Once A Fool, Always One

Once a fool, always one.
Travels upon similar paths,
Potholes of hearts,
Deeds undone.

Never learns the immature,
Naive fool who loves,
Hopes and trusts prematurely,
Many unworthy, not mine.

To believe it a virtue to love,
Afresh, anew each time.
Never carries the baggage
Of hurt, dejection, hearts denied.

Had such devotion been dedicated,
To efforts more worthwhile, fruitful than the heart,
Would hesitate not, all the riches and fame.
But once a fool, always one.

 

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Celestial

Suddenly,
The mind quietened.
Stopped asking questions,
Begging for answers,
Going in circles,
Chasing itself.

Frets,
Like flurries,
Dispersed.
As though they never existed.
No more a battle,
Between heart and mind.

Maybe powerless,
Though I feel not.
Half of love is daring,
The other half, faith.
Faith in the divine,
To decide it for you–
Make it happen, or not.

I leave it,
To the celestial,
The merciful,
Who knows far better,
And best,
The paths to happiness.

To Love Like We Fall Asleep

What if we could love like we fall asleep?

Out of the darkening, quieting, moony skies,
Sleep arrives calmly every single night.
No commotion, no noise, no announcement,
Slowly it enwraps you, like a mystical cocoon,
Circles you, and places a gentle weight on your eyes.

You never think of it when it arrives.
You never think to resist.
Well, maybe, just for a second you do.

But knowing the stubborn human mind,
Sleep knows how to lure the object of its affection.
It doesn’t go away, and it doesn’t demand.
It only remains close to you.

Just slightly nudging you to crawl into bed,
Luring you with beautiful dreams awaiting,
Dreams that seem to hold you by the hand,
And pull you into that land of fantastical dreaming.

When you finally give in, and rest your mind,
Breathing slows down, into a slow and steady melody,
You don’t even realize that you are now sleeping.

If we could love like that…
A gentle slide into a natural and peaceful state.
A comforting, inevitable place of possibility…
Of the most wonderful and beautiful things existing,
And never even realize that we’re dreaming.

Pride

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Pride & Prejudice (2005)

“I could easily forgive HIS pride, if he had not mortified MINE.”

-Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813

Before I move on for a while, from the works of Austen, I want to talk about pride, or more specifically, whether pride is a good or bad trait. I think most of us, without really deliberating on the subject, would say that it is bad. But is it really?

Excessive, or unfounded pride, of course. One that causes hurt in others, as Mr. Darcy had done to Elizabeth, definitely. But otherwise, is pride a bad thing?

In the dictionary, pride is defined as “satisfaction of one’s achievements,” and “consciousness of one’s own dignity.”

If you think about it this way, there is absolutely nothing wrong or negative about this description. Neither, satisfaction of one’s achievements, nor consciousness of one’s own dignity could be protested.

We get our own definition from Austen in Pride and Prejudice:

‘Pride,’ observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity
of her reflections, ‘is a very common failing, I believe.
By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very
common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone
to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish
a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality
or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different
things, though the words are often used synonymously. A
person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more
to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have
others think of us.’

But the more amusing definition comes from Mr. Darcy:

‘Perhaps that is not possible for anyone. But it has been
the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often
expose a strong understanding to ridicule.’
‘Such as vanity and pride.’
‘Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride—where there
is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under
good regulation.’

So, pride is bound to naturally exist, where there is a superiority of mind, and in such a case, it will not regulate or overpower one’s actions anyway.

I agree that carrying pride is a matter of understanding one’s dignity, and that it helps to create healthy boundaries with others, where they are required.

In Turkish, there is a saying “there is no pride in love.” But the way it is spoken in Turkish, is far more definite and enforced than when it is translated into English. The meaning is more along the lines of “there cannot be, there ought not be, it is unimaginable for there to be, pride in love.” It implies that pride is love’s enemy. A poison that is bound to destroy and kill the most promising sentiment, and something to be avoided at all cost,  if one’s aim is to love and be loved. It also implies that these emotions cannot coexist, and choosing one, means overriding the other. It implies, that there is no shame or repulse in doing things unimaginable in the name of love, and one must act, if required, out of character, for the sake of attaining it. Love is treated as the ultimate superior emotion, far more valuable, and necessary than pride.

