Maybe Love Do Need To Start From First, Ourselves.

Here is a raw, unedited version of an intended “Note to self’ one mid morning, on 14th October 2016, some days before or after, ( can’t remember which) I made one of the bigger decisions in my life and I thought I share it. This is highly personal, something I didn’t think I would share at any point,  but then again, being personal is part and parcel of me. So if you want to know what and how my thoughts run at any point in time, here’s what it somewhat looks like on a daily basis. 

 

I woke up one fine Monday morning to a really queasy stomach which was either from the wine I had the night before – or due to a feeling that came because of a realization I had before I fell asleep.

Granted, my alcohol tolerance has drastically reduced since my younger days of massive drinking. However I also knew that the feeling I was feeling at that moment was a feeling of realization, not a very comfortable one, in fact, one that I am not sure how to sit with.

It was a realization that people, things, situations, and events one chooses to actively participate in are not here to compensate you for what you think is your miserable existence, but to add to you and who you already are. 

While that knowledge is a well known fact amongst self lovers, and people keenly practicing what is known as spiritual development and self help development, however wait till you practice this in the love department. 

The one reason why humans suffered and consciously or unconsciously participate in a loophole of dissatisfaction and unhappiness might be perhaps because nothing can actually satisfy you or fill that gaping inside of you – until you fill it up yourself.  

The endless , sometimes senseless activities, be it alcohol – the binge drinking, the constant need to have company and attention, be it in the forms of friends, your lover, or different lovers, the drive for needing to have that next bag or car, the anticipation for that next big thing in your life, might only be one of the ways one fills up that feeling of emptiness and boredom inside of you.

Hence instead of living and participating fully and enjoying  your own company, instead of fully loving and adoring the person that you are, instead of having compassion for the person that you really are with all your perks and flaws, we wait for someone or something to do that for us.

Heck, if we got to admit something, or if I can say so for myself, I have lived my life trying to use every other situation, event, choices, and even people in my life, to make up and compensate for what I lack. 

Read again. 

 I have lived my life trying to use every other situation, event, choices, and even people in my life, to make up and compensate for what I lack. 

And I can certainly tell you that a lot of us do this, whether we are aware of it or not. 

As I proceed along this journey called Life, I began to realize that the things outside of me are not meant to compensate me by far. Rather, they are meant to add to me, to complement me. So to aid this explanation, picture a person who is already full of all the qualities they desire, and whatever they chooses to be, do or have, just serve to enhance and add to what they already have. 

While one might argue, “well right, but you know, that’s why we continuously learn and not everyone have the capacity to already be so full of self love, self respect and to be so whole and balanced that they do not need anything else to complete them.”

Of course, that is true, and that reflects a whole majority of us. However, it does not mean we should not make that our aim. 

Being a truly whole and balanced human being only serves one so much more than being half full, akin to walking and functioning on only half of your physical body functions. One is incapacitated unnecessarily when they can’t function and fully perform their roles out from a place of knowing that they are already complete within themselves, and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can take that away from them.

This means if you choose to get to know and to love someone, if that person simply doesn’t reflect the same level of love and care back to you, that will not undermine your sense of who you know that you are. One would just continue on with life as it is and proceed to know someone else who will ultimately begin to add on to and complement who he or she already is. Take note, there is no “needing someone else to complete me here”, unlike some love songs we hear about. 

This also means if one day, everything is to be withdrawn and taken from this same individual, be it her status in the society, her job, her health, her friends, money, assets, you name it, none of it will define her or matter as much to her, because underneath all the surface of everything mentioned, none of it is there to compensate her by any way shape or form. 

She would just proceed and move on with Life, and choose to be , do, and have, whatsoever else she chooses to have in her life.

In other words, when we choose to operate in a way where nothing is needed to make us feel better about ourselves, then are we fully free to make the choices we make, to flirt with Life, to  allow others to fully be themselves, and make the choices they make. 

Relationships will then began to truly be the Love relationships men has been searching for since the beginning of time. But maybe, Love, really do need to start from first, ourselves. 

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Pain, Our Teacher

 

Pain.

We all fear it. Pain can hurt so much, a lot of us will do anything to suppress it. We’d do anything we can to not feel it, and our coping mechanism is to get intoxicated in that one other “thing”, be it food, alcohol, substances, another relationship, work, just to get our minds off that very thing that is bothering us. Sure, we do have our moments where it is okay to let loose, indulge and live a little. We are all entitled to that, but as this article is suggesting, there is alot more to it than that.

What I have personally found for the past 2 years or so; from the passing away of my beloved pet and soulmate, the letting go of people I love, situations and events, the crumbling down of structures which I have always thought will be permanent in my life, the death of egoic structure identifications which had you falsely believe in that which is not actually real,… Pain, is better dealt with when you truly allow yourself to feel it fully, rawly, entirely, when you allow it to just be inside you. Even when it can feel like it is ripping you apart from inside. Even when your heart is feeling strong sharp stabs of pain which hurt so bad, you’d just want to curl up on the hard cold floor and wish it was all over.

As bad as that sounds though, I found that once attention is being brought to that pain instead of avoiding it and running away from it, it will begin to cease to be.

