“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.” ―
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
― Christopher McCandless
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat, the boat is f—ing rocked. ~ Joaquin Phoenix
Someone asked me if I have seen The Joker yet and I answered no. In my mind, the no is in reality never. I don’t like Joaquin Phoenix. I don’t like him because I love his brother. And compared to River Phoenix Joaquin not only pales but totally disappears. Not only in appearance but in talents. Why on earth he has to die? The brother I mean. It could have been Joaquin instead.
I know… I know… Cruel. But that is how I feel.
We all know he won the Oscar and the Bafta and the Golden Globe etc. etc. I am aware of his out of the box speeches but still, I am not convinced. I saw some of his performances (by accident if they play them on television I will watch him for a while to see what he got) but each time it reminds me of what he is lacking compared to his brother. He doesn’t have the looks of River, he doesn’t have the charisma, he doesn’t have the natural acting abilities, he doesn’t have the aura and he doesn’t have the talents. He could probably act (or otherwise he will not win all those awards) and he probably is okay as a person but still, I don’t like him. Watching him up there on the stage delivering his speech I thought: It could have been River. It could have been River accepting those awards and delivering those speeches because we all know how great an actor he was. A unique and promising talent that had been taken away so soon before it could flourish. What a waste! What a pity! Life is so unfair!
If River lives, there would probably never been a Joaquin (as an actor) He will forever be living in the shadow of his more talented brother. And I probably will not dislike him this much. But as it is, every time I see him, every time he won an award, I think of his dead brother and what could have been. Mea Culpa Joaquin, but you cannot hold a candle to River. Truly not.
Happiness is an acquired taste to which you can eventually become accustomed, but despair is something surprising each time you encounter it.
When bad things are happening for a long time, you’ve come to expect it.
It’s happiness that surprises me the most. It is seldom and far in between___
If it indeed shows up at all.
I would not even recognize it if it comes knocking on my door.
The day and time itself: a late afternoon in early February, was there a moment of the year better suited for despair? ―
February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.
When God was making the months I think February was a mistake, like a burp. There it was, small, dark, and prickly. It had absolutely no redeeming qualities. ―
Terrible, creepy, dark February weather I remember, and the worst, most frightening days of my life.―
I used to try to decide which was the worst month of the year. In the winter I would choose February. I had it figured out that the reason God made February short a few days was because he knew that by the time people came to the end of it they would die if they had to stand one more blasted day. ―
Why does February feel like one big Tuesday? ―
Happy Valentines Day Folks!!!
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…
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.” ―
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)
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?