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Piecing Out Self-image

I was sharing the news of my friend’s marriage getting fixed, with someone and they went- “oh! Good things happen to good people!” I agreed with this notion until they said it that day. I thought to myself, what makes someone good or bad and who is judging us anyway? Does karma brand people with everything bad for a few mistakes? These ideologies can do so much harm to our self image and that’s exactly what the next few months should change for all of us (the new year hoohaa).

Self image
Looking in the mirror…

I look at myself in the mirror everyday and know that my self image isn’t about the way that I look in the mirror. That’s already been talked about- body image and body shaming is a thing of the past. Now that we know what it’s not; what is self image about then? Is it about what we do—the actions and our reactions to situations? To fill the vacuum; Self image is our own opinion of ourselves (what we think we are).

Our opinion of others are formed even before we talk to them or decide the relationship with them. Similarly, what we think about ourselves is being pieced and re-adjusted, with every thought in our minds (self talk). Our relationship with ourselves is defined by our mental chatter. What was the last thought that crossed your mind—and what does that thought speak about you?

The babbling we did as toddlers was the first conversations we were having with ourselves. It made sense only to us but just think of how happy and uninfluenced that conversation was. Similarly it’s important to tell ourselves good things, reassuring yourself is the best way to feel good. Remember ‘ALL IS WELL’ from the movie 3 idiots.

Affirmations is something that needs to be talked about at this point. It is said that the words we repeatedly say gets fixated in our minds and we get automated to believe it. People who are confident are babbling away some really good affirmations consciously or subconsciously. We are inherently good babblers but if the external environment makes us doubt in our goodness, it’s important to keep oneself reminded.

The people in our lives project their insecure views of this world on us, making us scrape through layers of perceptions. Self image is about knowing who you are under all those layers and knowing the sound of your babble over other voices. Self love then is not something you have to achieve by doing, you just automatically love yourself.

So the next time someone asks- ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ You’ll actually be smiling thinking of your own voice.

I am _____________. (Fill in the blank with every word that only empowers you).

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The Short and Tall of Things

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted something desperately and someone you know is getting it? A car, a new phone, materialistic things, a vacation, a good friend, a great life partner, amazing parents (especially when you’ve been grounded by your folks), friendly boss, an enthusiastic team, great network, fame and the list of the neighbour’s grass is endless. All of this you covet and feel like you deserved but was denied by some injustice on god’s part. 

Insecurity can hit anyone, I have my own insecurities and as per situation they keep surprising me. Everytime I’ve felt jealous I’ve only brought my whole life to the value of a single peanut size against someone’s mountains of peanut butter jars (that’s gold FYI). Why do I do this? ‘What makes me do this?’ is a better question to ask. What makes me think pitching my life against her and him and Jaya, Priya and Rahul, is completely fine?

It doesn’t feel any good when I’m thinking that way. I am usually content with what I have, it’s just tough when someone comes at me with their shiny new sword and pokes it into my eye. Even then, I wanted to be free of feeling so caught up in devaluing my own life’s journey. Was there a way to not get anxious? Yes! Don’t compare! Hitha Chandrashekhar my college mate, also a leading Kanada actress, said to me “Try feeling happy for them and try to be a part of their happiness.” That tip was worth trying when you’re conscious of you ‘looking at things in a jealous way’.

How do we land up in this feeling of quicksand in the first place? Can’t we be content 24/7 even when someone is trying to burry us in their heaps of glories? What’s this need to be better than the other? Survival Instinct? Competition is a debatable topic, there are so many perspectives to it. It’s not worth it when children are told to compare grades, height, memory power, dancing skills, other “good child” syndrome symptoms with other classmates or siblings. Its not survival instinct to use your neighbour as a yardstick to be better—it’s greed instinct. 

Imagine a row of ladders, every ladder a different height. You keep looking at the other person’s ladder and which rung she or he has reached. This observation is okay if it’s not an obsession. If you get hypnotised here, you may have a longer ladder reaching the clouds but, you will never reach it because you need to be at your neighbours level to compete with them. A healthier outlook would be to remember where you started and see yourself reaching out to the next you. 

On my first ten kilometre run I learnt that you don’t see the ten kilometres as your target you set shorter goals. May be a light pole, a tree or a dog lounging at two hundred metres and then the next and so on. Gradually you cover the distance, divided in parts using stationery object; not something which is running along with you. May be set goals and keep your old self as a light post you just run past. 

You could even be on the receiving end of jealousy. Some people are so transparent you can see they’ve worn jealousy for make up. How do you not be rude and tell them they need a touch-up. Please don’t underplay, you’re not doing them a service by showing them a rosy world which doesn’t exist. Get real, hand them a tissue and ask them why don’t they feel happy for you?

Reality is raw but life mostly just turns out exactly what you tell your mind about how you want it to turn out. So if someone’s telling you, you’re short or too tall, dark or too white, worthless or too pompous, ask them “who are you pitching me against?”, because I’m perfect just by myself. I didn’t do this when my friend’s grandmom made us stand shoulder to shoulder to check who is taller. I know of a few tall people who’ve had pills to stop their height I can imagine the trauma they’ve gone through. 

If you’re being this grandma then stop traumatizing people or telling their minds they need to feel small. If someone’s doing that to you then drown their voices out by reminding yourself- ‘your journey is your journey and you’ll get to be the dark chocolate peanut butter when it is your time’. Apna time aaega! 

P.S.missed watching Gully Boy, anyone coming with me?