Category Archives: Thoughts

The Questions of Our Lives

Why, and how?
Again and again, the questions we ask.
It’s so easy to give in
to the weight of our “problems”
To think that we are the only ones
who have pain and suffering.
Maybe it’s just easier
to focus on the narrowness of one’s world
than to dwell on the galaxy of questions and seeming unfairness
the inexplicable suffering and unequal lots in lives everywhere.
It’s easier to think of what is in front of us
than to look at the too-big picture
So big we can’t even see the ends.
Life goes on with questions,
and perhaps their unanswerable ness somehow makes the journey
Bearable.
For if all our questions were one day answered,
what else would we live for?

How Have You Been?

Every once in a while, perhaps over a meetup or in the middle of a social situation, a well-meaning friend / person would ask: “So how have you been?!”

And there are times when I’m tempted to answer:
“Oh you know, the same. Fluctuating between the usual states of self-doubt and the possibility of self-actualization, sometimes swinging between them several times within a day. And then of course I try to find authenticity amidst every experience and situation, which again is easier said than done. And my thoughts, while seemingly rooted in the mundane, also frequently go back to what it means to be human, what defines our existence, among other threads of philosophy and spirituality. Emotionally, I tend to question the basis of my every-changing emotions, and trying to observe the mind in the mind has been an ongoing project for some time now. That’s… basically how I’ve been. How about you?”

Maybe sometimes replying “I’m fine”, or “good” … Could be more than just adhering to social norms or obligations.

Maybe it’s a cover up for the inexplicable and inevitable complexity that is us.

To Know What We Want

On a Friday evening, I met up with an ex-colleague. And we talked about the usual things. And among the things we spoke about, I realised one thing.

Knowing what you want to do with your life is a great privilege.

It’s so easy to assume that everyone knows what they’d want to do with their life. Who wouldn’t know what they want?

But the truth is that it’s much easier to know what we want at the material level than at a deeper level. It’s easier to decide what kind of movies we want to watch, which brands of clothing and bags we like, than to know what moves you, motivates you, and inspires you. And to have the circumstances to realise our aspirations are even more rare.

So today, I am thankful for the simple fact that I know what I want to do with my life (for now), and that I am equipped to live closely aligned enough to those aspirations.

Perfection will never be permanent, and maybe all we will ever have are glimpses of it. But knowing where we are in proximity makes all the difference.

What’s Your Grief?

It was a staff training workshop. The social worker conducting introduced the topic as “Relating to parents of children with special needs”. She spoke about the grief process, and correlated that to the grief which parents of special needs children experience too, as they deal with the loss of the “ideal”, “normal” child, and have to cope with a special child instead.

One of the activities we were asked to participate in is to come to terms with an aspect of the grief or loss in our lives, to use that as a stepping stone to which we can empathise and relate with the parents. We were each given a small piece of clay to work with.

“What does your grief look like?” We were asked, after the lights were dimmed and we were asked to close our eyes to sink into a reflective mood.

I spent the first few minutes of this trying to think of a time of grief and loss in my life. Yes, we lost my grandfather a few years back, but that was not grief. Maybe… the lost of a friendship? But… I think I had gotten over that pretty concretely too.

And then it came to me: What about the loss of Self?

That thought immediately opened the floodgates of memory, to all the times I had to purposely lose my authentic self because I felt she was not good enough, all the times I felt that the self within had to be pushed into a closet and not shown to the world. All the times I had reprimanded that self and asked why can’t you be better, why can’t you be more “normal”?

And while some losses are experienced once, there are also losses that fall into the recurring category. And I think the loss of self is one of them. Recurring on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day.

Every morning, especially on work days, I intentionally lose a part of Self. The part that I might not be too confident about. The part that I feel the world might not accept. The part that is deemed “not as useful” in the “real world”. For practical purposes, I lose my Self.

And I don’t think I’ve ever grieved over it, though from the thought processes then I think I would really like to and it also felt like I needed to.

By this time, the clay in my hands had become a little box.

Probably the box I put my self in whenever I feel that she’s not needed in the world. When she needs to make way for the masks, the little wayangs, the occasional show of extroversion.

And somehow, holding that box in my hand, giving a form and structure to my loss, did help. At the very least, it got the thoughts going.

“Now, mould your clay to represent how you might cope, or have coped, with your loss or grief.”

It didn’t take me too long to follow that one.

The box emerged with wings at its sides.

For her to take flight. Maybe she hasn’t really dared to come out yet. But when she does, hopefully she’ll see the wings there, ready and waiting for her to take and use them, and she’ll soar high above, unafraid of the world seeing her for who she really is.

Maybe. One day.

Protect Your Grass

So, apart from not being tempted by the grass on other sides, and spending effort to cultivate our own grass, we must also remember to protect our grass once we have managed to cultivate a semblance of our own grass.

And that could sometimes mean:
1. Taking time out from social obligations to spend time watering our grass.
2. Trimming our grass when they get too big to be well-maintained (grass can grow really quickly) – quantity over quality.
3. Exchanging grass maintenance tips with others who have succeeded in grooming their own grass.
4. Being sensitive enough to know what our grass needs at different seasons and time periods
5. Realising that every grass responds differently to the environment, and every grass owner’s style of different. Learn from others (point3), but don’t compare.
6. Trusting that our grass actually already knows what they want, and sometimes all is needed is for us to listen to them (go back to point 4)

 photo Protect Your Grass_zpscfbymtxa.jpg