Paper Tigers

Amelia Earhart said:

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

I agree with the first step/plunge is the hardest to take. Once you are airborne/on the move, there is no turning back unless of course you are a bonafide coward. With the plunge, you have no other choice but to swim or sink. There you go.

However, I don’t agree with fears being paper tigers. Some fears are grounded and born out of survival instinct. You know… gut feelings which are in most cases accurate. We know when we are in mortal danger; we somehow sense it. So, if you are afraid, better check that before you run, you know what it is you are running from. But never, ever ignore your fears. Most of the time it will save your skin and keep you out of trouble. Feeling afraid is healthy. It means your senses are working. There are irrational fears of course (perhaps that was Amelia was talking about) I know a lot about it being born paranoid from a dysfunctional family having more baggage than I could carry and being served since day one with traumas; yes sir! I know a lot about irrational fears.

But those are real too for the sufferers. Crippling and suffocating as well. But mind you, it takes courage to live with those. Not so many could function with them as companions. Only the brave survived.

I don’t know about the procedure, the process being its own reward. The process are more difficult, more challenging, more deadly than the outcome. It is not the same as the journey is better than the destination.

The doing is often more important than the outcome. The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.

Lessons yes, reward no. When it comes to irrational fears, coming to the light after journeying through deepest darkest tunnels of your mind is more rewarding than the process getting out of there. Believe you me.

How about you?

Any fears? (Of course we all have) Irrational or otherwise?

Brave enough to talk about it?

Agree To Disagree(?)

This past year, I lost several really close friends for speaking up. A true friend is not afraid to let you know their opinion. Their opinion of you or the things that happens around you. Their boldness and frankness relies heavily on the fact that they have faith in your relationship enough to be authentic. Comfortable enough to speak the truth. Respectful enough to be honest. Cares enough to be frank.

A fake friend, however, will feed your mind and ears whatever you need and want to hear and see. These people are so eager to please most especially when they want something in return or when the relationship has “benefits”. I am not that. I am very outspoken, bold, frank, highly opinionated, obstinate, rational, and logical. Hand in hand, I must say, I am compassionate. However harsh words may come out of me it is said with integrity and with pure intentions. I pride myself for *trying* to follow the 4 Way Test. Is it the truth? Is it beneficial?

How one receives other people’s thoughts and opinions is a reflection of their inner world. How reactive one is defines who they are. Do you edit yourself in accordance to other people’s inner world? Is their inner dialogue, their thought process, your responsibility? You cannot do much with people who are trapped in victim mentality. They usually receive opinions/pieces of advice that don’t suit them as “personal attacks”. Whatever it is, their thought process is never your responsibility. Just put it simply. Always be honest. Be kind. Be gentle if you may. But be truthful, no matter how “harsh”. Be bold. Be frank. Do not be afraid. Last but not the least, always have positive intentions. How they receive it is never your responsibility.

Pika Yonzon said this on her FB page. I don’t know her personally and she doesn’t know I exist. I visit her space once in a while because it interest me. I may not agree with everything she says but I admire her honesty and the courage to travel the path less taken regardless of the circumstances. Like they say; it takes one to know one.

About the above quote: I cannot emphasize enough the vast difference between being honest and being tactless. There are lots of politically correct manner to air one’s opinion without offending others. I am all for honesty. But on the other hand, if one’s purpose for speaking their minds is to humiliate, hurt and offend then I can’t agree.

I agree with you cannot and should not edit your thoughts to please others. But I don’t agree with giving unsolicited advice. I am a front runner for live and let live. If others words and actions don’t concern you personally and not harming you or anyone, let it go. pick your battle and don’t go into it with an unarmed person. Learn to walk away sometimes.

Whenever you questioned others motives and choices, it is automatically a personal attack. What else it could be? If you bring in doubt one’s own decisions and criticize them, it is difficult not to take it personally. However, if they ask for your opinion, you can give yours honestly without hurting their ego. There are so many ways you can voice your thoughts without offending. Unless of course if someone has onion skin. You can share your view on things by asking questions, by weighing the pro and con, by comparing or presenting the big picture as whole if this decision or that decision is taken and so forth and so on. Avoid using demeaning/derogatory words and don’t ever, ever be on your high horse. Keep it brief to avoid discussion and confusion and always stick to the point.