That’s what you do when you profess love, in any form or method. When you place yourself at risk, when you de-associate with your pride to say the words “I love you” without knowing whether it will be spoken back to you. And if it is not?

If it is not spoken back to you, that pride, that you so selfishly pushed away and orphaned, becomes your friend again. It doesn’t mind returning to you, but its heart was broken too, and it’s not quite the same anymore. You realize, that you valued it too little, and was willing to forsake it for something promising, yet unknown and untrustworthy. And your pride, is now spiked with regret, and shame, for not having been so proud before.

Consciousness of one’s own dignity.

Isn’t it strange that dignity should be so at odds with love?

Bear Witness to the Loving Beauty

Love.
I feel nothing but love.
I have surrendered to love!

What might emerge from that, is irrelevant to me. All that matters now, is that I am overwhelmed by it.

I don’t ask for anything. I don’t even ask for acknowledgment of this emotion that has so unexpectedly, and so beautifully overtaken my being!

Oh how surprised I was in the beginning! How taken aback, how confused, how panicked!

All difficulties of the heart, are from the resistance of what already is. All of one’s confusion is due to an unwillingness to understand and accept. An attempt to control one’s emotions, because emotion is considered to be a weakness. To battle it, and be victorious over it with logic, is seen to be the utmost sign of strength!

I too resisted, refused, ignored… vehemently tried to uproot and destroy this beautiful feeling! But the by-products of these efforts were too painful to bear. I became torn, crippled by intense emotion, and fear. I suffered. Indeed. It was, suffering. Resisting love, is suffering.

I thought about my actions. Actions which appeared to be driven by insecurity and fear. Insecurity which caused me to judge myself even further.

But then, I dug deeper. Deep into those layers of complex thoughts and fears, and asked a very simple question–

What is my intention?

What has been my intention all along?

Regardless of how the thoughts and actions may appear on the outside, what is the intention underlying it all?

I received one answer.

Love.
Just Love.
I wish to love, and to be loved!

[Speaks to self] Oh dearest one! Oh naive one! Oh emotional one! How harshly you judge yourself! How good, and true, and beautiful you are! All you seek is love! Could anything or anyone be as virtuous as that?! That’s what you feared all along?! That you wish to love!

In this way, my spirit laughed, joyfully teased the all-naive, wonderful self!

And this discovery about the utter beauty of my good-willed spirit, has washed away all of those painful emotions, and the resistance.

I love!
I love!
I love!

Now, I just want to live in this moment. A moment of love which is so pure, and worthy of admiration! A love that is as unblemished, and untouched as any. A truly honorable love, is what I have. It is but one, and the most simple and straightforward, illustration of my goodness!

Whether I continue to see that, or not.

Whether another sees that, or not.

Right now, in this moment, I know. I see. I bear witness to the loving beauty in me!

So Be It

For as far back as I can remember, all of my life, I have spent my mental and emotional energies dwelling upon the idea of a utopic, ideal romantic prospect. I’ve treated it as an ultimate end goal, the utmost achievement and proof of my worthiness.

For a period, since it clearly was not happening for me, I took a very extreme opposite position. I tried, and temporarily succeeded in making myself a stoic. I labeled love and all that is associated with it to be a most futile experience. And the search for love, a sad attempt that the weak and unintelligent opt for, instead of living in the real world, with all of its harsh, but true, and existing realities. Love is a diversion, I felt, from seeing, experiencing, and succeeding in this world. An effort that is bound to fail, and lead to disappointment.

While this worked well for me for some time, I could not maintain it. For when, one is an inherent romantic, even the smallest glimmer of hope can be sufficient to reignite its passions. Therefore, I again succumbed to the “sad attempts” that I had found distasteful and repulsive just shortly before.

But my story is a dull one. It repeats itself. Love, is as distant and unreachable, as it always has been. And all of my efforts at attaining it, as futile as they’ve ever been. But now, I realize something completely different. I realize that I have been focusing on the wrong things all along.

I probably need not explain to you the wrongness of this entire premise. Nothing beneficial can come out of viewing romantic love as an end goal, as a kind of achievement. I do not blame myself for thinking this way, for it was embedded in our way of thinking from a very young age. Why were we raised on Cinderella stories where a girl’s happiness lied in finding and uniting with a true love? Why was it driven into our head that the search for romantic love, is an essential and inevitable aspect of life? A solution to all woes? How might we lead our lives differently had it never been so?

