WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING

Challenges are a part and parcel of our life which also bring fear with it. Also,I would say that these are very subjective and temporary. Something that is very challenging for me may not be as challenging for you and same goes with the fear.

So, in this small life of 35 years, I have come across many small and big challenges but the one that consumed me the most is being a mother. You may ask, why so?

We all think that’s its very natural to conceive and there is no rocket science in it. But it was only a few years back that I realised that conceiving was a BIG science.

10 years ago:

I was newly married and had some discomfort with my menstrual cycle. Hence doctor had asked me to do some tests. He said they were routine and normal. Once the reports were out, the first thing he said was, “You can never become a mother“. These words sound straight from a movie.. like ..  “Tum kabhi maa nahi ban sakti” but at the time it deafened me. I still remember the outburst I had after reaching home and poor Mr Husband didn’t know how to handle my emotional turmoil. Since starting a family was not an immediate thought because we were just married, finally I settled down after a lot of convincing that it won’t happen like the doctor said.

8 years ago:

By then, we were trying very hard to start the family. But failed every time. Doctors were consulted, horrifying tests were performed and we were asked to time the intercourse as the body was mapped to record the ovulation. Every effort failed! We could not conceive. We were then sent for an IUI. I am not going to go in depth with explanation of this process but do google it. Just understand that I would need to do a sonography every morning and then at the time of ovulation, I would need to visit the gynecologist to perform a medical procedure which will help me conceive. All this, with an extremely demanding corporate job was tearing me apart.

Finally a year later, we conceived! I was on cloud 9. I thought all the hardships are over. But I was wrong. It was a chemical pregnancy and it didn’t sustain.

Similar chemical pregnancy happened again in another cycle. By this time I was shattered. I could see all my perseverance go in vain. My body had gone for a toss because of innumerable injections and hormonal medicines and all that it got me in return was pain.

We took a break from medical treatments. It was much needed. It meant, we can experience the pleasure when we really feel like it and not when doctors asked us to! It meant we could go on a holiday and not worry about our sonography dates. It meant I needed not make my arms and thighs black and blue from the injections.

After a year, we returned to the treatments. In this time, I cannot forget to mention the continuous probing from the relatives and family about how can we have kids, how we need to visit an astrologer, how we need to do this and how we need to do that. Anyway, the IUI saga continued without any results. We made about 13 attempts with this procedure. After that we lost it completely.

Then came the time of a battle between mind and body. Mind wanted a baby and the body was tired. All through this journey, I had cried equal to make a sea of my tears, even thought of ending my life (only thought, i am glad i didn’t do it) and had slipped deep into the depression.

Then came a hope in 2017. It was 8 years to our marriage. We had our first consultation with an IVF specialist and she showed us some hopes. IVF meant draining a lot of money and preparing my body for even tougher medical procedures. We were game for it. I wanted to conceive and give birth to a live child any how! Please do google and read about what IVF procedure is. That doctor held my hand took me along the path of motherhood step by step.

Finally with a lot of hardship, in March 2018 I gave birth to Aarnav. I felt like I am the King of the world! I am ready to die now, I have got all that I ever wanted. I am a mother now!

I cannot miss to mention that my immediate family stood by me like a rock during all these years. They pulled me out of depression each time I slipped. They cheered me each time I have cried and they have assured me each time I had doubted about this whole pregnancy and birthing thing. I am forever grateful to them.

Also, I thank God everyday for giving us our baby. It wouldn’t have been possible without his blessings.

I could overcome this challenge because of God, my family and my will power. I am glad I came out of it alive. I now truly understand the meaning of the phrase

When going gets tough, the tough get going” I am glad that I was tough enough to face all this and come out being what I always wanted to be – A mother!

 

 

OVERCOMING THE UNWANTED PREGNANCY

Isn’t it true, we all carry the tendency of “UNWANTED PREGNANCY”! Metaphorically, we all feed some or a big amount of bad habits (imperfections) in our life since they are fun-filled and primarily we are enticed by their heroic personalities, whereas each of the bad habits we embrace finally results in kissing guilt and shame. Identically every human being, I was and is holding some amount of the tendency of Unwanted Pregnancy.

While in primary school, I observed some of my friends are using some foul languages and signs, which resulted to shut their counterparts up while fighting. I started learning and using those languages and by the time I passed my Board exams, I was well-versed with those bad languages and their meaning. Though often I behaved using it unintentionally, the truth was it was actually not so, since I knew what I’m quoting to the other person. I was so cunning that I was never scolded by any of my family members since they thought I didn’t know what is a foul language even. Gradually, towards my University days, I was already entangled with another awful habit that was “eve-teasing”. Chasing and passing on bad comments had become fun stuff for me. Somewhere I lost the sense of how hurting it must to them.

