“Would you be able to come without your parachute on?” they asked.
I got a little confused and asked, “What parachute?”
They said, “The Ridah that you are wearing.”
We live in a society where often we shape our actions to make others happy. But we forget that we cannot make anyone happy. Being happy is a state of mind. Being happy is what one chooses to be. No one is responsible for your happiness. It’s something that you, consciously, make an effort to be. One can make you feel comfortable, pleased, delighted, content etc. But being happy is being in a state of acceptance with oneself – acceptance and acknowledgment of one’s own self – good, bad, flaws, strengths – the total you. When you accept yourself with everything that you have within you, you liberate yourself from making others decide what your choices should be because you no longer have to let your happiness depend on approval and acceptance from others.
One such example of doing this is in wearing a Ridah.
So let me share my bit here. I am a certified Counselor, Life Coach and a Graphologist. Often for training purpose I have to meet corporate chiefs, directors of schools and principals to pitch my training modules. Obviously, when I do so, I’m in my ridah. While the initial phone conversation goes smoothly, the awkwardness comes in when we meet for a formal meeting. I don’t understand. What happens then? What were they expecting? What did they think the person talking to them behind the phone would be like? A mermaid straight out of the ocean with a body half confused between a fish and a woman or maybe Devasana, a princess of the Kuntala kingdom from Bahubaali 2 with arrows and bows in her hand?
Being a woman and high on intuition (both deadly combinations) I can sense their doubts. I can sense what they think. Will she be able to deliver what she spoke about on the phone? Will she be able to deliver the Life skills modules while she herself is dressed in floaters? I really feel like asking them, “Hey, what’s the connection between how I choose to dress with the work I do? I mean I could be wearing a tie and a jacket and be a prophet or I could be covered from top to bottom and run a firm. What I wear and how I dress is absolutely my own choice. My dress is a reflection of my values but my education is the reflection of my character and both together make my personality. It is not until I start speaking that they then realize I am more than my Ridah and my Ridah is more than me.
This brings me to the conclusion that often we feel embarrassed or shy in our traditional outfit –the Ridah! Because we feel we won’t be accepted – but what is ‘’to be accepted’’? (I ask you this question, think!) Do not be defined by how others choose to see you. Be who you are, be proud of yourself and conquer the world with your Ridah on. Believe in yourself and stay firm to your roots the world will adjust. Your reflection of happiness and confidence is in accepting yourself. You can make people treat you the way you want only when you are happy and have found acceptance with yourself.
And oh, by the way, my answer to the director on whether or not I will be conducting the training program in Ridah was ‘’Yes sir, I shall very much be conducting my events in my Ridah! What if your officers become judgmental and start picking on me. At least with my parachute I will have a safe landing!”