No matter how straight-forward and kind I am, my friends just don’t reciprocate my goodness.
No matter how hard-working and ethical I am, my boss didn't give me a good increment.
No matter how intelligent, creative and ambitious I am, I have had to take three breaks in my career already.
No matter how early I wake up every day, irrespective of sore throats, headaches or menstrual cramps, to pack interesting breakfast and lunch for my child, he admires his dad for never missing his morning work-outs. I murmur, “how unfair! had I had support in the kitchen; I would have gone for my early morning walks too!”
No matter how much I support the family with cooking three meals a day, run the household errands, sacrifice my personal time for parenting, decorate my home to ensure a nice ambience, my family hardly says a “Thank you” or “Good Job”. Instead, they measure my success in comparison with the money that my husband makes and promotions he gets.
Am I not deserving of even a whiff of fame or appreciation?
It almost cripples me from thinking beyond the routine. I don’t think I can fly any further for, my wings have been cut by these people: the so-called “life partner”, the so-called “my family”, the so-called “trustworthy bosses”. There is no point being good or doing good.
Life is bloody unfair, isn’t it?
Yes. Life is unfair….and it will be.
But my friend, before your thoughts spiral you further downwards, trust that we have the ability to thrive with some perspective change…
We humans, very naturally and easily, put on several mental filters or Cognitive Distortions, in our minds that prevent us from living our lives well. So much so that we allow these filters to immobilize us mentally. Out of the many, 3 core-beliefs or philosophies destructive to human well-being, also called as Absolutist Thinking are:
1. One must perform well under all conditions and at all times to get and keep the love and approval one needs
2. It is critical to one’s well-being that others behave nicely, are considerate, and treat one fairly
3. The conditions under which one lives must at all times be favorable, safe and enjoyable
According Behavioral Therapy expert, Albert Ellis, people engage in such Absolutist Thinking when they believe that if any of these conditions are not present, terrible things will occur and life will not be worth living. Take help of a Coach or train your mind to modify your thinking to develop self-acceptance, other-acceptance and life-acceptance as precepts to mental health.
Be the Arjuna… "arise, resolved to fight"
Borrowing a dot from the Holy Geeta, Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to “arise, resolved to fight” when he falls limp out of dejection to fight the epic battle between his army, the Pandavas Vs his conniving cousins, the Kauravas. This was a call not meant only for Arjuna to pick up the courage to fight; but, divine call to mankind to discard his melancholy dejections in the face of life’s challenges and to come forward to play “the game of life” with a zeal to strive and win. There is a Mahabharata battle within each of us –the wise Vs the vices. The negative tendencies in us are plenty (just like the Kauravas, a 100 of them plus their battalions) and they easily outnumber the positive tendencies (the Pandavas, five of them plus their battalions).
The human brain naturally tilts towards negativity. It takes conscious and consistent effort from our end to gather all our positive tendencies under the guidance of the Lord to fight back the negative. So, see yourself as that Arjuna getting up and fighting back every day, a battle between these two opposite forces.
No matter what…. we must fight back, to flourish!
Founder Director, Minds In Transition
The Holy Geeta, commentary by Swami Chinmayananda
The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching