mitchel-lensink-213301

How much should you care what others think of you?

Image Courtesy- Unsplash

We all have two faces. One is our true authentic self, known only to you and your inner circle. The other is for the outside world which is the outcome of our worldview. They together form a wholesome balanced individual. Sometimes the balance goes for a toss and that is when the mayhem begins. When the inner and outer worlds are at war we begin to lose sight of our abilities, potential, strengths and everything becomes clouded. We get further and further away from our true self and let others take over our identity and define us as per their own perspectives.

In my twenties, I thought I was making the smartest decisions. I lived and trodded on different paths with reckless abandon. Meh! I will figure it out. I really didn’t care what people thought of me. At one point, there was so much talk behind my back that I reached the pinnacle of giving a damn. I was never the crowd pleaser or tried to be fake – failed miserably even when I tried. I was a silent introvert, observed everyone, choosing my inner circle carefully. Not that people were dying to get in but I cared two hoots what they wanted. I don’t think I didn’t care out of bravery or because I was supremely confident. I just gave up. I blocked them out before they could reject me I rejected them.

People did not have the time to judge me for what kind of a person I was from within. From the outside, they saw an individual who was quiet, arrogant and had a devil may care attitude. Who would want to be friends with someone like that? My vibe shouted – “STAY AWAY”. I acted as if they owed it to me to prove themselves worthy of my friendship. My strategy cost me. I didn’t succeed very much in being well liked socially or winning over people at work.

It took me many years to understand that this is not how the world works. Social skills are tolerating people you don’t like in a tactful way. It means investing something to get the desired response. The way I turned out was a result of a few incidents which occurred in my formative years. I was subject to nasty rumors which haunted me for years to the point of not being able to even leave my house– but who cares about that? Everyone has a story and you can’t expect people to understand that from the get-go.

All my life I wished people knew my story before labeling me but the irony was – I did the exact same thing to others. This got me thinking – “Why are we so addicted to the opinion of others?” I am not saying you shouldn’t care. Yes, you should but only to a certain point. There are certain experiences that only you undergo or a very few select will people understand. Expecting people to understand your story and hating them for not isn’t really fair. A majority of people don’t care or enjoy misunderstanding you.

I almost cringe and it breaks my heart when I hear stories of people staying in abusive unhappy relationships for years, who tirelessly work in a job which sucks the happiness right out of them or being covered head to toe in layers and layers or clothes so that they are not body shamed, not going out and meeting people because they are recently divorced, or hanging out with different men and women openly or may be suffering from an illness quietly out of fear of what others think. I am sure most of us would take different decisions if we didn’t live in the world we do now. We would be more fulfilled and happy in our lives if people didn’t care so much about what we do and we didn’t care much of what they thought of us. 

No matter how much you or I dislike people for being judgemental about these things – it will always exist. The worse aspect of this is – that it will affect you, your life and the people in it. People yearn to believe bad things about others. Have you noticed people believe bad things sooner than the good things? Even if they come to believe the good things they question it silently. Why are people so eager to believe negative aspects about people? Why is it so appealing and entertaining to see the downfall of someone?

It is unfair. I am not a saint and neither are you. We all have been there at some point. Sometimes at the receiving end – sometimes at the giving end. I learned my lesson many years ago and have given it my best shot to not be so judgemental, not believe in idle gossip and to give people a second maybe even a third chance. I realized I need to care what people think only up to a healthy amount. I ask myself if my conscience is clear and let my loved ones serve as a mirror to my behavior and actions. Although beyond a point I honestly do not let it get to me. My world is my family and friends and they know the real me and that’s all that matters. It is almost impossible to win over everyone or expect them to be fair to you. Also, at times people don’t care as much as we think they do. We build our own notions because we have our own insecurities and fears.

All you can do is not be that person. If every person thinks this way then maybe the world will be a less judgemental place. Social media is proof of how much we live off the approval and validation of others. Doesn’t every like or comment make you feel accepted and liked? If only we did even half of that in real life the world will be a better place.

You need to set a boundary for yourself – how much will you care what others think of you? How many of those people are going to spend even a minute helping or standing by you in difficult times? Should you be even giving this much importance to people who judge you based on how little they know the real you? We pressurize ourselves by societal norms so much that we sometimes end up taking unhealthy decisions which have long-term effects. 

