It’s February 14th and the world is celebrating Valentine’s Day. This year, we all probably could use more love than ever before as the world is still grappling with the pandemic and its aftermath. Many lost their livelihood, had their mental health at stake, and even lost their loved ones due to Covid-19. I think, today is also a day that reminds us how life is actually short, and that we all should make the most out of every occasion, as next year is not guaranteed for all.
If you have been following my posts, in my previous post, I had mentioned briefly how invested I am in self-discovery and development books and programs, and how I stumbled upon a coaching program that assisted me in uncovering a lot of toxic traits and decade-long conditioning layered deep beneath the subconscious mind that I am trying to detangle.
Throughout this journey, I have also learned how to trust my gut feelings better, and understand how to decipher negative feelings. I am certainly more aware of my thought processes and it sometimes baffles me how I get answers to things I am pondering on out of the blue. Getting introspective seems like a whole lot of joyful process as you learn to work on yourself by decoding the cues you get from the universe.
One of the recent observations I gained includes the process of understanding what feels good and what doesn’t, no matter how good things perceive to be. This includes understanding how people treat me, and what their motives are in general. Not so long ago, I used to fear connections a lot. I fear if people are good and I always wonder if I would be deceived. As a result, I have always distanced myself from truly forming new connections. One funny thing happened not too long ago and I think it would perfectly fit this post, to illustrate how fear can stop us from connecting with ourselves and others.
I went to the shopping mall a few days ago to get an organic shampoo, when I was greeted by a salesperson, trying to direct me to the correct shelf. I was taken aback a little and I thought she was about to promote something I don’t need. I quickly regained my awareness, and instead of being withdrawn, I connected with her genuinely. When we fear connection, we fear that we run the risk of being deceived by people, because we don’t trust ourselves and our ability to decipher energies and vibes we get around people enough.
When you fear connection, you project low vibrational energy. If you would like to be loved, you should give love, and when you are operating from a state of fear, what you want and how you behave are not in alignment with one another, and therefore, you’d also be denied the love you need. I no longer fear connection as I pay attention to how people treat me and discard people I deem not genuine from my life. This is how we identify what love feels like and who fits our life the best.
I had a fabulous day, and I hope this Valentine’s Day was a great one for you too!
What do you think about this post? I welcome your thoughts and views!
I’m back blogging and this is my first post for 2021. I have more than 70 blog post ideas and I write them all down on my notepad when I write my subsequent post, which never happened, as I have been procrastinating a lot on writing, although I know it is one of the best therapy and self-care that has worked well for me in the past years. I do think that coming to the heightened sense of awareness about sharing part of my life and what basically runs in my mind, and presenting these on a public blog for everyone to read can be extremely vulnerable and I was not really comfortable doing that just yet. I think that is also one of the reasons why I created a separate Instagram page for my blog posts, as I wasn’t comfortable or confident enough to brand myself as a blogger to those in my close network. I also have been listening to podcasts a lot and I stumbled upon The Baggage Reclaim Sessions podcast by Nat Lue (she also has a blog and I coincidentally came across her post on dealing with drainers while browsing articles to understand about Emotional Dumping – a term I just learned today.
I also owe a big shoutout to Andrea from the Booksters Club on Instagram. We connected on Instagram from my business bookish page, International Book Promotion towards the end of last year, together with a bunch of other Instagrammers who read mostly non-fiction. Andrea announced that she is rolling out her coaching business and would like to work with the first 20 clients to get started with it at no cost, and I stepped forward to try it out, although I had the idea of approaching a coach in September 2020 when I fell into the pit of depression again. The idea of opening up to a life coach has always been a little scary but I went ahead with it, and also won a copy of Evan Carmichael’s book ‘Built To Serve’ through Andrea. The last week of the 8-week long session is coming to an end this week and I have to say I learned A LOT about tools that are useful for personal development, and I think what I discovered today that I am sharing in this blog post below is largely due to the ability to raise awareness and identify triggers that I have learned through the “Find Yourself” program. Thank you, Andrea.
