Friday, May 23, 2014

Emotionally damaged generation

“Think before you have an affair, if she is a girl or a ‘beeped word!” – A statement made by someone I know. He has just had a breakup from a 2+ year long relationship, he is 24.

“She makes those statements and I am unable to breakup with her, it has become so tiring” – he is trying for a breakup from a 3+ year relationship, she cheated on him, he is 23 and so is she.

“She wants to get married but I am not settled in life yet, I let her go” it’s a mutual decision, it was a 5+ year relationship, and he is hurt, he is 24 and she is 25.

“I don’t know if I should be with him anymore or not, it has become a duty and burden in my life”, she is 23, and has been in this relationship for the last 7 years.

Every youngster I meet these days, has a boyfriend / girlfriend, and there is some trauma in their life because of these relationships.

Kids today, fall in love early, try everything out, experiment with relationships, have multiple of them. Kids suffer, don’t they? Is, having relationships at early ages leading to an “emotionally damaged generation”? Is it helping them or harming?

Will it help them learn to be strong what may come? Help them to get a balanced life where emotions do not tangle with practical decisions? Where kids understand themselves well and mature quickly? Are there any benefits of having these many relationships and these many break-ups?

If I am not wrong, during earlier days, falling in love was not common, and the ones who did, fought to get married and continued to have a committed life. There was stability, trust, and a strong foundation to build any relationship. It was healthy.

Today, kids start to have “that one person” when they are 10 or 11 years old. As time passes, many “that one person” happen in their lives. Mental, physical, emotional attachments happen and break.

Will this leave today’s kids unable to have a rock solid relationship that our parents had? Trust becoming a big issue in life? Will it lead to a day where it is all open marriages and any kind of relationship with anyone is accepted?

I see these relationships and trauma harms them, damages them, and troubles them. Jilted lovers killing themselves, their ex-lovers, taking revenge and the number of such cases, supports the fact that they are getting emotionally damaged.

Are we in the making of an “emotionally damaged generation”??

Sowmyashree Gonibeedu

Monday, May 12, 2014

Check List – For Happiness - In a Relationship

Love leads to marriage, right? And that is a long process, with a long courtship. This long courtship gives lot of room for people to grow, people to change. So, we all know not all the love stories become marriage stories. There is no ‘if, then’ to it, or that is what we want to believe. Anyway, here is a list of areas on which two people in a relationship should think, I think.

This also has some points that focus more on areas when you are thinking of taking your relationship to the next level. I have written as if I am telling all these to a girl. (Boys, modify and use all that applies)

1. Your happiness is important

a. Any physical abuse, mental torture, threatening, black mailing, a slightest hint of any of this is a signal you should think about the relationship

b. If you are not happy with the relationship, then it will not work anyway. I know it’s hard, but people change, things, circumstances, emotions, feelings all of these change. Do a rain check!

c. Don’t do it because you decided, committed, promised and want to stick to your decision. When the feeling is not driving it, the decision will not hold on for long.

2. Don’t stick to a relationship

a. Just because you had sex

b. Because you lost your virginity to that person

c. Because you are scared to break up

d. Because, every time you want to move on, you are being convinced to stay!

3. It is ok to break up

a. Are you with him only because you have been with him for so long now that you cannot think of anything else but adjust to anything and everything that comes up?

b. When you are not happy, when you have considered all possibilities and you see that it is not going to work in the long run, it is good to break up now. It will cause pain in the short run, but it will be for your long term good.

4. How open is he about the relationship

a. If you are asked to hide it all, you should think about it. When it is established that you two are with each other, hiding it from your friends is not something that will be asked for.

5. Do you trust him?

a. Is he a liar? Does he get angry often? Is he emotionally balanced? Is he possessive? Clings on too much? Runs away from you when you are in trouble? Talks a lot but fails to perform or deliver? Can you really invest all your emotions for a life with him? Look at the long term and the big picture when you are thinking of taking it to another level.

6. Does he have a bright future? Can he manage a family by himself in some days?

a. How does he manages his finances is not only about what he spends on you, but mainly on how much he saves, invests, plans for the future and so on. Don’t get blinded by the colors you see.

b. You might end up having a kid in a year or two, might end up quitting your job, might end up in need of finances, and is he responsible enough to manage all these?

7. What kind of family is he from?

a. Though caste might play its role, I am not talking about that here. Knowing how open his family is, how this relationship will be accepted, how educated and cultured are his family members’, these things help a lot. There has to be a match between how you have been brought up and how that family is.

8. Will his and your parents accept this relationship whole heartedly?

a. Though you might think now that we two will live by ourselves, we will not need any support from any side of the family, when problems crop up, it may seem difficult to manage. If not for anything else, you would need some emotional support from immediate families. So, knowing if this relation will be accepted whole heartedly is a must.

