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By Devina Kaur
Is there a certain time period to wait to heal from losing a loved one? This is a difficult question to answer, but very important to ask. I personally get asked this question a lot, and my response is always the same: "It takes as long as it takes." Some people want to know exactly how long their recovery period will be so they can know when they've "gotten over" their loss.What is not okay to feel is any form of regret. Regret for all the things that you could not give to that person. Regret that you didn't even get to say goodbye. Regret that life did not turn out the way it was supposed to. All of these regrets can put you in a slumber that you will not be able to escape, so do not regret a thing! Every day we hear about a new death in the news, someone who was just starting out in their life, or someone who was on the brink of dying from a terminal illness. These stories strike our hearts and make us feel something inside. We remember how it felt to lose a loved one and we wonder if the family affected feels the same way that we did. If you're reading this, then you might be having some difficulty coping with the loss of your loved one and are desperately seeking the journey to healing.
Here are 3 tips that can help you through it:
Surrender to the experience and unveil
Surrender to the experience of your loss. Don't try to change it. Surrender to it being messy, lost, or incomplete. Surrender to the fact that life does go on, though not in the same way. Surrender to not being okay. In truth, no one can ever really "handle" a loss and often it affects you deeply, but what I wish more people knew was that our grief is more than okay, it's important. We all carry a story within us and sometimes those stories are heavy and painful. Your grief is a story that tells you more about the experiences of your life. Don't be embarrassed of it, don't run from it and don't let anyone tell you that you're weak for feeling it. It's okay to feel your feelings.
I strongly believe that there is always someone out there who can relate to what you are going through. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Bring all your experience, pain and knowledge into your body
This activity works best when you are in the presence of something beautiful, moving or inspiring. It may be watching the sunset or listening to a song or seeing a person or a candle or anything that evokes emotion for you. Close your eyes and bring your attention within yourself, down to your heart, where you can feel the feelings beneath the feelings. Get cozy with what's there. Remember that emotions are neither masculine, nor feminine, nor right, nor wrong, they simply exist.
Remember that emotions are neither masculine, nor feminine, nor right, nor wrong, they simply exist. | Photo by 邓 子彦 on Unsplash
Acknowledge what you're feeling
Acknowledging what you're feeling is not acknowledging that you're weak or broken; it's about accepting the reality of your situation. Take time to practice self-care by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising. If it is possible, go for walks in nature because it can help you feel relaxed and re-energized. You can also meditate to help calm your thoughts which will ultimately help you to feel more relaxed. Share your story with someone who understands and get it off your own shoulders. I strongly believe that there is always someone out there who can relate to what you are going through.
The loss of a loved one feels like losing a piece of your heart forever. | Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash
The loss of a loved one feels like losing a piece of your heart forever. It's an absolute tragedy and it's something that will affect everyone differently. One of the best ways to get through the process of healing after a loss is to surround yourself with people who have experienced similar situations. Never be afraid to seek out professional advice when needed.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Love, Lose-Someone, breakup, divorce, marriage, Heart, Feelings, Emotions
Married Hindu women are recognised by a red streak of vermillion in the middle of their foreheads. This is traditionally called 'sindoor', which is derived from the Sanskrit word sindura, meaning 'red lead.'. Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum.
Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum. Image source: Photo by Gayathri Malhotra on Unsplash
The origin of the practise of wearing sindoor is ambiguous, but historical records from the Harappan civilisation show that women wore sindoor as a sign of being married. Today's generation considers the wearing of sindoor an outdated and patriarchal ritual. However, there is still a large population of women who uphold the ritual of adorning their foreheads with vermilion every day.
Sindoor implies the longevity of a woman's marriage to her husband in the Hindu tradition. The longer the streak, the longer her husband's life is believed to be. Women wear it for the first time on their wedding day, when the husband applies it during the ceremony. As long as he remains alive, the red streak that fills the woman's maang, or hair partition, symbolises her fruitful married life.
When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. Image credit: Photo by Amish Thakkar on Unsplash
The components of the red powder are believed to improve the sexual energy of the woman. When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. The mixture that she wears on her head controls her blood pressure and activates her sexual drive.
These days, feminists do not take very lightly to the practice of wearing sindoor, as they view it as a sign of patriarchal dominance. They do not like being branded as 'belonging to a man'. They prefer to wear it as a style statement because it enhances beauty. Fashion designers have recently commissioned models to sport sindoor on the runway. New age feminists are making bids to allow widows and single women to adorn their foreheads with the vermilion streak.
Keywords: Sindoor, Marriage, Symbol, Women, Patriarchy
Toe rings, or commonly known as 'bicchiya' in Hindi, are worn by married Hindu women in India. They are worn in the second toe of both feet and are usually made of silver metal.
It is believed that toe rings are worn by married Hindu women as a symbol of them being married, and are not removed throughout their lifetime.
It must be noted that while toe rings are known to have a social and religious significance, they are also known for the health benefits associated with wearing them.
