Irrational Irony, Inexplicable Indifference & Inevitable Idiosyncrasy : Ingredients of Life

You’re in a crowd, but you’re alone. You explain, but that just makes things harder to understand than they initially were. You speak, but you can’t be heard, or you’re not listened to. When you’re silent, everyone hears. When you’re down, no one wants to help you up, but when you’re up, everyone wants to drag you down. They tell you to hold on when you’re trying to let go. They tell you to let go when you’re trying to hold on. You’re dying while you’re living, and living while you’re dying.

Life is pervaded by the essence of irrational irony.

You talk to a person present in the flesh and you’re ignored. You talk to your “wall” on a social media platform and people who aren’t well-enough acquainted with you connect the dots of your untold emotions. You are forced to wear a smile that conceals the scars lest someone should see them and question your sanity or gloat over your probable insanity. You are forced to line your eyes with kohl to camouflage the deed all the midnight tears have done, because people seem to notice, but won’t seem to understand. You love someone, but your love to them is no more than the earth they trample underfoot.

Life is garnished with the oil of inexplicable indifference.

You are told by people that you will be understood, but ultimately, you end up being either not understood or misunderstood. You are told to stay put by someone who persistently tries to push you off balance when you’re like a feather amidst an air current. You choose your path and traverse it only to realize you’ve been treading the wrong way all this while. You gain something only to realize it won’t last forever, but you lose something and realize that it will be lost forever, like a drop in a boundless ocean.

Life is sprinkled with a dash of inevitable idiosyncrasy.

But life has to go on through it all, doesn’t it? And it does…

You know you’re not losing life’s battle, you’re just fighting your way up from the bottom.

Life is crowned with the indomitable spirit that surmounts the issues so insurmountable.

Advertisements

Battlefield of Emotions

Contrary emotions are like sworn nemeses in the medieval epoch. They find a place that can cater well to their need of habitation and they proceed to pretentiously coexist peacefully and convincingly, but as time goes by, their true intent to overtake the kingdom and overthrow the ruler is made manifest, and that is precisely how the war of emotions kicks off.

Hatred enters the battlefield armed with his weapon of poison, hurt with his arrows, indifference with his shield and insult with its club. Only love enters unarmed, sans even a single means of defense.

In course of combat, love is wounded mortally- struck, impaled and blown, temporarily weakened and incapacitated, but not enough to give up the fight. It allows itself to be victimized until the assailing foes themselves grow weary of the fight and retreat in defeat.

Love, though wounded, triumphs in sweet victory and basks in humble glory. It restores and rejuvenates itself and the Kingdom of the Heart that was subject to much attrition.

Love neither is a fighter nor a killer, but a conqueror. It is its own weapon- a weapon that eliminates what breaks and restores what has been broken.

A Drop of Strength in an Ocean of Weakness

I left myself wide open again and now I’m in a million pieces, but does that make a difference? After all, I wasn’t even whole to start with. Sometimes I feel I keep my heart in all the wrong places.

I spill all my contents to people and finally I’m left empty. I then run back to them to have them fill me again. I am then filled, but only with hurt the weight of lead.

In the face of all these emotional calamities, I have indeed lamented, cried and complained, but I have also learned that love and strength are tested and refined in situations as these.

I could never boast of strength if I hadn’t any weaknesses to overcome and I could not fortify my love had I not met with insult and coldness from the people that I held dear.

It does take something to bare your heart and mind to someone, but I did that anyway. Sometimes I was consoled, sometimes I returned more out of shape than I was to begin with.

Those moments I might have cursed, but to be honest, I was blessed with them, for in my weaknesses, I discovered my strengths, so I wouldn’t trade those happenings for anything under the sun. All those moments brought me closer to myself and to the people I cherish.

It’s like being the sole survivor of a tempest- battered and shattered, but still a survivor with a story worth telling.

If I didn’t know I was weak, I could never have known I was strong.

So, to everyone who has ever broken me, thank you. You taught me to repair myself and to give my love and my feelings a voice. So, feel satisfied for every stone you’ve hurled at me. Not one went in vain.

Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

We are prickly about disclosing to people how many years we have been living and breathing for, how much dough is doubled and stashed up in our wallets every month and what number the weighing scale shows us, but, are things like these really significant when there are issues about us out in the open that were better repressed within us?

Take for instance your fears and inhibitions, the reticent desires of your heart, the humiliation you were subject to and much more.

