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The Comforting Discomfort of The Truth

I don’t quite know how it happened.  I wouldn’t even be able to pinpoint the moment at which it happened.  My penchant  for complete honesty.  I have struggled with it and do so ever so often. Less often now. Actually I have very few memories of honesty being a challenge ever. I don’t know but of many of my vices, dishonesty has never been of them. 

I have lost friends and almost relationships over it. People who couldn’t handle the truth. Either mine or their own. In retrospect, I don’t know what ever gave me the right to tell them the truth but I did.  In the eyes of many it might have been cruel. In my eyes it was pulling the band aid off in one go and that to me is kinder than letting misery fester in some delusion. One would imagine it would make me friendless like I have always been warned. I have been accused of being naive and not knowing how the world works. But guess what? Life has been kind and I have earned some gems on the way. My miracles. My magic beans. Makes me believe in the innate goodness of humanity. Everyone struggles with the truth.  So do I. And I have watched loved ones struggle with their own truths but they have braved themselves through those struggles.  Navigating through life, relationships, questioning priorities,  identities and making irrevocable sacrifices sometimes. For the truth. Sometimes no mostly some dark uncomfortable truth. I admire it this unwillingness to give up on the truth. The relentless pursuit, sometimes intentionally and at others instinctively. It is admirable. 

But of late I have been struggling with something. There is a certain roughness, a cruelty even. A lack of compassion. There is a certain brutality to the truth don’t you think? 

A very recent conversation with an old,  exceptionally dear friend,  whose relationships  became a casualty to honesty.  Well one of the reasons I suppose because breakups are never that binary.  Made both of us think about the virtue of honesty and the rules of exercising complete honesty within a relationship. I often struggle with the question of whether you would save a relationship with a lie or just suffer it’s loss with the truth?  Opinions differ on this.  If I wasn’t able to be honest with a partner or was at the receiving end of dishonesty, it makes me question the very foundation of the relationship.  It shows a disrespect for the individual at very fundamental level. I have never understood the statement – ‘I lied to you to protect you.’  There is nothing selfless about lying.  There is the inherent presumption that the partner is too weak to handle the truth or is unimportant to deserve it. Both very valid reasons not to be in a relationship to begin with. And no a**holes who think being honest about their escapades gives them a free pass. If someone is getting hurt for the wrong reasons you are still a jerk…

Yes, there is a possibility that the partner may not be ready for the truth.  The relationship may not being prepared for the onus of the truth.  Sometimes the truth is something unhealed.  And that in itself should never be something to bring to a relationship.  But when you truly care about someone, they should feel trusted and trust that you will share your truth with them eventually but surely. 

Maybe discretion or withholding the truth might save the relationship. For some time.  For the sake of appearance only.  But it would inevitably make it weaker implicitly. The inability to confide is when the turning away begins and true communication erodes. So does the relationship. 

What I have also come to realise is that while yes honesty is a cornerstone of every relationship,  it is the equal responsibility of both partners.  But with honesty, each partner,  the truth sharer and receiver always need to approach the conversation with empathy.  And this applies to a platonic equation as well. A relationship at its core should be a safe place where honesty can be shared freely without judgement and with empathy and respect and received with empathy and understanding and appreciation of the show of trust the sharing implies. We give it to our dearest friends.  Why is it so hard to give it to the one you love? Honesty is the truest act of courage you can show for your relationships. 

It is utopic,  this view,  I do realise that. Especially in a generation of cynics,  naysayers,  scoffed and sarcastic pricks(yours truly included).  But isn’t this what we all ultimately want? Isn’t it the whole point? Isn’t this what we wanted and believed in? Before the teenage boy broke your heart or the girl you couldnt keep or the time when you were too scared to be honest yourself in a past equation? Before things broke us?  Before unhealthy relationship patterns screwed us over? That person lives in us, within us,  the one who believes in this utopia and has the audacity to hope,  hidden under layers of denial, cynicism and sarcastic humor.  That person who desperately wants to be saved and to be in a healthy relationship, the one who is frustrated and yet wants to believe. 

What I can only say is that if you are going to  be selfish for after all who isn’t,  be selfish for the right reasons and do that suppressed forgotten part of yourself a favor and let it live again.  Take a chance at being intentionally authentic. Godspeed!