Caring too much about what others think is like someone else trying on clothes for you and judging whether they look good or bad on you. Wherein, in reality, you know your body type best and the others who tried it have different body types of their own, so how could they possibly decide what is best for you?

What is right for you may be completely wrong for others. Things may look good on the outside but what is the point if you are unhappy and broken from within? How is it worth going through all this for people you probably don’t even deeply care about? Your loved ones will always support or encourage you to be happy even though it may be controversial for the outside world. Do what is best for you as you will be stuck with the outcome for the rest of your life – not them. 

We all want to be liked and accepted by the society we live in. The only real way one can do that is actually be a genuinely good person. Trust me people change their opinions as often as they change clothes every day. Putting up a fake front won’t take you far. Being a real, warm, caring and nonjudgmental person will win you true, meaningful and genuine relationships in life. These handful few relationships will be priceless compared to the hundreds or thousands you want to impress superficially. Speak your mind, don’t be afraid to take actions you know will make you happy and don’t base them solely on the approval of others. Rejection hurts but sometimes it is the best thing to happen to us. It propels you into something bigger and better.

The only things you should care about – Your happiness, unconditional support of your loved ones and trying to be a good person. Don’t let others define you. Your life is a collection of decisions you make and let them be only yours.

Chin up,

Keep Smiling,

Love,

Anu

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Does Love Win Over Everything After All?

Image Courtesy-Unsplash

This is a story about love! Love winning over everything! Is it true that “LOVE” is all you need in life? I am uncertain of the answer to that question but this couple’s story might give you a different perspective.

This is a story of Andy and Ana. They requested me to not share their real identity as being anonymous would help them be more transparent. It was more important for them to share their story. If you read further on, you will probably get a better idea why they want to remain anonymous. The names are not real – But their story is real! Their pain is real! Their victory is real! Who knows they might give hope to all the lovers out there who are on the verge of giving up!

Andy is actually my high school buddy. I remember him as a shy, intelligent and decent boy. He was mischievous as far as I recollect but always a good boy. He was the kinda guy who would have a silent crush on a girl for years and yet not say a word.  He was a very bright student as well. He would often get punished at the cost of his friends but always took it very light-heartedly. We never spoke after high school up until now but remained friends on Facebook. Continue reading “Does Love Win Over Everything After All?”

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Heroes Story 1 – The Woman Who Came From Hell and Back !

****Image is for representation purposes only****

This is a story about a rock chick named Catherine. She is one of those few people you meet in life and get instantly impressed with. She has an amazing positive aura, a smile as bright as the sun, pretty eyes and wrinkles around them which give you a sneak peek into her wisdom and strength. She has the most beautiful silver hair neatly tied in a bun. She is almost 65 years old – I know a woman shouldn’t be talking about her age so openly but when I asked her she said she is proud to be still standing at the age of 65 – happy and thankful.

I knew nothing about her story when I met her but still instantly started liking her. She was so easy to talk to. Compassionate and kind, listening to me go on about my life. I never share personal details about my life so easily but found myself telling her things I never usually discuss with people I just meet. She seemed genuinely interested and had a knowing smile on her face – I guess because my problems seemed so minuscule compared to the experiences she had in her life. There I was telling her about my dating life or how I don’t believe love exists anymore. Talking to her about wanting to do more in life but not finding the time. Telling her it is such a pain to grow up and the never ending responsibilities that come with it. She gave me advice which was simple yet effective coming from a real place, full of practicality.

I am not going to share how I met her because that could disclose her identity. I do not remember how we dwelled into a more deeper conversation. Her story shook and moved me from within. I could not believe my eyes that she is this person today even after what she went through! So here goes the story of my lovely Catherine!

Catherine was born and brought up in Houston, Texas. She lost her parents at a very young age and was being taken care of by her uncle. When she was 12 years old her uncle started touching her inappropriately. Her own paternal uncle whom she looked up to as a father figure – her only relative in this world. It was subtle at first but as she grew into her teens, her lecherous uncle could not control himself. He raped her the first time when she was 14. Back then she was really innocent and naïve. It took her a long time to understand what was happening with her. All she remembered was feeling numb and at the same time in so much pain. This horrendous torture went on for years until she completed her education and moved out. Her uncle grew old and with God’s mercy did not have the energy to pursue her further. I am not going to share the details of this horrible and inhuman experience because I want to fiercely protect Catherine’s respect and dignity. Hence there will no sharing of pictures or full name will be given out in this story. The picture in the post is for representation purposes only.