And how were we ever led to believe that we deserved to feel “worthy” to the extent that we were desired and loved by another?! If we understand our self-worth to be solely reliant on the affirmations of another person, how are we ever to find true and lasting happiness, in accepting and loving ourselves? And how can we ever believe that an affirmation received once, would be repeated regularly for the rest of our lives?

So let’s say you are in the most ideal situation– you’ve loved, you’re loved back and you get married. How many days, weeks, or at best, months, will it be until your spouse fails to affirm who you are? How long until the moment when you disagree and no longer feel loved? How can anyone accept to base their happiness and self-affirmation on the whimsical thoughts and feelings of another human being? That is, surely, a recipe for disappointment and disaster. That, has never been my idea of love. That’s because my idea of love, and perhaps yours as well, is imaginary. It has no basis in reality. It’s a mirage, a hallucination, a dream, a wish, a fairy tale, is all.

What I’ve failed to recognize in all of this, is how my futile searches for love, how my disappointments and heartbreaks have in fact been helping me to progress in a path towards enlightenment. I am not near enlightenment now, by any means. But the phases of my life where I’ve had enlightened moments, periods of deep introspection and greater understanding of existence, happiness, and God, have directly emerged from disappointment and heartbreak. And I am in one now.

So, no. Love is not the end goal. The search for it, is not the purpose of our lives.

The end goal, has been, and will always be, a return to home. A return to our true selves, and to God. If that will be gained, through love, and heartbreak, so be it. If that will be gained, without love, so be it. For this destination is so fulfilling and sweet, that any struggle and pain one finds in its path, is wholly welcome!

Elizabeth’s World

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813

The infamous introduction to the one of the best known classics, and unforgettable romances of all time…

It’s fascinating to read and re-read Pride and Prejudice and ponder on the many differences in social structure, tradition, social norms and norms of courtship between then and now. In that world, a man’s character and behavior, was as important as his social standing and financial prospects. Just as his wealth and breed made him ideal husband material, his vanity and rudeness made him not.

A world where affections could be based on reasoning and understanding, just as much as outer appearance and first impressions. When selecting a life companion required a comprehensive assessment of all the various factors that were to impact one’s relations, and future life.

It was also a world where a poor young woman’s greatest aspiration would be to be worthy of being married off well, and selecting a partner was as much a financial necessity to her as it is to dis-empowered women of today. In some ways, the world has changed little, in others, it is no longer the same world.

Can you imagine a ritual of courtship in which getting to know someone took place during highly formal, restricted and short periods spent together in the company of one’s family and guardians? When a mutual expression of love was equivalent to being engaged, which was promptly followed by seeking official permission from parents, only to be married and settled very shortly after?

In what ways are we better off today than we were then?

In the high-tech virtual world we live in, and the freedom granted to us by our families, and society, are we better equipped to court or find life companions? Does facebook, tinder, and instagram make us better assessors of one’s character? Does the infinite amounts of time we are permitted to spend in privacy with someone and without any responsibility of commitment make us better familiar and intimate with someone’s personality, principles, and habits?

I personally think not. Courting, loving and marrying are not easier today than they were 200 years ago. In many ways, I think it has become far more difficult.

The variety and number of platforms in which we are now able to indulge our romantic and sexual wants, has not brought us any closer to true intimacy, affection, and love. It has simply given us more ways, and more methods to hide who we really are, to put on pretenses, form fake virtual identities, and give greater liberties to our darker, irresponsible tendencies and desires.

In this world, we are even more vulnerable, and get hurt even more than we would have in Elizabeth’s world.

Standby?

Why do some people linger in the betweens? They’re not able to commit to you, and yet not willing to let you go? Or they want you, and want others too?

How can there be a romantic in-between?

There just isn’t. Because there is nothing frightening or worrisome about wanting to be with someone you love. On the contrary, that’s precisely what you want.

There is only one reason why someone would feel that way… because they’re not sure about you, and they’re not sure about wanting you. Shall we keep it simple and short? They don’t love you.

So what is it then?

