Lessons We Learn From Our Pets

I read this quote by Christopher Hitchens on pets that every owner would have realised at some point.

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

That is a true statement. Because you chose the kind of dog or pup you want. However, a kitten chooses you to take care of it. A cat won’t allow just anybody to pet it. 

Isn’t that interesting, it almost feels like the cat is saying, “I don’t think you are good enough to be in my presence.”

It Is The Season To Spread Joy

It is Christmas time. I know, most of you are thinking, ‘no shit Sherlock’. My point is that it is Christmas time and it is the time to spread joy, love and brotherhood. If you are a feminist, then it is sisterhood too.

Most of us immediately run to buy gifts, clothes and cards when we speak of spreading joy. Moreover, these gifts are shared with friends, family and loved ones. I know that this is a tradition, it reminds us of all that family time.

But, I ask you whether this is the true meaning of spreading joy. As far as I can see, most of us me included, share our love with the people we know. We mingle and spend time with loved ones. How is that spreading joy? When we say spread the joy, it should go outside of our known circle of people.

This Christmas, try to reach out to that friend or neighbour that we are no longer in touch with. Try to speak to those that we usually choose to ignore. Make an effort to mend fences with an estranged member of family or friends. I believe that would be the true meaning of spreading joy and love.

By doing this, you are reaching out to those you don’t exactly love. You are including and expanding your circle. Your friends and family get your time all year long. It is time someone new also gets your love and a share in your joy.

I plan to practice this and hope you do too. Tell me in the comments about how successful you have been.
Merry Christmas!!

Attitude For Gratitude

Everyone must develop an attitude for gratitude. This is one of the main lessons that is taught by all self-help gurus, life coaches, personality development speakers etc. They always say that we must be grateful for what we have. We must say thank you to God or the universe or the people around us. Who you thank depends on what you are thankful for.

Every time I heard this phrase, I thought, “What do I have to be thankful for?” My job was a dead-end one, my personal life was going nowhere; I saw people around me moving forward while I felt stagnant. I had a very depressing sense of life. Every time I spoke to my sisters, I would always complain about my problems. Sometimes they would just listen, sometimes they would correct me on my thinking. My friends would try to reassure me and make me see the good in life around me. Some friends even introduced me to life coaches to help me find joy. My parents supported me by being patient and understanding. I appreciated all their efforts and yet, I found nothing to grateful for.

My mood continued to be sad for a few months. I don’t quite remember what made me turn to God for help, but I did that. I went to a temple, sat down and told my troubles to God. I asked him, “What is there to be grateful for in my life?” That was when my question was answered.

Before you think that I went crazy, let me explain, God did not actually answer my question. I had an epiphany while I was going to work. Though I have always complained of not having anything to be grateful for, I forgot about the biggest gift I always had, ‘someone to speak to’.

I always had my sisters, whom I ran to with my complaints. My friends tried to cheer me up. My parents never complained about my sour moods. My relatives also tried to help me find a way out. I have so much to be grateful for right here.

My job might be a dead-end one, but it keeps me busy through the day. My pay might be bad, but it keeps a roof on my head and food to eat. I have difficulties, but I have people who will listen to them. Whenever I feel lost, I have people who will show me the way back home. If I am moody, I have friends to cheer me up. What more can I ask for in life?

Indeed, I am not as successful as I could be or as rich as the next person. I might not lead as fulfilling a life as someone else. However, I still have the potential to achieve them. I have the means and resources to turn things around for myself.

That day, I thanked God, the universe and life in general for giving me all this. I found a direction to move forward in. Each and every one of us has the potential to be the best. We can achieve greatness and reach the highest point in our life. We just do not realize what we have. We always look at things we do not have and we feel bad. It reminds me of a proverb that my mother told us. There was once a man who was bothered about picking up the grains of wheat that fell down in front. He was so busy picking them, he missed all the tasty fruits and melons that were behind him. It is time we wake up and build our attitude for gratitude.

A Sympathetic Ear Is All We Need

There have been many occasions when I wanted to shout on top of my voice, ” I do not want solutions, I just want a sympathetic ear”. Haven’t we all been there? Every time I feel overwhelmed by the world around me, I feel the need to offload my troubles onto someone. Just sit and tell them my troubles and then carry on with life. I know that talking about them won’t solve them, but we feel light and less alone when we talk out our problems. But now I have encountered an even bigger problem, there is no one to listen.

I tried speaking to my family and soon realized that I was better off keeping my mouth shut. By speaking, I was adding to my troubles. It almost feels like I was asking the police how to steal.
Next, I turned to friends for a sympathetic ear. The minute I started telling them my first problem, they started comparing it to their lives and their troubles. It became a competition of who has the worst situation. It was fun for a while, but I never got to actually telling my problem before the winner was declared. They had their own set of issues to deal with and I could not compete with theirs.

This time I turned to my seniors. I tried to speak to my teachers and lectures, anyone senior to me. It was fine at the start, they listened. But slowly after some time, they started making suggestions, giving solutions etc. They understood my mindset and attitude, so they started anticipating my issues and told me what to do next before I could talk. It would have been a blessing if I was really looking for solutions. I realized this must be God’s way of telling me to stop complaining all the time.
Nowadays, I have anything on my mind, I just stand in front of a mirror and rant out all that I have to say. If it does not help, well that how I get inspiration for my blog posts 😉😉.