Pain is almost like a child wanting to be noticed.

Once you take notice and acknowledges it though, it stops being so vicious. Yes, it can get worse initially but it is just the flame of your attention highlighting and illuminating what’s not working within you, what’s painful within you, and ultimately what needs to be acknowledged and released within you. What is not acknowledged, not owned to be yours, cannot be dealt with fully and let go off as how it was always meant to be.

You can’t let go of that which you don’t declare as yours.

Pain is a part and parcel of Life.

It is also one of the ways which we are meant to evolve and grow, if we let it. Sometimes it can be all too much. But if we understand how it all works, it’s only there to show us what’s there within us that we need to heal. Even if you prefer not to think something’s wrong with you, look at it in a way that says that something is not working for you and in your life.

Pain is a useful indicator.

Negative emotions are powerful signs that something is up, and you need to have a good look at what’s up inside of you. When ignored, it just gets bigger and bigger, and the one thing you are “addicted” to, be it food, alcohol, sex, work, substance to cope with it will only become less effective over time. You will know when you always feel painfully empty inside of you despite all the seeming “good” have in your life.

Once pain is really embraced fully, the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” goes completely. However, quite frankly, they are only just words until you have really experienced it personally. That saying goes much deeper than the simplified meaning which has been given to it over time with repetitive usage by folks.

What breaks you, can make you stronger. But only if you deal with it the proper way.
When you allow yourself to feel it so fully, it almost feel like you’re dying in the process because it hurt so bad that words are too shallow to describe that feeling. When you have the strength to go into the flames, and allow the death of what you need to let go, the pain, the hurt, the anger and the fear.

That death could also be the ending of an expectation of something or someone, the ending of the resistance and inability to accept the ending of a situation or the passing away of a beloved, the ending of everything you ever thought was real. Within the ending however, that which is real will then begin to emerge.

It is only with the ending and ceasing away of what is not real that can then bring the truth to light.

Once that’s done though, you emerge from the other side, bigger, stronger. The cut, no matter how deep it was will begin to heal. The healing process has begun, if not already. The wound that was there before will begin to have the first signs of healing. You might feel bigger in love, stronger to hold the challenges that could come.

You might begin to feel more compassion for the people around you, and understand them for who they really are. You might begin to see through people and truly see them for who they are underneath the surface of the persona they decide to have for themselves.

You might also become more whole as a person where you are able to relate more to others, become more rounded as a human being, and ultimately become someone who is better and more deeply connected with the truth of Life.

At the end of it all, it will actually be all worth it. The journey will be worth it, and not only so, you will become more equipped to deal with what’s to come in a more genuine way – sometimes even without a bat of an eye, a shrug of a shoulder when it happens, indicating that you have clearly been through it all and done that, and all is actually, good.

Pain can be our teacher. If we let it. 

 

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How Acute Leukemia saved my Life

The lessons I have learnt from my condition has pretty much surfaced itself in a way where I can hardly begin to count it.

Fast forward 2 years plus later upon diagnosis, here I am, sat here typing on my laptop, with an entirely new and different perspective on Life, and most probably, a completely different person too, pre-diagnosis.

My health ordeal sparked off an internal journey to within. Deeper. And Deeper, smashing away to bits everything I have ever thought I knew. I realized I know nothing. And one of the life lessons are, I probably still know nothing. Every single thing which I thought mattered, no longer mattered that much. Everything I used to live for, completely dissolves itself away in front of my eyes.

The girl I thought I was, no longer exist.

It was time to be born anew.

~

Within every adversity, lies an Opportunity.

My condition did in fact give me a new opportunity, another chance at Life. I don’t know how I would be as a person now had I not been diagnosed with leukemia, forced to take necessary actions to prolong my life then, one by one, day by day, until I can be sure that I am perfect health again.

Right now, I relish at how I view life, and how I am able to keep in check things which used to bother me in daily life.

Mind you though, It hasn’t been an easy journey. Took me 2 years to get to this place. Difficult, is underestimating it. One of the biggest challenges I have had to encounter was battling with my own mind. Yet battle I did, and succeeded.

It was more than a necessity.

It was my lifeline.

~

Acknowledgement and Acceptance

However, one would be mistaken if battle and force was what made the ultimate solution reveal itself. The secret to the solutions which came over the prevailing 2 years of my life for the challenges which Life threw at me, arose out from a place of peace, fearlessness, and non resistance. The battle of the mind is necessary to keep you afloat, but there can come a time when all gets too much, and you are forced to look right at your fears, and acknowledge them exactly as they are.

In fact, one of the lessons I have learnt is to make peace with any situation that arises in any moment. Even if it is non-peace, anger, impatience, intolerance.

It was never about fighting fire with fire, but acknowledging, allowing, accepting, and merging with the shadow side and negative aspects of me, my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I learnt that transformation cannot be made happened. It can only be allowed to happen, when I stop fighting and resisting internally.

Yet these lessons only came little later. Thankfully, not too late.

Initially, I was afraid to die. I saw dying as failure. All that I could think at one point was, all my spiritual knowledge and all the ‘do-good-ing’ will render itself meaningless if I die. But little did I know then, that the acceptance of what I fear, was one of the necessary aspects to the solution I required then.

