The Joneses Don’t Deserve Your Attention.⁣⁣

Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.

I am my biggest critic. It’s me I have to please, no one else. If I am not satisfied with anything, I will continue to work towards improvement regardless of what others think or say. It is my life after all. It is me that has to live with myself till the grave, day and day out. I have to be comfortable in my own skin before I can be any use to anyone. Same with designing your own space. You are the one who is going to live there not other people. So why should you try to impress others when it’s not even their own abode. Do what you like, follow your feelings, decorate according to your taste, design according to your needs, dress up according to your personality and live the way you see fit. As long as your not harming anyone by being yourself, who cares?

Let them judge and let them talk.

It makes me think of something I’ve read somewhere. That coins make a lot of sounds while paper money is silent or something like that. And bells ring hard because they are shallow or something along those lines. What it is that Steve Jobs said:

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice and our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. 

Isn’t that great?

We are all born terminal. We are all going to die sooner or later. We are living on borrowed time. Don’t you think we better spend it on experience than accumulating earthy possessions? I remember what my then friend M. said to me a long time ago. She said: “With all that money you are spending on globetrotting you could have been a millionaire by now.”  I just looked at her because I didn’t understand her point of view and I didn’t bother to explain mine because she would not understand, and I mighty glad I did what I did because with my current condition and limited situation if I did not follow my heart and invested on experience, I will not have something to remember and fall back on when the going gets tough. Those cherished memories keep me sane and I’m grateful for that. I said to myself then: I don’t want to lie on my death bed wondering about ifs and what could have been. At least now I could honestly say to myself that I’ve been there done that twice over and back. No regrets.

Oh, I know, some people are hard-set to accumulate material things for the sake of legacy. To leave to their descendants, to give them a fair start in life as my aunt used to say. Granted. But I personally believe that the best foundation you can give to your own children is the gift of one thing no one can steal and they can never lose: education. Coupled it with a decent upbringing and nuggets of wisdom here and there, proper morals and values and they will be okay. Earning and finding their place in the world has to be the fruit of their own labor, not yours. They will follow their own paths anyway no matter what we told them to do. I, for one thing, don’t want my children to live up to my expectations. I rather that they live up to theirs. I will never live through my children. I don’t want them to make my dreams come true. I want them to realize their dreams no matter how disappointing it is for me because it is their lives. As long as they are happy, I’m happy. Isn’t it what love is all about, seeing someone happy?

The bottom line is:

We have just one life, why not live it the way we see fit?

Live and let live.

So forget about image and keeping up with the Joneses because:

After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.

To me, you will always be the one that got away.

When you experience loss, people say you’ll move through the five stages of grief…
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll cycle through them all every day.

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To Scrape And Scratch

Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.

Unfortunately, not so many people want to own their mistakes. They rather blame people and circumstances (or even God) for whatever misfortunes that befall them. I know there are events that are unexplainable and bad things happened to good people and God doesn’t always work in mysterious ways and things don’t always happen for a reason, but those are exceptions to the rule and not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being mature enough to take responsibility for one’s own actions, one’s own life, being able to admit to oneself that we are not perfect; we stumble and fall and do mess up sometimes but it is all part of the growing up process. Stand up, dust yourself and move on. Life doesn’t always deal us with fair cards and they say fate is not even-handed  Life isn’t fair, so you have to play the best game you can with the cards you’re dealt. It’s up to you what to do next. Either you keep lying down where you fell and moan and complain or charge it to experience and start all over again. Your choice.

Remember, Destiny plays its cards in a way that no one can comprehend. It’s okay to be down sometimes (or all the time if you wish) as long as it doesn’t stop you from making the most of what there is. Blaming anyone will not bring anybody anywhere or anything but sorrow, self-pity, hatred, and bitterness. Those are dangerous preoccupation. It eats you from the inside and hinders you from living up to your full potential. I am not a happy person and very far from satisfied but those little inconveniences don’t stop me from moving forward and taking pleasure from what is worthwhile. I never allow myself to be beaten by the circumstances no matter how difficult it could be sometimes. Adversity builds character but much depends on the individual also. Either you will let the experience beat you or make you into a strong capable human being. Again, your choice.

