The Burden of Expectations

They often say in life, your greatest enemies are not the ones who live around you to put you down, but it is the demons that reside inside your head. You are what you are today because of the greatest gift given to mankind, a mindset and a thought process. We as humans are mere puppets dancing to the strings of our feelings and hopes. There exists an entire different universe in our minds, which is constantly fighting a battle trying to decipher between the right and the wrong. And to top it, everyone has their own set of beliefs and expectations. And expectations, as they say, is the root cause of all evil. And more often than that they say, you will end up very disappointed if you grow up thinking that everyone is going to have the same heart as you. A line so simple, yet so insightful and powerful.

For the only thing that can affect you in ways undefined, and is the underlying foundation of all those sorrows and tough times, are expectations. Expectations out of your own self, or even worse, expectations out of those around, or the worst of all, expectations of out those for whom you are proudly willing to burn those bridges for. Expectations break your heart piece by piece, when they’re not even understood, let alone be fulfilled. There are people in life, who give too much of their soul to someone, and expect a soul in return. But two people never think alike and an eye for an eye is not everyone’s philosophy in life. But people who are kind always believe there’s a good in others, and those who have been hurt in life let go of the idea of trust altogether. That’s why often those who love the hardest end up being wounded and cut through the deepest.

Often, the biggest mistake we end up making is believing that you’re going to get exactly what you give. While the probability of getting less in return is always more, but lucky are those who have their expectations surpassed and filled above all. We often end up going great lengths for certain people presuming that they would do the same for us if the tables ever turned. But people define priorities with infinite combinations, and the one you rank up as the first may not even give you a five or a nine. As a result of these expectations, we end up dwelling deeper into ourselves to find faults within us. We sink deeper into the well of over thinking and let go of the peace inside us. And this entire act of expecting and being let down ends only in one way, being crippled into feelings of loneliness and destruction of your own self-worth. For it is a tendency of the human life, to feel unworthy when you see yourself not being loved in the way you would like love to be defined.

But is life so unimportant to be defined by things that never came your way? Absolutely not. The other aspects of life are to move on or to reform. To move on from things and people who make you feel low, to things and people who help you grow or most importantly, to a version of yourself that requires no sort of approvals validation. Or to transform yourself into engaging yourself with selflessness, doing away with the concept of returns and believing in the power of endless giving. For you may have many more lives yet to live, but the one in the present deserves to be lived happily and to the fullest.

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In the Name of Love…

They often say in life, everyone has a relation or relations, in which they’re absolutely and completely blind in love. Or if not love, then by the need or want of it. You’re so habitual to someone, that you overpower such lengths and extends, or indulge into such deeds, that you keep on loosing yourself day by day in the process. Because keeping that relation becomes so important, that you end up associating your entire existence and purpose in life with it.

There are innumerable things which we’ve done, continue doing or are willing to do in the name of that love. And sometimes, even in the name of hope or faith. Because pleasing that someone becomes so absolutely necessary, that we’re ready to bow down in front of them for anything and everything, and always end up turning a deaf ear to their every shortcoming and misdeed. Because the essence of love that you feel towards that person is just so strong, that you are even ready to go of your morals and values without any regrets.

And as a result, slowly and steadily, you begin losing your decisiveness. You can’t differentiate between right and wrong, and even if at times if you can, you end up ignoring your inner voice. You can’t stand hearing anything against them, and every person trying to direct you to the right path becomes a cold-blooded enemy. You begin distancing yourself from people around, just to keep that one person close to your heart. And all these sacrifices, in the fear of loosing that one person you regard as the centre of your universe and life.

We as humans are often afraid of the fact that there is this one relation we can’t do without. That if it’s ever lost, we’d never be able to get over it or overcome the sadness and voids it’ll leave. But what we do not realise is that life comes with no guarantees except one, that it keeps moving on. What mattered so much today, may be absolutely insignificant tomorrow, and the one who meant everything today,may just be a faded memory tomorrow. Because nothing is too superior to put before yourself and you are the only constant, who is going to be there through everything.

We’re emotionally so vulnerable that we tend to underestimate ourselves and forget the fact that a relation is made of two and not one. But there is nothing we cannot outdo and move on from once we have the will to. Your strength lies in your abilities, and nothing is worth having cross the line of your own self-respect. You are your own hero, and you will be your own saviour too.

The Blame Game

There are often those tough times in life, when everything seems turning upside down, demanding a decision and throwing you with a challenge of making a choice – of choosing the wrong path or the right, of choosing the easy way out or struggling, of giving into emotion or being practical, or of choosing to believe or let go. These are the times, when your mind and heart are at a constant battle, with one trying to overpower the other. You are left in a state of constant dilemma, trying to desperately evaluate your options.

Often in this war, what we choose is a result of the situation and our emotional state at that moment. There are those who panic and take irrational decisions just to get it over with, and then there are those who carefully analyse the consequences and keep their patience, And also there are people who play the guessing way to try out their luck with things. But, there is another route which people resort to when faced with the not so pleasant times in life – the blame game.

Blaming is often the easiest route out of real life problems. You tend to hold someone else responsible for your terrible situations, but leave them with no credit when something goes right. Because it is easy to put the fault on others and feel lighter, than it is to stand up and take responsibility of your actions. And if this wasn’t just enough, it many a times ends up with blaming the supreme power above for doing this to you or giving you such a horrendous life.  For it is merely a matter of convenience to shift the blame and to feed the pseudo ego burning on the inside.

But your conscience is not a puppet of your wishes, deep down inside it holds you accountable. Because no matter how much you’d like to believe that you aren’t wrong, the guilt does linger on somewhere on the inside. It is often simple to choose the wrong path, but it would often leave you with a void of “what ifs”. Because having confidence in your own self is harder than using an excuse or a cover, but it is much harder loosing your own self than to be unable to face yourself in the mirror and answer you inner voice. Yes, faith is hard to keep in those difficult times, but it is never too late to take charge of your own life.

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The One who Loves “More”

They say in life, your greatest wealth is not the that money you earn or the things that you own, but it is the relations that you build. If you have even one person who will stand by you through the ups and downs,highs and lows, then you’ve earned success in this game called life. Relations are the foundations and pillars of survival in the journey of life. There are some relations that we’re gifted by blood, and others that we build through the feelings of love and trust. But more than anything, a relation is a special bond of your emotional vulnerability that you share with a person. The extent to which you expose the colours of your inner self, is what defines the relation between the two.

What we grew up hearing was that mutual effort, trust and respect is required to make any relation work. But as we grew up and came face to face with reality, the harsh truth of life started to dwell upon us. We realised that firstly, no two relations can ever be the same, and secondly, there is hardly anything that is put in equally by two people. There isn’y a concept of half and half, there is always an unequal ratio. There is always the one who is more loving , or more sacrificing, or putting in more efforts than the other into the relation in order to sustain it. And emotionally, one of the most devastating things you could do to yourself is to be the one more giving. If what you give is what you get, why is the one putting in more left with a void of unhappiness?

But one thing which undoubtedly true and absolutely unquestionable, is the fact that this class of “more” people possess an exceptional amount of courage and strength. On the face of it they may seem weak for holding on too much, but they are the ones who learn the art of giving and expecting nothing in return at a very early stage, without being taught. They know the pain of hidden desires, yet they act as shields and mentally protect the other. They know how to suppress their own feelings in order to deal with someone’s emotional unavailability. And most importantly, they know how to not give up even when they see little or no light from the other end of the tunnel.

Being the more loving one in any relation is heart breaking, but it is also an act of great selflessness, something we find rather rarely with mankind today. It depicts how relations and people are valued over the feeling of always being taken for granted, and also how love overpowers ego. And nothing deserves more appreciation and respect than such courage, because no regret is greater than the loss of something so irreplaceable.

 

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Love and other Norms

As we walk along this journey called life and take steps into this world, as we see and hear with gifted senses, and feel by touch, there is one thing which always stays with us, this thing called love. A source of happiness to some and the cause of the greatest pain to others, we often forget that love is not bound by any limits, it is present in every piece around us.

Love – on the face of it is just a four letter word, but it can wrap the entire world in itself by the immense power it contains. It’s not just a feeling, it’s an emotional aspect, a belief and a route to freedom. But the question arises, why do we have to look for it in others? In other people or other things? Why don’t we turn to our own selves when someone mentions the word love? In today’s world, when more and more people around you are sinking into anxiety and depression, have we really forgotten the concept of self-love?

By all means and honesty, this has never been our fault. Right from our childhood, we have been subjected to the norms of beauty and behavioural standards, success, and the definition of an ideal life. You’ve been told how much you should weigh, how your body approach towards life is careless, that your color is too dark or whitish, you’re not too good in studies or sports, or your goals are not acceptable. From the time we start growing up, we’ve been subjected to shaming in one way or the other, and we too have shamed others willingly or unwilling. And the result of this? We’ve grown up with insecurities beyond repair. We’ve been compared so much, that we forgot how to be ourself and began trying to match those standards somehow or the other. Instead of striving to be a better version of ourselves, we have been striving to match those pre determined standards. Ask the child who grew up with complexes, how he always turned to others instead of the mirror for acceptance?

The problem is deep-rooted, but it is not incurable. It’s about taking pride in your own self, having the self-confidence and choosing not to owe anyone an explanation. If you don’t find a fault in yourself, then who is anyone to criticise you? If you’re happy and content with your present situation, who is anyone to question your hard work?  Your happiness is all about you and only you. Choose yourself and love who you are. Self love is one of the most liberating and empowering feelings in this world. It is the most effective antidote for the worldly diseases of our generation.