The acceptance of death.

A Knowing

I wouldn’t want to put into people’s mind that it was just a real strong belief that I can be well and healed of leukemia which was what did it nor would I recommend people doing what I did. The truth is, I don’t know for sure what did it. But what helped me recover from leukemia, was because I stumbled upon a traditional advanced Ayurvedic treatment. 6 months of chemotherapy sessions later, I decided that I have had enough of the invasive treatment.

I have had the guts, or perhaps, stupidity, to doggedly determinedly declare that I will heal without the said conventional treatment. I was determined to do it because deep down inside, I just had a knowing. That I could do this against all the odds of what was statistically known by modern science. 

And did it, I did. And recovered, I did.

~

Lesson

If there is a one main thing which stands out in my whole entire journey, it is constantly learning over and over again to listen to the nudge from within, that internal “calling”. It is something which I can’t really pin point as to exactly what it is, but it is almost like as though my entire body knows, with every fibre of its being. Oftentimes, it shows up as an initial thought which faded away but remain behind the background of the “noise” of thoughts in my head. Other times, it remains as a feeling of discomfort which hovers inside my body, a feeling I can’t put a finger on. Almost like as though it’s a feeling of grey dust which flutters and rests in the insides of my chest and stomach.

The main message of that “feeling”, is a feeling of “No.”, “Don’t.”, or “Move.”, depending on what the situation is calling for.

I learnt that my body knows, before my mind could make sense of it. And I learnt more and more, although I was mocked for this once in a job interview, that I have an innate sense of people, things and situations, before I can absolutely consolidate it in my mind as a fact that is real.

The truth is, I still don’t get it all right, or get my life in a way which completely satisfies. However, if you know what I know, external situations can never satisfy you. Satisfaction and contentment is a trait one has to develop internally for true fulfilment in life. It is an interesting way of living. Yet when one gets in touch with this, you might then begin to realize that most external pursuits are done in a way which is back to front. You might then realize that you can begin to pursue something externally, not because you want it to fulfil you or a need inside of you, but just because…. No other reason, then just because it is fun, because it is something you find interesting, because you’d like to see how it can contribute to your natural expansion and evolvement as a human being.

Constant Evolution. Constant Expansion.

It is in the nature of Life and Nature itself, in that change is programmed in its DNA. Constant evolution. Constant expansion.

To live against this programming, would set one up for trouble. Because then you will fight against change when change and evolving itself, is wired into your own DNA. We are not meant to remain stagnant. In fact, we are meant to evolve. To become even better than we were in the previous moment before. To see if you could handle things better and in a different way. To see if your previous thoughts and behaviour is benefitting you or not. To question old ways of behaving and thinking. And to understand the implications of this, I believe will benefit not only you, but humanity at large.

And this is where Life has gotten me to at this point.

 

~

Ever Evolving. Ever Expanding. 

Where my condition has brought me to today, through all its twists and turns, through all the eventual daily life challenges which a condition like mine would spark off like financial dramas, every single one of that has brought about the realization that nothing is really ever as bad as it seems. A situation can never be so bad, that it is the end of the world, that it has to ruin your life so badly that it bothers you day in, day out.

When I was diagnosed, I often wondered why I made my life a living hell with all those iggledy pickledy things which worries me day and night before, why I have had the tendency to be concerned about things which are so insignificant, that when I was unwell and dealing with larger problems, every one of those things seemed so small.

Yet, up till now, Life continuously remind me of this way of living. My diagnosis has lead me onto a pathway, where I am constantly reassessing and readdressing the way I look at life.

I begin to live in a way where I constantly remember what really matters. And the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t choose to live my life any other way than how I am now, or change a thing about what happened because if it never happened, I would probably be just exactly how I was as a person, living a solidly miserable existence, never knowing how Life could really be – even if its just a glimpse of it; Fearlessness. Boldness. Courage. Strength. Fulfilment. Ever Evolving… and Ever Expanding.

 

Note: For those who might not fully understand what I am referring to when I talk about presence and acceptance, I learnt about them from Eckhart Tolle. 

 

P.S: I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you know of  anyone going through something similar? Have you had direct experience with a condition/illness? Do you have to care for someone who is going through a severe illness? What are your thoughts on that? Has your thoughts on how Life should be lived changed? Let me know in the comments below, and if you like what you read, subscribe for more of such articles 🙂 

 



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What If Tomorrow Never Comes?


This has become one of my favourite question of contemplation. And while it might sound depressing, it actually isn’t and can be one of the most awakening and enlightening question ever asked.

So, here I ask you, What If, Tomorrow Never Comes?

I would like to invite you on this opportunity to contemplate this question now and view it as a reality which is more than likely a possibility.

So, with this, two things can arise. 

First, you might begin to feel fear because you don’t know what will happen. You might begin to feel the fear of dying.

Second, there might come the regret that you haven’t done what you wanted to do, said what you wanted to say, all the opportunities you might have missed or seen fly past your face.

But every adversity comes with an opportunity. 

