WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST?

Questions are imperative in human life. It is the questions of the human mind that instigates him towards the meaning and the purpose of life and defines the why behind its twists and turns. Questions are either raised by an individual or in reference to an individual. Behind every question, there is a Questioner! Ravi Zacharias in his recent book “THE LOGIC OF GOD” says, “The convergence of intellectual and existential struggles drives a person to a brutal honesty in the questions he or she has.”

One among the biggest questions of human life – “WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST?” Like every other question of human life, this question is always in reference to a human struggle. Because we question only when life’s millstone burdens us. As a matter of fact, since my childhood, I have been frequently juggled and altered by this question – WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST? 

When I was a kid, I complained – “No one understands my choices.”

When I was a teen boy, I was hurt – “Why should I be like him? I am who I am!”

When I was in the twenties, I argued – “Why should I do that? It’s my life-my choice.”

When I turned thirty, I find myself – “Being misunderstood and misinterpreted.”

Towards the end half of 2018, there were some family issues and when I had to raise my voice to sort-out the misunderstanding between my family members, I was misunderstood being partial. In the meanwhile, I find one of my best friends going wrong in quite a handful of matters, as I attempt to correct my friend, again I was misunderstood being unfriendly, arrogant and bossy. Being too sensitive to relationships, being misunderstood and alone in four walls created havoc on my mind. The only question that distorted the peace of my mind is – “WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST?”. Why no one takes time to understand me or questions me – why do you think so? All that everyone thinks – BLAME HIM! 

Often in professional life, we are asked to keep the personal worries outside the office door but that’s someway too difficult. One individual life with two parts – the Personal and the Professional has enough possibility to tilt.

Each individual’s existence is caused and causes “Relationships”. Relationships is not the presence of one individual rather it exists between two individuals completely different from one another decide to come together and form a relationship irrespective of their differences. The presence of differences in the possibility of confusion and misunderstanding. But these misunderstanding is NOT MEANT to the breaking of relationship rather IT IS TO educate and enhance the relationship. 

BEING MISUNDERSTOOD and QUESTIONED BY SELF – 

“WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST?”, IS APPARENT! 

DO I KNOW MYSELF? – How about that! 

Flipping the pages of history, wise King Solomon was garlanded with WISDOM, POWER, WEALTH & GLORY. Materially speaking there is nothing that he lacks in his life. But at the end of his life’s journey, he concludes: “I put my hands into all that my mind found good. I acquired everything I desired. I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is chasing after the wind. Everything is meaningless”. The question remains – WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST?

In my imaginative visit to the potter’s house, I saw the potter’s house is filled with varieties of clay pots. 

I: Who designed all these clay pots? 

Potter: “I”!

I: Where did you got the pictures to design these pots?

Potter: Their pictures were in my mind and I designed them accordingly.

I: Why each of them is entirely of different shapes and size. 

Potter: Because each of them is made for a different purpose.

I: Can this small flower vase be used to store water?

Potter: No, it cannot be. It is meant to give home to the flower plant.

I: Can your vessel explain why it is made?

Potter: Nope. Does it know how long it will exist? Where it will be tomorrow?

Potter: But I know where it will be tomorrow and How it will be used and What will be its worth.

The Bible says, You are like the clay in the potter’s hands, and I am the potter.”  – this is the message of the Lord.

WHO KNOWS ME THE BEST? – The Potter has the answer.

How about asking HIM? 

THE HARDEST THING I EVER DID WAS TO BE JUST ME

The hardest thing I ever did was to be just me all the time.

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Life is set with rules and regulations for everyone. It is just that all these rules do not let you be what you are always. Every rule portrays you to be someone else according to someone else’s rules.

That is life – that is what everyone replies to who cribs about this.

Even when others lay the rules, it is not easy to be not who you are at times. I have encountered myself, quite a number of times in my life till now. Every time I come face to face with my own self, I just have to bid goodbye to it and take up the burden of being an epitome of a rule book.

If I have to pick the hardest moments I ever had to be just myself, then there are plenty of them. As most of the times, my life is not what I always wanted it to be.

When I wanted to study and conquer my dreams, my family wanted me to start a family and be bounded by the marital laws. It was hard. Even after conflicting thoughts with myself, I had to sacrifice and be bound to their rules. Yet again I failed to be just me.

