I never liked being bullied, watching someone bully another and I do not enjoy bullying people. I do nag my close friends sometimes for fun because they know I mean no harm to their self-esteem. No conscious effort went into me becoming so. I was born a protector. Just like I was born socially awkward. Socially awkward kids may not necessarily be shy. They can be the loudest laughing, goofy, over-curious, vulnerable kids on the block. I certainly was! And unlike today, grownups then were far less judgemental towards a child. Or may be that was just my great luck to be in a family where I could practice self-love in my early years.
But with time, a lot of things changed. The society went through major transformations from the late 80’s to 2016. Bless our generation for coping up with many different worlds in very little time. And bless those who couldn’t make it intact.
All it takes for a vulnerable child to become a rebel is criticism and scrutiny. As merry as childhood was, teenage was confusing, disturbing because of the inner & outer conflicts and I’m not just talking about the physiology or hormones of a teenager. But the spiritual & physical environment as a whole during this time. As if adolescence wasn’t tricky enough!
Different people react differently to pressure & uncertainties, and I was angry. Like, I was a fire-ball who didn’t trust anyone. When you don’t know better, you hold on to the worse because the thought of emptiness is terrifying.
Give constant criticism and scrutiny to a young righteous person and you’ll get a self-righteous person. Easiest recipe! Now a days we see/post so many “wisdom” quotes that basically mean “I’m like this, take it or leave”, “I don’t compromise.”, “I hate those who think they know me.”
As a person who came and lived that thought process for over a decade, I can tell you that it is the MOST PAINFUL way to spend your golden years. It blocks a lot of learning. It blocks the flow of love and knowledge. It blocks wisdom. Your mind creates an illusionary division of “Me VS The World” and you live in this illusion, exclusive of the real you, for years. A very egotistic way to live. Underneath which is a lot of loneliness and a helpless conscience wanting to be set free.
At 30, I can tell you the fight does not go as easy as it came. You will meet people who will constantly challenge your progress with their thought-process. If during recovery, your physical environment is non-supportive of inner growth, it becomes a longer process. You will stumble a lot. I still sometimes, post strong feelings only to delete them. Because ego steps in faster than respect comes along.
But to shoot an arrow really far, the string must be pulled backwards.
It took 2 years of soul-searching. A bout of depression kept to self and overcoming extreme ideas. It took gathering the little pieces of wisdom to be my own warrior. But here’s the catch – this warrior must be the one who does not fight. An agitated warrior in an agitated war brings no harmony (Learned it the hard way). This warrior stands still in the mayhem – recollecting, accepting, forgiving and finally nothing! The journey from being self-righteous to becoming righteous, being defensive to becoming a protector again, is very consuming but it is the most important, fulfilling thing I have done (still doing) for myself.
And if you relate to any of the struggles, here are simple measures I learned which would help anyone:
1) Remind yourself that everyone may not necessarily feel as passionately as you do for several things. And that’s OK!
2) Know that you can help those who ask for it but you can only be your own warrior. And that’s OK!
3) So many people will not understand or be supportive. And that’s OK! Some enlightment are personal.
4) You may support someone through their thin and he/she may not support you in yours. And that’s OK!
5) Not everyone has to be bad or good for you. Not everyone needs to have an effect on you. And that’s OK!
6) Be inclusive. Everyone makes mistakes. You do too. You don’t have to like them and you don’t have to push them away. And that’s OK!
7) Some people can manage facades all their lives and be happy/unhappy with it. You may see it, they may not. And that’s OK! Shift the focus.
8) Some relationships might go sour in this process. Detach. Clean. Attach (if possible). That may take time but should do OK!
9) Don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s definitely going to make you feel more than OK!
10) You will still goof up sometimes as you won’t be all saints. And that’s OK! Have a laugh!
I realise that it is important to take out “self” from righteousness and above all, the thrive should lead to kindness. The point is to be kind(to self and others) before being right.
Bonus 11) You may or may not agree with this article and that’s also OK! 🙂