If How one receives other people’s thoughts and opinions is a reflection of their inner world, then that much can say also about you. Your words are reflection of you too and your actions speak volumes as well. So, it cuts both ways.

Another thing I’ve learned navigating this planet for more than 5 decades now is: you can’t expect others to see/think/understand/experience the way you do. Most likely, two people who shared the same event experience it differently. Everyone has their own version of the same thing.

Pika understands this because she said:

Not everyone aspires the same things. Not everyone enjoys the same things. Not everyone dreams the same things.We all react differently. Our opinions vary greatly. Our faith is always personal, our struggles are always personal, our desires always personal.

We are all unique not only in physical sense but our genetic and psychological makeup as well. We laugh at different things, we cry at different things. We have our own unique set of triggers. We have our own unique set of fetishes. And in these differences we realize we are all the same.

It’s unity in diversity.

It’s knowing we are different from everyone thus understanding and respecting the differences of each. Conflicts and wars occur when we begin to assert that what and how we are is what and how the rest of the world should be. It is when you believe your version of the world should be the only version. Your version of the Truth is the only truth. When you stop respecting the uniqueness of one is when you start disrespecting the diversity of God’s creation.

For me, if you keep in mind the Golden Rule and put Respect on the top of your list, everything will fall into place.

Well, mostly.

Till next time.

And thank You Pika for inspiring me to write my own opinion regarding your thoughts.

Nuggets Of Wisdom From Unlikely Places

A woman from the internet said:

Relationships are like a pair of shoes; some are soft and dependable, some are uncomfortable and hurt, some are only on occasion and some are awful the first time you give them a try. But, the most important part of wearing shoes is to make sure that you only wear the ones that are most comfortable and part with the ones that aren’t your style. Oh..and you might find your favorite pair in the strangest location and when you do, you’ll probably take the best of care of your favorite pair for many years to come.

I never heard a relationship described like this before. Talk of quotable quotes and thoughts to ponder.

Someone chimed in by saying:

I totally agree with this. I think I have passed up some potentially great relationships with some really cool people because I knew they wouldn’t last. The experience would have been great though. I believe that some people are meant to come into our lives for certain reasons and when they have served their purpose then it is simply time for them to move on. Some relationships are meant to teach us lessons about ourselves that we never knew before.

I guess most of us (including me) had that kind of relationships__ quick but memorable. some of them we ended ourselves because we saw no future in it, others just happened that way. Right person, wrong timing, or wrong person wrong timing, wrong everything.

But not everyone agree of course. One lady said:

Most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Dressed up in pretty reasoning . I guess the poor struggling single mother in some fictional housing estate is thinking the same as she handles 3/4 children under 5 year olds from different ‘relationships’ (fictional once again!) that ended beautifully and left lifelong beautiful ‘memories’.

I know a lot of people who are in the same predicament. All of them close and dear to me. With all due respect but for the love of God I will never understand their choices. Mistake is only once. Do it repeatedly and for a long time and either you are stupid or enjoying that kind of life.

One Kindra said:

“Eh, some relationships are growth, but never will I enter a relationship thinking it’s going to be short term because I could screw up a “forever” being short sighted.. I’ve had several relationships that were pretty good end simply because the other person intended it to be short term and weren’t willing to consider an alternative, this toying with my emotions for literally no reason but to pass time. Temporary and instant gratification mindsets ruin a lot of things that could have been good. Personal responsibility for your own emotions with care to do what is right for yourself and the other person, not shortsightedness but acceptance that some things stay while others go, is where you learn to let go of things that aren’t healthy or you know just aren’t right.”

I agree with the part that sometimes it is not always up to us to decide how the outcome of a relationship is going to be. Against our will, a union has ended because the other person wanted it to happen. There is nothing we can do about it. It is always takes two to tango. Though I must confessed it is yet to happen to me. I am the one who always leave. Perhaps I can sense when the relationship is about to shipwreck and jump overboard before it sinks. I don’t know.

Perhaps we can learn from what one Maria said:

“Everything in life is temporary… It can last long time or short time… It’s about how intense and profound things are, rather than how long they last….May it be eternal while it lasts.”

After all…

“If they are not happy with each other anymore….what kind of forever is that?”

John said.