When I struggled in my career, I again lost the ambitious me to the laws of family. Wherein I set my priorities higher for my family than my job. Just to blame me in the end for the magnificent end of it.

When I began to write, it was a natural fight with the society rules and just my rules. I write a lot more about the expression of love either emotionally or romantically, they entice me, but again it was ‘just me’ writing without abiding by the rules of a  ‘good woman’. Even when I am character assassinated as many things unimaginable to me, I still continued to do what I always wanted to do. It is hard to make a decision in favor of one’s own consciousness at times, but I decided to pen down only my true emotions which I wanted to write and not anything that never touched my heart.

Most of the time, it is hard to be what you want to be, but it is better to be what you are. Lying to oneself leads you to a downfall, be true to yourself and you will see you are happy.

Self-love is never harmful, it is the best medicine to your soul. Mostly, it is not selfishness or self-indulgence but it is more of taking care of one’s self rather than just giving away everything.

LAST TIME I CRIED…

4 months ago:

The anesthesia had already started to work, when the doctor asked me, “Soumya, what do you want?” With a smile on my face, I replied, “Anything doctor.” My doctor asked me again, “Still, any preferences?”

Drifting into the world of my dreams for some seconds, I thought about the most beautiful relationship according to me. The relationship that the siblings share. I had always dreamt of a brother as a sibling. And I also had a wish that, if ever I am able to give my daughter a sibling, then it should be a boy so that she can feel and enjoy it as all my cousins did. I have always felt that the relation between a brother and a sister is very pure, strong and charismatic. I have seen and witnessed the love they share.

I answered, “Doctor, as you know, that I already have a daughter. It would be great if she has a brother to play with.

The procedures had already begun. I drifted back to those painful 8 months. Those initial pains, series of blackouts due to hypoglycemia, premature tendencies, increased number of hospital visits, chances of miscarriage during the 6th month, admitted and being treated for the same. The many painful steroid injections and IV drips, giving way to many painful days and some very painful nights. The labor pains and the fear that we (mother and child) might not survive if things go otherwise. Emergency admission and surgery. I and my husband were both tensed for many such reasons. During my previous hospitalization, we had a mother who lost her 33 weeks baby to gestational diabetes. I also had gestational diabetes and endocrinologist had also warned us about stillbirths. My husband (who wasn’t in a good shape either) was waiting outside the OT for some news, hoping it to be good.

It took them 12 minutes to cut through, then they pushed my baby out. I was fervently praying that my baby should cry out loud when it comes out. Lo and behold, my baby cried. My doctor told me, it’s a boy. But I was so much happy that my baby cried that I couldn’t hear what she said. I asked again, “Doctor, is it a boy or a girl.” My anesthetist said, “you had made a deal from above, you couldn’t have got anything else, it’s a boy. Congratulations.” After giving him a wash, they brought him near my face. I could just see his small little nose, his beautiful eyes, and red lips. I was overwhelmed.

As soon as I was out of OT, my husband came to see me. I looked at him and cried. He reciprocated. It was a cry of happiness and victory. God had lead us through the valley of troubles and dangers into a beautiful life. Our family was now complete. Our second bundle of joy was here.

All Rights Reserved with Mrs. Soumya Rout & her beautiful family

Struggling through the entire pregnancy, being ill for almost 90% of times, I now have a chance to witness the bond I have had longed for my entire life. I can live the love and bond through my kids. To be a mother is a very intense feeling and to get your heart’s desire is another one. I had a combination of both at that time and it was a magical and emotional phenomenon. My son is now almost 4 months old and has already started looking at and following his “didi (sister)”. This is just the beginning of a happily ever after.

SOMETIMES I WISH…

Sometimes I wish, I owned a Horse,…

Human–horse relationship has a long and varied history. While meat may have been the first motivation in the very early stages for domestication, horses became progressively important “tools” for transportation and, like other domestic animals. With their powerful stature and ability to run with the wind, horses have intrigued humans for centuries. Strong, yet sensitive, with their attentive ears and large, expressive eyes, horses are wary of predators. They spook in response to a noise or sudden movement. And for decades now, horses have been included in equine-facilitated psychotherapy. 

I wish I too owned a Horse. Sleek beauties, muscles that roll underneath the supple chestnut-colored coat that hangs majestically on the frame. A flowing mane that unfurls and whips as the wind calls it, feet that pound the ground, a natural canter, gait. The quivering of the haunches as they rocked forward, a toss of the head and the big and genuine eyes rolling to and fro. 

