Strong Women Are Molded by the Hardships They Endure

Life, as we all know, can be painfully difficult at times. Many women just can’t seem to endure all the hardships. Some, however, are molded by the challenges and have found a way to deal with things. Strong women never let hardships define them and bring them down. They don’t get hurt by the fire – like a phoenix, they rise up from the ashes and are reborn.

Strong women learn from their mistakes and see them as challenges that will ultimately make them stronger and wiser. They are an example to follow and the inspiration we seek. The strength these women radiate is living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

They believe in themselves and use pain as a shield. Unlike the rest of us, strong women do things differently in life. They are created by the storms they survive and have amazing traits that define them. Here are some of those traits we can’t help but admire:

They Don’t Fear Emotions

Many of us are afraid of our emotions and showing our vulnerable side. Not strong women, though – they are human after all and not afraid to show it. These women are not afraid of emotions – whenever they’re hit by hardship, they get off the ground, dust themselves, and move on.

They Believe in Themselves

Strong women know who they are and know what they want from life. Their inner voice guides them and they believe it. That’s how they know they’re on the right path.

They Seek Respect, not Attention

A strong woman is not interested in the limelight. She doesn’t want attention, but she surely seeks respect. You’ll never see these women beg for something – they are only interested in respect. They will never ask for it, of course. But don’t give them the respect they believe they deserve and they will walk away from you.

They Always Tell the Truth

No matter how hard it might be too hear, strong women will always tell the truth. Their hearts are always in the right place and honesty is a policy they live by. If the truth hurts someone’s feelings, they’re OK with it. They’d rather say it than spreading lies.

They Wear Pain As Armor

While we all live in fear of pain, strong women use it as armor. These women are survivors and will never give in to fear. They are brave warriors that stare in the face of fear and relish the challenge. Failures are stepping stones for them and that’s exactly what makes them so different than the rest of the crowd.

[Source: QuotesGate]

The Pursuit Of Happiness

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experiences. A hurt is at the center of all addictive behaviors. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper, and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.

– Dr. Gabor Maté

And what if one doesn’t have an addiction? Just a momentarily diversion that dwindles over time and starts again in another form?

I have that with things… One day it was shawls, another week bags, could be pizza also or smoothies. Then I get tired of them all and forget. During my wildest years, I used to drink ten screwdrivers on a Saturday night but never had a craving during weekdays. It went on for at least eight years or so and then from one day to another, I just woke up not wanting to touch alcohol anymore. No reasons, no purpose, just like that.

My momentarily “addiction” always starts with “liking” the taste, the touch, the looks… Then I want to have more of those. But no matter how hard I tried to be addicted to anything, I always get over it after a time without trying. The novelty disappears over time and it always never comes back.

Perhaps my addiction is (if you can call that an addiction) probably books. I can’t live without. And taking long walks and discovering new places. I become agitated if I can’t go out there and wander. And writing of course. I have got to write. I will go crazy if I would not be able to express my thoughts in writing.

For the rest, like a butterfly that flutters from bloom to bloom, I will continue to dance from one fleeting interest to one fleeting interest savoring the momentarily pleasure that the experience gives.

Till it is time to move on again___

when I lost the enjoyment.

The difference between a drinker and an alcoholic is; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day. ― Gail Carriger

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Let The Sleeping Dogs Lie

Hij werd koel, afstandelijk, emotioneel onbereikbaar. Nooit een lief gebaar, nooit een vriendelijk woord, nooit een compliment.

Let’s translate it in English…

He became cool, distant, emotionally unattainable. Never a sweet gesture, never a kind word, never a compliment.

… and you got the gist of my first marriage.

Add to that violence, deception, cheating, manipulation, emotional physical and psychological abuse and the picture is complete.

Why I’m saying this?

Some of you might think that I’m not yet over it. That after all these years I have not managed to move on despite what I stated in my new year resolution. The answer is yes and no.

Yes, I have moved on but no I didn’t forget. I wonder if I ever will.

No, I’m not living in the past. Not anymore. Yes, I still suffer the consequences of that traumatic experience.

Why not let the sleeping dogs lie.

Instead of digging up old bones.

No reasons.

I just came across that passage (the one in Dutch) and it reminds me of my previous existence. Nothing more nothing less.

Honestly.

Don’t look for further reasons. It is just how my mind works.

What Can I Say?

