From the Ground Up



Most of us live with far too many expectations — expectations unfulfilled are awfully disappointing. Expectations reflect our behaviour, including fancied or distorted attitudes, or previous responses in comparable situations. The actual fact is we are naïve. We’ve our fixated needs, or feelings. It also means we are simply not in charge of our emotions.

It’s only when we cultivate awareness for our latent and/or innate emotions within us can we evolve, understand ourselves and also others, and meet our day-to-day challenges resolutely. What does this mean? That we should be receptive to criticism and unflustered about expressing ourselves. This holds good for every form of expression that we are naturally endowed with — idioms of affection, love, suffering, pain, happiness and action, including ‘putting-up-a-brave-front.’ In other words, the ability to live through troubles, with the hope that ‘this too shall pass.’ It also portrays the face of solidity waiting for the squall to pass through.

It’s apparent that our ability to cope with troubles has the greatest impact on our responses, reactions, proactive nature, or character. For example, people who are confident, self-assured and capable, in their own estimation, are less likely to feel prickly in expressing themselves and/or accepting criticism. Likewise, people who are not self-assured are more likely to be self-protective, guarded, or ‘closed.’ It’s only we learn, understand, and work hard on correcting this ‘frozen’ context, can we reach a level from where we can truly mirror our emotional state of cultured, or refined, behaviour. The best thing anyone can do is to constantly seek and fulfil a particular need, or choose relationships that seem to realistically fulfil a genuine need — not needs that have ulterior motives. Philosophers say that if you have a legitimate ground, or cause, God will help locate your own divine instrument — the instrument to aid your course ‘out of the woods,’ when difficulties or troubles engulf.

Our habits, or patterns of behaviour, and the manner in which we conduct or do not conduct ourselves through them, are more than just corporeal expressions of our own unsolved feelings and thoughts. These oft-unresolved situations, or even issues, lead to routine reactive behaviour, anxieties, and ‘fleeing from the situation.’ They tend to hijack the goodness in us. This is what that provokes us to react without rationale when facing most of life’s familiar issues. It clogs the layers of rational thought and action; it leads to internal bickering, animosity, angst, and also disgust. If only all of us could remember that there is always one useful strand of rationality in every irrational action, our world would become a much better place to live.

The most ‘impossible’ personal problems appear insignificant in the wake of contemporary perils that threaten us. For example — the thought of a mugger lurking somewhere in the bend, the fear of violence enveloping a peaceful neighbourhood, or the gun-toting terrorist slicing his way through the security apparatus. Nonetheless, when we expand on our faculty of rational thinking and active behaviour, it becomes possible for us to reconnect with our sense of rational verification. Call this cultivated wisdom that allows us to awaken our emotional energies, or what you may. It’s this power that enables us to free ourselves from the shackles, be assertively creative, articulate and conscious. It’s, in effect, that one strand of expressive rational emotion covering our outer and inner self and helping us to steer clear of our own blemishes. It’s also, in reality, a part of our experience and understanding. It prompts us to build genuine relationships — relationships that are like natural, self-supportive walls structured around our true selves.

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