I wish to own a chestnut-colored Horse. “A pony is a childhood dream. A horse is an adulthood treasure”- Rebecca Carroll. Horses were widely used during the medieval period, especially for transport. They played a major role in wars. Horses even found a special place in epic novels. Not only noblemen but noblewomen also rode a horse. I too wish to ride one. For me, going for a hack on a horse is a heady combination of adventure, exhilaration and deep relaxation. The mind wanders as you explore country lanes, woods, bridle paths, and cinder tracks. Moreover, one can go at one’s own pace – a sedate trot or a full out gallop, should you fancy it. For me, it is an overwhelming and mesmerizing feeling.

Sitting on the saddle, only a few meters off the ground but crucially this affords the rider a slightly different perspective on the world. One can Spot things, that he/she wouldn’t normally spot and, from the perch on a horse’s back. The rider is totally immersed in the lap of nature. I want to live such a moment, with my horse and nature, without any other distractions. I wish to imagine myself as a Queen, who has gathered help from neighboring allies and is rushing to save her people from the hands of enemies or a Queen who is simply taking a majestic stroll across her empire, where people bow down before her, or shout out praises, hailing her crown! Horses lend us the wings we lack” – Pam Brown

Horse ownership can be very exciting and rewarding. The primary benefits from horse ownership are recreation and relaxation, but many people do not often realize the health benefits that can be gained from owning a horse. Keeping that in mind that raising and maintaining a horse can be expensive, requires a lot of attention, and requires plenty of lands for the horse to run.

“If wishes were horses then beggars would ride” – English Proverb

THE BEST WRITER STIRS THE EMOTIONS OF READERS

This week went so well as we wrote about each other applauding our works on Candles Online. I was drooling joyfully over the emotions stirred by Prabhjot dedicating an article for me, but after reading what Kuljeet wrote about Aastha my previous emotions were replaced with a fresh set of emotions. Both of them have been my all time favourites. The more you read their articles, the more you feel connected to their soul. The reason was clear they write from their hearts.

I took the opportunity to read a few of their old articles to quote them here in this article and I never could stop my smiles and tears. I found an article that Aastha wrote on 28th December 2016. It was on a 12 years old boy whom she met on a train. The whole story made me very emotional and feel proud of my sister, Aastha. One paragraph hit me hard and I want to share that here – “Often when we know what other factors can contribute or hinder our hopes, we tend to fall prey and lose hope. Without hope, there is absolutely nothing in life. This is where we need to find our balance back by holding ourselves. Everything that happens, every situation we handle has to make us more stronger and prepare us for our future struggles.” How insightful this article is! Don’t forget to click this and read it.

Do you really want to carry a burden on your chest for a long long time? Or is it better to share with a trusted person?  Sometimes the things are not as bad as they seem to us. Getting another person’s perspective helps“, says Kuljeet in one of her article which is full of good advice for all which we need in our life.

The above two are my personal best yet if I am asked about the writers who are professional and never at a loss of words or skills then with my eyes closed I will choose three people – Sulagna, Saakshi, and Pradita.

You might ask ‘Why these three’? Then better read their articles to know them well.

It’s also important, to be honest with yourself about which ones are your real regrets and which ones aren’t. If you make a mistake here, you might again be stuck with wrong decisions“, says Sulagna while writing on the topic – Your Regrets. Give a read to it and you will learn a lot from this article. And if you are hooked to it then go on and read all her 8 powerful articles. I seriously miss her on Candles Online.

My gold digger, Saakshi wrote a blinder for the topic – The Attitude of Gratitude, explaining how much she is grateful to a man who has been serving her family for more than 20 years. She says, “Now to capture Noorie (I gave him this name out of affection as he often complains that he became almost a women doing womanly chores for my mother and me) in words is like trying to collect all the sea water in a Coca-Cola bottle.” Read this light-hearted article and feel fresh. And if you again feel like picking up another book from Saakshi’s library then you can do so without giving a second thought.

Pradita, the name itself lets all of us here on Candles Online expect of something fabulous and amazing. Writing on the topic – Shadow of Sin, she wrote how the abuse of power is a grave sin.  She says, “Most positions of power occur over monetary reasons or in positions of trust. An abuse of power in such situations is not just a sin, it also breaks the faith of the subordinates who look to the power wielder for support, guidance, and leadership.” She is excellent in every way. Tell about, the formatting of the articles, the selection of appropriate words, presenting the subject matter and the flow of the article, everything looks perfect and professional. She never gives me the stress of checking the errors, formatting, adding a picture, etc., she does everything herself.

