2020 has been the worst year we’ve ever seen. All we can do, is hope for better and that becomes are fuel to go through everyday. We have done so many things this year along side facing some. We got abundant of time to work on ourselves and our passions. We finished some things that were on hold for a while because of lack of time! Yet, we learnt the most important thing in 2020.
Acceptance is the biggest lesson & a milestone one can achieve. 2020 has come with innumerable lessons, and one of the most important one is Acceptance.
Acceptance of Circumstances –
Accepting that what we have is enough and we must not waste resources. Accepting that things are temporary and good times don’t last forever. So doesn’t bad times. Accepting the situations around us, how we wasted valuable moments with family before, and now we’re getting some. How some people are losing their families and we’re some lucky few to have them safe. SO we embrace it.
Acceptance of People’s Choices –
People are sharing things, opinions, feelings, stories and their vulnerability, insecurities and self-love stories too. And we’re getting inspired to adapt something from them. In the world of trollers and shamers, most of the people are accepting the truth and sharing positive thoughts. Accepting the love and kindness we can spread is one of the biggest highlights of the year.
Acceptance of Time –
Good times don’t last and so doesn’t bad ones. So we’ve learnt this year. Although, bad ones seem to last longer for now, but we know there’s hope and this is going to end soon and we’ll accept the things in newer world. We will embrace the good times better from now on.
Acceptance of Judgements-
Let’s face it. Most of the people are spending their time on the internet and there are billion types of people. Like the ones who troll and the ones who troll the trollers, and the one who troll the trolling the trollers, because freedom of speech! But, at least, the fights stay online. We learn newer perspectives and realities from all around the world. With that, we accept everyone without judging them.
Acceptance of Love-
With so many inspiring stories of people doing so much in this tough scenario, just melts our hearts. Standing up for each other, sending love to people who are away, calling and texting to just say ‘hello’, keeping track of each other’s mental healths and most of all spending time with family and ourselves and meeting our trueselves.
Acceptance of Power of Togetherness-
We’re standing up for people, from all around the world. Be it the #blacklivesmatter movement, the #lebanondisaster , #mentalhealthawareness or #covidcases around the globe. We’re speaking up, and witnessing the power of togetherness. This going to make us all stronger as human beings, more kind, compassionate and empathetic.
Acceptance of Passions & Dreams-
We’re all going back to the things we loved to do. Painting, dancing, singing, writing, cooking, baking and what not! We get astounded everyday with one thing or the other and I thank THE INTERNET for that. We’re learning more than ever. We’ve accepted that learning is growing and now that we have the time, we’re getting on it with online courses and workshops. We’re accepting that if we don’t learn NOW, we’ll never do.
Acceptance of Life, As It Goes On-
People are losing their loved ones and some people are safe with theirs. Call it fate , luck or destiny, life is uncertain and we’re accepting it. With Covid or any other reason, people are losing lives but other people are giving birth too. We’ve lost so many great artists this year. The most loved, most followed people. We’re so damn sad about it, but it’s the truth and we’re accepting to move on and pray for a better tomorrow and in that, we’re together.
Acceptance of Mistakes-
We’ve done a lot of damage to ourselves and to others in the past and this year has made us accept everything. This year we accepted to move on and let the mistakes stay where they’re- in the past. Accepting the defeat is also a victory and it’s the one thing required to live a meaningful life. Embrace the failures and learn the lessons.
Acceptance of Ourselves-
In the end, what matters is – OUR WILL. How strong we’ve become or how weak we are. We matter the most in our lives and accepting this has been a major change in so many lives this year. Taking time off from the internet, friends or doing certain things, for our own peace of mind. Accepting mistakes and learning from them. Falling in love and getting rejected, losing the job and starting to work on a dream project – so many things happening in so many lives. But in the end- we accept that what matters the most is still there and that makes all the difference.
For three long years, she lived alone. Away from friends, family and herself… On some days she met people. Colleagues, friends on rare weekends and family on more rare ones. She’d always wanted to live on her own. To experience the taste of independence. She’d found out so much about herself and life altogether. She even made friends with nature, craft, art, anxiety & depression. Some days were amazing, full of light but on some days, darkness never stopped.
She tried damn hard to fight with her inner demons, with loneliness and with herself, but mostly it never worked. Then, she started to journal her thoughts, her dark feelings and how much she hated living alone. Though, she couldn’t talk about it with anyone. Because whenever she met someone, they all used to say the same thing, “Wow!! You live alone? That’s awesome man!”… No it’s not. After a point, it’s the worst thing ever.
Things got better after two years. Depression was kind of over but anxiety was at its peak. Anxiety attacks were as frequent as salon visits. But she kept quiet, put a smile on her face, everyday. No one knew what she was going through. No one knows. She just wrote in her diary. Sometimes talked to her best friends, who helped her through it.
