Daily Prompt: Gone

Via Daily Prompt: Gone

A few short stories in relation to today’s daily prompt. Somewhere hidden within the text is a sense of something being gone or lost. I find that the word gone itself is very empty with little to offer in terms of emotion.

The Wi-Fi was fine and good 
It was I who had no connections left

 

“You really mean the world to be my darling!”
This was the birthday text that was sent.
Blue ticks. It’s been read. No reply.
The heart sank. I understood, someone else has taken the place. 

 

Somewhere between yesterday’s shadow and 
Somewhere between tomorrow’s insecurities 
We end up ruining today’a happiness.

 

Sooner or later, 
We all come to realise that being a 
Child was the best thing ever.

 

“Can you live without him?” her friend asked.
“No, but I would rather let him fly than break his wings.”

 

They both cried endlessly.
One had to forget and move on, 
The other regretted letting go. 

 

Somewhere between parents expectations and 
Society’s interference, dreams died. 

 

Take me back in time when people and emotions were real.
Take me to my childhood….

 

Somewhere between “I want to grow up” and 
“I want to be a child again”, Life happened.

 

Best Wishes,

Maahi PM

Tough Love

1. The little things that make us happy, the little things which make us feel loved, cared for, respected and appreciated always seem little at the time, but as the years pass, you will realise that they are what make up the very essence and beauty of your relationship.

2. Love has and will always remain to be a risk and gamble. You may know a person very closely and be very comfortable with them but none of us can ever be 100% sure as none or us can predict the future.

3. It’s more important that everyday you are able to consciously choose your partner to be your partner rather that just blaming it or putting it down merely on fate or simply stating that you were “meant to be.” It would be foolish to think or believe that you just floated passively into the relationship; you, like your partner were equal in choosing to take the steps to develop a relationship with each other so you are equally responsible.

4. Relationships, and by that I mean any relationships are bloody hard work and we all know it. Sometimes, you will become frustrated and you’re going to think that shutting down, bringing up the brick wall and emotionally removing yourself from the problem and quite possibly from the relationship temporarily is the wise and mature thing to do.

5. However, hiding or suppressing your feelings, bringing up that wall and closing yourself off from your partner is just as hurtful to them and harmful to your relationship as it is lashing out or yelling. The behaviour creates unnecessary uncertainty and animosity. Sometimes, it can be more detrimental to withdrawn emotionally from the relationship and your partner and the damage can be irreversible.

6. At times it will feel strange to become so open with another person – not caring when they see you in your most hideous state, being more concerned with having a good sleep than with looking adorable while doing so, having no shame regarding bodily functions, etc.

7. But these sort of things are also what bring you to the next level of intimacy in your relationship – being so close with someone that you feel like they’re the only person in the world who knows the unedited, unfiltered, unperfected version of you. The only person who knows the realest, most simple version of you and loves you because of it.

8. The novelty of a being with a new person is infatuating, but its inability to last long-term is what makes it so addictive in the first place.

9. A lasting, meaningful and long term relationship will not always feel as exciting and thrilling as the beginning of a new fling or affair, but it is much more likely to provide lasting happiness and contentment.

10. Sometimes your significant other is going to absolutely drive you crazy – and not in a passionate, head-over-heels kind of way. Its the kind of crazy where you wish you could make use of a club and a spade, oh and you just have to accept that its totally normal.

11. Physical attraction is critical but you have to remember everybody gets old and wrinkly. Therefore, attraction should be primarily be based on the persons values and their personality from the onset. This way you both are more likely to become more attractive to each other as you grow old together.

12. Love, roses, attraction affection and relationships are not immune to issues, arguments, and disagreements. The relationships which last are simply the ones who work out how to work through it, no matter how long it takes or how unpleasant it may be.

13. You will never be completely in love with every single aspect of your significant other. Of course, most of their quirks will be irresistible, some will drive you up the wall and make you scream. What is important is that you love them as a whole person, without trying to change them into a flawless, ideal and ‘perfect’ partner (who will never exist).