I think it’s just selfishness. Extreme selfishness and dishonesty. Not willing to make promises, not willing to be all in… treading on the sidelanes, keeping backups… giving you reasons enough to stick around hoping, while never delivering on those hopes.

So why are you okay with this?

Do you believe that this is all that you’re worth? All that you deserve to have, all you think you can ask for?

Do you not deserve integrity? Do you not deserve to be loved wholly and exclusively?

We all have to make our own decisions. And we will make them when we’re ready to make them… when it’s time. Just recognize the reality for what it is. That’s always the first step. The thing is though, you have to decide eventually. Because if you keep sticking around forever, you will never know what else is in store for you.

So… standby? Or start walking?

Ocean

I tried. My intentions were true and pure. I broke my barriers to reach you. I tore down my walls of fear. I accepted being vulnerable, I took the leap. I crossed the unknown to land a kiss on your lips.

I thought there was an understanding between us. I thought it was deep. I thought it transcended the boundaries of the physical. I thought it may be meant to be. I thought it could be everything.

I’ve been in the desert. I’ve been desperately thirsty. I’ve never stopped seeing that mirage, that calls out to me from far away and offers to quench my thirst. I’ve been running to it for so long, without getting even a step closer. It’s time to stop.

For once I will not blame myself. I will not feel regret. I will not self-loathe, or criticize, or judge, or hate or bash. My intentions have been pure all along. All I wished was to connect, to feel safety and support. To feel complete. To fall asleep breathing in the scent of your skin. That’s all.

But when the response to my purity and sincerity is shallowness… when it’s the raw and untamed lust that objectifies my soul and is willing to break my fragile heart for its egocentric satisfaction, it’s over. I will not allow my light to be blemished that way.

Everyone claims to love, while they do not love at all. They don’t understand that love means sacrifice, that it means putting the needs of others before your own needs.

If I had been truly loved, my fragility, my hurt, my fear, my hesitation would be understood. I would be treated with gentleness and patience. I would be given the opportunity to heal, and the space to re-blossom.

Do you think I am incapable of loving you? Of showing my affection?

Oh how you err.

You do not have the remotest idea of the extent of my passion and affection. You cannot realize that to be loved by me, is to be loved for the first time. That my touch is not only a sensation on your skin, but a shower of love on your spirit. That my kisses are accepting, and healing of every fear and shortcoming you have ever felt.

Would one replace this, with mere desire?

Desire is helpless, fleeting, pitiful. I am the source of desires, and its remedy too. Desires are too small for my vast spirit, that expands and engulfs all of existence.

You wish to define me by your desires? Oh how small and little you think!

I offer you an ocean, while you wish to be satisfied by a drop!

Barriers

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Have you ever briefly met someone, felt an understanding between you, but did not proceed with the idea because of some kind of superficial expectation that you carry? Maybe appearance, or social status, or financial status, or something else?

If so, you’ve made a mistake.

What if everything you have ever sought, everything you’ve ever dreamed of finding was in that person? But you never got to find out because you never took the chance? Because you were unwilling and afraid to find and break the barriers within you? What if that deep bond, that infinite love and acceptance, was right in front of you and you failed to see it?

It’s still not too late. Find and break those barriers. Reach out. You have no idea how liberated you will be. You have no idea of the bliss that is awaiting your one nod. You have no idea how quickly and beautifully it will all come together.

In Awe of Your Awe

That smile…
It’s so familiar. I’ve seen it somewhere before. I’ve loved it before.
To love a smile not yet seen, I never knew it was possible until now.
But it’s unmistakable. The way your teeth emerge with a shy dimple and the spark in your eye.
It’s a mischievous spark. Joyful. If one looks closely though, it begs a question. It’s a hint of unbelief that this is happening. It’s in awe.
I’ve never seen anyone see me in awe before. It’s beautiful. I’m in awe of your awe.

Rumi in a Dream

The last I had read anything of Rumi was about ten years ago. I had enjoyed some of his poetry online then and was gifted a Rumi book. But I don’t recall any of his poems.

