Friday, April 13, 2012

To sacrifice one's selfishness.

I think this article is gorgeous. The writer's ability to understand what the god Kali stands for is something special to which I relate.
I understand people. And I love them. I love all parts of them. The good and the bad. I especially love the bad--or at least what people believe to be bad about themselves. We're all beautiful. And we all deserve to be loved.
Once I began to embrace the negatives in others, I began to embrace my own negatives. And I realized they weren't so negative after all. And now I reeeeeeally love people. I simply adore them now! I no longer hate people--I thought I honestly hated people until recently. I see all the things people hate about themselves, and I want to express my love for those things. Loud and proud! I want people to see that it isn't weird to love yourself or your body.
The body is a temporary thing, and to fixate on it can lead to unhappiness and self-disgust. I've been down that road. I hated myself and my body for too damn long.
It can be normal to love yourself. I promise it can be normal. If you stop hating people simply because you fear their judgement, you can open your mind to the possibility that people might actually love you. And if the people you expect to love you decide that they don't/can't, trust that there will be others around the corner waiting to embrace you. Open your mind to the possibilities. "Sacrifice your selfishness." Sacrifice the comfort of hiding from your fears, and experience the beauty that comes from facing them head-on.

I will do my best in this life. I will dance and make music, and I will love all people.

And now I will go read some Nietzsche. :) Peace & love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What do I love?

All the things I love most are things that don't need to be sold to have value.
I love nature, and trees, and the birds and the bees. I love water, and food that is healthy for me. I love humans for sharing my thoughts when I need. I love music for listening when humans can't see.
These things have no pricetag or easily defined value; and as we become increasingly cutoff and separated from them in the structured world we are building, it becomes easier to lose concern and respect for them. So we let them go. We don't do this because we are mean. I think we do it because we sincerely just don't know. We are simply unaware, and that is okay. Being unaware gives us the ability to learn and become aware. We can either help people find awareness, or we can berate and belittle them. So easily we are able lower their self esteem, and then we are better able to coerce them into sharing our ideals. We can use scare tactics.

Or, we can love them. And we can encourage them to recognize the implications of their actions, good or bad. And we can allow them to love us. And we can allow them to recognize the implications of our own actions, good or bad. And we can ourselves recognize the implications of our own actions, good and bad. But ultimately, I believe a person has to make their own decisions, and all people are entirely capable of making their own decisions.

You are great.
And the greatest things in the world are things that don't need to be sold to have value.

Be true to yourself. If you can love yourself when others don't, that is real power. That power is in your hands alone. You hold the key to your happiness.

I have realized these things for myself recently. I am trying to love myself enough to withstand the haters. "Let the haters hate. Let the lovers love. Let the ballers ball."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Masters, slaves, and those beyond categorization.

I have been thinking hard on the following questions:
When one chooses to engage in human relationships, is he necessarily 'sacrificing' his individuality? Is it boastful and conceited to even consider the loss of one's individuality within a group as a sacrifice? Is it noble to sacrifice one's individuality for the good of the group? From where does the desire and/or need to boast originate within a person? I have at least an idea from where that need originates within myself.

I want to love myself. I am jealous of people who love themselves. So I make them feel bad. This way I can feel better about myself.

Then I push them far enough away to end the friendship entirely, and I still try to make them feel badly. I latch on to the concept of happiness so tightly in my mind that it becomes impossible to recognize and experience the actual happiness that already makes itself available to me.

I victimize for my own personal gain the individual who loves his/her Self. I become an oppressor, they the oppressed. I the master, they the slave. I feed on this relationship and the power I imagine it gives me. I need to be better than everyone. I cheat them into believing they love me, so I am able to love myself. It's a cheap way to find love.

I don't know why I don't love myself. But I'm ready to quit being lazy, and find reasons to love myself. I'm ready to quit hurting the people around me who want nothing more than to be happy and to see me be happy too. I'm tired of asking them to slow down for me. And I'm ready to start speeding up. And I can only hope they are ready to forgive me. Because there will be people who can't forgive me.

