Monday, January 28, 2013

Live and Let Live

Before I get into the heart of the matter, I wanted to share what I feel is a very powerful video displaying the realities we face today, and in some way could prepare your mind for the topic at hand. It helps you step back and look at the bigger picture to fully comprehend what is going on around you. Sometimes we are trapped in a bubble for so long, we need to step out and look at the bubble from the outside to better understand what is going on around us, and what choice(s) we have in the matter.

No one can control everything around them, least of all the people around them. The only thing you are in control of is yourself. How you behave, sometimes how you think, very rarely can you control how you feel. Regardless, you can never manipulate those around you into saying and thinking what you want them to about you. Despite your best efforts, there will always be those who will find some thing or another to nitpick at. So why bother yourself with adjusting your conduct and the way you live your life for the sake of what others 'might' say or think?!

It is near impossible to lead a pristine, socially-accepted life. Not because we are all bad people, but because there will always be not-so-pristine assholes who are so miserable and unhappy with their lives, so much so that they feel the need to somehow hate on yours. You cannot control that. So why let it get to you? Why force yourself into this little box that society set up for you when there will always be people that will expect you to fit in a tube instead. Why bother?! You form yourself into whatever polygonal shape you please and don't let anyone tell you any different. Doesn't even have to be a polygon, whatever form or anti-form you want!

I really fail to see the point in this charade. All it does is keep you from really living and enjoying life. All you should really be concerned with is your own life, and by extension those who are intrinsically a part of your life. Anyone else; if they like it, hey come on in, otherwise there's the door. There is absolutely no need to concern yourself with such people at all and more importantly allow them to affect you, your life, and your happiness. Don't let anyone rain on your parade, they're only making it rain over in their parade so just take another route.

We all reach a point in our lives where the ideals, values and principles we develop can sometimes clash with that of society or even to those around us from family and friends. When that point comes you are faced with choices; one must decide what kind of man/woman you want to be, how you want to live out your life, how you can sleep at night, how you can be happy with the way you are and the way you would like to be. More importantly, how to do that without isolating yourself from those you may disagree with. The question that possible? I don't know, I hope so. Surely it is better to try that rather than to conform or isolate oneself.

I cannot stress this enough:

Live and let live!

Live. Live life. Live openly, honestly and with conviction. Make your own choices in your life believing wholeheartedly they are the choices you want to make for yourself. Eliminate all the unnecessary buzzing around you and strip it back to the basics; you. What matters to you and only you.

I want to start some sort of campaign all over the world to spread the good word. You get off my case, I'll get off yours, and there you have it. That easy. Best part is, even if they don't get off your case, get off theirs anyway and don't trouble yourself with such pettiness. Brush it off your shoulder. Let it roll off like water off a duck's back. Cuz in the end..

haters gonna hate

Peace out...

Monday, January 7, 2013

(Un)Conditional Love

I read an interesting piece by Ziad El-Hady - aka my future husband, he just doesn't know it yet - entitled The Essence of Romantic Love is Nothingness. Funnily enough, I agree with everything he had to say, except for his main point; that relationships are built structures with no foundation, under constant and likely threat of de-construction (such a nicer way to say destruction). Maybe I'm being hopeful here, but I'd like to think that is not true.

One point he did make which rung very true is that there is no such thing as unconditional love. If you consider relationships you've been in but ended, relationships you may or may not have been unconditionally in love. Of those you did see yourself as unconditionally in love, surely it wouldn't have ended if it was truly unconditional, right? Let's say it ended because of an indiscretion of some sort, therefore your love is conditional on fidelity. If it ended because one or both parties 'changed', ergo love is conditional on remaining exactly the same as you did when you first entered the relationship. Somehow, you start to see that love actually is - and always was - conditional! To me the idea of unconditional love is exactly what gets people in trouble; people get swept away by the fairy tale idea until they are faced with the reality of it all. They just end up hugely disappointed. Worse still, instead of believing that their idea of this romantic love is indeed a misconception, they simply believe they just haven't found it yet. So they just abort mission and try again instead of genuinely attempting to change their understanding of love and apply it to their already existing structure. Some might even go RomCom and fight for this love believing that it is there, when it is not. If I had to say some form of love was unconditional, to me it would be the love towards parents and immediate family, even if I do feel at times their love for me could be under the condition that I do as they say or expect, but I digress.

