Detachment – A Disconcerting Word

Detachment poem

I have been dealing with this demon of detachment ever since my nest became empty, reflecting on how disconcerting this visitor is and why he chooses to lurk around despite the rebuffs he faces.

I tried to humor him with poetic immersions, offering the best of emotional entreaties to leave me alone and warning him that he was an unwelcome guest. He still smiles and cajoles me with his capers.

He tries to pull me out of emotional attachments, which cloud our judgment, which shackle us to our past, which are like a lump in the throat, declining to dissolve.

He acquainted me with my new self, his cold touch warmed up when he dragged me out of my cocoon to look around with a new perspective. He has redefined the hues of life for me and has been exhorting me to look beyond emotions.

He tells me that there is much more to life than just attachments.

He almost succeeded! His friendship brought tranquility in my life. I learned to lower my expectations.

Despite his sincere efforts, new attachments have gently tiptoed into my life, brushing aside this demon with their tiny feet. My love-hate relationship with him has grown as he keeps cautioning me… ‘Earthly attachments have to be abdicated one day.’

My love for my grandchildren has been overshadowed by this demon who refuses to leave albeit I show him the door everyday. His long shadows follow me everywhere. He gets extremely jealous of their prattle, their hugs and the games we play. He has to sit alone!

The other day this demon knocked me down when we were playing ‘let’s catch’. I know he was missing the fun we were having and wanted me to behave like a grandma.

While I was sitting on the ground, nursing me twisted foot; my four-year-old grand daughter hugged me and told me…’its ok, its a little hurt, you are fine’ and my little grandson sat on my lap to soothe me, just like I do!

Can you think of detachment when there is so much of love?

Can you shrug off new attachments as transient and delusive?

I know “attachment is the great fabricator of illusions….” BUT

We have found again
Those tiny hands, happily holding ours
Those dainty feet, walking willingly with us
Those exquisite eyes, eagerly waiting
Those moments of eternal bliss!

The delight that shimmers in their eyes
Returned our perennial pride, our glory
Restored the world of fragrant fairy tales
The glow of gratitude glimmers
Reassuring many more years of love.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

Self-judgment Is Equally Detrimental

Self-judgment

I am sure nobody likes to be judged but what about our own judgment, which is continuous and constant?

Did I hurt him/her? Did I say something offending? Did I shirk my responsibility? Where did I go wrong?

Am I right in…there are thousands of such questions, which keep cropping up in our minds every day. We may call it self-reflection but it is self-judgment too.

The difference is just this – the former is positive and the latter is negative.

We all know that negative thoughts are overpowering and intensely pernicious. Yet we let them dwell in our minds.

They are like those moments of pain that never go. No! They are not the old ones. New keep cropping up.

Some moments, which are too personal, too close…so precious that you can’t even share them. You can’t let them go. You have to grieve over them. You make peace with that pain because it is not directly yours, not within your reach yet it is connected with you…in the form of a near one, a very dear person who considers you your confidant.

Can that pain be betrayed? Can you detach from such a situation?

Can you blame yourself?

I have written about detachment, about letting go to move ahead, about the ‘Valley Of Happiness’ that is so easy to imagine but when you try to live in that valley, somebody enters to remind that life never fails to bring up new turbulences even if you try to conquer it’s endeavors.

Those moments of elusive sleep with mind drifting into the forgotten realms return. You wonder where your promise of keeping grief at bay has vanished.

You think for hours and then remind yourself that the only way is to dismiss those despondent thoughts.

When we think for hours, searching for our own role in the whole scenario – that is self-judgment.

When we blame ourselves for something we didn’t do intentionally – that is self-judgment.

When we wallow in the grief of a near or dear one – who doesn’t possess the confidence to move on, searching our own role in the situation or failure to help, that is self-judgment.

You try to respond to a sad story in a positive manner but that lump in the throat wouldn’t let the words flow out, you want to scream yet the voice seems to fail you, you feel throttled, tears well up in your eyes but you try to hold them to show your courage and all these emotions get wedged between the struggle to grieve and let go.

People consider you a sentimental fool!

All that tall talk… ‘Count your blessings’ seems hollow at such a time.

Despite all the feelings of helplessness and anguish, we have to hold the strings of positivity to leap out of those dumps.Self-judgment quote

There is no other way. The choice is ours. Keep lying low and wallow in self-pity or grieve and be done with it.

Self-judgment makes us doubt our own intentions.

It shakes our confidence.

It lowers our self-esteem.

It pulls us back into the dumps of depression.

THE ONLY CHOICE:

Train your mind: If you tend to hold yourself responsible for the misfortunes of others who are dear to your heart, you need to train your mind. Like any other training, it would take time. It would take more time than getting a mechanical training because emotions are supple, attachments are deep-rooted and enlightenment may require a full life.

Remind yourself: It is not your problem. You can’t mitigate the pain of others. You can’t change their circumstances. You can only empathize. Don’t drown yourself in their sorrow.

Give positive support: Avoid criticism; it never helps. All we need is reassurance that we are on the right path, that we are putting in our best efforts and our love for those we value would never wane.

Do you judge yourself? Do you hold yourself responsible for the misfortunes of others? I would love to hear your views.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 


 

My Friend ‘Five’ Still Loves Me Despite My Dislike For Her

Beauty of dawn

There was a time when “Five” was my dearest friend or a compulsive pal…she always chimed in as a loud, musical buddy, trying to remind me that I couldn’t survive without her, I would deeply regret if I disregarded her and therefore I had to share my steaming cup of tea with her.