Of this I am absolutely sure: Do not reach the era of child-rearing and real jobs with a guitar case full of crushing regret for all the things you wished you’d done in your youth. I know too many people who didn’t do those things. They all end up mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions of the people they intended to be. – Cheryl Strayed

I didn’t want to get married and have children. I didn’t want to be a wife or a mother. Or anything domesticated. I want to be Sinbad, Scully, Stephen King, Steve McQueen, Eric The Phantom and Indiana Jones or anything in between as long as it doesn’t spell boring. I want to be John Snow, Spirit of the Cimmaron Lara Croft and Aragorn. I want to be a gypsy child in the midst of Bohemianism.

To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art— for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. [source: Wikipedia]

What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life. — Ayloh, 1902

Look where I am now!

But then again, I have lived a thousand lives others can’t even imagine in their wildest dreams. I’ve’ walked to hell and back, visited heaven and been everywhere in between. People often say I’ve been there done that when what they really meant is they know how it feels to stand at the edge of a crater but they never really experience how it is to descend to the bottom. I can honestly say I did. Countless times.

In my dying bed, I will not lie there and regret everything I should have done but never dare or tried because I know for a fact that compared to most, I have lived a colorful life, even though none of those are the ones I truly wanted.

When You Don’t Realize Or Believe You Are Depressed

There is a type of depression that is called existential depression. You don’t see a purpose in your life, you feel your life lacks meaning and substance, and therefore nothing appears to excite you. In some cases, this existential depression is masked. You don’t believe or realize you are depressed. 

Hmmm… Finally, I found something that might explain why I feel what I feel.

deep reflection and attempts to make sense of four main topics: death, isolation, freedom, and meaninglessness… Why it sounds familiar? Existential depression can sometimes occur during someone moves from childhood and teenage years into early adulthood and during the mid-life crisis as someone navigates the transition and makes sense of what it means to be a so-called “middle age. It doesn’t sound good, does it?

Some believe that gifted people — gifted children, and gifted adults — are more likely to experience existential depression in their lives. Those creative, gifted, and talented people who actively search and question life’s meaning are often thought to be more prone to existential depression. The deep thinkers, the scientists, the sensitive people – the gifted individuals attuned to everything around them. Gifted children may find it especially difficult to navigate life if they have that intellectual excitability or thirst for knowledge, to explore more intellectually than others who may be around them. [source: Depression Alliance]

That might explain a lot of things…

There is also a premise that existential depression may be a part of, or a form of, a spiritual crisis. When someone questions and delves intensely into their overall belief system, or what their soul’s purpose or existence in life is actually for. Existential questions may be explored around faith or religion as a whole, or someone’s previously held beliefs about the existence of god(s), whether there is life after death, or elsewhere in the wider universe. They may question how much it actually all makes sense. [Source: Depression Alliance]

This one as well…

…people, especially gifted and creative people, do learn and grow in a positive way from what they experience through traumatic experiences and life crises.

Oh, that’s why…

Existentialism is a broad philosophy around the idea that life is what we make it. That as human beings we have the freedom and responsibility to choose and create our existence.

Signs of Existential Depression

An episode of existential depression, like other forms of depression can vary in intensity and severity. Signs or symptoms of existential depression may include:

  • An intense or obsessive interest in the bigger meaning of life and death. The interest in exploring this may override a person’s enjoyment and engagement with other day-to-day activities.
  • Extreme distress, anxiety, and sadness about the society they live in, or the overall state of the world.
  • A belief that changes in anything are both impossible and futile.
  • Increasingly becoming, and feeling, disconnected, isolated, and separate from other people.
  • Cutting ties with other people because they feel like connections with others are meaningless or shallow and they are on a completely different level.
  • Low motivation and energy levels to do anything they would normally do.
  • Questioning the purpose, point or meaning of anything, and everything, in life.
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Feelings of Meaninglessness

If someone feels like their life is completely empty of anything meaningful they are said to be in an existential vacuum, an empty place. Anyone experiencing feelings of meaningless is most likely unable to see the purpose of anything they are doing, or feel like what they are doing is worthless. For example:

  • If they have just experienced bereavement, they may question the point of living if you are going to die anyway.
  • If they are in a job they feel is going nowhere or they have no autonomy over what they do, they may become despondent and stop putting in any effort.
  • If they are experiencing difficulties in forming relationships, they may give up on trying to cultivate connections with other people.

Existential Crisis Definition

The term existential crisis usually refers to the moment when a person metaphorically hits the wall. During a full-blown existential crisis, everything may be too much and seem pointless – from getting out of bed, to basic personal hygiene, to turning on a TV or radio and hearing what is going on in the outside world. Someone in existential crisis may experience existential aloneness, that there is no one else who can relate to how they feel in their lives. An existential crisis may occur during life stages where there is a change in, or loss of self-identity, such as adolescence, or seemingly come on suddenly. [Source: Depression Alliance]

That’s it! That’s it! That’s it! Finally!