14. It’s easy to be in love when things are simple; it’s harder to be in love and stay in love when it feels as if every part of your life is an effort and a struggle. But as strange as it may sound, in relationships you become much closer when you go through shitty times together, as opposed to the uncomplicated phases of life.

15. It’s normal to love someone very deeply but to sometimes not like them.

16. Harsh as it may sound, you will never be completely fulfilled by another person. They can make you feel whole, loved, and happy. But its is not not at all possible to find the real meaning and purpose of your life within them – they can form a part of your life, but they are not the answer to it entirely. You have to take responsibility for your own happiness first before they can share that happiness with you.

17. Sometimes, loving your partner will not be effortless. It will take work and energy but don’t be under the illusion that this makes your relationship a failure. On the contrary, it makes you both real and human.

Best Wishes,

Maahi PM

The Importance of Family

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

I’m in the middle of a busy period in my family: Weddings. Each week its somebody’s wedding or engagement and one thing or the other is going on which is leaving me with very little time to upload something that I have written. Most of my blogs I start at least a couple of days in advance in order for them to be ready to go live on dates I have set but wedding season has delayed this schedule slightly. Nevertheless, the fairy tale wedding season has actually forced me to think more about the importance of family in my life.

I come from an Asian Indian background, and for me, family is the core element of my roots and foundation; it really does mean everything to me. If it wasn’t for my immediate and some extended family, I would most certainly be lost and I sincerely believe that I would not be the person I am today. As I look back in time, it is clear to me  how significant my family has been in all aspects of my life. My upbringing, the values, principles and faith instilled in me and the moral’s I was taught define me; my family environment has become an integral part of my identity.

An individual’s immediate family lays down the foundation for their personality and the majority of our behaviour is heavily influenced by their family life. Psychologists have strongly argued that children and young adults acquire the greatest amount of knowledge and life skills from their family life which has a direct and lifelong effect on the individual’s personality. Throughout their development, children are usually closest to their parents/primary caregivers and siblings than anyone else in the world. As children and young adults grow and develop, they form friendships, work with colleagues, get married and also have their own children with whom they begin to share their lives with. It is through time that these changes come about; however, the importance of family remains the same. Furthermore, studies indicate that children reared with strong family connections paired with a foundation of good education, values and ideals have been reported to lead much healthier and happier lives. Therefore, the importance of a family unit cannot be denied.

Luckily for me, I have been brought up with best of both worlds where I have been able to combine my own Asian Indian heritage with the Western culture. As a multi-cultured person, I have often been forced to waver on the edge of both Western and Eastern cultures, where on occasions I have been on either side of the often very fine demarcation line. Yet, through my development as a somewhat independent individual, I have come to realise that my family relationships and family values have contributed considerably towards the nature of who I am today. The strength, perseverance, courage and security have come directly from my family unit necessary for future development. Psychological research has demonstrated that adults who have experienced a smooth and well established family bond are generally more successful and display higher levels of confidence in all aspects of their life. In this respect, the family unit remains of utmost importance to initiate, nurture, conserve, and base other relationships on which an individual develops throughout their life.

My upbringing has been in a Western culture where I have very often witnessed family values and relationships not being given the deserving respect and commitment, and furthermore, they are not held as strictly as they are in the East. However, for me it remains in my own heritage to take forward this tradition of family values.

My family provides me with my identity because I am a direct descendant of my parents; my parents are my blood and the primary reason for my existence. However, I am more than a mere biological product of my parents; I am a messenger of my family’s values, principles, beliefs, understandings, fears, thoughts, failures and triumphs. My childhood was spent growing up in their home from where I acquired a great deal in terms of life skills which I’ve implemented throughout my life as I have grown and developed. Some traditions I have modified or ceased using in line with the society and generation to which I belong and have grown up with. My earliest memories of my childhood and my family life, regardless of whether they are pleasant or not are extremely precious to me, they are memories which simply cannot be replaced or erased. They are treasured beyond all other memories and many of them shape and define me today. I have recollections of moments where concepts such as love, acceptance, and understanding have become clear to my naive self and as I look back now I am grateful for these moments as it was these which provided me with comfort, security, and opportunity to grown.

