DON’T WE SCHEME EVERYDAY?

(Picture Source is HERE )

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

Human heart is the most complicated of all. If we see the world today we find how wicked a human heart can be. Have you ever watched “Crime Patrol?” If you have watched it ever you could imagine how a human heart can scheme! The extent of which is unimaginable. 

Just think about our own self. How much we pretend? We pretend to be good… We pretend to be kind… We pretend to be caring for somebody whom we don’t even want to see… We pretend to be ‘not at home’ when we are…

Pretending something which we are not is horrible when it is found out. Whether in small scale or big we pretend and we scheme everyday. Whether it is in our home or at work place.

We will talk about our heart more throughout this week in the remaining days to come.

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

An ancient proverb says, “Guard the heart with all diligence for out of it proceed the issues of life”, meaning, the things you say and do reflect deeper, important life issues. A wise teacher from the Middle East once reiterated this in a different way, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” This same teacher said later concerning food and activities that people considered ‘unclean’, “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then is eliminated? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean'”. This means that whatever we say reflects the uncleanness of our hearts and these ‘harmless’ words are ultimately what make us (or reveal us as) ‘clean’ or ‘unclean.’ Teachings like these sober me up very quickly. What this means, ultimately, is that I only have myself to blame for the condition of my heart and that I must own my actions and words and blame them on no one else but myself. This is what was meant by “give an account”. Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People wrote similarly, “If you start to think that the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem” [emphasis mine]. He also states that until we realize that our lives’ are a product of our own decisions (and no one else’s), we will be unable to choose otherwise for ourselves. If we are reaping negative consequences in our life, it is best to consult the soil of our behavior (our heart) and not blame the sun, thorns, or water around us (our conditions).

What is even more shocking to me is a quote that talks about how our heart is constantly deceiving us. In a pivotal time that preceded seventy years of slavery in the foreign land, Babylon, a leader and teacher of the people of Israel, very wisely warned his people concerning their hearts and the trouble they were being led into,”The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” ‘To deceive’ means ‘to deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain.’ This means that not only is your heart convincing you of something that isn’t true, it is doing it for personal gain (fame, self-honor, impure pleasures, etc.) This frightens me because the problem with this kind of self-deception is that the source is YOU (or rather, your heart), which makes the deception nearly inescapable. Not to mention, if even *I* don’t understand my own heart…then who does?? Ultimately, if what we are believing isn’t true, then we are living in a fantasy world. We are like the fanatic that dresses up in a superhero costume and jumps off a high-rise while echoing the popular song, “I believe I can fly!” It doesn’t matter how firmly our hearts have deceived us into believing something if it isn’t true. If I stand out in the middle of a busy lane, blind-folded and yell defiantly, “I don’t believe in traffic!” What’s going to happen? Can you visualize it? It would be an ugly and tragic sight. I’d like to think that I’d have some loved ones around me to shake me from my delusion.

This brings me to my next point. If we are the source of our own self-deception, how can we possibly escape it? I’d like to propose 4 solutions: One, surround yourself with friends who will tell you the truth even when it smarts a bit. Another favorite proverb of mine is “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” If the people around you are constantly numbing you and themselves to life’s difficult questions and trials with meaningless activities and praises, then I recommend you find a group of friends who will challenge you to grow as a person both in character and deed (as the two are inseparable). Two, find a way to process out the things that you are dealing with. Whether that is journaling, praying, or counseling with a trusted friend, sometimes you just need a “sounding board” to figure out what’s real and concrete in your life (But…a word of warning, be mindful, your friends are susceptible as well). The pause-inducing fact of universal self-deception brings me to my third tip, whole-heartedly search for the truth of a matter, no matter what it is. If you dedicate your life to pursuing truth no matter where it leads you, then your path will be sure and your feet will not slip. Do not assume that you already have the truth because you may only have part or have been unwittingly convinced of an untruth somewhere in your past.  I primarily cultivate this by being a continual open-minded learner and listener (but not so open-minded that my brain falls out). If I maintain a teachable heart and ask myself, “Is there truth here? Is there something new that I can learn from this person/idea?” then I believe I’m well on my way to escaping the deceit of my own heart. After all, it is only revealed input from the outside that will help me align my heart with the truth in the innermost part of my being. [While I’m on the subject, a warning to those of you who have everything “figured out” (although if you’re reading this I suspect that may not be the case): if you are not “teachable” you will never grow and will remain the same person your entire life; unable to be corrected, you will be unable to be encouraged; unable to be a learner, you will never have anything of substance to offer anyone else. In short, be teachable or stay where you are until your sojourn here expires. I say this harshly that I might “wound” some of you into life and healing].

