The Beginnings Into The Self

Have you ever been bothered by the thought that, "I understand but I am tired of understanding? All I do is understand."

Have you ever felt like no matter what you do or how hard you try, you somehow just always feel as if you are supposed to be alone?

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong, don’t exist, don’t matter to anyone?

Have you ever been bothered by the thought that, “I understand but I am tired of understanding? All I do is understand. For once, I would like someone to be there, someone who can be on the other end- trying to understand me!”

Well, we all are faced with such thoughts once in a while. Such thoughts that often take shape of battles that we fight every day, even wars if not addressed timely. These thoughts, arising out of situations when there is this urgency to be there for yourself, on your own when one has been shaken beyond comprehension. Such moments often make us realise that there is only as much as we can do for ‘others’ in a given situation and still be incompetent, still be left out. But eventually, it is these moments that shape us, that help us decide who we want to ‘be’, who we want to become. How?

We can take note of the fact that we place our existence in the context of the identities of ‘others’. We are more or less a reflection of our images in the mind and thoughts of others. We constantly try to identify ourselves with the constructions of our selves by the others, continuously try to live up to others’ expectations of us.

In this continuous struggle to ‘be’, we tend to create certain non-existent spaces for ourselves. We are trapped in our own fallacies. We become prisoners of our own decisions (which are biased and taken in a hurry). This space we thus create, engulfs our already fictionalised lives, leaving us with desires and restlessness- to be free, to ‘be’. This space is very constricted. How do we deal with it? We need to open up- with combined efforts of mind and soul.

This process works in duality- mindful expansion and soulful contraction. Our daily experiences are fraught with associations with the ‘others’. We meet people, we experience things, we go through myriad feelings, we assimilate whatever we come across. Things can make us bitter, but they can make us better too. Though it is difficult, we can be selfish once in a while and thus incorporate certain attitudes in our behaviour, such an attitude that will help us grow.

Things begin with taking responsibility for our most basic actions and behaviours- both towards ourselves as well as others. This way, when we become responsible for ourselves, we open up avenues for the mind to actually reach out to others in the true sense. We can thus associate with the ‘others’ but not picture ourselves as the constructions of their thoughts. We become the realities we want to be, the more non-fictionalised versions of our selves. The mind is a potential trickster and can leave us trapped in gruesome situations, but the mind can be trained. it is us at the end of the day, not others; and the mind needs to be told this- again and again, and again.

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Secondly, when we become more aware of our own realities, the soul- that has been silent for long- starts being more active. This is an indication to finally embark on the much-awaited journey- the journey into ourselves. While the mind wanders off to a hundred thousand places, we can try to restrict the outbound traffic of our thoughts. The restless thoughts often take the shape of unmindful words which propagate unnecessary activity. This whole scheme has the capability to shake the foundations of even the most profound of our associations with the outside world, with others. Since we are aiming for becoming a better ‘self’ and thus effectuate personal growth, we can actually try to shut-out all our linkages with the outside world once in a while.

We can go deeper into ourselves, be with our own self, be on our own without any outside support. There is a high probability that this whole experience of the inward journey or contraction of the self can be a very isolating experience. We might find ourselves at a complete loss, in a lonely deserted place. As for so long we have been so used to the company of others, this quiet place leaves us wanting, we desire that noise to be all around to make us feel secure. This loneliness can get as uncomfortable as it can be, but perhaps we all need this isolating experience. Perhaps we all need to shake off our comfort zone, be uncomfortable for a while and then emerge out of this lonely space- more in love with our own company, more connected with our realities, closer to achieving the target with which we began our pursuit. Moreover, we might actually find ourselves more connected to others. We can, thus, open up by compressing ourselves.

This duality can be confusing for a while, but it is ultimately perhaps a trick- to help us have a taste of the reality of our own fictionalised lives. It will definitely take some effort, some struggle, but what this whole plan will lead us to is meaning, to ‘being’. we can actually become the magnets we all aspire to be, we can actually attract a lot of positivity and goodwill. All that we need is a breather, some time off. Situations are demanding, the mind wanders, but the soul will eventually take care.

A little step, a little effort towards an inward journey- this is all we need. The mind too will be silent, soon.


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