OPEN UP ABOUT YOUR INDULGENCES

One day while loitering down the aisle of the super market and picking up requisite things for school picnic I brought a pack of biscuits for myself for tea time. I went home and opened the pack to taste few and was bowled over by the taste and rest is history! I can’t restrain myself from packing up my tummy with more and more of them, just as meals and in fact before, after and in between the meals.  My tongue took control of my heart and in turn, my hand that used to open the shelves every half an hour (a little exaggeration 😉). A pack of 40+ biscuits lasted barely for three days. And one more pack was already ordered for next week and it lasted nothing longer than the previous one.  The pace with which wrappers were going to the dust bin sent alarm bells for me.  It’s time to put a check on my intake as health was at stake (read extra pounds), it’s time to put an act of Temperance vs my act of Gluttony.

What are Temperance and Gluttony?  I will break it down to the simplest words to understand.

  • Temperance – putting / showing restraint, holding self back, to show control.
  • Gluttony – addiction/overindulgence used “usually” in reference to food and alcohol.

I have no shame to admit that I was moving in the direction of being a glutton.  I might be miles away from those who are socio-officially branded as “alcoholics“, “gluttons” but I did move a few inches, that matters and needs to ponder over. Had I not used the weighing scale, had I not examined the wrapper out of guilt I would not have been able to turn myself away from the biscuit section of that supermarket 😁.   I am the fortunate one whose sense prevails/revokes after hibernation before it’s too late.  But I know (from really close quarters) many who are head over heels in the act of gluttony because of their indulgence and addiction to food and alcohol.  So powerful is their urge to savor food or alcohol that it becomes the prime motto of their lives.  They live literally to eat and drink.  Family and responsibilities either take a back burner or the flame is completely put off. They beg, they borrow and they don’t hesitate to steal as well (especially alcoholics, drug addicts).  In short, their indulgences could easily make them indulge in SIN too.

But the question is, does Gluttony be used in relation to food and alcohol alone?  There’s nothing else we are heavily addicted to or indulge with? The answer is an absolute NO.  For example, the moment we get up in the morning we check updates on our social media accounts and it continues till the time we go to the bed again. Checking up phones every five minutes is like checking an empty fridge knowing there’s nothing yet hoping to find something exciting  😁.  This is an addiction! Nymphomaniac is overly addicted to sex. Many are overwhelmingly addicted to lead a luxurious life even if it means putting up a false prestige image with a corrosive base.  I have read about silly cases where one family member beats or even murders the other family member just because he/she didn’t get the TV remote to watch their favourite show.  It is silly for us but it’s all about serious addiction to Television.  Then there are people who have a penchant for using abusive language as their expression, they simply have no control over their tongue, this is also a kind of addiction. When they hurt/ offend people with their foul language they one excuse to chanter “I didn’t mean it, you know my heart na”.   And I can literally go on and on tipping you with more and more examples on Gluttony which of course doesn’t strictly adhere to the definition that is provided by a dictionary but fits the bill of Indulgences perfectly.

Overindulgence with or of anything reduces the analysing power of the brain.  The judgment to choose between right and wrong paths diminishes or completely gets extinct. petty example: a girl is a head over heels with the idea of being loved which is of course influenced by celluloid Romance instantly falls for the online proposal of an unknown and the result is not as beautiful as she fancied or might be ugly too.  Her hunger for fairy tales romance has ditched her with her ability to fine judge.  A drug addict won’t even budge to kill someone just to get money to buy him stuff for that day.  Every addiction, every indulgence results in the same.  We lose our senses and sensibilities.  We end up in a state of an emotional coma which involves nothing but “Me, My, Myself” and is probably the mother of all crimes. In short Gluttony Is a Sin, Period.  And this is not something that I have announced but it’s a vice, a branded sin as per every holy scripture that I  know.

What’s the solution to this corrosion? Corrosion because it eats you away slowly.  If alcohol & drugs finish you off physically other addictions doles out humanity, intellect, and wisdom from you.  And these vices have a butterfly effect on others lives too, it isn’t rocket science that needs an explanation as to “How”.  Exercising Temperance is the only solution with a very hard way to follow.  In fact, there is an inverse relationship between Temperance and Gluttony (that’s why they are antonyms).  You lack restraint you end up being an addict and vice versa.  But what should one do to bring back lives to normalcy when the person himself/herself is not able to show some self-control?  Role of Family and Friends comes to play here.  Firstly accept the problem at hand because acceptance is the key! Next comes the path to travel to the destination.

  • Discussing the issue – communication helps; 
  • Showing perseverance, persistence – holding the ground strong – a NO is a NO (in case of drug addicts and alcoholics).
  • Taking professional external help (consultations, treatments).
  • Some quality family time can work wonders.

