A FLASHBACK

When Charlie sent this picture to me, I remembered my childhood days. I mean, what a coincidence! The picture depicts my childhood. 

It has two kids and a real cycle down there. I and my cousin would ride a bicycle with the same expression. It was my childhood dream to own a bicycle. I never had one and this always made me feel inferior. I used to see my friends and cousins riding their new and colorful bicycle. It is not that my parents couldn’t afford one but they had priorities. They thought to pay my school fees and buying me a new school uniform was way too important than buying a bicycle. 

Whenever I sat on the back of my uncle’s bicycle, I felt as if I am on the top of the world. I used to sing whole way and never wished the ride to end. Some days, I used to throw tantrums for not eating food and weeping until my uncle would promise me for a bicycle ride. Such a drama queen I was!

Anyways, I used to ride my cousin’s bicycle. He was around 4 years old and I was around 9. He knew I don’t have one and how fond I am of a bicycle, so he asked me to ride his bicycle. But I didn’t know how to ride. I fell down every time. I would come home with skinned elbows and knees. My aunt would scold me for this. 

(Image Credit: Pixabay.com)

Then one day my cousin told, “Di today I will help you in riding the bicycle. Come sit and I will give you the support.” That evening, my Grandpa came out of the house and saw me trying my best to not to fall from the bicycle. He said, “Sit, I will hold the bicycle from behind and you have to put one foot on the paddle and then after paddling put the second.” I followed his instruction and to my utter surprise, this time I didn’t fall. I rode the bicycle for a complete 2 minutes and this was my biggest achievement till that day. I saw my cousin jumping happily. After that day, both of us would ride together. He used to hold me tightly while sitting behind me on the bicycle.

There were five bicycles in our street. Those who had would come along with their bicycles and then we would ride each of them turn by turn. Life was so easier then and we were so happier those days. I remember we used to celebrate birthdays by giving permission to ride the bicycle for a complete 3 minutes and that person could take the bicycle down the street to the old lamp post. Sunday mornings were dedicated for cleaning the bicycle. We used to participate equally and with full enthusiasm for the cleaning program.

Presently, I still don’t have a bicycle. But now I don’t feel pity or inferior. Because I have those memories where we used to share our belongings with each other.

These days, we are not willing to spare some time for people, forget about the belongings. If anyone parks his/her vehicle under our house, in no time we yell at them. In fact, if somebody asks for a lift or a ride, our calm expression turns into a frowning one. Even when someone asks for our help or assistance to do work, we pay no heed. We feel blaming others for our failure is easier. 

But we must keep in our mind once we welcome people with an open heart all the bitterness that we hold in our heart will vanish like a vapor. 

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LET THEM GET DIRTY, LET THEM EXPLORE

Those tiny little feet are a bundle of joy. We do our best to take care of the little baby in the house, from massaging to cleaning, from caring and pampering to child-proofing the house. But, as the little baby grows up old enough, we forget that the tiny baby isn’t tiny anymore. Instead of making her/him independent, we go overboard in making the child dependant on us for every little thing. Why?  Simply because we fear that they might not be able to do themselves or think that doing things for them is easier than making them learn themselves. And as our little children grow up into adults, we expect them to take their own responsibility themselves and make decisions themselves.

(Image Credit – Pixabay.com)

Look into the picture, the soft pink feet of the baby are covered in sand. As the child learns to walk, those always so clean feet and legs are bound to get dirty. As the infant becomes a toddler and starts tottering, she/he is likely to get some bruises. So, should we stop putting the baby on the ground or the floor?

The answer is simply no. We can’t lock their exploring bodies and creative minds for the sake of safety. Children can’t learn unless they have hands-on experience.

It’s better to let them fall so that they learn how to succeed from their failures.  Instead of giving into their wants, make them learn how to wait and let them learn how to deal with NOs in their lives.

HE MAKES, BREAKS AND SHAPES US

In the church, we usually share our praise points and prayer points so that we can praise God for all the good things He had done in our lives and pray for all our needs along with the whole congregation. Last week, I stood up to share my heart, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I said, “I am thinking why I am living on this earth if I am causing so much pain to others.”

It was my hurt and my anger made me pour my heart like that in front of all but I kept on speaking quoting one verse from the Bible which reads, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” This verse let me understand that God owns everything and if He can establish the whole creation on the seas and on the waters then He can surely establish me on any difficult path. Remember, the very nature of water lets everything to drown in it yet, it was God who established His handy work on it. I was comforted soon afterward though my heart still hurts. 

