To Believe It Or Not?

[Random Ramblings]

Do you always see the truth? How do you know that whatever you are believing in is really true? How do you know that the facts and beliefs you have based certain things of your life on are true? Does that make the concept of truth subjective?

Sometimes truths and lies no longer remain absolutes. They become a matter of choice. A choice whether to consider something as true or false. Sometimes this choice doesn’t stem from a careful consideration of facts, logical deductions or contemplations. It boils down to what makes you comfortable or makes it easier to live. There could be many things in play when you treat it as a matter of choice. Trust, denial, hope, emotions, convenience, ignorance, blind faith and maybe many more. We make truth a choice because deep inside we know that it has the potential to hurt us or harm us.  Put us through pain. And we are not strong enough to take it. That is when we start choosing what we want to believe in and convince ourselves that we picked the right thing.  Almost proving that “ignorance is bliss”. But this bliss is temporary and shallow. It just tricks us into thinking that we are happy.  It might be pricking somewhere deep inside, raising a tiny voice. But we choose to ignore it. We try to put a band-aid on it and pretend everything is good and pleasant.

It takes courage to see the reality and acknowledge it. It requires us to overcome the fear of losing whatever it is at stake because of this truth and sometimes it is one of the hardest things to do in life. We need to remember that truth is not an opinion. It is not something that demands convincing. It is just there. Whether we see it or not. In my opinion, it is better to be unhappy knowing the truth than to be experiencing happiness derived from a lie. Yes, this is definitely easier said than done.

But in the end, it is still a choice that we all have to make once in a while. And there is no escape.

Notes to self – "Chasing Happiness"

Some quick pointers to keep in mind when you really want to be happy. Happiness is a perception which can be as real or as deceptive you want it to be. It all boils down to the matter of choices. Choices that will make you happy. Choice of being happy. 

1) Happiness is not achieved by just day-dreaming about it. It requires the will to be happy. Creating the state of happiness doesn’t come off easy or naturally in the very first trial. It has to be earned and anything with value that demands to be earned, also demands effort, hard work and thought. Whether its just reading a book or a major lifestyle change, it takes will. Chase it. Its not that hard. Its not that far.
    2) Do not lie to yourself. Do not pretend to be happy or that things are fine. Do not go with the flow and act like a leaf in the wind. A is A and have the courage and wisdom to accept it and then the courage and will to change it. 
      3)Self-pity makes you comfortable with your misery. And once you are comfortable with your misery you will never get out of it.
        4) If you ever need a helping hand, there is one at the end of your arm.” So is the mind and the heart and the listening ear. Whatever you need to solve your problem, it is within you. If you have already thought about it hard and have not found a solution yet, think HARDER! Tinker with it or leave it alone for some time. You will find your way one way or the other.The world can do just so much. After a certain point, It will be a waste of your time and others trying to paste your problems everywhere and trying to find the solutions outside of you. Look inside! Its there…right there! Sooner you accept and learn, the better.
          5) Learn the lessons that life hands out to you and move on. Don’t dwell and don’t live in the past. It is not worth it.

            The World in Books.

            Reading a well-written story, be it be a short story or a novel, transports into another world. That world seems to be more real, more conceivable and much more comprehensible than the real world.
             This world is always there, the same way you left it the last time, the same way you imagined it the last time. It just waits for you to come back to it as and when you please to.
            There is a deep understanding about the mechanism of this world which you probably cannot enunciate but can feel every bit of it. You rarely have to ask a “why” for an event or a thought. Everything seems to just fit in and seems to be in the most logical sequence.
            It can drown you and yet you would have lived more in it than outside it.

            ( Experience drawn from The Fountainhead, The Atlas Shrugged and a few of other books which made a great story)


            (Disclaimer: There would be millions of passages and texts written on this topic and I do not intend to repeat/quote anything. This is all from my own learning, good or bad. This is not a complete article and doesn’t fully examine each aspect of the topic. Please bear with multiple occurrences of the word ‘expectations’ and its derivatives. No other word fit better.)

            Sometimes I wonder, why does it take a painful and sometimes even a long journey to understand something very basic and very out-there-in-your-face kind of a concept? Life’s lessons, as I would like to call them, have been preached by so many gurus, philosophies and religious scriptures for ages that using first hand experience to actually understand them is almost like re-inventing the wheel. But I think everyone has to go through that phase one time or the other in their own ways, in however manner their life tailors it to them, to actually understand and manifest life’s lessons. And learning two simple tenets that we are responsible for our own happiness and expectations that we have from others are the root cause for our pain – are among those concepts.

