My book “Spiritual Parenting” was released two years ago. I was anxious as to how readers would receive it. The first call that I received in response was somewhat like this:
“You have narrated your own personal mistakes and bad experiences so uninhibitedly. That has given me great confidence. I used to be very scared of what people would say to my issues, and I would keep mum. Kept suffering injustice. But now I am emboldened by your personal anecdotes and confessions. I will come to you and tell you all about myself, seek counseling and be more positive about my life henceforth.”
The call got me thinking. I too had thought long and hard before putting my experiences of my life down into a book. The experiential truths in my book would have been meaningless had they not been based on my own personal experiences. The words in my book on counseling would have remained just that- simple words without the backbone of experiences to prop them up. And so I had decided to pen down all my flaws.
I had to let people realize that despite being a counselor, I too had issues and problems which needed addressing. I may counsel others, but I too had needed advice at some point in my life. I decided to write a book about my experiences. My truths.
I received many such phone calls and reactions- similar to the first one- from different people, from various walks of life, with different sorts of problems. The only constant similarity among all these diverse responses was:
“ Reading about your difficulties and problems has given us a positive direction- and a strength to deal with our own.”
Deriving inspiration and positivity from a fractured and broken life? How was that even possible, I thought…
Gradually, I realized that everyone feels that others’ lives are full, complete and happy. And so they are kind of ashamed of their own problems and difficulties. Everyone then covers oneself, one’s family, and one’s life with a beautiful quilt of imagined happiness. This imaginary life, family and self is then placed beautifully in front of society. It becomes such a pretty picture- an image of perfection to be maintained and sustained.
And once we have established this image of a perfect life, we have no fear of talking endlessly about it – either face to face or on social media. Our life-force becomes attuned to playing hide and seek with our souls, pretending to be something one is not, live in a way one is not…
The result is far from completeness. We are unhappy and sad. We don’t even realize why.
I have learnt from my writing and counseling experiences that whenever I talk openly and freely about myself and my flaws and failings without any embarrassment, many others let go of a long held- up breath with a sigh of relief- if she can talk about it, so can I. And many of them have developed the confidence that no problem is insurmountable.
There is no life without some or the other difficulty. Therefore anyone’s life full of problems, difficulties, crises and tragedies, mistakes and misjudgments, can be a source of inspiration to others. We are, to an extent, all the same. So are our issues. Nobody’s lives are without any issues or mistakes. If we stop covering up our own mistakes, faults and flaws with a sense of shame, and instead uncover them so as to work on them, engage with them, sort them out and then place them before the world, without any feeling of shame or embarrassment, then each of our broken lives can definitely be a source of inspiration to many people.
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