If you have the ability to love, Love Yourself first! 323

YES…..Marry yourself first.

The concept of loving oneself is not new. We have TED talks, articles and movies that are spreading more and more awareness about the importance of self-love. My induction into the concept happened some three years back when I was facing some personal challenges. The situations forced me to take a hard look at some patterns that I could not stop. I wanted answers and looked into the plethora of spiritual resources – Osho, TED talks, Buddhism, psychology studies. Even though my journey with self-love started long back, I can only now (after three years) say that I truly understand and live the concept.

The concept is very simple. We reflect our shortcomings on other people. When something bothers, upsets, anger, or just irritates us in another person, it is very rare outside of us. If someone else can upset you – you have given your power and energy away. Having realized this, I set on this mission to never let anyone else get under my skin. My approach was incorrect. I saw the symptom – which was my irritation – and I jumped to eliminating it. I did not spend time introspecting the cause of the irritation or anger in the first place. The cause was simple – I did not accept myself completely. I did not accept my shortcomings and flaws. Hence, when someone else triggered my flaws, I did not exhibit the awareness to understand, register and let the irritation go. Instead, I reacted.

How could this go on? I have family, friends, work colleagues. I spend time with all of them. However, the one person I do not get any rest from is myself. I have to live in my body, in my mind, in my soul – all my life. Even when I sleep, my overactive imagination sends messages through dreams! It is impossible to get away from myself and I would be a fool not to try loving myself!

Self-love does not work in isolation of self-work. In order to love myself, it was important for me to follow these three steps:

Introspect

A lot of introspection to helps me understand myself better. When I am not surrounded by people who validate my existence, how do I validate it on my own? Who am I when no one is watching? This was tough. Mix the social life in the city with work – you hardly spend time with yourself. I had to make conscious efforts of turning down invitations if my heart wanted to spend time with myself. Eventually, I could see a clear shift. From being restless with spending time with myself, I started enjoying my cuppa, book and diary. Now I am at a point that me-time is one of the most rejuvenating parts of my schedule.

Accept

Introspection is not always pretty. The process does not always involve a cup of coffee and a faint smile on the face. Introspection has a very honest face which exposes your shortcomings and flaws. Oh, how tough this stage was for me! I had been dealing with anger issues for a long time and only now was I beginning to understand that anger was just a symptom. There were layers of self-doubt and self-defense that had shifted my primary response to anger. I had to accept it and let go of the guilt with it. I saw myself as I was. Not as others saw me. The moment we think anyone is watching, we lose our true selves.

The reality is what is inside you. This step is the toughest. We are tuned to come up with excuses for our behavior – ‘the circumstances are tough, hence I act out’, ‘I have grown up seeing anger, hence I react with it too’, ‘nobody understands me’, ‘my work is demanding and I do not have time for feelings’. We are also tuned to protect ourselves – hence more often than not, our justification for reacting to a situation in a certain way will be very comforting. We forget to question in that moment why circumstances triggered the emotions we felt. That is key. Undiluted honesty.

Pat yourself on the back

However, another very important part of acceptance is giving yourself a pat on the back for the strength in your character. I maintain a gratefulness journal and every now and then, I would write down my strong qualities that had either been passed on by my parents or that I had built. I am grateful for being the person I am, albeit with flaws.

Transform

This part was easy. I knew my flaws. I understood them. I understood what triggered them. It was time to let go. I worked on letting go my anger and of transforming myself into a person I would want to spend time with. It is an ongoing life project and I can say it is the most rewarding one. I am building myself every day.

None of the above has a start and end date. It is a cyclical process. However, once you pass the first cycle truthfully, you will look at yourself in the mirror and feel happy with the person you see. I got married in Dec of last year and it is only recently this year that I could say with certainty that I love the person I have become and I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with myself.

People often confuse this self-love with selfishness. To those people, I would appeal – please go through the cycle J, your introspection might well reveal your inability to love yourself, triggering you to reject my ability to self-love. If in doubt, if in a reactive mode, just ask yourself – would you want to spend the rest of your life with this person?

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Let there be no other Pradyuman! 1926

 

Dear All,

This is an open letter to whomsoever it may concern, I am really shaken by the death of Pradyuman and series of events that have surfaced in different schools victimising little kids.

