Life is full of ups and downs. There are only somethings that we can actually control in the endless list of involuntary occurrences that happen out of chance, destiny and time.
While we do come to understand the shortcomings of any event or outcome or any set plan which didn’t match the expectations, or the feelings that were always buried eventually , but do we really come to terms with it ?. Ask yourself.
I think while if we got to answer somebody else, we would try to be make ourselves sound too sensible to show how we are sorted, but when we sit with the question ourselves , do we really give ourselves such a clear answer?. I bet the answer would be a ‘No’!
Knowing this answer deep within yourself, gives rise to insecurities, pain and a lot of dissatisfaction that affects both the physical and the mental well being. You see, it affects us because its the truth. It bites us because we just can’t walk away from it, and the most painful thing been it will kill you everyday little by little.
People say , accept it and it will make your life better, but acceptance doesn’t come easily, sometimes it takes years of confrontation to deal with the same, hence the solution does create an illusion of understanding , but the line between expectation and reality still remain intact.
The point is you got to live with that truth everyday , every second of your life , and you can’t just forgo it. Wonder why?. The reason being whenever it remains unfulfilled , it becomes an irreplaceable portion of your existence.
So, I think the way out before accepting it, is to understand how to deal with it in the first place. For this , I jotted down 7 such practices that aid in that process and those are not rocket science. It just includes values, thoughts , experiences and some wisdom.
The following are :
- Give yourself Reminders : Reminders are like the bookmarks which helps us navigate our journey. They become our best friends when things don’t happen according to our set plans, but it still keeps us going. They are essential both at times when we are the peak and when we are the bottom.
It says history repeats itself. While contexts may be different, but maybe the strategy that we require to deal it already lies within us in form of both good and bad experiences. The problem being we tend to forget often at times when we think we are invincible.
Say for instance, you know you are growing weight and its not that it is happening to you for the first time. You know how you controlled your diet , what all exercises you undertook , what all medications were put in to. You already know what you should be doing, its just that you need to remind yourself of that and things will start falling in place.
2. Comparison is the thief of joy: The thought already speaks for itself. We are all surrounded by the noises of other’s beliefs and our own that are influenced by the external self. This do seldom give us the chance to appreciate what we all have within.
Even the most wonderful traits of ours seems to be a criticism for our own self. Why ? Because we are constantly looking in to the mirror and searching for someone else ‘s face in it. The inferiority and insecurity of our thoughts doesn’t let us see beyond the frame and what we actually wait for is just validation.
This is the biggest loop that one that get trapped in to it for a lifetime and suffer indefinitely.
The reason of this suffering is not because we didn’t accept ourselves, but that we don’t really know ourselves better. You heard it right ?. Apart from knowing what is your favorite color or popular song or best food or anything , we hardly know much about what really goes inside us and what are we really searching for.
While the external is undoubtedly a factor in shaping our conditioning, but at a point when one has the realization , he/she still tries to escape the same. Living in denial becomes more easy than introspecting within ourselves.
The start is simple, know yourself and make it a practice. If you don’t know yourself , you are fooling yourself as well those who surround you. The moment one realizes their true potential, the comparison no longer matters. You know where you stand and that is enough to validate your strength.
3. Embrace your past : It is always said, ‘ Learn to live in the present’. While I totally abide the depth of the statement , I do believe people should embrace their past in order to live better in the present.
While, we can’t control what happened in the past, but the effects of the same are to be borne in the present as well as in the future. One can deny it’s existence , but can’t reject it presence. Why I am saying so?
There are always patterns in which things happen in our lifetime. Those patterns can be studied to derive conclusions or use the same to manage circumstances that have the same possible set of outcomes.
For instance, there may have been a time when you have been bullied in your childhood With time when you grow, you pretend to have forgotten about it , but the scars still remain deep inside which you may not be willing to face. Now, in the future there could be a time when , you notice someone experiencing the same . You can choose any two possible options: You may either walk away trying to imagine its not happening in reality, or else you will be right there helping that person out, an din the process helping oneself.
This applies to anything and everything in life. Trying to forget keeps you in a state of denial , but having embraced the same builds you in a state for confronting the future with greater confidence.
4. Choose Fun over Competition: Some say competition creates competence, but I think it creates more pressure. The reason being competition robs the individual to realize their true potential, rather the drive is always towards beating the person in front of him/her. While it may look competence in the short run, in the long run it builds up frustration, impatience and a lot of hostility.
So, unlike competition I would rather say to choose fun in whatever you do. When you start learning and enjoying the thing you do, when you start collaborating with different people, you start polishing yourselves for a better tomorrow , not just for yourself but for the society.
This small little emotion ‘Fun’ makes one learn teamwork, self-learning, networking, communication and most importantly it makes you more humane. This is one of the truest quality that one can achieve in life, that makes them better within themselves and look for a future where everybody co-exists happily.
5. Happiness is a choice, and not an outcome: So often our happiness depend on our expectation of our desired outcomes. The expectation of the same is an infinite loop of constant struggle and pretension of external satisfaction.
While we are said to focus on our actions, us being so much attached to the outcomes lands up in our own jar of despair.
But what if we made happiness in to a constant choice, that we make actively irrespective of our actions and our outcomes. What if we attach it to the smallest of everyday things that bring us joy, relief and peace. It can be anything like music, book, dancing , gardening , sports etc.
While I understand it is easier said than done, but what if you practice it everyday?. The moment the practice gets ingrained in your system , it turns in to a habit and it will be a forever part of your life irrespective of whether times are good or bad.
6. Be grateful: One of the important principles in life , that we have taken for granted. This is what makes us stay humble, grounded and close to our soul. When we experience extreme success , we become complacent , we think we have arrived and the moment we fall down , we think the world has never been fair to us. But do we really ask ourselves have we been fair to our source of creation?
We as humans fail to treat pleasure and pain equally. The weight is always heavier on the other side. But the truth is the odds are on both sides, but we put the weightage according to our esteem need (refer Maslow’s hierarchy).
Aren’t we biased towards our own self?. Aren’t we treating ourselves poorly then ?. Isn’t the scar inflicted on us is punched by ourselves more harder?
The way to get out of it is to be grateful for the people and the things that are constant in our life. To be grateful to the surroundings, to the nature, to the smallest of creatures for the support that they are providing to make a difference in our lives. Gratefulness is the greatest sense of wisdom, the more we embody, the more we heal, the better we become, the more complete we come with terms to our own self.
7. Walk through your journey: We as humans are too quick to become comfortable with things, when time happens to be on our side. This makes us arrogant and rude. It makes us think , we are unconquerable. But every force has a downfall and when that happens , its difficult to stand up for oneself again.
So, what’s the way out ?
It is simple. Retrace yourself to the point from where you started. It has all the answers , that what you have and that what you have been seeking for. This makes you go back to your memory, recollect and connect the dots. The best part being, it makes you feel light and a source of companionship because you have already been a part of it, and its your time to relive and apply the learning again a fresh.
Seneca once said, ‘ We are more often frightened than we are hurt and we suffer more in imagination than in reality’. If you can decipher and contemplate the depth of the statement , it’s enough to give you all the answers. What he said , was applicable to his period as well to our times and the way further. You see , ancient wisdom never gets lost . It gets imprinted in time immemorial.
On an ending note, the piece is all about to help you open and come to terms with your feelings and thoughts. I think , its important to share the complications because it drives you to give meaning to your existence , which can give hope to someone else. It’s a chain and it shall continue , no matter what !