Rise Up

It has come to my attention lately that I have been spending a large portion of my waking hours watching Pokemon. Also, it is not considered very adult-like behavior to clap with glee every time I manage to catch a Pokemon in the game Pokemon-Go. Talking about evolutions, special attacks or the incredibly cute but funny way that some Pokemon pronounce their name is also on the list of childish activities. And I think to myself…What a wonderful life!

If only, all that we had to worry about was living the way we wanted to, things would be so much easier. Much more pleasant. The only person we would have to aim to please is ourselves, and since only a happy person could spread happiness, the entire world would then be a happy place. No one would try to hide their feelings since there was no chance of catching the “evil eye”. Everyone would be equally in a state of inebriation – intoxicated with love and joy. Thus, the Pursuit of Happyness would finally be complete.

Alas, such is not the case.

We spend a large chunk of our life worrying about what others would think. This would result in stifling dreams that fail to meet other’s expectations, aborting ideas that would involve risk but gain tremendous satisfaction, strangling every rebellious voice that arose within…long list but then we all know about it. The point is that no matter what we do trying to please others, no one is ever really going to be happy. And the only way for anyone to be truly pleased by one’s efforts is if they were already in an internal state of happiness. Thus, the vicious cycle of unhappiness continues.

I have often had to bury my desires to do something different in a coffin marked “what would the society say?”. Honestly, I don’t think that anyone would really give a damn about what I do with my life. But the phantom of the prejudiced society looms like a sword on my head; ready to fall the moment I decide to live for myself. I wish I could say that I am one of those who dares to follow her heart’s desires despite it all. I wish I could say that I haven’t spent many a nights drowning in despair for not being allowed to do as I wanted for a flimsy nonsensical reason. I wish I could say that I stood up to those who underappreciated me, put me down or basically went about making my life miserable for no good reason except that they could. I wish I could say that I was as bold and determined as the characters I write about. But I can’t. I can’t lie.

So I take small baby steps to discover the extent of the leash that I have allowed to be tied around my neck. I ignore small snubs that would have loomed large in my mind a few years ago. I focus on myself. Begin to love my body by taking care of it. Begin to love my mind by giving it the food it needs to grow strong and brave. And begin to write…to get myself in the habit of speaking up and speaking out when the time arises. After all, I just want to be happy. What harm could there be in that?

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15 thoughts on “Rise Up

  1. Excellent post. Though I couldn’t help but smile at a blog called “The Grateful Dead” and a reference to a coffin.
    Apart from that, I loved the positive nature of your post. The determination and understanding that by being ourselves and loving the person we are is a first step towards making the world a better place. Its not easy is it when we live in a world that all too ready judges us and is ever willing to criticise all and any of our actions. I know that in relationships there are power struggles and it is easy to allow ourselves to be humiliated and put down by those around us. It takes great courage and fortitude to stand up in the face of adversity and say no more.
    And we all strive for happiness, there is no harm in it, just a love that radiates upon all around us.
    Hope the Easter break goes well for you…

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    • Hey thanks. Sometimes I think I subconsciously chose the name Grateful Dead because of so many reasons that make death seem so much better than life. At least there’s some hope for peace there. Also, I had been writing a book on death, and the research revealed so many things that convinced me that really nothing can be more horrific than living!

      But yes, I am trying to make life better at least for myself if not for the whole world. It’s tough to break through a lifetime of conditioning that makes succumbing to weird norms so much easier than standing up to it. Small things like when to wash your hair – which day and what time – these are the kinda nonsense that I face. Small things that shouldn’t really make a difference to anyone but apparently does coz we are ruled by superstition. God is a Being waiting to strike down anyone who chooses to disrespect Him enough to wash their hair on the wrong day – at least that’s what we are led to believe. I hate that I can’t really change the mindset because those speaking them are wise of years if not of … Also, respect is one word that has been overexaggerated to mean that only age can earn you that. Even if you spout nonsense, you must be respected because you are older. It is tough, but not impossible to keep shut and listen quietly, though it does get me simmering with anticipation (a new term that I picked up) of proving them wrong. (I have a vague nagging feeling that I might have replied longer than you expected!)
      We don’t really have an Easter break as such. Just the Good Friday. And the long weekend is reason to celebrate – laze, relax and eat!

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      • We all come from places that as we age we question…..its certainly happened to me….I was bought up as Catholic, we were told the Church was all knowing and who were we to challenge anything they said. The priests could do no wrong, even though recent events have greatly disproved that theory.
        You come from a world I don’t relate to in so much as my belief in God is very different to yours. The old testament God I don’t agree with. For me the concept of God is more in keeping with the new Testament God of love. The old testament God of vengeance and yes ‘pillars of salt’ and all that was designed I am sure to keep the followers under control. The Catholic Church certainly practiced it, fire and brimstone, eternal damnation and all that. The God of revenge and all that is not the one I subscribe to….its taken me a lot of years to get to this point where I don’t really worry what others think of my views on religion because in my mind so much of it has been discredited.
        So sorry I can get on a bit of a rant…..on my blog you may have seen a few posts about angels, I like writing about them as I see them as representatives of another existence one where things are different to here and a whole lot less complicated.
        Anyway enjoy your weekend, take it easy, and write away…. 🙂

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  2. you write with so much candor and yet so tenderly. to know yourself and express it here and share your deepest fears and hopes, I think I am so privileged to read such a beautiful heart’s content. so many things you have written echo the life I led too and am still trying to make changes and find me. I hurt the people I love because I cannot function as a normal person should, lots of insecurities make facing each day with people so hard for me, that’s why I hide in plain sight. but I know people care and yet I don’t allow them to care for me, for I am afraid of hurting them, all dues to my insecurities in the first place, its a vicious cycle in me, but reading your words today gives me much hope, if a lovely soul like you can heal so can i!

