Archive | August 2014

A love that’s deep within spreads all around!

The relationship that I have with myself seems to be the mother of all relationships. It not only determines my happiness factor, but  also determines the quality of relationships that I have with those around me.

 Be it in Psychology, NLP or scriptures, we’ve often heard that what we see in others is true of ourselves, somehow, somewhere! Similarly, what we see in our relationships with others is often an extension of the relationship that we have with ourselves. At times, it may so happen that one has a very good relationship with someone outside of them even though they may not have that great a relationship with themselves. However, the deal with that is, their happiness may be dependent on the success of that relationship. God forbid, if something goes wrong in that relationship, their happiness bubble might burst instantly. It is like – you owning your television but giving the remote in the hands of your neighbour. Whereas, when you establish a relationship with yourself, you’d find it easier to extend that harmonious relationship with others and also, be able to maintain your internal state. Essentially, this is like owning your television and the remote too. When you go inward to develop a relationship with yourself, you get comfortable in your own skin and approach other relationships with ease and confidence. And it is this confidence in yourself that wins you the confidence of others too!

 The question is “how do we establish this relationship with self?” One of the key ingredients to any relationship is communication. And it is not any different for this one too. Do you talk and listen to yourself? You may find it amusing if you aren’t conscious of these conversations with yourself but I think we all do talk to ourselves in different places, different times and in different ways. The tone, quality and extent of these conversations may differ and these determine the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself. For example, if your body is signalling sleep, thirst, hunger, fullness or any other feeling or emotion – do you acknowledge it? Is the tone in which you speak to yourself, kind, loving and patient? Do you talk to yourself in a way that empowers you and uplifts your spirits? What do you say to yourself often and how do you say it? There could be deep revelations when we explore some of these aspects.

To begin with, what do you do when you come across someone you know? You acknowledge their presence, maintain eye contact and greet them with a smile. Why should it be any different when you wake up each morning and look at yourself in the mirror? You are your most familiar face. Acknowledging and greeting yourself pleasantly each morning is a wonderful way to start the day. Eye contact with yourself is as important as it is with others. It all begins with the eyes and goes within.

 For building any relationship, we need time and communication. And this is surely a worthwhile investment. Continue to talk, continue spending time – to build that single greatest and deepest relationship with yourself as that is going to last you till the very end of your time. An enriched relationship with self , enhances the quality of relationships with others too. So, happy journey! 🙂

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Blissful ignorance!

It was in the news that Robin Williams, one of the finest actors and comedians (and someone whom I deeply admired), passed away. He had committed suicide. They say that he had been battling depression for a long time. May his soul rest in peace!

The next article was about depression and how to identify it. The common symptoms that they had listed were loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities, irritability, agitation or restlessness, lower sex drive, decreased concentration, insomnia or excessive sleeping and fatigue and lethargy. As soon as I read these, I laughed as I could almost identify with most of the ‘symptoms’ listed.  Although I was not feeling sad or depressed, the information about what these symptoms meant, concerned me. For a layman who has access to excessive information but limited knowledge about how to diagnose a disease, these symptoms are pretty plain and easy for him to imagine that he has a particular disease. The imagination then manifests into reality (as the mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real).

This led me to wonder if we actually suffer from diseases more because we know that such a disease exists…or because we truly have them. Contracting a disease could be more psychosomatic these days than ever – all thanks to me psyching myself out based on random information that is available on internet. On one hand we have great books like “Secret” and “Power of your subconscious mind” which talk about all the wonderful things we can get for ourselves by thinking and imagining in our favour. On the other hand, the flipside of it could be just as true. If I am filling my head with fancy information of all possible illnesses or irrelevant information in the world, I am more likely to be bothered by those. For example, doctor had prescribed a medication for viral infection. I went and read about the side effects of the drug. It listed dizziness and palpitations. Soon enough, I was en-route to my imagination.

Internet is a great source of information. However, we may not need all of it. Is the information that I browse for enabling me or disabling me? Doctors are struggling to maintain the sanity of their patients. Recently a friend was talking about how he and his pregnant wife were paranoid that their baby was not kicking in the 7th month – as mentioned in the internet. Worried, they went to their doctor and the doctor asked them to stop reading into all of these excessively. He told them that everything was normal and there was no cause to worry.

Research also says that social networking sites are causing more depression as people see photos of others better off than them in some way and start feeling inadequate by themselves.

The pleasure of being in the “not-knowing states” and exploring life as it comes is killed sometimes by opening the flood gates of information. That’s where some amount of ignorance is bliss because it leaves you with something to explore and experience. It’s like swimming in knowledge versus drowning in information. One may explore the internet. However, instead of getting tired with all of the information, if I am charged up and armed appropriately with what I need, that may help me experience life fully.

Fear’s Face-Off

Troubled by troubles? Pause and breathe! For troubles don’t seem to have a mind of their own – they seem to only be interested in knowing whether you’d put up a brave fight or not. If you do, they accept defeat and move away sooner than later.

Here’s a true story – At 39, when this man was diagnosed with acute renal failure, it looked like the world was collapsing on him. He had always been hardworking, with a positive outlook towards life and a healthy lifestyle. This came as a shock. He was initially worried about his wife who was a home-maker and his two little daughters who were 9 and 10. Giving up was not an option. He said to himself, ‘Live I must for my wife and kids. Bring it on!’ Both he and his wife stood firm. Nothing could deter them. They were certain that together they shall see this through. And they did. NothinN dadg was easy. Being in and out of hospitals for the last twenty years was physically, mentally and financially draining. But they continued with a smile on their face. Each time, he had a set-back, he bounced back stronger, proving the doctors wrong. Doctors call it a miracle and the sheer magic of will-power. He continued working like any other normal person for 18 years after the transplant and retired at the age of 58 as the Head of Sales and Marketing in a reputed firm. He was known as a go-getter in his organization and could drive for results that far exceeded their expectations and goals. This couple is an inspiration to many for their strength, determination and ability to laugh during tough times. I am proud to say I am their daughter. I never had to look too far for inspiration or strength.

Likewise, I received some great news today that one of the other brave souls I know, who had been fighting cancer for more than a year, has finally defeated the disease. I salute all those who choose to fight and never give up. They say it is not about the end result, it’s about putting up a brave fight. You will be proud and happy with yourself because you stood firm till the very end. Nothing can kill your spirit unless you give in. And the spirit is what matters. We all know, ‘Fortune favors the brave’.

The only way that a trouble/fear can ever win is if you choose to accept defeat. It does not have a personality of its own that will help it to win. But you do! And you have help in different forms all around you. Seek and you shall find!

In our daily lives, are we ready to face the challenges, our fears, our phobias – fear of future, fear of unknown, fear of failing, fear of pursuing our dream, fear of speaking etc? Can we live fearlessly? Like other emotions, fear is also momentary. Conquer that one moment; take a step towards it and it will start fading. Go ahead – face your fear, and fear will lose its face!