Prisons We Make

6 of Swords

7 of SwordsThe prisons we make are the ones we’ve built from the ground up. These are our precious comfort zones. We feel safe here. Secure. Warm. Protected.

But we also end up shutting out the rest of the world here. We don’t get hurt. But we don’t feel anything too. After a while, we even forget that we’ve become numb.

It feels like we’ve taken anesthesia to kill the passion that burned within ourselves. We don’t want to feel anything anymore.

If we stay here too long, we end up forgetting that there is another world out there. We end up trapped in this prison of our own making. We don’t even know it, but we are slowly being suffocated in this place.

Major 11 JusticeWe must break these walls down and walk away. We must set ourselves free. We must triumph over these obstacles. We must. Or else we perish. We fail. Miserably.

As the words fall free from my fingers, tap dance upon the keyboard, and appear on the screen, the whispers in the shadows begin.

“Come onnn!” they urge. “Lets go back! Its more fun back there!”

The Cheshire cat grin beckons. The gnarled fingers reach out and gently caress. The breath hitches. The heart beats faster. The steam rises in wispy tendrils.

This game has gone on for far too long. I recognize all the traps now.

Major 20 JudgementDid I tell you that I found the trap door. I’ve discovered the loophole. And no – I’m NOT sharing. Its my secret after all. I’ve become smarter you see..

I’ve become a shadow among the shadows. I’ve embraced this stealth. I go back and feed my Monster. I need my monster. He is my strength and my weakness. Like a drug. Like the high.

1 Major The MagicianBut this time no one knows of it. And it’s not like anyone cared anyway. I feed my secret monster when no ones looking. And my monster – well, he takes care of me. He protects me.

He stirs the fires of my passions. He pushes me on. He powers the tap dance of the words on the keyboard. He gives them the relentless energy to keep dancing even as the fingers bleed and the keyboard is a sticky mess.

Then, when the dance is all done, he does help me clean it up. He holds my hands in his. He licks the blood and makes them shiny again. He wipes they keyboard carefully between all the keys. When I wake up in the morning, the keyboard is shiny again. Fresh and ready to go.

11 Page of SwordsIts our pact. Our secret. The Deal we made. This is what we negotiated. Have I told you I’ve become smarter now? I can negotiate better than before, I think.

I can see him smirking in the corner as I say this. But he should know better by now.

He thinks I am his slave. But the reality is that even he can’t live without me. Who will take care of him like I do? Who will hold him close the way I do? Who will growl with him like I do? Who will be able to keep up with his fiery urges like I do?

They call it Win-Win. I like that title. I lick my lips and keep typing. The heavy breathing dries them up quicker than normal. The fevered heat burns me inside out. I feel like I am melting into my bloody, sticky mess of words.

No one really knows of this. But now you do. Keep this secret and you will be well rewarded. I promise. We promisssssss….

The Tarot Card images are from the Prisma Vision TarotThey are copyrighted with their publishers. No copyright infringement is intended.

The Second Lead

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The second lead. This is the character who doesn’t get the main character in the end. This is the person who basically just gives up and walks away.

There are all sorts of second leads. The second leads who’ve been trying to get the attention of the main lead since day one. The second leads who dumped the main lead and then returned, only to find that the main lead has moved on. The second lead who does all that he can to help and support the main lead, only to discover that the main lead’s heart belonged to someone else all along.

I may have missed out on a couple I think. But these are the second leads I do recall right at this moment.

These days I’ve been feeling a bit sad for these second leads. I want to stand up and scream at them that the main lead isn’t going to be worth it in the end. I want to urge them to not make such grand fools of themselves and to just leave. I want to go hug them, and hold them close, and tell them that its not their fault – and its not their main lead either.

I want to just go and tell them that the whole point of their existence is to discover that they are worth so much more than what the main lead is offering.

Maybe it is a personal thing, but I am starting to feel a tad more sensitive about the second leads.no regrets

“What is wrong in going after what one wants? What is wrong in doing what it takes to get what one wants?” – one of the second leads asks this to one of her friends in the episode I was watching. And I tend to agree with her. Unless you truly try all possible alternatives, you leave room for regret to walk in.