But this morning, I dreamt of a Rumi poem. I dreamt that someone addressed it to me. All I recall are the words “one or the other.” So I looked it up and could only find one Rumi poem which mentions these words:

When you begin to love God; God is loving you. 
A clapping sound does not come from one hand.
Lightning from here strikes there.
No lover wants union with the Beloved
without the Beloved also wanting the lover.
Love makes the lover weak,
while Beloved always remains strong.
A thirsty man calls out, 
‘Delicious water, where are you?’ 
while the water moans,
‘Where is the water drinker?’
The thirst in our souls is the attraction
put out by the Water itself.
We belong to Him, and He to us.

God’s wisdom made us lovers of one another.
In fact, all the particles of the world
are in love and looking for lovers.
And the Holy Spirit helps with everything,
like a young man trying to support a family.
We, like the man’s young wife, stay home,
taking care of the house, nursing the children.
Spirit and matter work together like this,
in a division of labor.
Remember what the soul wants,
because in that, eternity is wanting our souls.

God fixes a passionate desire in you,
and then disappoints you.
God does that a hundred times.
God breaks the wings of one intention
and then gives you another,
cuts the rope of contriving,
so you’ll remember your dependence.

Don’t be presumptuous and say one or the other.
Close your lips. 
The mystery of loving is God’s sweetest secret.
Your prayer should always be:
Break the legs of what I want to happen.
Humiliate my ego.
It’s Spring and finally I have no will.

The Lovebug

We all know someone. Maybe a love prospect that was unrequited or maybe one that ended in heartbreak. Someone who is not in love. Maybe success is the utmost ambition for this person, and all else mere needs that are to be filled, by someone or another. Perhaps people are just tools in their eyes, or ladders, allowing them to reach what they need in that moment. Value is allotted to others depending on their present utility.

If you’re not loved back by someone like that, don’t let it get to you. Don’t take it personally. Especially because love is not something that can be artificially implanted into another’s soul. No one knows why it takes root in one, and not another. I believe it’s part of a divine plan. A mercy, a miracle that God distributes in very chosen, specific, and timely ways.

I also believe that no one escapes the bite of the lovebug forever. If not today, then one day… if not you, then someone, that person too will be bitten. Because that’s how love works. Love is not something that we obtain and then keep forever. It’s a trigger. A trigger that causes change and transformation in who we are. It’s a key that unlocks different versions of ourselves and takes us on journeys, both inward and outward. And no matter how far one runs away from it, it will catch up with everyone eventually. And when it does, love will hit that person harder than any of us.

A Society of Paranoids

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“Wheatfield With Crows” July 1890, Vincent van Gogh

I unfortunately encounter quite a few raw, judgmental, and hateful people. I mostly likely to refrain from making grossly generalized statements such as this, but experience has shown me, time and time again, that this is the case. And yet, I do not mean this as a depreciation. I’m merely observing and recognizing it.

I think for a long time I was in denial about this because I believed, and maybe still want to believe, that all people are inherently good. But as years pass and experiences and incidents repeat in disappointingly familiar ways, I find it inevitable to draw some conclusions.

The type of person I will describe now is the ultimate manifestation of rawness and negativity. By rawness, I am referring to raw feelings– feelings that existed at their height in the very beginning of humanity, when they possibly served a somewhat practical purpose of ensuring survival. I’m referring to raw feelings like jealousy, envy and hatred. Viewing all others as competition for limited resources and aiming to gain victory over them without hesitation or mercy must have surely increased the chances of survival for our early ancestors.

But doing this now… Hating someone for no other reason than the fact that they simply exist and wish to coexist with you in the same space…To despise someone you know nothing about, to never even allow the opportunity to learn about them before passing severe judgments about them….And wishing them harm just so that they will get out of your way… It’s this kind of rawness, a state of having fallen behind evolution and humanity, that I fail to comprehend and accept.

As much as I feel hurt and withdrawn because of this type of thinking and behavior, I also feel sad about people who live in this constant state of mental war. What might it be like to view everyone but yourself as an enemy? What might it be like to always be on guard, to protect yourself from imaginary harms, to constantly plan to strike first before another strikes you…What might it be like to live in a constant state of fear, insecurity and suspicion about the world, to be consumed by how wicked it all could be…

Isn’t all of this just a form of paranoia? And what if you have an entire society made up of people who feel, think and act this way? A society of paranoids? What might be the consequences of their fears and wars? And what happens to the rest of humanity who wants goodness, happiness, and peace?