These are the minimalistic points that I have mentioned. I am sure there’s more to it. I was waiting for your experiences and insights into this issue. Together we can find solutions to many problems we face in our lives collectively or individually. Opening up is what it takes.

Advertisements

REMOVE THE ENVY BLOCKS

Lucius Annaeus Seneca has said- “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. In this, I would like to add a line, where there is a human, there is a chance of envy as well. Why? Because we can’t have everything. And this is when the feeling of envy raises its head.

If I talk about my experience, I am not untouched by Envy. I remember, when I was a kid, I used to be envious of my cousins. This used to happen when they (my cousins) received appreciation for the drawings they made. I would then give my best to compete with them. They too felt envious of me whenever results were out. However, this didn’t harm anyone of us.

Some of you might say, envy is not harmful. But the story is different. It is very harmful. Let us see how:

In my neighborhood, there is a man who is always envious of every other person. He can’t stay calm on the fact that a person is climbing the ladder of success. The man always looks for ways to drag down other people.

So, one day a lady went to him for seeking some financial help. The man assured her and did the needful. After a few months, the lady came to my house. To my astonishment, I came to know that man was forcing her to return the money with double interest. I felt sorry for the lady as she is financially weak. The lady tried to convince the man but the man was in no mood to pay heed. Later, we came to know the reason behind this was, the man was envious of the lady’s farmland and was eyeing the land for a long time.

People choose envy over kindness just to satisfy their ego and quench their longing for something they don’t have. Sometimes, we feel envious and think it is fine unless it is not causing harm to other people but it never stays there. It keeps growing as we grow if not checked at the right time.

When we feel envious, we get surrounded by negative vibes. In order to possess those qualities (for which we are envious of), we tend to make wrong choices. Instead of giving best and performing better, we try to harm the person we are envious of. And these wrong choices never make us a kind human.

One should understand, no one is perfect and we will lack in some or other things. For that, we don’t have to envious and drag people. Instead, we should work on our grey areas. 

Being envious won’t bring peace and internal happiness to us. Because the envious feeling itself is full of discontentment. When we are discontented within ourselves it is very difficult for us to show that compassion and kindness to anyone else. Kindness is an act when our mind, body, and soul are at a state of contentment and peace with each other. On the other hand,  envy blocks that free-flowing connection within our own self. And we fail to show that kindness to our family members, neighbours and the people we come across in life.

Therefore, be happy and let kindness occupy your heart.

FEED THE GREEDY WITH CHARITY

The world has turned out to be filled with philanthropists, that it has become too hard to find the best one out of it.

Every other day, one or the other popular person is awarded the honours of Philanthropist At times stimulating my thought, do they know what exactly does it mean to be a philanthropist?

Charity is good, but are we all doing it right?

We tend to do Charity in the name of Greed – for fame, name, money and much more. the magic of giving has vanished now, even the takers do for the same reasons, fed by greed.

Charity in olden times : 

When there was only a need for food and education, even a bag of rice and board and pencil to write was considered to be “worth-giving”.  There was only hunger prevailing, and to fulfil the need of the stomach which was quenchable to an extent.

But now, the greed has grown beyond boundaries.

Charity Today

Everywhere you see “help the girl child”, “help the needy ” as such many organization coming forward. Many famous people adopt a child, in the name of fame for the greed of fame to showoff they do a lot.

I remember, there was a colleague of mine, who used to show off the cards she receives on sending payments to help children receive an education.  Should I believe that every child who is discarded and taken up by these organizations are being provided what they deserve – And still we have much more in the society who are deprived of their right to education.

Every shop has a box, where they claim to collect money for the same reason to evade poverty.

But the next moment I see another child begging on the street.

Even when the number of philanthropists is increasing every year, I see thousands of families stranded and in need of help.

Now Charity is like a weapon for every person who is successful to tame the audience and receive applause.

Charity in the name of  WOmen empowerment

Charity in the name of equality

Charity in the name of Politics 

Charity in the name of protection of Girl child

Charity in the name of freedom.

And all encouraging the rightful greedy, who are feeding on it and enjoying every bit of sacrifice the people do in the name of tolerance.

Altruism is also a charity we do suffer to give away what we actually deserve rightfully.

Even in a human relationship, people tend to be charitable in their deeds, giving away their happiness for the greed of others happiness, as it helps to reign peace in the family.

It is not just in one family that this happens, it reigns everywhere. At many instances, life turns out to be only meant to feast the greediness for power and rule.

