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 GIFT OF FREE WILL

What’s the meaning of life?

I don’t have a definite answer to this profound question asked by many a people over eons.

Philosophers have debated over it and there has never been a one-for-all answer. May be that is what makes this question intriguing and yet so infuriating at the same time. Man has tried to answer this question since the beginning of time and this search has led to much philosophical, theological and scientific speculation. The diversity of this world and its cultures presents a myriad collection of answers different from each other.

Pico, in his famous “Oration on the Dignity of Man” published in 1486, states that God placed man at the midpoint of the world and addressed him thus:

Adam, you have been given no fixed place, no form of your own, and no particular function, so that you may have and possess, according to your will and your inclination, whatever place, whatever form, and whatever functions you choose…by your own free will, in whose hands I have placed you, will determine your own nature…You will have the power to degenerate into the lower forms of life, which are bestial. You will have the power, by the judgment of your soul, to be reborn into the highest forms of life, which are divine.

Pico sees this free will as the supreme generosity of God through which man will himself become the fruit of whatever he cultivates. According to him this is what qualifies man as the most supreme creation of God.

Any living being on our planet primary goal is survival. Man is not any different in that matter but because of his rational faculty he tries to find something more than merely survive. This is what makes us more than an animal and adds color and flavor to our world. Finding the meaning of life in general seems like a futile exercise. If you look at the whole, the idea of finding or attaching a meaning to our life in this complex world appears pointless.

For every good act there is an evil equivalent. For every honest person there are plenty of dishonest persons around. An honest politician remains an oxymoron. Innocence and purity are shunned since the innocent and pure of heart are inevitably duped and exploited. Our faith which is meant to elevate us closer to God is used to divide us, and used against us. Instead of getting us closer to the divine it brings out our bestial nature. As you can see our world is imperfect. But does that mean that we cater just to our own self-interest and don’t try to look beyond ourselves?   

 The free will gives us the power to not succumb to this world’s corruption and find our personal meanings of each of our lives. The materialistic world which runs on ostentatious displays of wealth and merriment makes us afraid of delving deep into ourselves. All that is cared about is the superficial appearance and every achievement has to be measureable. I too have joined the pursuit to find the meaning of life—my life. I am sure that in due time I will find something but I can’t be sure if it will be worth it or not. One thing I am sure of is that the experience will be of personal benefit and that in itself is a reward.

Oliver Sacks, when he first discovered his diagnosis of terminal illness: staring death in the face, he wrote, “Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

Let’s not lose hope in these dark times we live in, and let’s choose to believe that our life has a purpose and a meaning, whatever it may be. If we persist enough, our brief-lives on this earth can be worthwhile and we can definitely make at least a teeny-tiny positive difference to our surroundings.

CLINGING ON TO OUR HOPES AND DREAMS

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Our hopes and dreams, do they really stand a chance against reality? Can we make them come true and are we even given a chance to reach out and fight for our dreams? Easy to answer right! The answer in most cases is no at least in the burgeoning Indian middle class.

I believe all of us in our most wishful thoughts want to become someone in their lives. That someone is characterized by our passion for something, something that is ingrained in us or we are drawn towards it naturally. The inclination deepens gradually as we learn more and more about our passion. But the global rat-race spares no one. This affects the mentality of our parents first and then channels through them to us. The effect is you have to become a doctor or engineer, or do an MBA and what is the reason for this? It gives more money and status in the society. All the students are cajoled, forced at times and mechanically trained to take engineering or medicine. They are not even asked if they want to pursue anything else and if they have any unconventional career choice, it’s ruled out by the parents. Giving up on the dreams becomes the likeliest option for the youngster.

Coming to myself, I was considered good in science as I scored high marks in the subject. This immediately gave my parents the idea that their son should become an engineer. They had never enquired me about my interest. I had a liking for writing but at that point was never serious of making it as a career. I ended up in an Engineering college eventually and got placed in an IT organization. Meanwhile my liking for writing had grown and I had become more serious about it. The possibility of pursuing it professionally remains.

Life has changed a lot after college. Most of us are employed, busy into our jobs as we try to impress our bosses. Looking back into introspection a question pops up in my head “have you found what you are looking for or are you just fitting in?” I find it really difficult to answer that in an instant. If the answer is yes for you, life can’t get better. Everyone has hopes and dreams of becoming someone in their lives. Very few make it though and it’s not that easy too. Circumstances and lack of will power get better of most of us. Eventually, we have to be content with what we get. Yes, jobs which give you decent amount of earnings or more can seem the best that can happen to you, but we are never truly content until we find that one thing that we crave for. With a realistic view, we all can’t reach the levels of success that some people manage when their careers and passions meet but still; we can give it a shot, trying to fulfill our dreams and turn them into reality.

We have our talents or something that we love doing (The base of our dreams). These are the things which bring us joy and contentment and we enjoy every bit of it just because we love doing it. What if we can’t become legends? At least as a hobby we can keep our interests alive and find time for them in spite of the busy work schedule. The other day I went shopping with my friend. His eyes lit up as they set their gaze on a bundle of paint brushes. He told me that he used to paint a lot during his younger days and was pretty good at it. I told him to buy a paint brush and start it again. He replied with reluctance that’s it no use now as there is so much of work and he does not find time for it.

Looking back at the past brings in lots of “ifs” and “buts” but they won’t provide you the solution. Giving up, when knowing that you can make your mundane life more beautiful and fruitful should not be considered as an option. It’s never too late to start to follow the dreams unique to yourself. Someone has told, “Better late than never”. As per my own experience you can always start again if you stopped sometime back.

Author’s Bio: Peter Minj, is a B. E. in Electronics and Communication. He works as a Software Engineering Senior Analyst at Accenture, Bangalore. He loves Football, Reading, Writing, and Music. He is an optimist, who enjoys the simple things of life.