In summary, in order to fight the natural self-deception of our hearts you must:

  1. Surround yourself with loved ones who will challenge you to grow (even if it hurts a little)
  2. Live a life of self-reflection and “analysis” through things like prayer, journaling, and wise counsel
  3. Don’t let truth escape you. Bind it around your neck and write it on your heart. Search for it like you would hidden treasure. If you don’t find it as you search, it will more than likely find you.

I sincerely hope that whatever wisdom I have to offer has shone through and helps guide you along your path and that whatever is not true would fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Thanks for reading and I pray you found something to carry with you and that if it helped, you’ll share it with a friend.

WORST CHRISTMAS SPENT WITH A BROKEN HEART

My heart skips and beats faster when I see her coming in… She looks at me from far and smiles then goes back to her department and settles down. She comes after sometime to my department… I see her but I wait for her to come to my desk after she finishes her work with others and she comes and sits in front of me, smiling and she asks me, “How are you…?” Then we continue talking with each other till we realize its time to concentrate on our works. She returns back to her desk.

I used to repeat the same drill when I get a reason to visit her department. This happened for two months. And the life seemed so dreamy and flowery.

The story was between June-July-August. Probably, in August I proposed her. I remember I was in front of her desk and I just asked her whether she will mind if I say something very serious and emotional. She allowed me to speak on. And I remember, I had said, “Dear… I feel I need you in my life… Because I love you. I don’t know how you feel but I just wanted to share what I felt”  She was constantly smiling looking at me. When I finished she said, “Your words are very precious to me and even I feel the same way.”

From mid of September I marked a difference. I felt she started ignoring me. I don’t know why. I had that insecurity feeling within me for being an congenital heart patient and I started feeling weird. I asked her what happened. Did I do any mistake. She used to deny every time.

October-November passed away just like that with lots of confusions and conflicts within me though on 9th October I had invited all my friends and colleagues for a party including her.

But… I don’t know… What really happened… She did something which really hurt me to the highest. Just the day after the incident I went to her house and wanted to confront her directly. I asked her, “What do you think about our relationship?” She replied, “Probably, we are not made for each other… we should not be continuing…” It was on 20th or 21st of December.

That year in December 25th, the Christmas day was the worst Christmas day for me in my life. I was so devastated. I was feeling so lonely in the midst of the crowd. I was feeling depressed, frustrated, sad, lonely and terribly rejected.

“Why God, why did you allow that to me?” That was the question I asked to God that time. But now when I remember that incident I pray, “Thank God for giving me that experience. Because I unless I feel the pain it is impossible for me to understand others pain.”

I learnt THREE things from my “heartbreak.”

First thing, I learned – “Never assume and proceed feeling happy.” I felt I did that mistake. “I feel the same doesn’t mean I want to marry you.” In any love relationship clarity and conformity is necessary. Just mere feeling doesn’t decide anything.

Secondly, I feel – “Care & feeling sympathetic is not falling in love.” We guys usually make that mistake when we receive that kind of cares from girls. Girls are usually comfort giver, care giver… It doesn’t mean they are falling in love with you. Probably, I misunderstood her.

Thirdly, I learned “Never be haste to decide and propose.” We all know, “Love is patient.” So hasty decisions always have bad endings. So did mine.

We had some good love story time last few days… But we had some great lessons learnt from those stories.

Keep reading and keep responding…

Stay Blessed!

