MY SEARCH FOR A DIFFERENT SUCCESS

Few days back I was gliding through my LinkedIn page. One of my distant relative updated her status “promoted to the position of Director”. I was happy to see her succeed but in another moment started self introspection “what I am doing?” , ” Where I am standing?”, “Will I ever succeed in my life?”. Basically I was anxious about “will I ever be able to EARN?” A question that I am struggling for a longtime now.

But is it just about money? Answer is an absolute NO. It’s about my craving for Identity. My thoughts at that (on many occasions) point were convoluted. I want to earn, I want name for myself, I want financial independence. I kept applying for jobs. Many applications were rejected outright, few made for interview round but success still eluded me. It was not just the applications that were being rejected but a piece of self was slowly dying inside. One of the reasons that prompted me to start blogging was to put forth my opinions and earn (I am not ashamed of admitting that). Five years now and the kind of success I supposed it would fetch me is still a distant dream. Who and what shall be blamed? No one except me and nothing except my lack of regularity, missing niche (my work doesn’t stick to one genre).

Am I a complete failure? Last week my friend’s husband came to dinner (we are careful enough to follow the social bubble 😁). Out of nowhere he asked me “how’s your blogging going, seems you have a good fan following”. I dismissed him with a smile “No, nothing like that” . To this he told me that one of his friends sent him a link of one my blog (never before he read any of my articles) and praised it too. His friend liked the subtle manner of explanation, relatability of issues/situations mentioned. And as a matter of fact I never met or spoke to the “friend”. There was a certain sense of euphoria for me at that moment. That night I decided to once again go through the comments on my articles. That was the moment of realization for me. My success is not in the additional perks of followers, hits on site and money but how well I can connect to the people. How well I can communicate, how I can impact, how can I be a part of lives of those reading my words in some or the other way, how well I can motivate myself to reflect positivity in my work, Am I making any difference, Am I putting forth a good message relevant to people, Am I honest while voicing my opinions, Am I trending the path I talk about or refer to – My parameters of Success. Falling short of even one criteria renders me unsuccessful in my judgement! And I believe that’s the worse.

What inference my failures have given me? I was looking for “success” in the form of an offer letter, a designation and a certain amount credited every month to my bank account. What if I get them at this moment, would it put an end to my quest and thirst for “success”?. I might have been aiming for a higher pedestal everytime. Nothing wrong in that, absolutely. But what is wrong is getting bogged down if your plans and results aren’t in linear correlation. Wrong is deeming yourself to be worthless. Wrong is inability to draw inspiration from people and incidents showing us a different way and zest to live life as we are too consumed by a bubble we have created in our minds. In short wrong is inability to respect life and the designs almighty have for us ( I may be professionally unemployed because someone else might be more competent, qualified and in need – it’s that simple). And identity of a person is about the perception and ideologies one owns, can never be defined by a designation or job role. And people knowing me by my work irrespective of the level of fame (non existent 😁) I might have acquired is purely my Success!

I Have Decided My Path: I will keep writing, I have stories to tell, I have messages to deliver. In that process if I earn materialistic success I will receive that. In case not I have my own yardstick to measure success – Have I made you think? If yes I am SUCCESSFUL!!

CHEER THEM UP, BUT HOW?

Cheer them up,

But how is it possible to cheer up the family who lost their father in the COVID pandemic?

What can bring a smile to the face, who’s last flight got canceled at the last hour? He is all alone locked in a room, miles away from his family and it’s been a quarter month.

What can drain his stress after receiving a simple email saying, “our company has gone bankrupt, we cannot pay you anymore, you can leave us”?

How can you comfort her when she is abused by her society members only because she is treating COVID patients and it’s impossible for her to runaway from her commitment to being a medical doctor?

How hurting it is when the neighbors’ gossip, rumors, and snubbing behavior is enough to say, I am a risk for his family and others as well just because I was a COVID positive last week?

Is a bag of rice for a month can comfort a family when they have lost their job just because the city is under locked down and all the constructions sites are closed for an unprecedented time?

Well, these are the few people and stories I am coming across since the COVID-19 pandemic spread out. Listening to their painful stories all it seemed “CHEER UP” is a good word but failing to be relevant. I was in a situation where I can neither help my friends nor can talk to them freely. I have to guard each of the words before I speak. In the meanwhile, I got a reminder of the Bible verse,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Wise is the one who works accordingly in the due time. It is so defining to know that each of our human situations is time-bound which of course gives us the surety that the situation will come to its end at a precedented time. Now the biggest challenge before us is how do we react at each of the times. While in pain and heart-breaking moment, there is an unquenchable emotion and heart filled with sobbing words. All that they look for is a heeding ear and an understanding heart. Probably with this expectation, every human being in his worse condition looks for his dearest friend. As the Bible says,

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Oh, what tranquil experience it was:

As I picked his phone and heard his voice

I sob my heart out over poise  

The heeding silence of him

Quenched my words within.

