The Jewellery Box

20 April 2018 Friday 8:05am

“Wanna know what I think is one of the causes of broken relationships these days? It’s because we’ve forgotten the art of compartmentalizing. Some of us are no longer able to discern the line between the tangible & the intangible. One is of the soul. The other is of this world”

That was my tweet yesterday. Can you please explain what compartmentalizing means?

Didn’t you just read something about that online?

I did. I even shared the URL as a tweet. But it’s still blurry. I know you can make it much simpler to understand.

Thank you for your faith in me.

You’re welcome. Um…Where did that suddenly come from?

It’s doesn’t matter. Okay, let’s talk about compartments.

No. Not compartments – compartmentalizing.

We’ll get to that. Meaning of “compartment”, please.

Coming right up. Okay. “Compartment” has a few meanings. I choose this one, “a part or space marked or partitioned off.”

Does anything come to mind? An object perhaps? That reminds you of the word “compartment”?

Yeah. My jewellery box. I’ve got this little box which is sectioned into little compartments. Each one keeps an earring or two.

Why do you compartmentalize your jewellery?

So they’re organised. It’s easy for me to choose which ones I want to wear. A girl can’t have enough earrings or ear accessories, you know. It just makes an outfit look complete.

Maybe you mean, it makes you feel more confident?

Yes, maybe that’s what I mean too. We’ve digressed again, God. We’re supposed to be talking about compartments. Or rather, compartmentilizing.

Maybe you mean, we jumped from one compartment into another?

Have we?

One minute we were talking about the meaning of compartment. The next we jumped to talking about your jewellery. What actually happened was that we took away the partition from between two subjects – one topic is about the meaning of a word. And the other topic is an example of the meaning of that word – which is your jewellery box. We created one compartment out of both topics.

So are we compartmentilizing?

No, what we did is the opposite of compartmentilizing. We integrated two topics into one.

Is that good or bad?

It depends on where you wish to go, my dear. And there’s no such thing as good or bad. There is only what works and what doesn’t work in terms of what you are trying to achieve. And what we are trying to achieve here is to explain a complex topic in simpler terms. Taking something from one compartment (let’s call this compartment “Tangibles ”) to explain a complex topic (let’s call this compartment “Intangibles”) is our method of explaining to the world all about a very, very, very complex topic called the soul.

In other words, we are always taking stuff from the box labelled TANGIBLES to explain whatever is in the box labelled INTANGIBLES.

You got it.

Why?

Why what?

Why do we need to use tangible stuff to explain about stuff about our intangible soul? Why can’t you just explain in words?

Words do not have much retention power. Here’s an example – let’s say, a few months from now you come across the word “compartmentilize” again. And you suddenly remember asking me about it in your diary. What words come to mind which you can use as key words in your search tool?

Jewellery box!

Precisely. Now do you understand?

Not really. I’m still blurry about how to compartmentilize.

When was the first time you came across the word?

From a movie, actually. “The Holiday” starring Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. I know, I know, I’m name-dropping. Sue me.

So what was it about? I mean, how was the word “compartmentalize” used in the movie?

Jude and Cameron’s characters flew sparks right from the very beginning. As the relationship went along, Cameron suspects Jude had other girlfriends – she felt he was hiding something. So when she made a surprise visit to his house, she found out he was a widower with two young daughters. She asked him why he didn’t tell her. If I recall correctly, he said he prefers to compartmentilize his life. His family life is one compartment, his love life is another. It makes his life less complicated. I can’t remember his exact words but I think it’s something like that. I have to watch the movie again. One of my fave movies actually. Jack Black’s “boob graze” scene was so funny! Uh-oh, we jumped to another compartment again.

Is it making the topic complicated?

No. Not really. I think as long as we remember to get back on the right track, there won’t be any problem.

Yes. That’s a very important point to remember. Always remember that.

I will. So to get back on the right track, when do “some of us are no longer able to discern the line between the tangible & the intangible” when it comes to compartmentilizing?

Your work is sometimes called your 9 to 5, is it not?

Yup. Most of us are at work from 9am in the morning to 5pm in the evening. But some do overtime. Instead of leaving work at 5pm we stay until late into the night, maybe even until midnight. But of course, those who do, get compensated for their overtime.

As in the tangible called money?

Yes.

Most of you have families. So when do you have time to spend with the family, giving and receiving love & joy – which are the intangible?

Oh, I know where this is going.

Where is it going?

It’s going to get back into the right track. It’s going to the statement that says, “some of us are no longer able to discern the line between the tangible & the intangible when it comes to compartmentilizing” because we’ve forgotten our priorities in life.

And what may that be?

To nourish and enrich the soul. To sum it all up – compartmentilizing is the art of knowing what matters the most. What matters the most is the nourishment and enrichment of the soul.

Bravo!

Thank you.

Buried Opportunities

6 April 2018 Friday 10:58pm

“Ever been to a cemetery? How many lost opportunities do you think are buried there?”

I’m having trouble with the cemetery tweet, God. So are you saying that opportunities that we let go or ignore will be buried with us?

When you’re given a compliment, what do you say?

I’ll say thank you.

Which means that by saying thank you, you accepted the compliment which are spoken words – which then becomes a thought in your head.

You can put it that way, yes. So what’s that got to do with buried opportunities?

Opportunities are thoughts, are they not?

Yes.

So when you turn down or ignore an opportunity, the thought of that opportunity has already occupied a space in your head. Shall we put it that way?

Yes, we can put it that way.

So what happens when you are offered many opportunities in your lifetime? What do you think happens?

I suppose the thoughts about them will occupy a lot of space in my head. Can we cut to the chase, please? Just tell me why opportunities are buried with us when we die.

Your soul is invisible. Your thoughts are invisible. So what do you think your soul is made of?

My soul is made up of thoughts?

Actually, your soul is made up of feelings which it turns into thoughts. You turn thoughts into words, which you then turn into actions.

Okay, I get it. The soul may be made up of thoughts of lost opportunities. But the soul doesn’t die with the physical body. The soul returns to you. The body just deteriorates and disappears into the earth. Definitely there are no lost thoughts of opportunities disappearing into the earth. Um..Are there?

All of a sudden you’re not sure?

I was before. But this beating around the bush is making me confused. So I’m beginning to doubt myself.

Exactly.

That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say? Exactly? I still don’t understand our tweet. How can opportunities be buried with us when we die? I’m back where we started.

Exactly.

*sigh* Never mind.

Another Person With Great Insight…A Must Read, Guys! And Gals.

I Didn’t Love My Wife When I Married Her (from http://www.viralnova.com)

You may think you love someone, but sometimes, it’s not the real kind. After years of being married, one man discovered what love truly is… and that he didn’t love his wife when he married her. Not even close. This is his letter:

love-my-wife

I’m a ridiculous, emotional, over-sentimental sap.

I guess that’s why I told my wife I loved her on our second date.

I had tried really hard up to that point to hold it back, honestly. I wanted to tell her on the first date, but I knew that would probably be weird. I still remember her reaction. She kind of gave me this half-shy, half-amused smile. Then she nodded and looked off into the sky. I wasn’t heartbroken by the response. I think part of me recognized that she was much smarter and more modest than me. But as time has gone on, I also realized that she knew something that I didn’t. Like most Hasidic Jews (we both became religious later in life), our dating period lasted a very short time.

After two months of dating, we were engaged. Three months after that, we were married. And that whole time I was swooning. This fire was burning in me, a fire that burned just like that second date: I was in love. But then we got married, and everything changed.

Marriage, quicker than I was ready for, did this thing: it started sucking away that emotion. I tried so hard to keep that fire going, to keep that emotion alight, but it got harder and harder. I mean, how you can feel that burning love when you’re sitting at the table discussing how to use the last twenty dollars in your bank account? How can you feel it when you get into an argument? How can you feel it when you think it makes perfect sense to put your socks on the floor after you’re done with them, and she has this crazy idea that they need to go in the laundry basket?

There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives. And at first, it drove me nuts. That emotion meant love! That excitement was how I knew I cared for her! But suddenly, life was this grind. Even when I was with her. Especially when I was with her.

And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. But it wasn’t that she wasn’t giving me love, it just seemed to come at different times. Like, when I offered to do the dishes. Or make dinner after she had a hard day. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. I don’t think I noticed this consciously for a while. It just kept happening. But I think it had an effect on me.

Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. And after each time, there would be this look she would give me. This look of absolute love. One that was soft and so beautiful.

It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. But eventually it became clear. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving. In other words, it was in the practicality that I found the love I was looking for. And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey.

And now, as I’m a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I’ve finally come to realize something. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable. I didn’t love my wife on that second date. I didn’t love her when we got engaged. I didn’t even love her when we got married. Because love isn’t an emotion. That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire. From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry.

But it wasn’t love. No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun. It’s a verb. Better defined as giving. As putting someone else’s needs above your own.

Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? Because it wasn’t for her. It was for me. An emotion I had in my chest. And even when I let it out of my chest, it wasn’t love. Being sappy isn’t love. Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do. And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. She knew, even if I didn’t, what love really is.

And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger. From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever.

I can’t imagine a bigger lie.

And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long. And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well.

I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country. Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating. A country of people trying to live a Disney movie. That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50% divorce rate; for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages.

It’s sad to see just how common all the above is.

How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to. Those people deserve better. We all deserve better.

It’s time that we changed the conversation about love. It’s time that we redefine it. Because until we do, adultery will continue to be common. Loveless marriages. Divorce. Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.