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A woman writes what 30 years of living this life taught her. She shares the most important lessons of her life.
I am learning how ‘putting yourself first’ is the good pattern in life. A woman who treats herself preciously is a woman who has set herself free. In India where each of our society move is so male oriented, a woman who treats herself well is the highest form of rebellion.
But then daughters learn from mothers. Because our mothers did not know, how to be precious, they taught us how we are not enough. And then, ‘to be enough,’ we paid we blood. The story of ‘not being enough’ is a man’s story too. So, in gist we are all trying to be enough. No one knows where to stop. We end up violating ourselves and yes, thus adding to the dysfunction of the society. In gist, our society is dysfunctional; we add a bit more to it. I have never known, happy people creating pain. Broken people bring broken pieces to the table and broken pieces will always hurt. Always. Despite our best intention. The job of broken glass is to cut and not to nurture.
And then we are fed with the narrative of love. Our stories are full of morals on how the man saves the woman.
And then we are fed with the narrative of love. Our stories are full of morals on how the man saves the woman. The story of love is always about the savior and the saved. Relationships are about partnership. That is one thing, no one teaches us. So, we all live in the grip of, how marriage changed everything. The idea is not to beat up marriages, but to learn to see it in a different way. Life is not about finding the guy, it’s about finding yourself. Our popular culture has cheated us, throughout. Daughters and sons should be told that an imperfect partner will come, if needed you wield your sword to ward off the demons, and sometimes your partner will. When relationships are based on equality, no one feels cheated. We will have less stressed men and more fulfilled women. Throughout our history we have cheated our sons and daughter, so look what we have created in the society. Results don’t lie. That’s the thumb rule to check an output. Always.
I have also learned the concept of ‘giving and receiving.’ Masters say it is a spiritual law. But I have learnt that it a healthy way of life. As women, we are told that we are givers. We can change, we are like mother earth. We give without asking. All wrong. The whole Universe functions on giving and receiving. Look at plants, nothing exists only in giving. Everything that gives also takes. We are so deeply conditioned in being the bigger one, we plow and water barren lands, that finally yields nothing. When you are the giver always and you receive nothing, you become bitter. If something is yielding no results, maybe its time to let go. Everything in life is a fine balance between receiving and giving.
I have also learned that you never get what you want if you don’t ask for it. That can be your salary, your relationship status or a dress.
I have also learned that you never get what you want if you don’t ask for it. That can be your salary, your relationship status or a dress. We need to ask, each time. When you don’t ask, you have to settle for what is given. I know a friend, who was in a close relationship with someone for 7 years. But she never asked where they were going, until the day he came with his marriage invite. The thing is, if you had marriage in your mind, ask. Waiting for seven years, is breaking your heart seven times over.
I have also learned most of our sufferings are conditioned. We are taught how happiness is not a great thing, we elevate sufferings, though we all desire happiness. We try to find our worth through sufferings at times and in the process create more of it. I learned I can never offer what I don’t have. Happy women create happy families. If I am sad and gloomy, I cannot offer happiness to anyone. Being a Martyr is a self-appointed role. A fulfilled woman will create happy children. Children learn responses closely from parents. You cannot teach a child because the child learns from observing. I am all my daughter will learn about being a woman and the way I let people treat me, my son will treat a woman.
When I was much younger, maybe a decade back, I trusted what people said. Now that I am a little wiser, I trust people by their choices. People are exactly what they choose. If they are choosing everything but you, you cannot dismiss it. They have chosen to live without you. Maybe its time you let go and move on.
I have most importantly learned that I teach people how to treat me.
I have most importantly learned that I teach people how to treat me. My behavior represents me. If I demean myself, I sent out the signal that it’s okay to demean me. I also learned to say, NO the first time I feel violated. If someone violates me through words or actions, I learnt to put my foot down. It has saved me a thousand heartbreaks.
I have learned to be open to people, but built healthy boundaries. For, no one has the right to violate me within. For that is where I go back to rejuvenate. For that is where I converse with God. For that is where I surrender myself completely. No, one violates me there.
I have learned to be kind and giving, but I chose whom to take beyond the boundaries, for not all can appreciate my within. I do not allow anyone to trod my precious self with their dirty feet.
I have also learned that some people will leave. Maybe, you can’t grow with them anymore and some will stay a little more.
Also, no matter how great your partner or lover be, a woman will always need her girlfriends to go back to.
Also, no matter how great your partner or lover be, a woman will always need her girlfriends to go back to. There are three things a woman should have. Her own cash, so that if needed she can move out. Her own set of girlfriends. And a set of books, that she can read and re-read which are well bookmarked. These three things can help a woman overcome a lot of disasters in life. My mother told me once “When you mess your life, it’s your girl friends who will come with brooms and dustbins to help you clean. So, you invest on friends.” And later in life, it came true as a prophecy.
Finally, the most important lesson I learned that there is no savior. No Daddy, Baby, Lover, Husband can save you unless you stand up on your own and decide to take a stand. You are your savior, others are guide.
These are some of the lesson life taught me. I had hard times, but I had good ones too. Do I know it all? No, I don’t. I will end this piece with what Maya Angelou said, “I know enough for today, for tomorrow I am learning.”
Lastly, what is that one thing I know for sure, after living 30 years? I know one thing for sure, that life is beautiful. Very beautiful. I am glad; I made it till here and had a chance at it!
Cover image via Shutterstock
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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