Saturday, 6 April 2013

Being different in a conformist society

What is it like, to be ‘different’ in a society that expects you to be the same, to conform to certain ideals, behaviors, cultural norms, religious beliefs, etc, when everything in yourself is telling you that it all, everything, is not real? What do you do? 

This is the question that I was living for the past couple of years.  I didn’t write in my blog, being too busy to do so,  just living in a way that didn’t conflict with myself or my society

At first, the zeal to tell everyone about what I had realized, and the way it had changed my life, my very being, was strong. I tried different things. Writing a little in this blog I started. Talking to a few people I knew were interested in spirituality, awakening, whatever you want to call it. But no one wanted to hear. I was getting caught into arguing my viewpoint. Telling people that so much of what they were doing didn’t really matter as the self isn’t real. It was a joke that no one got. Later, I would go over my conversations and think how I myself was doing nothing except getting caught in the web of ‘self-based’ thinking and behavior. Of course, conditioning of 40+ years is very strong. It’s not like my thinking patterns were going to disappear overnight. Hence the discussions, the arguing, the getting worked up, wanting other people to be like me, and getting frustrated when they just wouldn’t listen

Slowly, I realized that my behavior patterns and the predictable thinking process was loosening, and giving way to a more relaxed way of thinking and life. A lot of this was due to just observing my thoughts, reactions and behavior, and realizing the 'hooks', the things I was getting stuck on. Slowly and quickly, so much dropped away, and the process is still happening. 

I realized that people will only be willing to consider the possibility of losing everything that they have ever believed in when THEY are ready, not when I want them to be.  That day might not even come for a lot of people. Religion and culture are very strong forces in most people’s lives here, and it is not something they are willing to let go of and look beyond. But it is fine if they are okay with their lives, if this is the way they want to live and I am okay with that now. Hurting people by saying things that they are not ready to hear is not the answer. Helping and guiding them when they are, is.

But it still leaves the question of me. What do I do? How do I live my life here? If I was not married, didn’t have kids, a family, an extended family set up in which I live, probably I would be living very differently. But as it is, I’m not willing to give up what I have. My husband and most of my family have no interest in this (but I have to say that they have been more understanding than a lot of people). I have learnt that it is possible to live life ‘on the edge’, balanced between the two ‘worlds’. Doing some ‘expected’ behavior, speaking the truth, but in the language that is heard and understood. Doing things which might seem hypocritical to those that really know me, but which are necessary at the time. It is okay to do that. Maybe hard to understand for those that do not have those limitations, but it is alright to play with life. That is the beauty of it. What helps a lot is having people like my best friend and my LU friends to talk things with. For that I am forever grateful.

Managing to stay true within these parameters, letting life flow, being moved to do things that are needed, with no expectations of what the results will be, having no expectations of how people should behave whilst knowing they will all behave differently, this is beautifully freeing and magical. There is so much appreciation for everyone, for the beauty of people and the beautiful, varied ways they live their lives That is a miracle right before our eyes. 

I love you, however you are. 


  1. Wow, this is really what I needed to hear today. While I may not share the same views as you precisely, I am really drawn to spirituality and view it as the ultimate way of living life, its a constant state of bliss if you have the right understanding. And I struggle everyday with dealing with society and even my friends, trying to convince them that this is the way. But your right, its impossible to change them unless they are willing to change themselves, that has to come from within. It was nice to read this :)

  2. Also, look up videos from sadhguru on YouTube if you want to see someone that has a similar understanding speak