I found a great deal of comfort with my parents, particularly when I experienced trouble at school but it wasn’t until I was a naive teenager that I really began to understand the importance of the many teachings of my family and parents in particular. It was the mere act of stepping away that shaped my identity, personality, nature and solidified my principles and values, while remaining flexible and open to suggestions and change. It not only allowed me to demonstrate my independence but it empowered me with the opportunity to challenge myself based up on my parents and family’s teachings. As a young adult who was very much independent I most certainly appreciated my parents and family considerably more. One finds themselves loving their parents mannerisms so much more and with a sincere feeling of gratitude I thank them for the practical as well as emotional support they provided me with as a child and as I have developed into an adult. I thank them further for educating me to be a strong independent woman with strong family values, compassion, understanding and faith. Furthermore, I thank them for the endless support I know they will continue to provide me throughout my life. As I look forward to the future, I realise that one day I shall also be the same source of strength for them in their old age as they were to me as I grew and developed. It is being this pillar of strength, this reliable point of support and connection with my roots that echoes the essence of my parents and family’s teachings. Family is very important to me.

Now, the last impression I want to give you is that I have had a rosy, almost fairy tale like family life as not only is this simply not true, it does not demonstrate true learning and development. Growing up in a Western culture, with an Asian Indian and Hindu heritage, my family and I very often clashed in our ideas and views. I could never understand why our lifestyles were so different to that of my peers, why we lived a certain and why we did things the way we did. When I wanted to go out with my friends, I found myself asking why could I never be like them? Why did I have to do things so differently too? We had debates about clothes, alcohol, smoking, diet, festivals and celebrations; you name it and there had been a debate or some form of heated argument about it in my family. There have been tears too, from hurtful words and pain to joy and triumph. There have also been moments of complete silence where we have all required the time and space to reflect on the present circumstances to move forward, to rebuild the relationship, to regain the broken trust and overcome disappointments.

However, despite the disagreements and clashes of cultures, I am privileged to have a close relationship with my family. We aren’t all this lucky. People often say that no matter how hard you try, you can never disconnect yourself from your family. A family unit is viewed as an integral part of an individual and the harder and individual attempts to distance themselves, the closer they become. I disagree. If this statement were accurate then why do we have so many elderly nursing and residential homes across the world? Did these parents love their children any less? or was it that the children were unable to care for their frail parents? Why are the numbers of children being abandoned or taken into care increasing each year? Why is the divorce rate growing year by year? For those of us who do maintain a close connection with our families  should consider ourselves privileged purely because if we observe those around us, we may find others less fortunate than us whether it be elderly parents or it be lonesome children. I have witness my father live for almost 28 years separated from his family. The neglect and rejection my father has experienced over the years has had a detrimental effect on his own sense of self-worth and identity. It is on this basis that I am grateful and certainly do not take for granted my family relationships. Family provides the link to our beginning and a guide to our future and I say we must embrace every opportunity we have to remain close to our family’s instead of minimise it.