“If you give sin a foot hole it will one-day become your graveyard. But blessed are those who listen to good counsels and draw the line within the due time.”  

While being entangled with these bad habits, there will always be a voice either from inside of us or from outside of us that convicts us for our deeds. Exactly, in those days time and again I was reminded both in the Church sermons and by the godly people around me – foul language destroys your own character and it is an illicit pleasure. It was towards the end of 2008, my elder sister had to move to Delhi for her professional demands. Alongside missing her, every time as I pass-on bad comments to a girl my conscience convicted me – “how would you feel if someone does the same to your sister?” This daunting question put me into the cubicle of self-introspection.

American-Canadian-Indian author Dr. Ravi Zacharias rightly says,

“Any pleasure that jeopardizes the sacred right of another is an illicit pleasure.”

We may carry differences of status, religious views, influence, and political opinions yet one truth is absolute and holds each of us – Each of us has a sacred right to live life with due honor and it shouldn’t be hampered to treat our selfish and unmitigated pleasures. We are designed to exist within human society. As we put self in the first place the hurt of the victim of our Unwanted Pregnancy can be better felt.

Bad habits are easily learned but it takes a protracted period to break its chain. Though the protracted period consistently convicts us with the guilt of our failed commitments yet it has a lot of possibilities of overcoming it. Imagine the hurt of the victim of my foul words and eve-teasing, every time I made the commitment “NOT TO DO IT AGAIN”, yet often I failed. The tendency of failing happened not just once or twice but was almost for a year. With the years of inclination to sin and carrying the weakness of self-pleasure within, failing again is obvious but God searches our INTENTION. Perfection never comes one-day at a time. In the Bible LORD God says,

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind.

Emblematically, the Unwanted Pregnancy (imperfections) has many faces – as we try to clean one the other one sprouts up. The closer the mirror is the more visible the pimple marks and blackheads are! As a kid, I had the bad habit of biting nails and as I tried to overcome it, I was stealing pencils and chalks from the classroom. When I started overcoming it I was subjected to malpractice in the exam, done and dusted overcoming it I was using foul languages… then eve-teasing… then illicit relationship… then addicted to cigars… then corruption… then addicted to porn… then extramarital affair… then lie… then cheating spouse… the list never ends. The inclination towards Unwanted Pregnancies refers to the existence of the tendency of sin within us. Sure enough, that has deserted us from the Perfect Being – GOD. As we realize and confess the tendency of Unwanted Pregnancies (imperfections/sins), our relationship with God restores. The closer this relationship, the more unwanted Pregnancies we operate. Overcoming brings perfection and perfection is the process to be PERFECT resonating the God-image within us.

 

MY THEN BIGGEST CHALLENGE, MY TODAY’S STRENGTH

It’s What” and not “Waaatt”. When will you ever learn to pronounce it correctly? It’s high time you learn English”, my friend mocked at me. Morning conversations with her, while waiting for the bus, every single day was torturous. Allowing her, to let myself down had become a part of my daily life. A person who studied in English medium school yet unable to speak in the language fluently, was instantly shamed. An introvert by nature, all I wanted was to run somewhere and hide myself.  

She was excellent in her communication skills. I thought, my language would improve, if I would talk to her on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I was proved wrong. She seemed to be more interested in pulling my leg than actually helping me get out of this situation. 

What if my grammar is incorrect? What if she makes fun of me again? I could be clowned. These were my inside thoughts, before starting a conversation with her. I was scared. I feared, I was not good enough for her or anybody for that matter.

Until, one day, I decided to break my shell, by challenging myself.  I didn’t want my story to end like this. Heading towards the College library, for getting a membership, remains one of the best decisions of my life till date. Reading turned out to be my favorite hobby and Alfred Hitchcock, my favorite author. I still remember how my mother would scold me for reading till late night, but all I wanted was to continue reading and finish the books as soon as possible. Gradually, reading became my favorite addiction and English my favorite language. 

At home, I requested my parents to communicate with me and my sister in English, as often as possible. Watching English movies with subtitles, listening to Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias’s songs, had become a part and parcel of my life.  After school, my younger sister, would come running to me to help her in her essays. No wonder, her teacher was amazed by her writing skills. My confidence was boosted, and I no longer shied away from speaking. 

English was my disability and today I have conquered it.  Yes, I am still in the learning process and not an expert, but the fact remains that, it is one of the biggest challenge I have overcome.  Today, when I look back, I have a smile on my face. My challenge to myself has made me reach so far, that today I am also known as a writer, who writes poems and quotes in English.   