I am amazed that Catherine could even complete her education and pass with flying colors. She began her successful career as an environmentalist and focussed all her energy into work. She was hard-working and dynamic. She dated men but could never fully open up to them. She was the one everyone wanted but could never get. She was always dressed elegantly and carried herself with poise. The only time her pain came out was when she went for therapy and her therapist was her best friend – the only one she could trust. She told me that men thought she was hard to get but in reality, she was just trying to find herself. She soared in her career. Finally, at the age of 50 she met the love of her life. She told me that until then she never felt so much affection for anyone else as she did for him. Alan was a divorcee and was head over heels in love with Catherine. He pursued her for a year. Catherine had this huge smile on his face while talking about him. She said “I made him work for it”

She had almost given up on finding love. How many people meet their soulmate at the age of 50?! He proposed her many times but she kept postponing it until finally after 2 years she said “YES”! They had a beautiful marriage and enough money for their old age post retirement. They planned to travel the world. They had their sweet Sunday morning ritual where Alan would make her pancakes – it is her favorite😊 They did this everyday till they were together.

One morning Alan was watching a soccer game. Catherine was in the other room talking to her neighbor when she heard a loud thud.  As she ran across the hall she saw Alan on the floor. She immediately called 911 but she already knew he was gone. He suffered a major stroke and passed away on the spot. Catherine was in shock .. he was just watching the soccer game a few minutes ago! The paramedics were trying to revive Alan and Catherine just stood there- her world coming to a standstill.

I can never imagine in seven lifetimes what she went through that morning. Many years have passed since and she told me that all this made her stronger, positive and taught her to be a better human being. How does someone be so optimistic after going through hell and back since her childhood? She overcame losing her parents, undergoing years of sexual abuse, stigma from society, being single till 50, losing the love of her life and is not survived by anyone. She is such a huge inspiration to me. Here I was cribbing about my petty little problems and she had already fought a war and how!

Most women would give up if so many challenging and earth-shaking events hit them one after the other. Till date she works for the better of society, she lives in the fond memories of her and Alan, looks like a million bucks (makes sure of it) and has this amazing energy around her. Catherine still believes in true love. The years she spent with Alan is the best time of her life as he showered her with so much love – the love she never got which healed all her wounds. I asked her if she had any regrets in life and she said “YES, just one –  I should have married Alan earlier”

Kudos to you Catherine. You are truly my hero and you are one of the most thoughtful, genuine and warm people I have ever met. Thank you for sharing your priceless life experiences with me. I am sure you are going to inspire so many women who are on the verge of giving up.

Chin up,

Keep Smiling,

Love,

Anu

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Are you getting the respect you deserve? 12 signs you are being Disrespected!

Does RESPECT mean just being decorated with honorary titles, bowing your head, following the norms, worshipping someone or agreeing to everything someone says because you respect them or they respect you? I feel the word ‘RESPECT’ is extensively abused and the most mechanically applied emotion. People say “I respect you!” at the drop of a hat or expect to be respected without earning it. 

Most often there are signs of disrespect all over the place. Few are glaringly obvious while some are subtle, masked in manipulative behaviors. The subtle signs are difficult to recognize but have a slow and lasting effect. There is a huge difference between fearing and respecting an individual. Fear can be easily instilled but not respect. People often confuse fear for respect although they are as different as chalk and cheese.

12 SIGNS YOU ARE BEING DISRESPECTED! Continue reading “Are you getting the respect you deserve? 12 signs you are being Disrespected!”

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

An Ounce of Gratitude is worth a Million Benefits!

GRATITUDE – is the quality of being thankful and appreciating everything we have in life. It is to be kind, selfless and humble and not treat it like a debt which must be returned. It is being just plain thankful for what is and what will be without any expectations.

It takes a ‘Nano-Second’ for us to crib and feel disappointed about unexpected situations and results. How swiftly we forget all the blessings we have in life and immediately focus on what we don’t have. We always find something to complain about and if there is nothing to complain about we complain about that too. Being grateful is not just a behavioral trait but it also has a paramount influence on every area of your life be it your relationships, career, the people you attract and your health. A healthy mind state makes your bodily functions run smoother and more effectively.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. And he says that “The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,”

“It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.” “Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression, which can destroy our happiness.” Emmons said.
Continue reading “An Ounce of Gratitude is worth a Million Benefits!”