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    • Hey thanks G! Sorry for getting back to this so late. Been crazy busy. I know exactly what you mean. It’s like you want to breathe but someone’s pushing you lower down under the water and the more you struggle, the more you’re hurting yourself and the other person. I am trying to learn to “swim” …at least enough to survive without forever feeling like I’m drowning in others’ expectations. But tell me something, are our cultures so similar?

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      • i think its the lunar positions and us V! I have been feeling the same these past few days and cant shake some feelings, I never dream and have dreamed and remembered it too, so super unsettling, hoping the weekend brings some balance back to me! yes i do think our cultures are very similar and as women we fall into the same roles and stereotyping we must try to avoid. we need each other to support and build one another up knowing sisterly love is the foundation of our strength. I draw a lot of strength from my sister blogger friends, you one of them recently, some ladies I have known for longer and we keep in touch though not always in comment boards, but we know across cultures we are all the same.

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        • I like WP. You dont know the person, yet you know them so well as if you’ve never NOT known them. And sometimes they write exactly what you’re feeling, so it’s like an instant connection. An affirmation that you’re never really alone in the world. I want to break through all the restrictions that I’ve imposed on myself. I think more than what society would say etc, I am worried about hurting people who are close to me or family by doing what I feel like. It’s also true that not everyone thinks about how their actions/words can affect me and they actually live, if meaner, a freer life. Know what I mean? I think what I really need to overcome is this “always trying to please someone” attitude. Ultimately no one gets pleased anyways, and I end up in a bad place. I wish I could say that its consoling to know that there are women everywhere, across all cultures who feel the same. But that’s just depressing. Sounds almost like there’s no hope for redemption.

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          • WP can be both I think and we need to filter and know where to set boundaries. Cultures never differ that much, women need to stand together and support not bring the other down. But there is hope as long as we are living and breathing, there is hope to overcome even the worst situation, trust me , I have been there, done that and survived because of having hope. Never try to please others they just step all over you. When we first want to see to our needs people will end up respecting us more, this too I learnt the hard way always wanting to be nice and say yes and do what others asked me.

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            • I feel as if everything in my life, all my problems, all my drawbacks…you’ve been there and done that. And now you say that you’re getting better, stronger. That gives me hope. If you can get there, maybe there’s some way I can too….I’ve taken my few steps forward already. Fingers crossed.

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  3. Break the rules, find your own life’s purpose… and live it! Society will fade in importance, like that cloud that tries to remain in front of the sun to prove a point – know that the sun is shining regardless. Society is really no more than a bully, a brute beast that’s been given too much power and abuses it endlessly.

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    • I know what you mean exactly. It’s not that I don’t. But how do you break free of the conditioning? It’s not that I don’t try. But every time I try to take one step forward, it’s like moving through quicksand that just keeps pulling me back. Maybe it’s the kind of culture we live in?

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      • You always ask the tough questions – that’s good, it means you are seriously engaging your topic. Behind our taken-for-granted “reality” lies a world of powers, manipulators, gods and demons (if you want to call them that) who were there long before we were thought up as a people. They made us and they conditioned us- brainwashed – implanted our minds, and we are what we are, with all the stupidity and problems attached to either a bad design, or a deliberate act. By not recognizing this “fact” and living in denial of our built-in weaknesses, we remain slaves of the programming. I know this, I can’t prove it, but I’ve broken it. So I know it can be done. The key factor at our level of mental development is to learn to live in detachment from all the societal bullshit and become self-empowered. See the BS for what it is: control, and reject it constantly. We must stop “going back” to the things we once declared persona-non-grata for ourselves. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” This is what we, as self-empowered individuals, must stop doing. Why repeat what society and even civilization, declares for all to see that it does not work? This is “high end” teaching that is guaranteed to cause problems with one’s society, but it’s either that, or continuing wallowing in the mud.

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        • Ah, your replies always give me that instant boost to try harder. I know that I am on the right path. I have been thinking about the things that hold me back. It’s not about the society in general – because thankfully there aren’t very many people I know whose opinion matters. It’s about wanting to please a very few chosen people in my life. If i follow what they say, I constantly hurt myself because there is no logic behind their demands. Only the fact that they have the authority (also given by me) to say and do as they feel like. And if I don’t follow their illiogical views, I am ostracized. I hate the slow torture that barbed tongues are liable to induce. I think it’s that fear which makes me doubt. How to stop caring about the very same people that you are bound to care for???

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          • If we’re talking about “the path of compassion” detachment isn’t to stop caring, it’s the opposite, but it’s in self-empowerment, i.e., by personal choice fueled by personal desire, not to please them, or the self, but to be true to one’s own chosen nature, or how one chooses to express that nature. The path of compassion supports no expectations, nor does it care if society, be it one’s nuclear family or the entire world, speaks against, or in favour: it simply ignores all that because it is never about that, it’s about being true to one’s own choice, or choices. Yes, it is very difficult to live an impeccable life in the light of one’s own candle. Failure (a constant!) can only be attributed to the self – no one else is ever to blame even if it seems as if it is someone else’s fault. Blame is a negative luxury not allowed the avatar of compassion. I won’t crowd this comment, I know you quite understand it; just want to let you know you are not alone in your struggle. Be strong.

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