A collection of write-ups from experiences of life that inspire, empower, influence & trigger positive values, habits & mindsets.
Break Free of Conditioning
The seeds of comparison are sown in our minds right from the day we are born. The initial comparison starts from ‘Your nose resembles your granddad’s nose or you look like your dad. You are not at all sharp in studies like your sister. Your dad wanted you to be a doctor or by your age, I had 2 kids who were going to school’, the endless expectation of well-wishers.
We also desire while looking at others, ‘I wish I could be as rich and famous like that superstar. Then everyone would want to look like me, dress like me, smile like me, flaunt like me, spend like me, etc’. I am sure each one of us has had one superstar or celebrity (hero or heroine) in mind, whom we worship like that. I grew up listening to my parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives saying, “You should be studying like the topper in class. You should play like the sportsperson, earn like this, do this, do that…” I realized somewhere that everyone had their own standards against whom I was constantly compared to. Sometimes I was comparing myself to others in my mind. Why do we always want to imitate others? We have been taught to compare and we do it directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously.
We are comparing and conditioning ourselves to be somebody, which we are not. In my 2nd year of engineering, one of my classmates was not at all doing well in studies. When I discussed with him, he revealed he was not interested in engineering and wanted to become a journalist. His parents were against the idea of him becoming a journalist and pushed him into engineering by paying a huge sum of money as donation. His heart was in journalism and he was being pushed to be an engineer. He simply hated doing the experiments in the lab. I could see his struggle and could relate to him when he failed in his studies. As I became closer to many other classmates, it was startling to know most of them didn’t want to study engineering at all. They had different dreams and aspirations. However, most of them were pushed by the parents into the stream of engineering. Few of them did manage to go ahead as they had no other choice, whereas some of them could not push themselves ahead.
Our intelligence gets destroyed when we imitate others. The moment we compare ourselves with somebody else, we lose our natural potential. We can never be happy in such a situation nor be clear and transparent as we lose clarity and vision. Borrowed identity from others does not work. We start feeling unworthy as we feel we are living in somebody’s cage. When we are comparing ourselves, we are disrespecting ourselves too. The conditioning has become our prison. Of course, our parents, friends, and family do everything with the best of intention to create us. They do not realize the damage they are causing as we become accustomed to catering to expectations. This false identity is what we think is our real identity. We have to break free of this conditioning to touch our real selves.
Isn’t somebody always more beautiful than us, taller than us, more musical than us? We are always burdening ourselves if we go on comparing. Could we give ourselves a break and break away from the scale of measurement of other’s expectations?
Can we “just be our self, however we are”. What does being ourselves mean?
Just listen to the whispers of our own being. Just ask ourselves “what I want?” Without having the pressure of pleasing anyone but ourselves, we need to ask, “What is that longing within me? What is it that I yearn for from the deepest core? Do I have enough time and space for allowing me to be myself?”
“Would it be possible for me to go and stand in front of the mirror, look at myself, give the most genuine smile to myself and feel every nerve, every cell, every fiber say, ‘I love you just the way you are’.” Then I know myself.
Start fresh from the very beginning again if needed and the energy of intelligence gets released immensely. Live your life according to your own nature, your feelings. Each day brings its own challenges. Then life has its newness, a flow, freshness, and so many surprises. Learn to drop the old and accept the new just like a child. It is a blessing to the heart, which makes life a joy, a celebration, a festivity, a dance with laughter. This evokes a sense of humor from within. It makes a person capable of loving and sharing. It is up to each one of us to choose.
After my own self-discovery of myself, I would want to be reborn again and again to every moment of joy and not like a prisoner cast in a mold of comparison and expectations.
There is an inner guide within each of us. All we do is listen to the voice and trust the guide within us. All that is beautiful and valuable, meaningful and significant comes from within to trigger the sparks of delight within us.
Note: Laughter helps to dissolve all the conditioning, all the training, all seriousness. You can come out of it for a moment. When you laugh, become alert about how relaxed you are.
This is an excerpt from the book Erupt With Joy authored by Ms. Savitha Hosamane [available on Amazon.com & Amazon.in]
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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 26th May 2021.