What is over is over! Move on…

Each new beginning results from something ending.
Separations. Break-ups. Showdowns. Desperate but unsuccessful attempts to control people, situations or events. Whatever. They are all over when youstop responding to them. They are over when youdecide they are over.
Understand that whoever caused you pain and agony has accomplished whatever he or she set out to do. The event is over and out. By spew venom over the episode, by continuing to direct anger against the person who caused you the hurt, you are only hurting yourself. Sometimes, it may not be just a hurt from a word or an act that someone said or did. It may be from a separation that the pain, the grief ensues. And you want to avenge the person’s audacity to have betrayed your trust, that too with such impunity. You seek justice. And your entire being is consumed by this mad urge to get ‘even’. Because you feel used and discarded __ as if you were some tissue paper. The cocktail of hate, anger and grief can be depressing, debilitating, lethal. Yet there is a way out. You, and only you, can draw a line; and decide not to continue with stretching this episode and story any more. It is best to remember that dwelling on what is past__including the prime, good times, of a relationship, and pining for those times all over again __ is futile.

It is also important to remember that seasons change, people change, relationships change. Each new beginning results from something ending. So what is over is over. Get up. Dust yourself. Move on. And go on…living…

You suffer only when you partner with your grief

How can anyone forgive when in grief and when still mourning the betrayal?
It is possibly true for all of us that we have all been, at some time or the other, let down by people whom we trusted and loved deeply. It is always numbing to discover such a let-down. You will feel beaten and betrayed. The after-taste of the episode will continue to haunt you for a long, long time. At all such times, remember this: People do what they do because they think they are right in doing it that way. So, there’s no point in either talking sense to them in such a time that they are gripped by their own stupor or in grieving over their behavior. The best approach is to take the one that Jesus took on the Cross – “Forgive them O! Lord, because they know not, what they do!”
You will perhaps argue that this is easier said than done. How can anyone move on when the heart aches, when the mind is lamenting why such a thing has happened in the first place?
I have learned that it is fine to be a fool sometimes in Life. A fool is one who doesn’t know anything. He or she is not worldy-wise. So, he or she, will continue to trust despite the evidence pointing to the contrary. The fact that you stand betrayed points to your having been a fool. So, simple. Continue being a fool. If you find forgiveness difficult, just continue being trusting or being vulnerable. A few more times people will continue to hurt you. But they will soon give up when they realize that you are refusing to get hurt. People love, in a sadistic sense, to see that their actions, in this case negatively, impact their target audience. When you subtly, through your, even if feigned, foolishness, deny them that pleasure, they will cease to persist with their designs.
The other case for ‘moving on’ and not ‘retaliating’ is that the world is already divided. By several zillion factors. If it is a close friend or relation, perhaps from the family, that has let you down, your sulking or wanting to avenge, is only going to divide your already fractured world further. It is only going to make the distances between you both grown wider, and often, render them unbridgeable. It takes two hands to clap. Suppose you don’t offer yours, there will be no thunder. And hence no issue. Or at least a complicated situation will not get further confounded with your participation.
Here’s an interesting story that came my way.
“In the forest there is a banana plant with its smooth wide leaves next to the thorny berry tree. The wind causes both to dance and to sway. The thorns of the berry tree rip the leaves of the banana plant. 

Who is to be blamed? The wind for causing them to sway?

Or the banana for growing close to the berry tree?

Or the berry tree for having thorns? 

The sage wonders, and realizes that if he did not exist, these notions of who to blame would not exist. Only humans blame and begrudge and resent, because we can imagine an alternate reality. 

The rest of Nature go about their own business.”

So, let go. Go about your own business as if nothing’s happened. In a betrayal, as in any other situation involving pain, you suffer only because you choose to partner with your grief. Choose instead to be a fool and go on trusting or choose to believe as if you do not exist. Know that there is no alternate reality. It is what it is. This the only way you can be happy, and untouched, in the wake of the pain that follows let-downs!

How do you pick yourself up when you have been felled by Life?

The only way forward from a crisis is to get up, gather yourself and move on. 
Many a time, Life deals with you in the most brutal ways. And before you know it you have been socked and have been left devastated with the turn of events. How do you pick yourself up when you have been felled by Life? Well, there are no easy ways in such a situation. You have to take Life as it comes, one day at a time, one step at a time.
When a tragedy or a crisis strikes you – death of a loved one, loss of business or money, a serious health challenge, a heart-wrenching break-up – you feel numbed by the event. All you are asking repeatedly is “why” and “why me”? But there are no answers to any questions in Life. So, you can spend time mourning and grieving – and feeling miserable – or you can move on. Now, there is no problem really with grief. It is after all a normal emotion that follows a loss. In fact, when you encounter grief, don’t try to suppress it. Allow it to rise within you. Feel the grief, hold it, let it hang around and watch it as it first rises and then recedes. When you suppress it, when you resist it, it will persist. But if you let it be, it will fade away. In the aftermath of a crisis, when the grief begins to subside, be aware and pick yourself up again. It will appear to be difficult initially. But when you choose to move on, it will happen more seamlessly than you can imagine.
For instance, just to cheer you up, when someone asks you out for a coffee or suggests a book or watching a movie, don’t say no. In the beginning it may appear that you are “indulging in being happy” while you need to be “clinging on to grief”. But allow yourself that indulgence. Don’t feel guilty. The truth is that your feeling sad is not going to undo your Life. In fact, nothing in Life can be undone. So, to move on, after you have been dealt a Life-changing blow, you must first be ready and willing, and then you must actually, physically, move. Moving on is not a feel-good philosophy, it involves a lot of practical, doable, must-do, actions.