When someone asks you what’s on your mind, answer him with much caution- the way you would had he asked you how much is in your purse. No, I’m not suggesting giving him the cold-shoulder. I’m just recommending that you weigh on the scale of discernment what you tell him, how you tell him and how much.

Our complexities are not taken very kindly in this eon where understanding is as rare as freshwater and genuine care is scarcer than water in a desert. When our weak points are known and made manifest, then comes the opportune moment for the carnivore of exploitation to lunge for its unsuspecting prey that is not rendered dead, but is rather gravely injured at heart.

The problem is that in our moments of crisis, we are willing to pour out our hearts and minds to anyone who has ears to listen, regardless of whether their concern is genuine or as fake as artificial flowers. It’s something like waking up with a hangover after being punch-drunk and regretting in leisure everything said and done and being tremulous over the repercussions.

Hereinafter, be wary of wearing your heart on your sleeve. Guard your inmost thoughts like diamonds in the safe of your head and ensure that there’s only limited access. The door of one’s mind and heart are sometimes better kept shut than open.

Demolishing Human Dignity

“How can it be that a species capable of such wonder, such beauty and such love, can also be so easily enticed by hatred?” — Nev Schulman (Host of MTV’s “Catfish”)

The quote I embodied was part of an emotional response delivered by Nev Schulman, a Jewish personality, who was not very long ago, the target of a number of odious tweets. The focal point of the harassment? Religion.

And news recently surfaced about activist, Raif Badawi, being subjected to macabre lashings in full public view just because he expressed his views in writing that were considered dishonorable to religion by a certain party.

Something that persistently baffles me is this: why do knowledgeable, educated and intelligent people lack wisdom? Why does the populace demean the values of compassion and forgiveness that each and every religion stands for?

The doctrines of every religion speak of punishment and justice (that are in the hands of God), but underscore forgiveness. Love is the centre of gravity of every religion and every community that is striving towards a harmonious and an exemplary existence.

Intolerance, like a weed among the desired crop of acceptance, is not being rooted out, but is allowed to thrive with the desirable crop until it weakens, withers and wilts.

The Bible exhorts the faithful to treat our brethren “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

By publicly meting out a bestial penalty, insisting that the law of religion and country demand it be executed, what are we trying to imbibe in the minds of the seers, the hearers and the readers? That their freedom of speech and expression comes with a price? That a person can be convicted of a crime just because his thoughts in words were indigestible to some factions? That violence is the solution to establishing order?

The Qur’an urges thus, “The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah…” (Qur’an 42:40)

It is grievous error to state falsely that the will of God is being fulfilled, when in actuality, the selfish wants of people are being catered to in a most appalling manner.

We are now citizens of a world where the response to a mildly offensive deed is hatred. The misdeeds of an individual result in the entire community being pigeonholed.

Hinduism elucidates true bravery as such, “If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive. If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can return love for hatred.” (Krishna Dharma)

Modern approaches have greatly contorted the notion of bravery and heroism. Religion does not associate bravery with the act of holding up a rifle or combating a defenseless person. It does not characterize a hero by what he does to gain temporal favor, but rather by what he does to gain spiritual favor; not someone who can assert his dominance by overseeing brutality being executed by his subordinates.

“It is not in our power to explain either the tranquility of the wicked or the suffering of the righteous,” says Rabbi Yannai in Chapter 4, Mishna 19.

Songs have been sung, poems have been penned, books of great magnitude have been written with the sole view of acquiring global concord, but to little or no avail.

But, there is as much beauty in this world as there is ugliness. There are hearts that contain love capable of quenching the fire of hatred. We are all creatures with the craving to receive love and the capacity to give love. No matter the religion we profess, no matter the zone we hail from or the hue of our exterior, our hearts beat as one.

Says the Buddha, “He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”

Igniting the candle of hope against the currents of disillusionment, I sign off.

Stories Minus Words

“Everyone has a story, but not all are told with words.” — This 15 year old

Many-a-time, I have walked in crowds, bumped shoulders, met a few eyes and exchanged fewer words- with strangers. I’m not an analyst, but I have always been an observer of people. It’s funny how we think we know a thing or two about them before we even know their names.

Look at people and you see them as they are, but try looking closer and you’ll discover that there’s more to them than what meets the eye. Everyone likes to appear normal in the public eye, but beneath fine raiment, jewels that rival the stars, satin-smooth faces, million dollar smiles and the like, there is something that lies buried beneath the superficiality.

