Toxic Relationships

How many times do we know someone that or something is bad for us but we cling on to it persistently because of force of habit?

We know they’re wrong for us/ it makes us sad, unhappy, weak, angry… but we just don’t let it go…

And when we do let go…we mourn- as if we needed it, missed it ,wanted it. We mourn as if it was the best thing that happened to us when usually it was exactly the opposite! We cribbed the entire time and knew we were terribly fed up and disappointed in the situation but yet we don’t want to let it go.

Perhaps we’re suckers for punishment… or maybe we sympathise with those that torture us!

A friend in an impossible relationship was sticking on despite the relationship being totally toxic- he couldn’t let go. He left, it became hard , he went back- the cycle continued. He can’t escape or may be he doesn’t truly even want to. And the drama continues.

But to let go… to truly let go… is freeing. It’s amazing. It makes way for new opportunities, the joy of life and living again and complete freedom!

I used to make a lists of pros and cons and remind myself why moving on made sense but now I’ve found a new easier way- I allow myself to feel the loss- fully feel it, but for the day and after that I disconnect completely. I don’t allow myself to dwell or feel bad or get angry or allow the toxic person to have any emotion of mine because that would be energy I could rather use for something much more positive and I’d rather find people that would want that energy of mine and would be able to reciprocate!

This way I allow myself and the relationship the respect of fully feeling it; but also allow myself the respect of not sticking with something that drains me continuously. Just like they say, you can’t flog a dead horse, there’s absolutely no point mourning a toxic friendship/relationship.

Always remember you deserve happiness.

P.s. (Palat says)-: There are 7.7 billion people on this planet.You are going to find a few awful ones… but there are many many billion people left to meet!

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Happy Birthday Aditya! Thank you for being mine :)

divya aditya-pangkor laut

Happy Birthday to my my husband, my life partner and most importantly to my best friend!

Aditya and I met years ago (he remembers the exact date) during the only Malhar Festival I participated in… He can tell you what I wore and where we were standing…I can only tell you that he was gorgeous then and even more handsome now! Aditya is everything I’m not- he’s polite, balanced, relatively calm and composed and well just all ’round a really nice guy!

Over our years of friendship and now marriage, I have met so many people who have known him from school, college or football and the one thing they all seem to have in common…is that they like him very much and respect him.

I love that. It’s wonderful to think that you have an amazing man by your side….but when so many others say the same… it just makes me beam with pride.

Everyone who knows us knows that Aditya proposed to me when I was in hospital, just diagnosed with ADEM. With left side paralysis, an incurable disease and on steroids – I was the last person you’d expect to be making marriage plans with. But Aditya saw what I didn’t see….he saw promise, he saw hope, he saw me and with his eyes I learnt to see me the way he did! He’s the best person in a crisis, the calmest person in the hospital and an absolute pillar of strength during any ill health (tho like my friend Michael says…”With you and your health, he has no option but to be calm!”)

Thank you Aditya. You are my favourite person to talk to, fight with, argue with,chat with, watch movies with, gossip with,watch TV show marathons with and do plays with!

You’re still the person who chooses my favourite pair of shoes; who fixes my belt on my jeans (yes Gaurav I’ve put that in…cos he does ;)), who loves me exactly the way I am- loud, a touch too honest,highly emotional and always stressed. You never asked me to change and seem to enjoy my erratic craziness.

You’ve taught me the value of a great friendship, the fun in a good debate and that we don’t need a million people around us to have the best time- we just need each other (and Cookie :))!

Sorry for all the times you were right… but you let me win any way… because I am NEVER WRONG :)! ย (Since this apology only comes once a year…on the birthday…you might as well take it!)!

Thank you for being the best thing in my life ( yup you are better then a cup of coffee for me (for those who know me…that’s a very high compliment)).

I love you.

Aditya Hitkari. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai. 05/07/2006

p.s.- had to include you with pictures of your 2 girls… cos well both of us (cookie included) wanted to be a part of your birthday post ๐Ÿ™‚

A Little Respect!

We’re pushed around. We’re passed over. We change who we are, change what we want to be. And we blame everyone around us for the situations we are in. Bad marriages, bad jobs, bad family lives…

Take a second. Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied? When people disrespect us or our time or our wants, why do we gloss over it? Why do we pretend it doesn’t matter? Why do we make excuses for them? ‘They meant to be here,’ or ‘ You know so and so… he’s always late’… or ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s not a big deal!’

