Each one of us have a world of our own that revolves around our family, friends, work, leisure, our homes etc. This world brings to us a whole circle of responsibilities, love, respect, fun factors and a lot more. But sometimes we encounter situations or even personal character traits that can get very difficult to change or it can give you stressful times. Be it your overprotective spouse, your independent nature, unhappy relationships or some habits that don’t change or even your kids who require your complete attention. At times this gets normal to handle but on a long term, things would get out of your control. Think of your wife telling you stories of the neighborhood, on who taunted her or wore the best dress, how her secret leaked to others and how it annoyed her. May be that’s not the kind of welcome you were expecting when you are back home after work but you could choose to listen to it or probably change her mindset by sharing stories of how your day went or just play good music or even watch comedy shows at night to lighten up the atmosphere. Such are the cases I am going to share that could probably require a shift in attitude or creating a world of your own amongst your world.
I have a very close friend who got married during our final year of our under graduation. Too young to settle and even move to Dubai with her husband. She began to face a lot of problems with her in laws troubling her. Within 2 years, she became a mother to a beautiful daughter but even this happy event of her life was ruined because of the merciless attitude of her in laws. She stood strong,had sleepless nights, quarrelling moments constantly yet she did complete justice to her daughter bringing her up with lots of love, laughter and kindness. She found a lot of strength in her husband who stood by her, inspite of knowing how his parents were treating her. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going and she is the best example of this proverb. She chose to let things happen, which she realized she had no control on – be it her nagging bothering in laws, making her life worse. Within this shaky world, she began to create a world of her own. She began to focus on her weight, began workouts, took care of her food habits and now she looks really in shape and good health. She also spends her time painting and her masterpieces tell me stories. Everytime I look at those paintings – the touch of colours, the twirls of her paints do great justice to the masterpieces she creates. This way she is able to add color to her life, sustain with these little things she does along with her family responsibilities. She also catches up with her best friends in Bangalore be it by calls or messages. That way I see the happiness in her , behind the great pain and suffering she undergoes. I always see her as a woman of strength who though did not deserve all these hardships at this age but the way she holds herself strong and all by herself , I am in awe of her spirit.
Just imagine if you are allowed to live in a huge ball where you are all by yourself. The ball is of your favourite color. This ball has the best things you need, your kind of atmosphere, your favorite things, food, clothes etc. You are able to dance, sing, jump with nobody stopping you. You are doing things you love, your hobbies, your art, poetry, writing etc. Your mother is not stopping you, your spouse is not complaining. You see all of them standing outside this ball of life. You are happy and all by yourself. You cannot hear anybody through the ball, their voices are muted. You might think this could only be in my imagination or it’s just a fantasy altogether. But this is one of the best ways you can train your mind to remain calm in situations where you cannot have control on anybody’s behavior or attitude or even circumstances. This exercise is one of the best exercises of the mind training in NLP – Neuro linguistic programming. The art of programming your mind that directs your life to run according to the mind and it’s thoughts.
Think of this at your workplace as well, you might have some colleagues who poke fun at you all the time or are constantly discussing things that you are least interested in. You can actually choose to ignore them while you are actually focussing on your work. Some people find joy in over hearing talks being discussed in another group at office and then create a chain of gossips and events. You can choose to stay out of it in the same manner like it did not happen around you at all. Think about it. You have your deadlines and priority items to close and you have a noisy environment around. You don’t prefer music to shut the noise out but focus is all what you want. At that moment, think of yourself in the ball, working all by yourself. You see your colleagues sitting out of the ball chattering, laughing etc but you find your peace with the walls of the ball blocking out all the noise. This really is effective and helps. I follow it myself when I’m busy doing things I need to focus on.