Treating Existential Depression

Talk and seek help: Seek a psychotherapist or similar type of therapy that can help with ways of exploring the search for the meaning of life in a healthy way. Many health professionals and therapists already use an existential approach as part of treatment or a method to help people in their lives. There are also therapists who specialize in existential psychotherapy. Existential therapy may help you to:

  • Focus on what is possible: It may not be possible to change everything in the world that you would like to right now. Break it down and start with baby steps to move forward into what is possible.
  • Process grief: If you have been through death or experienced some other kind of major loss of something big in your life, find ways to work through it. Grieving is progress that involves stages of working through acknowledging, accepting and moving on to a different reality.
  • Find your passion: If you have lost interest in things you used to do, explore something new. Think back to what you loved doing and creating when you were very young. It might have been something like learning to cook something new, and something you can do right now. Alternatively, follow up on something you have always had a slight curiosity about but never quite got around to learning more.
  • Accept yourself and others: If you have become disconnected or have feelings of isolation from others because you feel different, accept that people can be unique. Find things about yourself and others that you can celebrate, embrace, and learn from.
  • Think about it as a journey:  It may sound cliché, but one of the key things about existentialism is that we make our own path or journey in life. If you are overwhelmed or stuck with where you are and what to do next, accept that you may have hit a road bump before you take your next small step.

Existential Depression: Bottom Line

The bottom line with any form of depression, existential depression included, is that there is hope and a way out. This form of depression often comes from a very deep place within very sensitive and gifted individuals and existential therapists are out there to help.

[Source: Depression Alliance]

It is certainly educational and definitely worth keeping in mind. I will contemplate it for a few days and I might incorporate these rules in my habits and thoughts and see what happens.

To be continued…

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?

How did sadness become so familiar I can almost hear it chanting my name

Sadness… It is more like melancholia which I believe I was born with. I was eight years old sitting on a breakwater that my father had fashioned to protect the dikes from the waves when I first realized that this world has nothing to offer to me. Even then the feeling of being been there done that twice over and back was prominent and constant. I was not sad nor depressed. Just an understanding of a fact. There are only two occasions in my whole life that I’ve felt that way. For the rest, I’m fairly okay. Melancholic but never lonely.

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What happens when people open their hearts?

They get hurt. They get abused. They get used. They get taken advantage of.

Best not to let people get too close. Close enough to harm you. I learned that the best way to protect yourself and your core is to not to form an attachment with anything or anyone. People come and go, they change, their priorities change. Nothing last forever. The only constant in this life is_ changes. So better be prepared. Just keep yourself intact and you will survive whatever may come. You don’t need anyone for that.

“ I’m wounded, and I’m bruised.
But I’m not ashamed of admitting it.
It is a part of my healing process. And I’ll embrace it with a head held high.
One day I’ll stop touching the thorns,
and I’ll enjoy smelling the flowers.” –Rahma Djebbari

homeless

My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people

I’m someone who wouldn’t mind spending all day alone.
Only one thing would make me feel alone.
Being with people I don’t feel myself with, being at places that don’t match my soul.
Being silent when I want to talk the most.
Being lonely isn’t sitting all by myself,
It’s being confined in an atmosphere that doesn’t make me feel real.

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Putting Myself First

Perhaps the hardest lesson for me to learn was to love myself enough to not accept from myself or from anyone less than I deserve. To say no when I do not feel like doing something, to not let anyone manipulate me using guilt or sob stories and to live my life on my own terms. I do not owe anyone any explanations for how I live my life and I certainly will not put anyone’s wants, needs or desires before my own again and whoever finds this does not suit their agenda of using me, farewell. Sorry but from now on, myself first.

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Eating Light

“There is a bench in the back of my garden shaded by Virginia creeper, climbing roses, and a white pine where I sit early in the morning and watch the action. Light blue bells of a dwarf campanula drift over the rock garden just before my eyes. Behind it, a three-foot stand of aconite is flowering now, each dark blue cowl-like corolla bowed for worship or intrigue: thus its common name, monkshood. Next to the aconite, black madonna lilies with their seductive Easter scent are just coming into bloom. At the back of the garden, a hollow log, used in its glory days for a base to split kindling, now spills white cascade petunias and lobelia. 

I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue campanula blossom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fiber of being immersed in the flower. …

Last night, after a day in the garden, I asked Robin to explain (again) photosynthesis to me. I can’t take in this business of _eating light_ and turning it into stem and thorn and flower…

I would not call this meditation, sitting in the back garden. Maybe I would call it eating light.

I’m going to sit here every day the sun shines and eat this light. Hung in the bell of desire.” 

― Mary Rose O’Reilley

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