Love marriages, for instance, many at times, it does not just love that bring in two people together. It is the harsh reality that, they personally don’t’ want to be a failure in attaining the love of their life. To satisfy the greed of their inner conscience, to accomplish the power of achieving – they go against everything they could to be together.

Here the greed to win – takes it all.

We are all polluted by the greed to prosper than to survive, hence we are on an endless journey of satisfaction, where one comes after the other leaving no space to even perspire.

Men, in the family who take it all on their shoulders, to proclaim that they are still ‘the leading one’ – the greed to be ‘the One’ overburdening the Charity called happiness. Everywhere you check around, you see that we are indeed ‘Charitable-beings’ in anything we do- only the greed for changes with respect to people.

We as humans tend to be quite charitable in our deeds, but it is time to think :

Are we really feeding the greed, in us through Charity?

GIVING WHEN IT PINCHES

‘Giving out of abundance’ is what most people gladly do if they have the heart to give. But, how many give in the face of scarcity?

The first picture that comes to the mind on hearing the word ‘giving’ is money. We immediately conjure a picture of handing out finances to a person in need. Yes, rendering financial help to others is an integral part of giving. But, it’s not always about money. Giving also involves two other precious resources – love and time.

When our granaries are full, we won’t hesitate giving a pound of grain to someone in need. But when what we have is just enough for us for today, would we still be generous in extending that helping hand? When our schedules are so hectic that we hardly have time to rest, would we offer our presence to someone who needs us? When we ourselves feel rejected and unwanted would we be able to embrace someone who is in need for love and warmth?

These are higher order ideals and are easier said than done!

Once Jesus Christ sat watching people put their offerings in the synagogue treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Giving in times of abundance involves only a desire and a decision to give. But, giving when it pinches entails a deep sacrifice and it never goes unblessed!

A CALL TO THROW, RESHAPE & DECORATE

Relationship is so very important today. Whether it’s a family relationship or marriage relationship or brother & sister relationship or parents & children relationship or relationships between colleagues, all are very important and needs perfect attention and care of the individuals involved.

Today, with the advancement of technology and human civilization, the tolerance level of individuals are going down and down. That’s why we find more divorce cases, separation from parents, brothers and sisters are not in talking terms, jealousy among the colleagues and so on.

I have always tried to help people to build and maintain new or existing relationships. I never say, that’s it even in my own relationship with others. I keep pushing my brothers, sisters, relatives, friends to reconcile, to mend a strained relationship. It doesn’t mean that I don’t face problems in my own relationship but after the strained phase I tried to find out where I made a mistake which troubled me. I may thing why in the first place I am in the relationship but when I cool down I think how to solve it and rearrange it.

As we are approaching Valentines day, a reason to mend and manage our friendships, relationships I have few steps to rearrange a strained or disarranged relationship as follows:

  1. Search for waste materials & THROW them: When we rearrange our homes, we first try to search for the wastes which are occupying unnecessary space in the home.  Then we simply discard them or throw them out forever. Once we do this the home looks cleaner. In the same way we have to do in our disarranged relationships. Jealousy, ego, hatred, lies, pride, prejudices, selfishness etc. are wastes in all relationships. We need to Google search all of them and then press the delete button once for all. Once we do this the relationship looks clean and easier to breath in and out.   
  2. RESHAPE the existing qualities & bring newness in them: Then the next step would be appreciating and reshaping of each others as well as our own good qualities. This is a very crucial moment. Sometimes what happens is, when we try to reshape ourselves but don’t get to see the other party in the same action then we again start bringing our old nature in. we get angry and ask ‘why are you not reshaping yourself’, then again the relationship takes a step back. So we need to take real care at this phase and give each other ample time to reshape and readjust to bring newness to their persona.
  3. DECORATE with new characters and habits: Finally, after rearrangement of our house we think of buying some new decoration items like, paintings etc. to decorate our reorganized house.We have to decorate our freshly arranged relationship in the same manner. We need to adopt and learn more good qualities or habits or behaviors that keep others happy and in peace. For learning new traits in relationship we need to give time to each other instead of our own work. We need to join relationship training programmes, take examples of others who are good at it. This is how we can decorate our relationship once again new, beautiful and attractive.

Do we have a disarranged relationship? Let’s rearrange it with TRD (Throw, Reshape & Decorate) while celebrating Valentines day this year.

Get to ready to respond to the TRD call.

Stay Blessed!!!

NEVER CEASE TO LOVE

friendship-824253_1280We live in a world which claims to be at the peak of globalization – where communication happens with just a touch of a button. But at the same time we are hopelessly running a rat race where we frantically want to achieve the most and be better than others. Amidst all this, what has got lost is our innocence and the power to love and trust each other. We have become egocentric and therefore we have forgotten to put the interests of others before our own.

