Acute Guilt Syndrome

It happens to me very often me. It happens to me almost every time, unfailingly. It grips me tightly and its tentacles suffocate me sometimes. I wonder if it happens to me and only me or if it is a constant companion of others like me also. I seem to be having this acute guilt syndrome.  I feel guilty for things normal people don’t care two hoots about. I feel guilty about feeling pleasure and being happy. I don’t know how this whole thing started. But little moments of pleasure always come with accompanying bouts of guilt.

I feel guilty about enjoying a piece of cake. I feel like I am cheating somehow on my self-imposed diet vow.

I feel guilty about missing my workout.

I feel guilty about eating rice
P.S. I love rice, but I feel it will make me fat almost immediately.

I feel guilty about being vain, about spending some insane amount on a cosmetic product. My mind immediately goes into a calculation mode and calculates how that much money could easily have been some poor family’s food budget for a week. Last week, I felt like pampering myself and thought that I deserved a hair spa. Now, I work hard and I am sincere and I earn my own money. So if I decide to spend some not-so-small amount on pampering myself once in a long while, its rational right? It doesn’t harm right? After all, I am not that vain. I spend judiciously. I think wisely. I prioritize. The hair spa should have given me a high. And high, it did. But almost next moment, I felt a pang of guilt. I immediately thought that I could have bought a dozen poor kids a nice meal with that money. Wouldn’t that have been a better thing to do with money? Such thoughts leave me high and dry. Is it really bad to spend money on vain things? Why does this always happen with me?

Then I also feel guilty sometimes about doing hardly anything for a social cause, thinking beyond self and family. Sometimes I wonder am I really shallow? Am I really indifferent to pains and poverty around me? Isn’t it everyone’s moral obligation to do something for the society? To give back to the society in someway? To have a higher cause? But, then immediately on the other hand, i realize that unless it comes from within its useless. If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, it wont take me too long.

Okay moving on, another example.

I feel guilty about not reading newspapers daily. Ya, I am silly that way. Now this may be due to the mental conditioning. Our teachers in school imbibed this habit of reading papers every day. So this guilt finds its roots in that school time habit.

I feel guilty about not finding enough time to read. Read enough. As much as I would like to.

I feel guilty about having that occasional scoop of ice cream on a whim. Ya, ya that same calorie-calculation mode in my brain gets activated. And I am not even fat really. Sigh

I feel guilty about not spending enough time with parents, due to work, and gym and many other commitments. I feel i am failing my responsibilities as a daughter.

I feel guilty about sleeping in the afternoon on weekends. I think how many pending things I could have ticked off my never ending to-do list if I wouldn’t have slept.  Now tell me, is this abnormal? Who doesn’t enjoy lazying? Who doesn’t enjoy a good afternoon siesta?

So you get a drift of what I am trying to say right? I feel guilty about almost everything that brings pleasure. Be it those two pieces of chocolate that give me a high; be it an occasional expensive thing I buy myself, be it things like lazying and sleeping. Not wholly, but this feeling is somewhat similar to survivor’s guilt. I feel guilty about enjoying too much, because I quickly think that some other less fortunate people are living in misery.

And now to add to my guilt list, there is one more. I feel guilty about not finding enough time to write my blogs. Sigh!

Everything that I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening 😛

Do I need to see a shrink? What you think? Such things happen with you? Do you suppose this is an unusual case?

I feel like I want to take care of everyone and I also feel this terrible guilt if I am unable to. And I have felt this way ever since all this success started.
– Jim Carrey

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Who is a Father?

They say that there is no love like mother’s love. That a mother’s love is unconditional and the purest form of love. Truly selfless.

Right. There is no denying that. Scores of literature have been written about mothers, umpteen number of poems, books, stories, songs describe the greatness of mother’s love. While her love is unquestionable and her stature for a child is equal to that of God’s, it’s the father who has always been portrayed as an outsider, as a bystander, as someone who hangs on the fringes and yet he is happy to let the mother hog all the limelight. While mother’s love has been glorified and spoken about since the time of Neanderthals, father’s love has hardly had any mention or any acknowledgement.

So while we continue to love our mothers more than anyone in this world, it wouldn’t hurt really to give daddy his due credit, will it? After all we love him as much as we love our mommy, right? Just that the way mommy loves is different from the way daddy loves; but that doesn’t mean he loves us any less.

A traditional father loved his children no less than a mother did. But he didn’t really believe in expressing. He thought being a father meant being authoritative and being in total control. But that was not really his fault. He was made to believe that way, so he passed on what he saw. He thought being a father meant being in control, disciplining children, providing for them and loving them silently.

Modern daddy has come a long way. He loves his children as unconditionally as his traditional counterpart. But he also loves to express his feelings, and he is not afraid of how he will look like expressing his feelings. He is a friend to his child and makes a smooth transition from being a father to being a friend as per the situation. He likes to keep the atmosphere light and doesn’t shy away from saying his sorrys and accepting his mistakes.

So who really is a father then?

