Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Takes one to feel complete

It takes two to Tango. Just one to feel complete.

Having thrown this idea into the ring, let's see if it can punch above its weight. Consider the following statements that we've heard in popular culture, literature and/or the streets we live in:

You complete me!
Without you, my life has no meaning.
If you leave, I will simply die.

This family of statements has a million members. We've all heard them. We've all used them. And under the intoxicating influence of our deepest emotions, we use these statements to create our absolute realities. We believe that such heartfelt words deserve our utmost respect, for they transcend our individual selves. That's just one perspective. Let's try another.

When you say that another person must exist - in a particular way, playing a particular role etc - in order to complete you, you are also saying: "A vacuum exists within me which you are obligated to fill." Unfortunately, even the most complying vacuum-filler - in other words, a person who "loves you to death" - cannot possibly fill 100% of this vacuum. Sooner or later, the remnant vacuum will increase in volume and demand to be refilled - by the same person or another person. The vacuum-filler could even be a non-human entity such as toy/money/knowledge/health/fame etc. The result remains the same.

This is a dead-end approach because it tries to cancel a negative instead of fostering a positive. Even the generosity of the incomplete person in the relationship (be it with a human or non-human entity) will be based on this negative. How fulfilling can such a relationship be for either parties?

On the other hand, if we feel complete all by ourselves, then our every pursuit can be derived from a positive.

"I am complete by myself, and I will enrich my life further by adding you/this thing/that thing to it."

As always, this is easier said than done. How does one feel complete by oneself? Perhaps the true saints know how. The rest of us will have to figure it out. I, for one, stumble along, experience intense breakdowns, gather myself again and stumble along some more. It helps to realize that Life isn't a designer garment - meant to come in a particular shape, colour, size, form and texture.
I am a Work In Progress. And in those moments when I operate out of awareness, I will discover that I am a complete person. I will make a habit of feeling complete till one day - perhaps - I will no longer recall the trauma of incompleteness.
This re-adjustment of mental reality seems artificial doesn't it? However, we practice a similar re-adjustment to our physical reality as a matter of course. Don't we adjust to different surfaces while walking? Don't we maneuver our bodies such that they serve us in every gait and situation? For some reason, we seldom have trouble with the fact that our centre of gravity keeps shifting. Perhaps the same suppleness is possible in the realm of thoughts and emotions...

What do you think?


  1. A few questions come to my mind after reading your blog:
    1. Is feeling 'complete' and feeling 'content' one and the same?
    2. Can one feel content despite being aware that something is missing in their life?
    3. Is it necessary to feel complete in order to feel contentment in one's life?
    If we call ourselves “work in progress”, why do we need delude ourselves into thinking that we are complete? Let us accept that we are incomplete and we are content despite the incompleteness.
    For example, why do we say that the death of a loved one leaves a void in our life? Perhaps we feel something is missing in our life after their passing.But that certainly doesn't mean we need to live feeling discontent with our life. We must accept their absence and go on to live a full life.
    Although I must mention here, that feeling content doesn't mean that we don't pursue the opportunities to enrich our lives. We must use this contentment as a lever to propel us to expand our horizons rather than base our actions on a the feeling of incompleteness( which is what you were trying to say in this blog right?).

  2. Could not resist commenting on this Eshwar!
    You cannot expect others to complete you. After all they come with their own set of views and problems. Being complete probably lies in the way we interrupt our day to day journey. For me it means being mindful in my daily actions because that is where I become aware, notice and appreciate. It's a Zen philosophy though but I somewhere feel it makes you feel content and that means feeling complete as ninja puts it.

  3. Thank you, Ninja and Usha, for enriching this write-up with your comments.

  4. Eg.A seed can nourish another being or it can grow into a plant or it can stay and go into long hibernation(I have heard that some variety of lotus seeds go into hibernation for 100 years and later regain its capacity to grow into a plant)... so I assume its complete and also its progress depends on the provided circumstances... is it not?In case of humans who are blessed with Bhuddi,circumstances+thoughts(usage of Bhuddi) matters to find the purpose of their very existance...this soul get refined by the right usage of Bhuddi or Intellect thats when we start thinking of using the suppleness(spark of consciousness is at work)......just a thought..
    Also, pondering and finding meanings for the Shloka, Purnamadaha, purnamidam purnaath purnamudachhate, purnasya purnamaadaaya purnamevaavashishyate....could be helpful.. let me find out..
    We are born out of subtle to gross and the purpose of life is to go from gross to, going and growing within......thats probably deeper beyond the emotions and beyond thoughts...

    1. Dormancy is the right word in place of hiberantion for a seed.:)