It is here where I invite you to take this opportunity to see that, all that was, has happened. It is in the past, and there is nothing you can do about it except accepting as it is, acknowledging it and moving on with it now. Regretful though it can be, or as painful as it can feel, the fact remains is you are here now. And so upon considering all of that, here are some another questions:

How would your perception of everything change?

How would your outlook on life be different?

How would you react to things happening in this very moment?

How would your outlook on your entire life up till this very moment of now be different?

And lastly, the million dollar question:

If Today, is All You Have, what would you do, think, behave, or say, given “Now”, is all that you have?

Once you have met with your fear, one of three things can happen either by itself, or progressively.

First, the Denial of the fear.

This will result in you telling yourself, that the likelihood of “Tomorrow never comes’ will never happen anyway. At least not now.

Two, You decide that this question is too much to handle.

Of course, this is okay. Most people rather not face this question because it can be too much. Yet all it takes is just some gentle pondering. Baby steps.  The truth is, you can give it up now, but you will have to come back to this at some point anyway. And the not so nice truth is, Death, is the inevitable. Perhaps, rather than trying to avoid the topic of “Death”, we might as well look at it directly. We might as well die early. And by that, I mean, not physically , but meeting with the possibility of death now, conceptually.

Three. The journey of accepting, acknowledging and working with the true source of Fear begins.

We all live our lives with fear. Fear of something happening to us. Fear of a disaster in the form of a physical accident, natural disaster, sickness, loss of jobs, breaking up of a relationship, bankruptcy, loss of a roof over our heads, loss of stature and position within the society, and the fear of physical death of yourself and all of whom that you love. But looking beyond all that is, underneath it, is the fear of us losing everything that we have ever known, the fear of everything that we think is ‘Us’, the identity that you think is ‘You’ being utterly and completely shattered and ripped away from you.

We fear death itself.

Our mind, consisting of all of whom we think we are, what we think to be our personality, and all that it encompasses including material possessions, is so fearful of losing all of these attachments that it will do literally anything to hold on to it. That’s why we fight so hard in our daily lives, we push, we strive, we’d do anything just to hold on to this identity we have created, all of which actually, is just an illusion.

My Glimpse through the Window of Death

I have the opportunity to glimpse through the window of Death whilst I was in hospital. It was more than just a mere possibility. Anything could happen. I heard that a woman few rooms down passed through the night out of an “unexpected” after surgery complication. The “unexpected” was not accounted for. That woman never had the opportunity to see through the night.

That’s when I realized I might not even wake up tomorrow.

Now that incident has made me realized the truth.  That upon lying on your deathbed, or in my case, in a hospital bed, immobilized, helplessly weak and in pain, I. Have. Nothing.” That everything I ever thought I have is just like the whiff of the smell of a perfume passing by on a breeze. I never had anything. I never owned anything, and I will never be able to take anything with me if I were to die now.  

Everything that I have sought to hold on to, my relationships, my position in society, money in the bank, my identity, is all gone. It never truly mattered. What was left and what was real at that point in time was my physical body that was diagnosed with a condition called Acute Leukemia. I was left with nothing but regrets of what I have not done with my life. Regrets that I was so hard on myself, regrets that I have lived the whole of my life up till then being incredibly inauthentic and small, regrets that I have tried to live my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations and needs, and not mine.

This ripping away of attachments and the illusion of my identity, continued on during the process of recovery where I continued to “die before I die”, looking and reconsidering what really matters for me and my Life. 2 years later now, I am finally able to talk about it, and meet with the possibility of death. Which is why I now speak about it and encourage everyone else to do the same.

What Truly Matters

Meeting with death, before your actual death can be the most liberating experience one ever have.

Why? Because you do away with what is not real. And then what is left behind, will be more than just a precious stone. It will be the jewel of the source of Life, the elixir of Life, and the one thing which never dies.

What is real, can never be destroyed. And that is the essence of who we are inside of us. That one constant factor which is still there when everything else fades away. The constant factor that which is the real You.

When Tomorrow never comes, all there is left is You. The You that comes out once you do away with the false self that consists of all your fears and insecurities, when you realized what truly matters in Life.

If Tomorrow Never Comes, you will begin to see that what truly matters. And what truly matters is the here and now. What truly matters is showing up fully in this very precious moment that you have and giving it everything you’ve got, and appreciating every second, and every moment you have. It doesn’t matter what you have not done, nor what you should have done. It doesn’t matter if you are completely bankrupt, and your lover left you. It doesn’t matter who betrayed you nor who stolen from you. Because all that is past and gone, and you might not even have a tomorrow.

That is dying before you die. Yet if one were to truly begin live this way, they will then begin to see Life as what it is. Instead of living in a routine and dying in the process, living will become one of the most amazing things that have happened to you. You live like there is no tomorrow. 

Everything will become worth living for.

Another Invitation to Life

So here is another invitation for you to contemplate the questions of how you would live your life herein onwards after contemplating ‘What if Tomorrow Never Comes’ .

What would you do, given you have now considered another aspect of reality which you have probably never touched on before?

What decisions would you make, given what you know now?

What thoughts would you choose to think, given what you know now?

Would you make more conscious decisions on doing things that you have always wanted to do?

Would you live your life in a different way?

How would you live your life, if you are given the chance to choose again?

