I give up

“To heal a wound you must stop scratching it.”

-Paulo Coelho

My father has badly hurt my feelings, time and again. I hold terrible grudges against him since childhood. He has let me down throughout childhood and has never admitted to his mistakes. He is extremely selfish even when he is supposed to be a “caregiver” according to the universal rule of our society. Needless to say, I end up having expectations from him (really basic ones, I swear!) which always remain unfulfilled. He only cares about himself and his convenience at all times.

Yesterday, I felt extremely helpless. Even though he hasn’t fulfilled his moral obligations towards me, I am expected and obligated to do so. Whenever I am asked to do this, all the memories of being terribly hurt in the past, disappointments, unfulfilled wishes, unmet expectations come rushing back to me and I feel helpless. He has absolutely “NO RIGHT” to expect anything from me, yet he does so, with pride. I end up screaming, yelling, trying to bring some sense into him without respite. Nothing works, nothing has ever worked when it comes to this man.

I have no choice left but to give up.

I give up having expectations from him, of any kind or nature whatsoever

I absolutely do not give him power to make me feel helpless and hopeless in life

I take back his ability to act as a hindrance in my journey of personal growth

I do not wish to enter into conflicts of any kind or nature with him

I take total responsibility of building my life from scratch and do not expect any help or support, whether emotional or financial from him

I will fulfill all my obligations towards him without fighting it (whenever I have tried to fight my way out of this, they end up mounting and become multi fold. The Universe is never in sync with my escape attempts and wants me to go through this pain. All I can do is change my attitude towards it so that it stops hurting me or have any impact on me.)

This is not a one time process and will require daily dedicated practice till the time I am immune to this pain and don’t allow such situations to have an adverse impact on my mental health. I wish to never feel hopeless and helpless in my life anymore due to such situations.

I’ll try to use the following techniques to deal with such situations whenever I need to encounter them :-

  • Take deep breaths when the mind starts churning out negative thoughts at the speed of light
  • Calm yourself down, go for a walk or a stroll, listen to music, write in your journal, do anything that works to divert your mind from the current situation
  • Be quiet, try to avoid conversation with the person who is the source of your pain (in my case I end up using harsh words to prove my point which ends up making me feel guilty without having any impact on the person)
  • Know that you are NOT at fault here, you are NOT being punished, nothing is being taken away from you, you are NOT destined to be unhappy or in pain, this is NOT your reality. The Universe always has a way of balancing things out, GIVE with an open heart and positive mindset
  • You are HELPING someone out of their misery, you ARE doing a good deed, try to avoid taking such situations to heart, have NO expectations in return

I somehow feel that this the thing that has been holding me back all this while. If I make a tiny change in my mindset, I can look forward to a fulfilled and abundant life.

Dealing with someone’s anger

#98/100

“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Anger is a very necessary and strong emotion. It becomes out of hand when we let it control our actions. I am a passive aggressive person. I used to keep all my thoughts and feelings within me as long as I could till it got the better of me. I only vented out and stopped talking to the person for sometime only after someone’s actions hurt me beyond my limits of patience. Since I always feared speaking my mind when I felt bad about something, I kept my feelings to myself till it turned into regrets. Once it turs to regret, it takes a long time to get over our anger and for us to realize the ill effects of our actions.

I used to keep my frustrations pent up for a long time and burst out into arguments when I couldn’t take it anymore. After such arguments, I preferred not talking to the person for a long time till I dealt with my emotional reaction over the situation. I have had long periods of silence with most of my close friends for reasons that seem extremely petty to me now. None of the issues that have angered me in the past make sense to me anymore. Yet I don’t regret it as I dealt with low confidence, insecurity and low self esteem issues growing up.

