, mate? Cheers!

Days ago I was listening to a podcast by Tara Brach, and she said that when we are consciously or unconsciously, not able to forgive, it means we are holding onto a thought, or trauma just so that we can unconsciously protect ourselves from experiencing that pain again.

It simply means that we are yet not ready! Our body knows better. Over years I have learnt that healing is not linear. It takes times to heal wounds, and it take seasons to lighten the scars.

Same goes with forgiveness. It needs patience and love. A little part of our body needs us, and our inner child wants to hear that, ‘It’s okay if you can’t forgive now. We will keep doing it, and someday we will be successful.’  And I have noticed that it releases some blocked energy. I mean, it really works, even if you are not that ‘into’ your body to notice it.This simple ritual says that it’s good if we do not judge ourselves.

You see I can say to myself, ‘All the spiritual talks you talk, books you read is bullshit. You haven’t learned anything if you can’t forgive! You definitely need a spiritual retreat once again!’

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ~ Marvin J. Ashton

Come On! It don’t need anything external to validate myself. A little love, and self-compassion is what I need. Therefore, here I am ‘Forgiving myself for not forgiving’.

Once I tried to dive deeper into finding the reason about ‘why can’t I forgive’, and I found an underlying fear that if I forgive, someone ‘else’ will do it again. It’s like creating an imaginary shield in my mind. But the truth is whether we forgive or not, it has nothing to do with other person’s behavior. People do what they want to do. They rarely think from other’s perspective, simply because they can’t.

We can not control how others see the world, but then we can define our boundaries.The fact is, we do have a choice, though we are not aware of it most of the times.

I mean I HAD a choice when my manager talked rudely to me, and the choice was to respond though calmly yet assertively, and it could have led me to the situation where I had one ‘less’ grudge in my grudge cabinet.

As soon as we decide that we won’t tolerate ‘something’, there comes the power, and a plan on how we can do it. (I am still defining my boundaries, so count me in here too, mate!). And I am learning this slowly.

Over the years, number of self-help books have taught me that ‘how a person behaves’ has nothing to do with ‘me’, it’s all about his past life, his piled up stories, his griefs and insecurities. While it still causes irritation to think that ‘why I am being treated badly for what he/she has experienced‘, it actually helps to calm down a little bit, and let go of the anger. (Pic on right: Just to fill the page. Lol).

It reminds me of one of my annoying managers in India. Every time he would shout at one of the team members, we would joke, ‘Aaaj fir biwi se lad kar aaya hoga.‘ (He sure would have fought with his wife today again.), and this would cheer our mood.

Final thought: Every action which is inspired by ‘Love for ourselves‘ is bound to heal us. And while we stress enough on giving love to others, showering the world with kindness and compassion, the first person who deserves our is ourselves. While we all strive to be perfect, just accepting ourselves as we are now, and at the same time working towards healing, is incredibly powerful.

I hope we all learn to have faith in ourselves, and our unimaginable healing power.

I hope we remember to ‘Forgive ourselves for not forgiving others’.

Love and big hug,

Ankita

Are you the one I love?

Are you the one I love?

Hey people,

Here are some relationship gossips for you, in case you are looking for some love, and excitement amidst this chaos. (And of course if you are unmarried. ;))

Today I will share my story of love. <3

Almost eight years ago, when I started looking for alliance, I registered myself on a Matrimonial website. It came as a shock to my relatives. My family (read relatives) went crazy when they heard that I did that. I mean who does that! At least no one in my close family, and extended family went ahead to search for a groom in virtual world!

But I was a rebel, you see!

When I registered myself there, they asked for certain details for the groom I wanted. It took me days to list down what I wanted in my future husband..Hmmm…let’s create an imaginary, perfect, customized piece for myself! And my mind started molding ‘man of my dreams!‘ And, here you go my heart!

He should be have this kind of education and occupation.

He should be funny and witty.

He should be this much tall, and earn this much.

He should be from this state, and should eat this, not this.

And the list continued.

Once you stop looking for what you want, you find what you need- Anonymous  

While my list kept adding on and on, so did my search. Almost 2 years passed and I was still searching for a groom for myself. The relatives started gossiping, and my parents started freaking out.

Looks like she is going to remain unmarried. I told her, it’s not easy to search for guys online.

Told you to get married to that guy Aunt suggested! He was from a decent family!

