The People in “What will people think?”

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the long break in articles.
Recently, I started to watch the somewhat iconic show, Sex and The City. Excuse me for being a typical convent school girl who until much recently thought, “Oh my god, the name has Sex in it. Inappropriate.”
No, it isn’t. Ask the new me, the feminist. Carrie Bradshaw’s writing is beautiful. Wait, that’s Michael Patrick King and Candance Bushnell. Either way, Carrie’s thoughts from the 90s are more than relevant today.
One of the episodes where she mentions “The critic we are most afraid of is ourselves” got me to thinking about the immense relevance of this sentence in today’s world and particularly in my life.

As I grew up in India, I was regularly faced with this statement, Don’t do that! What will people think?
While there’s the ever watchful eye of the “neighbourhood aunties”, I was never allowed to step back and consider the possibility that those “people” might just not matter. It was only a matter of time before it became programmed within me to criticise everything I did, or is it?
Upon some introspection, I recently realised that all of us are harsh critics! Harsh self critics. The amount of hate we spew upon ourselves is magnanimous! I’m constantly amazed by it. For those of you who keep diaries, look back sometime and just see how you’ve criticised yourself.

In my post “Why Meditation is the Answer to Depression“, I mentioned that there are three stages to curing depression, where the placebo effect formed a major part.
That placebo effect works with our decisions too. This entire “What will people think?” idea works like a dark placebo. One that makes you sick instead of curing the disease. However, what we often fail to see is that we’re the people!

We are those people that talk about us.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that nobody has the time to talk about us. They do but it is what we think of ourselves that ultimately ends up affecting our decisions and daily lives.

Whether or not we choose to let others’ opinions about us our own that’s up to us. Either way, the pain that will be inflicted will come from this immense hatred or love that we will throw upon ourselves.

While we’re talking about what our own opinions could do to us, I’d like to put out a little reminder. In our truest form, there is nothing but the soul. That soul which cannot be affected by fire, water, emotions, humans or demons. Our soul remains untouched and blissful. Bliss, or, Ananda, is that state of the soul which is never subject to change. So, if that’s constant then what are we hating on?

Consequently, what people then remain to throw that hate on us?



On Darkness

I was told that I must face my own fears.
Build my own castle.
Fight my own fights.
This warrior has seen some of the darkest of days.
They said,
Let go of the dark.
Let the light fill you.
But what if the darkness is so deeply ingrained
That the warrior won’t even look at it.
The warrior who faced blood and gore with mettle
Faces away from darkness.
A fear so deep
That they’ve stopped using pens.
Because anything concrete is just not believable any longer.

On Talent

The problem is not that you have a past
It’s not your decisions
It’s not your inability to stay on track
It’s that you don’t believe in yourself
It’s that fear that festers inside you
That whatever you’re doing is in some twisted way
No, it isn’t.
Believe it.
Yes, things come easy to you.
Talent comes easy to you.
Fluency and good work pour out of you
You are blessed
And that’s not hate worthy
Your mind is so afraid of not having problems
That it runs in circles trying to find faults
You seek perfection but
You don’t know.
You’ve already got it.