Tag Archives: thoughts

People Pleaser

“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.”

—Steve Maraboli

I was born swimming against the current without being aware I was doing so and continued to be ignorant of my course for more than four decades before somewhere along the way I developed somehow a soft spot and all of a sudden I find myself -caring is not the right word but I will use it for the lack of a better one- caring what people might think of me. It’s addictive. Once you start concerning yourself with such things, it is difficult to stop. That’s about the time I started wearing lipstick and wear more appropriate clothes. I don’t go about wearing jogging suits anymore and ditched rapper/skater attires. I still don’t do girly-girl stuff but there is definitely an improvement. I acquired bags as well. Pricey designer ones mind you. I still don’t use them unless necessary but I have them. I miss the time when I don’t even have a wallet and my cellphone fits in my shorts pocket and I don’t even have to comb my hair. Those were the days. Now, I learned about loose powder and highlighter but I draw the line on fond de teint and concealer. I refused to treat my face like a wall, plastering them to look presentable. No eleven makeup brushes for me to dip in eleven different jars and bottles. Maintenance is more important to me than makeup anyway. I rather feel clean than looking pseudo-beautiful I don’t even recognize my own face in the mirror. But yeah, to each his own.

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The Damaging Effects of an Inauthentic Life & How to Change It.

By Tracy Crossley

Depending on how we define authenticity, we may believe we are being very real with ourselves and the world.

Perhaps, we come closer to the definition of who we are, when we’re alone. It would be true, if we still didn’t carry the same beliefs with us, no matter where we go.

Our beliefs color our perception, creating limitations or possibilities and how we view others. Our beliefs aren’t necessarily our truth, they’re often what we’ve given meaning to through our earlier experiences.

Does it mean we are lying to ourselves? Yes, though it’s unintentional.

Many of us have contrived patterns to avoid loss. We fear our beliefs are true about abandonment, shame, not doing the right thing, not belonging and so on. We also fear not getting our way, because it would change the image in our head of how life is supposed to be. 

We often don’t say what we mean, because we’re on auto-pilot. It’s our same old reaction we offer, without much thought to its validity. We skip truth, so we instead live in past projections now.

Being inauthentic means we beat ourselves and others up because we place so much value on expectations. Most expectations aren’t ones we even created, many are inherited through our environment.

To be authentic is to dig deep and look at why we believe what we do, see how we uphold these beliefs through our patterns and question if this is truly who we are inside?

Authenticity is to accept all parts of ourselves. Through acceptance, we build an authentic relationship with ourselves first and then others.

If we get off of autopilot, even for a moment, we can learn who we truly are and learn about others as well.

Until we do, we’ll continue to believe old truths without bias. We’ll unconsciously create situations, which prove to us their truth! So, if we believe all relationships ultimately fail because we don’t deserve to be happy and healthy, then we’ll do what we can to make it true.

We get others to help us confirm these inauthentic beliefs too.

Teaching people to lie to us, is something we do unconsciously. Though if we physically pay attention to our bodies, we notice we feel off when we allow it. They’ll tell us what we want to hear because they fear our reaction or fear of losing us. How often do we let inauthenticity breed in our relationships, because we’re afraid of loss?

When we live out these inaccurate beliefs and force them to be true through our relationships—our experiences become inauthentic.

Many of us are stressed out and believe that life is dictating that we must have experience in the same way, each time. Every time we do something against ourselves, we suffer and yet, we have a belief that tells us, this is the way it is…..and it’s not.

When we show up for things out of duty rather than desire, guilt rather than truth, telling someone what they want to hear, rather than what we really want to say. Acting in ways that feel disconnected, but meant to please. We are living inauthentically. We want approval.

The scary thing is we don’t want to lose this inauthentic connection.

Fear lies in knowing our truth because it often means change, loss and everything we’ve been afraid to let go of, including a perception. In choosing authenticity, some will leave us, some will be pissed off, but in the end, we feel better.

When we can face ourselves with truth— we face another. We won’t let lies be brushed under the carpet, or pretend; we’ll lovingly stand for our truth. Even when it’s hard to do.