Anger starts from a simple emotion of “expectation”. We expect something to happen in a certain manner and when things don’t unfold according to our wishes, all hell breaks loose. We cannot expect other people to behave exactly in the manner we expect them to. We are dealing with human beings with varied emotions and expressions that is unique from person to person. A little understanding and patience when things start to feel wrong could go a long way in avoiding unnecessary conflicts. A high sense of self worth helps us get over the inertia of handing out the olive branch and apologize first to make things right, especially when we know both sides are at fault. This is still a work in progress for me but I’m trying everyday to become more secure with my self and patient in life as I absolutely despise having conflicts of any kind. I tend to think about them every waking minute of my life and lose my sleep over it.

If the conflict remains unresolved even after apologizing, the only thing that one can do is to give the other person time and space to deal with their emotions. Although it’s my ardent desire to live a conflict free life, I know very well that this might be an absurd expectation. Avoiding any form of conflict could end up muting my real thoughts and convert me into a person who agrees to everything that other people say and live with grudges all my life. All I can do is work to find a middle ground where I can ensure that my voice is heard without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Can be better

#87/100

“I hope you do not let anyone else’s expectations direct the course of your life.” 

– Julianne Donaldson

In my previous organization, we were given a lot of work and there was never a moment to spare. The attrition rate was very high which practically forced us to be on our toes, learn different skills and grasp new work in a short period of time. The first few months were a blur, I never understood what I did at work. Slowly things made sense and by the time I left the organization, I was solving issues that I always admired my seniors for doing. In one of my review meetings, I was praised by the senior management for my quality of work which was better than was expected. The expectation there was basic, do the work allotted to you accurately and avoid making errors. Any work done beyond this expectation was applauded like handling a team well or completing work well within the deadline even with a low staff count.

Things changed (for the worse) when I joined my current organization. Firstly, I am part of the cost function here (I don’t make money for the organization) in a team filled with sales professionals and traders, hence looked down upon. No one says that directly but one can sense it from other people’s behavior or the general work environment. Secondly, I don’t get any feedback on my work from the only person whose opinion matters, my boss! I started with zero expectations (visibly excited to learn new things from scratch) which fizzled out in a month when the person who taught me work left the organization. I realized that I am on my own from now onwards without anyone in my team. I tried understanding my boss’s expectations but he was always vague in his communication. My boss who is 30 years my senior, has a very old school mentality of learning at work. Instead of giving more work, he expects me to ask him if he has any work. He wishes that I interact with every one in my vicinity and learn about their job. That’s how he wants me to learn everything about everything.

I tried doing it in the beginning. I probably didn’t give my best attempt as this way of learning was against my personality. I am a shy and introverted person, it takes immense mental strength for me to ask someone a normal query. I keep thinking that I’m disturbing the person or might not get a satisfactory response. This is not a new thing, I’ve never asked any queries to my teachers from school to college, I always tried finding my own answers. But this was the prime expectation from my boss and I had no clue how to live up to it. I kept shrugging it to off to a point that every single unsatisfactory response from my boss makes me feel that he HATES me! It’s really nerve wracking to end each work day on an unsettled note truly believing that I’ve disappointed my boss. He doesn’t say anything to me on my face but gives sarcastic replies at times proving my suspicion right.

I know I’m not going to be around working for this person all my life. This phase is temporary. It’s just that every single day at work becomes a burden when you feel unwelcome and somewhat hated. Oh yes, he has never really appreciated any of my work till now, it’s been around 2.5 years that I’ve joined this workplace. He compares people’s achievements to his own and feels that the present generation doesn’t work hard enough. You guessed it right, he is a ‘baby boomer’. His work ethic and knowledge is admirable, he earned it all on his own. When you have done so much in life, it becomes difficult to appreciate anything that’s less than yours. That’s where empathy comes into place. You lived a different life, it’s unfair to have unnecessarily high expectations from the present generation and mock them for not doing better. Everyone is doing the best they can.

This is one of the main reasons on having terrible Monday blues and dreading the end of each vacation. I don’t wish to go back to being burdened under the painfully heavy weight of my boss’s expectations. The only way out is to do my best and enjoy what I do. My sanity and happiness is always a priority and anything that goes against it doesn’t have a place in my life.