Sadly, the above three are not regular writers. But they are the best.

In the end, coming back to the same person whom I mentioned earlier, who made me travel through a memory lane this week, who made me emotional, who wrote an article wonderfully dedicating it to me I would like to say she has been the icon of consistency and persistence. Prabhjot is a writer who has always been straight forward and flamboyant. One of her articles is my all time favourite where she raises questions against the mindset of young girls who thinks negative about their looks. She says, “Remember – Looks are only part of your personality. It is as significant as your intellectual capabilities and your emotional balance. And beauty is not just about your looks – it is about your holistic personality.” She shares her own story and how she used to think previously while motivating and encouraging many others through this beautiful article.

If I go on talking about my co-writers then this article will never come to an end. Someone rightly said some time ago, “Candles Online is like a library with so many books written by many authors“.

So true! And I believe that they all have the art to stir the emotions of their readers…

So what are you waiting for? Start reading and giving your valuable feedback.

Stay Blessed!

A WOMAN WRITTEN IN MYSTERY IS WORTH A CURIOSITY TRIP

Since I became a part of the Candles family, I have come to know each and every writer in this family through their writing. Except a few, I haven’t met any of them personally.  Reading the articles written by them gives me an insight into their lives. Usually, their writings are a small window into their minds, the thoughts, and experiences that have shaped them and made them what they are today.

One of my favourite writers in this group is Aastha. Her formal introduction on WordPress goes this way “I am a techie by profession, beginner in writing. Writing for me is the lone time for dwelling through my inner self. I try to be honest and express my true feelings through my writings.”

Well, I don’t agree with the beginner part of it. Her writings have the depth of a seasoned writer. But I do agree with the second line that writing for her is dwelling through her inner self.

I perceive Aastha as a beautiful demure girl. But when I read her articles they seem to be saying – “Be aware… I’m demure but my pen is not…”. This is my endeavour to understand her a bit more through her pen.

Aastha, The family person: I love the way that she has portrayed her bond with her family  – her sister, her parents. The articles like “In an envelope… “, “It’s relaxing and rejuvenating…“, “It is the only doorway to understand someone…” and Imposed pressure to stay strong” give us a peek into her childhood and her khatti-meethi relationship with her sister while growing up, the influence of her parents.

Aastha, the storyteller: Either she has a lot of friends, or she is the type of person in whom people confide easily. Or she is a very good storyteller. Either way that’s what makes her writing appealing. You know for me long and preachy articles with only advice don’t work. An article is interesting when it’s anecdotal. And she gets it bang on with articles like “Wrong decisions or wrong perception” which is the story of Nidhi and her disastrous marriage. Another one is “Use freedom in the best possible way” gives us an account of Ujwala and how she misuses her freedom. Or another very readable article is her counselling talks with Akshay “Holding each other“. Or the virtual relationship of Isha and Kartik so remarkably described in “A Virtual Blessing in disguise“. It’s surprising how she puts across her point without making it sound like a lecture.

The emotional, honest and strong Aastha: After reading her writings I have a distinct feeling that she has experienced a lot of ups and downs in her life. And I am so glad she finds solace in writing and shares her innermost thoughts with us readers. “She is a walking miracle” the story of her sister’s birth who was born with a birth defect and how the whole family coped with it will surely provide a lot of comfort and support to people going through similar circumstances. Another one is her own conversation with her doctor about her being so stressed that she could not even cry – “Sometimes a good cry can cure what a good laugh can’t“. “Ripple effect of Suicide” is a story of her friend Siddhu who committed suicide. I don’t know how you do it Aastha but you bare your heart in your articles and they sure do touch the reader’s hearts.

The funny bone is also very visible in the amusing description of an embarrassing moment (“That awkward moment when…”)

One of her best articles is when she shows her most vulnerable side and explains her feelings of loneliness “Maybe someday I’ll come home to a pair of compassionate eyes“.

Whether or not you understand more about fighting your inner demons and overcoming them in “Adding colour to life is in our hands” “when personal and professional lives collide” or you empathize with her strength and physical resolve in “The secret behind me being disciplined“, I am sure you will appreciate her honesty in accepting her shortcomings and conquering them in “The journey of finding myself in my own backyard“.

