Be vulnerable. Be clueless. Don’t hide how you are feeling.
I watched ‘Talaash’ (2012, Reema Kagti, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor) again on TV last evening. In the movie, Roshni asks her husband Suraj an all important question: “Is it wrong to feel vulnerable and go find your own way of dealing with your vulnerability by doing what gives you peace, what gives you happiness?” They have lost their only son in an accident and both are groping in the dark – angry, grief-stricken and depressed. Roshni decides to wear her vulnerability on her sleeve, she talks openly about her helplessness while Suraj simmers in anger, self-pity and guilt. Now, which approach is right?
To me Roshni and Suraj are not fictional characters. They are just celluloid depictions of people like you and me, of ordinary folks who are stumbling along through Life.
Don’t you often find yourself not knowing what to do in Life? Life has hit you strong and square. You feel numbed, paralyzed and rudderless. Suddenly you are not living. You are merely existing. The chores go on – eating, cleaning, bathing, working, sleeping…whatever, but you are not present. You are lost in the dark abyss of how you are feeling. You see no light. You are blinded and held captive by your cluelessness. I have been there, so I know. I have felt exactly this way. And, through a lot of stumbling, standing up and falling again, and again, I have struggled and found a way out of this state. As in, I have not found solutions nor have I solved the problems I have. Even now, in Life, I don’t know what to do. But I do know that being vulnerable and not knowing what to do is not a sin. And sharing how you feel is not wrong. So my way out has been – wearing my Life on my sleeve!
I have learnt that you must act exactly the way you feel. When you feel low, don’t try to put on a brave front. Sit down and cry if it makes you feel better. Tell people around you how you feel. Don’t worry about being judged. If it makes you feel better, share your despondency, your cluelessness. How would you deal with someone who puts up a Facebook status that says, “I am feeling lost in Life.”? Wouldn’t you reach out, be empathetic and share some time with that person making him or her feel better? I can assure you that should you do the same – as in say that “I have a problem that I don’t know how to deal with” – people will open up their hearts and homes to you.
Many of us resist sharing our vulnerability because we think it is a big, bad, cruel world. The experience Vaani and I have had, over the last 8+ years, sharing our Life, situations and problems openly, has completely disproved this assumption. Every step of the way, we have been greeted only with compassion and love. I found that people love people who are like them – normal, vulnerable and who are dealing with pain with no methods or pretensions. So, I would never recommend hiding how you feel or running away from what makes you feel low or vulnerable. Not knowing what to do in some situations in Life is perfectly normal; it is part of being human. Trying to go against what’s a natural response to Life is what causes suffering and leads you to depression.
So, be guided by the feelings that you want to get rid of. Do whatever it takes to make you feel better. From my experience, I can assure you, telling the world how you feel, sharing your cluelessness, helps immensely. Because while our stories are dissimilar, there’s always someone who’s walked your path before, and who will always appear at the right time, to share a perspective, to hold your heart and to give you a warm hug!