  • Father is the one who loves his children as much as a mother does
  • Father is a one who tries to bring the best food on to the table for his children’s health
  • Traditionally, father is the one who pays for his child’s best education
  • Father is the one who takes you on holidays
  • Father is the one who bears the brunt if any of the child’s needs are unmet
  • Father is that loving figure that cuddles you when you are just a little child, plays ball with you, does summersaults to make you laugh and becomes a clown to see you laugh.
  • Father is the one who pretends to be the elephant and gives you a ride around the house, even after a hard day’s work
  • He is the one who takes you to the fair
  • He is the one who buys you expensive toys and all the beautiful clothes
  • He is the one who takes you around everywhere and drops you to school
  • He is the one who comforts you when mommy decides not to be so nice
  • He is one who provides you comfort, security and shelter
  • He is the one who always has a very special corner in his heart for his little girl
  • He is the one who bothers about insurance and the likes
  • He is the one who plans to marry his daughter off to the nicest man possible and smilingly slogs all his life to afford a big fat wedding
  • He is the one who shares, with a very heavy heart, his daughter with another man.
  • He is the one who loses sleep every night over his girls safety and happiness
  • He is the one who worries about his boy’s profession and future

Yet, a father is always a bystander. His love always is counted secondary to that of mother’s.  But his love, in no way, is secondary.

I dedicate this post to my father and all those to-be fathers. I want to tell you all that you have been doing a thankless job of being a father for centuries. It’s time we all took notice and let you know that we love you as much as we love our mommy.

He is the man,

With a lot of tan,

He slogs in the sun,

To get you the bun,

He plays with you ball,

He doesn’t let you fall,

He gives you the bike,

And holds you while you ride,

For you he cares,

So everyone he dares,

To keep you safe,

With whatever it takes.

Love you, papa.

Someday I will find my prince but my Daddy will always be my King

–       Anonymous

P.S: There always are exceptions to the traditional father and modern daddy categories. So if your daddy, didn’t fit it to the traditional mould, be assured, that I was just generalizing

Why not to be angry?

Hello, my dear readers. I am sorry that I have been away for a while. I won’t say I have been busy.  It’s just that I want to write only when I am in the right frame of mind, and writing about certain topics really calls for a lot of grit.

Yesterday, when I was walking back home from office I passed a 20-something guy who was bellowing into his phone. He was apparently fighting with his girlfriend and seemed to be on a repeat-mode. He kept on saying the same thing – how can you do that (I don’t know what that means here) without informing me? He looked so furious that he didn’t realise that he was on the road, that people were passing by and that he was making a spectacle of himself and entertaining people for free. What triggers such reactions in people? Why people want to control people they love? Why some people want to sabotage their spouse’s freedom and individuality in the name of love? Does love give you power to vent your anger on your very object of love?

In that instant, the opening quote of the book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ came to my mind. Says Aristotle, “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – this is not easy. And how true.

Anger is a very powerful emotion and it is one primary reason why people destroy beautiful relationships, friendships and lose good people in their life. Unchecked and misplaced anger can lead to a bitter war of words, fight-fight situation, abuse and even fatal physical assaults in some extreme cases.

Some people show anger to show that they are assertive, which in fact has a reversing effect. In fact, extreme anger is the hallmark of the weak. If you are right then you won’t need to be angry and overtly aggressive to make your point. Some people who are authoritative often find their anger spiralling out of their control when things don’t happen according to them, when they can’t tolerate other people’s view points and when they can’t seem to shake off their ‘I-am-right’ feeling.

Everyone gets angry at some times and with some situations and some people, but some people just can’t seem to hold their tongues and in that one moment of anger, they are unable to think rationally and calmly and often end up saying hurtful things that can’t ever be taken back. They may not necessarily mean them, but the way they speak – with gritted teeth and red eyes is enough to hurt their antagonist deeply. In that state of anger, their mind loses its ability to comprehend events and think reasonably and hence their outburst is often exaggerated and much harsher than what the situation warrants.

Why I am writing about this? Because I have seen how anger can spoil beautiful relations. Loving someone deeply or caring about someone deeply does not license us to be mad at them all the time. If something is bothering us, or if we are upset about something or someone’s behaviour, we should not give an angry knee-jerk reaction. While this may not always be possible, it is very much doable. In such situations, we must take a moment and get our breathing under control. We must clear our head and try to reason out if our anger is justified or is misplaced. Perhaps we could pause, collect our thoughts and speak steadily in a calmer manner. Because words once spoken can’t be taken back. And we must not do anything stupid in a momentary fit of anger and bring upon permanent damage to beautiful relationships. Your loved ones will understand that you get angry because you love them, but if you make it a habit of showing your anger through harsh words very often and at even the smallest instance, they will one day grow tired of it. They would stop caring. And then, it’s very easy to get into a i-fight-because-you-fight-harder situation. So to salvage the situation, the best bet would be to calm down, it takes about 20 minutes to return to the state of normalcy from extreme anger, and speak again when you are composed and in a frame of mind to hear their side of the story as well.

When provoked by a situation or people, it is human to get angry. Buy to let anger possess you and get the better of you, is definitely blameworthy. Let your wrath not hurt people’s tender feelings, the very people who love you, who care for you, who work with you. When you see someone is behaving irrational with you and is losing his control on his tongue, take a cue and back out for that moment. Come back and talk to them when they are sober. Let men not think that they can get angry with their women simply because they are men and that gives them that right. That’s a seriously absurd logic. Respect is earned; you can’t demand your women to respect you. And likewise for women. When we are bound in life-long relations, let’s at least try to be co-habitable and pleasant company to be with. And what health repercussions anger has, you don’t need anyone to tell you that, right?

 “The man is not a good wrestler; the strong man is in fact the person who controls himself at the time of anger.”