03 Sep It Is Ok To Be Misunderstood
Today was the second day of Nirahara Samyama. I woke up feeling immensely hungry. But when I looked deeper into the sensation, it was an empty stomach rumbling, and feeling of thirst.
I got up, drank water from my copper water bottle, hugged my cat, and went back to sleep.
I re-woke up feeling fine. I did my routine of jal basti, using an organic Neem stick for brushing my teeth, and next doing oil pulling. Three powerful yogic processes to detox and cleanse the body. I did not even remember anything like hunger until 3pm. I also looked deeper into what definitions we give to things, and how quickly we label something as something. How quickly we conclude an empty stomach to be the same as “hunger.” We live with many such labels, without realizing it. My stomach was not habituated to being empty. I was not feeling weak or anything. It was sending out signals that it is empty to my brain, and automatically it was being cognized as hunger.
The Process of Forming Opinions
Similarly, most people form too many opinions too quickly. It is a burden to live with too many opinions. Yes, it is important to differentiate between wrong and right – which most people fail at – but it is not important to give an opinion on everything. I myself try to not give opinions too quickly on things. When there isn’t enough data to give a conclusive answer, I refrain from coming to a conclusion. Which I find most people are unable to digest. I am almost all the time being compelled to agree with people on their opinions.
Being misunderstood has a lot to do with these opinions generally flying around. People wanting to box you into one category or another; one stereotype or another. It is a struggle to make people understand that you are your own stereotype. You are not “like” so and so.
When I was sitting in meditation today, Swamiji’s words echoed in my inner space again, where he called me His “budding Arjuna.” It suddenly struck me – there was one more reason why he said that. Arjuna was definitely not a stereotype. More importantly, he was exceptionally skilled in everything he undertook. He picked up the most varied skills ever, and was a maestro at all of them. This is one aspect of his character that made him so different, so unique, so charismatic and such a tall figure in Mahabharat. He was an intellectual, an artist, a warrior, a teacher and a lot more.
There was a lesson for me here, which I had missed before. I have struggled to make people understand how I really, really, really do many things, and am damn good at all of them. I am not good at everything under the Sun, but I am good at what I take up. Excellence is a habit. And it shines truly when you take up everything you are passionate about. This stupid world, where people live as per a calendar & curriculum, has not been able to understand this, and has always labelled me as “confused” and what not because of its own lack of depth & mental abilities.
But I need not think of it as a bad thing. Arjuna was most definitely misunderstood – and hated – too, in his time. Most of the other warriors were jealous of him & his prowess. Karna made so many attempts to demean and insult him. But he did not budge from his stand for dharma.
Who Am I?
I sometimes feel disgruntled seeing the length and breadth of the stupidity of this world & the people around. Social media feels like a place to throw up rather than relate with people.
This disillusionment and despair does come up every now and then, and it was no surprise it was coming up today. After all, Nirahara Samyama is meant to pull out deep rooted thought currents. I feel literally every thought current you have been “eating with” comes up during the process. If you repeatedly think about something, some cognition, while you are eating, it gets programmed into you, and it comes up when you break the samskaras of eating.
People telling me to “not be” disillusioned is even more stupid. It’s not a switch. It’s there for a reason. You can’t just gloss over it. Until I get to the root of my own suffering, and destroy it, it will never be really gone.
I have always resisted people wanting to define me for me. I have hated being labeled as this or that. Even remotely being likened to someone else would probably make you unpopular with me. No, not even any “celebrity.” It is because all my childhood & later in life too, I was this misunderstood kid, who was hated for being talented and smart & having different opinions on common issues, and had no problems believing in herself, and sometimes said it out loud innocuously… and ended up being a loner all her life for the same reason.
But I was not that. I was not that misunderstood kid. No.
I was the Arjuna who was sometimes irked by the machinations of Karna & gang to belittle him, but who never gave in to their definition of him, because if he had, none of us would be talking about him now, more than 5000 years later. Only my own idea of me needed a shift.
It is important for the misunderstood geniuses to be who they are. Because they are the ones who give a new definition, not just to themselves, but to what is worth cherishing in life.
Today was not at all about hunger, as it turned out. I did not feel hungry the whole day. I was actually burping after drinking a small glass of juice. Today was about questioning and defining who I am and who I am not. And junking the rest, where it belongs. The latter is just as important.