Of course, all this makes sense if you know when and where to stop. Greed is good, but only to a certain point. After that, it becomes an obsessive compulsion, a need for posession – and that is not love.

The second lead who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand the truth and the value of real love. This second lead inevitably ends up in disaster. The one who walks away sooner than that, still treasures the love. And remains a winner.

Now love becomes important, the lover is inevitably soon forgotten. Suddenly, the lover becomes replaceable. Maybe not easily, but the person isn’t as important as the feeling. That love – that feeling – that is always precious, and always treasured.

Sometimes the second lead realizes that she has made the wrong choice after all, and who she thought was the main lead wasn’t who she was supposed to be with.

Over a period of time, the second lead moves on, and finds a better life for herself.

She becomes the main lead for someone else.

This is an ending I would love to see.

Today, a friend of mine asked me for a favour. Something to do with an ex-boyfriend of hers.

If this would have been me from before, I would have taken the time to counsel her, tell her about the pattern of negativity that I’ve seen repeating in her life, and I would have spent hours trying to get her to stop destroying her life.

Instead, I told her that I couldn’t help her, and that she should figure it out on her own.

I waited all day to feel even a small twinge of guilt, but all I felt was relief.

As days go by, I think I will most certainly get better at this. Soon, I will be able to behave like most people in this world – uncaring of the other human beings in their midst.

I do this not because of some misplaced desire to fit in. No. I’m doing this so I can stop being the shoulder that everyone thinks that they can cry on.

Here comes the part of my life where I embrace my shallow-ness. 

Shallow

Confessions and Other Stories

GiftArt__Sunset_Confessions_by_Maksn

felix juggling miceI’ve been right in the middle of so many things lately – its funny how I am even managing to keep all things in the air, juggling like that. But I don’t feel hassled at all. I am taking things at my pace, going at the speed I want. So, strangely, I don’t feel rushed or pressured at all.

I am right in the middle of getting my first round of feedback for one section of my Tarot book. These are mostly from my students who will (I hope) try out the system I’ve come up with in the book, and give me their honest feedback.

Once I have that, I can move on to the editing stage, and get my book draft ready for the second round. I don’t want to reveal what that will be as of yet, but yes, there are many things that I’ve got on my mind with this baby of mine.

watch_korean_drama____by_flayravenz-d2mzcayWhile all this is going on, I turn to my guilty pleasure for comfort – the combo of Netflix and DramaFever has my heart and soul. And yes, so do many other Sci-Fi shows on TV. But nothing gets romance like the Korean Dramas that I’m hooked on to. No seriously. I am in love with them.

There are many reasons why I like Korean Dramas actually. But the only reasons that make any sense on any level is the fact that these serials actually have a sensible story for the most part, and the fact that they do romance like no other. Despite their awkward, deer-in-the-headlights kissing scenes, the whole thing is just too good for words.

At this point, I suppose I must confess, (I mean, that is one of the reasons why I’m writing this blog post), that I am, and I always was, and I shall always remain a romantic at heart. I’ve devoured romance in many forms – books, movies, and now K-Dramas.

But you know the sad part – I’ve never experienced any of it in my own real life. Now, don’t go pitying me. It’s not a sad thing. It’s rather unfortunate, actually. The world is that much sadder because an insanely romantic person like me went unappreciated by the pathetic men in her life.

artemis_by_janiceduke-d5j0i0gIn my entire life, I’ve chased after men that were too weak-willed to pursue me and win. I’ve been Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, and I’ve gone after the men I’ve wanted and I’ve had them – bagged and tagged – simply because I could. But once I had them, honestly, I’ve lost interest in them. The thrill of the chase was over. And they weren’t all that fun in the sack either.

The only reason I remained in those relationships was because of some random emotional attachments. Really. I should’ve known better.

I tried to be all nice, and loving, and compassionate, and well, humane. When all I needed to be was shallow.

I freely admit that I am a very bad judge of character. Even if I know their patterns down pat, I am just very hopeless when it comes to being shallow to these people.

If I had to put many of these scenes in a K-Drama perspective, I would describe my relationships like this: the second girlfriend who loses out to the affection that the guy has for the first girlfriend.