But it all begins with believing that there is a lot of Life after a crisis. What you think is the end of the road, almost always, is the beginning of a new journey.  When you move on, when the scenery changes, as Life goes on, you will find that there is much more to Life than just clinging on to the dead past. 

If someone has a problem with you, whose problem is it?

If someone sees you as their problem, it is, seriously, their problem – not yours!

A friend called me to share how his brother has been making Life miserable for him in their family business. Although a formal separation has been gone through between them, my friend’s brother is insinuating and charging his sibling with transgressions and non-compliance. “I have no problem with him. And I have no problem with the share of the business that I have been left with to manage. I feel very disturbed that my brother has a problem with me,” lamented my friend.
Now, this could be anybody’s story. People often have problems with other people. And if you happen to be, like my friend, with whom someone has a problem, you too may want to learn to simply ignore it. What can you do if someone has a problem with you? At best you can hear their point of view and if there’s something to learn, something to unlearn and something to change in you, you can go to work on it. But what if someone continues to have a problem with you despite your best efforts and intentions to appease them? More important, what if you are someone’s problem – not what you do or what you don’t do? Well, the most sensible response must be to shrug off that viewpoint saying ‘too bad’ and move on. It is when you lack that discerning ability, and instead grieve over why you are being perceived wrongly, that you suffer.

When you grieve and suffer over such inconsequential opinions, you sometimes end up becoming a problem for yourself. And that’s such a sad thing to happen. So, develop a more evolved and mature view of Life. You can only control what you think and do. You cannot control what others think and do. So, if someone’s insists on having a problem with you, let them have the pleasure of keeping it that way! Why work overtime to displease or dissatisfy them?

Don’t be a bad student – learn from what people teach you

Each person who comes into your Life is a teacher.
She or he is teaching you through not just what they know, but through their behavior. Some people teach you why you must never trust them. They have taught you this by repeatedly refusing to live up to the trust you placed in them. Eventually, you may have reached a point when you would have said that you can’t trust this person anymore. And yet you would have given this person one more chance. When your trust was betrayed one more time, you move from the can’t-trust to the must-never-trust zone. Please know, there is nothing wrong with you if you come to this conclusion. And there is nothing inhuman about this stance.
To trust humankind and Life is indeed the best way to live. But to have your self-esteem trampled upon__that’s precisely what happens when your trust is betrayed__is foolishness. Remember if that person is a teacher, just as each person in your Life is, then you are being a bad student if you are not learning from your teacher! You don’t have to hate the person though. Just don’t trust. When you don’t trust, there can be no relating, leave alone a relationship. You can still know each other and not be in a relationship. Now, even if this is a parent, sibling, child, or spouse, it is imminently possible to stay this way. Because at the end of the day, the person is simply not worthy of your trust. And the person has taught you, through repeated patterns of behavior, that she or he is not trustworthy.

So, please simplify your Life. If you have been let down repeatedly, know that you have a right to choose not to trust someone anymore. Exercise that right. Live your Life in peace and not in grief. Yet live leaving that person alone. Don’t fight. Don’t provoke. Don’t grieve. Just live and let live! 

Realizations of a “scumbag”

Don’t take what people have to say about you seriously. Better still, don’t take yourself seriously either!  
The other day someone I know called me a scumbag (per an online dictionary that I referred to, it is a noun and means ‘a contemptible or objectionable person’; ‘someone with poor judgment and no class’) in a closed-group message thread. I smiled at the charge. And decided not to respond.
Just three years ago, I had physically prevented this person from drinking and driving. He had then objected to me intruding on his privacy, personal preference (to drink and drive) and judgment (to know what is right for him). I had tried explaining to him that I only had his best interest in mind. But, in the same closed-group message thread, he had cried foul. Back then I was pained that I could not get him to see where I was coming from. I apologized for my behavior. But the matter never got resolved and, in fact, as he continues to see it, the “damage to our relationship is irrevocable”.
But this time, when in another context, this person referred again to the three-year-old episode and called me a scumbag I was unperturbed. I was neither pained. Nor was I keen to avenge his sentiment. And here’s why I chose to be so: after all, this person had a right to his view – if he found what I had done to him contemptible and objectionable, if he had found my judgment poor and for all those reasons, if he perhaps found me lacking in class and not worthy of his association, he definitely was entitled to his opinion. In essence, the best and the only thing I could do was to respect it.
Truly, the lesser importance you give to what others have to say about you, the more peaceful you will be. Developing this attitude need not mean that you must be thick-skinned, brazen and egotistic. It only means that you have learnt to respect an opinion which is divergent from yours, that you have stopped sweating the small stuff and that you realize the value in letting go and moving on!
The reason why we want to avenge people’s uncharitable (per our view, not theirs!) sentiments with a how-dare-you is that we place undue importance on ourselves. A how-dare-you is nothing but your ego erupting and manifesting itself as anger and intolerance – often even as physical violence – towards whoever you are disagreeing with.

Actually, you need not place so much importance on yourself. I have learnt this the hard way – from my own experience. There will be times in Life when people will not be willing to understand you or appreciate what you have to say. In such times, the best response is to not respond, not clarify, certainly not avenge and to simply let go and move on. You can never control what people say or do. You cannot make them understand you if all they want is to interpret what you say. Respect their right to have an opinion even if you disagree with the opinion. Forgive them if you can. If you can’t do either, just remember this: whether you are called a scumbag or a cheat, whether you are called a liar or an opportunist, at the end of the day, you know who you really are. As long as you are true to yourself, and are happy being who you are, don’t sweat over what others have to say!