Swarna was feeling little uneasy when her friend passed her a cup of coffee. Her friend saw Swarna deep into thoughts and asked “What is it bothering you?” Swarna said ” It’s a closet, I am uneasy about. Space issue- it is getting smaller as I am growing.” Her friend said “Replace it and get a bigger one for yourself.” Swarna sipped coffee and thoughtfully she said with a deep breath “What if I no longer want any closets?” Her friend said “Then all your stuff would be in display, in a mess and it would not be attractive and acceptable to your guests and to you too.” Swarna asked “Have you ever been in a closet, a pitch dark closet?” Her friend said “My dear, closet is not a place for humans to be. It’s meant for clothes, shoes and accessories” Swarna said “Humm, it is meant for the things humans use to impress others and build a reputation for themselves.” Her friend said “Yes, at a certain level it is true.” Swarna thought as if the world is a fancy dress competition stage and everyone is ready with colorful closets; everyone is a potential judge and a promising participant too, at the same time. Funny it is! 🙂
Swarna turned towards her friend and said “Closets are not just physical things. There are many mental closets we all are carrying for the same purpose- to impress others and to save our reputation. These closets are pitch dark spaces trying to hold you from being authentic and real. These closets are full of colorful lies and dull guilt. These closets are as living as you are and they see you naked in their mirror. They show you your truth and then offer you the appropriate lie to hide it from rest of the world. They make you believe that your truth, your authentic self, is ugly and if it is revealed to the world you along with all your loved ones will be rotten in the hell. How can you take your loved ones down for your ugliness? So, Fake it till you make it. But, will there be day when you will forget the truth and make your lie your truth? How it would feel to be honestly dishonest? What would be the world like?” Her friend said “you think too much. Relax and take it easy. This is how humans and this world operates. Take a chill pill baby.” 🙂
On her way back to home Swarna thought; sometimes, it’s easier to live with a lie for lifetime than to confront. Especially, when the lie saves you from your reputation loss and from being a gossip material. And it takes a lot of courage to face the crowd with your truth on their face. May be you were just a victim but, you hide a truth like you were deserving person for the mishap and hiding the truth is the only way to save whatever you are left with. You would never be able to muster the courage to face the persons who know the truth almost like you do. And God! those truth knowing faces never fade away. They are always there in your memory whenever you fake and you lie and you desperately try to sell your lie to them as well. You just want to erase the event and those truth knowing people from your life. So, either you just cut off from them socially or you consciously compromise your authentic self in every meeting. Yet, you tend to live with lie because there are many more people who don’t know the truth and your reputation and respect is maintained.
Swarna asked herself ….but what if I just don’t care what people think about me? What if I want to be authentic no matter what the consequences are? What if I don’t give others the privilege of being my judge? What if I want to feel my real self in it’s full magnitude and in it’s full glory? What if I confess my mistakes and I tell them the truth? What if there is no one to respect me and accept me? I don’t seek their forgiveness or their pity. I want to do this because then I will be satisfied with myself that I did not surrender to the lie and broke out from the closet. I will feel greater self respect for me and a sense of freedom will come to me. It will restore my authentic self and my purity, as it was prior to the mishap. Slowly, I will regain my full authenticity and purity with which I was born. I have the courage to walk with truth, beautiful or ugly. So, here I break one of the strongest closets and see the sunshine.
Further she thought .. I will let everyone know that I had not resigned from my job but it was terminated by my employer. It would be difficult for others to believe as it was for me .. because I had been a good student through out my academic years. I earned a campus recruitment in one of the best firms in the country. I enjoyed many onsite trips during my service period. I got many recommendations from my clients. And one day, because of office politics I was thrown out of the office. Though they tried to be very supportive, they asked for my resignation and they made me go through the process of resignation- as a probation period and knowledge transfer etc. None, but few of my managers knew that it was not a RESIGNATION.
Swarna remembered that .. My job was terminated gracefully and more than this I was given a beautiful lie to cover the ugly truth. I accepted this gift and I posed to everyone that I resigned and everyone believed because of my reputation. I became so resentful inside that I thought of not working for any employer then on. If I would have been punished for my mistakes, I would have worked to correct them but to the contrary I was punished for my good work and stupid reasons. What I was suggested to do, I could not approve. As every situation outgrows into some other situation, this one also did. Many good events happened after that mishap. But, I always carried this lie with me and always felt some part of me is shrinking inside me. I made a social cut off with all those professional acquaintances and yet I could not forget this mishap. Now, I would not do this to myself anymore.
Swarna made efforts to connect to her old professional world, to settle this issue in her mind forever. When they heard her story they were shocked and few of them were happy and few of them were sad and few of them really understood the story. For Swarna it was a great freedom that she experienced and in that moment all her resentment left her. She felt very indifferent for her managers- no anger. She is a better version of a human and will continue to be. 🙂
“My dear, closet is not a place for a human to be.”
See you again.