Someone said adversity builds character, but someone else said adversity reveals character. I’m pleasantly surprised with my resilience. I persevere, and not just blindly. I take the best, get rid of the rest, and move on, realizing that you can make a choice to take the good. – Brooke Shields

Hardships build character. Character equals backbone. Backbone means strong. Who likes invertebrates (people)? Lack of character means a whole load of unsavory traits nobody could live with let alone tolerate in the long run. Those are the ones who cannot stand for themselves and always need others to fall back on or to blame. They are either always go with the flow, don’t have their own opinions, or disrespectful, dishonest, unreliable, backstabbers and manipulators. The ones who stand on other people’s backs to look tall and belittle others to feel good about themselves. Don’t get me wrong. Character doesn’t mean being self-absorbed and strong is not equals to being a bully. Character includes compassion, empathy, courage, patience, humility, and doing things with heart and soul. My father always said: put your heart and soul in everything you do or don’t do it at all. I agree. The difference between chefs who have given exactly the same ingredients to cook is the way they execute the task. The one who prepares the food with respect and put their heart and soul into it is the one who is going to produce a delicious meal. Love what you do no matter how small and unimportant the task might be and you will be surprised how great the result is.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

As  Roy T. Bennett once said, always remember to:

Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.

Now, let’s go out there and practice it.


  • Scrape – Learning from the challenges that come our way (or those we create) and then proving what we learned by doing much better than before.
  • Scratch – The act of working our way back when we fall down and gaining strength of integrity from what we experience. (source: Jon Mertz)

 

Carpe Omnia

You oughta be thankful a whole heaping lot for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.

Indeed. There is a lot to be thankful for. But_ we don’t always do that. We tend to take everything for granted and complain when it rains. Maybe because it is easy to get used to trouble-free and unchallenging existence that a little bit of change in the weather can put most people off. Especially the ones who never have to fight for survival. But it could be applied to anyone regardless of background and status in life. For example, people always say I have a nice house but to me, it is something normal, ordinary. I live in it and see it every day that I get used to its appearance that I don’t see the beauty of it anymore. Likewise with those men who are married to beautiful women and still eyeing other pretty females or even having affairs. They wake up every morning next to those pretty faces that after a time it becomes common. When the novelty is over, we quickly get used to good things and tend to take them for granted. We forget that there are so many people in the world who will gladly be in our place. Even when the media made us aware of those less fortunate, we watch them from our living rooms in a detached manner thinking, believing their fate will never hit close to home. You know… the “it could never happen to me” attitude?

Till it happens, then, suddenly our (petty) problems become the center of the world because it’s us and not somebody else. All of a sudden, the things we frown upon and disregard become important and we want, we demand that the world show compassion and understand our situations and offer us a helping hand or even bail us out.

Like I said before, happiness is not meant for me but I take pleasures in little things. Most of them don’t cost money. Whatever happened in my life, I hold myself responsible and never blame anyone. Though I severe connections with people who cross the line over and over again, I don’t hold grudges and never allow myself to be bitter and vindictive. In fact, I don’t do so much effort in that area, I just been made that way. I see the world in the eyes of a child and each day is a tabula rasa waiting to be explored and each person is innocent unless proven guilty no matter what others said about him. I don’t judge appearance, I judge character. I never lost my sense of wonder and enjoy new places and new things. I am thankful for what I have and acknowledge that compared to some, I am indeed very fortunate. I never experience jealousy or envy towards others because I believe that each and every one of us is unique in our own way. I never let bad experience dictates my frame of mind and never linger on it. I always pick myself up and move on, stronger than before. I don’t need confirmation of others of my worth and don’t need anyone to be whole and complete. I don’t crave people’s approval and don’t seek admiration. I know myself.

How about you?

Are you satisfied with your life?

If you could change a thing, what it is?

Emptiness

This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.

You will always be a part of me.


I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.

~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma

Just A Story

Cancer… My best friend has cancer. She told me via a Christmas card, which she dutifully sends every year even though I don’t answer most of them. Seven years ago since I saw her. We just moved into our current abode and there was no furniture yet inside aside from a couple of kitchen chairs.