I am a mother of a 2-year-old child and the day I saw the news about the cold-blooded murder of a 7-year-old Pradyumn, I was left dumbstruck. Well, I never doubted the fact that human is the most dangerous animal but the way this little boy was murdered is…..no word can describe it.

I don’t know if there was something wrong with schools or there is something seriously wrong with the school management. But, another point that I would like to raise here is about the playschools.

I think most of the parents nowadays send their kids to playschool. It’s a place where children learn the basics of life and get geared up to enter the real world of schooling. But, have you noticed that there are so many playschools have mushroomed in every nook and corner of the city.

I just want to know how many such schools are affiliated or is there any system in place which assures that these playschools follow a set pattern. It might not concern a few but to many of us, it is a point of worry. Knowing the fact that our little ones are very small, they can barely speak clearly, they are too naïve to understand the ill-intentions and malicious thoughts; under such circumstances, there is a dire need to have a system in place which sets the certain protocol for opening playschools.

Even if there are parameters that need to be met to open playschool, it’s important to check for those schools which are running in a room or in a small area where no amenities are present.

What can we do as parents?

I agree to the fact that schools are the second home for a child but, taking into account the recent precedence, it is the time that we as parents take up the charge and become proactive.

If you are planning to enroll your child or have already enrolled then you must have these pointers on your radar-

  • You must know about the playschool and its staff.
  • Try to stay personally connected with the staff members and other staff of the school
  • Enquire about the verification procedure of the staff members
  • The schools should have enquired complete details about each member of the staff, starting from the teachers to the watchman
  • Enquire about the first aid facility available in the school
  • Make sure that you drop your child to his/her class
  • You should do a surprise check in the school
  • Don’t forget to meet your ward’s teacher regularly
  • And the most important thing, you should observe the behavior of your child. It’s very important that you must check if your child is happy to go to school and at the same time he/she is happy while coming back.

These are a few suggestions from my end, you can obviously leave your opinions and feedback on the same. Let’s promise to ensure the safety of our children and their childhood.

 

 

 

Why is ‘Adoption’ unapproved by society for an unmarried single parent? 1383

I was preparing for sleep last night when my friend Asmi called me up. She was sounding flustered. More than flustered, there was a rage in her voice. It happens rarely that Asmi cries. She is 30, strong, self-reliant and a career-oriented woman. She didn’t marry because she chose not to marry. There is no catastrophic heartbreak story behind. Her focus has always been on her career. She is practical and staunched.

I understood her heart is really heavy else there has never been any place for tears in her eyes.

I quizzed her the reason.

“I am not crying because am sad, I am crying because am helpless and exasperated.” Asmi retorted.

I didn’t interrupt and allowed her to put her heart out.

“Preeti, I called my mother last night and had an argument with her.” she continued.

“I told my mother that I want to adopt a baby. Before I could say anything further she started yelling at me. She scolded me saying, Asmi already because of your decision of not getting married we are in pain. Why are you adding troubles to our lives? If you really want to adopt a baby just forget us. We have to live in this society and will have to answer people around. You have always done whatever you want but this time you are crossing your limits.

If not today, maybe tomorrow you will get married. Who will marry a girl with one child? Such things appear good in movies only. You better start focusing on marriage now. Preeti, My mother wasn’t even ready to listen to my thoughts”. Asmi started sobbing.

I really had no words to console her. Her thoughts were irreproachable and valiant.

But we cannot even disregard the fact that we live in a hypocrite society. When celebrities like Sushmita, Angelina, Sunny and more adopt a baby, we eulogize, lionize, praise their thoughts and we consider it as an act of kindness. We appreciate their humanity. We deduce that they gave a new life to someone. But when anyone from our own house even thinks of adoption we make them go through ignominy by coming up with the questions like is there any medical issue? Are you not straight? Why don’t you marry and then plan your own baby? Why are you trying to shame your parents? Why don’t you understand this baby won’t be your own blood? Are you kidding? Etc.

I’ve read somewhere that parenthood requires love and not DNA. I wish we really understand that. Your genes won’t define your family, our family is built with love care and respect. There are many people who do have a heart for adoption but fear comes in between. Fear of society.

I wish people understand that adopting a baby whether you are single or married isn’t a crime.

Adoption will not only give a baby a family but will also give us a special feeling. A feeling of being human. Probably the purpose we all are here for, giving life a life.