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Diary of Single Women! Thank You – Not! You Judgmental Bunch !

I think after being a single woman for a while, I am amused, surprised, annoyed, exasperated and very motivated to finally write about this! What am I talking about? I am talking about the way the world perceives us ‘SINGLE WOMEN’. This is not some feminist article or me shouting from the rooftops about equal rights for women. This is about plain practical common sense.

I met a friend of a close relative lately. He must be twice my age. He was being friendly and cracking harmless jokes. He seemed like a decent old guy. I was polite, smiled, answered his questions and that’s all! That truly all it was from my end! I forgot about the entire conversation and moved on with my life.  I think I would have a better memory of an ant crawling on the floor than about the conversation with him. A few days later he started texting and asking me out, commenting on my pictures and automatically assumed I gave him ‘Those Signals’ and that I am attracted to him physically. Whereas I just had a normal respectful conversation with someone who I thought was elder to me. It just blew my mind! What kind of demented antenna did he have to receive such absurd signals?! I wish I could share his picture with you guys so that you could see how bizarre his assumption of just this one conversation was! Continue reading “Diary of Single Women! Thank You – Not! You Judgmental Bunch !”

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Starting a new series called ‘HEROES’. Join me in spreading happiness and hope. All details in the video below!

Holaaa !! 

If you have an inspiring story to share or want to dedicate it to your loved one, here is how you can contact me:
1) Leave a comment on Facebook or send me a personal message (www.facebook.com/anu2601)
2) Leave a comment on Instagram or DM me (@anu2601)
3) You can email me – anu.ramamurthy26@gmail.com

Waiting! 

It will take some time to collate all the responses and finalize the stories.

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Heard a rumor about yourself which made your blood boil? Find out how to deal with Rumors!!

If you have ever been subject to nasty rumors, you would know that they are more than just a juicy piece of gossip. There is a huge difference between rumors and gossip. Rumors can be extremely damaging to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Gossip is just entertaining news, often not intended to cause serious harm. I was subjected to very nasty rumors all throughout high school. It started off as idle gossip which snowballed into a major web of lies, with exaggerated details, gory descriptions of imaginary situations which just turned into an ugly mess.

I was way too young and immature to even understand what hit me. I have never spoken about this before except to my near and dear ones. After a point, it just became impossible for me to go and clarify it to everyone. It just spread like wildfire. It altered my personality and haunted me for the longest time. It affected my confidence and I kept my interaction limited to a very few people. Whoever I spoke to or wherever I went, I felt they all knew about the lies spread about me and are judging me away to glory even though they probably weren’t even thinking about it. I could not enter a room with my head held high without the fear of being scrutinized. Fortunately, I found rock solid support in my family and friends and that pulled me through. Continue reading “Heard a rumor about yourself which made your blood boil? Find out how to deal with Rumors!!”

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

Love-Hate Relationship with Valentine’s Day? Do something different this year!


Do you have a Love-Hate Relationship with Valentine’s Day? Maybe you are happy or miserably single. Maybe you are blissfully committed or in a dead relationship which has lost it’s spark. Perhaps you are in a ‘no strings attached’ relationship. Whatever is your story there is so much pressure and hype around Valentine’s Day, right?

For ‘Committed Folks’ – to make it an unforgettable romantic experience. For ‘Singles’ to find a Date and be ready for all the love, cuddles, PDA and mushiness to be rubbed right in your face! Social media, friends, malls, TV, movies, songs, food and possibly everywhere you look is a constant reminder of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Your relationship status sticks out like a sore thumb. The poor ‘Singles’ are forced to feel lonelier than any other day of the year. For some reason, it seems like everyone is compensating for the things they didn’t do in the last 364 days.

I have to confess whether single or committed I have always been PRO-Valentine’s! I mean why not?! A special day to express love – I can’t see anything wrong with it. We all know we can’t treat all days as Valentine’s day and be lovey dovey all the time- that just wouldn’t work. We would probably feel smothered and not value it enough.