Let me share with you another aspect of my life that is not known to many. My mother has extreme OCD, a condition where a person who is obsessed with cleaning, gets agitated when she does not do her chores or if someone else does it or ruins her process of keeping the house clean. I do my bit on a daily basis and during weekends and if I seek her permission and the green signal comes, I get to do the chores myself. But if there is a delay due to oversleeping she misses her chores, her brain triggers alarming signs of restlessness and disappointment on not performing her work that gets her agitated during those times. This side of her is incurable, we tried every way to help her come out of it but for a person with OCD, they have a justification to the cleanliness mentality they have and if they find people opposing it, they become aggressive. The same happens with my mother. I try my best to cheer her up, take her out for dinner or a movie , let her rest during the day etc with the hope that she’s able to balance it with her other times which she devotes to her chores.
I try to create a world for her apart from the world she is stuck in, plus I have a world of my own when I feel helpless in such situations. It upsets me to see my mother go through this and at the same time I miss the fact that all other ladies focus on their family, bondings etc but here I long for mom to spend time with me. Her OCD is my biggest enemy or probably the step child she gives a lot of love to and that makes me jealous. I’ve seen how mothers daughters bond over food, parlour, travel etc. My mother longs to bond with me too, but she never says, which is why I make it a point to have my weekends at home with my parents plus the meals so that we spend good times together. When I am dejected with my mother and her work, I play old Hindi songs to keep her mood light, I create a world of my own with my journal writing, reading, poetries or blogging or Office work etc that keeps my mind at calm for the fact that her OCD disturbs me quite frequently putting me in a bad mood and that results in some arguments with her in which I always end up losing and I have no say over her stubbornness and her work. It is important to have a sound family environment where you can live, love, laugh. Though I cease such occasions due to such circumstances , I try to create them on my own for my family.
Your passions keep you going – be it dancing, painting, poetry writing etc. For me my passions are like second life to me. When I’m really upset with situations around me, I’m get depressed and I cease to talk to anybody. I switch off my phone, remove my WhatsApp profile picture etc. Really silly stuffs but that is how I tend to withdraw from people and environment. But when I’m reading my journal or writing my blog or even penning down some thoughts in the form of poetry I’m in my own world. A world where I find peace and solace in myself, in my writings. The same way how my college friend finds solace in her paintings. It is important to keep this fire in you of your passions and hobbies. Definitely puts you on a different high. It gives you unmatched happiness. When I am working on my blog, I look for a peaceful environment – preferably my balcony. I’m just writing my heart out with no end to it. There have been times when my blogs are incomplete and I need good endings or further more information to be added, I get very restless. Sometimes the feeling is like I’m not giving my best or not finding the time for it. When I’m really satisfied and good to go with my finishing touches, I cannot wait to publish. When I publish my blogs, I’m at great relief, probably the similar feeling when a pregnant woman delivers her baby (Hahaha! Almost). That’s the joy I get when I write. My world are my writings that put me on a different level. They give me the ultimate happiness.
On a television stand up comedy show, I came across an Indian army special where the organisers called the Indian army specially for that episode and I came across a different side to these army men where at one side they are protecting our nation in extreme weather and political conditions and on the other side, they have their own hobbies that they keep rekindling to keep themselves going even in the tough times. An army jawan resorts to singing when he is with his fellow mates on the border. They sing dance and enjoy even in those extreme regions where there is no proper shelter, no network, no televisions or radios and no ways to contact their families. Think of them how they have to be mentally strong to live in those regions, being both mentally and physically strong. This is how they keep themselves going , by creating a life of their own.
Think about your life, your circumstances – something you have no control on but you have to live with it. Take it in your stride, yet begin to make peace with it, see the good side to it and also pull out those dancing shoes or paint brush or divert your mind to do something better for yourself , for your happy environment. This is very much needed. Try doing new things you have never attempted,this way you are able to shift your focus from things you cannot control to things you can control.
Life can be harsh on you but you don’t lose yourself everytime. You have to keep going stronger no matter what the situations or circumstances are. The only way you can keep yourself up is to focus your mind on the good, keeping calm and shifting your attention to solutions rather than problems.
Hope this gives you the right signal to look at the bright side of life.