Family and Self Esteem
“What God is to the world, parents are to their children.” – Philo

At every significant point in our lives, we all require the feeling of ‘belonging’ and to feel accepted by those nearest and dearest to us. This sense of belonging and acceptance is derived from a secure family bond. Family is where our roots take hold and from there we grow and develop; we are shaped within this unit, which prepares us for the world as well as the many experiences to come. Values are taught in childhood are carried forward with us throughout our life. Close family bonds represent a safety net which catch us when we falter and pushes us back up when necessary. It is within these bonds that we find refuge, whether it be a listening far or the practical support when we experience difficulties in life. These family bonds allow us to develop and instil trust and hope for the world around us as well as belief in ourselves and our abilities. We all had small, fun rituals when we were younger, such as bedtime stories, sweet treats, hugs, weekends at theme parks, holidays and meals shared together which provided a sense of warmth, structure and safety that many of us still carry with us today. For me, these small but significant rituals and traditions have created memories, leaving behind a family legacy to cherish for years to come as well as laying the first path in my life – a path which is positive and realistic.

Our spirit, soul and the essence which defines us can either flourish or perish within this family unit, particularly when we do not receive the essential elements of security and the influence of strong family bonds early in life. This can often result in the very foundation being built on emptiness, which one may seek to fill through destructive means instead. If one does not receive love and affection as a child, it is highly likely that they may later seek it through more detrimental ways. Such individuals are likely to display a deep yearning and a hollowness which they experience and which they are looking to fill. This hollowness residing in the heart and soul is often as a direct result of never knowing what it’s like to be loved, accepted and appreciated for ‘being’ apart of a family unit.

This lack of a bond or living in a detached or dysfunctional family or environment have been known to have a detrimental and long-term effects on an individual’s physical as well as their mental health. For example, a destructive cycle can emerge and be repeated when a child has grown up in such an environment. As an adult, this individual is likely to view dysfunctional family bonds as the norm, where unfortunately drugs and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime is what they are accustomed to and in turn will seek such situations and people. They are unlikely to easily recognise any healthy relationships and family bonds as this is a foreign concept to them.

The long term effects of living in a dysfunctional environment are not often very obvious. Both children and adults will display a diverse range of behaviours, yet the similarities between them may still be visible. Children and adults may have poor self-image or self-esteem often displayed by them isolating themselves from peers at school, college, work or home. Adults hold negative beliefs regarding themselves and that as an individual they are somewhat inadequate for the society in which they reside. They generally lose confidence in their own abilities, their future and their relationships. Children on the other hand display more subtle behaviours such as shyness, low levels of interaction with peers and adults as well as referring to themselves in a negative manner through demeaning expressions such as ‘I’m stupid, I’ll never learn this’ or ‘what’s the point’. Children and adults may also display signs of holding anger and pain inside.

This level of poor self-esteem affects the individual’s entire life which adversely influences an individual’s ability to make positive choices as well as be close to others. Their own inner tension and feeling of shame can very often lead them behaving adversely, ranging from emotional and physical withdrawal to aggressive and combative outward behaviour. The family is widely seen as an important influence on self-esteem as this is where the initial sense of oneself first begins to form.

As important as family life is, it is rapidly becoming a rare appearance in the world today where the families are breaking down and higher rates of divorce are contributing to an unnecessarily high number of children suffering needlessly. In today’s world, one of the biggest problems we are facing is the growth of independence resulting in the family bond losing its significance and the younger generations missing out on developing vital relationships. Furthermore, in segments of the world, the length of time people are now choosing to spend with their families is decreasing rapidly, all because we are too busy chasing after our careers, money or even to simply make ends meet.Yes, as humans we are social animals and we require company and although we may enjoy solitude on occasions, we cannot prosperor live happily in isolation forever. It is at this point that our family provides us with reasons to laugh, cry, think, express, create and provides reasons to live life.

Our family members are the only network of people who genuinely demonstrate and express true feelings for us and I can most certainly say they remain the only network of people who really care for us. It is our family which keeps us afloat, provide for us without any form of expectation. In today’s society, even our friends have expectations from us, we must call, text, email and even socialise regularly enough to be considered a ‘good’ or ‘real’ friend, but with family, and particularly our parents they don’t ordinarily have these expectations. No doubt they will feel bad and they may even be given good reasons to complaint due to our lack of consideration, yet their love and affection will remain.Always remember that the goodness in you, your nature, your personality and they essence of who you are today is due to your family. It is primarily because of this group of people who you are here today and they will remain the only people in society that you can turn to, even in your darkest hour. You are a part of this unit known as family, be happy that are lucky enough to have a family!