Every other day was there was war of words between me, and my parents. In between all this, I felt like sharing my frustration to one of my close friends who had married very recently. In particular, she was a bit private about her relationship, but I am thankful that she shared her experience. And her words came like the signal from universe! Her’s was a love marriage. And her story in her words:

I never wanted to get married. I had grown up seeing an abusive relationship between my parents. Therefore, I didn’t have any faith in this institution called ‘Marriage’.

My run away from personal issues was my dance class. Slowly, I started teaching there. There was always a safe distance between the me and the guys there. One reason was because they were my students, and second was because I didn’t want to get affectionate to any of the guys.

Remember! I had swore that I wouldn’t get hitched!

However, I noticed a guy who kept enrolling in my classes. He would stay late for more time with me. While I resisted his company in the beginning, very soon we bonded well. And the friendship turned into love very soon.

That former military man is ‘MY’ man now. It’s been five years we have been happily married.”

And she concluded her love story by suggesting me to ‘let go’ of parameters. At least I could loosen them!

I took this as a signal of the universe, and changed my search settings for guys. Now I was open to experiences, and was ready to meet different kind of guys. Very soon, I got request from a guy from Kolkata (India). We met at the airport.

Just thirty minutes of our conversation, and we knew that we would blend perfectly. And that’s how I met my ‘Man of dreams!’

I was looking for a guy from my state, or someone from north side, and my husband was from eastern India. We never matched until I removed certain words like ‘never‘, ‘must‘ from my dictionary.

Today, husband and I have been married for almost six years, and ignoring the ups and downs, our life is full of blessings, fun and laughter. I know I couldn’t get anyone better than him. He sometimes speaks Bengali. While I don’t understand what he speaks, I just laugh listening to him. And that’s how I know I really love him because I don’t care about his language, I can read his eyes!

I wish ‘Love and relationship’ would be an easy topic to discuss on.

I wish there would have been a set of parameters for creating a happy relationship.

I wish we could shop for a ‘perfect’ partner just as we shop for a ‘perfect’ toy.

But unfortunately, it’s not!

But the good news is that Love is not entirely unknowable!

Of course, we can’t reveal all the mysteries of a healthy relationship, but then wouldn’t it be a little less fun! Because there is nothing to improve from something ‘perfect‘, something ‘imperfect‘ and mysterious makes us strive for something better, and increase our chances of creating, a happier and fulfilling relationship.

It happens all the time. I mean, just look around! People wind up with someone who pushes them outside their box of preconceived notion. And they are happy! Unplanned path leads to beautiful destination, almost always! I am sure you have heard about the word, ‘Something clicked.’ It simply means you let go of yourself, and allow the universe to show it’s magic.

‘Never say NEVER’.

Go ahead and tell the universe that you are open to all the experiences, and love miracles. Keep looking with an open heart. You might meet a cat-loving, vegan, insane looking guy/girl who never travelled abroad. But you won’t mind.

You will be in love!

Love and more love to you…

Ankita

How to face your fear AND befriend courage :)

How to face your fear AND befriend courage :)

Hey peeps,

Months ago, I was walking in the trail when I saw a beautiful deer. I was amazed. It’s not normal to see deer, and here it was, an alert, beautiful piece of art standing in front of me. It made me so happy that I decided to stand there so that I could watch it more. Few more movements when it didn’t recognize that it was being watched, however just as it came into the consciousness of being watched, it ran!

Hey! Hey! I am not gonna harm you! I didn’t move either. i just wanted to watch you. Please don’t run!

Ha! I wish it had listened to me, and faced it’s fear. May be we could be good friends, and I could bring home made food for it for my next trail visit! You missed a great opportunity my DEER!

Well, we do behave pretty similar when it comes to facing the fear. We panic, and the heart signals the mind to run! While it’s easy to run from an enemy, it gets nearly impossible to run from ‘Fear of Unknown’.

Fear of next doctor’s appointment.

Fear of talking to stranger.

Fear of speaking up in a meeting.

Fear of asking for a hike.