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Bartender! Pour me a shot of drama…

Every now and then, someone’s casual remark sets off a thought in your head. Well that happened to me recently. A colleague often casually accuses me of “loving drama” although I haven’t liked to be associated with the word for the longest time because of my myopic understanding of the word. But one evening, it triggered off a bout of introspection.

In my limited world view, I had put drama as a negative connotation. The dictionary defines it as an interesting or intense conflict of forces leading to interesting situations. Blame it on some childhood trauma and an unhealthy, emotional roller coaster ride of a teenage relationship, my aversion to drama and conflict had become overpowering. I had evolved into this person who had started to slowly slot “feeling” into drama, constantly over-rationalizing everything into logical conclusion. Read emotionally stunted.

I spent years watching couples fight, throw things at each other, stay up at night fighting, heard of a woman who burnt her cheating boyfriend’s crotch (he had it coming), abusive relationships – all the time rolling my eyes at the drama. I had become short sighted to not include the drama that brought a smile to someone’s face at the most random moment, the drama that kept two souls up at night sharing memories, dreams and laughter. I had missed the drama in the ecstatic joy felt in both giving and receiving a surprise from a loved one, I had missed the drama in the tears shed when you get separated from a loved one. I had missed the drama in feeling butterflies in my stomach. I had successfully locked myself away into a completely left brained existence. I had stopped feeling. And I had been stupid enough to take pride in that. How can you “over-think” “feeling”? Don’t ask me how but I did it and I applauded it not realizing how handicapped I was making myself.

A writer’s soul was the universe’s gift to me, the pure torture of detached attachment to everything and nothing. People have intrigued me always, what makes them, what breaks them, what makes them tick and what makes them want to rise again. I have fancied myself free-spirited, adventurous and fun-loving. But I would carefully drop the “dramatic” tag, even when I was. Avoidant much?

I had gone from hopeless romantic to the gloomy cynic under a façade of sardonic humor. But one can never defy one’s true nature. The universe makes sure of that. In retrospect, even at my most cynical moments, I have always attracted drama, in the friends I have made, the people I have wanted, the people who have wanted me. The bunch I truly call friends in my life are a passionate, spontaneous, adventurous, authentic and dramatic bunch – each in his or her own way. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, quite a handful as they may be, they are magnificent. While I have hidden behind rational practicality for the longest time, when I look back I have been the happiest when I have done something spontaneous, made a “dramatic” gesture or such like because it made me feel something. I have been the truest to my real nature in those moments far and few as they may have been.

But of late, everyone has become a stickler about playing it cool and being chill in friendships and relationships or you are doing it wrong. In a day and age where the one who cares less is winning, who is doing the loving? Where is the real overwhelming passion that moves mountains? What follows is a soul less generation of degenerate debauchery, swiping on a screen, wanting to be held and touched by a stranger who they feel no connection to because hey who wants the drama of having someone who actually gives a f***out of fear of being hurt. And loneliness they can’t seem to shake off. But they will be too cool to admit it as well. I tried to play that game which grew old quickly. I got B-O-R-E-D.

And then it dawned on me. In a time, where we are all grasping at straws to maintain a semblance of sanity by withdrawing into fearful loneliness, projecting facades, pretending to fit in, it is revolutionary to be honest with the world and yourself, to be authentic enough to embrace one’s own demons is dramatic, genuine caring and effort without expectation from another is dramatic. Being real is dramatic. Being real is acceptance, an ability to balance the emotional with the rational, to feel. Finding genuine connection and investing in that no holds barred is dramatic.

I am done trying to fit in. I am done denying my true nature. I want the happiness I feel with spontaneity, adventure, the passion and the ecstasy and I don’t want mellow and boring. If it comes with a little hurt, hell one shouldn’t sell oneself short, survived so far didn’t I? As long as no one is getting literally get burnt or being emotionally manipulated, am with the drama. I am all for the drama, unapologetically. Because if one doesn’t allow oneself to get hurt, one won’t allow oneself to truly love and be truly loved in return as a friend, as a sister, a daughter and a lover.

It’s worth taking a chance for and all that drama. I never did fit in anyway. Also nothing feeds the writer’s soul like a dose of drama. That’s what the dramatic ones tell me anyway! 😉

Embrace the chaos. Embrace the authenticity. Embrace the madness. Embrace the Drama.

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