How would you choose to live your life, after having even the slightest glimpse, through the window of Death itself…?

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Simple Pleasures of Life and it’s Lessons

Sometimes, when Life is a little bit more difficult to deal with, it’s far more easier said than done to try to appreciate the simple things that comes with daily life.

Life has been especially tricky with me, and the past 2 years of my life has not been the easiest. Other than going through a series of life challenges thrown my way, I have learnt so many things along the way, one of them include really growing up, and I mean, really,.. and while learning to grow up, also learning how to dig my heels into the ground and say ‘No‘.

Having been a person who was into inspirational quotes (and still is), and indeed, all my quotes came through during one of my life challenges when I was forced to be confined at home due to a treatment I was doing to heal my condition (confinement, and quarantine do, do you wonders.), what I have found is, it will, if you are able to absorb the message of it. But for some of us, or even more specifically so, me,.. during other types of life challenges, those darn inspirational quotes not only didn’t bloody work, but they made me even more pissed at the world.

Oh well. Life is as such.

But see, the thing is, sometimes, there is beauty in the horrible, ugly side of Life. What I have learnt, is that most times, when I struggled and experienced one of those dog-gone tantrums and inner conflict was because I didn’t trust my heart and go along with the first feelings which arises even before the entire situation came into full throttle and slaps you across the face when you realized that you were right all along.

Sometimes, it’s really that easy. Maybe we got to learn to trust ourselves much more.. I bet you might be saying, well, I decided to trust myself,.. and I got myself into trouble. Well yes, if you consider people disagreeing with you and being upset with your thoughts, opinions, and decisions, trouble. Perhaps we ought to distinguish between trouble, and growth. As written in one of the books from my favourite author Neale Donald Walsch, Conversation with God Book 2. (No it’s not the kind of God that you know. You’d probably either really enjoy and have a good laugh with this book, or recoil in absolute shock and horror haha.)

A lot of people whom I know considers me as someone who knows a great deal of spiritual growth, and someone who is very much equipped with the New Age and spiritual knowledge. Well, as far as I know anyway. But this post is to perhaps inform everyone that I don’t know anymore than I do before, – perhaps I know even less now. Life has brought me to a place of realizing that I know nothing,.. that Life is an experience. At one point, you think you got it all covered but in the next, you realized that all that you know are not only a load of bullocks but useless in being able to bring you to a point of feeling a little more better about yourself.

I have been extremely blessed for the opportunity to have recovered from my acute diagnosis of acute leukemia. I know I am meant for much more than what I have lived, and what I am currently living. In the midst of this knowing however, there is a great deal of learning, realizing, experiencing, threading the line, falling off the rope, climbing back up again, and repeat. I realize that I can only be a teacher in my own way of being, and behaving instead of words, and even this, I realized that I do fail from time to time again.

But what is failure, really?

I believe we fail only when we fail to be truthful to ourselves, to be honest with ourselves, and to fall short of being in integrity with ourselves. Even that however, is not entirely failure. You can only begin to learn from such experiences.

So the phrase ‘I have failed.’ is rather redundant. Rather, asking yourself ‘What is Failure to you?’ will serve you much more. From there, do yourself the favour and investigate if failure to you means falling short of other’s expectations of you, or, your own expectations of you. If you are living your life of the former, I highly suggest you to reevaluate your life unless you want to live your entire life living up to other people’s expectations of you which let me tell you, you will never ever be able to even begin to fulfill those expectations. However, don’t think you are off the hook either if failure to you means you failed to live up to your own expectations of you. Because that within itself spells a life of misery and doom arising out of unnecessary stress caused by the disease of perfectionism.

Oh will you look at that, we have gone a little out of topic so back on topic.

When I realized that I know nothing, not only is it one of the most scariest thing, but it renders a sense of loss, of everything that you have known and ever believed in. Probably because all the techniques which you are trying to apply to make yourself feel better are not working. And quite frankly, that’s okay too, feeling like you know nothing. It’s better to know nothing, than think you know the world, and remain stagnant wherever you are because you’re too arrogant to learn anymore.

Plus, I have no proper answer which might satisfy one who has a need for the perfect answer. The one way I know to make it easier for those of us in these circumstances , and might prolly’ even save your life is to take the easiest way out. Take the route that doesn’t restrict and restrain you emotionally. It might mean you needing to be entirely upfront and honest about your feelings. It might need you to walk away from the current situation you are in, like a job, or a relationship… I don’t know, but I am spelling out things which I have personally walked away from. And indeed, I have walked away from quite a number of things in my life and I will be lying if I say there is no drama after that.

But let me put it this way, drama comes when someone else disagree with you and tries to voice out their own opinions and feelings which might spell double trouble in the form of a huge ass argument or quarrel. Not something we all necessarily like or want to deal with, but it is also something that means growth. Not the arguments I mean, but growth is harnessed in your ability to be able to handle such disagreements and dramas, and your ability and courage to speak up for yourself.

Oh, and remember, if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else would.

And if all else fails, perhaps chill, and have a drink, coffee, tea – whatever floats your boat. Though, I wouldn’t suggest alcohol because it has a way of making you feel worse the day after. The simple pleasures in life sometimes are already there for us to bask in, if we allow ourselves to get out of our minds, and just enjoy whatever that is in front of you in that moment.

