So I’ve realised it takes a village to build you up and make you feel confident but it’s often just the one person that can bring that confidence crashing down! And that’s just sad…
What the tens, hundreds or millions say about you can be shattered by one thoughtless comment or one mean remark. It’s like that little devil inside of us barely needs a drop of water to take on a monstrous form and take us over completely.
And that’s why the trolls succeed so much. I used to visit a client ever so often and despite me being at my best; I’d watch how every compliment would be followed by a quick jibe, a passing thoughtless remark or just something plain mean. I noticed it a few times but I think it really came to a head when my team asked me what was wrong with them? I honestly didn’t know. Every time they made a comment it hurt but I tried to push it aside as much as I could and eventually knew when the comment would come , so played a song in my head to dull their words!
But then the husband came up with an insightful reason (no I wasn’t bribed to compliment him :)) they did this.He said that often people chose to use hurtful words to cover up what was happening in their lives. When they chose to criticise how I looked or that I spoke with an accent- it was often a reflection of them not being happy with what they looked like or how they spoke. And when I started really listening to what they were saying I saw all their deep rooted personal issues- marriage problems, body image issues, blatant racism and insecurities. And now I have realised that perhaps that’s the way to deal with trolls.
Everyone is on a journey. When they lash out, it’s more about what’s happening with them not with you. And when you re-teach yourself to think like that the hurt is less and you too are equally careful about how you speak.
P.s. (Palat says)-: Every person I meet I try and learn something from… even the worst people you meet have something they can teach you. Learn.
And the week went by uneventfully for most but for me it was a re-learning of sorts.
After weeks of walking like the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’ , I finally started walking straight and balanced again and then proceeded to show this basic skill to anyone and every one who’d watch me, often much to their amusement or annoyance (depending on whom I was showing it to)! Walking straight should come naturally to most , but for me it was an achievement that I was proud of.
And that’s when I realised how many of us take so much for granted till we lose the ability to do it. We often fail to celebrate the people we love and the things we can do and instead find fault with both. And then when we lose the ability to do something or lose someone in our life ; we then and only then understand the importance.
And in the spirit of things that I have learnt, I learnt lots from this Multiple Sclerosis Attack.
- Value your body. It’s the only one you have and whatever you can do with it (even the bare minimum) is pretty darn amazing.
- Connect with your family and friends. Say ‘I love you’ lots and give lots. Eventually all you have in life is for the relationships – so give them your all.
- Don’t take your health lightly.Listen to your body. It’ll always be truthful to you.
- Stop blaming yourself. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and any trial is just a lesson in disguise.
- Smile, watch a comedy and refresh. Smiling is a lot healthier than stress is!
- Party. When the world is turning upside down, get out and party. Don’t sit and mope. Get outside. Have a ball. The world is amazing! And tomorrow will always be a better day!
And we’re on to another weekend and the new week holds so much excitement with new hires, new jobs and new opportunities.
And yup, that’s another excuse to party!
P.s. (Palat says)-: Life is a celebration…or it should be. If it’s not, take a minute and remember – you are alive, you are amazing and you deserve awesomeness!
We all believe we live in the moment but I have to be honest most do not! Unless you go through something life changing, you don’t even recognise how long or how powerful a moment can be. This is true. A moment really counts when my arm hurts so bad tears stream down my face or when the husband holds me apologising for the arm pain which he didn’t even cause-the MS did!
Most people just turn up in their lives. They make a guest appearance. You go to your 9-5 or 10-6 job and you just count the hours so you can leave and go back and do another mindless thing you won’t give yourself to.
You shouldn’t have to have MS or a brain tumour or nearly die or do something equally dramatic to care about your life! You can be the hero- the star of your own story- shouldn’t you use your potential to do that
With those I work with and those I’m friends with , this is what I try and enforce
- Do one thing- but do it well, else don’t even start.
- In a conversation with me , lets both look at each other and actually listen.
- A job is not 8 hrs, it can be 1 hr or 2 hrs as well- it’s just about applying yourself when you work
- Do something- one thing every day that you absolutely love and be present during that moment.
- Have one conversation every day- not on the phone but face to face. Make sure it’s honest and be absolutely involved in the conversation.
- When you are doing your job- make that the most important. When you are with your family- make that the most.
- Be true to yourself, even with new people. People will either like you or not but you can’t live your life acting like someone you are not.
- You are the star of every day. Your film stars you. Make a it a film you’d like to watch. Be proud of you.
- This won’t happen easily- there’ll be many times where you are not even present during a work day or a boring family dinner. Stop, reboot, refresh!
I write this because I see so many who just turn up in their lives and never actually show up and enjoy it. We get one chance, (even if we believe in rebirth and after life) to be the best version of ourselves- to be a part of a film called our life. Wouldn’t you want a blockbuster? I do!
P.s. (Palat says)-: Its the husband’s birthday weekend this weekend so stay tuned for soppy posts and mushy , unwritten love letters!
And in a world more connected than ever, most people find themselves more disconnected than they have ever been. We can connect on WhatsApp, Social media, the phone- all the time and yet in this fast paced world though we’re always seeming to be connected we’re often more alone than we have ever been.
This was the discussion a girl friend of mine and I had for more than a few hours this week. And it wasn’t even the first time I had heard this complaint. It was far too often, from far too many people for this to be a coincidence.
Connection requires work. Connection requires commitment and Connection requires both parties to keep at it!
And when I felt the same way a few years ago.. I set out to make a Commitment Cheat Sheet… to help me keep and nurture relationships that meant something to me…
So here’s a peak-:
- Make a list of just the closest friends (CFs) you’d like to have in you life and make sure you call or meet them once every 2 weeks at least.
- Do Date night. Even if you’ve been with your husband for tons of years…date him, reconnect. The only thing constant is change- so both of you will keep changing. Get to know the new him.
- Be social. Get out at least once a week with one set of your CFs so you can do a face to face reconnect.
- Laugh more. Play games rather than watch TV. Connect, talk and have fun with your friends. TV is a wonderful medium for stories but real stories happen only when you actually participate in them. Be a part of your own life story not a spectator.
- Put a schedule together which forces you to challenge yourself to connect. Make it a routine, till it becomes a habit.
- Find common hobbies/ activities. I hate the morning walk… or actually hate getting up at 5 am… but the plus is I get a leisurely coffee chat with the uncrabby husband (he’s a morning sparrow, I am not) and a walk where we find tons of puppies and lots to chat about.
- Be present. Your CFs have something major happening in their life/ they aren’t well- check up, be present- care.
- Don’t look at your phone during dinners/ events. Respect the person/people you are with.
- Give yourself a break. All relationships change. Some change so much they become unrecognisable. Try as hard as you can, but remember sometime you need to let go. Reward yourself when you try. Don’t berate yourself.
Relationships are hard and connections even harder. In a world of a few billion- you just need a handful of connections but even those take work. Remember, it may look easy from watching a good relationship but both people work very hard with many off days to make that work. Instagram and Facebook stories are just that- stories. They are not reality.
P.s. (Palat says)-: At the end of the day, all the fame and money make for comfortable beds and homes but homes are only homes when you can fill them with people you love.
And with Multiple sclerosis , the mood swings for me are a bit intense. It doesn’t help that I’m a Gemini- Taurus cusp or that I have a steroid producing brain tumour or that I’m plain nuts… but I do seem to have really low lows. The plus is that I am logical enough to know it’s temporary and fixable. The minus is more often than not I’m not sure how to do that and get frustrated with myself for not knowing how to!
And then I think about the number of times we’ve had flaws pointed out in our Bffs by others and how fiercely we’ve stood by and protected them! They are not flaws, we insist; merely traits that make them more unique, more special and more loved.
What if we were to apply the same rules to ourselves?
So when we are meeting an indecisive client who doesn’t see the amount of effort it took us to create something special and we’re feeling low, instead of blaming ourselves for not realising that the work we’ve done won”t be immediately appreciated or faulting ourselves when the work out we’ve been killing ourselves with doesn’t give us the results we need today- we should love ourselves- much like the Bff who doesn’t always return calls or the one who is perennially late. We know that good things come to those who wait for them… why don’t we allow ourselves the same indulgence?
Why are we so mean to ourselves? Why do we give everyone around us a break except ourselves?
And it’s almost with pride that we say that ‘we are our harshest critic!’ Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t we instead be our biggest fan? Cos if we were friends with ourselves , we’d actually think that we’re pretty darn amazing! Why shouldn’t we allow ourselves to be proud of who we are?
