Labour of Love

I read somewhere today that there is plenty of work for love to do.

What a simple statement and how very profound. It made me pause in awe of its full meaning. Truly a wonderful motto to abide.

So let’s get busy loving in these lives we’re living because there’s plenty of work still remaining.

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Downswing Days

I’ve realised I mostly come on here and write on days I have something happy to report. Be it my physical or mental well-being or a step forward in the right direction, be it any aspect of my life. I do it with the firm belief that sharing is caring, that someone out there might read my pieces and smile, take heart and hustle on. Indeed, your kind comments have proven it to be so.

Yet, on days when I’m not feeling my best, I refrain from writing, either feeling vulnerable at the exposure or feeling like an imposter for having written all those uplifting, self-care advocating posts when I cannot simply gather myself together. Today is one such day. Half of which has passed.

The other half, however, I am committed to change today. I will address you on days that I am down. I will share with you my darkest thoughts, sorrows, fears and words. Why, you ask? Because maybe, just maybe, someone out there might read my pieces and smile, take heart and hustle on in the knowledge that we all have our ups and downs. Our moods have upswings and downswings. And yet, nothing lasts forever. I know I will get back into the right frame of mind soon enough. And you will see the difference. As would someone else who’s currently berating himself for feeling the way he is currently and admonishing himself for not being strong. It doesn’t take strength to plaster a smile on your face and pretend everything is okay, winning accolades and love from everyone around. It does take strength to accept there will be days when you won’t be at your best, that it is okay to take a break, take more than a few moments to be with yourself, accept your feelings and let them live out their life cycle in you in a healthy manner and, most importantly, it takes sheer strength to try and love yourself when you’re on the brink of self-hatred.

So today, I am willing to acknowledge that there will be days when I’ll be an irritable, slobbering, whining, selfish mess. But that is till my mess. I own it and will overcome it. I will live through it to better days. And I will do so without assigning blame to others around me when their behaviour ticks me off just because I’m in a mood. I will heal without damaging another’s mental health. There is a heart big enough in me to love them and myself. I will be real.

What do you say to that?

To-Do

Do one thing today that makes you happy but you’ve been putting off since forever due to paucity of time.

Do one thing today that’s good for your body – be it hydrating every hour, a quick walk round the block or standing while working. Any thing that could make a difference to your sedentary routine.

Do one thing today that grounds your mental stability. You could meditate, take a power nap, chat with a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, watch a hilarious movie with family, or treat yourself to some hot chocolate while listening to your guilty pleasure playlist.

Do it. Remind yourself who it’s for and why caring for yourself is alright.

Do something for yourself today and let me know. Then see yourself inspiring others like the wonderful person that you are!

Easy Loving

They say it’s easy to hate and difficult to love. That’s how the whole scheme of things works. I beg to differ, if I may. Pardon me for it, if you feel. Because I think there’s nothing in this world easier than falling in love. Easier than opening one’s heart. Easier than giving another the power to tear you apart.

Hate, on the other hand, requires so much more effort, thought and time. Frankly, I have none. For you see, I’m so busy loving myself that I can feel enough compassion to give love to everyone I meet. And hate, to be honest, just messes with my vibe.

They say it’s easy to hate and difficult to love. I feel nothing but pity for such poor, tortured souls. For they clearly have never spent a day with their own selves and realised how simple it is to just be. And to love. One’s own self and others.

Hate, on the other hand, is the foremost form of self harm. And it must take so much struggle, deprivation, hopelessness and cowardice to hurt your own self.

So, if you find it easy to hate. I implore you to love yourself. No matter how daunting it may seem to be. I assure you, tis seemingly uphill task is actually a wonderful joyride.

Diary Entry #2 : Self Love

Dear Diary,

Today was an eventful day. Not in a way where a lot of things happened. But each one was more and more overwhelming.

A few hours in, and I couldn’t breathe. I was tired of running around in circles, trying to get everything done in time but getting nowhere. I forgot to take a breath! Or a break. I skipped lunch, as usual.

Then just when I had all but given up, staring blankly outside the window, the skies opened up and smiled. Have I ever told you about the magic of out-of-season rains?

They’re like little bursts of happiness, unexpected yet plenty. They are instant mood uplifters. You cannot help but smile as the first drop makes its way to the tip of your nose with a splat. They wash off all the grime, outside and within, and make you look at things anew.

The trees, the birds, the dogs and cats, all rejoice. And so, did I. I turned off my laptop, set aside my notebook, put my phone on silent and took a deep breath. I sat in silence with closed eyes, listening to the pitter patter and the thundering and rumbling outside.

And finally, I smiled. Because I decided to forgive myself today. I decided to apologize to myself today. I decided to love myself a little more today. So that I never forget to breathe again. So that I never forget it’ll all be okay in the end. So that I never forget to not always push myself too hard. So that I, can be just I..at times. So that the next time the magic of out-of-season rains find me, I’d be ready to welcome it with open arms.

Self Care Manual for Dummies Like Me

  1. Sleep early and sleep enough. Every night, for instance.

  2. Being bored is not equal to feeling hungry. Portion your meals and have them on time.

  3. Workout for 30 minutes (minimum) daily. Not for a summer or bikini bod but for a long, healthy life.

  4. Your body is a temple and your mind its reigning deity. Monitor what you consume, both physically and emotionally. Don’t eat crap, don’t take crap. Don’t drown yourself in tears pitying your existence while gorging on unholy amounts of french fries.

  5. Socialise. Share your time. Share pieces of yourself. Allow kindred spirits to enter your life. Allow yourself to be treated the way you actually deserve to be. Look at yourself from someone’s else’s perspective. It’s okay to have some alone time and well defined personal space but it’s equally important to get out of your comfort zone too.

Better functioning adults than me, please feel free to add to the list. Let’s all lift each other. There’s enough in this world to pull us down. Always remember the words of one very wise, albeit forgetful, fish, “Just keep swimming!”

A Christmas Miracle

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And I was alone in a strange city

Scrolling through Insta stories

Living vicariously

Such happy, holiday pictures

What magnificent plans

Everyone had stepped out for Christmas

But that wasn’t meant for me

I snuggled further inside my blanket

Stretching my toes a tad

The night before Christmas

Would be the only miracle I had

I’ll wake up tomorrow morning with an unfilled stocking

No gift tucked under my pillow

And no screams of heady delight

But

I’ll be alright

Because the miracle of Christmas

Isn’t in the gifts, the tree or the plans

It’s the strength to wake up

On Christmas morning

Ready to face the world anew.

This Christmas let’s remember the ones without family, the ones away from home, the ones who can’t afford gifts, or even a makeshift home. To each and every one of you, I wish the very best. We’ll all get through it together, bit by bit. And always know that the doors to my home and heart are always open – if there’s anything you’re struggling with, please don’t hesitate to drop me a word at varnikajain92@gmail.com. I promise to listen, to love and to bring back a smile.

I hope you all have a very, merry Christmas!

Love,

Varnika

Dear Diary #1

Dear Diary,

Today I realised that it’s true – we teach others how to treat us by what we allow, what we stop and what we reinforce. So, I’m entrusting you with a few notes to remind me of this on the worst of days –

  • Roll your eyes generously
  • Take pride in putting your foot down – even stopping it, when required
  • Shamelessly create noise or a freaking furore when fools turn a deaf ear
  • Go bonkers! Often and enough

Remember, you are all you’ve got, you’ve got to watch out for yourself.

In the words of my all time favourite movie (which was, surprisingly better than the book!), The Help –

You is Smart,

You is Kind,

You is Important,

the help