You know, since you are already feeling bad, you might as well try something else, don’t you think? Rather than allowing your mind to go merry-go-round like a hamster on a wheel on that goddamn issue.

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Why Dishonesty kills, and Integrity wins.

IMG_3862

From my recent experience of Life, I have come to see that, that is a very common way of being wherein people feel that it is necessary to say something which is less than the truth, all in the name of survival.

As you already might know, telling the truth, and being honest isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. It stems from the fear of what others might think of you, and it relates to our natural human desire to want to be socially accepted and fitting in. And what’s more, in the career line, and corporate society, it seems to me that it is more for the sake of being able to get that next promotion, or to get a better ‘deal’ if you like. It is for the sake of pleasing the other person who is higher up the rankings than you, so you can get yourself in their rated ‘A’ book.

Gosh, what a way to live.

Now, I realized I have changed much for as I grew older, I realized my capacity to say ‘no’ grew as well.
I stopped being willing to say ‘yes’ to things that goes against my gut feeling. I stopped filling my brain with countless doubts of ‘Am I wrong?, What did I do?’, to looking at things in an overall context, and preventing myself as much as I can, to be a victim of another’s moods.

That does not prevent me however to feel like as though I am caught in the scheme of things of being compromised because other people have a way of being and behaving which is completely unlike mine.

(Anyone else feels the same way?)

So for a while, I felt this ultimate sense of discomfort which gnaws at my gut and my heart. My facial skin definitely shows for it because I broke out in pimples far more than I could count in the last 2 months.

Now, here’s the thing.

I am a lover of the New thought, age old knowledge and wisdom, and indeed, it has helped me through my darkest times. However, what I have found is that sometimes, such New age or spiritual advice or wisdom has been overly abused where it is completely misunderstood and hence used wrongly.

So let’s talk about the age old advice of the New Age proclaimed “Self-love”; in the form of Integrity, in the context of Transparency, Truth and Honesty with yourself.

Now this is not about some overly abused New age or spiritual morally justified theory of ‘I love and accept myself, so I don’t need to care about what others think of me and so I am going to do my own thing, and you do yours.’. Nor is it about some fighting for the survival for your own personal viewpoints by insisting that you are right and others are wrong.

No, rather, this is a balanced, all rounded, grounded approach in managing your own values and expectations while at the same time being able to navigate your way around your daily life and relationships, and sometimes this really involves putting your feet down, and a hand up saying ‘Sorry, I can’t do this.’

Ultimately, it is up to you as to what you personally desire to uphold as personal principles and values.
For me, given my tolerance of dishonesty, and less than the truth and transparency has drastically reduced, I am much less willing to say or do anything that does not reflect the truth, even if the truth might not sound pretty. Nor am I willing to undertake anything which goes against the boundaries I have set for myself hence saying ‘No‘ has become a common occurrence recently.

And quite frankly, the sleepless nights ain’t worth it.

So let’s dissect a few simple ways on why the title of this article is at it is.

Why Dishonesty kills?

Who do you have to live with for the rest of your life when you push against your own integrity?

You.
Who lives with that burden of guilt, shame and blame?

You.

And we all know all of that creates some psychological impact on our mind and soul, which then can have a not so wonderful impact on our bodies.

And Why Integrity wins?

With enough integrity and value for yourself and what you uphold, I.e your principles and values, you will be more aware of situations where your integrity, self-honor might be wavered and therefore, you will be likely more inclined to put yourself in a better position to be able to handle it.

Oh, and you have nothing to hide. #SelfConfidenceTipNo.1

Also, why do you want to live with all the mental discomfort which dishonesty brings?
#IntegrityBringsSanity.

Listen folks, this is a touchy subject I agree, with being honest and transparent with yourself and others. I can already hear people saying ‘She ain’t know what she talkin’ about’ but seriously, take it from me.’
Nothing is worse than going against yourself, going against integrity with you, your principles and values, and being dishonest with you. And once you’re become good at being honest with you, I can bet that you will become a bit more uncomfortable with not being honest with others as well. So, you might want to start telling the truth to others as well then.

The more we do this, the more we get better at it. And if the more of us start doing this, the more we begin leveling out the playing field in the corporate world and in all your relationships too. And once being honest and transparent becomes a society norm, the world will then become a little bit better, if not a better place.

Note:
Being in integrity has resulted in a sense of lightness, freedom, instead of the feeling of burden and heaviness which have engulfed the author her whole adult life. Also, she sleeps better, lives a little more care freely without all the guilt and burden, and does not have to deal much with those horrible huge pimples breaking out overnight.

 

Jassica Nia xx

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Secrets, Lies, Truths – Being Honest with You

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Secrets.

In my life, and from what I witnessed and am still witnessing amongst the culture that I live in, I noticed that people have secrets.

Well, let’s face it.

No matter what society, or culture you come from, everyone, have secrets. Of course we do. And it’s not like we are going to spew our deepest secrets to the person we just got to know, or a stranger sitting next to you on the tube.