I am so grateful for those beyond categorization. The individual person free of labels, neither a master nor a slave, is capable of revealing to a master his own weakness.
The individual is a curiosity to the master. The master, out of curiosity, provides a small space within his mind to house these curious thoughts. And that space grows, filling over time with bits and pieces of wisdom. One day, for one reason or another, the master starts to recognize the presence of this space. And it makes him feel uncomfortable and sad because he doesn't understand it. The master might even imagine himself to be infected. Then with more time, the master begins to put together the bits and pieces. And the master then sees the greater picture. He no longer feels infected, but fulfilled. He embraces these foreign emotions and lets them inundate him. In this flood of knowledge the foundation of old illusions on which the master's old feelings were constructed is washed away. The master becomes capable of seeing life for what it is. The master accepts and appreciates life's ups and downs. The master then relaxes with his personal decision to live life truthfully rather than to cling ignorantly to obvious illusions. The master is no longer a master, but an individual beyond categorization.
"Wherever you are today, don't forget to be yourself." Thank you Chris Guillebeau for your amazing words tonight. Such impeccable timing your blog posts always seem to have! Make your own category and own it. I'm in the process of figuring out my category. And man alive am I making mistakes! Thankfully I have people in my life who are no longer willing to wait around for me to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I thank them for taking care of themselves, and I apologize for asking them to keep waiting around for me. I am also thankful for the people in my life that pick me back up after making mistakes. They too are important to me. They loan me their infinite wisdom to process my f***up moments.

Time to quit writing and experience the real world. I'm ready for a little personal growth yaaa!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Make mistakes now!

Failure is good when you learn from it.

My fear of 'failure' has kept me from being independent. Instead of falling down and learning how to stand back up, I opted to just not fall down alltogether. For many years I thought this made me better than the rest. My self esteem depended on it. Perhaps this is why my self esteem was so shaky all those years.

Now that I'm trying to do my own thing in life, I feel so ill-equipped. I can't remember all the things I thought I learned in grade school and I sound like the uneducated ass I do NOT want to be. Wait, I AM the uneducated ass I do not want to be! I used to learn things with the goal of getting a pretty little letter of praise from the school officials telling my family what a wonderful person I was because my grades were better than the average joe. Whoopiefriggindoodle! Those numbers are so impersonal and meaningless to me now. Now I want to learn for myself. Now I want to learn because I have worthy goals for which to use my knowledge. I am no longer scared of a failing grade. Well, that's a lie. I am still a little averse to that icky letter F. But now I am able to accept that F in all its F'ing glory (hah sorry) and learn from it. I want to create knowledge, not just reuse it!

And another point. My 4.0s and steady stream of gold stars throughout grade school set unrealistic standards and expectations for other students. I think our grading system is so skewed now. The common view is that if our students aren't passing with straight As, then surely our teachers aren't doing a good enough job. So now teachers are pressured to pass out As like free candy. And that is an issue because our standards have lowered.
And the kids who failed all their classes? Complete failures, right? Well it seems as though that's what our education system would have them believe. Their self-esteem is lowered to the point that they literally have no reason to care anymore, and I can't blame them. Once their grades get so low it really can appear pointless to keep trying in a broken system that is not well-adapted to their needs. The systems of our society so violently shove these youths down the ladder and make it exceedingly difficult to climb back up to the top! Or at least society's idea of 'the top.'
But what kills me most is that many of these kids are so much more gifted than many of the golden children with their beautiful 4.0 gpas. These children know what it means to fail, and they figured it out early on in life. Now would it not be beneficial to support these 'failures' and offer them other methods for achieving their goals? And I don't mean, 'hey, sonny there's a community college you can go to. It's your only option since you F'ed up.' There is such a BS social stigma attached to that. Like if you don't spend obscene amounts of money for your 4-year degree then you are clearly not an educated individual or something. Bull. Shit. I sit everyday in my classes with a bunch of blind bats paying obscene amounts of money to sit in classes they hate so they can get a fancy degree and make their parents proud. They aren't learning anything that they enjoy, and they are NOT benefitting our society as a whole. Instead their scholarship money is being wasted when kids paying for community college out of their own wallets could be using it to achieve something worthwhile.