After’ hours of interaction with him

My soul found a relish within.

This time he didn’t speak too much

Yet his few words of prayer, love and concern

Was evident enough to feel the retouch.

This might denote my strong personality yet, to be honest enough, “often I too experience the same”. But during that time, the biggest question obstructs the ways of my mind – Who is that strong pillar, on whom I can take rest?  

Years back, my Uncle gave me beautiful advice and I strongly follow it. Whenever I feel annoyed, hurt, angry, or stress, I feel too weak to guard my tongue. Honest enough, at times I have hurt many beloved ones. As a way-out to it, I try to remain silent and never avoid to go for a random ride. If that point, someone can scan my mind, he would surely say I am nothing other than a babbler. With locked lips and shouting mind, I just gush out whatever there in my mind calling out to God. As a matter of fact, soon I find both my mind and my stomach empty. I take some nice food and try to revamp to normalcy.

The way I cheer up others and I feel cheered up reminds me of my favorite song of the Irish poet Sir Joseph M. Scriven –

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

MY DISCOVERY WITH CANDLES ONLINE

One of the blessed days of my life book is the 10th of January 2016. As we were driving back from church, it was my first ever personal time with Chiradeep Patra. Probably, it was his 2nd/3rd question where he enquired about my hobbies and I replied, one of them is writing quotes almost on a daily basis. Without giving a second thought, he proposed to me to write for CandlesOnline and being speechless for a while, I was like “How on earth is it possible for me?” But he didn’t give up on me! He insisted you give words to your thoughts, for the rest, I am there. Lo and behold, the first-ever article of my life “HOW GOOD IS OUR MASK OF PRETENCE?” got published on @CandlesOnline and last month I was able to post my 116th article for @CandlesOnline blog “RELIGIOUSNESS OR RIGHTEOUSNESS – WHAT DO WE NEED TO LOOK FOR?“ Summing up this blissful experience I would say,

“God, at His time, gears you to your way

He makes you something out of nothing

For His glory, in His way.”  

One of my favorite songs is Chris Rice’s famous song “There is a Candle in every soul”. Apparently, my journey with CandlesOnline aces the same. On a personal level, if someone knows us much better than us, undoubtedly, He is God! Since God loves us, he has gifted us with numerous talents, some we know – some are still in that unknown darkness. Possibly once at a time, God sends someone to lit up a candle in our unknown darkness to make His sacred gifts known to us.

His sacred gifts are for His glory

Whereas it all seems inadequate and misty

But like a sculptor out of a mere stone,

He chisels and shapes me, gives me the beauty and maketh known.

Well, that’s the picture I would drop as a referral for my journey with candles. God’s sacred gifts which are our talents that always come in a raw form, primarily it appears to us as inadequate. We feel our talents are incompetent, we struggle for relevance and finally, as we dearth of enthusiasm, we feel bored enough to give up. In spite of, this boredom as we stay put to our talents, learn from our experience, our talents proceed to excellence. Since the gluiness of comfort doesn’t allow a man to grow, God puts the man in discomfort to chisel and shape his learning experience and builds him for excellence.

Sow a seed, water enough the plant

But all it may become extraneous

If the thorny bushes chock, making it impotent     

While speaking to a crowd, Jesus used the parable of seeds to explain why some people do not grow in the Word of God while others do grow. And one of the reasons He mentioned, using the instance of the seed that fell among the thorns, went unfruitful because of its environment, it was choked by the thorny bushes. On contrary to the picture is, what I feel being in the CandlesOnline community. It won’t be wrong to say, CandlesOnline is of my extended virtual family. In which, there is always someone out there to care and support spreading out positive vibes. In the Candles Online group, I always experienced everyone is too good and gracious enough to make you feel friendly. Refreshing a couple of my experiences, whenever I felt low and it reflected on my social media posts or in personal connection whether it is Chiradeep, Preeta, Kalpana, Rajnandini someone in some way always enquired my negative state and had comforted my soul. Going further, friends like Sreepriya, Kuljeet, Sriram, Astha, Sakhi, Sony always makes you feel friendly and alongside respectful. How can I go unmentioned about the three tiny peepers Aparna the first Bengali girl who addresses me as Dada; Payal whom I never meet physically but time to time made her presence vital through reasoning on some facts virtually; and topping all Vipra, my Choti Doctor Sahiba, always trusted and lavished her affection through enquiring about my health condition and also scolding on having late dinner. She never gives a prolonged gap to our virtual chats that had always brought smiles to my face. Putting right my experiences I would say, the best place to grow in your talent is being in a positive environment and that’s each of the Candles Online community made me felt.