9. Do you respect him and does he respects you?

a. When in love, you look at love, romance and other colorful things. But to have a relationship last for a lifetime, the other qualities that matter a lot are trust and respect for each other. Do you value each others opinions, give space, respect each other and trust each other? If not, think again before you move further.

10. Does he shows how much he loves you or is it just words?

a. Does he talk colorful stuff but makes excuses, trust me it is going to continue forever. Believe in that you see, what is delivered, what was done, more than what you hear, what was told, promised or planned.

11. Does he take responsibilities at home and lives up to a mature human being?

a. Does he own a dog? A fish tank? Some pet? Has he trained his dog, cleans up after the dog, feeds it, takes it for a walk every day, in total, can he take responsibilities and manage them?

b. Does he helps his mom or dad or is he the “get me the towel” when in the shower types?

12. How do you manage your finances and emotions connected to it?

a. Does he gifts’ you so much that you feel indebted?
b. Have you been with him even before you started working and he gave you money?
c. Do you pay him a lot? Does he make up reasons to ask you money?
d. How does the equation remain when you both work?
Money does has a very strong influence on relationships

13. How is his value system?

a. I don’t care for anyone else but you, really? Then he might not care for you too very soon.
b. I don’t care about the money, what matters is your happiness! He may be stealing someone elses happiness to make you happy.
c. Do you both have similar values about material and emotional stuff?
d. Understand what he values and what not.

14. It’s ok, if you don’t marry ever!

a. Yes, why not? If you are independent and know you can be by yourself all long, then go ahead and be firm. The people who love you, who matter to you, and whom your happiness matters, they will understand this. Don’t care about others.

15. Think again, why are you in this relationship now?

a. Oh, I started it when I was 14 and I can’t imagine my life without him, even though we are not in happy terms now
b. I wanted to teach a lesson to my parents, friends, someone else
c. All my friends have a relationship, how can I be alone?
d. Oh! He is the best charmer at my college/work place/ etc. Though I know he might be cheating on me, I like the attention I get for being with him
e. Oh, we know it won’t work, but we really can’t stop ourselves!
f. I can adjust to anything that comes my way
g. We had sex and since then I see him as my husband
h. I am threatened, forced and compelled to be in this relationship
i. Think again why you are in this relationship!

Share, ask for help, make an informed decision, it is your life, after all. Consider your happiness too.

Sowmyashree Gonibeedu

Friday, May 2, 2014

Taking the Leap; blindly – My life is mine after all!!!

“Suma has taken sanyasa and has left to an ashram in a remote place in Kerala / Tamil Nadu”.

Today, Akshaya Tritiya, I was at the inauguration of the new temple building at the mutt. I went there to offer my prayers and be there for few minutes. I love that place anyway. I went there by 4:45 times and went to the prayer hall straight; where a lot of devotees were chanting some stotras. I saw “P” there, one of my friends from the Mutt. She went out of the prayer hall and I followed her just to catch up with her. As soon as I approached her, she got excited and started off, “how are you akka? It has been so long, you have not come here for so many Saturdays, what happened?” and all that. I answered it all and it was my turn for questions, and the first one was, how are you all? How is Suma, PV and all doing?

The answer I heard shook me off. Suma was an engineering graduate, had just finished her course and was working with the Mutt, doing all the computer work that was needed. She was a sweet kid. Very active, motivated by the words of a great saint and had read a lot. I liked and admired her spirit and wanted her to have a bright future and a good life.

She is the only kid of her parents, who had let her pursue spiritual path, work for a spiritual place, when a lot of others would stop their kids from doing so. I also heard that, her mom had fallen ill after this news. Her dad is asking her to come back, not marry if she does not want to, but stay with them, doing what she likes to do.

She took the leap, jumped off the cliff; she jumped off, without getting tied to any rope. It is her life, and she did what she wanted to. I know I am no one to judge, but I still am. Aren’t I? When I think, whether what she did was the right thing or not? And it bothers me much more, because there were situations where even I wanted to jump, but I did not. I held on to the ropes. This one incident is making me think about every other decision I have made in my life.

A good friend of mine told me, “you can live your dreams, but not at the cost of others”. I agreed, but did I do so, as that is what I wanted to hear, or do I really mean to agree? Another friend said it’s a tradeoff we all do. Another in similar lines stating, he has seen many such ‘taking the leap’ people.

I also wonder, was she ready for such a jump? She is a small kid, I mean; 22 – 23 is not an age where you can call someone experienced in life right? She had just opened her eyes; she is just a baby. She forsook it all, not knowing what she is forsaking and jumped off to becoming something she does not know.

I am not God, I know, so I cannot judge what is right or not. But being the human that I am, I will be puzzled for some more time, days at least wondering about everything.

Sowmyashree Gonibeedu