So, today I sort of cracked a puzzle and discovered something new about myself, and I wanted to document the whole lot of things that I Googled about. An incident that happened a couple of days ago led me to feel down and I was wanting to have someone to share my disappointments with although deep inside, I wanted to remain silent and process what had just happened. I did call up a friend and even sent messages to people out of anxiety unintentionally, although I knew that was not going to help.
I was upset and mainly because I was not able to understand how to go inside and do the inner work when I clearly knew I needed myself more than anyone else. When I did some self-reflection, I suddenly noticed that this pattern stemmed from when I was a kid. I get restless when there is an issue cropping up in my life, causing a great level of entropy. My busy mind would feed on the issue and get diverted from the main thing that I should be focusing on; be it work or everyday life. I would also be looking forward to sharing what had happened to my friends and possibly ruminate on it for some time before I could detox the thoughts from my mind.
This is also exactly how my downtime escalated into depression last September as I was looking to get in touch with someone for help and nobody was available at that instant. This is also because I live on my own and I cannot meet colleagues in person as I live on my own and run my business from home as well, and most of my work-related interactions happen online (I know that the pandemic has made things worst as well now for many others). When you don’t find anyone to talk to, you think nobody cares about you and you fall into the pit of depression, estrange yourself from people, become emotionally unavailable, and build walls high up!
When I Googled for ideas and possibly articles to shed light on my perplexion, I came across the term ‘emotional dumping‘. As harsh as it seemed at first, I realized that there are instances where when I am overwhelmed by something, I would not even be asking about the wellbeing of those I am conversing with and I will mostly make the conversation about the issue. Confiding in friends and family is a normal human need and I think it is healthy but when we are in control of our thoughts and emotions, we would be narrating the experience in a calmer manner, and not rattling in a chatty and anxious way.
I realized that I am usually very content with my own company when I am not in a troubled state of mind and sometimes only call people to talk about the problem. I felt that it is not wrong since I do not bother them all the time and I used to think that friends in need are friends indeed since I have also lent ears to those who needed my listening ears but I think that it undermines my ability to sit with the thoughts and find the way out. When I reflected deeper, I noticed that I do not get stressed about work and certain other aspects of my life, no matter how stressful it gets because I simply can withstand the stress and believe in my capacity to thrive beyond the challenges presented. Hence, I believe that at instances where I feel the urge to run to people for solace, I might have had a series of failures in the past in handling similar situations, which prompts me to always seek validation.
I think that emotional dumpers are craving for connection and validation (which may not be a good thing) and would love to have someone listen to them or possibly reassure them. Seeking validation may not be a good thing as we cannot expect others to genuinely validate our actions or emotions. We might be running into someone who would dismiss our experience or use our rather disheveled state of mind to gaslight us because we are not in control or content with how we process our thoughts in order to gain a #senseofself.
I have also noticed that in the event there is emotional turbulence, I usually come across people who do not really understand the context of the issue I am facing, and I would usually end up draining my energy in explaining myself, as it is almost impossible to explain the underlying reasons as to why I feel how I feel. You may have encountered an issue with a friend who had passed me inconsiderate comments on a sensitive topic and when you share that incident with another person, you may get feedback like “it’s okay, maybe you should not take it personally”, and you go like “why are you not understanding what I feel” and “oh, you don’t get it”. You cannot possibly put everything into words as there are deep underlying issues that only you know exist. The real catch here is that probably the listener has not understood how emotionally scarring the incident is towards yourself, and possibly your past experience with abusers triggers you easily. When there are a huge depth and breadth to emotions and experiences, it is usually not possible to be communicated from a surface level.
