Self-deception And Suffering…Do we have a choice?

Self-deception and suffering

Self-deception is nobody’s intention yet we allow ourselves to live in its throes without reflecting or contemplating about it. Probably we don’t have any control over delusionary thoughts.

Self-deception may be therapeutic but only for a little while! The longer we choose to hide behind the lies we tell ourselves, the greater is the suffering.

Recently one of my friends was talking in a very depressing tone. My conversation with her revealed the same old dilemma…letting yourself into the realms of expectations and getting drowned in those thoughts.

Thoughts make us what we are. They guide us into unknown territories of depression, which starts slowly. We don’t even realize where we are going. Nobody steps into the dungeon of depression willingly. It just happens.

Most of the time others dominate our thoughts. We are worried about others – our siblings, friends and family. We try to please them when we are growing up. Failure to come up to their expectations may drive us into those moments of melancholy and loneliness. When we don’t share our frustrations, they get deep-rooted.

Those unresolved issues manifest themselves in the most surreptitious manner. We become controlling freaks and don’t even know it. We live in the world of our exquisite expectations, which are sacrosanct to us. We call them our dreams; we present them in the garb of our love and can go to any extent to get them fulfilled.

The clear victims of those expectations have to be our children as they are the most vulnerable, readily available quarries around us. We try to mold them according to our own thoughts, we try to impose our way of living on them and we expect them to follow our diktats.

We forget that they have their own mind. We overlook the fact that we resented all this when we were growing up. We disregard the importance of free thoughts and when they start taking their own decisions, we remind them of our own expectations from them. Our cravings and anger towards them makes us unhappy but we indict them, we rub it on them so much that they start drifting away.

All children drift away as they are guided by their own aspirations. It is not necessary that they should match yours. We worry more about the happiness of our children, forgetting that nobody can give happiness as a gift. Serenity and peace cannot be given, it lies in self-discovery, in acceptance but nothing sinks in when you are mired in angst, unnecessary worry, which does not lead you anywhere.Self-deception quote

Expectations are the biggest culprits as they let us believe the unthinkable. Mindful thinking can only be possible if the person concerned is ready to think otherwise.

Suffering may be inevitable and essential to understand life but self-inflicted suffering, which comes from thoughts can be avoided.

‘Easier said than done’ is the constant refrain to this advice but the moment we say this phrase, we are paving the way for continued anxiety as we assume that it is difficult to attain that state of mind, which can exalt us from self-inflicted thoughts of being miserable.

“Man’s capacity for self-deception is strange.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

A beginning has to be made and only we can make it.

The choice lies with us because the thoughts and expectations are also ours. Negative thoughts take precedence. Let them. When they have poisoned your mind, it is your turn to rebuff them and replace them with generosity, humility and peace. Nurture empathy and self-love.

Some take solace in meditation, others immerse themselves in prayer and some may even derive peace from the fact…life is like that, it throws up various kinds of painful challenges and it is better to accept them than fight.

Yet we have to fight the negative thoughts, which lead us into self-deception.

Thoughts are very powerful. They create; they shape our lives and beliefs. A major part of our personality is molded by our thoughts. Our happiness and success depends on the quality of our thoughts.

Have you ever felt entrenched in the maze of your thoughts? Do you live in the world of self-deception?

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

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Balroop Singh.

 

 

Where Should I Begin?

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Last night
An angel of forgiveness
Woke me up…
I was wonderstruck to see
Blue and purple light
In my room
 
She sat by my bedside
We had a cozy conversation
Caressing my locks, she counseled…
‘Forgive them dear,
Forgive them all
Don’t carry any affliction’
 
Abrasively I looked up
The pain in my eyes dwindled
With the promise – ‘I will try.’
A strange light spread around me
Immersed me completely
And my Angel smiled.
 
But I don’t know where to begin
Should I begin with childhood robbers?
Or devils I encountered
While growing up
Or tyrants
Who tried to snatch my freedom of speech?
 