And the list is long enough to fill our day with virtual uncertainties, and jittery feelings.  While fear has some important message to convey, fighting with the feeling makes us skip the learning, and we get stuck fighting our inner demons. Here are some of MY go-to-methods. I hope it helps you too:

  • Invite them to tea: There are times things go out of control. You want to speak to someone, but you can’t. It’s something personal. An uncomfortable feeling runs in your body, and you want to run. It happens with me every time I have a doctor’s appointment. I don’t want share it with my husband as I feel like he is telling me same thing every month, and I still don’t get it. Lol. Anyone who lives with Cancer can tell you that how overcoming fear can be an ever-evolving process. I get up, I fall again, and the cycle continues. However, something I do many times is to ‘invite my fear to a tea party‘ where we chillax, and talk to each other about our needs. A warm cup of tea in my hand, and I sit in silence trying to sip in the fear, and ask myself, ‘What is something which is making me afraid?’ As we talk, ‘Fear‘ relaxes, loosen up, and so do I. It helps! At least till the time, it doesn’t knock me again!
  • Talk to friends/family: When ‘YOU’ can’t be your best friend, look for support. It Give your fear a voice. Call someone. Speak up. It’s perfectly fine if you want to cry. Cry your heart out. Feel the ‘feeling‘ again, and vent out every insecurity which is making your mind a battleground. Most of the times the other person would push you harder to make you climb the wall of courage however, even if doesn’t happen, you will see the walls of your fear falling down. You can see the other side, which is not that scary, I promise! (And in case you have no one to talk to, send me an email. I can be your ‘Fear buddy’.)
  • Meditate/Pray: Trust the divine, when you can’t trust yourself. In the last 3 years of my Cancer journey, there are days I have lost hope, I have cried infinitely, I wanted to jump from building, but I survived, and I am still standing strong. Something which helps me when nothing else does, is to remember the divine. I remember once I read in a book by ‘Wayne Dyer’ that he pulls an imaginary rope, and holds it whenever he feel down. The idea clicked me. While I cry, I just try to hold my cloth, or a bed sheet part, or anything and imagine that it’s God’s finger. Trust me, it works. It makes me calm. Somehow my inner child knows that she is being protected, and she is relaxed. There are many days when the only way I could sleep is by holding the pillow cover.
  • Fake it till you make it: Alfred Adler developed this therapeutic practice in 1920 where he asked to ‘fake‘ the feeling, till you get used to it. While there are times you just want to surrender to fear, ‘try’ putting a courageous face once. Every time I visit Cancer hospital, my inner child cries like anything. I want to run, scream, and do whatever could be done to avoid the visit. But, alas! I can’t. And therefore, I try to put a courageous face. I smile a lot. I talk a lot. To every receptionist, every nurse, every volunteer.

  Hey! I din’t feel any pinching while you took out blood. You know your job so well! Thank you!

  I like your watch. Where did you get this from?

  Hey Nicole, what’s the plan for Halloween? I am sure your son would be pretty excited.

Funny enough, now I know many staff from the hospital. Sometimes even when we don’t interact, I get a warm ‘I KNOW YOU‘ smile. No, No! I am not a courageous person, even though I am practicing this for last 3 years, but I surely have made some difference in my thought process, and in the lives of many people.

How do you get yourself to a point of believing? Start make-believing. Be like a child, and make-believe. Act as if you have it already. As you make-believe, you will begin to believe you have received.Rhona Byrne

  • Visualize: Have you tried visualization? It works! I remember when i had to teach Yoga in my building, I was scared like anything, I had never faced and talked to 10-15 people together, and then I thought of trying to visualize. And I swear, the actual experience turned out to be better! There are times you are afraid of a meeting, presentation, or you have a meeting with your manager. You want to give your best! Try visualization. Sit for 5-7 minutes. Imagine the scenario. How are you dressed, what are you talking about. Imagine yourself being confident, and talking about your points in a clear and concise way. And at the end imagine that the other person is happy with the conversation, and you too are proud of how you handled the situation. Try doing to as many times as you can. May be before going to bed, or just rising from bed. Tell me how it goes. 🙂 I can assure you that it’s gonna help you!
  •  Move your ass: This is nothing new I am gonna talk about. ‘Move you body’ buddy. Exercise releases hormones which makes your body relax. It helps clear the fog of your mind, so that you can see a clear path ahead, and know which way to proceed. Doesn’t matter if it is as simple as skipping, running or 15 minutes of Yoga. It will help you snap out to fear feedback loop.

Being afraid doesn’t make you inadequate. And I have never met anyone who is not afraid of ‘nothing‘. But everyone finds his/her way of dealing it. I see thousand faces of fear every month when I visit Hospital. Some look scared, while some hide it behind their face, some will accompany it to the prayer room, while some decide to cry.  And trust me, every form is beautiful in it’s own ways.