Let's get our heads in the game. Let's enjoy our lives. Let's enjoy learning. And let's do these things for our own selves. I quit playing into the system. I give up. I have some dreams and I want to achieve them. I am going to ask questions in my classes. And I'm not going to dumb myself down so I can feel like I fit in with a group of dweebuses. I'm not a dweebus. I finally learned to have a little respect for myself, and I'm going to exercise my right to take care of myself. YOU ARE INTELLIGENT! YOU ARE WISE! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! YOU ARE YOU! OWN IT! Feel free to make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes. And then go kick some life ass with those learned lessons.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No one else can feel it for you.

The following lyrics of the song "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield caught my attention today:
I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned.

Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else
No one else can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

We've been conditioned to not make mistakes
but I can't live that way.

It's time to put my big girl pants on in life. I've been a baby. A spoiled brat. I've been given a lot. And I've taken it all. Even though I don't need it. I preach a lot, and I rarely practice. That's especially dangerous when you truly don't have much to preach about at all.

The following list includes values and concepts about which I have learned this so far this semester in my classes:
1. Citation
I respect the people whose ideas influence my thinking. In the academic world, they are superior to me; they have unique ideas from which I draw conclusions. I utilize their thinking. To cite an author is not only respectful, it is a duty. And it only makes life easier for both you and for those who utilize your material. The only information worth utilizing is that which is valuable enough to warrant citation. Afterall, if a concept has no ownership, to whom are we to give thanks!
2. Argumentation
Another benefit of citation is its ability to strengthen and solidify a great argument--an argument worth listening to! Again, in the academic world, if I want to be taken seriously I must command respect with my academic mind. I demand all of my professors to be knowledgeable in their fields. How then could I reasonably demand my professors to take me seriously if my own academic knowledge base is weak? I couldn't! The basis of a solid argument is solid knowledge; and solid arguments are the only arguments worth listening to in academia. I want solid arguments, because I want my professors to take me seriously. I must put forth the same effort in my learning as I expect my professors to put forth in their teaching.
3. Independence
In my private life, I want to be independent. Hell, I want to be independent in my academic life too; but I've got a lot of learning to complete before I can stand on the legs of my own teensy knowledge base. In my private life, I am a legal adult. For me, that means the right to behave as an adult is my own. I own those rights, and that ownership is a privilege. My independence is not something to be feared, but something to be embraced. With my independence I can bear fully the brunt as well as enjoy fully the benefits of all choices I make. This means that although I am better able to feel the lows in life, I am also better able to feel the highs. If I am going to experience the sensation of feeling, I am going to feel everything as intensely and as truly as possible. To experience all feelings to their fullest, I need to make my own choices; and to make choices for myself I must act independently based on my own unique arguments.
4. Action
Get out there and live your life. Don't fear the future. Don't regret the past. I dread those two emotions, and yet I allow myself to feel them quite regularly. When I experience those emotions, I am almost always simultaneously stuck in a state of comparison. I compare myself to the greatnesses of others. This is horrible for my self-esteem. So instead of defining myself through the eyes of other people and reinforcing that system of self-hatred, I need to be independent and develop my own definitions. I need to break my mind free of outwardly-driven motivations and instead act from within. And it will take work. I need to cultivate my Self. And I need to take action. I need to participate fully in every aspect of my life. I will accept the so-called 'consequences' as opportunities for growth. Just keep moving forward and growing! Recondition yourself to make mistakes!

Let people feel the way they want to feel, and don't let others tell you how to feel. Your future is in your hands, so own up to it. Live in your own damned shoes, because they only fit you! Everyone is on his/her own personal path of discovery. Stay out of his/her way and focus on your own development. "Cultivate yourself!" It's not a selfish thing. In the long haul, taking care of yourself is better for everyone involved. Quit dumbing yourself down to make others feel better. It's a short-term solution that reinforces a shitty system. Quit assuming that dumbing yourself down would really make others feel better in the long-run. Be the best version of yourself. It's not selfish. It's actually quite kind, I think.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our deepest fear.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

--Marianne Williamson

"Self-confidence is not a feeling of superiority, but of independence."

