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.

Lost and found

#14/100

This story dates back to year 2008. I had recently started lectures for my first year in degree college. I was studying for chartered accountancy exams along with a bachelor’s degree in commerce. I used to attend college lectures in the morning from 7 am to 10 am and head to a Chartered Accountant’s office for my articleship for the rest of the day. (Every C.A. student has to serve a mandatory internship under a qualified chartered accountant for 3.5 years called as “Articleship”)

It had barely been 10 days since I was gifted a cellphone by my mother. I was over the moon with this gift as I’ve always been a gadget freak and was waiting to own a cellphone for myself. This cellphone was a huge investment for my mother as we weren’t financially stable during the entire period of my student life. It was more of a necessity rather than a luxury owing to my erratic schedule with college, articleship and tuitions.

The day started with college early in the morning. I wanted to inquire about the travel concession provided by my college and had paid a visit to the college administration department. I went there with the cellphone tucked safely inside my wallet. I was extra cautious not to misplace it or accidentally drop it. But I didn’t pay any attention to my ‘absent mindedness‘ and left the whole wallet with my cellphone at the counter of the department on my way back.

I didn’t realize it till the end of my lectures that day. I bid goodbye to my friends and tried to find my wallet for some cash and went numb when I couldn’t find it inside my bag. A shiver ran down my spine when I realized that I had misplaced my wallet and the cellphone with it. Teary eyed I went back to the lecture hall and searched every nook and cranny but couldn’t find it. I went to the canteen, library and finally the administration department only to be told that they haven’t found any lost item.

I just wasn’t ready to accept the reality. I couldn’t tell my mother that I had lost the cellphone which she had bought for me with much love and after many sacrifices. I called her up eventually and told her the sad news. I burst into tears while talking to her. She tried to calm me down and told me to keep calling my number with the hope of connecting to the person who had caught hold of my cellphone. This felt like a lost cause to me as I knew people aren’t sincere enough to return a brand new cellphone directly placed on to their lap.

I kept calling my number on the way to office. I was in a sunken mood at office and told them about the incident too. They tried their best to cheer me up and kept calling my number to see if someone would receive the call.

That’s exactly when a miracle took place. Someone picked up my number!!! My colleague talked to the person who turned out to be the librarian. He told her that a student had found my wallet and gave it to the librarian for safekeeping. I absolutely couldn’t believe my ears. I was going to get my cellphone back!

I ran towards the college (technically took an auto but in my mind I was dramatically running towards my cellphone), reached the library and collected my wallet with the biggest smile on my face. The call was received at the exact moment when I had lost all hope of getting the wallet and cellphone back. I prayed for the student who gave back my lost stuff without any malicious intent. I went back with chocolates for my colleagues to celebrate the unusual ‘lost and found” incident. I again got moist eyed when I told my mother that I had found my precious cellphone.

Down the memory lane

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

– Haruki Murakami

#10/100

I really don’t know if the human ability of keeping memories is a good thing. We’d most definitely love to recall the happy events but what about the sad ones? The pain of losing someone, that time when someone broke your heart, failing at that one thing which meant the most to you, betrayed by someone close to your heart or just being let down by your close ones, time and again. What do we do with such memories that just end up causing pain and sadness when we begrudgingly recollect them? Why doesn’t our brain have a functionality to selectively ignore the bad experiences and store only the good ones?

I know our life is a culmination of all types of experiences, the good, bad and ugly. But sometimes these bad remembrances have adverse effects on our present and cloud our vision for the future. A person’s likes, dislikes and entire personality is defined from the kind of encounters that they go through as a child. If a person had a bad childhood, they grow up having deep resentments and regrets in life. It is very difficult to let go of these bad emotions and carry on with their lives. They keep relapsing back to those horrific childhood memories and fear their present as well as future. Therapists and counselors tend to apply Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) while dealing with people with mental health issues. They try and understand the person’s childhood and all the events they have gone through to help them understand their emotions better.

Life would have been simpler with the existence of a reset button in our brain. We would be able to discard all the harmful memories and keep the ones that help us be happy and at peace with ourselves. A baby is born with a clean slate and an optimistic future. Before a human being develops the sense and ability to take their own decisions, their subconscious mind stores all the memories deep inside the brain from the word go. The good ones make you positive, gives you confidence, strength and happiness. The bad ones instills fear, anxiety, sadness, disappointment over events that your conscious mind has no control over.

In hindsight, the human ability of preserving memories is marvelous. They just have to work very hard on reacting to the emotions that are a consequence of these memories in a conducive manner.

When I earned my first and only scholarship

#5/100

I’m a chartered accountant by profession. I had cleared my exams way back in 2012. I almost gave up reading for good after studying for these exams. Forget further studies, I was mentally exhausted to even pick up a novel to read.

