Recently, I found a book of quotes and poems I collected while I was a teenager. (That does make me sound old, but I’ll keep that aside for now.) The book, with flowers and birds on it, is full of hope, love, friendship, little stars, and lots of warmth and optimism. It is refreshing to read things from a younger time—a young person is always brimming with enthusiasm and is full of never-ending, shining-golden hope. A little reminding of oneself is what we need now and then. Here is something I found in the treasure-chest, which I think is very pertinent our every day lives:

“Relationships-of all kinds-are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.”

I never gave the aspect of “respect” a lot of thought till I got acquainted with someone who held “respect” as the most important thing he needed in any relationship, explicitly. I always thought that respect came with acceptance. I still think so. I have had these days where “respect” and its need is staring at me from every window on the street. May be this is because I’ve seen what it is like to have someone question every thing you do; not respect how you feel, what you value and what you deem as important. I’ve seen that there can always be someone who will tell you how to live your life and there is always someone who will judge you for the choices you make. It can be stifling. I openly admit that I spent a major part of last year questioning what I did every day. Every single day. I would wonder if my intentions were right. I would wonder if I was doing the “right thing”. I would keep to myself how I felt for the fear that it wouldn’t be accepted. I sacrificed what I would have normally done for my friends and to uphold my friendships, because I got judged at every single intention. I spent a lot of time trying to find myself. After much deliberation and some much needed liberation, I realised that I wasn’t being respected for who I was. What’s worse is that I didn’t respect myself anymore for who I was! What I “really” was, I mean. And then, slowly, I started getting out that barometer that one should at all times to measure if you deserve to be acquainted to someone. I brought out a barometer of respect.

So, after some numbing and lost-cause months, and some liberation, I began to see my life with my own eyes. And that is when I saw “respect” and therefore, “acceptance” staring out at me from everywhere. They say that everything is right around you when you need it, only when you do spot it you can then see that it actually exists. So, in all those months, I did not see that I needed respect for who I was and what I had made of myself all these years. Before, I could expect it from someone else, I needed to get some for myself. When I did, and started snapping out of the pity I had for myself, I found the universal rule staring right in my face—any relationship, be it that of a parent and child, friends, colleagues, and even lovers—is based on respect and acceptance. It isn’t based on oppression and ownership. It was just a matter of time that I found that book of mine and read the aforementioned quote that I once collected. It was also no coincidence that I stumbled on the following comic too, which made me write this post:

Libra - Pisces Comic Strip

You see how things come to you when you “actually” need them?

-Sameen

P.S: Comic Strip Source: http://www.astro.com/col/zodiactopia10_e.htm#
The comic strips are worth checking out. Apart from being funny they do offer much needed insight as well.