What keeps me going they ask. I smile and shrug my shoulders, and try to make it appear like its no big deal. So what if it is extra and voluntary work? I mumble a few words about my passion for helping people who are at a difficult place emotionally. Only part of it is true though.
Deep inside I know that what keeps bringing me back here, every other weekend. It can't be just altruism when it involves so much of extra vicarious emotional trauma, investing extra time as well as effort in one's last and most important semester in a highly hectic course, nothing to say of additional expenses in travelling and sacrificing half of one's weekend.
More than altruism or passion to touch lives, to be honest, it is fear. Fear that someday, someone I love may be in a position like this and maybe I won't be there for them or won't be capable enough to help. Fear that in some parallel universe, this fate could have been mine or my loved ones' and there might not be enough helping hands and enough healing words to go by. Fear that right at this moment someone I love maybe suffering and may not even be able to receive help for it- because you see, emotional wounds do not carry the same importance that physical wounds do in our world.
Now that I have the clarity that only black and white perhaps can provide, I would say it is actually a mixture of gratitude and hope with that fear- hope that if I touch so many lives with my healing words, maybe my loved ones will be tended to better by the universe when they are struggling similarly; gratitude that though I and my loved ones have seen some highly trying times, all are pretty functional and have largely stayed at a safe distance from major emotional upheaval.
The more I analyse myself and the more insight I gain into my motivations, actions, thoughts and feelings, the more I realise that I'm operating out of a complex interplay of all that has happened in my formative years. My fervent wish to not let my future be in anyway influenced by my past and my inspired attempts to learn everything anew by gorging on books have not met their goal. I have grown wings, no doubt, but have the chains vanished? Have I been able to get completely away from my fears, my memories, my disappointments- my old world? Hell no. There's no escaping childhood and family, no matter how many faults I can find with the Psychoanalytic school of thought.
I have come to understand that my over zealous attempts to not be like somebody are also a way that that person still holds power and influence over me. My disenchantment with certain beliefs held religiously by certain people in my life has probably made me extremely biased against those beliefs- thus closing the space of experimenting with those beliefs and then making a verdict. Some of my disappointments have been so big that I have never allowed myself to have certain experiences. What sort of individuation has it been then?
The more I understand such things, the more I realize how running away from one's chains is futile, for wings can co-exist along with chains and chains need not be so bad after all if one invests in self-awareness. This blog will be my foray into becoming all that I can be- into greater understanding of how my own mind works and being comfortable with what I learn, and thereby continuing to increase my understanding of human behavior. It will also be a way of sharing with the society the priceless lessons 5 years of studying Psychology in the best institutions of India have given me.
What's in it for you?
Plenty of nuggets of wisdom interspersed with anecdotes and psychological theories in equal measure, in areas including but not limited to relationships, parenting, mental health, happiness, individuation, adulthood and counting :) Oh, and book-reviews and social commentaries too! I'm thrilled to begin this journey!
P.S. The details about the setting and the work I do there have not been mentioned because I'm bound by an undertaking of strict confidentiality.