Whenever her parents used to visit, she never mentioned her battles of the heart, soul and mind. Inspite of having such amazing people in her life, she just couldn’t talk about it! She used laugh with people, who laughed at her because she felt bad for living alone. “You are sad, cause you live alone? That’s not a reason to be depressed, you’re just overthinking.”
Nobody knows what it feels like, until it happens with them. Loneliness can do the worst things to a person, tree or an animal. If you plant a tree in an isolated field without any other trees or plants, it’ll die. If you leave a dog alone in the park, it’ll go crazy and so will a human. And on most days, she did die and then lived the next.
It was the beginning of the year 2020 and she was alright. She moved in with her parents in April. She was thrilled that she didn’t have to live alone anymore. She didn’t have to worry about dying from some imaginary disease. She could just sleep all day now. This went on or five months. She was extremely content and happy for living with her parents.
One day, her parents had to go out of town for a few days but she didn’t want to go. She thought, this could be a nice chance to recharge my ‘loner’ self. She wanted to live alone. Because whenever she’d go to another city, she needs to be prepared for it. So her parents left and she was occupied in work. Until afternoon, she didn’t do much. She felt this heaviness in her head. It wasn’t a headache. But the head was drowning, it felt like.
As being a self-aware human, she tried contemplating the reasons behind it. Less sleep – Yes. Eyes Strain- Yes. Too much brain work- Yes. All these reasons are totally normal to feel heavy-headed. But her conclusion was this – I feel this uneasiness – not just in my head but in my whole body. I don’t feel like doing anything. I feel tired and uncomfortable. This is all because after living alone for three long years, I had the best time last five months and now I am alone again. It’s all the side-effect of loneliness… It has creeped in once again, within a few hours of activation!
All she can think now is, how dangerous it is that as much she hates living alone, but loves living with parents but hates living with anyone else but her parents, she’s doomed forever!
Disclaimer: If you’re going through a tough time, I suggest you take a break from the internet. Be safe and don’t over-think. Do deep breathing.
A friend shared this on Instagram:
I was blown away because amidst of all the talk about mental health awareness & suicide prevention, I haven’t seen anyone address this! The emotional abuse that triggers mental distress in the first place! I thank the person who made this and gave me a point to point out, with reasoning & facts, that how in daily life, we may trigger mental distress or how we are being emotionally abused.
Understanding Emotional Abuse
To give you context & I am sure you guys will relate to these instances on some level. A person, who forces you to not talk to any of your friends or is over possessive is Emotional Abuse. A person, forcing their decisions on you and YOU, out of love are happily accepting them is Self Emotional Abuse. You can say ‘NO’, yet, you can’t. The toxic relationships we know are toxic because of ABUSE. The toxic friendships are into existing because of Mental Distress. You don’t like the place where you work, because the people are emotionally distressing you without even knowing.
Comedian Zakir Khan said in one of his stand-ups, “Fun is because of people, the place doesn’t matter. We need people. Our people. We’ll be fine even in hell.” That’s why relationships end, because the people don’t resonate with our emotional intelligence. Just like Intellectual Quotient (I.Q.), there is an Emotional Quotient (E.Q.) in us as well. The higher the E.Q., the more you are emotionally aware about your behaviours and decisions in life. It’s simply can be understood as ‘Self-Awareness’.
You might have noticed that some people have fewer friends, some people are introverts, some people who are extroverts, choose to be ‘Selective Extroverts’ because their E.Q. is high and they know what & who can emotionally distress them, so they are open to their circle of people. That doesn’t mean that introverts are highly self-aware, some aren’t, yet, it is believed, they mostly are as they spend most of their time with themselves.
The LIFE ADVISORY BOARD, also known as Life Coaches, often suggest for us to spend some ALONE TIME. Reason is simple- Self Awareness. The more you spend time with yourself, the more you’ll get to know yourself. Initially, it’s hard because it’s exhausting, can be lonely and can cause depression & anxiety, yet, the silver lining is that once you start living with yourself, you’ll understand what’s good for you and what’s not. Who’s right for you to be in your life and who’s not. I’ve always suggested ‘Journaling’ as one of the best practices to become self-aware. It’s one of the best methods to understand our emotional sides.
When it comes to emotional abuse, I am sure when we over-think, over-work, over-pamper someone or even over- agree with people we over-care about, we feel anxious, tired, caged or trapped, respectively. Those are the initial signs of emotional abuse. So, another method to say NO to emotional abuse is also to learn to say ‘NO’. Consent is not meant ‘just for sex, it’s also meant for other things in life. Like YOURSELF. The decisions in YOUR life, should be YOURS. The space YOU want for YOURSELF, should be there. The break YOU need from people, shouldn’t be misunderstood.
