What I learned about love by reading Harry Potter

I know the title sounds extremely cheesy but hear me out I’ve got a story to tell.
Ever since I was a kid I had this ability to feel… a lot. I could empathize with everyone else’s pain, I had fully developed range of emotions that affected me in every way possible. I used to live in extremes. I could feel euphoria when I was happy and emotional agony when I was sad. This ability to feel every emotion larger than they were always left me exhausted and overwhelmed with little to no energy left to focus on other aspects of my life. Even though my physical pain endurance level is astounding my emotional pain endurance not really. The memories of emotional pain from my past still haunt me.

As I grew up and started watching a lot of movies across every genre, one specific genre that fascinated me beyond comparison was “True Crime”. Ah! the world of serial killers, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, their inability to feel emotional pain, their incapability to be bounded by love and other stupid emotions. They don’t care about social status or being single or other trivial stuff like nobody to love and dying alone. It seems like a fantasy land where there is a unique species of humans devoid of emotions, one of the most important things that set us apart from any other living being. No doubt it fascinated me, and no doubt I wanted to be it, Oh! the amount of time I’ve spent on Wikipedia consuming information about serial killers! I mean who would not want to feel emotional pain for the rest of their life and just kill people for fun and then mock police and media by sending cryptic messages! Okay, not me (only the emotional part maybe).

And ever since I’ve been coming-of-age (I’ve realised its a continuous process), I’ve been learning to accept and love myself with all the good, bad, and ugly parts. Especially last year when being all by yourself was the only option, also reviving your old hobbies and trying to pass the time seemed like a good idea. So I took up reading Harry Potter which I never did before. I wasn’t expecting much as I’ve already watched all the movies, knew all the spoilers, what new could I found? Boy! was I wrong!

As soon as I read Voldemorts back-story I realised that the Dark Lord was a born psychopath. No mercy, no guilt, treats people like his tools, has no friends, collects valuable items as rewards, thinks he is super special and has every narcissistic tendency possible. Harry had similar childhood just like Tom Riddle, an orphan, neglected, lonely, invisible, but he cared, he loved, had compassion and empathy. I will give up anything to relate to Voldemort but no I could relate to Harry Potter more.
I remember reading Half-Blood Prince and how my perspective about love changed completely. Throughout the series, Dumbledore tells Harry numerous time that what sets Harry apart from Voldemort is his ability to love. Yeah I know, even Harry rolls his eyes every time.

Harry: I know. I can love! Big deal
Dumbledore: Yes, Harry you can love, which given everything that has happened to you, is a great remarkable thing. You are protected, in short by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort’s! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering you remain pure of heart, just as pure as were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart’s desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not!

This struck a chord. Everything Dumbledore says is very much comforting but this one hit home. And now that I think of it, the whole undertone of this series is ‘Love’. Every characters action is motivated because of love. Be it Helena Ravenclaw who trusted a man too much, Tom Riddles mother who gave up her magic and lived a common life, Severus Snape (I don’t need to say why), the obvious- Lily Potter, and even Dumbledore (can’t elaborate because huge spoilers here). Isn’t it the same with our lives too? I am aware of how easy it is to brush everyone off, not let anyone in, and run away from our feelings. It does take a lot of courage to trust all over again, to love without expectation, and let ourselves feel things. And this is exactly what sets us apart and inspires most of our actions.

I never in my life thought reading Harry Potter will help me in self-acceptance, but I guess that’s the power of fiction. You learn as much as you allow it to, you find a new outlook in unexpected places and most importantly you find characters you can relate with, no matter how boring your real life is.

I strongly believe, the next time our world is in mortal peril it will be love that will save us and not the other way around.