Fear is one of biggest enemy one can have! It’s lying there in a dormant state. Always! When triggered, it comes in various shapes, size, people, events, and experiences. But if you see clearly, it is trying to make you a better person. Either you face or surrender to it, both ways the universe is teaching you the best of it’s lessons, ‘Face it, even if you hate it or Let go of what you can’t control.’

Universe always gives you more than you would have asked for. If not a gift, may be a lesson, which is going to help you. Always!

What do YOU do to befriend your fear? Share in comments 🙂

May you face your fears, and spread courage, and positivity,

Ankita

 

Love is the way I walk in Gratitude!

Love is the way I walk in Gratitude!

Hello people,

In between all the chaos we are facing these days, I got a call from my oncologist couple of days ago.

It was Sunday morning, and I was watching TV and resting amidst this Corona outburst. The call alarmed me. I never get calls directly from the doctor. He is quiet senior doctor in Princess Margaret Hospital, and in the last three years of interaction with him, he never called me. I was always entertained by the nurse on calls or emails. Therefore, my monkey mind got super anxious as soon as I saw his name flashing on my mobile. I panicked and went running  to my husband.

‘Hey Listen! Dr. Lui is calling!’

‘Okay! Pick up the call.’

I received the call with a heavy heart, and fearful mind.
And here he was calling me to ask if I was doing well, if I am on self-isolation mode. He sounded worried, for me, and for the patients like me. According to him currently the virus is more serious threat than Cancer itself. Therefore, just to keep me safe and isolated, he would move my appointment to a further date.

What a relief! Phew!

In between our conversation he was typing something when I asked, ‘Are you in the hospital?’

‘Yes. We have to keep you guys safe’.

Somehow it clicked. My heart filled with so much of gratitude for my doctor. While many of us were staying at home considering these days as public holidays, the hospital staff was working day and night just so that they could keep people like us shielded!

Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.Rhonda Byrne

I remember when I was kid, it was part of my early training that I should say ‘Thank you‘ even when I didn’t mean it or understand the reason for this gesture. And somehow in this forceful practice, the word lost it’s meaning. It became an automatic response to any situation that benefited me. I hardly even took time to realize many other hidden blessings that specific situation was carrying.

Just as ‘How are you‘ came naturally, so was ‘Thank you’.

 While I kept taking things for granted though with few visible changes after my Cancer diagnosis,  something which affected me deeply was my inability to move just because of my new treatment (last October). I would keep lying down in bed, and would keep waiting for those ‘good’ days when I could move even a little bit, may be to a park nearby at least! And that day would be my ‘day out’ event. Thankfully, just after I returned from my meditation retreat, the 10 days break and healing gave me enough energy to look forward to my life. To move my ass!

All thanks to the teaching and practice! (And I really mean it!)

Human perception is very powerful. It is limited, and it narrows down our vision. Our brain gets conditioned to see the ‘bad’, it blurs everything. You miss seeing that beautiful painting just because you are focusing on the walls which are rusty! Here is an interesting thing though. I have been doing many things unconsciously which I feel have helped me to feel grateful. See it this helps you!

  • Appreciate people if nothing else: I remember my every walk in Cancer Hospital because I am scared like anything. Even if it is a normal blood work, as soon as my legs climb the stairs, the mind starts pushing it in another direction. My inner child screams, ‘I don’t want to go there!‘ and the heart cries. In those moments of fear, I put my courageous face forcefully, and give compliments to unknown people. Like while filling the form at registration desk I try to compliment the receptionist for her earrings, bracelets or whatever I feel like. I have taken extra efforts by buying coffee for them, or asking them if they need anything to eat. The smile which follows gives me a rush of appreciation for myself. I thank the universe for I became the source of someone’s joy. (Not me, not me on left!)

 

 