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT HEARTBREAKS

Today, is the perfect time for reading few quotes on Heartbreaks when we have already talked about our personal stories. I will be definitely sharing my story tomorrow in the ‘Final Note’ so for now we can just enjoy the quotes from different people around the world as under:

“Sometimes a little heartbreak is a lesson, and the best thing to do is just learn the lesson.”  – Jon Voight

“If they’re singing about heartbreak, they’ve lived it.”  – Paula Abdul

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

– Malcolm X

Keep reading and keep sending your feedback.

Stay Blessed!!!

IT’S NOT HEART BREAK, IT’S MEMORY!!!

Bollywood movie “Mann” is my all time favorite movie. In this movie Actress Manisha Koirala just after making friendship with her Hero, recites a very powerful dialogue to the Actor Aamir Khan (Mr. Perfection) which I am quoting as under:

“Vishwas jitna aasaan hai,

usse todna usse bhi aasaan hai,

magar mushkil hai uss vishwas ko nibhana.

Aur Sacha Insaan wo hai jo uss vishwas ko tode nehi, balki nibhaye”.

We usually test the love stories on the basis of past experiences and learning. Most of  the love stories fall apart. Most from today’s generation have reversed from the true meaning of love. For us LOVE has become “Catch & Hatch” policy. The result of which is ‘HEART BREAKS’.

Our story had a fantastic beginning when I fell in love years back. For me it was like flying in the sky and having the ultimate joy in my life. I was addicted to be with her 24 x 7, which is never ever possible even for married couples. I counted my family, career, education, society and everything including my own self secondary because of her. But today when I look back I can say, “That was all an INFATUATION.”

Like the above phrase from the movie, in the beginning we both earned each other’s ‘vishwas’ (faith) so easily in less than couple of weeks and that ‘vishwas’ was also broken within a few months. Really it’s so true, our ‘vishwas’ was created and was broken within a span of weeks, but to maintain that ‘vishwas’ I struggled for 3 complete years.

In love relationship, once faith is broken nothing more remains except one thing – ‘Heart Break’. A broken heart never makes noise but gives a lot of pain. Heartbreaks leave back only one question – ‘WHY’ and this ‘why’ makes life miserable. Our dreams become grisly nightmares. It becomes too difficult for us to trust anyone, mostly to our own self. Every time, every single step we take we face fear or doubt – “Will my past be repeated again?????”

This fear and pain took me even to the dark lanes of suicide. But on 14th Mar 2011, in a local train,  around 7 PM, when I was just about to give-up my life for the sake of ‘Infatuation’, I heard a sweet tender voice telling me, “My son, don’t give-up your life, just give-it back to ME and see what I’m going to do with it!” And I knew Whose voice was that? That was the voice of MY GOD, MY CREATOR WHO LOVES ME.

Today, I can say my heart was broken because of my fault. I didn’t wait for the right time. When God creates us in our mother’s womb, He plans everything for us and allows all that to happen at His appointed time. Our life is well-tuned by God. But if we try to do something with our own ideas we will be left behind with just “Heartbreaks” and “Pain”.

It’s not the heart break which causes pain but it’s the person & the memory which we leave behind us. As Mrs. Khristina Jacob said in her last article, “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel”, today we may be travelling through the darkest tunnel of life but believe there is light at the end. So, HOPE for the BEST, rest everything else in HIS hand for HIS time. Just WAIT!!!!!

Sometimes we must Hurt in order to Grow, 

Sometimes we must Lose in order to Gain,

Sometimes we must Fail in order to Pass.”

LET GO OF HIM!

(Picture Source: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com)

Last week I shared my story of what Valentine’s Day reminds of me. It reminds me of a particular Valentine’s Day when I proposed a guy I had a huge crush on since 3-4 years. It also reminds me of all the crazy things I did to get his attention. It reminds of those silly teenaged days when everything lovey dovey in Bollywood looks like a reality.

