Disclaimer – This dialogue is neither a figment of imagination nor a real one; and the same applies to the characters as well. The character MAnvi is one I see myself in, though at times different. Her thAthA is one who seems much familiar. Much of these dialogues are a trigger  from a book or a discourse by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Any error in the way I have blogged upon, on any aspect is due to an error in my understanding alone.

MAnvi was running and walking towards her thAthA’s room. There was a spring in her steps and a smile on her face. When she approached the doorway of her thAthA’s room, she peeped in hoping that he was in his room and free to talk. When her thAthA nodded to her asking her to come in, she knew that the next many minutes with him, was hers.

Manvi: thAthA , I  learnt something and as usual I want to share with you immediately.

thAthA decided to let her speak and not interrupt her flow.

MAnvi: thAthA, I have many times heard pUjya swAmiji saying this phrase ‘Fake it and make it’ and have been confused about this phrase. I personally don’t believe in faking anything and to make something work as I don’t think faking is appropriate. Today, I heard a discourse and he used this phrase again. There were some points in and around this phrase that he was using. Somewhere I could connect all of them and managed to understand finally what he means by this phrase.

When he uses this phrase and gives it as a suggestion, he uses one example to explain it. When we don’t like a person for whatever reason, we could turn the dislike into like by giving a rose to them everyday for 48 days. Needless to say that this person also needs to know why we are giving that rose to them.

thAthA, I think the person may not refuse the rose as the flower itself looks charming enough, and they may be as curious to know how this would help. When I heard the example for the first time, I was thinking that it sounds way too whacky and wondered why it would cause a difference. Though I understood the 48 days part, because we need to do something constantly and regularly for it to become a habit. So I was really skeptical till today. I heard this phrase and the example again and I was like “How will this work?” Then there were a few things that he said that were so profound and all the pieces fell in place.

We hate someone because it is a strategy to move away from hating oneself.  Why do we hate others thAthA? Because they are doing something that we are unable to do? Because they are doing something and deep inside we were and / or are unable to question them? Because hating others is an easier thing to do than hating oneself?

You know thAthA, I think that when we give a rose to another person, to fake and make the feeling of liking to happen, we are also giving a rose to ourselves, although indirectly. I don’t think I would muster the courage to give a rose everyday. But I know what works for me. I don’t think I hate anyone, but I am very uncomfortable with a few people and I am aware of the reasons for the discomfort. Many times the feeling is mutual between the other person and me. So when I cross their path, even if they don’t look at me and acknowledge my presence, most times I will look at them and say a hello or give a smile at them. My discomfort with them may not go away, but my discomfort with my discomfort goes away; that makes it easier for that smile to unconsciously flash on my face or that hello to slip out, whenever I cross their path.

We don’t have a value for hatred and we are committed to change. Such a powerful combination of two aspects thAthA – not having a value for a feeling that gives discomfort to us and having a commitment to change. Hatred brings with it many other feelings in us, which trigger a discomfort. So we would want to bring about a change in ourselves to ensure that we don’t have that feeling of discomfort, isn’t it?  Be it a rose or a smile or a hello that makes us comfortable and brings in that change.

So when we give that rose or that smile or that hello, at that moment one feels good thAthA because it is an action done consciously – to ease one’s discomfort and to bring in a change in the way one looks at the person.

thAthA (with a smile at her choice of words): So you are still not looking at changing the relationship, MAnvi?

MAnvi: No thAthA. I am still in the way one changes the way one looks at a person. When that happens, I guess whatever the relationship is, one is able to accept it.

nobody can change you and nobody can stop a change happening in you. This is so true, isn’t it thAthA? I believe that I am not here to change anyone. At best, I can bring in a change within myself as that is in my hands and in my control.

‘Fake it and make it’ seems different now, thAthA. It sounds as though I need to genuinely bring in the spirit of a feeling within me though I don’t genuinely have that feeling. Over constant effort, while the relationship may or may not change, I would have accepted the other person and learnt to be comfortable with myself. So it is not about faking it to make it work but it is about faking it and make it work.

thAthA: MAnvi, every teaching needs to be understood in the light of what was said and what it meant. Delve deep to understand the teaching and you will see yourself growing internally.

MAnvi knew that it was time for her to leave. She quickly ran to her thAthA, pinched both his cheeks and said “I love you, thAthA” and ran out.