God out of His infinite riches

Gifts and Grows our talents.

He gifts out of many purposes

It’s all for His glory through impacting lives.

God gifts us talents, equips us through life experiences to excel in our talents, and provides us a community to grow with positivity, God’s way of work always denotes God has a Purpose in whatever He does! And God’s purpose is we may have a personal experience in our personal relationship with Him and encourage others to have a taste of the same experience and as we continue to do so God’s name is glorified. This perspective becomes more evident as we look at our life situation through the Word of God (Bible). It reminds me of the Bible verse,

“The Word of God (Bible) is the mirror for our souls”.

FADING GLOSS OF LOSS

The articles of this week made me very thoughtful as I kept reading your hearts and minds each day. And each of you gave me a thought and taught me something or other through your articles and experiences.

Aditi made me understand that sometimes we have to put our losses back to comfort someone else whose loss is graver than ours.  And that will actually helps us to recover from our own loss.

Prabhjot assured that suffering and losses are obvious and expected.

Sreepriya made me realise that there are certain losses which are better to go through to safe guard your life, your family and your own self as well.

Rajnandini reassured that in every loss and pains that I go through our God is in absolute control.

Avinash’s article let me understand that God has a purpose behind every loss that I go through in my life.

But after reading Smruti’s article I became very thoughtful. One statement really struck me so hard that I still can’t forget it. It took me literally into a trance. “The raw experience of being in the moment with a deep sense of connection with people and things you love can be both exhilarating as well as putting you at risk for a deeply painful loss.” I reacted immediately saying that how I get attached to many people and put me into higher risk of an impending loss. Human attachments are like that when both are not on a common ground or pretending for sometime or not honest with what they really feel about each other or can’t tolerate the reality.

Now, it looks like I am pushed forward to the podium to give my share of Gyaan (Wisdom or Thoughts) about the word LOSS and how I manage it.

Just imagine when I came to this earth I came with a loss right from the word go. I had the feeling of loss at every stage of my life. We were not financially quite well to do that I would have got everything to compensate my losses. And my health issue pulled me back at every stage of life and made me feel worthless for not achieving things. I never could play though I had so much interest in different sports… I suffered the loss of a playful childhood. I never could go after a career despite of doing well in studies… I suffered the loss of a good career. I never could go for a good job even I wanted it… I had to suffer the loss in that regards as well. I could have earned well yet I had to suffer the loss of finance at my disposal. And guess what… I have the same feeling right now as well… I had all losses after losses all around me…

Don’t think that I am grumbling about life… Not at all… I used to do that every now and then but today, I don’t… But I do have that feeling of loss every time which I encounter every moment of my life and then, go through a process of dumping my losses.

How do I do that?

  1. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. I have always seen my life that I get peace when I listen to the problems of others instead of dwelling in self pity. The satisfaction that I receive listening to the pains of others compensates all my losses.
  1. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials. For we know that suffering help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope. I always tell everyone that I hate to stay sad and grumpy. And I feel extremely uncomfortable to stay gloomy. I make fun of myself and my condition and try to live above all the negativities and endure my problems with patience.
  1. Let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests. And all of you must have known how much I do that… I always tell my chat buddies – let me pray as I write and you pray as you read. It is not that God won’t help if we don’t pray to Him but it is because He loves it when we depend and rely on Him completely instead of relying on things that really can’t help only as a Jugaad (arrangements) or on a temporary basis.

Remember, I am not faking it. I am talking all these from my own life experiences. I let the gloss of loss in my life fade away every now and then with the strength of my Saviour. You can ask – why I am not completely recovering it…? Because as long as I am in this mortal body I will have the troubles but I know He has overcome the world.

To conclude I would like to share this verse which has always assured me and I am sure this might comfort you too –

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

HOW TO WIN BACK THE TRUST OF YOUR BROKEN PARTNER AFTER SHE CAUGHT YOU CHEATING BEHIND HER?

“Relationships are based on trust and honesty and the boundaries of being monogamous need to be set by partners themselves.”