Cut to 7 years later, I finally wanted to study further, get another professional certificate/degree. I’ve always been an avid reader, I’m curious about the ways in which the world operates. Let me put it out straight, I ain’t a studious person but I do enjoy gaining information. Studying just for the sake of giving exams is probably one of my nightmares!

After researching through various short term courses and certifications, I finally zeroed down on CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). I was fairly sure that I wanted to do this course. However, there was one big glitch. This course was extremely expensive. There are 3 levels to this course, the entry fees to the first level and examination costs was a whopping USD 1,150 (INR 86,000). I am anyways a known procrastinator, the exorbitant fee to this course made me second guess my decision of enrolling for it.

While I was in two minds about opting for this course, my friend told me about a “Women’s scholarship” offered by the CFA institute. Although she told me to not keep my hopes high, there was no harm in trying for it. I just had to answer few questions about why I deserved the scholarship and how the CFA degree would help me in my professional goals. I gave my best to answer the questions, applied for the scholarship and ‘tried’ to forget all about it. I refrained from registering for the exam till I heard about the institute’s decision. I knew I had very slim chances of being awarded the scholarship but somehow I couldn’t let my hope die a silent death.

Every morning I refreshed my mailbox to look for the institute’s reply. This went on for over a month. One such morning, I woke up hazily to a routine weekday. I refreshed my mailbox out of habit and there it was, the institute’s reply!

I got the scholarship! My joy knew no bounds! This was probably the sign I was waiting for. The scholarship waived off the fees to USD 350. I enrolled for the course right away. After experiencing few setbacks, I sometimes had pessimistic reaction to certain situations in life. This scholarship somehow restored my faith in the Universe. It was that positive beam of light that I was struggling to find since a long time.

Extra dramatic!

#3/100

Today I would like to reminisce the day of my Chartered Accountant (C.A.) final results, 19th July 2012. The process of studying for this grueling exams and the stress build up before the result day calls for 2 totally independent blog posts. I would just like to narrate the sequence of events on July 19th leading up to declaration of my results.

During those days I was a very superstitious, religious, god-fearing young girl. I had no confidence in checking the results on my own or be present in my house when the results came out. My parents, especially my mother had huge expectations from me and I couldn’t let her down.

My preparations for the exam weren’t up to the mark and I wasn’t confident about my performance. Clearing the exams was more of a desperate need than an achievement. I wouldn’t have been able to face my mother had the results been negative. On July 19th, we got a notification in the morning saying that the results have been delayed. Instead of 2 pm in the afternoon, they were supposed to come in the evening.

I couldn’t stay at home anymore, my mind was working overtime to churn out all possible negative thoughts. I told my mother I’d visit a temple and come back. Now, this temple that I was supposed to visit is more than a hour away from my home. I figured it was a good way to pass my time rather than sit at home waiting for the clock to tick faster. I went to a specific temple I desperately wanted to visit to calm myself down. When I reached the place, I saw that the temple had been closed for a break in the afternoon. I was a little dejected but decided to stay there till the time they were supposed to re-open it. After about half an hour, I couldn’t sit there any longer and decided to walk towards another temple close by.

This walk has to be the most momentous walk of my life. About 5 minutes before I could reach the temple, I started getting calls on my phone. Panic struck that the results have been declared, I chose not to look at the mobile and continue my steps towards the temple. I switched off my cell phone owing to the continuous calls and messages. I had decided to keep chanting positive affirmations in my mind till I reached the temple. I went inside the temple, prayed and switched on my phone. The phone screen flashed with “Mom calling”. I took a deep breath and pressed on receive.

Me : Hello

Mom : Where were you? I’ve been trying to reach you since long

Me : What is it? Have the results been declared?

Mom : Yes…..

Mom : YOU CLEARED!!!

Me : What? Really? (I genuinely couldn’t believe what I had just heard!)

Mom : YOU CLEARED!!! YOU ARE A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT!

Honestly, the fact that I had become a Chartered Accountant didn’t sink in for days after the result. Today, 8 years after the results and living my life as a Chartered Accountant, I can’t help but laugh at the extra dramatic manner in which I ushered in the result news, inside a temple for crying out loud!

Getting out of my comfort zone

It was my first day at my new job today. This place is everything I wanted my dream job to be like. Extremely knowledgeable people, great office environment, fixed timings, great brand, yet, I feel weird.

There is this intense feeling of discomfort that is plaguing my mind. I just can’t come to terms with the fact that opportunities lie outside the comfort zone. In my previous organisation, I knew everything and everyone, everything and everyone knew me. I didn’t like the people there nor the office timings, yet, I want to go back and hide myself there.

