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Posts Tagged ‘self-awareness’

Her soul ever so gentle, easily she was pleased

Her heart in a cloud, singing out loud,

For her naiveté, sometimes teased.

Envious of her joyous mind, they sneered.

So much they spent— both time and strength,

While she cared not for trivia, they feared.

Oh, to ‘look’ beautiful! That’s what they all wanted,

Charming like all the rest, dolled up and dressed,

Gazing back at the world, unabashed, undaunted.

Simplicity— too hard to see, too much to bear,

They took it upon themselves, to be her ‘little elves’,

So she could be just another stone, not a jewel so rare.

They tranced her, tricked her, made her believe—

It is outer looks that matter, glitter and glamour,

To impress the world, that is what she would need.

Intently, she listened, and observed the contrast.

They caressed the mirror, scrubbed it clearer,

While their souls gathered dust, thick and fast.

Puzzling it was, for her to look at them

These fake fireworks, wearing scared smirks

When they could all have been radiant gems

Their inner beauty, forgotten and lost,

Covered in layers, the only thing that was theirs!

Sadly, she reflected, she pondered, she paused:

“They want you to be like them, in every way they can.

As soon as you follow, you start becoming hollow,

Forgetting what was your own, and where it all began.

You cease to be your true self, special and unique,

Instead of standing out, you become part of the crowd,

Dissolve in the wide world, without so much as a creak.

Content they are, having turned you around.

Your uniqueness gone, you are but another pawn

Whose music they silenced, without a sound.”

She who was courageous, she who was wise

Did not succumb. Did you? No, no. Come!

Down they’ll pull! Are you ready to rise?

~ Nivedita Shori

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Look in the Front and Walk

We do not see the step right in front of us, but try to be clever and see the whole world spanning across us and beyond. The result? We stumble and fall down at the very first move we make.

       I remember while walking with my parents on the pavement as a little child, I used to be constantly reminded, “Look in front of you when you walk. Then you will not fall down and will not wander away.” Sometimes, I used to bump into a stone and hurt my toe and would cry, “I can’t look on the ground at the same time as I walk.” My mother used to say, “Well, if you look in the front, you will automatically take care of the ground.”

       Whilst this is a childhood episode, I have come to believe that it is as much true today when I am an adult as it was twenty-five years ago. We often stop looking in the front and look all around us, distracted by what is going on everywhere except in the direction we are going. Resultantly, we face obstacles, get ‘hurt’ and ‘wounded’, have to stop to nurse our ‘injuries’ and spoil our own journey. Meanwhile, the world around us— the same world that caused us this ‘woe’— seems to move on just the same as before.

When an ice-cream truck passes by in the summer evenings, making a loud, cheerful noise, many mothers try to divert their children’s attention and try to keep them busy in things that they like doing. The purpose? They want their children to avoid getting distracted by the tinkling bells of the ice-cream vendor because they know that that ice-cream, coming out of unpredictable containers, cannot be healthy for the child.

       But we consider ourselves grown-up. We do not want to be guided by anyone. And indeed, that is how it should be! But unfortunately, our ability to guide our own direction is quite questionable. Our friends come over and describe a lavish holiday experience, and we want it too; a colleague mentions changing furniture, and we want it too; a neighbour has a new car parked in the driveway and we want it too; a newspaper ad mentions a new fashion trend, and we want to be part of that too! Where is our own sense of direction?

       The above examples are only little things. Needless to say, we get carried away in much stronger currents as well— to the point that we even forget who we truly are and where we are heading.

       To pursue the life of our own instincts, our own internal desires, our own real self is really very simple. So simple that we can easily lead a life full of peace and happiness. No place of any worry whatsoever. But who wants to lead such a simple life these days? The more complex it is, the better it looks and sounds to us, oblivious people. The more worries we are engrossed in, the more successful we feel— a common mindset these days.

        If we only sit and think about who we are, where we started our journey from and what our destination is, we would realize that we need not follow the world or even gaze at it longingly. As long as our goals are in line with our capabilities and our values, our journey will be self-directed— well-directed indeed! All we need to do is to focus on the next step we are going to place, forgetting about where the world is going. So we need to simply look in front of us and walk.

~ Nivedita Shori

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