Allow me share with you the lessons I learned in the process, that helped me overcome my challenges.

1. Now, that you have challenged yourself, remain committed to the same. No matter how difficult the challenge looks, if you are tired, pause but do not give up.

2. Even if no one motivates you or pushes you, BELIEVE in yourself. As the saying goes, “If there is a will, there is a way”, so find it yourself. Become a self-motivator.

3. Stay away from people who give you negative vibes and remain focused on what you want to achieve. Do not let their perceptions break you.

4. Now that you have achieved what you needed, remain grounded. Help those, who are in the same shoes you were in before. Become a candle in their darkness and let the light spread. 

5. Thank each one of them, who provoked you to take this up. If it were not for them, you wouldn’t have built your own ladder.

So, let me conclude by a quote written by me,

WA6z3465
(A product of Archana Dipu @YQ)

Keep reading and Take Care!

(Visit Ms. Archana Dipu’s personal blog at INKEDTREATS )

Quote of the day

Justifying is not AT all about proving self to others, But it Is about proving to your own self.

ARE YOU SELFISH ENOUGH?

About a month back, I was feeling extremely low due to a lot of reasons. And that clearly reflected in my behavior. I often snapped at my husband, almost always complained to him of not taking care of me. I even started showing my irritation to my Mother in law and started complaining to her as well of so much work that I had to do because my husband won’t help me. Office work was piling up too and that also irritated me so much. So, overall it was a bad situation.

It was just a lot of work and I always had a huge To-Do list in front of me. I had absolutely no time for myself. “I have forgotten how to smile, I have forgotten how to be happy” I told my husband once.

Kapil (my husband) tried multiple things to help me. He tried sending me for a vacation which I refused saying that “I don’t have money”. He tried to convince me start my workouts and I refused saying that “I have no time”. He tried to persuade me to take up a hobby which I refused saying that “I can’t manage another commitment”. He gave up after a while.

There were too many arguments, too much crying and too much negativity.

Then one day he just fed sense into me. I already knew all that he said but he showed me the mirror. This was not the first time he asked me to join a gym nearby (Cult Fitness). But that day the way he said it so politely without pushing me or judging me that it sort of ringed some bells inside me. He said “If you keep giving in any relationship, the other person will keep asking for more. Why don’t you ask now? If you need time – demand it, if you need money – demand it”. That made some sense to me.

He knew that I had always been very fond of working out and I have stopped doing that regularly after having our baby. At night I looked up the website of Cult and to my surprise it was written there in Bold – 1 week free classes if you register till 31st of July. Ha! It was 31st of July and just 15 mins before the date would change.

I was in luck I thought. At least one week I can try! I registered for the free classes. There were a million questions in my head. How will I manage one hour? What all will I have to give up? For the 9 pm class, I would have to feed my son earlier. That would mean I will have to come home earlier. That means I will have to leave from work earlier. Oh man! But since I have registered I would do it.

Next day I told Kapil that I have a class at 9 pm. He was surprised that I did take this step. He was as enthusiastic as me or even more. He stayed for the whole class along with my son (which is quite unlike him). He made sure he changed his schedule so that I could make for the class every day.

That one week of free classes got over and I paid up for 3 months. I did a 16 days streak right in the beginning through a bout of fever and cold. I loved it so much. It changed my attitude towards me. I was doing something for myself and only for myself. That feeling itself was elating.

True it was, I just had to demand. I just had to ask my family for help. I just had to set the expectations with my son and my in-laws. Taking out 1 hour wasn’t difficult but I just wasn’t being selfish enough.

Since our childhood we are taught that “Selfish” is a bad word and being selfish is wrong. Really? Maybe it is. Selfishness means that you only know how to “Take” with no idea how to “Give”. Often we call a person selfish who takes from everybody but doesn’t bother to return the favor or even worse acknowledge the favor. So, being selfish is that extreme state where you just don’t know how to give back.

Selflessness is often thought to be good quality but that too has its own extreme. It means that a person only “Gives” and doesn’t know how to “take”. That doesn’t work in the relationship as well. If you keep giving, you become so empty that you have nothing at all left for yourself. And that is when all the irritation and frustration shows up.

Marriages often break when any one of these extremes is involved. The key is to balance. The key is for two people to really know when to give and when to demand, also how much to give and how much to demand. If we strike this golden balance in a relationship, relationship itself becomes golden.

This is true not just for marriages but for any relationship between two people. Strike the balance between being selfish and being selfless. That’s all!! Ain’t that simple but make a conscious effort and you will see it working.

WHERE DOES MY STRENGTH COME FROM?

Recently, I was on chat with my friend.

Me: ‘Hi…how are you?’