And when the boundaries are breached there are heartaches, brokenness, pain and devastation. It is really very difficult to win back the trust of our spouse when we are the main culprit in our relationship or we are caught cheating behind our spouse even though we realize and repent later.

Can we gain her/him back? Can I win her/his trust ever again?

I know, this question haunts many of us when we finally find ourselves guilty of cheating on our spouses. What can we do at this point? Because, only realisation doesn’t help us  in anyway…

I kind of researched a bit to find out few steps that we can take on a daily basis to gain back the trust of our spouses who were betrayed, cheated, hurt and broken because of us, for our illicit activities in the past.

Following are those steps:

  1. Keep the Apologising Attitude on: Why I said apologising attitude? So many times we apologise and then think our part is over. But in this scenario we need to have a constant apologising attitude, may be till we get our spouse back to ourselves.
  2. Owning the responsibility: A relationship can be restored only when we have the desire to reconcile and rebuild and for that we need to own the responsibility. When I think “She doesn’t show any interest to reconcile” then I would be sure that I am not ready to reconcile. As I have cheated and breached the trust then it is my responsibility to take the step first. When she is hurt, angry and I have lost her trust and confidence then it is me who’s gonna be doing everything to gain her trust and ultimately gain her back into my life.
  3. Expect Denials: When we are on the verge of regaining the trust of our partner who is hurt and try to restore then we should always be ready for denials to our attempts. Our partner may not want to rebuild or reconcile again with us… She has all the reasons to do so. In that case, we should not be disappointed with our partner’s denial, we should be ready to face that and accept it in a very positive way.
  4. Patience is the Key: We being the cheat and culprit, we need to remember one thing that we can’t be hasty or hurry in anyway… Remember we have lost their trust… We can’t afford to lose our patience. We always need to remember that “breaking is much easier than rebuilding.” We need patience. We need perseverance. We have to keep coming again and again to reconcile and regain our partner’s trust. And one day when we succeed we have to start rebuilding slowly.
  5. A Humbling experience: It is really not at all easy to come again and again expecting a response to our invitation to reconcile and restore a strained relationship. Regaining someone’s trust is a humbling experience. A very tough one… May be the toughest one in one’s life… We need humility along with patience to break the wall that’s created by us. When we face denial our ego may challenge us to take a step back and stop thinking of bending down again or we might lose heart, thinking we may not gain our partner’s trust again ever. We might have patience to come again but we might not stay calm when we hear absurd and hurting words from our partner. We need to give our partner the time and space to vent their feelings, hurling out judgments on us… That’s the consequence of our cheating our partner and we need to tolerate that silently. We need to remind ourselves that regaining is our responsibility because we have lost it… Thus, we have to bend down again and again to regain; we need to prove ourselves at every steps, small or big again and again to win the trust of our spouse.

All these steps have to be carried out together. It’s not that we would finish the first step and then try out the second one. All these have to be undertaken all at a time and then only we can expect a rebuilt relationship after we regain the trust of our spouse. No matter how shaky it seems at the moment when things went all wrong but by taking it one day at a time, following the above steps might bring our relationships float well and strong again.

Before I close, I would like to request all those who have been hurt and broken because of their cheating spouses that – Cheating doesn’t have to lead to divorce or breakup always. you can build a more honest, healthier and love filled relationship all over again against all negatives and messy scenarios by forgiving your partner seeing his/her truthful repentance.

Stay Blessed!!!

IS MY LOVING YOU, APPROVED BY YOUR SPOUSE OR PARENTS OR SOCIETY?

Oh boy! I was in the impression that this topic would be an easy one… But it’s not so… Now, I realised why the writers like Pradita and Kuljeet felt safe to run away from the battlefield 😛 . Even most of my writer friends kind of deviated from the main subject. I might twist it a bit as well… 😉

Sometimes, I wonder how acceptable my relationships with different individuals of opposite gender are, though the relationships are not of lovers!!! I call someone my sister, I call someone else my daughter but the question is how my wife feels about it… How do the spouses or parents of my “sisters” or “daughters” react to all these… And if all these relationships are without the cap of “sister” and “daughter” but just “friends” then there would be more questions raised and more eyebrows will be squinted against it. Now, if I think the other way around then what will be my reactions to such loving relationships of my wife or my close relatives with someone from the opposite gender…

Why do we feel that way? What is the reason behind our negative reactions or feelings towards such beautiful relationships?

I will come back to this later… Let me get into the more feasible examples around us where we shun love as taboo.