Have you ever stopped to consider that the prettiest girl you saw on the bus today might not feel the same way inside? Or the person with the most entrancing smile hides undisclosed sorrow beneath it?

Maybe the person who jocularly socializes with friends and aliens alike on the sidewalk is actually lost and lonely when she presses her head to the pillow each night. The so-called “nerd” who graces the library with his presence might wear thick glasses and an unkempt hairstyle not to fit into the pigeonhole, but to ward off companions for the fear of later desertion.

The man who frequents the local coffee shop, sipping from a much used plastic tumbler, might be branded as a pariah, but he is probably someone who ekes out a living for a meager wage just to relish the taste and the feel of hot coffee on his lips and taste buds.

The girl just around the corner wearing the stone studded bracelet on her wrist might not be ostentatious, but rather, someone who is trying to hide the indelible scar of a miserable existence.

A million faces with a million stories, each with their own settings, unexpected plot twists and moments on cloud nine. And maybe from now, I’ll try to see more than just the exterior shell because some stories are best told without words.

Doing Away with the Debris of Self-Loathing

Hatred is a potent emotion. It is horrible when you’ve reserved it for others and terrible when you’ve reserved it for yourself. I know those clauses are synonymous, but let’s focus on the latter half of that sentence.

Self-loathing.

It’s a disease with the same causative and curative factor. Interesting, huh? This blog post explores the reasons and the means to clear your system of the debris of spite for yourself. And let me tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: you can’t genuinely love another if you don’t love yourself.

Some of the reasons for self-loathing are:

  • Lack of self-knowledge

Knowledge and understanding are interdependent. They walk hand in hand. Misunderstandings amongst people arise on account of lack of knowledge of the other’s reasons and needs. When it comes to one’s own self, it is as vital as oxygen that one should carry out a thorough self-analysis in order to deepen the insight of his/her capabilities, drawbacks etc., and thus obtain a vivid image of one’s state of affairs.

  • Over-embellishing faults

Let’s face it, shall we? We’re all imperfectly perfect human beings who (as a matter of incontrovertible fact) learn much from success and much more from failure and mistakes. People sometimes see themselves mentally the way they would appear were they to look into a mirror with a busted glass. Faults don’t make you any less a human being. They should bring us closer to who we are as they show us what we need to repair in our lives. They should not be utilized as fuel for the fire of self-loathing.

  • Envy of others

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in all his perspicacity, stated, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”

People often view others as idyllic and as epitomes of perfection. They are so engrossed in the imprudence of admiration and imitation that they forget that their eyes are not x-ray machines. The meaning? They are not capable of seeing what’s beneath a pearly smile and dazzling attire. The amount of appreciation you have for yourself starts becoming inversely proportional to the amount of admiration you have for another.

Now that we’ve explored the territory of knotty reasons, let’s move on to the one with some solutions.

  • Enhance your fortes and eliminate your faults

You don’t need to be a Chemistry geek to know that in an atom, for every proton (positive charge), there is an electron (negative charge). The purpose of this configuration is stability. So, there cannot be a person who is wholly and solely full of endowments or who is constantly overflowing with errors. Assess your positive abilities and augment them. Address your slipups and alleviate them as progressively as possible.

  • Spend quality time with yourself

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts, you’re not a waste of your own time. A child who experiences emotional neglect by its parents undergoes an arduous stage following which, a conceptualization of the parents forms as people who are indifferent. Similarly, when you neglect yourself, it ought to summon the spirit of loneliness and emptiness. So, you can cultivate a healthy friendship with yourself and if this doesn’t sound zany, you could leave yourself a little love letter whenever you’re down in the dumps, because, who doesn’t like a little compliment/booster now and then?

  • Don’t overestimate or underestimate yourself

Painting a fake picture of yourself is as stupid as trying to cover a freshly healing lesion in the skin with a tattoo. Pose not as someone who knows all things or who can do all things impeccably. Similarly, do not debase yourself as someone who is fit to only stand in the shadow of another. Do not brim with overconfidence because it is one of your truest faux amis. Exude a mannerism that is natural and not ostentatious.

It’s quite apparent that you don’t need a sickle to weed out hatred for yourself and plant the seed of love. Water with attention and you’ll see love for yourself blossoming sooner than you think.