Yeah. Why stay in a relationship that doesn’t work anymore. For my part, we never know what will happen tomorrow and the only constant in this world is changes. There is really no forever come to think of it. There is a change of heart and there is death. As much as I want to believe in not till death do us part but till life after death, no chance. Unless I talk to someone who had been to after life and comes back to tell people that even there, s/he loves but one I will stick to no forever for the time being.

The moral of the story?

Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

How To Have An Affair Without Getting Caught

That’s the title of an article I saw passing by my feed tonight. As a whole, the item is nothing but a click bait because aside from a couple of general knowledge tips that have totally nothing to do with the topic, there is nothing there but BS.

You might say it works because I clicked. The answer is yes and no.

Yes, it works because the title had sparked something in me; an urge to write and disagree. No, it did not work the way they intended it to be.

It reminded me of another article, this time in Elephant Journal about Why We Cheat In A Relationship. You can read it here.

According to them we are all cheaters and I agree. Anything we keep to ourselves (like buying personal items and not telling your partner about it or significantly reduced the price__ I had a friend who bought jewelry and hid them under the fridge and when we go out she would put them on in the car__ or daydreaming about your boss, neighbor, a hunk at work, masturbating after you told your partner you don’t feel like having sex tonight, etc.) is a form of cheating. Like everyone lies. Little or small. White or otherwise. Heck, we even lie to ourselves sometimes for whatever reasons.

According to the Journal:

We don’t need to beat ourselves up about this. There’s nothing wrong with us.

We cheat on our partners for all kinds of reasons—it has nothing to do with them. We cheat because we’re pissed off, we cheat because we’re insecure, we cheat because we’re lonely. This is driven by the subconscious part of ourselves that is trying to figure out how to have good relationships.

We have probably cheated on every single partner that we have been with. Maybe we haven’t had sex with people outside our relationships (or maybe we have), but we’ve had those gut-clenchy moments of, I can’t tell my partner about this.

We need to pay attention to the moments where we have this thought: I can’t be myself around the person I’m in a relationship with. 

Those are the moments we need to pay attention to. If we’re already having sex with other people and not talking about it, there are mountains of other things we have not been talking about with our partners. For months. Or years. Or millennia.

Here is the logic of that: We aren’t cheating because this is our idea of a good time. We are cheating because we are experiencing disconnection with ourselves and we don’t know a different way to feel good, so we only allow ourselves to feel good in short bursts.

If our relationships are making it difficult for us to be ourselves, then what the fuck are we doing there? 

Why are we in a relationship where we have to stay bottled in?

And here’s how cheating reinforces itself: we know when we feel bottled in, and all we want is to let ourselves out. Cheating is a way of letting ourselves out.

So once we start cheating with a partner, do we ever really stop?  I think the answer to this could be yes or no...

And the article goes on and on about excuses why we cheat. Some I agree with, most, I don’t.

The truth is more complex than we could ever comprehend. But whatever the reasons are, they are nothing but excuses. We cheat because we choose to do so. We could stay faithful, martyrs, oblivious, remote or we could leave them and file for divorce. The bottom line is: we always have choices. Right or wrong but we do have them. It is up to us to decide which path to walk on. Not others, us.

We could blame our partners, circumstances, background, upbringing, parents and the society but at the end, the choices are always ours. I can say all of this with conviction because__you guessed it right__ I’ve been there, done that, twice over and back.

So, when you encounter articles somewhere that telling you it is okay to cheat and give tips not to get caught, don’t feel justified; because no matter from which angle you look at it, cheating is not right. Forget what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and eat your heart out. It used to be my motto in my wilder years looking for my rainbow connection. But in the end, there is only one person you are doing damage to, and that is no one but yourself. So, get out while you can and I am telling you, it is better late than never.

Till next time.

Something Has To Happen Before Something Happened

When I don’t feel good (for whatever reasons) I like to lie in bed under the sheets doused in white flower concoction; a Chinese wonder medicine in a small fortified bottle. You can smear it on almost anything. You can even drink it although it is clearly indicated on the prescription that that thing is for external use only. But if your parents say swallow, you better do it or else… Confused what I’m talking about? If you know tiger balm then white flower is a liquid equivalent of it. Capisce?

While lying under the sheets, I am thinking of a lot of things mixed up together. No category. Sometimes I think how lucky I am to be able to lie there without somebody bothering me. No grand/children, no nosy neighbors and needy cousins, no noisy crew or a controlling paranoid ex. Not even a husband, for my current knows and accept my weird ways of doing things as I accept his. Live ad let live. We understood that cliché too well.

