Much More Than Just Handwriting

They say that one’s handwriting is a defining element of one’s character, and if there’s someone who believes that, it’s got to be me.

I was looking for my own signature style, something so distinguishable that it would give away my identity at first glance, and I finally developed it- thin and pointy like the canines of a vampire with the slash on the ‘t’ extending from a point to infinity. Looking at my handwriting is like looking at a cardiograph or a lightning bolt.

You might wonder for what I’m blogging about something like my handwriting. Well, in case the opening sentence slipped your mind, I suggest you read it once more.

People have paid my handwriting numerous compliments and criticisms such as:

  • “It’s so unique. I can tell it’s yours anywhere.”
  • “It’s neat, but I can’t understand it.”
  • “If you write like this, people won’t have the patience to decipher what’s written.”
  • “No one’s going to understand it, so you’d better change it.”

It hit me like a brick to the head one day that my handwriting and my character coincided in more ways than just one. For instance, my quirks and my personality earned me the title of “one of a kind” among my peers and instructresses; my eccentricities and mannerisms are sometimes unfathomable to third persons, just like my handwriting, but I was liked and appreciated all the same.

I’ve decided to never change either my handwriting or my character because though there are people who want me to change it simply because they don’t understand it, there will come along some brilliant few who will care to understand it, be what it may, just because it’s mine and I’m me.

(And yes, that is indeed my handwriting in the image.)

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Remedies for Healing a Hurt Heart

There is that one feeling that cuts deeper than a razor-sharp scalpel- hurt. Hurt is a consequence of love- love that you gave but never received in the way you hoped to. There are ways of coping with the pain inflicted by love. These are my self-discovered therapeutic remedies to refrain from imploding or exploding, or in extreme cases, both…

  • Let your mouth speak for your heart

If talking to someone aids you to express your love, it will also serve you well to express your hurt. No matter how deranged this may sound, talking to yourself or an inanimate object is also remedial. But if you’re bent on speaking to a mortal in the flesh, select that person with as much care and caution you would reinforce while selecting your wedding gown. Never seek sympathy, rather, seek counsel, warmth and understanding.

  • Let your eyes water and be your own comforter

Crying is a means of purging oneself of the debris of accumulated hurt. Doing it in solitude is most preferential to me because when I’m hurt, I feel like I am my own comforter and that my own heart understands the reason behind my tears better than anyone else would. Somewhere I read that “clouds burst when they can’t withhold their contents any longer, and so it is with us.”

  • Allow time to be your doctor

Just like a physical wound requires time and treatment to heal, so does an emotional one. Never pick at a scar that has closed after much ado. But remember that time doesn’t relieve you of the weight you are bearing. It just accustoms you to carrying it.

  • Learn to accept

Once Doctor Time has accomplished his job, you will be in the phase of accepting your altered state of emotional affairs. Never expect to be skyrocketed to Planet Euphoria in no time. Recovering from the sting of heartbreak is equable with recovering from a malady. Remember that your heart might still be fragile and vulnerable, so do not dive headfirst (or heart-first without using your head) into the pool of pleasure because you aren’t going to know whether it will suck you in and spit you out in a mortifying condition or cause you to hit the solid bottom. Accept what has been and hope in what is yet to be.

  • Move ahead and move on

Never let the past remind you that you were weak and broken. Rather, let it be a reminder that you fought that interior battle and have emerged triumphantly. The past is irreversible and unchangeable, so leave it be. Let the past follow you, but let the present live in you as you live in it, and let the future lead you. Move ahead and move on. Hurt can last only as long as you allow it to.

The Power of Music

“I was broken, I was choking, I was lost… this song saved my life…” — Simple Plan in “This Song Saved My Life”

When you’re down in the dumps and you need your thoughts to be put into words, but you just can’t seem to find the right ones, that’s one of the worst feelings- ever. But, what if you just huddle up in a corner, shut out the rest of the world awhile and turn up the music?

Sometimes, it’s just a marvel that there is someone else on the planet who doesn’t know of our existence, but is able to relate to you from his or her own experience.

There is no better expression of thoughts than in words, there is no better expression of words than in lyrics and there is no better expression of lyrics than in music.

Whether you’re feeling the pangs of a love that has been lost, the isolation from the world that you ironically have to call your own, the pulchritude of being in a lover’s arms or the ache of death, there is always a song- if not a person- that you turn to be solaced.

Music lacks not in expression and never fails to leave an impression. It can be the key to a person’s heart; it plays the strings of the soul and gives our life that required percussion.

It is the highest form of expression that can move one to cachinnation or tears. A song possesses the potential to mend a heart in smithereens, to foment the dying candle of hope, to provoke that incumbent release or to serve as a berceuse to beckon a restful slumber.

Forget the antidepressants and the painkillers, the melancholy and the moods. Why all that when you have music? It is a universal language that everyone understands.

In my own words,

“Music eases the heart when it is sore

And takes it to places it’s never been before.

