Why are we afraid of asking questions that matter?

Quote by Melissa Senate

Asking the question

We’re bloody complicated people. Hah! No kidding! No seriously, we are. We go about our lives in such dramatic fashion, but we long for a life without drama. Peace and serenity and quiet with all the money, the luxuries, the material comforts sounds really like a must-have no? What BS! We’d be tearing our hair out, dying to throw caution to the winds and just give peace and all that jazz the royal slip. Who wants to be a peacenik?! Hrmph!

Let me park all of the above for a moment and get to the crux. We spend so much of our time hiding from answers to questions that we don’t even know how to question any more.

|| I’m your wife, the mother of your child. I see red when I see you. I can’t stand it when you drive, or talk, or eat. || >>>> What am I really angry at? <<<<

|| You’re my husband, friend, lover and father of my child. I’m really tired of carrying the entire financial burden on my slender shoulders.|| >>>>Why the fuck can’t I just tell him to stop sponging off me?<<<<

|| I am a working mother with a hectic work schedule. I do love what I do. Thank God, I have a house-husband!|| >>>> How do I assuage my guilt of not being around for my child?>>>>

|| You are my wife and the mother of my children. I married you because I loved you. Today, I don’t care.|| >>>>You’re just an unpaid housemaid for whom I have no love, no respect, perhaps never did.>>>>

|| You’re my aged mother. You’re difficult and stubborn and you don’t listen to my requests.||>>>> I don’t mean a thing to you do I? Why am I unable to tell you that I am afraid that I don’t matter.>>>>

|| You’re my wonderful friend. I always end up saying yes to wherever you want to eat, whichever movie you want to see, wherever you want to shop.|| >>>>I can’t stand my own inability to stand up for who I am. I am worried about rejection aren’t I if I were to just be my true self?>>>>

I had a grandmother. In fact even two great grandmothers. They never told me to cut the crap and just ask the question. I never learnt therefore to get to the crux of the matter. I always brooded, glossed over, pretended. But I was always afraid to say something because it might make me look, sound, seem foolish. I’ve been in love so often when I was younger, and I was always afraid to ask, “do you love me?” and my fears came true. They never did. It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But that’s what we do. We live our entire lives disconnected from our true selves. Now in the age of smartphones, the disconnectedness is even more. Each of us lives in dysfunctional families, societies, states and countries. We see what’s wrong, we’re dying to ask why, yet we keep mum. When someone asks, “how are you?”, why do we mouth “I’m fine” on autopilot, when actually you’re burning with anger, pain, grief, disillusionment or what have you? It’s the same with everything and anything else. Do I write well? Will I ever write a book? Can I ever muster enough resolve to get rid of my insecurities? Will I ever be famous?

Questions that are always chasing answers, provided asked. Who are we kidding?
Why are we afraid of the truth?

The Inconvenience of Truth!

 “It’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness I lack. Not rationality.”                  The Bride in  Kill Bill – Vol.1 

The Inconvenience of Truth 1:
Firstly, apologies that I’m a day late on my writing schedule. The ‘silver lining’ way to look at it? Thank God, just a day late and I’ve got something to say :). My mother and I went to see this Hindi movie called ‘City Lights’ on Sunday last. The movie had got great reviews and the actor is from among a new breed of actors in the Bollywood pantheon who’s a find, a bundle of skill and talent, he’s the reel and real deal – Rajkumar Rao, take a bow. The movie lived up to some of the reviews and I liked it. Gritty and real with some extremely fine acting.

The long and short of the storyline – a young man, his wife and his young daughter leave their village in Rajasthan, a state in North Western India, come to Mumbai seeking hope, love, dreams and fulfillment – trying to live an honest dream. What the city does to them as a family in search of living, is the crux of the movie. The movie held me in thrall, most movies do as I’m a lover of movies and if a movie doesn’t hold me in the vortex of its storytelling then it’s a truly truly truly awful film. Because I can sit through almost any film, barring horror. That’s a genre that I abhor and have stayed away from. I value my sleep and I don’t need horror films to teach me about  beauty and love and gratitude and forgiveness and I don’t need arguments that without darkness there can be no light. Thank you, but no, thank you! Aah, I digress, woe be me! :). Blame it on the lure of the words and the seduction by the keyboard :).