Emotional dumpers are also people who like to analyze situations and like to solve issues and talk to others when they do not have solutions at hand. But it is not a good idea when those listening do not give the rightly fitting advice (this is why it is better to consult professional help). Only you have the solution to figure things out best and the way is to go inside and do the inner work. Also, when you talk about issues in the hope that others would be able to provide you solutions, you are not strengthening your #senseofself and gut feelings. Talking about the issues also multiplies its power, and you go deep into the spiral of vicious cycle. One of the worst implications of emotional dumping is that you attract toxic people masquerading as listeners. People who are not genuinely interested in helping you but wanting to seek pleasure with your struggles would pretend to be helping you out when they are not.
I have been journalling from day 1 of 2021 until today and it has been extremely liberating and helps process thoughts better. Googling and reading a lot on the issues plaguing us can definitely open us to a wide array of new information that could help formulate actionable steps for healing. We can also channel the need to analyze things into activities like blogging/vlogging as this can empower ourselves and others. Neuroplasticity is a field that helps a lot to train your mind to send new information when faced with similar triggers, and this can be done by building new habits and holding on to different counter-reactions when you face similar triggers.
Alicia recently shared a link with me about an African “birth song”. She thought I might enjoy it since I talked about having dreamt all my children. I really loved it and shared the link on my page. An excerpt from the story goes:
[T]here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then…
I came across the post on #18shadesofblack today on Sumitra Selvaraj’s @sareesandstories page on Instagram today. It is a campaign initiated by @sharmila006 , a Social Entrepreneur and a Fashion Artist to address as well as talk about restrictions being imposed on women, specifically in response to the social uproar when the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on women of menstruating age from entering the Sabarimala temple.
Enabling women to live life their own way is perhaps the greatest restriction of all time.
A couple of days ago, I came across the term “self-partnering”, which is now trending after Emma Watson glorified her singlehood by coining the term “self-partnership” to her current relationship status. I’m not sure if the women’s liberation movement and feminism in general have been focusing on solving the root causes behind the need to have such movements in the first place.
Take the scenario of working women today, who fight for equal pay, longer maternity leaves and flexi work hours. All these demands go back to their ultimate concern: childcare. During the old days, the men used to be the breadwinners and the women played the role of homemakers. Then, as the living standard increased, women were expected to help share the financial load and this became a necessity for some women who were both victims of domestic violence and financially oppression.
We saw women joining the workforce to address the issues they were facing. Of all these “solutions”, we hardly see where and how men are involved as a part of the solution. We only see women largely adjusting their lifestyles to meet the demands of their family. And today, we paint a picture that relationships are fragile, not worthy, and that men are not dependable. Women are glorifying the status of being single because it is liberating, and it depicts how strong women can be.
If only women are allowed to just be who they are, all these unnecessary restrains wouldn’t have surfaced. If we stopped measuring the worth of women from their skin colour or how well they cook, we could have slowed down the aggravation behind radical feminism. And today, we are subconsciously nurturing financially independent “strong” women because that is the next yardstick that would measure the worth of women. This also indirectly tells that men are not to be dependent on, and if women shed tears or are weak, they are losing the game.
It is so sad to see that we are undervaluing relationships, portraying the wrong image of human and family values to the generations to come. If only we teach men how to rectify issues coming from them and if only women are not restricted and judged for who they are, cared and loved for by men, the second wave feminism and the power struggle in modern relationships could be a lot easier to handle with.
~”Being a woman has never been easy, nor tougher than now” – Me~
“This is not a feminist rant that demands unreasonable equality, nor a condemnation of men. It is merely a reflection of what it feels like to be a woman in today’s India.”
We belong to a remarkable generation – one where definitions are changing, stereotypes being broken, glass ceilings shattering, new gender roles emerging, and gender equality is finally being accepted – it’s a transitional time for women empowerment, but being a woman has never been tougher. And here’s why.
Times are a-changing
In the 1900s, women had a predefined role in society – they were expected to be homemakers, and providing food and comfort to their families were their primary goals in life. To be a good daughter, wife, and mother was what made them happy. In a twisted way, our mothers had it easier than us…