A source of strength
A vortex that can
Twirl the soul
A comfortable home
A lonely, dark recess
A harmonious tune
A jarred refrain
Stirring chords of solitude
Or stringing lyrics of loneliness
Silence is a strange melody
You can turn it into
What you want it to be
Darkness will entice us into its tentacles
Envelop our lonely hearts
Throw us in a volley
But light always has a way
Of creeping into hearts cold with fear
Through the unlikeliest corners
Just read this the other day and it got me thinking. When do we probe enough to peel the layers? How often do we scratch the surface and look at ourselves or other people sans the layers? Do we care to scrape the masks and see people without labels? Without trappings of a function or a designation. We live in such transactional and mechanical times, where people matter to each other as long as they are of some use to each other. The moment they stop being of utility, they cease to matter or exist. Then there are others who become a role. They identify themselves so obsessively with a particular role that it percolates into all spheres of their lives.
What are we beneath all those layers? What are we beyond the trappings of labels, societal expectations and materialistic paraphernalia? We’re all achingly vulnerable and trapped in longing. Lost in translation. We bear the burden of buried dreams, of having loved , of winding in a sense of loss, of being trapped in fear, aching to be liberated from the lies we weave around ourselves. We’re waiting to be accepted, hungry for approval. We’re seeking our space, creating a metier. We’re all wounded little children waiting to fly away from hurt.
An epiphany has a way of unfolding in the most chaotic of moments. In one of those rare reflective moments, it dawned on me that we attract the difficult situations and people we need in our lives. These are merely a reflection of all that we refuse to confront in ourselves. Our relationships or conflicts with other people will always reveal something about our own selves that we refuse to own up to, they hold a mirror to the chaos that we mask with our seemingly calm exteriors. All that we deny or brush under the proverbial carpet surfaces during tumultuous encounters.
If you’re the kind of person who is essentially non-confrontational, you will inevitably be thrown into situations with aggressive people who want to corner you and pin you down. People who go please others at their own cost, inevitably attract people who want to exercise control and those who refuse to be pleased with anything you would do. These difficult situations and people keep manifesting in one form of the other, until we draw our lessons. Until we unfetter ourselves from all that holds us from being our authentic selves. . Life has its ways of catapulting us into situations that force us to wrestle and confront our demons rather than shoving them in a quiet corner of our souls. We can choose to resist and close our eyes and carry on the business of life. Or take on these demons head on and emerge wiser and buoyant.
There is only one thing that adulthood teaches us. To curb our spontaneity and natural instincts. The more I observe my little one growing up, the more it dawns how messed up we adults are. Social conditioning ruins us. We say not what we want, but what others want to hear from us. We don’t do what our heart wants, but what is expected from us. We don’t ever grow up, only get better at putting on an act of being able to get through the days and years with a veneer of knowing what we want. Even if we’re crumbling inside adulthood teaches us not to let our defences down. Because people shouldn’t see our vulnerabilities, because being an adult means you can hold your own. We think by not letting other people get a peak of our helplessness, we’re being strong and not giving them ammunition against you. We’re so edgy about giving out information about ourselves, wondering what will be held against us and thinking of ways and means of letting the world know only what we show on the surface. We don’t realise our strengths lie in accepting our weaknesses not masking them.
Parenthood is so meaningful, only because it allows you a chance to undo all the damage we inflict on ourselves and on others. It gives you a fresh perspective and an opportunity to see authenticity and experience pure emotions from close quarters. I observe my son and realise children are more sorted than we are. They cry when they are upset and smile when they are delighted. Their emotions and actions are so pure and authentic. They’ll turn up their little noses at what they don’t like and stay absorbed for hours fascinated by everyday objects we don’t even bother a second glance at. As children we’re all mindful and authentic. We get so caught up with trying to be the plastic, politically correct beings who toe the line and live by the rule book that we forget who we really are. Our true selves get buried in the debris of societal expectations, gender stereotypes and conditioning. We think we evolve as we grow older, but at a certain level we regress. We just learn to tame our impulses and with that our ability to be curious and creative dies a natural death. We lose the ability to express ourselves while being true to our emotions. I sometimes wonder, we mask our true dreams, desires, fears and wants under so many layers that we dissolve who we truly are and settle for a shadowy existence. Every once in a while, try saying what you really want, give in to the impulse to cry your heart out or laugh till you’re teary-eyed. Confront and embrace your quirks and eccentricities. Try awakening the spontaneous, artless and natural child within. Every once in a while give wings to the child within who is hiding beneath layers of dos and don’ts and societal sanctions.