So to get back to the movie ‘City Lights’, the movie asked me a few questions to which I honestly had no answers:

a) What is it to be homeless and would I be able to sleep on a pavement besides a garbage dump with my mother if I ever found myself to be in a situation like that? {she’s the only immediate family though my close knit and extended family of aunts and cousins might take umbrage to that statement, but you know what I mean – like I have no siblings or a father (at least I don’t know if he’s alive and I’m hoping if he is that he’s fine, God bless his soul!)}

b) What kind of person does it take to cheat a naive, simple, poor soul of all his monies and leave him and his family dejected, homeless and bereft of hope or belief in the goodness of humanity? What would I do in circumstances like that?

c) Would I be able to dance in a strip club and have men leching, lunging and lusting after my body and objectifying me as a pure sex object? So what if the money’s showered on and over my titillating body? Would my pride, ego, intrinsic cultural ethos and conditioning prevent me from doing what it takes to survive especially if I was a mother with a young child?

d) Why do we teach “honesty” as a value? Why don’t we temper these values with riders and caveats with a dose of practical reality? It’d be so much more easy to live down our own truths. I mean, really, how honest can a person be in this world that we’ve ensured is dishonest? And then to seek honesty and goodness and spirituality in the Himalayas or Hawaii by doing yoga or becoming a monk or whatever else that you’ve identified is food for your soul, isn’t going to cut it is it? if it does, why are we all always seeking? I’m not deriding seekers, no, not by a long shot. Please continue to ask, seek, search and find whatever it is you are seeking to give you peace, purpose and pleasure and make the world a better place. I’m a seeker too for cyring out loud and it is in that seeking that these questions emerge. Why don’t we teach our children therefore, that be ‘as honest as you can by weighing the circumstances and the context’?
Because let’s face it, there are no absolutes, are there? We’ve all cheated, lied, and been dishonest at some time in our lives, white lies et al. So who are we kidding when we say, ‘be honest, don’t cheat, be good’. Really?

e)  Would you make peace quickly (I dare not say easily), with your spouse’s death even after realising that it was a deliberate sacrifice on his/her part, so that you could live with dignity and purpose, with the monies that can afford you those twin attributes? In fact would it be okay to live on the monies that are in effect ill begotten wealth so to speak, and on the memories of a sacrificed, tarnished life?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. The world we live in is the same. But it isn’t right? Because the prisms through which each of us lives it is so different. Therefore there are a billion plus realities, not just one. Your reality is different from mine. And yet, we come up with a Standard of Values, that’s supposed to be the underpinning of societal mores and values that drives us, helps us (supposedly) live civilised lives. Hrmph!!! What baloney! That’s why perhaps it’s liberating when we ‘break the shackles’, ‘break the rules’, and ‘do your own thing’ and sing ‘it’s my life’! And yet without rules and values where would we be? Still bludgeoning women with a stony club or a hand axe I guess and have incestuous lives or adulterous lives and run amok looting and plundering and not adhering to any rules I guess. Hmm…come to think  of it, put like that, it sounds terribly akin to 21st century no? Oh the conundrum of being human!

The Inconvenience of Truth 2
During my morning perambulations yesterday and my usual routine of listening to a podcast, I had an epiphany. The podcast I was listening to was The Unmistakable Creative’s interview with this amazing modern-day monk called Dandapani. During that interview, he asked a simple, oft-asked question: what do I really want? It’s not something that I hadn’t asked myself before, but there’s always something about the timing, the place, the context, the mood, that all adds up to a connection and a sudden burst of clarity – in short, an epiphany. What did I really want? The answer was: to know if I mattered!

——————————————————————————————————— Truth is inconvenient. Truth gives us an ulcer which no amount of Eno or other antacids can assuage. Truth is a tool for manipulation. Truth is malleable. Truth is bitter. Truth hurts. But in the end…

The truth always sets you free.

And while you mull that, here’s a query that can perhaps help you in that quest of the Truth.

Darn it! It’s us isn’t it?


I’m in pain. A lot of self-inflicted pain. Things are not going as they should be. My work is causing me worry. The lack of self-worth is beginning to creep up sneakily from the inside (yes, not from behind, it’s always from the inside). And I feel alone, so miserably alone because it is tough to share how down and out you feel when everyone is combating their own fears and failures. My mind is abuzz with questions, as usual. Can anything other than questioning lead us to light? So now you know why I question so much :).

