Unshackling the Mind.
Not for everyone, Small Town Living.
Not for everyone, the Fetters of Conservatism.
Not for everyone, the Maxims of Society.
Not for everyone, the Inhibitions of Gender.
If you happen to dwell in small town India, you would agree that lives here are lived more out of duty & honor of the family rather than for Self. Nothing wrong with keeping family first or adhering to the norms laid by them but it cannot be the end all and be all for an individual. We were born as an individual soul and it is our foremost duty to make sure that our soul is growing , that it is happy and healthy. Unfortunately, inevitably, we succumb to the wishes and diktats of the family or society and largely curb the small indulgences that our Self seeks.
We may find comfort & fulfillment in travel, books, connecting with people, writing, music, love, friendship- all of which are designed as choices an individual can make. But as engulfed in the guidelines of age old conservatism as we are, we unavoidably think – what would people think if we make any of the above individual choices. Will we be acceptable to the society? What will our parents feel? Is going against the tide worth all that dissension? Are we the only people around, who are compromising on our dreams and happiness? If others can give up on small pleasures of the soul like these, why can’t we conform too? Are girls even supposed to think so freely? Do girls not owe it to their parents to abide by the code laid down for their own safety and virtue?
We forget that this life here, that we have been endowed with, is precious. We cannot and should not go through it denying ourselves gratification in order to appease others. People have different sets of rules for themselves and for others. Whatever we might do, not everyone would be happy. So why not make the Self happy? No one is squeaky clean. A close friend recently explained to me the fact that, the cleaner people look the more dirt they’ve swept under the rug. Why, then, should we pay any heed to their counsel and deny ourselves lifestyle choices that may lead to satisfaction and delight for Self?
Take that trip that you have been yearning for, read-write-create if that is your poison, sing-play-enjoy any music that ups your spirit, opt for a job that gives wings to your imagination- something that inspires you to get up every morning and go to work, meet people, make friends, fall in love. Never apologise for the choices you make. Let go of the constant conscience pangs and guilt trips. We are not here to please others. We are here to live our lives as best as we can. Yes, we are responsible to the people who love us or those we love- our parents, children, friends, spouses. But none of them is entitled to use that love as a leash to keep us chained & bolted. The biggest debt we owe is to ourselves.
What is the worst that can happen if we follow our hearts? We may not succeed at a job or in a relationship but atleast we would have the satisfaction that we tried. We gave ourselves a chance to be what we envisioned. There will be lessons along the way but good or bad, they will be the ones we are ready for, because they would be in direct consequence of the path we took of our own volition. We would learn to gather our pieces and move forward instead of trying to place the blame on the very people whose love tethers us to an unremarkable routine life.
It all starts with the Mind. If we can train our minds to let go of the guilt that our choices ineluctably bring, then, gradually, we will be successful in Unshackling the ties that bind us to the mundane. We can, then, prevail and give meaning to our tales. We are not born to breathe, adapt and die. We are all stories in the making. Let’s put our hearts into the making of our very own blockbuster.