This might not be a piece of common knowledge, but I am a born-and-raised Balinese. I always consider it a privilege but it’s not the identity that I parade around. More often than not, people get surprised when I told them that I am Balinese. I don’t necessarily act like one (unintentionally) and have limited knowledge about its culture and everything, but I always liked being one. And the reason I’m telling you this, is because a few days ago I just passed one of the most important Balinese Hindu ceremonies, Growing Up.
Nah, I’m kidding. It’s not called “The Growing Up Ceremony.” It’s called “Tooth Filling Ceremony” or “Potong Gigi” in Indonesian. Or literally translates into cutting your teeth :)) I like to call it Growing Up because it’s a rite of passage that every Balinese Hindu must undergo upon reaching adolescence. Obviously, I reached it a long time ago but there’s actually no rush for the ceremony, for various reasons it may be held a bit later. But it HAS to be done. Because it’s parents obligation to their children and it is believed to curtail the six inherent negative traits that every human (i.e Hindu Balinese) possesses. Basically, it’s a way your parents sending you off into adulthood as a more well-adjusted person. That’s the hope, though 😉
And yes, while the Christians got seven deadly sins, Hindu Balinese got six negative traits. Lots of them are actually pretty similar. I’m not about to lecture you about Hindu Balinese belief-system since I’m not an expert nor still religious. But I still like to dive into the philosophy of it and reflect it into my own adulthood, now that I’m officially an adult in Balinese term! And how I really hope that those six evil traits of mine to be controlled and balanced this year.
6 Negative Traits I Want To Ditch This Year (The Sad Ripu)
Kama ( Lust )
Lust is an emotion or feeling of intense wanting for something. It could be anything and I’ve been guilty of wanting everything. I always wanted to have it all. Great career, successful business, great relationship, everything. And though it started out great because it motivates me, it’s not always feasible to have it all. My problem is I can’t seem to grasp that fact and become so stressful when I can’t do it. I’ve been beating myself up because of it. I want to be kinder to myself and I think one way to do it is to shed the Kama off of me.
Lobha ( Greed )
Greed is often defined as an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth. It may further result in us being ungrateful with what we already have and keep buying stuffs that we don’t actually need. Well, how many times have I found myself without anything to wear when in fact I have a huge closet full of stuffs? Although I could probable say that I’ve been really careful about buying stuffs last year, I wish to continue on. Buying stuffs I need only and keeping my stuffs minimal.
Krodha ( Anger )
Well, this one is my friend. I never wanted it to be my friends but it’s been sticking with me like a plague. Often I find myself so emotionally uncontrollable during times of displeasure. I lash out to people near me, making everybody uncomfortable and hinder healthy communication. So, this particular trait is the one that I need to really shed off.
Mada ( Pride)
Pride can manifest into hatred. And I am a hater. I get competitive and then I hate the people who I deemed are my competitors. I always want to get better than them. While it’s motivating, I realised that it’s such a toxic thing to have in my system. It doesn’t make me better and it does more harm to me than to the person that I hate. It makes me arrogant. And I don’t feel comfortable having that particular trait.
Moha ( Attachment )
What I feel really terrible about is my tendency to cling to the past and spending my time analyzing the “what-ifs.” I hate when people do that, but actually I’m no better. I may not say it out loud but I always think about the things I could have done differently in the past. And there’s no benefit in that because it won’t solve the problem. Feeling nostalgic is one thing but obssesing about that one mistake I made years ago is harmful. It hinders my ability to focus on the present and what actually need to be done now.
Matsarya ( Envy )
In this booming era of Instagram, it’s getting easier see what other people have. Of course most of us know that people on social media filter what the show the world, showing only the best and the greatest things in their life. But I didn’t stop me from feeling envious. I admit that I often fall victim of it. Feeling envious when others have or do things that I don’t. It does nothing but hurting myself so I wish to lessen this trait and be happy with what I have.
I’m fully aware that a ceremony won’t magically erase negative traits that I have. Of course, it won’t. It’s just that it’s nice to think that this ceremony could serve as a nice starting point for me to be more mindful toward those traits. I am accepting that those traits are inherent in me. By being mindful and accepting, I hope I could be more in control of it and lead a more balanced life. This year and beyond.