(Picture Credit: Pixabay.com)

But when I saw this image God spoke in my heart again and I chose it for myself to reflect on it.

A potter takes the clay which is so easily moldable. He puts it on the wheel and spins it. The clay may be modeled by hand or fingers while the potter’s wheel spins. The raw moldable clay soon molded into different forms as directed or designed by the potter. After a pot is designed or given a form the potter dries it with fire to make it strong and usable.

What a beautiful picture it is…! It is like God shaping us as He wishes and defines our purposes on this earth.

I used to always grumble with God for creating me with such an ailment for which I had to suffer a lot and was held responsible for so many things which were not even in my hand. I used to question God when I was young. But later, He made me so strong that nothing had really shaken or discouraged me until the last few months. My present hurts and agony reminded me of my brokenness and how weak I am.

Yet… Yeah, Yet, I don’t lose hope on Him who says, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” And lo and behold, today when I visited the potter’s house through this picture and saw how he was making something on the wheel. When the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 

Whoa!

We all are in The Potter’s hands. And we are all safe in His hands. He will make us, He will break us, He will shape us into beautiful pots to be used beautifully in this earth and the life to come for eternity.

Stay Blessed!

I HIDE YET, I SEEK

As a kid, we understood life is simple and sublime but as one-after-another birthday went by we rephrased our understanding “life needs to be polished time-to-time”. We realized – scarcely ever someone wants to reason our brokenness, inner wounds are ugly and stinky, each of us is intended to give our own definition on others misery, hence it is better to appear polish! How about texting back “I’m fine”? Well, that’s maybe he wants to hear and I’m giving validation to his formal behaviour. Since my childhood I was taught I need to heart-out but as I grew up, I taught myself “hide your feelings”. Hide and Seek was a game in our schooldays but NOW it is the tagline of our lifestyle.

At wits’ end, we get some pretty good revelations. While I in the same boat towards the end of 2018, like every other morning some of my contacts turned up with my question to them primarily and I used to answer “I’m fine, thank you” whereas a handful of good souls noticed my slowness and tried to reason it. Some of them went straight enough saying, “No, I notice something wrong you are going through. Tell me the truth. How can I help you, what can I pray for you”. Though I was not able to reveal them my secrets and they were not capable to bring solutions to my series of problems but their blissful words and caring heart were strong enough to relieve me from my dryness. Alongside, to some, whom I consider very close, I tried to explain and at times I hint in many ways on what I am racing along but alas. They were too busy! During that period once my cousin quoted me “It’s a time for you to do reality check!.

Astha was right in her article saying, “Hiding our heartaches are something we all do. When we do so, we expect someone would come and help us out of the situation whereas what happens next is just the opposite!” We, humans, have turned too busy and cosset to own life. We live in a world of Business and Professionalism, ‘why it’s a matter to think outside of myself!’. We all wear the mask of pretence all the time – I say, I am fine whereas my reality is contrary to the core”.    

There is an English proverb “INTENT IS PRIOR TO CONTENT…”

  • I look for your TIME! – A relationship is nourished when we spare time for our loved one. Often people hide their feelings and pretend to be fine because they do not find us sparing good time for them. One of God’s creational plan behind creating the humans (especially man and woman) is to have fellowship with each other and spending quality time with each other but alas. Nowadays, one of the striking issues of broken marriages and children-parent relationship are “lack of time”.    
  • I look for your INTEREST! – Time and Interest is clinging to one another. Without interest, sharing our time is meaningless and without sparing time, interest is also meaningless. One of my Board members always says, “Busy people are they who has time and knows where to spend it”. One of the biggest excuses we give today is, I’m too busy. Indeed, we all are and we all should be. But alongside we need to know how to manage time and where to invest interest. Before the creation of human, God said, “Let us make mankind in our own image, in our likeness and have fellowship with them and when He did it, He saw it very good”. Do you see an INTEREST in Him for us? That’s what we are intended to replicate in our human to human and human to God relationship as well.
  • I look for your TRUST! – It is the trust that weaves intimate bonding. The first blessing of God to human is, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over every living creatures”. Do you find the TRUST factor of God in us? But alas. We failed God and we do the same in our human relationships as well. Since ages, the breaking of trust is the root cause of the breaking of relationships. As a matter of fact, that’s what made me to decide to hide my heart though I seek to share with you.

IF THIS IS OUR STORY AND THIS IS OUR SONG,

THEN WHERE ARE WE HEADING ALONG?

In the Bible, God says,

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”. “I will forgive your sins and offenses”.

What do you say, shall we replicate the same in our relationship instead of hiding our heart?

Shall, we come together and settle the matter?

Let’s not pretend and play – “I HIDE YET, I SEEK”!

TO SAY OR NOT TO SAY, THAT’S THE QUESTION

The moment this topic “Hidden in my heart” was given, one of the hilarious incidents flashbacked in my mind and I immediately messaged my sister Prabhjot about it.

It was her tenth board exam that day and I walked down to the bus stop with her. On our way,  one of the neighbours shouted to Prabhjot, “Best of luck beta, do your best.”

Thank you aunty”,  replied Prabhjot sincerely. That was her simple reply to a simple wish. But in her mind,  there was something else. As we came to a distance from that neighbour, Prabhjot spoke her heart out to me – “Thank you, aunty, for reminding me that I have to put in my best,  else I was just going to while away my time in not writing the answers properly. Thanks for saving me.

We sisters burst out laughing till our stomach ached.

Now,  getting back to the serious stuff- hidden in my heart.

When someone asks, “how are you”, we simply reply, “fine,  thanks”, but many of us want to say much more like, “No, I am not fine. My maid didn’t turn up today, I had to do the cleaning chores myself, got my daughter ready for school, who told last night that she has to submit her science project today. So, I completed her project by waking up all night, and after 4 hours of sleep, I am here in your office, tired and sleep-deprived, for your stupid meeting, which could have waited. So, if you think, it’s ok, I am fine, having a great time.

Of course, we can’t say such statements to anyone, except with those whom we can share our thoughts and talks. And it’s better to talk out your heart to your near ones, whenever you feel heavy because that burden will weigh you down and bring in the negativity around you.

Recently, I was vacationing in my hometown, with my two sons. I was updating my pictures on social media after every event. Most of the people felt that I was having a great time. Of course,  I did, but that was only for a few 3-4 hours of a day. Rest 20 hours, I was busy in my permanent ‘refereeing’ job. Yes, I had a gala time indeed, but simultaneously had a terrible time in being a referee during the frequent quarrels between my sons. Shouting at them,  raising my pitch almost every 15 minutes, pulling my hair out, I almost felt that I made a mistake in coming with these two little monsters. Other than that, my summer holidays went smooth as silk (pun intended). Of course, all this can’t be put on social media. Thank God,  I have many ears to listen to the saga of my ordeals!

A couple of years more, as my near and dear ones say,  then it’s all going to be fine. As I wait for their sibling rivalry to turn into the best friendship, I will try being patient (as in sufferings). Till then I am fine,  thank you!

OPEN UP

Our heart has so many secrets. There is no such human who doesn’t have some secrets hidden in their heart. I too have the same in my heart. Some of them are hidden as I fear of the consequences the secret might bring when disclosed and some are hidden because I don’t want to share.

When I was a teenager, I thought, am I the only one having secrets? All those mockeries, bully and what not? I used to hide them in my heart and didn’t speak anything to anyone. Maybe because I didn’t find anyone so understanding and trustworthy.

Even our parents too, hide so much from us. They hide the financial challenges they go through and the sacrifices they make for us. They do so, only to make us feel happy and keep us away from the difficulties of life. Even today, my father never discloses his sufferings to me and my brother. Maybe because he doesn’t want to see his children worrying about anything.

Whenever we come to know about what he is hiding, we confront him saying, “Papa, you shouldn’t keep this problem to yourself. Please let us be your shoulder now.” But he never does so. However, later he speaks about his problem in a nutshell.

As I live in a city far from my hometown, I give my best to solve my problems on my own. There are so many incidents and things in my life, happening every day. But I never speak about it to my parents or to my friends. For a simple reason, I don’t want to. I know, I should at least let somebody know about my problems. But I fear what if it gets more complicated. I fear, what if my parents don’t understand. However, I speak to my brother and my best friend when needed. This brings peace to my heart.

I guess many of us go through the same in their life. But if the problem is not so big and can be solved by sharing with a sensible person, then why to hide. Open up. Find someone who can help you in your crisis and let that person take you out of it.

After all, sharing your problems with the right person can reduce your stress. So, next time you feel like keeping a secret, think if it is worth keeping it as a secret or if it should be shared.

Transparency is better than hiding; because hiding from others have many negative implications which sometimes become very difficult for us to explain even if it was done in good intentions.