For some reason, those idiotic men could be romantic with her, but never with me. This always saddened me. I could’ve appreciated their romance so much better than her anyway. Besides I’m definitely the better kisser. That, is a fact. But men have been known far and wide for their inherent stupidity when it comes to loving women. That too, is a fact.

Recently though, I found myself in a different sort of a cliché. A far cry from being the second girlfriend, I became the first girlfriend who returns as soon as the guy finds the second girlfriend. Of course, I was bound to lose this one too! What was I thinking! LOL

person-598312_640When it comes to relationships I’ve always been the loser. I’ve always given more. I’ve always understood them. I’ve always been kinder, nicer. But you know what? That was just me trying to please. That was me trying to put aside the thought that I was somehow shortchanged.

I should have stayed shallower. I should never have let my hopes for romance blind me to the reality that was staring at me in the face. I always chose blinded by pity. I’ve never really met a man who fit in with or was close enough to be my ideal. I always settled for less because I wanted to be kind.

At some point in your life, your daddy tells you to stop expecting too much, and to settle for something less because that’s what you’re worth. And you end up buying that concept so well that the rest of your life is colored by it.

But I’ve started to walk away from such thoughts. Nowadays I have started to allow myself to be a little more shallow. If I don’t feel the emotion, I don’t pretend to have it. Even if that means I look a little less compassionate, or a little less nice, I don’t mind.

Nowadays, whenever I see my face in the mirror, I’ve even noticed a strange sort of glow in my eyes. Something has started to feel that much right inside of me. I have even started to like myself a little bit more. I’ve started to smile at myself and laugh at the inside jokes. I’ve acknowledged the voice inside my head, and I respect it. I listen to the opinions, and take the advice that comes through.

Isn’t it strange? I’m simply just being myself.

Not being nice when I dont want to be nice is actually working out for me.

Seeing my situations as stories has helped me see a different sort of a resolution for myself. And no, I am not going to reveal the end of this story just yet. So don’t even bother asking.

no_smoking_by_sirwendigo-d3fhqzmAnd you know the best part – I’ve finally managed to quit smoking. No nicotine gum. No nicotine patch. None of that. Its been a month or more I think – I’ve lost count actually. I haven’t smoked.

It’s not like I haven’t had the urge to smoke. I have that off and on. In fact, there are times when I really miss it.

Right about this time of the year is when the weather outside is the best. It’s not too boiling hot yet, and it’s not cold either. This is the best time to plonk down on one of the chairs in the porch with my iPad and a glass of cold, iced tea and read a book or two while smoking my cigarette and listening to music on my iPod.

But then here I am. Doing all of that except for the smoking part. Isn’t that weird? It feels weird for me. Even being able to smell the scent of my shampoo in my hair two days after washing them feels weird for me.

You know what though… I hate telling people that I’ve quit. If they notice then that’s fine. But I hate telling them that I quit.

Why?

Because they get all sanctimonious and start praising me for the wise decision I took. They start talking about the health benefits from quitting and I instantly want to do two things: slap them silly, and walk away.

Why?

Because I didn’t quit for health reasons. Also I didn’t quit so that they could praise me. I most certainly didn’t quit smoking for the sake of other people. I quit it for my sake. Me. That was the only reason. And no, it had nothing to do with my health.

And, I still love smoking. I miss it terribly. I miss how it made me feel. I miss every single thing about it.

Back then, when I was smoking all the time, I had two reasons for keeping up with it. One was that I loved it to bits. Seriously. And the second was that I didn’t quite care if it took a few years off of my life. I mean, I’ve spent all this time wondering what the big deal was about living anyway. Truly. Apart from the brief time when I was genuinely suicidal, I’ve always wondered what the big deal was about any way. One day, all of us are going to die. Some sooner. Some later. I only wondered what the point of prolonging this inevitable scenario would be anyway.

But now, something inside of me has changed.

E_Phillips_Fox_-_A_Love_Story,_1903I’ve started to see things in a different context. Like a story or something. I’ve started to focus on myself. I’ve grown ok with being seen as shallow sometimes. I’ve grown to like being perceived as self-centered as well. I’ve started to say the things I mean, rather than saying the things that I ought to say – even if the things I end up saying are mean and sometimes hurtful, I say them.