“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.” – Mario Puzo (The Family)
Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

A Fathers Significance

daughter & dad
daughter & dad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year in the month of June a large majority of people are blessed with the opportunity to celebrate the most

significant men in our lives: our fathers. As many of us celebrate Father’s Day we recall and cherish the relationships we have with our fathers, thankful for the number of ways our fathers have supported and guided us at all stages of our lives.

Most people during their childhood have heard the words, “Just wait until your father gets home,” indicated you were in trouble, fearing the moment your father came home. Fathers are commonly viewed as the disciplinarian, the play time partner, and the problem solver contrary to mothers who are regarded as the parent for nurturing, sympathy and comfort from stressful circumstances. However, due to radical changes socially, economically and technically, the structure and function of the family was altered, primarily affecting the role of the father. The role of a father was increasingly seen as trivial, even negligible, and his prominence was limited to the manner in which he provided for the family.

Contributing further to this change was the decreased inclusion of the father within the psychological field. A large majority of studies did not place sufficient emphasis of the role of the father and his contribution towards the development and growth of his child or children was more often than not reported as insignificant or inconsequential. The numbers of studies investigating the role of the father were small and were often based on reports by the mother.

So what is the reality these days? A father’s position in the family has never lost its importance and has never faltered regardless of society’s trends. It goes without saying that fathers do play a very significant role in their children’s lives; fortunately, these days, neither the general public nor psychological researchers view the father as insignificant and acclaimed journals as well as the internet is awash with research demonstrating and highlighting the importance of the father. A large proportion of studies demonstrate that an involved father plays a major role, specifically in the cognitive, behavioural and general health and well-being areas of a child’s life and the recognition and validation of their importance within parenting literature has contributed to fathers being more aware of their value, leading to their increased and renewed desire to be involved in their child’s life. A great number of studies have indicated that fathers who are positively involved in their children’s life provide a valuable foundation for their developmental needs, complementing what a mother provides. Furthermore, research has endlessly revealed that children with involved fathers, on average, demonstrate higher educational outcomes, are highly motivated to succeed, have higher self-esteem and confidence and are less like to be delinquent. These studies cannot be generalised yet fathers remain important where children are better off with a loving and committed father than those without.

Father-Daughter Relationships
Fathers are important for their daughters and while mothers are the nurturing caretakers and role models for young girls, it is the fathers who shape their daughters sense of femininity. A father relationship with in daughter shapes and provides a foundation for what her other male relationships will be like, including with her husband. This unique relationship a daughter has with her father provides examples on how to relate to the opposite gender. Fathers demonstrate to their daughters the importance of equality with their fellow males and they give their daughters respect and praise in order to develop their confidence. The importance of this relationship is immeasurable.

Father-Son Relationships
All male children require their fathers because no matter how wonderful a mother may be, it is the father who is the role model which will shape how the child will develop into an adult male. A father shapes his sons development by building common interests, providing their approval and setting good and positive examples. It is these positive examples which contribute towards the healthy development of the son’s gender identity. A father-son relationship is truly a unique bond in which the son will never love another man like they love their father.

A father’s love goes a long way in raising a child to be a well-adjusted adult. As you celebrate your father on Father’s Day this year, don’t forget to remind him how his love and presence shaped you to be the person you are today, how you value the importance your father and how you hope he knows just how appreciative you are of him. Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad. This wonderful day which celebrates our fathers is a day to signify the importance of fathers and how your own father has helped shape you into the person you are today. So take this opportunity to reflect on all the good your father has done for you on this Father’s Day. Show your father how appreciative you are of him, because you probably don’t make it a point to show him your gratitude every day.

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM