This is not a rant. This is a piece of advice from a younger you. This is an expression of your cognition. This is something that you need, something that will enable you to reflect on the choices that you have made and that you will be making. This is your gift to yourself.
Is it not difficult to communicate with yourself sometimes? Is it not difficult to enunciate what the heart is feeling, what the mind is rationalising?
It is even more difficult to seek peace by strangling your emotions and locking them away in a deserted corner of your heart. It is important to speak. It is important to be honest – with yourself, at least, if not with anyone else.
Sometimes, our mind spins up a path that is too difficult to keep track of. Don’t let that consume you. It makes a weird, an almost erratic carving on your personality – one that you are unable to handle because you are afraid of facing the truth. But the truth is this: the sooner, the better. The sooner you face your devils, the better it is. There is nothing more repulsive and degrading than deceiving yourself, because that way, not only are you adding your name to the long list of cowards, but you are also wrecking your life and that of those around you.
Release yourself from the shackles that you once very gladly took up – whether they are the social incarcerations or your own self-righteousness. It is an inferno if nothing else. It is a form of abuse that you don’t have to put up with. No abuse is worth putting up with.
Whoever said the good things in life come easily? Being strong is hard. It never was easy. But there is pride in strength. Not arrogance, but pride. Strength is like the bitter pill that cures you. It rids you of all your fears, your insecurities. It liberates you. You know you are going to falter. You may be practical, you may be emotional. Or you may be a bittersweet combination of both. Your faith in those you trust will suffer. You will have agonising phases of self-doubt. You will question your own dogma. But. You still have to be strong. You may break in the process. But the damage is reversible. You may be stubborn, and you need to use that stubbornness to coerce you to befriend strength. You may have an ego. But you know how to love and how to care. And that will help you pick yourself up. That will make you stronger than ever. That will make you capable of braving any tempest. That will arm you with an experience that will be your eternal North star. If that means stimulating your tear glands, let it be so. Anything that makes you feel better, that gifts you wings and the power to soar, is totally worth it.
Respect the way others think, even if it is completely different from yours. Respect the way others think because it is their carte blanche to have views and opinions. Just like it is yours.
That brings us to the question of respect? What is the essence of this seven letter word?
There is the type of respect you have for all people, for humanity..because they are humans. And respect for humanity, irrespective of the sins they may have committed, is a lifetime lesson. After all, who are we to judge the actions of others when we ourselves are no angels when we ourselves have hurt others intentionally and unintentionally? Because people in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Because to err is human.
Then there is the sort of respect that is earned. You earn the respect of others through your admirable selflessness, your angelic generosity, your unconditional love, your selfless devotion to those you love. That is how we win respect. And hearts.
Then there are those we respect because of how they deal with their flaws, how they try to rid themselves of their flaws. And that is the superlative degree of all forms of respect, because they not only give out the best in them to the world but also ensure that their flaws don’t get the best of them They don’t sugarcoat those flaws. They acknowledge it and deal with it positively. And that is the sort of respect you should aim for.
Never commit the sin of mocking another person’s personal experiences. Those are experiences that have made them who they are today. They are the reason behind how they think. They make them the very person that you so admire. Those are experiences that do not deserve to be mocked.
People grow in different ways, at different rates. Expecting them to keep pace with you is very naïve. Give yourself time. Enjoy your growth. Be patient with yourself, and with those around you.
Tame your ego. Because ego is like salt. Too much salt and too less salt – both are unfavourable. Find out how much you need.
Bumps in the road are not uncommon. In fact, they ensure a smooth future ride. They cement relationships. They test your commitment.They test your relationships. Don’t be intimidated by them.
Think about the sunset. It is so beautiful. But it is the sunset; it marks the end of another day. But it is beautiful, nevertheless. Ever wondered why? Because it also fuels the human anticipation for another day of hope, of love, of being with the ones we love.
Give yourself a second chance.People change, and with them, their priorities. What you were a year ago, you may not be the same person now. Try out new things. Try out what you already have experimented with, but with a better approach. That is living.
Human beings are complex, and some human beings are far more complex than the rest. Having a heart and a mind that is irrevocably intertwined can be both a blessing and a curse. Channel it to your advantage. Set your own sail. Be your own saviour. Don’t wait for someone else to rescue you. Seeking help is not wrong. Dependency is. Recognise the difference between them.
Understand the unspoken. Appreciate the spoken.
Discern what you deserve. Cherish what you have.
Stop for a minute. Think. Why are you breathing? Why are you alive? We are all here for a purpose. Some of us discover it and live it. Yes, they live it. Some of us spend our entire lives trying to solve this puzzle, and in the process, miss out on the little joys that add to the beauty of life, and fail to see who and what is important to us. You don’t want to be that person.
Take pride in the fact that you are strong, that you know yourself. Take pride in the fact that you are you. Take pride in the fact that you are surrounded by people who understand you, who love you, who appreciate you. That is one of the greatest blessings you have been endowed with.
May what is best for you, be yours. Today, tomorrow, forever.
Love thyself, and those around you.
Happy birthday to you!