Or those hypocrites
Who took me for a ride?
Or those who feigned friendship?
The list may be long
But the purple light of forgiveness
Is all around me, encompassing all.
 
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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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.

 


 

There Are Various Definitions Of Happiness, Which One Appeals To You?

Happiness

I have often been confused by the notion of happiness. I have tried to equate it with contentment and have found it to be its synonym.

I have also linked it with ‘our passion’ because when we try to follow what our heart says we experience that special feeling, which is probably ‘happiness’.

I have never tried those ecstatic moments, which make you fly to seventh heaven. I have only heard and read about them.

Comprehending a simple word – ‘happiness’ is quite complex.

One thing I am sure of is that when a long-standing desire gets fulfilled, it is certainly a moment of happiness but it may not lead us to eternal happiness, which lies in our heart, mind and thoughts.

Initial imprints:

I must be in high school when I read ‘The Enchanted Shirt’ by John Hay.

This shirt was recommended for a king who could not get well despite all the medicines, which were prescribed by the royal doctors. The king’s men traveled far and wide to find a ‘happy man’ so that they could borrow his shirt to make their king healthy and happy.

The man who seemed to be happy was requested to give his shirt. The happy man confessed that he didn’t have a shirt!

The depth of the message, which this poem carried didn’t register in my mind at that time but there was something, which percolated deep down, as this poem immediately comes to my mind whenever the word ‘happy’ is mentioned.

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” – Carl Sandburg

Gauging happiness:

I have tried to scale the boundaries of ‘happiness’ many times from various directions and I have always found great solace in breaking it up into syllables:

H hope   (to)
A accomplish
P pervasive
P peace   (and)
I incorporate
N necessary
E endeavor   (for)
S spontaneous
S serenity

Observations:

I have also tried to observe how happiness visits us uninvited:

A child can find joy in little moments of skipping in water or blowing bubbles.

The ecstatic moments of a lover are in the arms of his beloved.

A mother’s bliss lies in the delightful face and little accomplishments of her child.

A hungry person can find pleasure in simple food.

For a sick person, the charm of getting well and walking again is supreme.

The elderly seek good health and company to be happy.

But these are fleeting moments of joy. Happiness is eternal albeit it is made up of such little moments. They promote wellbeing. They nourish mental health. They keep the hope of brighter days alive.

The definition of happiness is as divergent as that of success.

Happiness quote

This is what the experts and the great thinkers say: (an adapted version)

Happiness is perceptive. It is like a cloud that keeps vanishing.

It is determined by our own disposition.

Happiness is harmony with our thoughts…a spiritual journey.

It is breaking the chains of your mind and let it soar.

Happiness is a choice. You have to create your own ways to be happy.

It keeps changing with time and space.

Happiness must be cultivated; chasing it takes us nowhere.

It is a profound feeling of contentment and knowledge that all the blessings of life are around us, only if we can perceive them.

Happiness blossoms in the hearts of those who respect and value relationships.

It could be sitting in your home and you didn’t notice it.

I had written a poem ‘The Valley Of Happiness’ in one of my most intense and gloomy moments. You may like to read it.

Thank you for reading this. Your support is immensely appreciated. Please share your views about this much discussed and stimulating topic.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Dreams…A Domain We Love To Visit

Dreams

Like fragrant flowers under our feet
Like diaphanous drops of first rain
Like moonlight soothing our eyes
Like water boats floated with childlike charm
Dreams remain our precious possessions.

Dreams gently caress us, carry us along
Awaken us out of their magic
Sometimes, stimulate us into activity
Encourage us to embark on the journey
To make a beginning, to plod on

Dreams are those concepts, those desires
Which remain deeply entrenched in us
Till we work on those images of mind
Flow in their current, shield them
From stormy waters… love them!

Dreams ignite a fire within us
A fire of reality, of confidence, of success
They push us into the life of adventure,
To rush, to explore, to accomplish
They steer us towards our goal

Dreams drown dreary thoughts
Keep us alive in the worst of times
They give wings to our heavy heart,
They transport us into another world
A world of our choice.
© Balroop Singh

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.

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