Bollywood Music was the only kind of music that existed in the world – for me. Or it had until recently. I grew up listening to Indian movie songs – either on the radio, cassette tapes, CDs, and now streaming. For reasons, I cannot explain, Hollywood or English songs never made it into my life. So post marriage, the only music that would play in the car was Bollywood. And my husband – being the kind of person he is got used to it as well, and all we ever played was Bollywood music.
Until recently, when my brother and sister-in-law visited us, we travelled a lot in the car. It did not feel fair to subject them to Bollywood music when they were not enjoying it – and combined with the fact that I found enjoyment in their enjoyment, they were given full reins for the music that played in the car. And it was all English songs, much to my husband’s delight.
With that experience, I realized that for the longest time, I had prevented myself from enjoying English songs. And I had missed out on all they offered for so long. And god knows, if we did not have this trip, I would have probably missed out on an experience in this lifetime. And that led me to think about what other things in my life I am blocking out because somewhere in my head, I have made the decision. This gave a completely different meaning to the word ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Allow’. And keep in mind these are self-inflicted and self-imposed. Nobody else has told me this – of course, society and upbringing have a role to play, but this is what my mind picked up and held onto.
For me, at first, it was the beat and the rhythm that I recognized, and slowly, I started listening to the words and what they meant. And to my surprise, I realized that I enjoyed the songs, partially because I was so happy being with my family that my mind dropped all the bias and prejudice it had against English songs. So, soon I was requesting my favourite songs that I wanted to listen to repeatedly. And by the end of the trip, one of the songs was so ingrained in my head that all I could do was keep singing it.
And these beliefs are so ingrained in our minds that we probably don’t even realize that they exist in the first place, and this is how we see the world. So – how do we uncover what we don’t know? By having new experiences for sure but most importantly, by noticing when you strongly react to something. If you are vehemently opposed to something, then let it in. Basically, say yes when you are saying no. And I know from personal experience that this is easier said than done, but things are worth doing seldom are easy. When you have a strong belief or want to be right about something – it usually means that there is something you are resisting, and the only way to overcome the resistance is to let it all in. We are at our strongest when we surrender.
What are you resisting at this moment?