  • Can you see the polar opposite of what you see?: While it’s tough to be thankful for every little thing like walking, breathing, I have observed that something which helps me to be thankful is to see the polar opposite of things.
    1. Like I feel grateful that even though I am undergoing Cancer treatment, I did not go through traditional chemo, and I am on chemo pills. I am thankful to be medical team, and the recent research in medical science which helped me to experience easy treatment, and live more energetically.
    2. I am grateful that I live in country which has wonderful medical system, as my medicines are very costly, and I could never afford that in my life.
    3. I feel thankful to my husband who supported me in all this chaos especially when I see those people dealing with this shit alone while managing their household chores too.
  • Going back to the memory lane: There are days I don’t feel grateful for anything. I feel like my life is sinking, and I do not see anything to look forward to. In those moments of despire, I try to relive all those moments when I WAS happy.  I recreate those scenes, and try to feel everything again. And it makes me feel good! If not for the present moment, for the past at least! (Throwback to 2016 when we went to see fall colors! Yes, its me!)
  • Sitting outside: There are many dreadful days when I can’t walk much. I love walking in the park, or in the trail but many days my condition does not permit to do so. For those days, sitting in the balcony helps. A gentle breeze of air touching my body makes me feel like the nature is asking me to calm down. Even if there isn’t anything special going on in my life, the air makes me feel special by holding me up in those tough days!

 

In Indian culture, there is a concept of praying with beads. I remember, my aunt would sit in the home temple and would count 108 beads, while remembering God or divinity. While she used it to make sure that her counting is correct, I have these mental beds which I don’t use daily but every other day when I feel low, when I feel there is nothing to look forward to, and when I miss the charm in my life.

 

In the current moment of chaos, and confusion, I have so many beads to count…beads representing my friends who give me company, beads for I have my family healthy and stable during this outbreak, beads for I have such an amazing support from my oncologist and hospital, beads representing the people who are supplying us with food plus other necessities, and much more!

What does you beads represent?

May we all be safe, and sound during this testing times…

Love and peace always,

Ankita

 

Secret of Cultivating a Happier Life

Secret of Cultivating a Happier Life

Hiya people,

Couple of days ago, I was returning from somewhere when I saw a group of kids getting in the subway same as mine. We all got down at the same station, and went ahead to take a different train to our next route. It was pure love to walk behind them, listening to their giggles, and cute one liner stories.

As we took the stairs for different train, we saw our train on the platform. In hope of catching it before the door closes, the kids ran, and so did I with them. We were just 10-12 feet away from the train when the door closed. I was Okay. ‘Will catch the next train’:  With this thought in mind, I turned towards the kids who together had shouted, ‘Oh No!!’

The enthusiasm of achieving something was missed by few seconds. And there was sadness.  Looks like the driver of the train heard their sad voice. As the kids started scattering with their shoulders down, the door suddenly opened again. And you see !! They ran to get in while I accompanied them. Just as we entered the train, the big ‘Oh No!’ got replaced by a big ‘Yaay’, and I could see each one of them giving hi-five to another little man.

For a moment I felt like I was in my childhood again, having big joy in those little things. As I write this, I listen to the giggling of a four year neighbor’s boy who has just returned from school, and is trying to be first in race with his Dad! Ah! What joy it is to listen to this! I was similar to them, I was a kid too. And I would find joy in everyday’s chore.

Walking in rain was fun, seeing butterflies was magical, counting stars was an achievement, and feeding the birds was life!

But then I grew up! Happiness was now reserved for just those days when I would achieve some milestone. More than ‘Feeling Happy’ every moment I was spent ‘In pursuit of Happiness’.

‘What if I take this vacation? ‘

‘How about buying this stuff? ‘

‘Let’s get this promotion and it would be so wonderful!’

You see, there were many external factors I would think would give me a push, a joy missing from my life. But these external factors failed to provide the joy they had promised. As soon as I achieved them, I found a new goal and felt into the trap again.There was something wrong with this way! But the ultimate destination of this whole life is to be happy, right?

“Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne  

For days, I tried to find out ways to get my childhood back, to get excited in little things, to think how to make my days better, and love my imperfect life perfectly. And here a little experiment I am doing.

My routine in monotonous. While writing journal, I now take few moments to think about what is something different I would do tomorrow besides the monotonous activity I do every day. While my everyday routine remains the same, I try to add a little change in same life.

 

  • How about going to that shop which is on my way to Yoga class? Or visiting that church which is at a little distance from my home, but I hardly cared to go there.
  • What if today I do a little experiment while cooking the same lentil soup? How about using a Quinoa bread instead of Whole grain bread in dinner?
  • Let’s make my Yoga teacher smile today by telling her how happy I am to get her as my guide.
  • How about calling my brother today, and remembering all the childhood memories together.
  • Let’s take out some moment and watch my marriage video together with husband.
  • I also try to honor my Saturdays now, and try to spend it with husband and friends. I take time to do things I love to do, may be watching an old movie!

Doing all this, I make sure that to write those feelings in my journal everyday i.e How I felt experiencing it.