But what I am going to talk about is truth, to yourself, and then to the people closest to you. This also involves people you are involved in matters which matter in your life, activities which make up a whole lot of your life, i.e work, and in general, relationships you have going on with literally, everyone and everything.

Having said that, are you aware that relationships govern everything that is going on in your personal life?

Yes. Starting from your relationship with you.

So let’s start with that.  

Telling the truth to you.

And I personally learnt that, that can be the one most difficult to thing to do. But when applied into my life, I also realized that it can be the one most liberating thing to do for myself.

Sometimes, we are afraid to be honest with ourselves. Because we are afraid to lose everything we have ever known and the very thing we are trying to cling on to. Yet, the beauty with truth is that there is light which is shine on that which was once dark, unknown, or should it be said, perhaps something that was once.. refused to be acknowledged – for some of us.

I once read an article called Keeping Secrets – a Life Limiting Habit , an article which made me realize the dark side of keeping secrets. Of course, all of us always do something and behave in a way which is rational to ourselves. We always conduct ourselves in a way we deem appropriate, even if to another, it is not. So with regards to secrets, more often than not, I realized that keeping secrets is a form of trying to protect ourselves, rather than trying to protect the very person we are hiding it from.

Well, the thing is, no one wants to be lied to. In actual fact, no one really, wants to be withheld from a truth. But because most of us do that, i.e keep secrets, some of us tend to be more understanding of why another keeps secrets.

Now the thing is this. If we want to be told the truth and have no secrets with our loved ones, and this applies not only to love relationships, but all relationships in general, how can we make it easier for this phenomena to happen more frequently in our lives?

What is the real truth here?

The real truth is, sometimes, or in fact, most times, most of us do not react well to the truth.

While we might think we can handle it, but can we, really?

On this note, we might want to think about making it easier the next time, for the next person in our lives who open up and be honest about what they feel with regards to any issue. No matter how difficult it might be. #FoodForThought

Then again, it’s not our fault – for those of us who want to be told the truth, and for those of us who withhold the truth.

Our current education system does not teach us how to handle such sensitive situations.

Society does not teach us how to tell the truth, and to do it the right way. And society surely does not teach us how to be more accepting of other people’s views and opinions as well as being open to an outcome of a situation.

Even as I am typing this, I chuckle at how I could have handled such situations better. The first port of call is, do not under any circumstance talk about such sensitive issues through texts. #ExtremelyImportant #FirstLearningPoint

That might be overreacting a little, but you get the drift. 🙂

Telling the truth, or discussing a sensitive issue, as difficult as it might be for some of us, might require us to do it in person because sometimes, when we are within the capacity of the other, we convey much more than our words. Our body language says a lot about what we really feel.  So if you are really going to want someone who matters to you to get what you are trying to say, you better really mean what you say, and be honest and as open as you could possibly be.

Now, sometimes, in the communication of our truths, we get confused.. And that, is the real truth. Sometimes, we just don’t know what we want, and we are actually scared and lost.  

Now here is the next part.

Are you able to be okay with you?

Communicating truths to another is one thing, and is a tactful skill to be applied even in the most skilled conversationalist.

But the thing is, what actually makes telling a truth, and discussing sensitive issues so difficult?

Well, it could be due to the fact that we find it difficult to live with ourselves – with the real truth that lies within us.

We are not okay – with us.

When it comes to speaking of something that matters to me, and conveying what I really think about something, I found that what really bothered me is what others might think about what I think. It is ultimately the need to fit in, the need to please, and the need to want others to accept me in that what causes the friction and conflict within me when conveying my truth.

The learning point is this:

When I accepted myself, when I accepted what I think and feel, and that it’s okay for others to have their own opinions and viewpoints, and that not everyone is going to think the way that I do, I became okay and sure footed in conveying and sharing my truth.

There is no longer the need to “sugar coat” my words as there is no more need to want to make others accept what I think and wanting them to ‘like’ and accept me.

I became okay, and liberated in that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and with this thinking in mind, I have set myself free.

I became okay with the knowing that people might not like me, and might not even be comfortable with me being in their circle.

I realized that there is no need to put up with bull**** and things I do not agree with. That it is within my rights to communicate freely, but also realizing just as much that it is equally as right for others to express themselves and communicate their thoughts.

Having said so, there is a fine line between truly communicating our truths in an open and genuine way, and expressing what we think and feel in a manipulative, hurtful and blaming way. To even get into the subject of how-tos and to navigate around the ways of trying to express our truths might need more than a thousand five hundred and thirty one words as on this page so we wouldn’t get into that here. But the rule of thumb is, you will know by way of how you feel whether you are getting onto the manipulative, blaming line or you just really, genuinely, want to express how you feel, and what you think because you want to resolve an issue, or because you want to get what you feel out in the open.

Remember that when you are in such a situation, how would you think you would feel if someone else claims to tell you something of what they feel, yet seemingly blame you for it? Telling the truth is one thing. Doing it tactfully and with grace, is another.

