It is the toughest challenge in the world. To explain reasons for your feelings. To convince people on why your life is worth it. To seek others’ approval for what you most dearly want to do. To tell them how you will succeed. I have faced this challenge on many occasions. I have also seen people taking different ways to do it.
Some people live the quote - ‘I am what I am. For the rest, I care a damn’. They follow their heart and are not afraid of the consequences. I am not one of those. I am what I am. And I do care, what others think of me. Especially, my loved ones. I do care, for what they’d feel, about things that I do.
Some others live the approach –‘Sometimes, to do what is good for everyone, you have to sacrifice a few things – and this includes things you most love’. I am not one of those people either. Of all feelings in the world, the one I hate the most is Sacrifice. Because when you sacrifice what you most want, you are only giving up your actions to attain it and not, your very love for it. You kill your feelings, with your thoughts. You whip your heart into becoming a feelingless creature. I cannot bear that either.
So, what is the right approach then ? When hurting your loved ones is painful, and hurting yourself is unbearable too, which of the two involves lesser suffering ? That night, I was madly in search of the answer. And I eventually looked upto my trusted friend.
‘Hey Dear, what do you feel ? What is the right approach ?’, asked my mind.
‘Hmm, what do you think ?’, asked my heart back.
‘I do not know yaar. This is a matter of feelings. So, it is upto you to take the call. The question is whose feelings are you intending to hurt – yours or others ?’, said my mind.
‘What do you think is right dear?’, said my heart.
‘Well, if you ask me, I think you should sacrifice Sai. Frankly, it is better if you are hurt, than your loved ones feel unhappy. It’d be selfish and mean otherwise. To keep your loved ones happy is the first and foremost duty of yours. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do Sai ? Feel for others ? Keep them happy ? Isn’t that what life taught us ?’, said my mind.
‘Hmm’, my heart sighed.
‘Ohh.. What happened ? Do you not agree ?’, asked my mind.
‘How does it matter ?’, asked my heart.
‘What do you mean by how does it matter ?’, asked my mind.
‘Well dear, in the name of others’ love, you ask me to kill my feelings. And worse, you want my approval for it today ? You make it sound as if giving up what I most want, is a virtue and use life’s teachings against me. So, what do you expect me to respond with ?’, asked my heart.
‘Hmm, Is not giving up what you most want for the sake of other’s happiness a virtue ?’, said my mind.
‘Ohh.. Is it a virtue even when you know that what you most want is probably the right thing to do ?’, asked my heart.
‘Hmm.. I'd say yes. It is a right thing to give up your love, if it can keep more people happy, peaceful and without troubles. It is a right thing to give up, if it prevents more people from unhappiness, shame and guilt of failure’, said my mind.
‘How can it be Dear ? In that case, why do we not give up God ? If there were no god, so many people would remain guilt free, without fear of the past, without fear of future, without confusion. People would remain frank, honest, straight forward, crazy and do things that they most love and enjoy. Why then do we not sacrifice God ?’
‘Hmm, do not talk stupid things. We are deviating from our topic. I asked you what do you feel is the right approach. Do you follow your love for your joy or sacrificing it for the greater good ?’, asked my mind.
‘Dear, do you really want to know my truth of what is the right decision’, asked my heart.
‘Yes’, said my mind.
‘Then listen to it. I feel that living up to one’s own love than for your loved ones is the better of two approaches’, said my heart.
‘And why is that so ?’, asked my mind.
‘Because of four other feelings’, said my heart.
‘And what are they?’, asked my mind.
‘Firstly, when my life ends, I do not want to hold animosity towards anyone who opposed my love. I do not especially want to feel that my dearest ones never understood what I madly craved for. I do not want to become hypocritical, wherein I remain unhappy within me, but falsely smile for others. That is robbing them of my true self.’, said my heart.
‘Hmm, not a valid enough reason. But go on’, said my mind.
‘Dear, feelings have neither validity nor an expiration date. They live with me forever.’, said my heart.
‘Hmm, I said go on’, said my mind.
‘Secondly, people change over time. That is the only eternal truth. Loved ones become indifferent to you. Indifferent ones start loving you. Friends loose touch. Unknown ones become friends. And for such transitory people, whose feelings and attitudes are never permanent, I can never give up what I truly love. I’d rather let Sai follow his love, make him work hard and convince his loved ones through his effort, how genuinely beautiful his love is and why they need to be happy about it. I would convince others into being happy through my love, than keep them happy by sacrificing what I most want’, said my heart.
‘Hmm. And what if you fail in convincing them ?’, said my mind.
‘Then I’d still be happy. I’d be happy that I atleast stood up for something in my life. I’d be happy, that I had the conviction to follow my feelings. The courage to put effort for the sake of myself. The feeling that I could trust my loved ones into understanding me someday’, said my heart.
‘Hmm, go on’, said my mind
‘Thirdly, feelings have no reasons dear. And reasons no know feelings. So, one must never judge feelings as right or wrong and others’ reasons as good or bad. One must just explore one’s life instinctively. One must try everything one righteously wants and triumph in whatever is possible’, said my heart.
‘Philosophical, but impractical. And what is your final reason ?’, said my mind.
‘Dear, finally and most importantly, I live only once. And I do not want it to be second rate. I want to dream shamelessly, hope foolishly, believe arrogantly, fail miserably and may be even succeed historically. I want to be someone who at the end of life thinks – Sai, you did everything humanly possible to live in a way that made you and your loved ones feel happy for you. You worked hard to follow your love and make your loved ones feel proud of you and feel the love within you’, said my heart
‘Even if it means others are hurt forever, if you fail in such a love ?’, said my mind.
‘I have to take that chance dear. It is a question of risking happiness versus accepting fate. It is a question of living wildly versus getting domesticated. It is a question of being a human versus becoming a tool in other’s hands. It is a question of giving people the true me or giving them a fake happiness that they never realized was false. And as a heart, I'd rather be temporarily hated for what i truly am and even as i live, than be permanently loved for what i am not and after my feelings have been killed’, said my heart.
'Hmm', said my mind. That night, my mind did not speak further.