The Heavier Expectations

A few weeks ago, I was discussing Past life regression with an acquaintance. While I was always interested in the study of the mind, and the subconscious, and Freud’s theories, past life regression is a wholly new area for me. I had, of course, heard of it, but it was not something I gave much thought to. To me, until then, reincarnation, or past life, or the manifestations of accumulated karma were a largely religious concept, and therefore something to be dismissed as hokum. They were also, to some extent, a Bollywoodesque idea, that had run its course somewhere in the 90s.

No matter, because the idea was still intriguing, and I have to say, all of a sudden, I wanted to know if I had lived lives before. Wait. I’d be lying if I said the idea took root when the discussion happened. The fact is, I had been curious about past lives ever since I read Ashwin Sanghi’s The Rozabal Line, back in 2009. It has come and gone like a whiff every now and then since then. If such a thing exists, then I’d like to know something about it. Anything. It is difficult not to romanticize about it once the idea has planted itself.

But this particular discussion dug its toes deeper into my head. Suddenly, I was googling past life regression in the middle of the night, in the midst of a splitting headache, and reading all I could find on the subject. I dreamed up all kinds of scenarios, where I sat with a practitioner and discovered who I was, and dramatically discovered my relationships with those who are in my present life. Most prominently though, I secretly harbored this fantasy that I would discover I was Sylvia Plath or Anais Nin in a past life. A girl can dream, eh?

One of the articles I read said that the only people who are advised to perform past life regression are those who feel there is something lacking in their present life, or those who are trying to find the root cause of a problem or emotion. I have always felt this strange sense of “not belonging”. Not to this world, not to this period in time. Always a little lost, always searching for “home.” Always trying to figure something out. I have written several posts about this as well. This explains the Sylvia Plath fantasy!

The reason why I am a writer today is partly because I have been trying to explore these questions. On the other hand, I believe writers must keep an open mind – to all hypotheses, to all ideas, to all experiences. I also believe writers must give in to instincts and emotions. Writers grow through excesses. The excesses they fit into their short attention spans. The whys. The hows. The alrights. The welcomes. The loves. The lusts. The harmonys. The cordialitys. The honestys. The opennesses. The acceptances. The understandings.

The being.

My error was, however, I bracketed all writers into these open-minded souls. I forgot, at the end of the day, we are humans. Humans with our pettiness and our general smallness of mind. I went out into the world expecting the same openness from everyone around me, placing the burden of my heavy expectations on their broad but weak shoulders.

Where I went looking for open-mindedness, I found the same kind of world I sought to abandon – closed, small souls, calling themselves creators but being nothing more than lice trying to trample each other on one head of hair. Angry souls. Dishonest souls. Backstabbing souls. Lonely and afraid souls. Friendless souls. Judgmental souls. Mocking souls.

Not souls. They were mere humans.

I went looking for people, who, perhaps felt as lost as I. I believed I would find the honesty and humility I was looking for in a crooked world. That maybe, in being among my own kind, or who I thought were my own kind, I would find myself. That together, we would better ourselves. Instead, all I found was a subset of the same people who already thought they were higher than the rest simply because they could string sentences one after the other. Who I found were those looking for instant fame. Writers on the outside, nosey, obnoxious neighbours on the inside.

Not writers. They were mere marketers.

Often, even in friendships, my expectations of others have been too great a weight for them to bear. Perhaps, this is an extension of it, and perhaps, this feeds my somewhat dormant misanthropy. It cushions the disappointments that come my way.

I wonder if I were to actually do the regression (since that is, after all, what we were discussing), what would I find about myself that would explain my boredom? What would I find that would stop me from placing so many expectations on simple-minded folk who do not deserve it.



8 thoughts on “The Heavier Expectations

  1. fabulus1710 June 13, 2016 / 8:48 PM

    You may get some answers via past life regression.. but an easier answer would be: very few people nowadays do the things they love because they love doing those things. And maybe that’s the cause for all the negative emotions in this world? Maybe that’s why people are the way they are?

    Loved the way you presented your idea, your expectations and your disappointments.. it’s really deep, and something that we all must ponder about!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva July 4, 2016 / 10:34 PM

      You’re so right! People rarely do what they love. The sad part is, while they are unhappy, they spend too much time judging others. What good does that do anyone?
      Thanks for reading, Mithila! Appreciate your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sid Balachandran June 14, 2016 / 8:24 AM

    Uff! Deep, deep thoughts. But then, this is so YOU.
    The question now is …. ‘So, are you going to do the regression?’ – What if what you find is not what you wanted; or worse yet, what if it upsets you further?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva July 4, 2016 / 10:37 PM

      It may. In fact, if such a thing truly exists, then I’m sure whatever I find will be more upsetting. Nevertheless, it’s just one more thing that I may try to find out who I am.


  3. shanayatales June 14, 2016 / 6:03 PM

    I have been pretty intrigued with the the concept of past life regression myself. Though I have never considered doing it myself. Mostly because I worry that it might open a whole different can of worms that I might not be able to deal with. Which is why, it is something that I have earmarked for exploring further, but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva July 4, 2016 / 10:39 PM

      Same here. I may explore it, then again, I may chicken out. We’ll wait and watch! πŸ™‚


  4. Shailaja V June 20, 2016 / 11:05 AM

    Past life regression as a concept I haven’t pursued but I haven’t dismissed it either. I am of the firm belief that this isn’t our first life or our last necessarily. So yes, it’s quite possible I was Shakespeare in my previous life (just saying) πŸ˜‰

    One of the first and the hardest lessons I had to learn when I was recovering from depression was the letting go of expectations. There’s an entrire chapter (or two) dedicated to that in the memoir. And it’s important because a lot of our concerns emerge from this issue: expectations. It isn’t wrong to have them, mind you. But allowing their weight to crush you is definitely not worth it. I found this very simple way of handling this particular concern. Whenever I feel the weight of expectations I pick up the phone and call someone whom I know will have time for me: a parent, a sibling, a close friend. Having someone hear you out is more than enough reason to shut those expectations down with a bang, especially when we demand it from the ones who couldn’t make time for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Diva July 4, 2016 / 10:45 PM

      This is exactly what made me write this post! I expect certain things from certain people – that they will not judge someone else’s circumstances or health conditions or mental illness – writers especially. Because I always assumed writers work and think on another plane where they’ve reached such a level of honesty that they simply don’t judge. I was taken aback when some writers whom I met displayed such smallness of mind and completely dismissed others’ ideas if they didn’t agree with them (depression being one topic; remember I talked to you about it one day?).
      Definitely – that’s why I run to you when I desperately and truly need someone to just listen to me πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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