  • Why do people treat other people like they don’t matter? It kills me when friends, family, clients, acquaintances don’t bother responding to emails, calls, texts, Whatsapp or anything. Please don’t tell me that you’ve not seen the message, or that your cell phone or laptop was being flushed down the toilet or that you sat on it or something. Because we’re all connected and how. Of course you are busy. Understandable. My message may not be on your list of priorities. But not responding to a simple text message in any form for hours and days on end? Sorry miss, missus or sir, you are full of crap. Because hey, if you have to ignore, then let’s be straightforward about it. Stop the BSing and the excuses. No one was born yesterday. What’s worse and gets my goat is when these same ‘full of crap’ people will ask you, “I sent you a message, didn’t you get it?” And why do they ask you? Because you haven’t answered them in 30 seconds like you normally do, or perhaps you forgot and didn’t respond by quickly apologising or perhaps you just don’t know how to make excuses and almost always always always respond. It’s all about those goddamned expectations. I should’ve set mine right, right at the beginning. Am I holier than thou? Don’t I take my time over responses to email for instance? Sometimes I do but only with people I can take the liberty of doing so. But I always respond. So yes, it’s a huge bugbear. What eventually happens is that snarky, sneaky voice called ‘IV'(Inner Voice) literally drips into you, slooooowly, drip by drip. It calls on your inner resilience and asks you with a sneer, “So you don’t matter see? No one cares. And what you say is not important, never has been. He he he!” There goes my carefully constructed body of work on self-worth. Aaargh!
  • Why are we all so anxious on ‘what will she/ he think’? I have no bloody clue. I think it may be the conditioning beginning in utero, don’t you? I mean, really perhaps from the time a woman is pregnant, people always comment on her belly, the size, the shape, her form, her clothes, her nauseas and other discomforts, her cravings, her paranoias, baby names, and I think, the baby inside goes, “Oh, so that’s how it works eh? Everyone’s opinion matters. Hmmm….” Poor little baby. I used to feel very anxious about who thought what of me. Nowadays I am getting more and more comfortable in my own skin and so yes, while some people still have the power to hurt me (no, am not telling), that power has receded by a factor of 200%. Not bad Miss Latebloomer, good for ya! :).
  • Why do we so easily discount our own “feelings” and instead opt to listen to reason, rationale, or other opinions not our own? Aah! Tiring isn’t it to think that we’re always telling our heart and our soul, “you don’t matter, you don’t matter”, when all we should be doing is “I love myself”. Please read Kamal Ravikant’s simple but effective book called “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended On It”. Read James Altucher’s post and you will know what I mean. Oh and please don’t become a James Altucher fan and ditch me ok? :)…Just kidding! See? My self-worth and insecurity was as transparent as Saint Gobain glass what?
  • Why is your approval important to me? For some reason, acknowledgement by others of our own skill, talent or success (what about failure?) automatically seems to transmogrify into our own opinion of ourselves. True ain’t it? Think of how one, just one measly moment in your life when others’ approval or opinion did not matter. Be honest with yourself, don’t give a damn about me. See? There you go, you were wondering, weren’t you, how honest you could be? For that teensy weensy moment you were actually contemplating not being 100% honest, weren’t you? :). Yup, I know that feeling, it happens :).
  • Why do we give up on ourselves? You don’t think we do? But we do. At least I do. I have, many times in the past. I please guilty. I don’t realise my own strength, my own resilience, my own good sense, my own “feeling”/ instinct/ gut-feel/ intuition (call it what you will) will hold me in good stead as it always has my back, unquestionably. And every time I have trusted my instinct or listened to my heart the results have been astonishing. The sad part is it takes a lot of time to build that trust with yourself. If you’re already there, then wow, you’re a guru and can teach me a few things. Please.

So hey, a million questions but let’s take it one blog post, one day, one scenario at a time shall we? Can’t be too rushed about these truth bulbs now can we? It’s been unlit for so long that if we rush it, it could blow a fuse. Let’s dance and sing and be merry, because I think we were put on this earth to find joy and be joyous. What’s your opinion? Share share share. Let your voice be heard. Silence is no longer golden!

Well, Adam Levine has this to say…