A lot of people dislike Valentine’s Day especially the ‘Singles’ and I don’t blame them. The most Cliché advice for Singles on V-Day is – pamper yourself, go shopping, eat your favorite ice cream and what not. I think that’s too much ME ME ME! When you do these things all by yourself (specially on V-Day) you probably feel the lack of a special someone a bit more than usual. 

 It’s all in the way you look at it. Why not reinvent Valentine’s this year?! Maybe this ‘One Day’ you don’t think about what you want, how you feel, blame people for disappointing you and have any kind of expectations. For a change, you make this day all about the people you love. It could be anyone – your mom, your best friend, your pet or just a kind selfless act for a stranger who least expects it from you. Ah! that twinkle in their eye – will be the best reward!

If you are single -Yes, you will feel lonely, you will want someone to pamper you, love you, care for you. I know that V-Day is right in your face, breathing on your neck and churning your stomach. You are OD’ing on Valentine’s Love which reminds you of everything you don’t have right now. Trust me it is so much better than being with someone who is half there, who technically qualifies as your better half but makes you feel miserable. It is also so much better to wait for the right person and be alone now than to waste your time being sad. Feel what you have to feel but dust it off! The sun always rises after a dark night. Instead of wasting your energy in feeling sorry for yourself why not invest it into making someone happy?

You know what happens when you constantly stare at one spot, right? The background is blurred. Similarly, when you focus only on the kind of love you do not have – the abundant love that you do have in your life is blurred too. 

For the Committed Folks – renew your love for each other. Appreciate and be grateful for this wonderful person in your life. This Valentine’s Day try to focus on everything they did you for you rather than what they didn’t. Even if it isn’t your fault, make the first move – do something nice for your better half and don’t expect anything in return.

For a change, don’t make V-Day about yourself. Make it only about people you love. Won’t you have the biggest smile on your face if someone did something for you? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

If nothing, then just resolve to become a more loveable person and for that, you must get rid of any kind negativity and doubt. Forgive your exes and let go of any grudge you have towards them. Determine to have compassion for even those people who are a pain in your neck. Express and appreciate people who deserve it but you never got around saying it out loud to them. Try to focus on the good in people and less on the bad and most importantly – to love yourself a little more.

I am not going to tell you to buy chocolates for yourself or go to the spa or shopping! You know why? Because as much as Valentines is about love – it makes you feel that much more unloved. So why not spend it with people who love you unconditionally? So if you are single or unhappily committed – It’s ok Darling! It’s just another day! Why concentrate on finding only romantic love – look around –there is happiness and love everywhere, just open your mind to it. If you still can’t feel it – give me a shoutout! I will remind you of how lovable you are!

Don’t be that person who covers up his/her own bitterness and loneliness by pretending to be strong and belittles this day. The truth is you would LOVE for someone to do something ridiculously cheesy and romantic for you, whether you admit or not.

I know you are not a Saint but give it a go! It’s just one day! Trust me it’s much more rewarding than feeling sorry for yourself.

To Do List this Valentine’s Day 2017:

  • DON’T WALLOW IN SELF-PITY
  • DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYONE JUST BECAUSE IT’S V-DAY
  • BE SELFLESS AND MAKE AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON HAPPY
  • LOVE YOURSELF 

Happy Valentine’s Day You Sexy Bunch! Keep Smiling!

Chin up,

Love,

Anu

Please share and follow !
mitchel-lensink-213301

How is Growing Up working for you? 15 things you experience when Growing Up!

“Grow Up !!” If I had a penny for every time someone said that to me, I’d be fairly rich! I always wondered what does it even mean? I will grow up with every passing day anyway – Duh! Why in such a hurry? Why do people keep saying that? I thought to myself I was so sorted in my head, they were the one’s who are stupid. I felt they were like annoying flies buzzing in my ear, forever critical and then they would say the 2 most annoying words “GROW UP”

All through my adolescence, it felt like a Warzone, a phase which I couldn’t wait to get out of! I prayed to God to make me an independent adult soon so that I am not answerable to so many people.  I already had a million obstacles to overcome like constant peer pressure, academics, extra-curricular activities, issues with friends, crushing on boys, family stuff and my own body going through so many changes. I am sure you can relate to the fact that every problem in your teenage years seems as complicated as running an entire nation! Continue reading “How is Growing Up working for you? 15 things you experience when Growing Up!”

Please share and follow !