What is wrong? Why do I feel so uncomfortable at a place that feels so right! Well, that’s the cost to pay when you venture out of your comfort zone. The comfort zone is a place which protects you from any kind of fear. New places brings with it unknown situations, uncomfortable meetings, it tests your knowledge and your ability to deal with new surroundings. All this ain’t pretty. Especially, for an introvert like me. Introverts like to conserve as much energy as possible. They lose energy and hope as soon as they have to encounter a new situation.

It’s time to be more positive and embrace my reality. Living my life one day at a time might help. I either live in the past or find myself dreaming about the future. Present is never an option for me.

Embracing every moment of the present situation will help me recuperate and that’s what I am going to do. It was my decision to move out of the situation I was in and upgrade my life. Now, I need to be more mature and responsible about my decisions. Happiness is a continuous process. You cannot wait for it to find it’s way to you. Happiness sometimes requires effort. Your mind needs to free and clutter free in order to create a nurturing house for it to stay in for a long time.

While I go back to my reality, I urge you all to give the uncomfortable situation you are currently facing, another chance. Just remember, this feeling too shall pass. It is just an illusion created by your mind to protect you from prospective fearful situations. And believe me, you are stronger than that! So, fight the FEAR.!

Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard

Know when to let go..!!

I am a person who dwells on the past. It is not a bad thing to revisit your memories, however it becomes a problem when your past affects the present. There are a million thoughts that race through your mind throughout the day. My thoughts range from regrets about the past to imagining situations about how I would have reacted in the same situation differently. One of my favourite hobbies is also thinking about a parallel universe where each one of my impossible thoughts come true. These kind of thoughts generate negativity about the present and also the future. You would find me staring at blank walls most of the time immersed in my own thoughts.

I’ve also seen people dragging a dead relationship. We meet a lot of people in our life, some we connect with mutually, some we don’t. The third and most painful situation is when one person wants to connect with someone who is least bothered. People who overthink tend to convince themselves to keep on trying. The phrase “If at once we don’t succeed, try, try and try again!” is drilled in our minds throughout school. We keep on trying and lose our dignity and self respect in the process.

It is very important to know when to stop.

When your thoughts over power your present as well as cast a shadow on your future, you need to stop.

Everyone has a lot of dreams and goals in our life. The situations I mentioned above create pitfalls in your journey to achieve these goals. We admire people who are extremely focussed in their life and keep on climbing the ladder of success. What we forget is the fact that each one of us possess infinite amount of ability to reach the pinnacle of success. People who end up succeeding in life are ones who have mastered the art of using thoughts to their advantage. There will be situations in life that side track you from your goals. In such scenarios, you need to keep your inner belief system strong. Always remember the below 3 points before making any irrational decision :-

  • Be the master of your life, not the victim – “Live life as per your terms”
  • Keep your dignity and self esteem in check – “Someone else cannot define you”
  • You can achieve everything you set your mind to – “Nothing is impossible”

Be the person you wish to be “NOW”, there is never a better time. Always stay in the present and witness wonderful events unfold in your life.

If you are caught up in the web of self pity and despise, please go through the above 3 points again. The points though basic, can have a huge impact on you if you choose to believe in it.

All the best!!

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Challenge : 100 days

This year, 2016, has almost come to an end. Well, not almost, there about 100 odd days left. I realized, like always, I haven’t really done much to make 2016 a memorable one.

Last week, I saw a link on Facebook to join the “100 days with Pinkathon” challenge. Pinkathon is an annual marathon held in India to empower women. They believe a healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women. I haven’t participated in their marathon yet (#2017 goal) however was extremely excited about this challenge. The challenge requires you to run minimum 2 kms everyday for the next 100 days. The challenge began on September 23rd 2016 with the 100th day ending on 31st December 2016. So basically, you accomplish the challenge throughout 100 days and celebrate on 1st January 2017 (along with #newyear2017 celebrations of course!).

I also got an email to join the “100 happy days challenge“. Rules of this challenge are pretty simple. Every day, for next 100 days, I need to find the 1 best thing that made me happy and document it. Your happy moments can be documented on any social media platform or their website itself (if you wish to avoid publicity). Due to our daily routine and supposedly busy life, we forget to live and enjoy the present moment. This might be the best way to do just that.

Along with the above 2 challenges, I decided to create my own challenge “100 punctual days”. I am a chronic procrastinator and extremely tardy. I never reach anywhere on time (not proud of it at all). I curated this challenge for my benefit. I hope by the end of this challenge, I’ll be able to join the ranks of people who are extremely punctual. I believe anyone can accomplish anything they want if they value the time in their hands.

I have embarked on the journey to make last 100 days of 2016 memorable. I hope these challenges bring a positive change and help me in some manner to become “the best version” of myself.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED : 23rd SEPTEMBER 2016

Ciao!