She: I’m good. Thank you.

         Exams will start on 29th

        I have not studied anything

(Because since a month she was on bed due to an infection and she had recovered just 5/6 days back )

Me: Don’t worry. Trust God. He will surely help you.

       Can I ask you a question?

She: Yes.

Me: If I am not wrong, you’re in tension! Right?

She: Yes, a lot. I need to finish my courses before exam and I have no time left.

         I don’t know what is going to happen.

Me: Don’t treat it as problem, take it as a challenge. The situation will be little lighter for you to navigate.

        But ultimately you need the strength of the Almighty.

She: I’ll try…

Me: Sounds too bad… 

She: Why?

Me: You’re a brave girl. You know very well how to take a problem as a challenge.

        “I’ll try” – doesn’t sound good from you.

She: Hmm… But what to do? Situation is like that!

Me: Do you know there are two best lines that always strengthens me when I go through situations like your’s?

She: What are those lines?

Me: “Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”

        “Be still and know, I am the Lord, your God” (The Bible)

Let me pen a bit from my past. It was January 2004 when I met an accident, in which I lost my memory for 3 hours. But it was only the power of God which brought me back to life. After that the Neuro-Specialist advised my parents that, “they should drop my education and keep me in a dark room where even sunlight can’t go because of my injury which was severe. And I was to be under strict medication till I turned 25 years of age”. It was then, when my parents were completely worn out, that they struggled to keep fake smiles on their faces to see smile on my face. As a pre-teen I felt like my life has become a scum! In such a fearsome condition my friends brought my annual examination news. Despite of my physical inabilities I urged my parents to give me prayer support so that I can write my papers. My parents sincerely prayed for me and I started preparing for annual exam but my brain was not coping with me. After every couple of hours I needed to take power naps. I was throwing up frequently. Even while writing my Maths paper I was unable to bear the pressure and slept for more than 20 minutes in the examination hall. But still I continued my studies and did everything like every other normal person does. Soon after graduating from the university, at 21 years of age I started my professional career where travelling and training was the nature of my profession from the very beginning.  

But the big question that always hits me – HOW  WAS I ABLE TO DO THESE THINGS?

  • Was the Medical science/my diagnosis/doctor’s advises all wrong?
  • Was this just a coincidence?
  • Was this because of my self-confidence?
  • Was this because of my hard-work?

Bible says, “If you have faith like mustard seed, your prayer will be answered by God.” And Bible also says, “Your faith must accompany your work. Work without Faith is dead and Faith without Work is also dead”.

I and my parents could have easily quit as per medical advice or could have continued my studies without seeking the grace of God. But then my life would have been such that I wouldn’t be sharing my life with you over here .

We have to work and along with that we have to put our confidence on God. God is the only PERFECT INFINITE SOVEREIGN entity. He created us with a definite purpose and has counted our days on earth. We humans are finite; we can’t guarantee our tomorrow but HE CAN! We humans are never 100% perfect; but HE IS! We humans depend on wisdom and knowledge but HE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE!

What do you say, Is it self-confidence or Work with Confidence on God”?

SURROGATE BRANDING

In the world of advertising, surrogate advertising is a well-known and commonly practised concept. Let me explain the concept… Surrogate advertising/branding promotes certain banned products in the guise of other products. A fairly close name is used to hoodwink customers and ensure that the actual brand does not fade away into oblivion. To give examples, Kingfisher, McDowell’s, Bagpiper are brands of alcoholic beverages that are banned in India. But, still the common people know these brands by way of mineral water or soda.

Everyday human behavior uses this concept of surrogate branding to let the ‘me’ still remain in the picture while doling out people-pleasing easily-acceptable responses. Often we don’t wish to transform ourselves because that would mean losing our individuality. Hence, in order to endorse the brand ‘me’ and yet not lose face before others, we guise the ‘real me’ and showcase the ‘people-friendly me’.

In this surrogate branding of ourselves, very often we end up losing our credibility. Unlike the business world which deals with products, the human world of flesh and blood deals with emotions. And so, surrogate branding of human behavior does not stretch too far. It comes to a jolting halt. And when the veil is removed, the ‘real me’ receives a jerk as the ‘surrogate me’ fades away.

Wisdom lies in accepting and showcasing the ‘real me’ no matter how ugly it may be and simultaneously be willing and open for transformation so that the ‘ugly real me’ re-brands into a ‘beautiful real me’.

Be open for a reformation of the brand ‘you’! Don’t present or accept a surrogate brand!

You are an original brand! Embellish yourself with real gems. Be ready to chisel out certain oddities rather than masking them. And you’ll emerge a masterpiece worth being marveled by others!