Self Created Suffering

It was a dark, dark night for me. I thought I had lost everything I had worked so hard for. I have been a victim of over thinking before. It’s my self defence mechanism. I create the worst case scenario in my head, to prepare myself so I don’t get hurt.

But, worst case scenarios rarely happen, and all this does is that it ruins my present. It doesn’t let me enjoy what I have. And then I feel guilty for not being grateful. Vicious circle.

Today, I’m feeling drained. I don’t have the energy to move a muscle. But I need to get myself out of this funk. It’s pointless wallowing in my self created misery. So I will force myself to work out, meditate and face the day.

I cannot control life beyond a point. I forget this and I suffer. All I can do is give it my best and let things happen.

Of hopes and fears

I’ve been feeling terrible for the past three days. My thoughts have been all over the place. I’ve been feeling negative about something that is super important to me. I know my thoughts aren’t true. I know fear is a liar. Yet, I can’t seem to find my centre.

Trauma will do that to you. It’ll come back and haunt you when you least expect it. One day, you’re super happy, and then something reminds you of the grief in your past, and things will go from zero to hundred very quickly.

But, you have to tell yourself over and over again- Not every thought is true. The mind plays games. Don’t let it control you. Yes, there will be days when your thoughts will overwhelm you. And those days will pass. Let them pass. Give them your silence.

Most importantly, don’t let those days change your definition of you. Bad days don’t mean you’re weak or less important. EVERYONE has shitty days. If you try too hard to control them, you’ll end up feeling worse. Let them come and go. Acknowledge that you’re having bad thoughts, and that it’s normal. And know that God is bigger than these thoughts.

I find myself going back to this quote on such days- Karta kare na kar sake, Shiv kare so hoye. Teen Lok, Nau khand mein, Shiv se bada na koye.

Step Away from the Hustle

I quit my job last week. I had been doing the same thing, at the same company, for three years, and I knew I was finished with it. I was very good at my job, to the extent that my manager told me I could rejoin whenever I wanted to.

But the problem isn’t that I’m out of work. The problem is that I tend to equate my worth with my work. I had spoken about the ‘Curse of Productivity’ and I can’t seem to let it go. And our current culture obsessed with ‘hustle’ isn’t helping.

It’s unhealthy. If your self worth depends on anything external, be it your job or your relationship, you’ll never really be completely at peace. You’ll hold on to things much longer than you need to, simply because you associate your own value with it.

I acknowledge that there’s a problem. And I know I’ll really have to sit with all of these thoughts every single day to get myself out of this cycle. But I intend to do that. I don’t just want to get another job or start something new to avoid facing this.

I am consciously going to choose a slow, leisurely and laid-back life. Because it is perfectly okay to just live. Because there’s nothing glamorous about being busy.

Change

I seem to have dropped my people pleasing habit. Altogether.

I call a spade a spade, and don’t engage with anyone who tries to manipulate me or pull me down or add any negativity to my life.

I was the nice girl for a long time. I gave people the benefit of doubt, considered their problems and was kind. But I think, quite a few times, I was just doing it because I wanted them to like me. I didn’t want them to say something hurtful to me, that involved my past. I think I didn’t want them to say ‘she deserved what she got’.

I don’t care anymore. Call it confidence, call it whatever. I know what I deserve, and what people say is irrelevant.

I don’t know where this will take me. But, it’s okay. I know what I am doing, and it’s a choice I’ve made.

Happiness

‘You’re only as happy as you choose to be’, ‘Happiness is a choice’- I’m sure everyone has read these quotes. Every time I read something like this, I would just roll my eyes.

But, perhaps, these quotes aren’t completely off the mark. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. Life will never be perfect. Even when you get that goal, that relationship, that job, you’ll never be truly happy, unless you decide to be happy. You can search for flaws in your life and complain, or you can use that energy in looking for and appreciating the good things, the joys- big and small. There will always be the next goal, but nothing will fulfil you completely. So maybe the answer lies in appreciation and gratitude and acceptance. It is what it is, and I choose to see the good in it.

We’re here, we’re alive. Life isn’t always fair but there is always something to be grateful for.

