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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all lives, from the underprivileged to privileged. Some more than others. Surviving 2020 has not been easy. The need for empathy and kindness became stark.
Self-isolation, social distancing, and living away from loved ones for a prolonged period of time made people introspective and understanding of the fact that ‘we need to be kind to ourselves.’
How long can one stay alone in a house with one’s thoughts without feeling spooked, anxious, or plain paranoid about existence? Isolation was a forced reality for many of us in 2020. While there were many things that kept my mind busy, it was impossible to ignore the gnawing close proximity to my own thoughts. I was shocked to find out that it was extremely difficult to simply be with myself with no distractions.
We try to fix the world outside, we try to fix our situations outside, the people in our lives etc. We try to fix everything but we rarely look at ourselves – the anger, the insecurity that sits just behind our fake confidence, the love that stays hidden like light under our pride. Living alone then made me realise that if I am forced to do it anyway, I might as well make it a pleasant experience.
This in itself is an uphill climb with the baggage of experiences added to it. But I soon understood that is the only way to be, experimenting, figuring things out for myself. Here are a few things that helped me.
We have a loud voice inside our head that doesn’t stop even when we want it to. It is destructive, makes up scenarios that have no resemblance to the facts of living, feeds on our insecurities and fears, and makes us overthink.
There’s another voice that tells us to skip procrastination, start acting. This tiny voice in any given situation asks us to choose love over hatred, forgiveness over vengeance, and to let go over stupidity. We need to crank up the volume of this voice over the destructive one to reach where we want to be. It isn’t easy to do this, but we can at least consistently try to channel the constructive inner voice, focus on it, and take it from there.
The whole world will judge us anyway, if it hasn’t yet. The least we can do is stop judging ourselves. It’s easier said than done. I firmly believe that positive affirmation, or focusing on the work done instead of falling into the trap of guilt helps with this. We are doing the best we can at this moment. We are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Our failures, wrong decisions, insecurities make us human.
After 2020, I don’t believe life was ever meant to be perfect. Smiles, petals of flowers, stars, none of them are straight lines. They are all curves, and they all seem perfect. It is high time that we accept ourselves as we are, and try to improve on that. The only person we have to compete with is ourselves, in our aspiration to be better than who we were.
We should be mindful of our actions not only towards others but also to ourselves. It’s all about how we treat us.
When things go wrong do we chide ourselves or take the much needed rest because we have given our 100 percent?
When we look in the mirror, do we search for what we lack or do we see a warrior-survivor?
When temptation of any sort arises, do we give in or hold onto our resolutions?
The choices we make in such scenarios adds to our mental health. We often grow up focussing on mistakes, things we lack. But, choosing to take a break, pause, look at the bigger pictures, and moving forward needs mindful choices from us. It’s these little everyday things done mindfully lead us to the kind of life we want.
From the little that I understand now, there’s always a war going on between the destructive and the constructive inner voices. Giving in to one makes it stronger. There’s perhaps no break from this war unless we reach an altered state of mind where everything inside us is tranquil, healthy, and peaceful without effort.
It’s tiring. But fighting this war while staying on the right side consistently, with a few falls, losses, and much needed breaks, determines how we grow. I believe the world inside our heads reflects in the world outside. So, all we have to do is make a choice in every moment, thought and action.
Are we willing to make that choice? If we are already aware of it, then what is stopping us from choosing it? Let’s begin here.
Image source: a still from Tumhari Sulu
A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple by nature. Love to read, create paintings and cook. Have impossible dreams. At the moment, engaged in making those dreams read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
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