By Aditya Sharma:
As I pen down these words, the world around me comes to a sudden pause – the moon is at a still, the dull winter comfort non-existential, the phone does not ping and I am with myself. Its night time and the lamp behind me is the only light. I question myself in amazement, “Why is it difficult to be what you are?” I am baffled by my inability to answer. The world resumes to its symphony.
A lot has been told and untold about how individuals behave. We are trained in the everyday stigma of routines right from the moment we are born. Parents direct us along the rules of the world, teachers re-direct us to the rule makers and then there are friends and relationships that give way to new rules. But how often is it that we actually do what we want to do? We conform to our surroundings, to people, to situations and to expectations. We fail to realise that being yourself is both the essence and reason of our existence. It defines us, bare and raw, and transcends into new meanings of ‘myself and ourselves’. Hence, the difficulty of being ‘me’ is in the constant failure to give in to this process and lying to ourselves of what we are not.
Strange as it seems, we have been conditioned all our lives to dance to tunes under playback and let others pull our strings. The truth is that most of us – unless we have really thought about it and made an effort to change – are puppets, controlled by the world around us. We crave approval. We need to fit in. The ‘I’ here makes a grand entry. In my opinion, the use of ‘I’ is a lie. Its usage defines everything we are not. It is symbolic of the grand illusion of identity, of self and of the truth for the need to fit in.
One reason for the losing essence of using ‘I’ is in the fact that it is one character of a word and a mere syllable long. However, the gravity of the word is far from being understood. Interestingly, the proximity between these words from a linguist’s point of view is very less; something to do with verbs and pronouns they explain. In moral terms, however, going from ‘I’ to ‘me’ is the road less taken.
But what would things look like when you overcome the difficulty of being ‘me’?
Overcoming the difficulty of being ‘me’ requires commitment and re-commitment, moment to moment, as we grow and evolve. It is impossible to be to your own self when you are worried about how other people perceive you. Sometimes you’ll be flavor of the month; other times you might be public enemy number one. But you cannot control what other people think of you, so why even try? The more you care, the more you give away power over yourself. I often find people to be unable to look into the mirror with a clear conscience. This hurdle or inferiority complex arises when one does not steer his life by means of a clear compass of integrity as a result of being dishonest and duplicitous. And if you cannot see yourself in the mirror with a clear conscience, how can you be yourself?
We have a tendency to think we are in control. But the truth is that there are surprisingly only few things we can influence directly. Life is not about avoiding the storm but about learning to dance in the rain, and I think this is a wonderful truth. If the rain is coming, it will come; if the sun is setting, it will set. Accept these many, many things which are outside our control, but the rest is variable to our actions.
Eleanor Roosevelt rightly said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and it is true because you are responsible for your experience of life, and if you don’t be the one you truly are, you only have yourself to blame. Don’t be a puppet – don’t let the world around you pull your strings. If you are true to yourself and live with integrity, honesty and without fear, then you will, perhaps, begin to do justice with your answer to the most perplexing of questions: why is it difficult being me?