No, we didn’t have a fallout or something. I am just like that. I am not adept at keeping connections. I burn bridges with or without reasons. She was actually my boss who decided it is better to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Something with the husband. There was nothing there but it’s the thoughts that count. From there a genuine friendship has blossomed and since then I could do no wrong in her eyes. She fired a few employees including her own sister because they could not get along with me. She has forgiven me for all the trespasses I did against her person without me asking for it. The foolishness of the youth… Water under the bridge now.

She was a chain smoker. Now she has lung cancer. I called her immediately the minute I received the card and told her I was coming the day after. I bought a big bouquet of flowers I know she likes and rung her doorbell. Because I got a heads up, seeing her with a nasal cannula didn’t shock me but the color of her skin did. I thought those snow dwellers from the north in GOT were just the products of makeup techniques from efficient production artists but she looks exactly like them_ gray with a bluish tint as if she has been buried under the snow and been dug up just recently. Shocking!

She doesn’t have cancer. I misread the card. She has COPD instead and needs to have a lung transplant very soon. (what’s the difference) but there is no donor. She’s not even on the list. And even then, her kidney is not functioning properly to have an operation. Her face is swollen from too much cortisol. She said she had an open heart surgery a while back and has to take legions of medicines. I gave her a summary of my own woes, she told me I look good despite… The husband said I barely changed.

They are not the kind of people who will lie or flatter you for whatever reasons. No, they belonged to the near-extinct group of honest people who will tell you how things exactly are without offending. That’s why probably we get along just fine. They told me they encountered my ex and his girlfriend in the supermarket. I said it’s the wife, not the girlfriend. They gave me a look that said: whatever. And then the husband said when it comes to a wife matter, my ex did a few steps back instead of forward and my best friend said the new wife is a far cry from me and very, very different when it comes to appearance. That was a shock. I find the woman ten times more beautiful than I am, taller too, whiter and with miles-long legs. My best friend said if I find long legs (she has) an asset then so be it but not in any way it would help the appearance of the new wife. Then she ran out of words to describe her and I supplied them by directly quoting the mother of D. when she described the same woman: grey mouse, she said. My best friend jumped on that and added a few more of her own.

They would go on and on if I didn’t change the subject. It happened that I don’t agree with them. D. said it is because I have very low self-esteem. That when it comes to comparing myself to others, I always sell myself short. Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, it was getting dark and I could see that our visit tired my best friend so I grabbed my coat and said goodbye. I will not want to exhaust our welcome. They complimented our fine carriage and we drove off.

I’m not sure if I am going to see her alive again. I am afraid that the next time we meet, she will be inside a casket. Sad but it’s the truth.

Another era about to disappear.

Getting old sucks.

Saying Goodbye

The amount of love you feel for someone and the impact they have on you as a person is in no way relative to the amount of time you have known them.

It’s painful, loving someone from afar.
Watching them – from the outside.
The once familiar elements of their life reduced to nothing more than occasional mentions in conversations and faces changing in photographs…..
They exist to you now as nothing more than living proof that something can still hurt you … with no contact at all.

― quotes from Ranata Suzuki

 

Puppet Master

Let me be clear, my love is unconditional, but your presence in my life is not. The moment that you prove that your value of me does not measure up to my sense of self-worth, I’ll have no problem unconditionally loving the memory of you and moving on.

It’s called self-Respect.

Setting boundaries and refusing to be a victim.

It takes courage to say no.

No, I will not be your puppet.

No, I will not be blackmailed. Emotionally or otherwise.

No, you cannot use me.

No, you cannot manipulate me.

I am responsible for saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t.

You don’t own me.

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Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow

If you decide to just go with the flow, you’ll end up where the flow goes, which is usually downhill, often leading to a big pile of sludge and a life of unhappiness. You’ll end up doing what everyone else is doing.

And I thought if you go with a flow you will have a peaceful life, good neighbors and lots of friends. Everyone would like you and you will be happy. Take it from me who always swim against the current- not because I am dying to be different for the sake of being different (I would never do that)  it seems the only way for me to float- it’s never easy. You know… road less taken/traveled whatever.