It’s not just Self-Love or Self-Care. It’s YOUR LIFE and YOU need peace of mind, heart and soul to live it well and to be happy. And we all know, We can’t make people we love happy, if we ourselves aren’t. So, for your own sake, take a stand for yourself. It doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you human.
The Power Of “Standing-Up”
Apart from getting a head rush, there goes a lot of thinking into standing up & standing up for yourself. (Lame jokes are allowed in serious articles). Amidst of the pandemic, so many personal issues have surfaced, which were being either ignored or were invisible to a layman’s eyes. Mental Health being the top on that list resulting in suicides, domestic violence & more.
In India, 77 % cases of domestic violence have been reported, which is way more than they used to. Social Media have had an extra impact in this regard. It’s sad and outrageous that it’s happening, but it’s commendable that people are standing up for others and for themselves. People refuse ill treatment which is a strong message for everyone and the power of standing up. This power doesn’t only makes us stronger, it makes the society a better society in whole. When people support each other, incredible things happen, so if you notice any form of abuse around you – Speak Up.
What Can We Do
Just like I have been trying to finish this article for a week, slow and steady, we get to the finish line. All we need, is a little push. We can make this world a better place, not just by earning enough, but by lifting each other up as well.
As the pandemic has shown us, how much we need to work on ourselves personally, we can start with being more compassionate and kind with each other. Kindness is the best gift to be given and we all can be kind, it’s not something you learn to be, it’s something you’re born with. Embrace it. Not everyone can be an empath but everyone can be kind. Just being nice to people is good enough. Be nice, smile at people, if you see someone crying in public, hug them or talk to them. You don’t know, but your ONE kind gesture makes a HUGE difference in someone’s life.
Disclaimer: I am not motivating you to waste your time and be sad about it later. I am telling you to take a break. Basically, I am telling you to waste your time in a more decent way, where you also learn things. I don’t know, keep reading .
Let’s get straight to the point. Who doesn’t like to just lie down, watch movies, read books and eat, sleep, repeat? Yet, our brain is trained to be productive. Our brain is active even when we’re asleep! Talk about being a workaholic! But we must not compete with the brain but with the zeal of it. Being a creative person is exhausting as it is. On top of that is being humongously productive! How can we cope with both, all the time! We need a break. A break to break the cycle of stress and brain-drainage.
You can break the glass ceiling, only when you’ve broken stress!
I have been trying to punish myself by worrying about not being able to create anything. Not with words, music or my podcast. Nothing. You can say, I am lacking inspiration or I am not motivated enough, procrastinating more ecetera ecetera. Yet, I am not going to let you tell me that. Nor should you tell this to yourself. You’re having none of those. You just need a break.
With break, I don’t mean a vacation and ditching social media. Firstly, vacation is impossible, for who knows how long and secondly, I don’t believe in a social media detox. Because in my opinion, it’s quite stupid. Not being aware of what’s going on in the world, especially in 2020, is your lacking as a human being. So, social media is a great way to learn things. But if you still need a detox, may be you aren’t using it the right way.
With break, I mean – Mental Break. A break where you worry less, think less and don’t force yourself either. Basically, waste time but with dignity.
How do we waste time with dignity?
Wasting time often includes- Daydreaming, sleeping more than required, watching movies, scrolling down to social media most of the day, eating more because you’re bored and doing nothing. But wait, are you really wasting your time?
Daydreaming? It’s a part of creative process, so you’re actually working.
Sleeping more? You haven’t slept like that in a long time, you deserve longer naps.
Watching movies & everything else? You’re forming new perspectives, learning about new topics and so, you’re collecting content.
Social Media Scrolls? You’re staying updated. Period.
Eating More? That’s a human need.
Doing Nothing? Your brain is recharging for more work , whenever you’re ready.
Now, with adding some more things, your wasting time becomes a power.
Reading- See, I know what you’re going to say! Reading is boring, it’s hard, I can’t concentrate blah blah blah!! Those are just excuses my friend. If you REALLY want to read, you’ll stop making excuses and start reading.
I read somewhere,
“If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found the right book.”
Start finding the right book and read, sleep, eat, repeat.
Spending time with your heart- Meaning, do what makes you happy. Like for me, I read, sing, learn to play an instrument and spend time with friends and family (virtually). This makes me happy and the pressure of writing and creating becomes little. So, do what makes your heart sing.
Talk to more people- I have been talking to many new people on different social media platforms. Like the people, who I knew, but never got the chance to really know them. You know what it did? It made me more compassionate, empathetic and literally happy.
Because we’re all struggling with one thing or the other, it’s better to do it together. Right?
What happens when we waste time like that?
“That’s the POWER of wasting time. It just helps us realise what’s important and that even with all the toxicity in the world, there is so much more to life & we just need to live it right to feel it.”