Is it not unsettling that what we feel can never be expressed entirely with words?
Imagine feeling the whole world, and when you express it, it turns out less than whole – as small, grainy and flighty as sand. Most of the finest specks, lost in translation.
We are only subjected to someone’s surface-level emotions. The tip of an iceberg. Never truly getting to experience the depths.
People often say if given a superpower, they would like to read other’s minds. But how reliable are those thoughts? They can be inaccurate and flippant. You might feel pain, but the comments flaring in your mind might be that of anger. You might feel happiness, but your thoughts could counter with a cynical “Is this too good to be true?” Thoughts can be contradicting, untrue and a spoilsport. Feelings, though – they are as true as they can get.
I would rather feel what people are feeling – in its entirety. Feelings won’t lie even if you desperately wish they would. What we feel inside is the purest, most concentrated form of emotion. When we try to assemble our feelings into words, we dilute the essence by half. When we let it out, we lose more, depending on how skilled you are with the spoken language. Then it is up to the recipient to preserve the remaining as is or interpret it in a totally different way. A game of Chinese Whispers. This is why we are often left stunned, when a loved one misunderstands you, because what you feel is totally different from what they have interpreted it to be. Words can be beautiful but they are equally constricting.
I sometimes wonder if something like an emotion tester (let’s call it a feel-o-meter) would have made us less judgmental and more compassionate. A device that can measure the intensity of someone’s emotions.
To appreciate those who stay quiet but are filled up to the brim with love.
To recognize those who sweet talk but feel nothing.
To understand that someone’s pain is just that – pain, and nothing else – no manipulation, no faking involved.
To understand someone’s anger is more than just anger – it is a deep-rooted sadness.
To understand that someone’s inability to express is not apathy but an internal struggle with overwhelming emotions.
People mostly use their reckless judgment to analyze whether someone is being genuine or not.
We could be crying, but someone would say “Stop acting”
We could be hurt, but people would say “You are overreacting”
We could genuinely be sorry but someone would say “You don’t mean it”
We make up these little disapproving stories in our mind about a person, to suit our whims and fancies, without really knowing the truth. There is so much time wasted in this period between judgment and knowing. And who is to blame? Us for being unable to reveal our feelings in its totality, or them for not seeing our unadulterated feelings?
The 5 Love Languages Test is something I stumbled across recently. Give it a go if you have nothing better to do this weekend. Mine is quite accurate, quality time is an absolute essential for me.
The whole idea behind the quiz is that love languages can clash: your way of showing love is not your partner’s way. For example, gifts are not a must for me at all. Just some quality time would do. This need not be the same for everyone. I know many who absolutely adore gifts. Some like a lot of physical touch, whereas others don’t. Some would want words of affirmation, whereas for others actions mean a lot more than words.
I believe knowing your partner’s love language can help in understanding them better. Why they don’t express the way you want them to, why the things you do are never enough for them etc. Maybe how you display love is different from their perception of love. Different people, different wants.
Maybe the love is there, but we are not seeing it because we are scrutinizing it with our own definition of love.
2020 has been eventful. There have been a lot of lifestyle changes because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many absolutely hating the year from the very core of their heart.
Contrary to the popular (or should I say infamous?) opinion about 2020, I on the other hand, consider it as one of my most constructive years.
An ode to one of my most happening years where I:
Travelled solo to Goa for the first time right before the pandemic commenced
Had the most wonderful trip to kick start the year
Danced on-stage for the first time
Broke off from a long dead, mentally exhausting relationship
Learnt how to keep my sanity when I was home all the time (new hobbies, in case you are wondering)
Learnt new things like hand sewing, machine sewing, job-related courses, a new language – all in the comfort of my home
Started the curly girl method to embrace my natural hair. It has been 3 months since I straightened my hair. Less fuss!
Got back to reading. 15 books and counting (hey, that’s a lot for me!)
Got back to writing
Started this blog!
More productive at work than ever before. It helped that I did not have anyone at home who is dependent on me.
For these things I am really grateful for 2020. For all the lessons it imparted.
It feels like a new beginning. A new life in a way.
I honestly believe (at the risk of sounding preachy) life is all about what you choose to focus on. At times like these, it can be difficult to filter out the good. But a reality check of what’s happening around always brings me back to being grateful for having a home, for being safe and healthy so far.
Let’s not take what we have for granted. It is a great opportunity to do things we wouldn’t have done if we were on the move all the time. For that, I wouldn’t want to cancel 2020. I want to sit down, have a proper conversation with the year, to see what it wants to teach us, what it has to offer and what it hopes we learn by the end of it.
Do you ever look at your old photos reflecting how thin you were, but ironically back then you used to always think the exact opposite. That you would look better if you just knocked off that extra flab invisible to others and visible only to your self-judging eyes?
The truth is – there’s never a perfect size.
People are rarely happy with their body weight. Even if they are thin. Take it from me. I don’t like to talk about my body image issues with anyone nowadays because people usually become condescending and say things like:
“Why do u need to exercise??? what about me then????”
“I want to smack thin people who say they have to lose weight.”
There is rarely a “Everyone should exercise – thin or fat.”
But that’s the problem right there – we always look at ourselves with a judging magnifying glass irrespective of our body size. On top of that, we also end up judging others if their body weight goals are different from ours.
We don’t see what others see even if they say we are fine the way we are.
We look at the mirror and see a lot of flaws. This is why thin people exercise more and get thinner – and they still think they need to lose weight.
I’m saying this to all those who wish to lose weight – it’s not always the answer.
Show empathy, no matter the body size. The mind is ever judging. Never add to the mess.
I remember watching the show at a snail’s pace. Maybe because it did not seem very interesting at the point.
But I am so glad I held on.
When I saw David, Moira, John, Alexis dancing to “Precious Love”, I knew I was hooked. I felt a gush of warmth all over and I knew this family was special.
Schitt’s Creek became a regular breakfast watch. A good, sunny way to start off my day with. It put me in a good mood to deal with the rest of the day. I will, without a trace of doubt, miss Moira’s impeccable English, John’s wide-eyed surprised looks, Alexis’ gestures and “boop”, and David’s expressions.
And may I also credit the fabulous way in which the LGBTQ+ community has been represented in the show? None of those preachy lectures or emotional outbursts that we usually see with kids coming out to their parents. I witnessed the same in “Never Have I Ever” on Netflix.
In a perfect world, this is it. A long, comforting embrace of acceptance and inclusion. Schitt’s creek has an abundance of heartwarming moments. Let’s hope this spills over to the real world.
Talking about dad, one particular incident keeps coming to mind, which floods my heart with love for him.
I remember as a high school kid making rice for the first time. We were in the GCC and mom was in India. So I took it upon myself to cook something for my dad. I totally forgot about the rice and ended up burning it. I felt very disappointed because it was the first time I tried to cook something.
We had a party later on that day and dad mentioned that I cooked rice. One snarky uncle asked laughing “But the question is, did she cook it well? Did she burn it?” I could feel a joke coming up and was readying myself for it. To smile through it all, even if I was a little upset about my failure. But instead, my dad said “Yes, she cooked it very well!” and gave me a wink and a smile.
A wave of relief.
A wave of empathy.
As you move on in life, you realize, this show of kindness is very rare. People are just looking for the next joke, or the next person to troll, or the next person to burn. “IDGAF” is deemed as the new cool.
Not understanding that empathy is far greater, and has a much greater impact.
I am still to meet someone who is as kind and empathetic as dad. I am used to the best so how can I settle for anything less?