I’ve stopped wanting to please people. I’ve stopped expecting romance to happen in my relationships / dates. I’ve stopped trying to push myself into portraying or feeling emotions that I am supposed to feel. Rather, I just express what I am feeling right now, and if people don’t like it, well… Not my problem.

I’ve found a reason why I ought to live – even if it is a little bit more time than what I am supposed to have in this lifetime. I’ve found a reason to want to be around for a bit more time. And no, I’m not sharing the reason. It took me 38 years to finally figure it out.

Everyone has their own reason and own path. As long as I found mine, its good for me. And its nobody else’s business.

The more I let go of trying to be a certain way, and the more I remain true to the voice in my head, I smile more. I laugh much easily. I genuinely see humor in the ridiculous people around me. I get frustrated with stupid and walk away more often. I don’t bother with being nice. I don’t even bother with trying to explain to people how stupid they are.

I was tested with an IQ of over 140 when I was in school. All of my life, I’ve tried to live as if my IQ was 100 or thereabouts – simply because I didn’t want other people to feel uncomfortable around me. I didn’t want people to feel stupid around me. Of course, that didn’t stop them from actually being stupid – which is even more pathetic.

In any case, now I don’t give a rats ass.

This is me. I am smart. I am also quite shallow. I am also a romantic. I’ve quit smoking, but I love cigarettes. I love walking in Nature, but I absolutely don’t do Nature Hikes and all that crapping in the jungle business. On the topic of crapping – I like to keep the door of the loo open when I take a dump because I’m a bit claustrophobic. The first thing in the morning, I read my emails on my iPad as I take said dump. I’m slowly developing a strange appreciation for coffee. I don’t like to grow my nails because I can’t type as fast as my thoughts go with nails that are even 2 mm longer than my finger. I actually understand money much more than most thanks to my Masters Degree in Economics. But I am not motivated by money at all. As long as something is fun, I don’t mind spending days doing it. But when it stops being fun, I don’t even turn around to look at it any more. I don’t lie. And I dislike liars. In my view liars only end up lying to themselves in the end, and I can’t stand to be around self-deceiving people like that. I am commitment phobic. But strangely, the only commitment that I’ve managed to keep is the one to myself. I still, occasionally, listen to Yanni on my iPod. I think I am going to take the American Citizenship in a few years even though I am eligible even today – cutting off my connection with my country is actually something deep for me. I was quite surprised by my patriotic feelings. I hate politics. I hate politicians. I think democracy is dead, and the only reason it is still around today is because there isn’t anything else that can replace it, and because no other system does such a fantastic job of fooling the citizens into thinking that they have the actual power. I genuinely think that if women were to take over the world, wars wouldn’t really end – they would actually get more vicious than what they are now. I also think that because women are capable of bringing life into this world, they can also be the most hard-hearted, vicious killers. I also think that just because you have a uterus doesn’t mean you have to use it – everyone has a brain, but they don’t use it either, so people should stop making women feel useless if they choose not to have kids.

Luxor_ChampagneI know, I know – TMI. But deal with it. This post isn’t titled “Confessions” for fun, you know.

The point is, I am discovering my real self as I let go of wanting to adhere to some random rules that were probably thrust upon me somewhere along the way. I have started disallowing stupid in and around my vicinity. And I’m owning to things that truly matter to me.

I’m basically just being me. And if you don’t like it, well, bye. And if you do like it – stick around. And if you want to ask me out, well, I like roses and champagne and walking hand-in-hand on the deserted main street after a late night movie and snack. Y’know. Just sayin’.

Death is The End

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Death is The End.

Its where everything finishes, for the person who is dying anyway. For that person, all the pains, problems, issues, and what-have-you of this life – its all over.

What remains behind are the people who care for that person, love that person, and who will miss that person. 

All the memories will still be there, but, the person won’t. And that hurts. Its painful. Hurt, Regret, Anger even – are some of the feelings that overwhelm those who are left behind.

Even they don’t know it, but suddenly, the person who has died becomes ‘a body’. Deep down inside they know, that it is but an empty shell that’s been left behind. A hollow shell, if you will, that once contained life. Maybe that’s what a soul is made up of, who knows? But now, something vital is not there any more.