Authentic relationships have little to do with a list of qualities. It’s about learning who we are every day and attracting someone to our lives with the same openness, the same desire to live life fully and passionately.

The benefits of authenticity means we are comfortable in our own skin—alone or with others—confident while embracing our flaws, truly kind and yet truthful, even if there is a cost.

Every time we challenge an old belief, through thought and then counter-intuitive action, we release ourselves to have a more authentic relationship with life.

To develop authenticity requires a deeper awareness. Paying attention to our autopilot reactions, sussing out the past projection from the present situation and being honest when we’ve been wrong in our perception too, helps us to get closer to our own truth.

Photography by Nigel Tomm

Deep Down Below The Surface

I have a different idea of elegance. I don’t dress like a fop, it’s true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven’t washed away. I’m always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.” 

― Edmond Rostand

Backpacker Generation: Why “Leaving it all Behind” doesn’t Work.

By Lauren Klarfeld

What we carry in our backpacks is the weight of our fears.

Some backpacks are made on a swift decision. Others are planned months in advance and ticked off with a checklist. Certain backpacks are made out of choice, and sometimes others are made because we had no choice. Be it to go far or to go hide next door. When we are making a backpack, there is more to it than just physical weight.

As I laid out the remainder of my clothes on an empty table and zipped up my backpack, I knew I was trying to pack a mess. I made a decision almost a year ago that I didn’t want to be committed to an apartment, a contract, rent or a job that didn’t move me. That it had all seemed pointless after so many years to work so many hours, not only to support myself since I was 18 but also to work for things I didn’t always believe in. The home I was in, the job I had and some of the people I knew just didn’t feel like “home” anymore.

What I wanted was the freedom to go whenever I wanted to.

Go incognito and re-invent myself in every new place I was in. Dare to do those things I never felt comfortable doing before. My plan had been to volunteer from hostel to hostel paying no rent in exchange for free labour. The months that followed I walked around a city with the feeling that a weight had been taken off of me. I was alone but I had chosen to be alone. If anything I was a solitaire. And it was liberating for once to look at myself that way.

But like any backpacker, I had given up the vertical ease of a closet where all my clothes had been aligned for years for a horizontal goulash of textile wrapped one under the other. I had come with a full backpack and that was all I allowed myself to carry.

When we see things in such a constrained space or possibility, it somehow gives us perspective on the fact that one needs to be sure of their choices.

Suddenly, we cannot spend two hours trying on different clothes as we struggle with our own image—because there is just no space nor mirrors for us to do. Perfectly ironed t-shirts are a thing of the past too when you travel. And adding things to a backpack becomes a burden as it weighs heavier and heavier. And every time we pick out a t-shirt it is like rambling our hands through a lottery machine—one never knows what they’ll pick out.

The idea of leaving it all behind to live life like a vagabond has been very appealing for years in my generation. But we seldom realise that this kind of life without commitments sometimes comes at the cost of a life without the conveniences we once knew: a home to call our own, a toothbrush in a fixed place, old friends to go to when we’re having a bad day or even a home cooked meal from our mother.

See, backpacks are emblems to travelers. They symbolize the travelers’ mobile nature and our need for freedom to go whenever we want to. They are built to accommodate easy access and storage. And a backpacker needs that like he needs air: the possibility and reminder that he can move and is constrained by nothing.

But when we spend enough time on the road, whether we want to or not, our backpacks mutate. And so do we.

As I moved to this kind of lifestyle in Madrid, I realized that what was once an emblem of mobility, now became a painstaking weight to carry around. I had gone from one store to the other buying new clothes just to fit with the local’s style. I bought one colorful dress after the other and thought it was a victory for the past tomboy that I was. I hated dresses really, but here abroad I thought I could push myself to like them and no one would notice. And the summer was the worst, as this frail white skinned Belgian girl who had never experienced a real summer suddenly had to walk legs and arms uncovered.