If food’s for the body, then music’s for the heart.

It pulls you together when you feel broken apart.”

That Singular Somebody

Be it disclosed or locked up within the abyss of the heart, everyone desires that special someone who understands him, even in times when he fails to understand himself. The beauty of the frailty of our human nature is that it allows us to see ourselves through the eyes of another. They are sometimes the magnifying lenses that give us better sight of and insight about ourselves.

Somewhere I read that God answers our prayers… through people just like us, and I pondered over the sublimity of that quote. The prayer of every person with a heart that feels as much as or more than the skin would be to have that figure in his life to sincerely assure and constructively censure.

I never felt the need for that special someone until I came of age. When that person crossed my path, I wondered where she had been all my life. A few minutes with her was equivalent with an hour in the company of a self-help book.

We don’t want to feel perfect. We just want to feel human. We want to be who we are and showcase the unpolished face as opposed to the airs we assume when we are but different drops in a sea of people.

The appreciation of a million people whose words are as synthetic as the hair of a Barbie doll, would be quashed when your ears are met with a single genuine remark from that person who is the cream of the crop.

That person becomes so influential and indispensable that hers will be the words you hear when you’re screaming on the inside and hers will be the face you see in your mind’s eye when everything encircling you looks dour.

A special friend like that can change your life just by being a part of it, and mine might be two decades and two years my senior and my superior, but that accounts for little or nothing because the understanding we share hazes out all our differences.

When you can show the unsound side of yourself to someone without being derided, cherish that person like a diamond. Losing him/her would scare you more than the thought of the cataclysm.

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.

Putting Pen to Paper

There have been several instances when others- and sometimes I myself- have wondered what it is about writing that I love. If anyone posed the question to me out of the blue, no matter how good I am with words otherwise, words would always fail me then. As the clock ticked, reasons started manifesting themselves like rainbows after a squally downpour.

So, here’s why I love to write:

  • It allows me to express and impress…

The former is much more important than the latter, but the written word provides one with the scope to do both. Be it a congratulatory or a rueful letter, the pen has put my tongue to shame. It confounded me to see the jaws of my comrade lose their elasticity when and after her eyes had scanned and her brain had grasped the denotation of my work.

  • It showed me a side of myself I never knew…

I wasn’t the least bit serious when I penned my maiden poetry at the age of eleven. Only when my penmanship was lauded and admired, I came to understand that I had the heart, the mind and the soul of a writer. I was someone inebriated with the spirit of language enhancement, intoxicated with the sound of syllables, inflamed with a burning passion for all things written.

  • It was- and still is- therapeutic…

Nothing under the golden orb of the sun can ever rival the gratification received when the unspoken thoughts in the recesses of my mind are transferred onto paper. My mouth serves me well when conversing with others, but when an array of cluttered thoughts swirls around in my head with the gyration of a tornado, the sole way to draw them out in a coherent sequence is by putting them down in ink. It’s factually like getting a glimpse at the contents of your brain without having to resort to gory methods- kidding!

  • It opened the doors of my mind…

Not only did it open the doors to my mind, but it also gave a voice to my heart. When my speech failed me, I could rely on the connection I forged between my mind and my pen-clutching hand. It solidified my reasons to think, to analyze and to discover. It enhanced both the meaning of life and the world.

No wonder Sir Francis Bacon quoted: “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.”

Solitude: A Resourceful Instrument in the Experiment of Understanding Oneself

I learned much from company, but more from myself. I understood other people when I was with them, but I took my understanding of my own self to the next level when my only company was my shadow.

To me, there’s nothing that summons up a picture of melancholy when I consider myself hemmed in by four walls. For me, my favorite place to visit is nowhere external- it’s my core: a place with so much to explore, so much to delve into, so much that yearns ardently to be discovered.

I prize the serenity of solitude as much as I treasure the gaiety of amity. There was never a time I voiced a complaint about being left in the circle with me, myself and I. It was in seclusion that I discovered the value of giving myself the time I deserve with myself.

If there is one person who understands- and ought to understand me, it is indisputably none other than me. I know that I can’t expect to understand other people, or have them understand me if I lack a complete and concrete understanding of myself.

The more I graced myself with my own time, the more I learned the merit of silent deliberation, of interior conversation, of internal mysteries that would never have unraveled sans my loyal ally, solitude.

People these days hate themselves because they don’t take the time out to get to know themselves better. They know- or they think they know– others on a better level and that’s the reason they invest their feelings in another party and rely on their verdicts and opinions and when they’re met with destructive or negative criticism, the doors of their hearts fly open and let it in and then, the ensuing reaction- they crash. Had they known themselves better, they could have saved themselves the hurt.

Knowledge, understanding, acceptance and love of one’s own self is a precondition for the knowledge, understanding, acceptance and love of the self of another.

So give yourself the time you deserve. You’re not a waste of your own time. You’re worth it!