Calm

Over the time I’ve spent away from this blog I’ve come to realize what an anxious person I was. Anxious all the time. Just thinking about the crowds at college would put a pit of butterflies fluttering around in my stomach.

The biggest lesson I learnt from my days at college was that no one cares. That for me was the release lever for my impalpable social anxiety and I used it to tell myself that ‘it was ok’ again and again when I felt any emotional turmoil. Over the last year I’ve learnt other lessons and taken inspiration from other things-one of these being anime, namely One Piece’s Monkey D. Luffy who was always unconcerned about anything and everything unless it came to his dream of being the ‘pirate king’. I would call it selective attention.

My experience at university is also full of turmoil, especially considering the numbers of people who I don’t know.

But I know now that I was meant to be a calm person. Calm and serene, keeping a cool head  despite what may happen. These harsh experiences are shaping me into a laid-back character who doesn’t really care about much and leaves my own destiny to God. I already know that if He doesn’t want something for me I’ll never get it, despite however much I want it so now I’ll just  relax and let Him take control. The stage is His and I am an actor, a puppet, over whom He can master over.

Putting all of my trust in Him and letting Him take control because fighting, I’ve found, is useless.

Life is way less stressful this way.

 

Appreciating the science of judgement

All too frequently I hear or read someone with the words ‘don’t judge me’ or ‘ look at your own flaws before judging others’ and while I agree with perhaps the original intent of safeguarding the innocent from our ongoing unrealistic expectations of them, I have to say that judgements do have an evolutionary function. They’re there for a reason.

And they’re natural. I think judgements are especially important in children since they can protect them from potential threats in say, potential kidnappers. Not just natural judgements either but judgements bred by parents or society play a critical role too. Let’s say the age-old rule, don’t talk to strangers.

They allow us to survive. They act as a barrier to prevent us from being placed in dangerous situations. An immensely important role in evolutionary biology.

I understand that our judgements are usually misplaced and incorrect but it’s detrimental to ourselves to completely disregard them. Assess the possible risk against your intuition and instinct and then decide whether it’s worth it.

So don’t stop judging people. Times have changed now but remember that it was once fundamental to our survival.

Gaining Momentum

Once you’ve fallen, the hardest thing you can do is pick yourself back up. But that’s what makes winners. There’s this notion that whatever happens, however tragic or devastating, you’ve somehow got to use it to become stronger. To be a champion.

 

And I’ve been on the worst place a human can be in. For two years. No growth, no aspirations, no decisions, no expectations. It’s horrid how happy I was, being nought but a shell of a person, a shell of a character, a shell of a destiny.

I don’t want to be in the place anymore. I never have. But it takes a lot more than physical strength to rise up from the ashes. You need mental grit, a strong resolve and commitment in order not to automatically fall again to the same place, maybe even lower. 

I’m still in the pits. Tomorrow will be my attempt to climb up, crawl up, haul myself over-whatever it takes-to get to the ground of the living. Because the living have dreams. 

I want to be alive.

The cost of what you do

As I  battle my constant internal struggles, or rather, as I indulge in them, I realise that I’m paying for my addictions with my very life. Right now, a DS game has captured my attention-and kept it for more than 5 hours. It was hard to stop playing. Although I couldn’t fathom why I wanted to keep playing; my eyes stung, my back ached after being hunched over the screen, my work awaited, and the worst part is, well, it wasn’t even entertaining. It’s like I was only torturing myself because it was supposed to be fun, not that it was actually fun. So I kept playing, trying to get to better levels so I could taste that fun.

It never came.

And so right now, in the midst of my various unopened textbooks, I’ve come to realise I’ve fallen. I’m standing on burning coals intentionally, which is absurd. And in this moment, with nought but the deep silence of the room, the hum of cars moving outside, and the distant sound of water falling, have I come to know that I am better than this. I’m so much better than what I do. I need to strive so that my actions are complementary to who I am. So that my core values are not banished or compromised  in the knot that is life.

So my life doesn’t bleed out every time I do something that I don’t want to do.

Loving Yourself

There’s an African saying that really we ought to consider before anyone tells us they love us: ‘Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt’. This means that a person says they love you but yet they don’t love themselves. This is so common. I was reflecting the other day about how everyone wants to date/ get married/ fall in love so that someone can love them, not that they can love someone else. Isn’t that the whole point of love to give whatever you can-within your means and morals-unconditionally and loving someone? You’re supposed to love, not just be loved.

How insecure and dependent will someone who dates/marries/is in a relationship be if they are only in it to be loved. How shallow is that? Most of us are inspired to pursue ‘love’ just so we can be loved and apparently this leads to happiness and results in one loving themselves. How absurd. This is why there are ‘clingy’ people out there; there is this popular mentality people have that if someone appreciates and loves them, they will love themselves eventually and be happy. How strange is it to rely on another person to make you happy?

If you want to be happy, be. It’s got to come from you, specifically inside you. No one else can make you happy without your permission, so sure, let other people contribute to that happiness but don’t let them be the reason. Otherwise you’ll find yourself alone, some moment in the day, and you will be ridiculously unhappy, maybe even on the verge of depression.

I’m not saying we should all succumb to the brilliant hell that is the ego (it’s attractive, but you really, really don’t want to feed that demon). Arrogant people don’t even love themselves. Yeah. I said it. No, you’re brain isn’t deluding you, I really said that. Arrogant people love the image of themselves that’s formed in their heads, or people’s opinions- in arrogance’s eyes, an opinion which is either deserved if it’s good or too inferior to take into account if ‘bad’ or critical.

So appreciate yourself. Acknowledge and respect your flaws, your characteristics and your goodness, all of it. Learn to love yourself because then you understand yourself and want the best for you, whether that’s almost killing yourself on the treadmill in anticipation of a better physique or studying to midnight to attain that coveted A grade. You’ll do what’s better for you in the short and long term. And you won’t let someone’s opinion or their actions or words, trample all over you.