Let’s say, we went to Victoria Memorial (the renowned Monument of Kolkata) and saw a girl and a boy sitting on a bench and talking to each other… Just talking, let me highlight that…

What is the first thought comes to our minds? “How come these people get so much time to waste here?” “Oh today’s teens, they are getting spoiled day by day…” “How can their parents allow such things?” “Pity on their parents…” “They are such a nuisance in this campus.” And our negative thought processes or the curses for them are endless.

But the reality might be different. Those two teens might be discussing that, ‘this is not the right time for a relationship, we can concentrate on studies, we can’t meet like this behind our parents, we will be truthful to each other and protect each others from everything… We will keep our sexuality till our marriage…’ and so on…

I heard you thinking, “Unbelievable! That may be a rarest of cases…” Fine, I agree with you… but let’s think positive and react positively. What’s the harm in judging and reacting positively? And moreover, why is no one bothered to make amends when love is lost in a marriage, but quick to point out fingers to a male and female walking together without marriage?

Mind it, I am not encouraging premarital sex or trying to overlook the teen issues at all. That is not love but lust; I am dead against it myself… But, I want to raise a question against our thought processes, our narrow mindsets and our views or misconception about the purity of a beautiful emotion called ‘Love’. I want to proclaim the need of love in our lives individually as well as in regards to our families and societies at large.

The question still remains unanswered about the reason behind our negative reactions or feelings towards such beautiful relationships.

The ‘tendency to sin’ is the reason behind all this… It is because of the presence of sin within us which makes us feel that our spouse is exposed to vulnerability; our children are at risk of the lust with a covering of love… It is our tendency to sin (which means we can also fall into the same kind of temptation) makes us insecure about others as well even if they are safe and sound in the warmth of pure love. And thus, they feel it as not proper… they consider it as unacceptable… they termed it as societal taboo.

The presence of sin gives birth to two things… One, it distorts the meaning of love and confuses it with romance and lust which are just the fragments of Love. Secondly, it narrows down our mindsets and we judge without thinking even once.

In contrast to the above, the presence of love has a different effect on our minds and hearts. The Bible says,

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Fear comes when we commit sin, sin of fornication…sin of adultery. Sin makes us feel afraid of consequence and punishment. But love drives out fear and makes us feel comfort in its warmth.

Remember,

“We are born as helpless infants, dependent on our parent to fulfill our needs. Love, then, becomes need fulfillment and we seek this same love out as adults,” explains psychologist Dr. Beverly Palmer, author of “Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.”

DO WE LIVE BY CHRONOS TIME OR KAIROS TIME?

CHRONOS and KAIROS are two Greek words which have been used to describe TIME. Chronos refers to the chronological time and Kairos refers to the indeterminate moment or the opportune moment that is right for something to occur. 

A new year doesn’t bring any changes to our life. It is just a part of the Chronos time which begins when another calendar year finishes. That’s why Sreepriya testified, for her, a New Year came and went as yet another normal day. There was never a celebration or a get-together. It was just a normal day to look forward to. Even for me this new year didn’t bring anything good apart from a reason to thank the Lord for letting me step into it.

A date, a time really can not take away our sorrows and bring joys into our life. In fact, the day or time we experience joy is the day or time worth living it, cherish it. It is that opportune moment when miracle happens, changes for better take place and bring peace within and around ourselves.

I found this poster and posted it as I simply loved the inscription on it: “Kairos – When eternity steps into time.” No… I am not going to explain it… I just liked it so sharing it with all… 😉

55954.kairos

The times we fix are no way in our control even when they are well planned and within the boundary of the Chronos time. There are possibilities of getting a success or a failure even when it is executed on time. There are ample examples of what I am trying to explain here that we can see around us. So, in this case are we going to stop planning and keep waiting for a miracle to happen for us or wait for God to feed us or do things for us? Not at all… I never meant that way…

What I meant is, in the eternal timeline we just have to plan well, surrender our plans to God and wait for that Kairos time to let our plans be executed and I am sure it will be executed successfully.    

As the Scripture says,

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Yes, the normal or natural Chronos time can not be relied on instead we can depend on God’s timing, the Kairos time, that opportune moment in our life to see a new things happen, a new beginning to set in and a miracle to take place.

Friends! In this New Year let’s not get bogged down by life’s situations but wait for that appointed time, that opportune moment like a boxer who ducks every time keeping his eyes fixed on his opponent’s and waits for that opportune moment to hit back; like a batsman who aims at a target to chase, as he waits for that opportune moment to start accelerating by swinging his bat; as a footballer who keeps dribbling the ball till that opportune moment to hit it to the goal post and score a goal. 

Stay Blessed!