That One Thing!

I’ve been struggling with that ‘One’ thing.

That “one” purpose.

That “one” love.

That “one” business.

That “one” blog.

That “one” assignment.

That “one” inspiration.

That “one” book.

That “one” goal.

That “one” passion.

That “one” song.

That “one” dream.

That “one” moment.

When will that “one” thing get resolved? “One” day surely?

Till such time, I wait. For that “one” action which will somehow change my world forever.

Yes, I wait for the “one”.

You?

 

What moves you?

Movies.

When I see the nuances of a relationship in a movie play itself out – daughter and mother, father and daughter, husband and wife, brother and sister, girl friend and boy friend, friends….I have always wondered why some scenes move me? Death, intense love, intense desire, separation, sacrifice, romance – am like an ice cream in an oven – sniffing and snivelling away and my throat is all constricted with unshed tears and I am transported to moments in my life when I have been desperate for luck, love, understanding, relief.

Music.

Every time I fell in love the lyrics of songs would somehow take on an extra special meaning. I have made mix tapes for boy friends, girl friends and self with specially selected songs and little notes tucked into the Sony or TDK 60 or 90 mins tape cover, hoping the man would never forget me every time he listened to the songs peeking out behind the spool. Of course the folly of living in hope in a failed or distant relationship cast its long dark shadow unrelenting and winning.

Children. Ads. Great deeds. Family. Human spirit – Sherpas looking out for the mountaineers rescued from an avalanche with worry and wondering if he/ she is alive. A heart transported from a hospital to the airport where the police, the authorities are all on standby to ensure that a little baby somewhere gets a chance at life. And so many other such stories of courage, selflessness and extraordinariness.

Why do these slice of life moments move me? Because I live a little through these experiences. Vicarious pleasure. Transposed emotions. And the throbbing of my heart becomes louder every time I see what life is, what life could be.

When I saw this movie today, I felt that the woman, a daughter was playing me in many ways – looking after her cantankerous old father – and that was her raison d’être. Parents can be selfish without realising it. Parents can be worried about being alone in their infirmity and how illness could affect their lives. When their children, especially a daughter looks after them selflessly, however acerbic, caustic or frisson-ridden the relationship may be, you do feel for the woman right? Her loneliness can burrow a hole in your soul. You wonder if there will be a great big romance. If there will be friends with whom she can share a brownie and talk about her sexless unsexy life or unshaven armpits or the need for sex the without sounding maudlin or pitiable or desperate. If there would ever be a great man-woman friendship which could turn out to be a comforting duvet enveloping her with its warmth. You wonder if she could ever take a vacation and meet someone who would be the great big adventure and soul fulfilling episode of her life.

Yes. I realise I am unbelievably alive and human when:  my 18 month old niece shouts out my name and apes evey action of mine. When my nephew and niece come straight home from the car park when they come visiting their grandmother it fills me up. When that guy in the car next to mine in a narrow lane waits patiently and actually allows me to make that difficult turn, it fills me up. When someone holds the lift for me, or someone at the cash counter doesn’t worry about the 50p change that I don’t have and tenders change, yup, it moves me.

Yes, little instances fill me up, move me to tears. In a world where basic humaneness and goodness and compassion are becoming rare commodities, think about what moves you. All the little things add up. It makes for a life beautifully lived. It restores faith.

Move it, move it, move it. Feel it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Shame Of Being You. F#@$!

I journal as regularly as I can. I haven’t got down to my goal of journaling everyday. I’m upset at myself because of that. F#@$! It’s one of those bugbears which I’ve tried asking to some ‘experts’ about and never got any answers that I could really sink my teeth into.

Similarly I try exercising everyday. But I haven’t got down to it. It’s on my to-do list, and there it remains, winking at me wickedly, taunting me and sometimes bearing down upon me. F#@$!

When my professional colleagues are laid-back and chilled, and I’m running around like a headless chicken because I’m a Type A personality or what have you, I know I’m a sucker for ‘wanting to be accepted’ sob narratives in my head. F@#$!

The family gets together and everyone wants to have a good time. But some like me are running around chauffeuring people around, being worried, being the ‘go-to-gal’ for mostly anything that needs to get done. I feel like cursing the living daylights for this personality that I’m born with. I curse my karma, my stars, the sun, the moon, and everything, including myself. Why can’t I be the one who can sit back and relax just like some others who pretend to work, and guess what, get all the kudos and appreciation to boot from en famille. And poor old me? Yup, I remain poor and old and me. F@#$!

Men in my life have usually ordered me around. They’ve had their egos float on Cloud 9 and if most of these men have however fleetingly felt like an Emperor, it’s thanks to me. Jeez! I have always been a victim of the ‘what if’ syndrome and so have always cowed down, bowed down and bent down to listen to them. After all ‘what if’ they leave (which they eventually do), ‘what if’ they like someone else (that too), ‘what if’ they wander away from the altar (I can almost count myself to be the Runaway Bride in reverse where the bridegroom just ups it and leaves) and yeah, ‘what if’ I never “settle down” (in plain layman terms it means find a nice man, marry, get round, have kids, fight, get tormented, and play by the rules or you’ll be left behind, so what if it’s a shitty marriage, but at least it gives you status and so on)? So all the ‘what ifs’ have come true. F@#$!