The Lessons I Learnt from an Unpleasant Friendship

She was not really “my” friend, she was introduced to me as my husband’s friend’s wife. That’s how I met her for the first time. Since then this friendship became a test for my patience. Patience that could not last beyond five years and one day I had to put an end to this ordeal. Today looking back at those days I wonder if there is anything that I should have done differently?

unplesant friends

Right from the very start I felt she was boastful about almost everything she did. She talked greatly of herself, her kids, her life and carrier etc. In her view, she is never wrong and she is always the best. Every decision she took, be it great or small, she had the desperate need to explain to people what a great thing she did. The icing on the cake was how she insisted others should follow suit. If by any chance she felt that someone else is doing better than her, she would spread lies about them or put them down publicly, say hurtful things and embarrass them.

Jealousy

This level of overconfidence, overbearing attitude, intense enviousness, pompousness was too much to swallow. It gets dark and unpleasant when she looked upon others as lower in intellect and class than herself and was never shy of showering her arrogance.  She once said, “There is no one and nothing in this world that money can’t buy”. People should not be treated so cheaply I thought.

Most of the time I listen to whatever she had to say about other people and about me and responded only with a smile. Sometimes I tried explaining to her but she never tried to understand. I noticed a total lack of empathy for my feelings, needs and wishes. I did a lot of soul searching and self-assessment due to the fear that I might be misunderstanding this person. In the end it was irritation and a feeling of hurt that got me because she treated my friendship like use and throw. I redoubled my efforts to get along with her by filling my mind with positivity but the hurtful things she said already caused a lot of damage. Probably I shouldn’t have put up with all this, I should have told her right at the beginning that she is stepping on my toes.

The only people who were still her friends were those who could put up with her awful treatment and those people who were obviously in a much better position than her. Today I feel much better that I no longer have to put up with her. But it does make me wonder what could be done and how to deal with people like this.

This a list of points that came to my mind:

I am the BEST and I LOVE myself

  • Be self-reliant and expect no help or favors from them because these people will talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
  • Be prepared to shower praises on them. I know! We have to lock up our inner voice for a while. Praises, I notice, always send them to the seventh heaven.
  • Never fall for the falsehood they spread about others. Always assess people with your own fair judgement. You might be surprised that they are not as villainous as they were portrayed.
  • Keep conversations with them short and simple. Get out while you still can.
  • Never fall into the trap of show off. They love to gloat and we will definitely lose all our self-respect in a gloating contest with them.
  • Most importantly don’t lose sight of your goals and work diligently to achieve it irrespective of what anyone says.

These are the lessons I learnt from my experience. If you meet any one like this (I hope and pray that you don’t), I hope my suggestions will be of help to you. And if you have any more points to add to or correct in my list, please feel free to comment. I like to hear from all of you. All the best and wish you all a wonderful day.

Everyone needs a BFF in their life

BFF – best friend forever is a common term we hear nowadays. It is that friend who stays with us forever, who always stands by us in the time of need. One who gives us support and advises us when needed. One might say that all friends are like that, the point of friendship is for a person to stand by us and guide us through troubled times. There are many sayings, proverbs, anecdotes of great friendships that withstood time and age. Friendship is the single most valuable relation that we have and it is the foundation of most of the other relations like love, parent-child relation, siblings, teacher-student relation etc.

As with every blog of mine, there is a big BUT. So here goes….But, is it easy to find a friend like that? We make many friends in our lifetime, but most of them drift apart over time. There might not be a lack of affection between friends, but people just grow apart with changing time and life situations. We are inseparable from our friends in school or college, but after job, marriage, kids etc., we find it difficult to find common topics to talk with the same person. We still keep in touch, but are not as close as before. This is the most often used response to on this topic. There is nothing wrong in this response either. When we are in different situations or stages in life our mind frame varies accordingly. A person who was once impulsive and spontaneous might turn contemplative and back again based on their experiences. Each person goes through life at a different pace so for every friend to keep pace with the other is near impossible. For a friendship to keep up with all these variations and stand strong is a tough task. Having such friendship would seem like a crutch to help us. We are very dependent on it and life comes to a standstill without it.

For most of us it would seem like such friendship is a dream. It is like a mirage on a hot summer afternoon. However, I have an answer here as well. We can be our own best friend. We can be that one person who will not leave our side at any time or stage in life. Does that sound pathetic to you?? Maybe, but don’t discount the idea yet. If you are an extrovert, an outgoing and social person, it is easy to meet new people and make friends and lasting friendships. However, for an introvert, or a reversed person, or a socially awkward person, meeting people and making friends is a difficult task. Some people find it easy to make friends, but hard to build a personal connect with them. In such cases, some of us are just too prickly or sarcastic for friendship to withstand. If you are from any of these groups of people, life may seem devoid of true friendship.

Each of us has two opposing voices in our head telling us different perspectives to every situation. Listening to oneself and retrospection will help you find that true friend that you always needed. On a lighter note, you can be that one friend who can never ditch you, no matter how much you try. Speak to yourself, be honest about your true intentions, because, let’s face it who is your mind going to tell? It can’t snitch on you to anyone. You will get the best solutions that suit your personality and your requirement. Like in any friendship, you have to be honest with yourself and speak to yourself everyday about the events and emotions without the fear of bias or prejudice. I know that the thought I have put here today is a debatable topic. It is not a true solution or someone even say a healthy solution. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.