Health benefits of wearing toe rings
According to the science Ayurveda, the nerve on the second toe of the feet is believed to be connected directly to the uterus of the woman. So, a slight pressure, which is caused due to the toe ring, is known to regulate the menstrual cycle of a woman. Hence, this leads to a healthy uterus.
Also, a married Hindu woman is supposed to wear the bicchiya on her second toe of the feet, while the unmarried Hindu woman is supposed to wear it on the third toe. This is because wearing a silver toe ring in the third toe by unmarried women helps them ease the pain caused by their menstrual cycle.
In addition to this, wearing toe rings is also believed to give some acupressure benefits as well. This is because toe rings press some of the nerves in the feet which are known to help the reproductive system of the woman.
One more benefit of toe rings in the lives of a married woman is that they are known to arouse sexual desires in married women which eventually leads to good sexual life.
Why are toe rings only made up of silver metal?
Interestingly, it is often seen that toe rings are made of only silver metal. The reason behind this is because silver is known to be a good conductor, and hence, it flushes out negativity from a woman's body.
It must be noted that toe rings are never made of gold as this substance holds a 'respected' status in Hinduism, and it must not be worn below the waist. According to Hindus, gold is the metal of the Gods as it symbolizes Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, and therefore it is considered to be it inappropriate if gold is worn below waist.
Keywords: Hinduism, Women, Hindu, Married, Sexual Life, Toe Rings, Significance.
Kanyadaan which translates to a donation of a daughter (Kanya meaning daughter and daan meaning donation) is a ceremony performed at Hindu weddings by a senior male figure from the bride's side symbolizing him giving away their daughter to the groom's family. Unlike today's perception of kanyadaan as trading a daughter from one family to another, originally kanyadaan was a moral concept revolving around acceptance, a ceremony performed to represent that the parent is asking the groom to promise to accept, respect and treat their daughter as their equal in all manners while the audience bears witness to the promise.
Story and Origin of Kanydaan
In a Hindu wedding, the groom is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Narayana whereas the bride is considered to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and the parents are assisting in the union of the two 'Gods'. This belief is the reason behind another ritual of welcoming the bride to her in-laws with the plate of Alta (a liquid mixture of water and vermillion powder) where she is asked to step on the plate and then enter the house. The red footprint of the bride signifies the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.
The bride is asked to step on the plate and then enter the house. The red footprint of the bride signifies the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.Adobe Stock
How the Kanyadaan ceremony is performed.
Kanyadaan is performed as the father places his daughter's right hand into the groom's right hand asking him to accept her, the joining of both their hands is called 'Hastamelap' (meeting of hands), then the Mother of the Bride pours holy water on to the palm of her husband's hands, allowing it to flow through his fingers onto his daughter's hand and later into the groom's hand. Rituals are chanted during this process and the veils on the faces of the couples are lifted once kanyadaan has been observed. Later the groom's sister ties the end of his scarf, to the bride's sari with betel nuts, copper coins, and rice – symbolizing unity, prosperity, and happiness for the couple. The knot represents the eternal bond that comes with marriage.
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It is believed that the practice of Kanyadaan did not exist during The Vedic Period, instead, the women had the right to choose if they wanted to get married or stay single, they had the right to pursue education. But as the social system of society changed women were barred from the rights they always had. As the concept of class, caste, superior gender and other factors rose the social norms changed and the false notion of kanyadaan came into existence. There was an increase in child marriage which led to seeing the girl-child as a "burden" to the parents. And not just kanyadaan adding to these were traditions like giving gifts, jewellery, cash to the bride that took the form of dowry. Women were asked to wear sindur (red dye worn in the hair), mangalsutra (thread worn around neck), bichiya (toe rings) and bangles to signify that a woman is married. However, there is no mention of any such practice in The Vedas, women had the independence to choose to wear any ornament of liking.
Even the practice of washing the feet of the groom and his family upon their arrival originated in older times because usually the groom and their family would travel to the bride's village on foot or otherwise due to the unavailability of vehicles at the time. Hence, the bride's family used to offer their dirty feet after the long journey as an act of service and kindness. These days we have vehicles to travel to so, there is no need for such practice anymore.
Revolts against Kanyadaan
During today's era Kanyadaan is perceived as a misogynistic practice and whatever moral meaning it held in olden times has been lost in time. There has been an increase in the number of people choosing to do away with misogynistic systems. Feminists view kanyadaan as a practice of sheer objectification of women. Several women have also revolted against it stating they are not a physical property neither of their father nor their to-be husband that can be traded through a practice like kanyadaan with additional practice of dowry, which makes it almost look like that the bride's father is paying the groom to take away his burden. In some weddings "putradaan" has been performed where the bride makes all the promises instead of the groom during the wedding.
However, deeply religious people continue to believe that the practice is not about objectification rather it holds value for the bride and her parents as it is the moment in a woman's life where she is transformed from a daughter to a wife. They argued for the age-old practice should not be criticized.
Traditions and logic have been in conflict with each other in India for a long time. Whether one believes in the system or not is a matter of personal choice. But it is imperative to make an informed and educated choice. India is trying to adopt a reasonable and progressive point of view, and each small effort can make a huge difference.