So I’m gonna start- I am absolutely nuts on one hand and supremely focused on the other- that makes me fabulous to hang out with, never short of conversation or gossip! I’m insanely driven and I’m fiercely protective and loyal. I am a fighter having fought MS and fighting it every day and that makes me pretty amazing! I would choose a friend with all of these qualities. So today and forever I choose me!
P.s.-: We have enough people in the world who’d like to pull us down…. there’s no point joining them. They don’t need the help!
So the birthday rolled around and this one was unlike any other! I’m the quintessential Gemini about birthdays even though I’m a Taurus-Gemini cusp! I plan for the next birthday the evening of the previous one- so I’m that kinda psycho birthday maniac,
But this birthday I was a bit more introspective and stressed out- had this year counted for anything? Had anything changed ? Did my life thus far mean anything to anyone? Yup I was being a bit more fatalistic than usual. What had I acheived?
And so this time I stressed out before the birthday! And started (like the OCD maniac I am) listing down any positive learnings I have had or impacts I had made. Here’s what I found!
- I have become closer to family now than I ever was and that’s a win!
- I have more friends now and they accept me -flaws and all! I’ve reconnected with a few who knew me and they seem prouder of who I am today -so there must be growth and that’s awesome!
- More importantly I accept me- flaws and all and now can be honest with who I am , especially to me!
- I have taught people and they remember that fondly and I continue to teach the people who work with me and that’s amazing.
- I have started learning all over again! Online learning allows me to find knowledge in areas that I’ve always wanted to discover and that’s hugely positive for me.
- I’ve traveled and I’ve seen and learned more about cultures and places and put into perspective how magnificent the world is and how much more we can do and then gone ahead and tried to imbibe all that I have seen into making a positive impact.
- I have cared for animals and loved and looked after so many and got so much love in return.
- I have become kinder, more compassionate and learned to love more! I have become more grateful to the God, the Universe and to people.
- I have learned that the more positive you are , the more positivity comes your way!
And the list went on and I realised that not only had the years rolled on, the learnings had added up to and just the fact that I had so many blessings in my life, was definitely worth candles on the cake – even if there were more candles now, than cake !
P.s. (Palat says)-: Whenever you are down, look around you and make a list- when you see how much you have and how many love you; you’ll realise that the stress just disappears! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
How do we stop others from defining who we are? In a large part, what we think of ourselves comes from what others think of us. This starts when we’re much younger. “Oh you’re so clever,” a teacher might say. Or “she’s so pretty,” a mother might say. And these adjectives then become in a large part who we think we are. It’s like these opinions are our mirror and we see ourselves through other people’s eyes.
What happens then when a boss says “he/ she is more driven than you” Or a friend says “you’re not built to do xyz.” There are 2 ways to deal- 1. Roll over and let whoever that is , with their limited vision define you. Or, 2. Go ahead and do whatever you believe you can achieve. Sure, 2 sounds amazing in theory- but it’s hard and there will be millions of moments where you’ll let yourself down, where you’ll start believing the nay-sayers, where you will doubt all that you believe in… but if you push through you can break their distorted mirror of you and make a cleaner more perfect one for yourself.
No one knows this more than I do. I went into hospital on Friday 2005,May something or the other. Between Friday and Monday- I remember nothing. I do believe I had a few MRI’s and I do remember people trying to keep me awake and then there is just darkness.
When I awoke on Monday, I was on a bed in Breach Candy hospital with a strange man looking over me. “I am sorry,” he said ,”you came in too late. Your brain has been compromised and you are left side paralysed and will not be able to move again. There’s nothing more we can do.” When I stared at this man disbelievingly, he challenged me – “Don’t believe me- try and make a fist with your left hand… go on now… try!” And as he goaded me I tried to earnestly to make a fist, to prove him wrong. He was right. I couldn’t and so my right hand held my left hand and closed it into a fist. He nodded as if to say I told you so. And then he left.
We can let others decide who we will be or we can get up and live the life we think we deserve to live. It won’t be easy and it may take years to get to where some people take minutes to go. But who is to define our lives except for us? We get one life. Why should we allow other to get their own lives and ours? Shouldn’t we take ownership of that ourself?
P.s. (Palat says)-: Our personal mirrors may not be rose tinted or even clean, but we can create our being in the way we’d like to see ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for defining us and let’s define ourself.