--Lama Yeshe

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

--Eleanor Roosevelt

"In fact, we have a tendency to want to put ourselves down to avoid being thought of as self-centered."


Excerpt from And She Sparkled:

"Some people didn't really like that. They had come to depend on her the way she used to be. Now she made some of them uncomfortable, even angry.

'Are people really supposed to listen to their own rhythm and dance?' they asked. 'Or should they march in the quiet lines laid out for them?'

It didn't matter to her. She didn't want to tell anyone else what to do. The only thing that mattered to the woman was the voice of the little girl living in her heart...

whispering softly that she was, indeed, enough. She was magnificent...

and she sparkled."

Excerpt from article, "Want Cheese with that Whine: The Voices of Self-loathing and Self-love":

"You are beauty.

Trust the mystery.

Be curious about what is poetic, playful, sensual, erotic, present, confident and compassionate. It's who you really are.

Believe in your inherent worth.

Honor sadness.

Cultivate joy.

Take your time.

Anticipate kindness.

Look for me, self-love, in others. When you see self-loathing, give them my love. Offer the nurturing and soothing acceptance that they need and perhaps have never had. Help them find me, self-love, in themselves."

Don't fear being great. Some people will look at you and make you feel badly for attempting to break free, but that is only because they are lazy. They simply wish to feel better about themselves and their lack of motivation, and so they find it easier to pull you down into their misery. Stand out from the crowd not simply to stand out, but do it instead for your own well-being. Break free from the 9 to 5!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The illusion.

Life is no more than a game—an illusion, rather. It is imagined. It is a series of walls built up by our minds so as to distract ourselves from the real enjoyment. We construct these walls in an attempt to evade the feelings associated with difficult emotions—and those emotions are perhaps the most important of all emotions! How individuals express or suppress those emotions is of vital importance to the development and overall happiness of an individual. By not expressing them we dig ourselves an ever-deepening rabbit hole. The more you resist the expression of these emotions, the harder it is to climb out of the rabbit hole.

So as you continue to construct and strengthen the walls around the fortress that is your eternal joy, you are not so much protecting your joy from the harm of others as you are inhibiting yourself from knowing the diverse array of possibilities that await you. And as you limit your awareness to only a narrow strip of reality, your inner joy grows bored. It wants to experience life, and you neglect it only to build a wall that further shields it from the influence of outsiders. So in this way, life as you imagine it becomes bleak and bland, void of creativity. You’ve built your walls so high that the sun seems to no longer shine, and in your darkness you are stuck—you believe so fervently in your body’s physical distress from wading through all the muck that you literally have no energy to think. To remove a brick and peek out to admire the sky is an action that simply doesn’t occur to you! ‘Oh no, you can’t remove a brick! That’s not normal! Everyone else is laying bricks!’ In those terrifying moments of omniscience, you yearn so deeply to release yourself of all inhibitions—to rip down the walls and express everything bound up inside your heart—but your knowledge of social boundaries (just more walls created by your imagination) reminds you of the glares you would most certainly receive from onlookers. And you shrivel up again. You cower behind the walls and pretend you saw nothing. You deny your conscience. That! is not life. That is sleep. You were so intoxicated with naivety that you passed out. An alcoholic! You are mistaken in your assumption that everyone else is on the right path. The only path right for a man is that which he paves on his own. No words can communicate with perfect precision an idea. Words are not to be valued as ideas. Words are tools. Words are tools used to build walls. Too much focus on building those walls turns you into society’s slave. Only when you pave your own path are you able to make the necessary choice to be free of your boundaries. Listen to your conscience! Stop building walls and tear them down! Open yourself to all the possibilities and experiences awaiting you, and begin to live a life of joy.