For those of us who are left behind, the concept takes a while to register, to sink in.

But for the person who has gone away, Death is the final goodbye. The inevitable ending for their life’s story – Death is something no one can escape. 

Those left behind suddenly feel bereft. Suddenly, there is that one empty space in our lives, which can’t be filled by anything or anyone else. 

Perhaps, that is why we have all these rites, a funeral. Powered by our myths and beliefs, we come together to shed our tears, share our favorite memories, laugh and cry – and say our goodbye. A beautiful ritual so that all those who are left behind can say their final goodbyes. A send-off for the soul.

“Go ahead,” we all seem to tell that soul, “fly off into the world beyond this world, and find peace. Go be in pain no more. Laugh. Smile. Be happy.”

Our memories though, will always remain. Some digital. Some just in our minds. All of them in our hearts.

We will miss you. Terribly.

Of Plots and Characters

All the World's A Stage

Life is made up of good and bad things that happen to good and bad people. These situations are the plots in which these people become characters, and they all play a role.

Perhaps The Bard wasn’t wrong when he said:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

The roles and the situations are to some extent pre-decided by The Great Writer in the Sky. But I strongly believe that there are some parts which He doesn’t write.

Those are the parts which he cannot write.

I can totally relate to that agony in my role as a writer. Sometimes, even while the writer decides the plot and the role that the character will play in that plot, the character goes rogue and does something totally unexpected, throwing the entire plot in a mad frenzy.

Those are the days I want to tear my hair out. I growl about in a mad agony, wondering and angry – how could he / she do that? Why? Whatever for?

But then the anger soon simmers down and the calm breeze of rational thought flows through my mind.

typing the storyYes, I say. It is free will. And then I sit and watch as the character does his own thing and the words flow free and clear from my fingertips and onto the screen.

Yes, I feel. This is as it should be. Because this is exactly what this character would have done in this situation.

Sometimes, even as a writer, I don’t know who and what my character is. And these are the times when I come to know. I realize his / her true potential. I get to know his flaws and his strengths. I truly come to understand what his / her life is all about when I see it from his / her perspective.

And when I see it from their point of view, I can feel it strong enough to write about it with conviction. I don the mask for a brief time, and then I take it off. I step into the role for a while, and then step out. Like entering a room and exiting it.

Over the course of this time, I’ve started to believe that plotting each and every scene for my story is a pointless task. Because I fully expect my characters to throw it all into whack at some undefined point in the story.

I’ve become so very comfortable in letting go of the control. I don’t have to hold the reins so tight. I simply cannot.

flawless beautyFor me, it is a new feeling altogether.

But I’ve started to become comfortable with staying loose, and not having that kind of minute control.

And the story… Ah! The story! The whole thing leaves me breathless in the end. So flawless. So real. Even more than what I had hoped that it would become! Isn’t that funny?

Perhaps, this is why The Great Writer in the Sky gave us Free Will. But I’m inclined to think that perhaps we took it from him – being the wilful characters that we all are.

No, not pampered or spoilt, or in any way rude. But wilful. We thrive on being able to use our will to serve and swerve the plotlines that were laid down for us.

What fun!

Some Recent Realizations…

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These are some of the recent realizations I’ve had…

The Karmic Account Balance

past-life-regressionRecently, a friend and I were discussing past life regression. I have a lot of experiences about it, and he was curious about it.

I’ve seen a bunch of my past lives – not fully, but bits of it which are relevant to my life and karmic lessons in this lifetime. Each time, when I’ve focused on a particular aspect or experience, and I’ve looked into my past lives, I’ve discovered interesting truths about the origins of those experiences. And through those experiences, I have been able to identify and understand the reasons why certain experiences have come up in this lifetime, and what I was supposed to learn because of them.

Sometimes, the clarity came right away. But then, there were those times when it took a bit of time for the clarity to come through.

Yet, he was curious about the concept of ‘balancing the Karmic accounts’. And here’s what I’ve learned about it: essentially, the karmic accounts need to be balanced. The good needs to be equal to the bad. And once that state has been achieved, one has the opportunity to decide what to do next: to go on the path of either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to learn more lessons, or to detach from this endless cycle completely.