One Lauren Alaina sings:

You won’t make yourself a name if you follow the rules
History gets made when you’re acting a fool
So don’t hold it back and just run it
Show what you got and just own it
No, they can’t tear you apart

Don’t follow anyone
March to the rhythm of a different drum
Why do we analyze, break out, and criticize the crazy ones?

Easier said than done you might say (Me, I would never claim that for the simplest of reason: I don’t know any other way) not following the herd not having a herd mentality it means you are on your own and I believe not so many aspire to be alone, isolated and outcast even for being who you really are. Pretending is easy and like I said peacefully peaceful. Again I would never know. It’s always chaos in my head and out there is like running the gauntlet. You are lucky if you make it alive by the end of each day. Cruel world they say. I strongly disagree. It’s the people who is cruel not the world. The world is beautiful. At least the part that cruel people leave alone.

I’m getting sidetracked again.

How about you?

Are you part of the herd?

A dead fish?

Or something else?

 

How Starved You Must Have Been That My Heart Became A Meal For Your Ego

When a narcissist says “I love you,” they mean that they love the way they feel when you work hard to make them happy.

They love how easy it is to take advantage of your generosity, compassion and kindness. They derive pleasure when they make themselves feel superior to you, and make you feel insignificant and small.

They love the feeling it gives them seeing you as emotionally crazy, weak, and vulnerable, as, in their view, your gullibility, innocence and childlike desires prove your inferiority and weakness.

They love how easy it is to use gaslighting or other manipulation techniques to make you do what they want. They love the feeling it gives them making you doubt yourself or question your own sanity. They also love the feeling it gives them making you feel “crazy” for asking and bringing up issues that they are not interested in.

They only care about themselves, and they love the way they feel when you carry all the load of the relationship. They also care about you in the sense that you give them something, so they love you for that.

They love the fact that your life is all about them. You solve their issues, fix their problems, and relieve their pain.

They love how easy it is to keep your primary focus on relieving their pain (and not yours!), and that, no matter what you do, you will never make them feel good enough, appreciated enough, loved enough, etc.

They love the way they feel when you are with them, seeing you as their possession, as a piece of property they own. They love the extent to which you improve their status in the eyes of other people.

They love the way they feel when you feed their ego, their sense of self-worth, and give your full attention to them. They love the power they have to make you work hard to prove your devotion, loyalty and love.

They love the way they feel when they are with you. As they tend to look down on and hate other people, the mirror neurons in their brain cause them to experience feelings of self-loathing; so they love that they can love themselves through you.

They love how easy it is to criticize you; criticize what is important to you, such as your religion, your family and your friends; and make you believe that you are worth nothing and that you have to stay with them.

“Since narcissists deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault.”
— M. Scott Peck

“Narcissism is a grave condition of insecurity and desperately feeling unloved and unacceptable. An individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder inherently believes they are ‘damaged goods’ and fears other individuals will discover the truth: that they feel powerless. Thus the narcissist invests a great deal of energy into ‘gaining the upper hand’, to hide feeling vulnerable, insecure and broken. When they are getting what they want, the charm is flowing and plentiful. When the charm doesn’t work the intimidation begins. Narcissism is categorized as an unhealthy level of self-absorption and a lack of empathy regarding how their insecure, aggressive and damaging behavior affects the world around them.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

“Relationships with narcissists are held in place by hope of a ‘someday better,’ with little evidence to support it will ever arrive.”
— Ramani Durvasula

“Sadly, when many individuals realize that the narcissist is insecure and isn’t reassured, they try harder to love this person. Additionally, the narcissist blames his her behavior on something that you are or aren’t doing, and a hooked person we may try to ‘do it better’ or ‘get it right.’ Your increased efforts to love and fix the narcissist only lines you up for more abuse.”
— Melanie Tonia Evans

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”
— Brené Brown

Often the narcissist believes that other people are “faking it”, leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible “feelings” are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives. Faced with other people’s genuine emotions, the narcissist becomes suspicious and embarrassed. He feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect he is and how poorly equipped. ― Sam Vaknin