When traveling and wanting to change ourselves, we sometimes become schizophrenic chameleons in places whose language we are still learning and borrowing. And as thrilling as it is to go incognito anywhere and re-invent one’s self—some days, we just aren’t lively chameleons. Some days, we are just lost cats that hide under cars waiting for the traffic to pass.

Little do we know that sometimes the backpacks we are carrying are in fact heavy with burdensome personal baggage already. Somehow, all the while that we pack our underwear and t-shirts, our bags are already bursting with the layers of our constant self-questioning, our fears, our inner critic, and sometimes lack of self-love.

When we travel we get rid of our old comforts and routines. And so we grow more aware of who we are and who we aren’t, and of the difference between who we want to be and who we are right now. The kind of contrast we only ever really see when we get confronted with the blank canvas of ourselves echoed by the amount of free time and liberty we have when traveling or being in a new chapter of our lives.

In the end, it isn’t just about wanting to escape what we had before, it is mostly about escaping who we were before.

We are mostly introverts that are seeking a way to grow out of it. We rarely think that growth isn’t just about pushing ourselves to become who we want to be. Sometimes, we just become who we want to become eventually, by making the choices that we’re asked not by our mind or our heart, but by our gut. Sometimes, it’s when looking back, rather than forward, that we see better today the person we are becoming.

So that day as I made my backpack again in these last seven months. I was offered a lesson on acceptance. I laid all my clothes and beauty products on a bed, and decided I’d make two bags this time.

One with all the things that I had always felt resembled me and that I needed. And another with all the things I bought that I thought I might need. And left behind only the last one.

In life or in travel, if we want to set out on an adventure with ourselves, the best backpacks we’ll ever make are those that will leave extra room for our own personal baggage.

And acknowledging this is what will allow us to carry it in the first place…

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Gossip Dies In The Ears Of The Wise

If this wisdom is even remotely true then the media will die overnight. They will go out of business in no time. And since it’s thriving more than ever, the only conclusion I could come up with is the lack of wise people on earth. Or so it seems. How could we otherwise explain fake news and social media success? How about reality shows and gossip magazines? How about our own neighborhood and neighbors?

I grew up in a place where other people know your own business better than you yourself and they are expert on what you should do and not do and they are more effective guard dog than CCTV and better writers and scenarists than those famous authors. They already wrote your day before you even wake up. Without your knowledge, you could get pregnant during the course of the day and give birth in the afternoon or have a miscarriage without you even knowing it. They even have detailed information on your comings and goings abroad even though they never been anywhere outside their little village. Their imaginations are limitless and their conviction fierce. And there is nothing you can do.

That is probably the only thing I didn’t miss from my country of birth, the isolated way people think and their small town narrow-minded ideas. And one of the few things I am thankful for living abroad. Here, they don’t mind you most of the time. They see you, make a fixed conclusion about you and they leave you pretty much alone. Especially in the city or in the suburb where people don’t even know their neighbors. I like the idea of being lost in anonymity. It’s peaceful that way. I don’t crave community spirit and I don’t want to be part of it. I have nothing to give in give and take process which all relationships have in common. And they have nothing to give that I’m remotely interested in. So, I keep away from clubs of any sort.

I don’t buy glossy gossip magazines either. They are not my thing. But I love to watch programs where there are human interactions. I find it educational.

How about you? Do you gossip? Take part in it? Loath love it? Or you are totally indifferent?

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Mental Health VS Physical Health

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ― Herophilus

In the recently concluded Miss Universe Pageant in my country of origin, a candidate who many thought would be a very strong contender for the crown and at the night of the event bagged most of the major awards struggled to answer this question from one of the judges: “Why is mental health as important as physical health?”  Not only she struggled to find the right words despite starting confidently, but she also ran out of time which many assumed cost her the coveted crown.

“Why is mental health as important as physical health?” 

I think most of us can answer why.

Without one of both life could be difficult. Though I rather lost physical than mental. I beautifully preserved healthy body is nothing but a useless shell without mental health. But vice versa is livable. Think of Stephen Hawking for instance. The mind is the matter because its the engine of our very own being, it is our command center and the editor of our deeds. Without it, we’re nothing but a living dead.