There’s an underlying theme to this whole behavioural pattern. As you step into the journey of adolescence, teenager, crusty adulthood, your beliefs of who you are get firmer, not necessarily truer. And we’re happy about status quo. Who wants to dig deep and unearth the truth right? Truth someone said is bitter, ugh! We’d rather indulge our sweet tooth and get fat and Type A diabetes right than hear the bitter truth. Sadly we get so consumed by our narratives of who we are we never turn explorer and Xena-fearless to just do a reality check and turn our narratives on their heads. And make way for other more real, closer to the truth stories that could be the gateway of more fulfilled lives.

Which is why:
a) we’re needy
b) we’re weak with longing to be accepted
c) we’re stiff with fear of being rejected
d) we’re uncertain of our own strength
e) we’re aching to belong
f) we’re thirsty for acknowledgement of our own beautiful self from a world that doesn’t give a F@#$!
g) we’re dying to be heard

We’re crying out to the world, “see me for who I am” but the truth is we don’t see ourselves. We’re afraid. Of being naked to ourselves. We’re ashamed.F@#$!

Conditioned to believe that if we’re not perfect with 10 fingers (for women they need to be long and tapering and smooth with pearly long nails for that perfect feline quality meeow!), 10 toes, narrow waists, child-bearing hips, shapely legs, tiny feet, great breasts, the gap within the thighs, the tinkling laughter, the mane that no shampoo ad can rival, the skin like alabaster without a mole or freckles, acne marks or wrinkles, then we’re losers. And for the men am sure it’s a similar story. Poor men, even more insecure than women and can’t even admit to it. Only show machismo because that’s supposed to be how they are, vulnerability can go fly a kite! F@#$!

The conditioned self. The true self. The ‘narrative’ self. Somehow we find it so easy to float on a bed of lies, shame, guilt and fear that we really forget who we are. F@#$!

What the hell do we do now? How do we step back from the abyss of dismay, disgust and delusion? How do we reclaim our true selves? I don’t know. F@#$!

 

The 4th Decade of Life!

Mmm...birthday cake

Happy birthday cake in technicolour!



It’s my birthday today and well I’m in my 4th decade of life. It’s been a day full of receiving wonderful gifts from loved ones, a day when my friends from all over the world have called and texted and messaged and I feel truly and wonderfully special.

Beautiful gift box!

Gifts, gifts, glorious gifts!

Today, when I look back at the times when I didn’t have some of my best friends call me on my birthday and how awful and despondent and disappointed I would feel, I feel like I’ve come of age :). When I think back to when I would count all the friends who called me or wished me and mentally tick them off the “list”, I feel like going “awww, come on, really?” When I think of how bereft I would feel just because I didn’t have surprise parties being thrown for me or a group of friends creating a ruckus and throwing me a party, I think to myself, ‘what’s with you girl? grow up!”. But if I didn’t think like this in the 4th decade of my life, God I haven’t lived then have I? It would be a sad day indeed if I haven’t evolved yet, grown up, matured, learnt to deal with the focused conditioning of the mind with “Hallmark” moments of joy and laughter, and realised that we are a product of what we allow ourselves to believe and absorb. Our minds are like sponges and we are so eager to please and be acknowledged that if we think that cake cutting is how birthdays are to be celebrated then we accept it as the last word on happiness on a birthday. If big huge bouquets of flowers, hordes of people clamouring to take you out to lunch or dinner, parties, fantastic gifts beautifully wrapped, are the signs that you’ve arrived in life or are really loved and popular, we accept it as the norm.

Confetti and party!

Birthday party

For the longest time I would crave all of those things. Today in my 4th decade, I am happy with my loved friends, my inner circle, my family remembering me and wishing me on my birthday. That’s all I really care about. The rest of the paraphernalia is just that, paraphernalia. We get so sucked into this whole “idea” of what things should be, how our lives should “look” from the outside that we really forget to get in touch with who we are and what we really should look for when we seek happiness.

I think it was Confucius who said, “happiness is an inside job.” Man, he sure knew what he was talking about. After all when you think of the love your friends and family shower on you, people who really care, it’s so easy to really sift the grain from the chaff. There may be occasions when friends forget, there may be friends who remember, there may be friends you want to forget and there may be friends who want to forget you. Does any of it matter? Life is all about the warp and weft of relationships which form an intricate and beautiful pattern on your heart and soul. The ones that are woven with a strong bond last many lifetimes, the ones that are based on mere superficialities, well, does one need to even worry about them? And then there are those which serve a specific purpose in life at a very specific time in your life. These are all the tides of life, cresting and troughing…up and down, high and low, big and small.

But when you break it all down, you find that the love of yourself for yourself is the single most important gift that you can give yourself. And if you have even one human being who loves you unconditionally (well, for all practical purposes, because unconditional love is a myth), you are truly blessed and you have well and truly arrived. Because all you need is love, love is all you need.