Sunday, November 30, 2014

"V" is for "Venting....!"

"I have a severe headache, a back ache and a my stomach really hurts," a young woman complained to me in my office a few weeks ago.
"How long have you had all this?" I asked.
"About 2 weeks, it all started together," she replied.
"Any fever or chills?" I asked. 
"No fever or chills." 
"Anything happened two weeks ago..? Did you eat something that you are not used to? Any stressful situation?" I was doing the physical exam while I talked. Her exam was essentially normal.
"Well... now that you mention it. I did break up with my boyfriend about that time. And there's a lot of stress at work. You think that might have something to do with my illness?" she asked. 
"It might," I said, speaking slowly. "And I don't think this is an illness." Her symptoms made sense now.
"You know... my break up was coming for a while. We had been together for 3 years. But we were just not right for each other... the laughter was not there anymore....." And she went on and on ....and on.
I just sat back and listened. I made appropriate gestures & noises in between. After about 15 minutes, the young woman stopped.
"You haven't talked about this to anybody before, have you?" I asked.
"No, I haven't. I am sorry I took so much of your time," she said. She seemed more relaxed now.
"No worries, I have all day. Are you feeling better now?" 
The young lady took a deep breath. "I really am feeling better." And for the first time, she smiled.

This young lady just needed to vent. And off and on in our lives, we all need to do the same. But there is always some hesitation in putting out our core inner feelings in front of just anybody. During the rough times in our lives, through numerous situations, a few (very few!) individuals will emerge who stood by us through those difficult circumstances, and these are the people we can completely trust. And these folks become our sounding boards and at certain points in our lives, we have a tendency to vent in front of them. 

And now to the other side of the coin-- if somebody comes looking for a shoulder to cry on, that's all we need to give--- just a shoulder. No advice, no judgments.... nothing. Just be a good listener, and let that person vent. 

There is no harm in venting when stress reaches a certain point . 

"And why is there is so much stress in our lives? Because most of us focus too much on improving our lifestyle rather than our life." ~ unknown


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"U" is for having the courage to be "Unique"

Every individual is unique. All of us have our own stories, our own life experiences. And these experiences and events mold our character and the unique being that is an individual. And if we think of it, it's pretty awesome-- that of all the people who have come and gone on planet Earth, there was no one like you, and there will be none in the future either..... that's some food for thought!

And no one can become exactly like you or me, even if he or she tries. So the corollary is that we are best when we are being our own unique self. So why is it that so many of us will try so hard, to be like someone else? Its generally an exercise in futility, as no one can be like the original!

In today's world of instant gratification, where there is a scramble to reach the top of the social & professional ladder in the shortest time possible, a lot of folks will take shortcuts and step over others to get where they want to go, and will pretend not to have noticed the pain and hurt they caused in doing so. 

At this time, nowhere else in this entire universe are same thoughts going on in any other person's mind and soul, as are going through yours right now. No one can give meaning to your spirit and your character, except you... and you alone. So treasure your uniqueness--- enjoy it, cherish it, enhance it!

And more importantly, share your uniqueness. No one can smile your smile, no one can laugh like you and and no one can speak your words. Don't worry about the jabs that might come from your peers at your openness. Just remember, your true friends are those who like you the way you really are. Friendship is not about finding similarities, it is about respecting differences.

"I am not like most people." ~ Most people