The Curse of Productivity

Today, I have to remind myself that I don’t need to be productive all the time. I don’t know when I started putting this pressure on myself that I constantly need to be doing something that has meaning. I used to be the kind of girl who lived by ‘dolce far niente’. When did that change?

Actually, I know the answer. It changed when my marriage failed, and I thought I had to prove my worth to the world. By working, by having a purpose and by being busy. It was then, that I started judging other women for their lack of careers. But to be honest, I was just jealous of them. Jealous because they didn’t have to prove anything. They belonged.

Anyway, that craving to prove something just turned into a habit, over the years. And I was doing okay when life was normal and the pandemic hadn’t hit. I could go to work and just be occupied.

But, as is with every other area of my life, this year has made me reflect on this part as well. And with reflection, comes realisation. This particular realisation was not a very happy one.

In theory, I’m aware that I shouldn’t have to prove anything. But, how do I practically change something that has become a part of me? How do I tell myself I’d be enough even if all I did was breathe? Because right now I am doing everything I’m supposed to be doing-I work, I work out, I meditate and whatever else is needed. But it doesn’t feel enough.

Why can’t I just let myself be?

A little thing called Love

I used to think I was unlucky in love. However, the more I think about it, the more I realise I’ve never been in love. The crushes or infatuations or attraction were labeled as love by me.

Isn’t it weird? Someone who is in love with the idea of being in love, has never really been in love. That was one strange sentence.

I don’t necessarily know what love is. It’s obviously not limited to romance. That used to be my definition of love. Not anymore. I’ve decided I cant define it. I haven’t experienced it, so I’ll leave that blank for now. Maybe one day, I will know what it is, and I’ll be able to write about it at length. But until then, I think I’ll allow it to stay untouched, instead of giving it a vague meaning, based on the experiences of others.

God is in control

I’m feeling overwhelmed today. I guess I allowed myself to be consumed by worries of the future, yet again. A part of me knows that God is taking care of me, and that it will all be okay. But the other part of me wants to worry and control everything. Old habits, I guess.

There is no quick fix. I’ll have to deal with some overwhelming and shitty days. And I will, because there always is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll keep my faith. I may not be able to see what God is doing, but I know he’s handling all my problems.

Dive into the Grey

I used to think people don’t change. But I’ve changed so much over the last few years that I don’t recognise the girl I was. Perhaps then, I shouldn’t be so unwilling to believe that others may have done the same.

I don’t think people really are how they act in a difficult situation. We all lose our tempers, we say things we don’t mean and we hurt others. But we’re so much more than that. Maybe it isn’t always black and white. Life happens in the grey areas.

Is that why we’re not supposed to judge people? Because they’re capable of changing? Or because what happens in one situation isn’t a perfect indicator of who they are?

Would it be better to observe patterns, and then decide what we think about them? It’s a little difficult to not form an opinion at all. Or is the solution what I spoke about in another post? That we must keep an open mind, and be willing to change our opinion, because nothing is absolute.

Gotta keep going…

What I spoke about in the last post was heavy and intense. I’m still reeling from all the emotions that came up. But, I am better. It was what it was. I think I just needed to acknowledge it, because I was carrying a lot of shame and guilt.

I’m actually proud of myself. Inspite of everything, I continued to do the things that I promised myself I’d do. I didn’t stop meditating or working out or making my gratitude lists. Oh by the way, my 21 day challenge ends tomorrow. I was successful at it. I mean, yes we still have a day to go. But I’m pretty sure that’ll go well too.

Results? Well, there definitely have been changes in my state of mind. I’m calmer, and I feel like I have a stronger connection with myself. I guess I will continue with it. I like having set goals. They keep me going. Even if it is something small, like making a gratitude list everyday, it just makes me feel good when I complete it.

Discipline has a lot of benefits. I used to hate the word ‘discipline’ but I’ve realised how much it adds to your life. You do what you need to do. Consistently. Even when you’re not motivated, discipline is what gets the job done.

I’m not deliriously happy these days. But I am neutral. I don’t have extreme emotions of joy or sadness. I wonder if that’s a good thing. Oh well, better neutral than neurotic.