Embrace yourself and believe in yourself before it’s too late, before the power of regret becomes greater than the power of acceptance.

 

The law of Action-Reaction

Isn’t it amazing, how life changes every time the hands of the clock tick? How change is inevitable, and how what you have can turn into what you once had? How one moment or that one chance could completely turn everything upside down? But is it true that the incident is solely responsible to make things either better or worse for you? Dwell into yourself and think, the answer will be a ‘NO’.

There is much more to that turning point, which goes beyond the negatives and the positives associated with it, and that is you and your response to it. How you adapt to a situation or grab that one opportunity. But most importantly, how you implement it into your system. How that one incident affects your attitude and behaviour from the moment it enters into your life, is what shapes you as human being. You may make the most of it or you may waste it, it may give you everything or leave you with nothing, but worst of all, it could change you as a person from within.

You might do it unwillingly, sometimes you don’t even realise how an incident affects you and makes you indifferent. Or maybe even oblivious. You just can’t see through it. But sometimes, you forcibly lock yourself up and build an invisible wall right in front of yourself. According to the law of action – reaction, “the force exerted by object 1 upon object 2 is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force exerted by object 2 upon object 1”. So is it fair if our reaction to every person or emotional situation is the same after an action from one situation or that one person? Why do we become cold or why do we develop trust issues or why do we start hating life just because that one incident ruined everything for us?

The beauty of life lies in the fact that it is dynamic. No matter how much we try and control one end, some or the other end is going to flow loose. Like a batsman can’t hit a six at every ball thrown to him, we can’t excel at every challenge life throws at us. You may often feel like the bad times are much longer than the good ones, but you have it in you to go through a situation and come out stronger. You have the will, spirit and patience and you have your time with you. Wounds take a while to heal, and it is okay to be absolutely lost when you’re in shock or pain. But once you decide that you want to heal, come out with the best version of yourself. If something is going to change you, let it be for the positive.

Let every morning serve as a ray of hope after a dark night and the sunrise as a motivation to smile. Get up, take a deep breath and shed the baggage of those not so pleasant past experiences. Let the child in you who was never touched by the tactics of the cruel world thrive again. Let that trust and innocence revive, and let no doubt clog your mind.  Discover yourself, find something you love to do and whenever in life you feel low, do that one activity which serves as your release. Compete only and only with your own self and pat your own back at your smallest achievements.

Do it for your own self, because you and only YOU DESERVE this.

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The Introverted Extrovert

The kind of person you are, at this breathing moment, is not always how you would have imagined yourself to be. There are still those goals you didn’t achieve, those words you couldn’t say, the chances you couldn’t take and the ideas you couldn’t implement. You tend to regret some of those, while some just stay at the back of your head, some turn into “I wish” and some we simply forget. We may think we’re a bi-product of good and bad decisions and even our situations, but is it always so?

There is another very important element to how we are and how we behave, and that is our very basic nature. So broadly categorising humans into extroverts and introverts, I would like to talk about a very interesting mix of this category, something very close to what I’ve seen : the introverted extrovert, that someone inherent in most of us. These are the people you see all around you, or right in front of you, in that mirror. These are the people who appear to be happy, fun-loving, out going and mix around well, but in those dark moments when the lights go off, they carry unknown inhibitions. Yes that smily person that you see being friendly with everyone, has a lot stored in that small little heart. They are people who keep things in, they are emotionally available for others, but when it comes to discussing their own problems, they shutdown.

Imagine the feeling of having to say so much but not being expressive, of having being hurt but not being able to convey it, of having all those words roll down as tears in the silence of the night. Does it even feel right?  They would rather keep it all in and suffocate themselves, than to let it out all and hurt another. They know what pain feels like, and believe keeping quiet is the only way to save another. It’s like growing up with an invisible shell, something that really shapes up how you are as an individual. It’s like being outraged by the mishaps all around you, but being unable to raise your voice against the injustice. Why? Because You just become so tolerable to the pain.

So the next time you see someone so silent to happenings, wait a moment and think, not why but how. And yes, like everything has a saturation point, these people too. So what happens when it gets too much, or how much is too much? The answer is an emotional outburst. When years of accumulated pain comes out at once, as a combination of anger, words and tears, you know it’s been too much. And this basic nature we unknowingly carry, where does it come from? It is basically a product of your response to your upbringing, the people you live around with, and mainly the kind of society you are raised in. In a society like ours, where the response to every situation has been to stay quiet and bear it, people have just become more and more locked down. We wish to be strong and raise our voice, but we don’t know how. So now, take a moment, Look at the people around you, observe them and analyse them, because not everyone can let their heart out. Just a little attention to behaviour could really help someone open up and build up. Take a moment off your phone screens, and start taking clues. We’re all going through something or the other, but who do we have, except each other?