Yes, I placed my heart in his hands telling him very genuinely what I felt for him. I told him that I really liked him. I knew we were going to be away from then on. He was going away to another country for his engineering and I was going to another city. But still I felt the need to at least tell him what I felt for him. As soon as I did that, I realized that he started to avoid me. He was the son of our close family friends, so there were multiple occasions where we had to encounter each other. And it broke me to see how easily he managed to ignore me. 20 days later, I decided that I needed an answer. If he has to say a NO, he has to say it. So, I asked him and he said a NO. Surprisingly, it gave me a bit of satisfaction because I felt that now I can really move on. For the past 3 years, I had spent my nights wondering whether he liked me or not and now I had an answer. I felt rejected but I also felt relieved.

I got into an engineering college and a hostel life. And it was a whole new world after the protective environment of the school. But the rejection that I had just gone through affected my confidence a great deal. As I started to get used to college and hostel life, things started to get better. As I saw that there were other guys who expressed interest in me, it gave a boost to my confidence.

He had gone to another country for higher education and this affected me too. While in college I started to hate him with a determination to get even better education than him. I made up my mind to be MIT post graduate after my engineering. I did not realize it then that he was the motivation behind my craze to go study in the US. I started to prepare for GRE. In my final year, I started to like another guy – Kapil. He was sweet and funny and he really loved me.

We came out of college; my relationship with Kapil grew strong. I got a job in Bangalore and he was working in Mumbai. Everything was going well, but I was still hell bent on doing my masters in US. Kapil did not want to leave India. And that was the only reason of multiple fights between me and him. I knew if I had to take GRE and leave India – it would mean leaving Kapil too. While going through this, I got a chance to go to US for 3 months. And in those 3 months, I felt so terribly lonely and horrible that I hated that place.

So, now the situation was – I wanted to study in US because I wanted to prove something to the guy who rejected me. I hated US. I wanted to be with Kapil but I knew he did not want to leave India. And to add to all this – my parents were eagerly looking for a match for me. My life was messed up totally. It was one of those times in my life when I felt nobody really understood me.

Life has different ways of coming for a rescue. I got introduced to “Landmark Education” which has a series of courses that help your give up your past and create a brand new future. I did these series of courses and it transformed my thinking and my life.

I could so clearly see now why I want to go study abroad and with this stubborn attitude if I really do go abroad, I would end up too messed up and too frustrated. I realized that I had to let that guy go. I had to let go of my hatred towards him. If you love someone and you get rejected, the solution is not to hate him but to be indifferent to him. I eventually did everything I could to let him go from my life so that I could embrace a brand new life with Kapil. What followed this was an amazing journey of marriage with Kapil!

PICKING UP THE FALLEN REINS AND MOVING FORWARD

She kept checking her mobile for a missed call or a message every five minutes, even though the ringing volume was adjusted to the maximum. How can seven years of love wither away so easily? It has been a year to the day they “broke up” and she had spent each day of this year hoping for a call or message from him… hoping that he would miss her… that he would come back to her… that happy days would be back again.

In her heart of hearts she knows it’s best if he doesn’t come back. She is the topper in her Engineering College, while he had just managed to scrap pass. She is fairly good looking, while he stood no match before her. She has a lustrous career before her, while he spends his days in idleness. Oh! How violently had he reacted when she had gently reminded him of the beauty of their relationship and urged him to build up his career! She had even gone to the extent of saving all her pocket money to get him enrolled in a reputed University only to realize later that she had been fooled.

As she looks back at the lies spoken, the physical and verbal abuses hurled at her time and again, the false assurances and the vagaries of his behavior, she feels utterly cheated. Tears roll down at any unannounced moment. Her career has taken a toll. Her health has broken down. Grappling with depression and suicidal thoughts, she feels there is no hope left…no reason why she should live. “Why did God allow this to happen in my life?”, she asks.

But, she has decided that she won’t let the rest of her life be ruined. She would pick up the strings and head for a new start amidst the flowing tears and burning heartache.

The accounts of a broken relationship may be different. But, the emotional trauma holds true for all. When the illusion fades away, the pain becomes even more evident. The wounds appear fresh every day till an effective balm is someday applied. Forgiveness erases the bitterness and what remains is just a memory.