To Be Free

There are people who seem to glide through life just going with the flow. They seem so relaxed and nothing really seems to stress them out. This could be perception but I honestly believe there are people who really are able to just hang out and enjoy their experiences.

And there are some of us who stress at every turn, who let every little thing get to us, who are bothered by so many things. We can’t seem to relax and just enjoy the moment. We worry if things are going too fast or if things are going to slow. There isn’t a moment of peace for us. 

How do we achieve this peace? I know some suggestions are working out, yoga, meditation. It requires great discipline to be able to put your mind in the right place so that this is something is able to be achieved. But it’s a constant struggle. It definitely doesn’t come easy. 

Calming the mind, being free of your every day thoughts is a place that I strive to get to. It’s amazing how much power your thoughts have over your every day life. It affects your moods, your energy, your interactions with others, even your interaction with yourself. And it definitely affects your health. 

Positive thoughts are another challenge completely. To be able to really believe in the best of people and to be able to see the world as a beautiful place even when there are challenges is an amazing quality to have. 

Here’s a day dedicated to trying to free yourself from the confines of your mind. I want to try to just enjoy my surroundings and really admire the miracles that are occurring constantly in our world.

I want my mind to be free. 

Love Who We Want

Yesterday, I wrote about a teacher who was fired from my Catholic high school for marrying his partner of 10 years. 

Today, I want to hit a little bit closer to home with my culture regarding a similar issue. How free are we, as Indians, to love who we want? Is it possible to be with or even marry the person we want if they don’t fit into what our culture dictates is right for us? How much pressure do we even put on ourselves to fit into what we think is right? 

I’ve learned the hard way that what is right on paper isn’t what is right for me. But I had to go through a pretty big self-inflicted struggle to understand this. 

Even if we never hear anything from our parents or family about who we should end up marrying, there is this idea that we should end up with someone who is the same ethnicity and religion as we are. They should be equally matched in every way: looks, education, financially. And even if the pressure isn’t directly put onto us by someone else, we put that same pressure on ourselves. We want the approval of our community. And to get that approval, we have to fit into the mold that was shaped out for us and has been shaped out for us for decades or maybe even centuries. 

So what happens when we fall in love with someone outside of this mold? What happens when we realize that a relationship goes past the education and the looks and the families getting along? What happens when we realize that there is so many other aspects to consider that have nothing to do with what we have been taught? 

I have seen it go both ways. I have seen couples split up because one or the other isn’t approved by their family. Instead of fighting for their love, they choose their family and sacrifice their relationship. I have seen couples stay together and try to make their families understand their relationship.

So it’s a choice. It’s always a choice. Unfortunately, we can’t control the idea of what the perfect relationship looks like. But we can control how we react to the opinions of our relationship. There are still going to be times when the world won’t agree with a relationship. Is it worth it to fight for it? Or is it something that should be given up because it’s not “right”?

Should we love who we want? Or should we love who the world says we should? 

The Past and Its Results: Our Present

I started reading the autobiography that my grandfather has written about his life. I’ve barely gotten to the part where he is in medical school so I definitely have a lot more left to go considering that he is 92 years old. 

I’m so amazed at what his life so far has been like. To live through all sorts of history that I’ve only heard about. And even so, growing up here in America, not really heard about as well. He survived a bombing in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) during World War II when the Japanese invaded and had to go back to India even though he had spent a lot of his childhood in Rangoon. His father actually had to walk back to India because there was no other modes of transportation that were working due to the air raids by Japan. 

I haven’t even gotten to the part where India becomes an independent country yet. I’m curious because I do know my grandparents did meet Mahatma Gandhi so I really wonder what their story is. I don’t know if they will be far-removed from everything or if they were right in the middle of what was going on. 

Last week, I wrote a post about how many parents left the country they grew up in and found themselves in a new country only for the opportunities available to them at the time. Today, I’m reading about this history that my grandfather has gone through. I’m now waiting to hopefully read about the history that my father-in-law has lived through being a member of the Indian army. 

This is what our ancestors have gone through to get to where we are today. Our problems don’t really seem as complex or terrifying as what our families have been through in the past. In fact, on the other hand, it seems like they have gone through their struggles without complaining or feeling sorry for themselves. 

It definitely puts into perspective what we go through on a daily basis. Most of us are extremely lucky wherever we are because we don’t have this struggle of survival. We have the right and the opportunity to choose what we want out of life. I’ve been reading a lot of history in general lately and it seems as though this right to make our own choices has been something most cultures have struggled with for centuries before it was given. I think some cultures are still going through this struggle now. 

Time changes things. It has happened before and it will continue to happen. Eventually, we will all have our effect on the world somehow. I think our generation will change the world in terms of social consciousness, communication, and technology. It will be a different type of change.

I look forward to contributing to it. 

Change How It Is

Are you the best person you can be? I’m not. I’m not nice to everyone, I don’t respect everyone, and I probably don’t even like everyone. What is it with us? Why is it so hard for us to appreciate the differences that everyone has and celebrate them instead of judging them and putting them down? 

I don’t know what the root cause of this is. Is it so that we feel better if we put someone else down? I’m sure there is a pattern to be found in who you treat how and why. I know that we don’t always click with everyone so it’s hard to build a relationship with them but that doesn’t give us the right to talk badly about them. 

I know a lot of us gossip. We talk about people we don’t like behind their backs. I don’t think we do this with the same nature as if it was our friends. We give our friends more credit. We try to understand them. We allow for their mistakes. But we don’t do this for everyone in general. Most people do deserve better than what we give them. Most people are just people and things happen and there is usually a reason behind it. 

It’s the lack of appreciation for differences and the insecurities we have about ourselves that really cause a breakdown in communities. Think how amazing the world would be if there was more trust, more understanding, less selfishness. Isn’t that why we even get into a relationship? To share those things with someone else? So is it completely impossible to have this attitude towards the general public? I’m sure most of us have had some bad experiences in the past which definitely give support to not trusting everyone but are we able to let this go and really just focus on the good things that make us better as people? 

I want to be able to see the world as a good place and the people in it as the positive force. It’s time to change my view. 

Name-Dropping

“Oh, I know them. They love me!” 

Have many times have we said this? Have many times have we been talking with someone and we mention that we know someone that they know even if we don’t really know that person? How many times do we act like we know everyone and everyone knows us? 

Why do we name drop? Does it make us more important to know everyone? Is it a question of our validity to the world again? 

Is it possible that we can just be realistic and appreciate the people that we actually do have in our lives and just be no one to the masses? Is it possible we can do something for the sake of the action and not just because it would make us known to the world? 

And what about the people whose names we drop? Are they really important in some way? Are they just really popular? What does popularity even mean anymore? 

We’ve built this idea up of what is right in society. We desire acceptance and approval from others within. We want for people to know that we are important and that people want to know us and need us. We want to be valid. We want to know that something we do makes sense and that we will leave a mark on this world. We want to never be forgotten. 

I think the first step in really accepting ourselves. We need to know that we are important to the people around us, regardless of the masses. We are allowed to know a few people important to our lives and not be in the midst of every huge social event that occurs. Knowing ourselves is the more important part of this. In knowing ourselves, we accept that we are who we are and our lives do make a difference to the people around us. 

Maybe then we can finally believe that being just who we are is absolutely fine even if it goes against everything what we thought we knew.