There was a time that I had a pseudo-best friend who understands that if the phone is off the hook when she called it means I didn’t want to be bothered. So, she would drive straight to my house and would do everything in her power to coax me out. My ex called us Thelma and Louise.

I had and still have a real best friend who deals with the problem with a more direct approach. She would come to my place, barged in my room and pulled me literally out of bed.

I had also an Iranian neighbor who used to take whatever she needs from my pantry without asking for permission. She always replaced them though. A beautiful woman she is. Used to watch me while showering and criticizing every move I make in a caring way. Like she didn’t understand why I want to walk in the rain even though I told her rain is a natural moisturizer.

They are gone now. I changed life and I moved on. And I prize my solitude.

But other times I question my choice. Like today. I was lying under the sheets again ( oh, I forgot to mention that my ex had an aunt who saw my “lying under the sheets” as a sign of “it’s time I go back to my native land.” She is dead now.) and I thought: I could be lying here dead and no one would know let alone care. Is that good or bad? Do I still like my loneliness too much? Am I still happy being on my own? Probably not when I start questioning it, no?

What is the point of all of these, me telling you nonsensical things… Nothing really. I am sharing you my thoughts, that’s all.

Playing A Role

“I am a conformist within reason. I was born with strong beliefs of family tradition as well as honoring the law. I also have a strong sense of respect for the people and places around me. I was taught that our social system was put into place for the better of the people. Well as you get older you realize that is not always the case. I guess you can say I am a hypocrite when it comes to being a Conformist. Although a lot of my traditions and beliefs are part of my foundation of who I am. My frame work some would say. My life experiences are the bricks of the walls as I build my life. It is those life experiences that make me second guess the Social order that is put in to place as for the greater good of the people. That is what makes me a conformist within reason.
I guess you can say I am a righteous nonviolent rebel. I dance to the beat of my own drum. I do not break any laws. But I live in a country that it is against the law to commit a violent crime. Although I live in a world that is rapidly changing I am trying very hard to stay true to my Values and traditions that make me who I am today. And for that I am not a conformist I am a rebel.”

― Bonnie Zackson Koury

A Good Lesson In Life

I will never be someone’s last choice, second option, narcissistic supply, doormat, ego booster, sidekick, secret, last time or after thought. I stand for truth. I know my beauty, my talents, my accomplishments, what I have to offer. But, most of all I know my value and I will never let any man define my worth. ― Shannon L. Alder

Wild Ducks Flying Backward

Perfume is a disguise. Since the middle ages, we have worn masks of fruit and flowers in order to conceal from ourselves the meaty essence of our humanity. We appreciate the sexual attractant of the rose, the ripeness of the orange, more than we honor our own ripe carnality.

Now today we want to perfume our cities, as well; to replace their stinging fumes of disturbed fossils’ sleep with the scent of gardens and orchards. Yet, humans are not bees any more than they are blossoms. If we must pull an olfactory hood over our urban environment, let it be of a different nature.

I want to travel on a train that smells like snowflakes.

I want to sip in cafes that smell like comets.

Under the pressure of my step, I want the streets to emit the precise odor of a diamond necklace.

I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve.

I want to carry luggage that reeks of the neurons in Einstein’s brain.

I want a city’s gases to smell like the golden belly hairs of the gods.

And when I gaze at a televised picture of the moon, I want to detect, from a distance of 239,000 miles, the aroma of fresh mozzarella.

― Tom Robbins

This Is Me Today

Sometimes I wonder if the reality is the dream and the dream the reality. What if I thought I was waking up but the truth is I was falling asleep instead. And all the time I thought I was dreaming it was in fact my life, my real life. I once had that feelings with my ex-husband. I’d felt that I was living in a dream (in my case the worst nightmare) and in any moment I will wake up and will find myself in another situation, in another place, living different life. Back then I had a feeling of being in transition, not unlike being in a train station, or aboard a plane to somewhere. I felt like I was just passing through. Ever had that feelings? Perhaps it was just a hope, a fantasy, to escape the harshness of reality, to protect my sanity, creating a buffer to soften the blows. I don’t know. I have outrageous thoughts sometimes. I can’t help it. My mind tend to run wild, creating havoc to my inner peace. But what can I do? I am who I am.

I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?