Saint Paul, a life coach says that if we speak in the divine language but there is no love in it we would sound like a clanging cymbal. He goes on to speak of other heightened aspects portrayed by humans and  reiterates that without the inclusion of love, we are nothing. This has really meant a lot to me as throughout my life I have felt the need to portray love along with a good purpose. Love gives a concrete shape to our works and it doesn’t make us look ritualistic and fake. Further the description of love by the saint amazes me and I have found myself celebrating with him by realizing the strength of love. He says, that love is patient and kind and doesn’t envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with truth. It is neither irritable nor resentful. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures all. It never ends. Among the three most important entities namely Faith, Hope and Love, Love is the greatest.’

Therefore, my friends, never cease to love as it has the power to perform miracles. Love can for sure, work miracles even in this age of globalization!

Ruth Samarpita Sarkar

A MIRACLE OF LOVE

heart-583895_1280Robin and Sherin were devastated! Their parents had decided to part ways. Yes, it was surely a relief from the everyday bickerings that had made their lives hell. But, what would happen to them? Their little innocent minds could not find any answer. Robin was ten years old and Sherin was eight. From the day their parents broke the news of their separation to them, the brother-sister duo were having sleepless nights dreading the day when their parents would finally go their separate ways. They couldn’t imagine what life would be like to live without their parents, probably they would be out of school as well, lose their friends, and what if they never get to see each other again! Unable to find any answer to their questions, they simply chose to treasure the imprints of each day as it came.

One evening, they were told by their parents that it was their last night together. The next morning Robin had to leave with his father, while Sherin had to stay on with her mother. Silent tears flowed down their chubby cheeks. But, what could they do? They were left with no option. They would lose their friends as well, but they would not be out of school as they had thought. Their parents were quite well of and had selected the best schools for their readmission. With uncontrollable sobs, Robin and Sherin parted – unsure whether they would ever see each other again.

Time flew past. Robin and Sherin were soon in the prime of their youth. Both had completed their education from reputed institutions and were well-placed. And yes, they had traced each other out and were in touch. But alas, what a mess their lives were in!

Robin had a successful career, but could not trust the people around him. He failed miserably in all his relationships. His only comforts were alcohol and drugs. After all, they would never leave him as his parents did! Soon he discovered that he was neck-deep in debt. He took to unfair means in order to stabilize himself financially. The law of the land caught up with him and he landed behind the bars.

Sherin hopped from one relationship to the other and ended up being used and abused. She had ruined her flourishing career and was left with a child out of wedlock. She was distraught and hapless and had nobody to turn to. Frustrated, she ended up her life.

The story may not seem very new. But yes, there are many Robins and Sherins around us. Each Robin has a different song to sing and each Sherin has a different tale to tell. Have we ever spared a thought about them?

We are living in an age of commercialization and rapid development. There are sky-rising buildings in our cities and towns. And, within these buildings are caged many Robins and Sherins. To the world around, they lack nothing. In fact, some of them may be the perfect pictures of affluence and dignity. But in the deepest corners of their hearts, they are dying a million deaths. They are hungry and thirsty – not for bread and water – but for love. Love is their fervent need. Mother Teresa once remarked, “The hunger for love is more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Thanks to modern science, we know that the love-centre is in the brain and not in the heart! Every human being has the potential to love and a longing to be loved. Without love, all the good deeds that we do and all the policies and programmes that any Government devises are actually patchwork remedies in a desperate attempt to find a cure for man’s heartache.

“The greatest science in the world – in heaven and on earth is love”, said Mother Teresa. Scientific developments and technological advancements can put man on a higher pedestal than the rest of the higher primates, but cannot quench the thirst for love in the human heart. Economic empowerment is good and desirable, but riches and luxury will not meet man’s desire for love. Education is necessary, but again education will not satisfy man’s need for love. The United Nations may be a practical solution in a world that has been ravaged by two major wars and contemplates the threat of a possible World War III, but even the UN cannot bring lasting peace. Only love can!

Love is the only panacea for all the problems plaguing the world. By our love we can rid the society from many evils and save many lives that are forced to see the end before time. By our love we can show others how to love, and so can make the world a better place to live in. Each one of us can be ‘a miracle of love’ for someone who is unloved and uncared for! Instead of pointing our fingers of accusations at the messed up lives around us, we can sure gift these Robins and Sherins with the ‘miracle of love.’

Author’s Bio: Rajnandini Sahu has done her Post Graduation in Clinical and Counselling Psychology and is presently working as a Counsellor in a school, apart from pursuing higher studies. She can be contacted at ‘rsahu1023@gmail.com‘.