Of course, this topic is very subjective, and requires a lot of maturity and wisdom to handle it. In fact, I think I could even come up with a lesson called “Navigating The Tricks and Trades of Telling A Sensitive Truth Course 101” – and study it in detail myself. 😛

Coming back to our topic at hand, at the end of the day, it’s not even so much about what others think of you. Everyone is wired very differently. Neither do you have the capacity to control how and what every single person in your life think of you. To try to attempt that will be not only unfruitful or unsuccessful but it will be one of an unnecessary, exhausting, never-ending spiral.

At the end of the day, you need to live with you. So to even begin learning to be honest with others, you might want to start by being that, to yourself.

When you are honest and more in acceptance of you, you might even begin to find that you will be more tolerant and respectful of others opinions and viewpoints and allow them… the space, to speak their truths…

 

 

Jassica Nia xx

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Freedom Is Not What We Think It Is

Freedom Is Not What We Think It Is

-as published in Huffington Post

As most of us might have experienced, I grew up within the chains of culture, and grew up needing to conform to expectations of others and needing to do what I was told to do.

This is not about chastising our culture and our upbringing — in fact, I know some people are happy to stay status quo and that is fine too.

Hence the questions I always ask people are,

“What serves you?”

By “what,” I mean, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, current opinions, expectations and suggestions of yours and others.

“Where are you going in Life?”

“What do you want to be, do, have.”

“Does what you have always known, your beliefs, and your normal way of doing things serving you to get you to where you want to go?”

“Are you happy with where you are in Life?”

“If not, what can you choose to do now to change it?”

These questions and the answers you derive at are a good gauge to your satisfaction of your status quo in Life, and you are the only one who can make the decision of what that is.

I am only here as a guide to share with you what I went through and what I have personally gained.

So here is why the subject of “Freedom” and going for our dreams, passions and our desires, and following our heart really means a lot to me.

I never knew I didn’t understand freedom, until I finally got it, until I finally understood what it truly is for myself, and that, my friends, is real Liberation.

Freedom doesn’t come via someone in your life, not that spouse, that partner, or that best friend you have always had. In fact within each relationship itself, there in itself comes with its own complications.

This Freedom I am talking about is something else entirely.

It is about that space and the “knowing” that you allow yourself — where you acknowledge Who You Are, what you want to be, do and have in Life.

It is about acceptance of who You really are.

When that acceptance comes about, everyone else could have different opinions about how you should live your Life and how you should behave, but you can let that go with peace and still love them exactly the way they are and do what you know is right for you, because you have come to inner peace.

In other words, Freedom within.

And once you have that, no one has control over You, except You.

I can attest to that when I have been waking up each day with that feeling of wanting to Live More, Be More, and Do more, I realized the feeling of joyous liberation and “free-ness” despite certain parts of my life not working as how I want it to be.

I realized it’s also not about only being whatever you want when you finally got it. But it’s also about being and doing what you can now to get yourself there.

Life is an ongoing journey. The times we feel stagnant, unfulfilled are those times when we don’t do what we are supposed to do, when we don’t fulfill that inner calling to do what we are meant to do, when we expect someone to sort out our Life for us, or when we wait for someone to complete our lack, neediness and deficiencies.

No, Life is about continuously learning, expanding, developing and fulfilling that wonderful soul which You are.

So don’t wait until you get that lover, or until you get your promotion or paycheck, or until someone acknowledges you or praise you, or until your partner got his/her own promotion, or until your kids grow up.

Own your inner freedom, Now.

 

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Freedom, beginning from the Mind.

The Key to Freedom, is about realizing that there is absolutely Nothing external of us which is stopping us in achieving our desires and dreams.

 

Have you experience those times when you look around you and realize no one seemed to ‘get’ you or understand what you want or where you are heading towards? Those times when you could go blue in the face trying to explain to another counterpart just what it is you want and what your desires really are?

 

Well maybe it is time for you to stop convincing others of your dreams and desires, and start trudging forward and getting on with it. 

 

No one is going to live your life, but you. And you really don’t need a wake up call for you to realize that. Take it from a sister(me) who has gone through that wake up call, and I woke up questioning my life and wondering if I have ever been right in everything that I believed in. 

 

That was a good wakeup call- it has taught me alot. 

 

It has taught me that at the end of the day, it isn’t about what your lover said, what he said or what she said, or what they (your friends) said, or what those neighbours, those relatives, perhaps even your parents say. At the end of the day, what matters is you have honored your heart. You have done love, give love, be love. This means you are not being Mr or Missus Meanie in trying to explain to others where you are going towards, but your job is to explain it the best that you can, as lovingly as you can and leave the rest to them to sort themselves out.

 

The one thing to remember for those who try to restrict you, is that they have never known Freedom themselves, so don’t blame them for they really do not know what they have done. The only one way to present Freedom to others, is to allow them to be, with no judgement of them.

 

So if you were to ask yourself ‘ How can I begin to feel free amidst my life circumstances?’

Free yourself up of those judgements, stop worrying about what others might think, and set yourself  free. 

Then focus on your journey, because the one who follow his heart, have tons of joy to share, tons of love to give, and that, is real work to be done. 

 

Have you felt the same way as I do in your Life journey? Do you struggle with other people’s opinions because you care too much? Have this message served you today? Do share by letting me know in the comments below, I would really love to know! x

 

If this has helped you, it might help others too so do share this with those whom you feel might need it! x

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