The concept is that the account needs to be balanced. Even if you do some more ‘good’, it means that you will need to do some ‘bad’ to balance it out, and vice-versa. Also, it bears noting that with every single thing you do, you will accumulate some sort of karma all over again.

One is Not Always ‘Good’

good-and-badTo say that one was a ‘good’ person in each of the lifetimes would be a lie.

For instance, in one of the lives I saw, there were 6 different people who did a few ‘bad’ things to me. And in my current lifetime, those 6 people did hurtful things to me all over again. However, in another session with an energy practitioner, I learned that I had, in one lifetime, done something really bad to 4 of those 6 people as well.

That was when I realized that this cycle of hurting each other had gone on for a while. In a few lifetimes, they had hurt me. But there were a few lifetimes when I had hurt them too!

To say that this was an eye-opener is an understatement!

The Choices We Make

past-present-futureThis, then, is truly an endless cycle. Since we have no clue about the current state of our karmic account balances, we, naturally, strive to do more ‘good’. But then, that could also unsettle the balance if we have too much of it on the ledger, right?

Also, since we focus on specific aspects of ‘bad’ stuff happening to us in this lifetime, the only information we acquire during the PLR sessions is about the ‘bad’ stuff that happened to us, and their resultant consequences. We often don’t see the lifetimes when we’ve done our ‘bad’ parts. We don’t get to see the times when we’ve also done ‘bad’ things to those people who are doing the ‘bad’ things to us in this lifetime.

Because of this essential existential karmic conundrum, the question naturally arises: What does one do? What does one choose?

Do we keep on doing only ‘good’ stuff, in the hopes that we will essentially ‘win’ this in the end because we’ve been really ‘good’ and therefore deserve to find the detachment from this endless cycle?

Is there really a ‘win’ or ‘lose’ in this endless cycle? Because, the way I see it, once this version of the Universe ceases to exist, another Universe will spring up and the whole thing will begin from scratch.

Of course, those detached souls will have the option to participate or watch over the whole thing. I suppose that could constitute the ‘win’ in this game. I suppose.

Is Detachment Really Worth It In the End?

DetachmentThis is the question I’ve been grappling with these past few years really…

Even if I managed to find my way to being a part of the chosen ‘detached’ few who merely watch on and don’t participate, would I be truly happy in that state? Would I like it there?

I’ve always disliked utopian situations. Viscerally. They just don’t hold any appeal to me. I don’t know why or how, but ever since these concepts became known to me, something deep inside of me felt truly unsettled at the thought of ending up as someone who was detached and not participating.

In fact, I’ve tried isolating myself from the world in real life too, in order to get a sense of what it may feel like. I’ve spent years distancing myself from the world at large, not interacting much with the outside world.

While I’m not uncomfortable with that sort of existence, something deep within me isn’t quite fond of the entire experience either.

I’ve pondered upon this, meditated upon this and thought about it a lot – this strange feeling I have that emerges from deep, deep within me.

What I Choose

meditating-silhouetteIt is after a lot of these deep thoughts that I’ve arrived at a conclusion that has satisfied me on all levels.

I will continue to live my life joyfully, happily, and living each moment fully. I will adhere to the moral codes and principles that have guided me so far in this journey. I will not completely detach myself from the world either. I will participate only in the places where I get to experience the joy and the sadness that appeals to me.

For those who have knowingly and unknowingly hurt me, I am finding a way to forgive them, and let them go so that there are no more karmic connections between us.

For those who I may have hurt, either knowingly or unknowingly, I am requesting their forgiveness, and for them to let go of any sort of karmic connections with me.

This, according to me, would be the best way to go forward.

Even if I reach that state where my karmic accounts are balanced, and I can choose to detach myself from this process, I don’t think I can fully detach. Why? Because I love the feeling of being alive. Because I love the feeling of experiencing the small and large joys of this world. Because, strangely, I also feel alive during the sad moments that one experiences during the process of being alive like this.

This, then, is what life truly is: a fully realized experience, replete with happy and sad moments. The person who finds peace and joy in either is someone who is fully alive. And I intend to reach that ideal. Maybe, I’ve come to a certain point in that journey. But I know that there are more adventures ahead.