That’s why I can’t understand why in our current society they put the emphasis on beauty and less on mindful living. Outward appearance becomes our utmost priority instead of nourishing the soul.

I know why.

Because being beautiful is a privilege and pays off a great deal. Fairy tales taught us that from a very young age. Anything can happen but as long as you are beautiful you will be alright in the end. Beautiful people are being treated well, loved and adored. You can go far on beauty alone. Of course in every rule… but exception is seldom, in general, beautiful people have an advantage in every which way wherever, however.

It is sad but true. We can protest, philosophize, deny but it’s true. We can argue, hope wish but the fact will remain true. Unless we sort out our priorities. Aim and work for a healthy mind and body and concentrate less on beauty.

  Agree?

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I’ll Swallow You Whole

“You want me to be a tragic backdrop so that you can appear to be illuminated so that people can say ‘Wow, isn’t he so terribly brave to love a girl who is so obviously sad?’ You think I’ll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I’ll swallow you whole.” -Warsan Shire

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Learning To Swim

I lie in bed for hours, a clamp around my heart, listening to the rain against the window pane. I can’t stand the grey sky, and so I turn my face to the wall and sink into a darker place. Let me drown. I don’t wish to return to the surface. – Unknown

Once upon a time until a couple of years ago, I nursed these kinds of feelings constantly, but since I was diagnosed  my priorities drastically changed; getting through the day becomes my main concern. By the end of the day, I am so exhausted physically that I have no strength anymore to entertain such thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to die but I want it to happen peacefully and preferably naturally. When I wake up in the morning – if I ever slept at all – I am preoccupied with practical personal things like getting up without passing out and dressing up without accident or consuming food without throwing it all up right after eating them. When I feel a little bit okay, I spend my time appreciating little things in life like looking up without getting dizzy and seeing what before my eyes without a flimsy curtain of clouds obscuring my vision. Funny that it takes some radical change and not for the better for me or someone to stop thinking about those unhealthy self-damaging thoughts. Is that what they call a blessing in disguise?

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Blessing in Disguise …

Is there anyone there who could relate? 

The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are. —Fernando Pessoa

I can.

My son said to me yesterday that the things I remember most from my childhood are not memories but longing and those that bordering on supernatural are brought on by psychosis. I remember them clearly not because it did really happen but because I believe they did. Memories are seldom complete he said. Most of the times we fill in the blanks and it becomes our reality.

Needless to say, I don’t believe him. I know what is real and what is not. And If I would fantasize or imagine anything it would not be one of my experiences. I will conjure up happy thoughts so I could fly away to Neverland. There are things that cannot be explained by any logical or scientific means. My son has to understand that. Other memories of mine that have nothing to do with paranormal or supernatural, I could believe there are some holes in it. But I don’t fill them up with my own imaginations, I just can’t remember the whole picture. Sometimes they are just a blank canvas, others have snatches of colors and outlines of some forgotten scenes often too vague for me to recognize.

I never have a desire to be someone else, but rather I have longings for different circumstances for myself. Perhaps being born into another family, country, situation, been given different chances in life, things like that. Nostalgia for something that never was I have experienced only once. I wrote a book about it. I sometimes still think about what could have been if what never was is a reality exactly the way I’ve imagined it but know only too well that it is next to impossible to happen. Perhaps it could once upon a time but interference from people and fate rendered my wish futile.

My painful landscapes consist indeed of the feelings that hurt most, absurd or not, but from different nature than those that had been mentioned above. They are both from memories and experience and I can sum them up easily in one word: betrayal- in all sense of that word.

How I wish there is an eternal sunset on my painful landscapes. It is preferable over the total darkness of what I am…

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Thoughts To Ponder

We live in initiatory times when each soul can feel more isolated amidst the dying breath of one world and the uncertainty that attends the forming of life’s next design. It is not the lack of time that we modern people suffer from, but a lack of connection to things timeless, mythic and eternal. – Michael Meade

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