Sometimes we’re scared

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Sometimes we’re scared of silence. We’re scared of silence because it amplifies the voices in our heads. The voices that whisper of a nostalgic past or an unknown future, of wings clipped by circumstances outside our control, of fears born out of ashes of disappointments. Sometimes the silence scares us and so we try to fight it. We cover ourselves in a shawl of busyness hoping the silence would go away but it doesn’t. Because it knows it’s important. It’s needed to let the truth within you emerge, and so it lurks in the backgrounds. Waits for you to switch off the beside lamp and then jumps at you with its best friend; the truth. The truth of who you are and what you are, when the lights all go out and you’re all alone with your thoughts. Scientists think we’re only starting to understand this big mystery called the Universe. Yet I realize there’s another big mystery we’re only beginning to understand -if at all- and that is ourselves.
Good night – or morning

Polished Perceptions

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   Growing up I learned that your value to somebody is directly proportional to how much you can benefit them. Whether they like you or not is never about you but about them. And the people who initially fight you and stand in your way could end up not only taking pride in your achievements but also taking credit for your success.
   The truth is, we think so highly of ourselves; each one cocooned in our private world thinking that the universe revolves around us. We think that we should always get the best of everything and when someone else does and we don’t, we start asking why?
   Think of how much effort we put into polishing the perception that others have of us, and if you don’t believe what I’m saying, go check your facebook feed; read the post of the person who claims they’re feeling tired because they flew from dubai to Istanbul, not caring so much that people notice the ‘tired’ part but rather the ‘Istanbul’ part. Or the person who has to tell the world that he’s had breakfast from his wife’s hands just in case you missed the post that announced to the world he got married. I really don’t understand this new found interest in wanting to announce to the world everything that happens in your private life. Where have the lines between what’s private and what’s public blurred? And most importantly, why have the lines blurred? Is it because we have become so insatiably hungry for validation that we’ve started measuring our value by the number of likes and comments?
   When will we stop keeping up appearances and actually work for something real? I have huge respect for people who wake up every morning to do honest work, share their gift with the world or be at service to others without waiting for the world to applaud them or even recognize them; the street cleaner who works tirelessly under the beating sun even though there’s nobody behind him to check his work, the mother who packs her children’s breakfast every morning and doesn’t wait to be paid for the effort.
   I wish you’ll take the time today to do something for someone without waiting to be acknowledged or thanked or paid…

Starting with a clean slate? Maybe not

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It’s a new year; time for all the ‘new year, new you’ hype. Yuppee (read ‘Blah’). People talk about starting over with a clean slate and whatnot, but the reality of the matter is that all the baggage you’ve had last year just carries over to the new year and nothing really changes; the grudges you hold are the same, the debts shackling you are the same and the weight….yup, still there.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Actually, let me rephrase that; internal change doesn’t happen overnight. External change (the one out of your control) could, such as sudden losses, getting fired/evicted/cheated on/divorced… But I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about internal changes, those within yourself. They happen over a period of time. Slowly. Painfully. Intentionally.

In Outliers, Malcolm Fladwell talks about the importance of 10,000 hours of intentional practice. Intentional practice. Not the passive wait for the second hand of a clock to act as a magic wand and wipe all of yesterday’s sorrows away. As much as we’d like to be, we’re not Cinderella, and life is not a fairy tale.

On changing the world

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There is a story that goes like, “When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.”

I was in school when I first heard this story, and I still remember how inspired I was by it. As I visit my blog after a long absence, I notice Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,”and I laugh at how naive and ambitious I was.

See at first I wanted to change the world, but then I sought only to make sense of it…and now? Now I only want to survive it, because I’ve given up wanting to change it or understand it.

Enough about me.

The year is coming to a close and my wish for you is that you find the ability to be true to yourself, accept yourself, embrace your imperfections, and listen to your heart. My wish for you is to find beauty wherever you go, and get more chances to forgive others rather than exact revenge. My wish for you is to laugh until your stomach hurts and tears come out of your eyes.