Be the Change - Case Studies
STORY FOR INTEGRITY
"My real journey of learning in life started when I joined a 4 years course by Oasis, ‘Philosophy, Art & Science of Living, Loving & Learning.’ In the first 2 years there was a gradual change in my life as we were had to understand many new concepts related to life & relationships. In the first two years of the workshop lots of inputs were given by the facilitators. Then the journey took off in the 3rd which is the year of Integrity.
It is so easy to define the word integrity- oneness in thoughts, words & behaviour. When I questioned myself that when did I last live this definition, I had to go back to my childhood. It might sound strange but the fact is, ever since I got out of Boarding school at the age of 16 I was trying to please everybody around me. So I was a different person inside & put on a mask for the outside world! First I had to change that about myself!
In the third year of the workshop we were asked to find our most painful problem & commit to work on it. We had to set goals to solve those problems which would be monitored by the group next time we meet ie in the next 4 months. After a lot of thought & questioning from the group I chose to work on 5 areas of life: 1) Marriage- When we joined the workshop my marriage was in the crisis, after two years of the workshop I felt that lot of work was yet to be done on this relationship. (2) Whether to have a child of my own or no. Why? (3) Why do I want a house of my own when we already have a beautiful house? (4) Raise donation for our institute & (5) Make a roadmap to build a beautiful & loving relationship with my in-laws, which was not very good either.
These things might seem easy for somebody else but the way I have been brought up & lived my life these were the most difficult & most painful problems for me at that point of time. That is the beauty of the workshop. We believe that each individual is unique so is his/her story of life & so nothing is generalised.
The promises that I made to solve the problems are as follows:
I promised to write at least 10 good qualities about my husband every week & we clarified expectations with one another in which we both made promises to one another. To promise is easy but to fulfil those promises for the whole year is extremely difficult. But we did & now we are living the most beautiful life ever. We are best friends & inseparable.
I thought a lot about this & discussed it with my husband as well & decided not to have a child of our own. The reason being if we are loving then we can love any child for that we need not have a biological child to call our own. Today we love all the children who come in our lives.
I realised that I wanted a house only because I had a problem with my marriage so was insecure & needed a place to go to in case I decided to separate from my husband. Separation for us is out of question now. I am confident that in any case I don’t need a physical structure, we will build a home where ever we go.
Coming from an economically well off family where I was given all the luxuries of life even before I asked for it, it was very difficult for me to ask for donation. For this challenge I needed to work on my state of being & had to be comfortable to ask for donation. Initially I would question myself & my intentions about a hundred times a day & it took hours of meditation to be comfortable to ask for donation. The answer that gave me deep satisfaction & still does is I am working to create a new generation of change agents who will help to build a brighter future for India & what would be a better gift to the nation than that? All I am doing is asking those who can and are willing to contribute to do so. Why hesitate for this when I wouldn’t hesitate to wear a mask? This is my dream & this is the opportunity to fulfil my dream!
In the past one year I have realised that I hadn’t accepted my in-laws as my own parents or as a part of the family. Therefore in my conversations with my husband I would keep referring to them as, ‘your parents’ & never as ‘our parents.’ All this while I thought that the problem was with them but then I realised that the problem was with me & all this while I kept blaming them. Once I accepted them as my own parents it was easier for me to work on this relationship which is blossoming day by day.
The bonus is while I was working on all areas of life I had to introspect a lot during which I realised that earlier I hated myself & my life, I felt useless & felt that whether I live or die it makes no difference to anybody. This feeling was so strong that I had also attempted to commit suicide. In the workshop, no opportunity is missed by the facilitator & friends to affirm the good in us which helped me to fall in love myself. Now I know what difference one person can make in this world. I have learnt to take care of myself, value my life, dreams & my relationships because I want to make this world a happier place to live in for everybody.
We often fool ourselves & underestimate ourselves by making a mountain out of a mole hill & taking up those small small problems as challenges. It is the group’s duty to ask the right questions to help each other to find the most painful areas & take up the most difficult challenge to reach a new stage in life. There is no way that these transformations would have happened without the help & support of the whole group, which is a family now!!
The most important thing that I learnt is that normally it is easy to maintain integrity. But the real test is if you are able to maintain integrity under difficult circumstances. I may not have always succeeded at it but I am happy that I am doing my best."
- Hiral Patel,
Participant of Oasis L3 Course-Batch 2012