How is respect not a big deal? How is self respect NOT a big deal!

You DON’T NEED to be pushed around. You DON’T NEED to CHANGE if YOU DON’T WANT TO. And you DON’T NEED to be STOOD UP.

Take a stance. People won’t like you less if you tell them that you won’t be pushed around/ won’t wait around for them incessantly / won’t allow to be glossed over for a promotion again- IN FACT they’ll respect you more! And more importantly you’ll respect you more

I’m not saying you shouldn’t change for the person you love or allow yourself to be pushed around by your kids or your friends– but the call should be YOURS and you should NEVER be in ANY RELATIONSHIP where there is NO RESPECT.

Respect is the founding stone for any good, solid and strong relationship. Be with a woman/ man you respect and who respects you back. Don’t be pushed around/ bullied / made to feel inferior. Don’t pretend it doesn’t matter. Don’t be bullied. And don’t make excuses.

And as you walk away from the people who don’t respect you… watch how you automatically attract those that will ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The Seven Year Itch!

So the husband and I just completed our seventh year of marriage and after every 3 congratulatory messages, the customary 7 year itch joke was then messaged/warned/joked about!

That got me down to thinking… the seven year itch is only popular because of the wildly popular Marilyn Monroe film of the same name which was popular because of the iconic dress-blowing image…! Seven years in actuality means nothing at all!

Some people can have the one day itch, the one year itch, the six-month itch, the ‘Oh no I might get married ‘ itch! The itch really has nothing to do with the passage of time but more to do with the person you are with!

Cheaters cheat!Abusers hit! And liars lie! To blame it on 7 years, or on the fact that monogamy is not natural or the ‘ I was drunk’ excuse is just that…. an Excuse!

There is a freedom in being single and dating…a sense of lightness and excitement in who you might meet and where life may take you. But there’s also fear of ending up alone, the worry of not finding someone who will understand/ respect / love you and a loneliness of coming back home to an empty home and an empty bed.

There’s routine in marriage. There are rules. There are expectations and demands. But there is also support, trust, love and faith. There is also the great joy of being able to curl up and watch television with someone you love in your night shorts and spectacles and for them to still think you are the most wonderful looking person in all the world. There is responsibility but there’s also a cheerleader by your side to support and give wings to your dreams,your ambitions, your life…!

It’s up to each one of us the choices we make but it’s impossible to have both.

In a world where marriages don’t make the first year hurdle and where cheating and infidelity has become the norm- the friendship, trust and faith that our parents’ marriages had is becoming rarer to see. You have to try to keep your marriage, fight to save your marriage, work every day to make your marriage work. If you are not ready to put in the time…. don’t get married and DON’T BE THE OTHER WOMAN/ MAN IN THE RELATIONSHIP !

How did Aditya and I get to Number 7….

With lots of fights and even more tears,

With some heartaches and a couple of cheers;

With several losses and a few wins;

And with many prayers and fewer sins…

… here’s to a life time of arguments, fights, hugs and laughs….!

I love you Mr. Hitkari and there’ll be no 7/8/9/10………… itch….

And to all the friends who joked/ragged/messaged about it… I’m going to hunt you down and punch each one of you… :))))) so BEWARE!

Treat her like a lady!

Stop wishing me ‘Happy Women’s Day!’ Don’t fill your offices with balloons or give me a free cookie with a cup of coffee! Don’t give me chocolates or roses. Don’t smile at me unnecessarily or create lunches to felicitate me!

Instead treat me as an equal. Treat me with respect. Pay me the same as you would a man for the same job. Do not doubt my commitment to work because I have a family and do not doubt my commitment to my family because I work. Don’t comment on me as if I were an object. You don’t own me . You never will. I own me. Listen to me. Talk to me. Hear me. Believe in me. Fight for me. Love me.

Don’t lust for me. Don’t abuse me. Don’t hurt me. Don’t demean me. Don’t laugh at my dreams. Don’t mock my ambition. Don’t think of me as weaker. Don’t lie to me.