Back to the idea of a foundation-less love. The conclusion reached would make sense based on the overall argument, but I can't help but feel something is missing. Perhaps it's the idea that 'romantic' love is not necessarily imperative in a happy, healthy relationship. Maybe it's a different kind of love. And it is upon finding that love you are able to lay down the foundations of a lasting relationship. A love that is not alone. A love that comes with mutual respect, understanding, trust, compassion, joy, empathy, acceptance and even humor. The all-consuming love, the blinding can't-live-without-you love is unstable and inconsistent. The higher the highs, the lower the lows. It is euphoric though, the 'high'. And once you get a taste of it, that's all you want and you want it all the time. So when something comes along to rock your love boat, panic ensues along with questions, doubts and fear of never getting that feeling of euphoria again. I've said it before and I'll say it is a dangerous thing. Yes, it is beautiful, but the power it yields is immense and could feel threatening. Very threatening.

The problem I see is that such unrealistic expectations of this 'romantic' love, along with the list of personal criteria one has for their ideal partner may need a little tweaking. Not to mention the chronic fear of being alone, which by far I find is the biggest obstacle one must face (and many, many don't even bother to). All, I feel, begin from within.

"A man who - as a physical being - is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him"
- Søren Kierkegaard

Let's address this fear of being alone. A lot of people would never admit to see their relationships for what they really are: a distraction. Oh the amount of relationships I have witnessed and wanted to call bullshit...but didn't because people are sensitive to that sort of thing. I see people somehow find themselves in a relationship with someone, usually after a break-up or a rejection of some sort, or even based on sheer attraction. They try to force it to fit into this mold and endlessly try to manipulate it to make it spell 'happily ever after' but it simply won't. They use the rare, fleeting moments of happiness or 'highs' to justify their attempts, clinging on to the hope that more of this would come. In some cases it just goes terribly wrong and ends for good (might end a couple times before it's officially ended because fear can sometimes make one redundant). Other cases, they manage to spell 'appily e'er after' or something similar and simply make do with what they have, not knowing that over time, the letters will get jumbled up again and you will no longer have the energy or want to make the effort to manipulate it back into place anymore. Admittedly, in some rare cases, with time and effort the letters may eventually start spelling out the correct phrase. That, however, is a hope we all cling on to in such cases, but we need to be able to distinguish where there is hope, and where there is none.

"Nowadays we live in a world which is paradoxical. We pursue happiness and it leads to resentment and it leads to unhappiness. And it leads, in fact, to an explosion of mental illness." 
- Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist

All this, why? Because being alone or single is seen as a failure, in any culture! If you are single, clearly something is wrong with you. Why doesn't anyone want you? I see it's the other way around though; it's not that no one wants you but you don't want anyone...yet. You have not found yourself ready, you have not yet figured out what it is you want in order for you to finally be able to find someone you want, or even want someone you already found. You have to know what it is you want before you can know whether you want someone or not. That's not easy to do though. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes complete, unhindered, unadulterated and uncensored honesty. You have to face yourself, know yourself, love yourself. Embrace all that is you both good and bad, until the 'flaws' become your perfections. You have to be happy and comfortable in your own skin and mind to reach a state where you don't feel you need to be with someone to avoid loneliness, but rather you want to be with someone to further enrich your life.

"To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self...and to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one's self"
- Søren Kierkegaard
So I ask that you allow yourself to venture. Find yourself first - personally, physically, professionally - so that along your venture you may cross paths with the person meant to be yours.