The Knowledge giver Aastha: Not all articles are emotional there are well researched and knowledgeable ones like “Secret sauce to effective education…” about the education system in Finland. Another informative one on her hobby gardening is “In the solitude of trees“.

I can just keep writing on and on. I hope I have been able to decode the real Aastha at least a little bit.  If not, I will just sum it up in her words. In a reply to a question in the face to face section (“I am in the spotlight – Aastha“), this is what she said…

What is the one thing you desire to do during your lifetime?

“There is a strong craving in me to be loved and be understood at a deeper level. It would take another person who really wants to look into me, which is not in my hands. So, meanwhile what is that I can do??? One day, I aspire to be a torchbearer for a change, a positive change that would make this world a better place. I am working on it.”

Hoping it turns out so!

(Dedicated to @aastharao)

SHE HAS INFLUENCED ME

“TEAM” is always a mixed bag! Isn’t it?
Indeed, our Candles team is such a bag! We have approximately 50 odd writers from different corners of the world. Each of us is of a different personality, some of us are very jovial – some of us are very playful – some of us are extrovert yet a handful in our team are just of the opposite personality – they are reserved – introverts – talk less YET all of us love and understand each other’s differences. In this bunch of good souls, I got to know a lady who speaks less, thinks creatively, very matured and a lady of wisdom. She is also an avid webzine writer and a professionally trained Counselor. If I would ever recommend any lady to learn on Personality Development, then I would recommend her to this lady of our Candles team. I met her only once but her personality has really influenced me. Presenting before you the lady I found with inner beauty – our beloved Rajnandini Sahu😊

Among many virtues in her, let’s take our cup – How She Writes and What Does It Reflects About Her? 

“A good article not only presents values and information.

It also represents the character and the belief of the author.”

Indeed, being a reader, that’s how I always evaluate my authors ‘flipping the other side of the coin’ and critically analyzing their belief. Because in the world of endless voices and teachings on morals, ethics, and principles, at the end of the story all that we look for is reasoning and internalizing the values that we take away. In the long run, that’s what our life output will be. The deeper sense of reading is shaping of our inner man. 

Being a reader the first thing that always affirms my belief in Rajnandini’s article is – it is purely ORGANIZED and always has a Logically Constant flow of thoughtsExperimental Capability and has Relevance.

Some of her articles have truly marveled my heart and affirmed my belief in her sharing. Let’s take a couple of glimpses of hers’:

THE BRAND CALLED WOMANOn 2017 International Women’ Day week, she published this article. Often in such presentations, we take the track of Racism to race along. But Rajnandini was exceptional, she presented womanhood from God’s viewpoint and alongside didn’t dirty her hands by throwing mud at manhood. She was soulful in presenting the beauty of togetherness rather than playing the blame dice and uplifting feminism.

RECOGNITION FOR A PURPOSEWe all look for the recognition of our work but recognition becomes evident when our work is well articulated. And each of her articles is always presented with utmost clarity. Undoubtedly, she is gifted with the art of articulation. 

THE EYE – THE LAMP OF THE BODY: Often articles come with flamboyant captions but the presentation seems disjointed. It seems like the author is scrambling for thoughts. Being a reader and meticulous observer of her articles, I always found Rajnandini being keen in the logically consistent flow of her thoughts in every of her article. In the 6th paragraph of this article, she has beautifully canvased Eye as the Lamp and how evident it is to believe.

APOLOGISE, IF YOU HAVE ERREDI always believe reading to a reader is exactly like looking at a mirror. We look at the mirror to bring perfection to our face, so is the true reading. As the reader reads, he realizes his flaws in life and internalizes the alterations. Being a reader, I found that in this article of hers.

In the world filled with so much of imperfections, how can someone pen with fineness?

Well, the 19th century American Author, Madam Helen Keler said,

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments

as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations

because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness”.

Almost all of Rajnandini’s articles are finely tuned to the Biblical values. I am quite sure that’s what makes her words evident to the reader’s life, as she formed the habit of going to the Bible at all times.

It reminds me of the Bible verses,

The Word of God is like a mirror that shows how duplicitous our life is!

It is indeed the lamp to our feet and light to our path to a life with perfection

(Dedicated to @sizzlybizzly)