I finally took a personality test and it blew my mind

If there’s one thing I don’t like, other than making small talk with someone I just met, it is them asking me what’s my sun-sign. It is mostly so that they can figure out my personality. Why? Why do you need to know my personality upfront? We just met! Even my mother doesn’t my real personality yet. How my date of birth is going to decide what kind of a person I am? Does that mean millions of people born at the same time and date are all similar to me and we all live a similar life? How’s that even logically possible? If I Google my personality according to my sun-sign I get independent, honest, intelligent, lover of freedom(what type of sun-signs don’t like freedom??), compassion, etc. Go figure. These are all general human qualities. No offence to people who believe in Astrology, but little common sense may work here(I bet they missed this quality on their sun-sign)

Sorry about that rant but I cannot wrap my head around this no matter how hard I try. And this was the whole reason I didn’t believe in personality tests because I thought they all are just vague general qualities and can be applied to any human. Well, I was wrong, to say the least. At the start of the year, I took Myers Briggs Personality test just to prove to myself how stupid these tests are. This test is a list of multiple-choice questionnaire about how we interact with our environment, other people, how we make decisions and cope with emotions, how do we process our mental energy, and choose our work. After a while answering these questions, well, my mind was blown, I had multiple epiphanies, I went through enlightenment, you cannot believe how accurate it was. So here it is, (drum roll please) my personality type is INFJ, said to be the rarest of personality type (not shocked at all here).

All my life I thought my parents dropped me over my head too many times and that’s how I became a weirdo. A weirdo, who cannot fit in anywhere, who just feels everything too much, so passionate and yet so overwhelmed all the time, extremely creative in every aspect of life, but this never-ending anxiety, the hot and cold relationships with people around me- all made sense. But it was so comforting and validating to know that this is a type of personality. I thought I had multiple mental and personality disorders. It was just the personality I was born with. Hilarious! I’m glad though, I finally fit in somewhere, and there are people like me(not that I know of yet but I’m relieved there are). The more I read about it the more I understood my behaviour, my choices and decisions I make. Why I do certain things that others don’t. It’s good to know there’s nothing wrong with me and I’m a completely normal human being. (I hope you’re still not associating me with a sun-sign. *sigh*)

Here are some of the common traits of INFJ:

  • You’re a social chameleon. You can read people and vibe of the room easily and fit yourself accordingly.
  • Extremely creative and find it difficult to find one thing to stick to.
  • Born teachers. Have an intense need to share their learning with others. ( This is why I created this blog)
  • You are a doer. You don’t find it hard to pick a task and complete it while others around don’t seem to understand how you can do so much.
  • People tend to find you intimidating, mysterious because you’re so good at reading them. You have this ability to bring out the worst and best in people. It’s pretty dangerous.
  • INFJs are so intuitive that they can predict a little bit of the future. No, it’s not magic (or astrology). It’s how they process information and form patterns in their brain which makes it easier to predict people, behaviour and sometimes even future.
  • You’re a problem solver. You like to take a huge amount of data into your brain and untangle it and bring it out in the world in the simplest form.
  • Everything is planned in your life. You don’t like spontaneity.

It all sounds wonderful, but like any other superhero, if you cannot control your powers they will turn out to be extremely dangerous and self-destructive.

  • Even though I’m good at connecting with people at the deepest level than anyone can ever reach I tend to attract negative toxic people very easily because I think I can help them.
  • I become a people pleaser as I value them so much.
  • My ability to process huge information most of the times brings out the perfectionist in me. Everyone knows how that ends.
  • And because I’m constantly in my head I most of the times have a very warped perception of reality.
  • I am Anxious more than others and get burned out so quickly because I’m always solving problems and trying to fix everything in everyone’s life.So you get the gist.

The whole point of this test was to understand and accept myself as a person with all the good, bad and ugly, and not to use it as an excuse for my bad actions. It makes it easier to understand my weaknesses and be motivated to become a more well rounded, overall healthy individual. If you feel the same way and have never taken this test then please do. It might change the way you look at yourself.

A YouTuber called Frank James makes amazing videos on this context. His videos have helped me a lot and gave me a kick-start on this new journey of self-discovery. 

I’m in ruins

I may be in ruins, but there are parts of me that have never stopped growing.

Even though there are days when it seems the sun has not been up yet, I know it’s there somewhere.

Even though there are long nights that seem as if they will never end, a tiny ray of light is all I need.

Even though everything seems exactly the same I know it in my bones I am a completely different person than I was yesterday.

Even though there are brand new buds blossoming where they aren’t supposed to, I know better now to embrace them as they come.

It’s this ruins that make these flowers worth noticing, it’s this ruins that know my secrets and it’s this ruins that bring me closer to the light.

May be I have always been in ruins, but that has never stopped me from blooming.