Here is what I observed after following this for days: Happiness is not something we can pursue. It can not be found by external ways,  we have to create it. You see, I was creating those moments during the day and savoring them while writing them in my diary in evening.

Happiness was there, in those little moments! It is also available right now, in this moment. Though I can’t be happier the way a kid can be, I am happy to see the colors of my life unfolding in front of me. And I am glad that I am not waiting for ‘something to happen’ to make me happy. I am rather creating it, in those little things, in my every day. 

Though my life is not perfect, today is the perfect time to be happy.

What are your ways to find happiness in everyday’s life? Share it in comments, may be it can help me! 🙂

Peace and alignment,

Ankita

 

How to judge less and accept more..

How to judge less and accept more..

Hey people!

Sometimes small incidents leave a lasting impression in our hearts.

So, it happened today while I was returning from an appointment. On Subway, I was busy reading a book while everyone around was occupied in the little world they had created. I did not even notice that there were two police officers standing next to me. Suddenly, a man on wheelchair moved ahead. What caught my attention was the voice of police officer asking that man to stop moving.

‘Sir, please don’t go forward. Subway is moving. You might get hurt.’

 

Now, everyone nearby looked upwards to see what was going on (including me). The man paused, both of them conversed for a while, and he started moving ahead again. The police man walked behind him, Sir, the wheels on your chair may get stuck if the train stops abruptly. It can also hurt someone. Please stop.’

The man ignored him and kept moving ahead. Everyone’s eye was on them now. He moved ahead a bit, and shouted at the officer, ‘Is this place good for me to stop man?’ The officer looked irritated. Train had reached it’s destination. Most of the eyes were still on the man while they were getting out of train. The man shouted, ‘What is there to look at me? Come and sit on my chair you fu###ng bast##d.‘ He kept shouting and the reaction of people around changed from pity to disgusting.

 

The greatest gift you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. ~Brian Tracy  

Both of us stepped in the same lift. I did not want to get in because of him, but somehow I entered. Surprisingly, he appeared calm now. He looked friendly and allowed others to get off before him.  As I walked out of lift, a forgotten incident from my childhood flashed in my memory. I would be six-seven years old. Somehow, I managed to get lipstick of my Mom, and secretly applied it before going to a play date. Once I reached there, everyone started looking at me with a weird smile on their faces.

Though I do not remember those eyes, my friend’s Mom’s voice still echoes in my ears. ‘Shanu, did you notice her lipstick?’

And they laughed together. I bit my lips, eat the whole lipstick and washed my face zillion times. Those impressions of shame, discomfort are still there in my heart somewhere. Like even now, it makes me feel bad. Some incidents leave everlasting impression. I just wonder, if that small moment of discomfort and unwanted attention made me feel so bad about myself, what about that guy?

 

He handles unwanted attention every single day. Just because he is different, he is the star of the show everywhere. But, that attraction is not to appreciate him. Our one look and it fills his heart with rejection, sorrow, and sadness. More than the mirror, it’s our eyes who reminds him of his in-capabilities.

 ‘We should not judge people’– I grew up listening to this. 

Still, the man’s behavior in the train irked me. I kinda judged him for being disrespectful, and annoying. By making him wrong for who he was, I gave myself a temporary boost- a feeling that I am better person. But was I really being a good person? Not sure if this happens to you, but a good way to get over it is to read the story behind those faces. Following are the things which might help:-
  • The only person who knows the absolute truth about you is you, and the same applies to other person too. Before you judge, know that you are not ‘them’.
  •  Compassion sets you free. Everyone deserves kindness, and it includes you too.
  •  Taking judgement breaks helps. As soon as there is a desire to judge, it’s good to think nothing or force the mind to think differently. Take a pause, three deep breath , and see again. It may be hard initially, but practice makes you perfect!
  • Be conscious, are you stereotyping? Most of the times, we judge people based on age, caste, region, and religion. Something which can help us is to remind ourselves that we all are different and unique.
  • Learn about others. If you are judgmental about a certain set of people, may be you need to know their background, their history. A little more knowledge helps to know what created those beliefs system. It also helps to be a little more kind.

Human beings are walking libraries, and each one of us is fighting a battle. Those battles break us into pieces and make our hearts scream in pain. Yet we get up, put a big, bright smile on our faces, and get ready to face the world again. Shouldn’t it be enough to be a little more compassionate today?

Xoxo,

Ankita