Narcissists will never tell you the truth. They live with the fear of abandonment and can’t deal with facing their own shame. Therefore, they will twist the truth, downplay their behavior, blame others and say whatever it takes to remain the victim. They are master manipulators and con-artists that don’t believe you are smart enough to figure out the depth of their disloyalty. Their needs will always be more important than telling you any truth that isn’t in their favor..” ― Shannon L. Alder

“People with NPD have a strong need, in every area of their life, to be treated as if they’re special. To those with NPD, other people are simply mirrors, useful only insofar as they reflect back the special view of themselves they so desperately long to see. If that means making others look bad by comparison—say, by ruining their reputation at work—so be it. Because life is a constant competition, they’re also usually riddled with envy over what other people seem to have. And they’ll let you know” ― >Bandy X Lee

“Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.”
― George K. Simon

“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one. It’s always somebody else’s fault, a lawyer’s fault. Ask them to account for a mistake any other way and they’ll say, ‘what mistake?”― Jeffrey Kluger

You get discarded as a supply for one of two reasons: They find you too outspoken about their abuse. They prefer someone that will keep stroking their ego and remain their silent doormat. Or, they found a new narcissistic supply. Either way, you can count on the fact that they planned your devaluation phase and the smear campaign in advance, so they could get one more ego stroke with your reaction. Narcissists are angry, spiteful takers that don’t have empathy, remorse or conscience. They are incapable of unconditional love. Love to them is giving only when it serves them. They gaslight their victims by minimizing the trauma they have caused by blaming others or stating you are too sensitive. They never feel responsible or will admit to what they did to you. They have disordered thinking that is concerned with their needs and ego. It is not uncommon for them to hack their targets, in order to gain information about them. They enjoy mind games and control. This is their dopamine high. The sooner you distance yourself the healthier you will become. Narcissism can’t be cured or prayed away. It is a mental disorder that turns the victims of its abuse into mental patients because it causes so much psychological manipulation.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Narcissistic entitlement has nothing to do with genuine self-esteem, which comes from real accomplishment and being true to one’s own ideals. Individuals who feel entitled to respect without giving it in return, or who expect rewards without effort, or a life free of discomfort, are forfeiting any power they might have to shape their own destiny. They assume an essentially passive role and count on outside forces to make them happy. When what they expect doesn’t happen, they feel impotent. By claiming entitlement, they demand to live in the fantasy world of the one-year-old child. No wonder they’re enraged. ― Sandy Hotchkiss

“I found peace of mind when I walked away from small fights not worth fighting. I stopped fighting for people who gossiped about me. I stopped fighting for those who didn’t respect me. I quit worrying about those who wouldn’t value me for being me.”
― Dana Arcuri

Article from Optimal Positivity Quotes from Goodreads

If You Were Lucky

“I thought of all the others who had tried to tie her to the ground and failed. So I resisted showing her the songs and poems I had written, knowing that too much truth can ruin a thing. And if that meant she wasn’t entirely mine, what of it? I would be the one she could always return to without fear of recrimination or question. So I did not try to win her and contented myself with playing a beautiful game. But there was always a part of me that hoped for more, and so there was a part of me that was always a fool.”

The above quote reminds of Glen and George whom I’ve met on two separate occasions with years in between. The first when I was a teenager (with decades of experience being forced to grow up fast) and the latter during my wild episodes. George said he didn’t want to start something with me because I was just passing and he had no intention of nursing a broken heart when I’m gone. The night before I left while we were walking around the neighborhood, he confessed that he regretted his decision and called himself a fool for not taking advantage of the time he could spend with me creating memories he could hold onto when everything is over. Glen, I wrote his story here. Some of it anyway.

Guys are funny. With their notions and expectations. Why not just enjoy the ride and make most of the experience while it lasts.

No?

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The Story Of My Life

Sadly, there are people who will tell the world that you leave them, and they will say the reason behind the desertion, but they will not admit what they have done to make you decide to walk away from their lives. As they speak the truth that only themselves know about, they are also cleansing their names to wash off the wrongdoings they once made to you that really forced you to abandon the love and friendship you once shared with them.

—Ren Ednalig

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