I may not be your sister, your wife, your mother or related to you. But I still am a woman. I am the glue in a family. I am the strength in a home. I can bear your children and raise them with love and care. I create. I nurture. I give love. I give life. I give strength.

So don’t wish me ‘Happy Women’s Day-‘ treat me the way a woman should be treated- with care and love; with respect and awe. Treat me special every day, all the time because I give you the respect of being a man… give me the respect of being a lady!

 

Marketing …ME!

Today’s world is a marketing world! The best education, the finest degrees are no match for the smooth, smart talker who knows how to market himself and his business idea! It’s all about suave, smart marketing , networking and great smiles! It’s not even about selling a product or an idea… it’s about selling yourself- believing in yourself so much that others buy into the dream too!

This year is my company’s tenth year running… we started in 2002 october and we’re celebrating our tenth year this year with great aplomb and excitement. 10 new shows, several new actors, a team of Balancing Act Productions’ favourites and loooots of work! And the marketing has begun and I’m actually loving it… When I started marketing 10 years ago…I was selling a show, a concept , an idea …and hoping to God people bought into me…because I was young, unsure and terribly scared. Now 10 years later…I think I’ve got it…I believe in me and my idea and it’s become easier asking people to believe because I BELIEVE! It’s difficult selling yourself when you’re not sure whether you are worth it… but the minute you start BETTING ON YOURSELF…that’s when it’s not such a hard sell… you realise YOU ARE WORTH IT and all you need to do is BE YOURSELF and let someone else see yourself the way you see yourself! Instead of trying to create rose tinted glasses for those you are marketing yourself to, all you need to do is try and make them see the concept or the idea through your eyes!

bet

I’m not saying every meeting will be amazing….but I’m saying a little self respect and a little belief in yourself goes a long way….! It makes the meetings more fun and makes your faith in yourself stronger.

10 years down…I’ve learnt how to believe….in me!

 

Just because they are family doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings!

This weekend a movie (English Vinglish!) and a conversation with a friend made me think of something very important. We often take family for granted and sometimes the unkindest cut of all comes from those closest to us. They may not aim to be mean. It might be just a thoughtless remark or an angry outburst that they regret later but you are often unkinder to family than you are to distant friends and even enemies.

I remember once yelling at my Mom who allowed me an extra hour of sleep after I had shot an all night shift for a music video. I remember telling her unkindly that she was trying to sabotage my career- a statement so mean and thoughtless in retrospect, I wish I could go back to that day and take it back. She was just worried about how tired I was and I was just being a brat! A friend was talking about her mother-in-law and discussing how she was dealing with her son and telling him that he had joined ย the family business to ensure his inheritance , not assuming for one moment that he’d made their dreams his, that he’d put aside his desires to pursue a field of his choice by doing what he feels is the responsible thing and looking after a company created by his parents and continuing their legacy. He had been hurt by her thoughtless statements and wondered whether he had done something wrong by telling her how he felt.

As children we sometimes lash out without meaning it…there is no justification for our actions but my belief is that you must understand that it could have caused pain and you must be truly sorry for hurting someone you care about. I’m sorry Amma and I’m sorry Achan. I’m sure I lashed out thoughtlessly and senselessly at times and considering you always worked to make my life a better life and worked towards my goals, putting my dreams ahead of your own- I’m truly sorry.

But it’s not only the children who are at fault…In some cases parents also voice their own insecurities in mean and hurtful ways.

As adults sometimes it so happens that your parents are unnecessarily critical or flippant with some remarks and that could cause you pain as well. As adults I think it’s important to tell each other why it’s not okay to make a quick, snide comment or make a thoughtless judgement about someone in your family. You might be their children but they are also human and sometimes they may be having a bad day, be in pain, alone or just sad and maybe snapping at you was their way of trying to hurt you so you could feel part of what they’re feeling. It’s still not okay to hurt you so it’s important you tell them that and get down to the actual base of the matter and deal with that sensitively.

Even if it’s family , when an opinion is unfair, overly critical or hurtful- tell them. We protect the feelings of co-workers, of friends and are even tactful when it comes to enemies so why is okay to walk all over the feelings of family?

Each one of us has hurt our family several times. Think about that today and next time don’t. Also the next time you get hurt by their flippant remark- don’t be afraid to tell them. Respect and boundaries are important- EVEN FOR FAMILY!