No longer so! I dumped and divorced her and found my freedom. She continued to arrive even when I snapped off the musical chords she loved. I know I was callous but I had found another friend – ‘Eight’ who believed in liberation, who accosted and accompanied me into all those cool corridors of the dream world.

I owe a deep gratitude towards my dear friend “Five” for making me what I am today, for all those reflections she shared, all those words of caution she spilled around me and the plans she made for me to keep myself and my family happy and healthy, providing me with enough time to step outside and walk in the beauty of the first rays of the sun before I could rush to my work.

Isn’t that what we expect from friends? A true companion, who gave priority to my needs, caressed me when my limbs refused to leave the comfort of bed, reminding me that the moment I move my butt, I would be happier!

She taught me forbearance, calmness and patience. She walked hand in hand with me to the milestone of punctuality, acquainted me with the virtue called self-discipline. She impressed upon me the value of time but I detested her each morning for coming too early, yearning to shun her. She was quite understanding, as she gave me a breather on weekends!

I appreciate her noble nature as she still comes uninvited with her reminders, pulling me out to gaze at the eastern horizon, inspiring me to lift the pen that I pick up at will, motivating me to record those lovely moments of mesmerizing meetings, minutes of which gleam in my poetry.

‘Eight’ has relieved me of all my worries, time crumbles at his feet and he takes me into self-appointed hours of joy…the grace that I have acquired in his company is inimitable, the emotions that he acquainted me with are exquisite…he doesn’t believe in accelerating the pace of the day…the serenity with which he moves forward is unparalleled.

The soft soliloquies of ‘Eight’ endow me with the elegance of moving forward. He shows me how to slow down, let go and detach discreetly.

My oldest friends joy and woe visit me quite less now because happiness wields all the power in my home. Their dissonance started due to the demanding nature of joy and it often clashed with the calmness of happiness. I also like her, as she possesses the potential to drive away agony, angst and fear.

Now I hang out with “Eight” and “Happiness” and let their nuances color my thoughts. They hold a strange power to guide me, the comfort of their company steers me into the positive corridors of life.

“Five” knows I have forgotten her but she continues to bestow her blessings on me by visiting me whenever I need her, whenever I lack inspiration and those are the times I get up early from my bed even now.

Goodness is forgotten so easily! Indifference and hatred distress us forever!

Forgiveness is so hard whereas goodness doesn’t even come to our mind when we think of one mean act of somebody. We need reminders for invoking amity and altruism.My friend Five

“Five” continues to shimmer in my heart albeit I dislike her placement on the clock. I know her friendship with me grew warmer only due to that placement!

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

Do you like waking up early in the morning?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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Balroop Singh.

The Emotional Aspect Of Grief, Which Later Became My Friend!

Grief

Grief…I have written a lot of poetry about this word, which ceased to be a word for me long back and became an ever-encompassing emotion, just like the threatening dark clouds, which refuse to break away without torrential rain.

I know this emotion is not individualistic. I know it is all pervading and agonizing but when it starts defining life for us at a very young age, it becomes a part of our personality.

That is how it assaulted me, devoid of any compassion with killer instinct to annihilate my existence.

I had to deal with it single-handed, finding excuses to hide away from it, putting up a brave front, denying its existence and even shoving it into the obscure corners of my mind.

We can do so when we are very young, burying our memories with the hope that they will remain repressed. Dwelling in the world of denial we move on, pursuing our dreams and basking in their glory.

Forgetting that no glory lasts forever. Oblivious of the reality that grief is an incessant stream that flows into our life time and again and brings all those boulders back, which we had discarded in the hope of never meeting again.

It is like an ember that keeps glowing in one corner of our heart, which keeps reminding that it is real, it is persistent, it cannot die.

How can you expect a child to grieve? A child who doesn’t even know this word, who is suddenly thrown into the sea and expected to swim!

How can you tell a child to shed tears and empathize with those who want to glorify grief?

‘How dare you smile or laugh’…people remind us and compel us to keep the grief alive in our heart.

I can recollect a feeling of emptiness, of loneliness, of guilt encompassing me, shrieking…keep that emotion alive. A reprimand arising out of my heart…dare you not abandon it!

Such is the way of the world or that is what I experienced. Moments of joy were snatched away not just by the dead, who left me behind but even those who were alive because they chose to live in sorrow.Grief quote

Grief is one emotion that can never be suppressed… I learnt this lesson in the prime of my adolescence; it is better to accept it, embrace it and conduct a meaningful dialogue with it.

Give it some time to let it percolate, assess your strength, build it further and emerge emotionally resilient. Only grief can do it. It is only in misery that we learn to become understanding. Our vibes of sensitivity become more functional. We become resistant to judgments.

We learn to live with it.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison

After all the tears and heartbreaking moments of anguish, grief starts diluting itself and steps out. We just have to open the doors and windows to let it ease. Now it re-enters in a new form if we are ready to accept him like a friend.

When I befriended grief it started patting on my back, it sat with me to reassure that it would welcome joy. I was astounded that it too loved to break free. Now both of us enjoy freedom, soar with each other, laughter accompanies us and we have vanquished negative thoughts.

We pour our concerns and tears into poetry, which is all-absorbing and provides us with somber solace.

Grief is our best friend:

It acquaints us with our inner self.

It makes us ponder to understand its nuances.

It makes us wiser and more tolerant.

It reinforces our faith and strength.

It ennobles us.

It introduces us to joy, which lies in little, fleeting moments.

Have you found a friend in grief by accepting it? Do you like this new relationship? I would love to hear your views.

The above extract, adapted from my next book, which is in initial stages, may seem gloomy and out of place but grief is one word that surely touches our lives with its cold hand, at some stage of life.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.