• Dr. Sonal Keswani


A large part of what I desire in life is having playmates. People I can create with, have great conversations with, have fun with. It’s also one of the things that I kept at bay for a long time and never fully admitted to myself. Cos lets face it. People are mean. They were mean when I was 10 years old, cos I was the new kid, they were mean when I was 12 cos my hair was cut like a boy, they were mean when I was 15 cos they were jealous, at 20 cos I was different. The times and the reasons are frankly endless. But in my head people became a source of rejection. So, my response to that was to reject them before they could reject me. Which meant I could never have as many playmates as I’d like and never have the joy of great conversations with whoever I’d like.

One of the things I learnt over the years is that our point of view creates our reality. One of those very first instances of being bullied and excluded left me with a decision and conclusion that continues to dominate my life sometimes even today. So, when a situation would present itself, rather than seeing it for what it really was my natural response was to take it personally, feel rejected and small. Little tiny voices would go off in my head, ‘No one wants to play with me’ or ‘people are awful’ Almost as if proving the rightness of the point of view I took on ages ago. Without realising, that in attempt to be right about what I had decided, I was actually creating rejection and invalidation of myself and rejection of the people around me. How many of these little voices do we have in our head that we are still trying to prove? What if we could just let them go now? What if we could make a different choice now? What if what happened was only valid for those 10 seconds and didn’t have to apply for our whole entire lives? Well, I realised that I had a choice here. To continue to create rejection as my reality or choose something different. If I could go back to my tiny self and tell her what I know now, I would tell her, its okay that these people don’t want to play with you right now, who else can we find who would actually like to? Instead of creating a cycle of rejection and invalidation, of them or of myself I would tell myself just because someone doesn’t want to play with you it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you, this is just what they’re choosing right now. What if their choices have nothing to do with you or something you can control? What you can control though is how you feel about yourself and what you choose now. The sun doesn’t stop shining if you decide its terribly hot outside so I’ll just stay in today. It keeps shining for everyone else and will for you too the next day.

What if what goes on for someone else has nothing to do with us? What if their actions are a reflection of who they are and who they would like to be every moment? I’m not saying that we have to be a doormat or judge them for what they’re choosing. I’m simply saying we have the power to choose for ourselves, and that choice doesn’t have to be for or against anyone. What would it be like to finally stop the self invalidation and have greater kindness towards us and the people around us?

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©2020 by Dr. Sonal Keswani

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