Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Find your voice

I sometimes have a recurring theme in my dream. That I am being attacked or potentially harmed by someone. It could be something extra-terrestrial, it could be someone scary, it could be someone I know in my real-life. Or it could just be an adverse situation. In my dream I know exactly what to do to get out of that adverse situation. I know I have to scream, yell, shout, hit back. Maybe run. But at that point in time in my dream – I freeze. I am screaming but no voice comes out of my mouth. I am shouting but no one can hear me. I try to run but my feet don’t move. Typically at such a point, I wake up from my dream. My dreams rarely go past this point.

When I wake up from such a dream, the first thing I do is say something. One word. Two words. A sentence. I do this to make sure I still have my voice. I still have my strength. I get angry at myself for not shouting and yelling in my dream. I get angry at myself for not finding my voice when I most need it, in my dream. I get angry because I knew I had it in me to save myself from that alien if only I could find my voice.

This dream is of fresh in my mind right now because I had it last night. After waking up, I spiral into the whole thought of not being able to find my voice when I need it. There are certain situations when someone says something hurtful to me. But I don’t react. More often than not I find it extremely annoying afterward when I am recapping the scenario in my head. I get angry because I didn’t react when I could have. Most of the times I don’t react because I feel like that’s the right thing to do. The problem with doing the “right thing to do” is that it does not do justice to our thoughts and us. In an attempt to do the right thing, I forget to voice my opinion and tell someone what I actually want to say. My point is, it is not always important to do the right thing. It is ok to sometimes do the wrong thing. Because it is more important to find your voice and make it heard. It may sometimes interfere with what is right, but it will surely appeal more to my body and mind.

When have we ever seen kids not voice their opinion when they are in public? Kids cry when they want to cry. They scream when they want to scream. They shout when they want to shout. They make sure they are heard when they want to be heard. I understand that most people find this trait of kids rather annoying. But here is the flip side. That small tiny tot has the courage and the fearlessness to find her/his voice and make it heard. At whatever cost it might be. While most of the times I am busy thinking of the life lessons that I will pass on to my kids, these are the times when I stand back and pause to admire the miracle and life-lesson kids are and what they have to teach me. At some point in their lives, these kids will learn to hold back and restrain and keep quiet – and a lot of those traits are probably inculcated by us parents in an attempt to make our kids civil. But why does it feel a little wrong? Why does it feel like we do this for everyone else’s and our own convenience and not really for our kids?

The thing about finding your voice and not being silent is that it teaches us to get outside our comfort zone. It teaches us to stand up for ourselves. It makes us more vulnerable but that much more rich with the knowledge of our own capabilities and what we can achieve. It makes us heard. It makes us stand up in the most adverse of the situations so we can emerge as winners. Or losers. But that is not the point. It makes and shows us who we really are. So never lose that voice in your heart. Don’t let circumstances or people or adversity deter you from reaching for your voice. My hope is that if I keep looking for it, I will surely find it. One of these days I will find it in my dreams too!

Hopefully these kids will always find their voice when they need it

My Positivity

The light in my life came from a festival we celebrate in India at this time of the year. It is called Rakhi. It is a celebration of the brother-sister relationship. Sister ties a thread on her brother's wrist and the brother in turn resolves to protect his sister. While this is the traditional meaning behind the festival, I have a slightly more open interpretation of this festival, which includes, sisters standing up their brothers and protecting their brothers - even when no one is watching. Brothers doing the same for their sisters. In fact, especially when no one is watching. The beauty of this relationship is not what happens on face value - because there are always fights on face value. In fact, I would say fights is a sign of a healthy relationship. Lack of fights would mean you venting your anger with your siblings somewhere else. The beauty of this relationship is what happens when the other sibling is not around. It is standing up for them, loving them and protecting them when no one is watching. But surely, fight away to glory when you are in front of each other. Because that's how siblings roll.


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