....and all that jazZ

Monday, March 30, 2009

Emotional Independence

From the Warrior of Light Online:

“At the beginning of our life and again when we get old, we need the help and affection of others. Unfortunately, between these two periods of our life, when we are strong and able to look after ourselves, we don’t appreciate the value of affection and compassion. As our own life begins and ends with the need for affection, wouldn’t it be better if we gave compassion and love to others while we are strong and capable?”

The above words were said by the present Dalai Lama. Really, it is very curious to see that we are proud of our emotional independence. Evidently, it is not quite like that: we continue needing others our entire life, but it is a “shame” to show that, so we prefer to cry in hiding. And when someone asks us for help, that person is considered weak and incapable of controlling his feelings.

There is an unwritten rule saying that “the world is for the strong”, that “only the fittest survive.” If it were like that, human beings would never have existed, because they are part of a species that needs to be protected for a long period of time (specialists say that we are only capable of surviving on our own after nine years of age, whereas a giraffe takes only six to eight months, and a bee is already independent in less than five minutes).

We are in this world, I, for my part, continue – and will always continue – depending on others. I depend on my wife, my friends and my publishers. I depend even on my enemies, who help me to be always trained in the use of the sword.

Clearly, there are moments when this fire blows in another direction, but I always ask myself: where are the others? Have I isolated myself too much? Like any healthy person, I also need solitude and moments of reflection.

But I cannot get addicted to that.

Emotional independence leads to absolutely nowhere – except to a would-be fortress, whose only and useless objective is to impress others.

Emotional dependence, in its turn, is like a bonfire that we light.

In the beginning, relationships are difficult. In the same way that fire is necessary to put up with the disagreeable smoke – which makes breathing hard, and causes tears to pour down one’s face. However, once the fire is alight, the smoke disappears and the flames light up everything around us – spreading warmth, calm, and possibly making an ember pop out to burn us, but that is what makes a relationship interesting, isn’t that true?

For today, lean on someone. Let someone console you. Open your arms out so someone may hug you. When they do, hug them back and let go :) !!


I am tired. I am exhausted. I could not haul myself out of bed this morning. i woke up at 9 am on a bright Monday morning. The first thought that crossed my mind was "Crap, I should be at work". I then realised how much my whole body ached. I pulled myself out, brushed my teeth made myself a cup of tea. By now I was shivering. I turned on the heat, wore a sweatshirt wrapped a blanket and called in sick. Checked my email out of a compulsive habit. Called mom. Gave some gyaan to my sister who is not a baby but i insist on treating her like one, because I can. Curled up on the couch. At some point I got hungry so I ate some cereal. I tried calling coolboy. By now, my heart and mind have given up also. I cried like a rotten little child because Coolboy would not pick up his phone and I was oh-so-miserable.

I am a spoilt, conceited, self absorbed, almost 30 year old. Who bails out on a few weeks of stress and hard work.

Today i took off my mask of cheer. Its sunny outside, but I am going to sit and wallow in self pity while in the real world outside; people who don't have the luxury of choice, of calling in sick, of collapsing, of feeling blue, of feeling feverish on account of physical exhaustion; people who have motivation, goals, more spunk than I, more courage than I; real people wear their brave faces with big smiles and face the challenges.

Loneliness is never the same. Some days it is because you feel weak, incompetent, inadequate. Or you feel vulnerable because you are tired of holding your guard up. Sometimes, because you are sitting under a sky full of stars all by yourself, otherdays because you know no body can help you clean the mess the you made, often because no one can share guilt and most often of all the loss of something and/or someone you love dearly, it can never be articulted well enough for anyone else to know.

Today I am going to cave in and just be. Tomorrow I will get up and live again.