…myself but things that may not be true as proved with other people’s experience of me… and things that come up when other people experience me but things that I don’t identify with…
I always liked to believe that I am an open, loving, liberal, unconventional, and happy person. I also liked to believe that I am generous, forgiving, and very accomadative. I liked others to believe that too. If they were going to form an image of me in their minds, then they better form this image and nothing else! If anyone would think of me any different from this, I would either find faults with those people or move away from them feeling that I am not good enough for them.
Despite believing whole-heartedly in the image I was and the image that I was projecting, I couldn’t really be with a crowd, I couldn’t relate to most of the people I met and I couldn’t express myself fully with the people with whom I was the closest with in my family and outside.
In the last year, one single choice led me to find a lot of stuff about myself. The choice was simple but tough. Be it my parents, my colleagues, and my friends, I don’t forgive myself and the other people, and readily move closer to someone or move away from them. If people lose touch, I just presume they are busy with their lives and I get busy with mine.
In one pure bonding with another individual, I realized how I live my life out like a drama out of a TV Soap. I cry, whine, crib, and complain. I crave for other people’s attention. And I grow destructive, cynical, loveless when I don’t get it.
I realized all this because for once I made the choice of not moving on easily, no matter what it took. I made the choice of not giving into any negativity that crept in my mind about myself and my friend. I made the choice of making an effort to be positive and forgive him and myself over and over again.
Here are the things I found that were completely contrary to what I believed about myself. I call them patterns.
Pattern 1 – Don’t let anyone know that you are bitter with them but just move away slowly. Take offence if someone passes a judgment on you and then take revenge in your taunts, jokes, and humiliate them before making them feel guilty. And then break away from those relationships.
Pattern 2 – Never trust men. Blame them for the life you live while you are the one who is the oppressor of your own needs. Be a sacrificial goat.
Pattern 3 – Do not give space to anyone to grow. Make them dependent on yourself and then blame them for making your life hell.
Pattern 4 – Dominate with everything you have. Your being a woman, a victim, and your bitterness, anger, and guilt, are all tools for dominating other people’s experience of life.
Pattern 5 – Give high-handed philosophies at every smallest opportunity.
Pattern 6 – Use your attention as a tool to divide and rule, as a tool to get what you want. Give attention to get it.
Pattern 7 – Honesty is not required till the time you can use it in a self-righteous way and to be known as honest.
Pattern 8 – Be ashamed of your sexuality. Be ashamed of yourself if you demand anything and then do things for the other person out of the guilt of being demanding.
Pattern 9 – Act innocent if you are caught being vindictive and being revengeful.
Pattern 10 – Talk excessively to dominate conversations.
Pattern 11 – Other women are always competitors.
Pattern 12 – Complain, complain, complain, complain.
Pattern 13 – Seek sympathy, seek sympathy, seek sympathy.
Now all this may make me look like a psycho. But I think we all carry these control mechanisms. And we all get this bad news about ourselves some time or the other in life. Some of us learn to live with it. They shy away from relationships thinking that since they have all these patters, they shouldn’t be messing up theirs and other people’s lives.
Some of us choose to deal with it. Like I did but it didn’t work at all. In fact it messed me up completely. More I fought to behave in a way that was completely opposite to these patterns, the more I fell into the trap of feeling that I was rejecting myself and so were other people. And people are not fools. They can see through you like you can see through them.
Then one fine day, I just chose to give up. I chose not to judge, or evaluate as that was what led me to see if I was getting enough attention, if I was getting what I wanted, then go on and behave in any of the above patterns to control and to get what I wanted.
Vipassna helped. It’s a meditation practice that helps you observe the drama of life without reacting to it. It helps you be completely in the moment. And as you practice being in the moment, and not let any of the past or any of the patterns dominate you, then somewhere you grow to be free of the patterns. I can’t say that I am completely free. Though I can say that now whenever a pattern is dominating, I observe it even while I am the one behaving in a controlling way. I may not be able to stop it from doing the damage to my relationships and myself. But I can see it and I can bounce back into a free and positive state far more faster than ever before.
Thanks buddy. I just hope that I can make the choice of being in touch one more time. I just hope I can make the choice of forgiving you and myself for causing the hurt and harm that we have caused to ourselves by trying to control all outcomes to our lives. Outcomes? yes, outcomes. I had hoped to send us in one direction and you had hoped to keep us confined to another. What we have left is a mess from our conflict and a bond that we both cherish beyond our individual lives and our individual patterns.
I hope that we can just let the mess be, not deal with it, not clean it, not ignore it, not avoid it. And I hope that I can make the choice of being there for our bond and being in this ongoing conversation for one more time.