Parents (especially Indian parents) are afraid of their children discovering self-love. Teaching your children self-love is in a way giving up your power and authority. If they don’t love themselves then they will forever try to please others. This desire to please can be used for manipulation (which is quite rampant in Indian culture). If children start loving themselves then they will start saying “no” and it is a sin to say “no” to your parents. If children start loving themselves, then they will start questioning traditions. They might start creating art without worrying about the imperfections. They might start saying no to abuse which is quite common in Indian culture. For many Indian parents, parenting is about power, not love.
Maybe, we have to be a little innocent to believe that we can create something that never existed before. Being too clever perhaps gets in the way of creativity.
Maybe that’s the reason why many artists suck at “duniyadari”. Maybe that is the reason why we cannot ‘cunningly’ use our life experiences to make art
Shame traps us in a dangerous vicious circle. Because of shame, we desperately try to please others to prove to ourselves that we are worthy. But shame is smart. It makes us feel ashamed of seeking validation from others. So, we desperately seek validation because of shame and then feel ashamed for seeking validation!
Perhaps, the wisest among us are the ones who accept that we cannot hoodwink life. We can prepare for the worst but ultimately, no amount of preparation is enough. Unfortunately, our culture is full of messages that teach the opposite. We are taught that a mature adult is the one who doesn’t feel vulnerable (It is interesting to note that this message is similar to patriarchy’s message of “Don’t be a pussy”). So, when we grow up, we numb ourselves, devise strategies to outsmart life and death. Since spirituality is male-dominated, we have many teachers who talk about “permanent bliss”. But life is smarter than us.
The problem with passion is that most people don’t have one. Very few people know what they want to do with their life and very few actually do it. What about those who haven’t found their calling? Is it necessary to dedicate yourself to a singular passion? Is it the only way? Like many people, I had these questions. Even though I chose a profession that I love, it’s not the only thing I love. I have multiple interests which are not exactly related to my profession. If you are like me, you would have criticized yourself for not devoting yourself to a singular passion. But what if there is another alternative?
Elizabeth Gilbert has a solution to our woes: She says that those who have not found one “calling” can instead choose to follow something more gentler and accessible: Curiosity. She says that passion is all-consuming, head-shaving-going-to-Nepal-to-start-an-orphanage kind of drama. Curiosity on the other hand is about the small things, those little clues that we find everyday. Those who religiously follow this curiosity live rich lives. If you have found your passion, then congratulations! But if you haven’t found one, then you can build an interesting life too. Watch this Super-Soul session with Elizabeth Gilbert (click) to know more.
Telugu-speaking people often use the words ‘Amma’ (which means Mother) and ‘Nanna’ (which means father) in daily conversations, even when parents are not involved (Like you may say to your friend, “What happened to you, amma?”). In Hindi, we often use the word ‘yaar’ in daily conversations. I’m wondering if the way we use these words describe the kind of culture we live in.
We are taught so many things at school but I wish we are taught the ways to handle vulnerability. Human beings, especially men, don’t want to be vulnerable because
a. It is seen as weakness
b. We are not equipped with skills to handle vulnerable situations.
So what happens when a Guru you revere turns out to be a rapist? Your entire world falls apart. Since you are not encouraged to cry, you resort to violence. There is also a blow to your ego: Since you followed someone who is actually a rapist, your choice is all wrong! This injury of ego and soul makes you extremely vulnerable
I was and probably still am an idealist. I believe in the power of love and have witnessed it, first-hand. But can love really conquer everything? Maybe the answer is both yes and no. If you think love as something magical which can change something/someone overnight then you might be disappointed. But if you look at love as something that you do, even when you don’t get any results for the longest time (even if you don’t get the results in this lifetime), then maybe, just maybe, the answer is yes. You cannot get your friend out of depression with (just) love. But what you can do is not judge him/her when he/she relapses. Your love is not a substitute for medication or therapy but it matters. You may not change the world with your love for a social cause but your love is a seed which will become a tree someday. It may not happen in this lifetime but sowing these seeds matter.
#Sarahah app reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert ‘s four question Elizabeth Gilbert ‘s four question test (click) to decide whether or not you should trust someone. She says that a person who is unable to put forward criticism compassionately doesn’t deserve to be there is your life (and he/she shouldn’t judge your work as well). So if this is the criteria then Sarahah app is not a good idea. If you cannot disagree with/criticize your friend in a compassionate way then what is the point of your friendship? And if you can criticize your friend compassionately then why do you need the app? If you need to be anonymous to say something negative then you are probably saying something really nasty (or you are not a good friend). It’s tempting to read the “brutal truth” about us. In a culture which is designed to make us hate ourselves, this app can work against self-love.