            Our expectations from our loved ones arise almost from our subconscious mind. We don’t even realize that we are expecting something, let alone questioning its rationality. We feel (yes, we feel) that this is something that this person should have done in some certain way but hasn’t done it. We keep wondering about why he/she has not done it or has done it in that certain way which essentially was not how we had wanted. We totally forget to check our own premise first. We almost never ask ourselves if we really need the other person to do that something for us? Is this ‘demand’ justified? Is it impossible for me to live if he/she can’t do it for me? Can I do the same for him/her? Have I done it? Do I deserve it?  Our subconscious mind totally skips this part. And that’s how we are trapped in the cobwebs of expectations and their fulfillment (or rather unfulfillment). We start feeling the pain and a sense of dissatisfaction starts gripping. Then we start questioning the worth of things around us, people around us, situations we are in. If not checked in early stages, this is a beautiful downward spiral to get on to reach an unsolvable mystery so entangled that you will need a lifetime or even more to figure it out. And all that while, still feeling that pain and dissatisfaction and asking yourself repeatedly that why am I not happy? Why can’t I feel it? What did I miss?

            Can you think of an answer at this point, when you face those questions for umpteenth time? Can you reflect back here and see what went wrong and where? Amidst the haystack of reasons that you see,assuming that you can still see, can you spot the small needle named ‘expectations’ here? I am not saying expectations are the only cause of pain. I am saying they definitely are one of the causes. I don’t even need to explain how expectations are intertwined with happiness. 

            Now imagine  you don’t expect anything. Then for one thing, you won’t get hurt that easily(You can guess why). And if he/she does something positive, you will be happy because that went above your “expectations” as you were at expectation=0. So if the other person fulfills even expectation=1, you will be happy because now expectation = 1>0. But if you have expectation=10, then even if the person delivers a  9.9 you wont be happy because it didn’t reach 10. It is still not that 10! That difference leads to a void!  Accumulate these voids for long and that kicks in that downward spiral. In my view and definition, this holds true for the kind of people who believe in absolutes. For the “everything or nothing” variety.  Its 0 or 10. I am not sure how the “something is better than nothing” kind of people will deal with it. But the EON people are not designed to recognize and appreciate the in-between numbers. To be able to do that they need to learn and practice and the other people need to have patience and teach them. But the chances of that are highly situational.

            So don’t you think that a better way to be happy is freeing yourself from the burden of your own expectations?  All of these do not contradict another basic principle of happiness- effective communication. You should and could convey to the other person that this is what you expect. But then, we need to remove that ‘tiny’ expectation that lurks beneath this one (very quietly that too) that this person will understand and fulfill it. Convey what you want but do not put a condition of it being fulfilled in order for you to be happy. 

            But this doesn’t mean you are adjusting. I am never a fan of adjustments and compromises. Adjustment is when you are in pain and still are bearing with it. Here you wont be in pain. You are still content and happy and progressing in your own way in every walk of your life. You haven’t stopped anything. Just that you are more relaxed because you are not waiting for your expectations to be fulfilled.

            We cannot put our hopes and expectations on other people and wait for them to create perfect conditions for us to be happy. That almost never happens. If you are making the other person the driver of your happiness, then don’t assume that you will become the navigator. If its your car, you drive it. Else shut up and let the driver take you where he/she wants. Work out your own system here. Maybe you end up taking turns and being navigators for each other! Expectations work the best when what you want is what the other person wants to give and vice versa. Everyone needs to work hard to get to that stage where you figure out this balance.

            I know one can’t be totally devoid of expectations and for healthy relationships, one should not be. But if you are waiting for something to happen and that something has to come from another person, then make sure that your wait is worth it. Help the other person in making this happen in every way you can. Don’t be a passive spectator waiting for the miracle to happen on its own. If you think its not worth a wait, then don’t stop for anything in this world. Don’t let anything stop you. Not even your own ‘silly’ expectation. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you want, from becoming what you want, from doing what you want, from getting the happiness that you want and deserve.
            Be the rational selfish person and love yourself to be happy. You will safeguard yourself from all the negativity better when you love and respect yourself more.

            Its not that difficult to be happy and it ain’t that easy either. Its just a matter of choice-the choice of seeing the positive or the negative, the choice of expecting or not expecting- which in turn is always in our hands. And that is exactly why we are architects of our own happiness.