Your Own Little Big Bang

I spend the nights listening to music and trying to make sense of my feelings. Sometimes they are as mysterious to me as they would be to a stranger. Where does it come from?

There is a word, “yakamoz,” in Turkish. As much as I complain about how limited and unsatisfactory Turkish is to me as a language, I’ve failed to find an English term for this word. Yakamoz is the reflection of the moonlight on the sea.

I remember those moonlight filled nights. When the sun sets and the feminine flowery scent of the hot sand transforms into a masculine scent as it cools down and settles into a peaceful rest. The dark starry night welcomes a full moon that shines so brightly on the sea as if to make a path that I could follow to it.

It was impossible not to fall in love on such nights. Romance roamed in the air and took over your being as you simply breathed. It turned commonplace objects and people into butterflies that settled deep into your chest. It turned scents into ecstasy, and one became high, just by existing.

That feeling was so beautiful, that it always made me feel a combination of joy and sadness. The joy that it was happening to me, and the sadness…. I’m not sure why. Maybe I felt sad about being deprived of this emotion at other times, on other days. Maybe I felt sad because I knew it could not exist forever, it was bound to end.

Sometimes, I really admire people who are not able to love. Love is the most powerful, unreasonable emotion. It doesn’t fit, it doesn’t quiet down. It rushes and flows, overtakes, paralyzes, awes. It explodes and overtakes the universe, from right there, inside your little heart. Your own little big bang.

Stop Fooling Yourself

Stop fooling yourself.

I know you know what love is. I know you know what it looks like and feels like.

Love is effortless. It either is or isn’t.

You can’t make anyone feel it, and when it’s there, it will not keep quiet. Destiny will make it come together, in ways you never could have dreamed of.

Love is not convenient, selfish, proud or vain. There is no confusion, doubt, fear, hesitation, restlessness or insecurity.

Stop making excuses.

It’s not shyness that’s keeping love away. Love is overwhelming, courageous, and it feels perfect. It is perfect.

Love drives away fear and insecurities. Your tests don’t become walls. Your reaching out isn’t interpreted as rejection. If there really is love, it won’t end so quickly. It will not make you cry so, it will not leave you to your loneliness.

It’s not love.

I know you know what love is. I know you know what it looks like and feels like.

Stop fooling yourself.

We Aren’t Here to Make Things Perfect

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Moonstruck (1987)

Loretta, I love you.

Not like the way they told you love is. And I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice. It ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess.

We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts. And love the wrong people, and die. I mean the storybooks are bullshit.

Now will you please come upstairs with me and get in my bed?

Letting Yourself Be Vulnerable

I’ve been listening to many Tara Brach podcasts in the past few days. I find her descriptions of the inner workings of people extremely insightful and true. She uses ideas of Buddhism to understand and explain human emotion and action, and how we can relate to ourselves and one another.

One very interesting thing that she talks about is how we all build scales, to protect ourselves. And it all comes from vulnerabilities and fears — the fear of not being accepted, not being loved, not feeling worthy or deserving of love, etc. And she talks about how we do not allow the love of others to come in because of these fears.

With inspiration of her discussions, I tried to open myself up to someone recently. I definitely did. I was able to go one layer down and reveal the first layer of my vulnerabilities, which I have never done before. But I also realized that there were other layers that I had not reached and had not opened up.

It’s shocking to me how even at times where we have the intention to be very direct, open and honest with someone, we actually are not 100% honest. We still do not reveal the very, very deep workings of our psyche. The very deep and sometimes shameful vulnerabilities that we ourselves have difficulty facing. Even my most honest self, is still withdrawn and scared.

What is it that we’re so scared of? Why is the fear of being rejected and unloved so frightening and powerful? Why do we allow these emotions to control us so? And how can we ever establish truly meaningful relationships if everyone is always pretending that they are stronger and better than they really are? Don’t we all have to let go a little?

Something else I struggle with is what I actually touched upon in a previous post, the struggle of knowing that something is wrong, analyzing it correctly, and expressing it as such, only to later fear that I may have made a mistake or that I have been hurtful. Although my desire to never hurt anyone’s feelings is very strong, I also know that my assessments of and feelings about situations are fairly accurate. And if something doesn’t feel right to me, it probably isn’t right. And that is not something I should regret. I think this mainly has to do with self-confidence and having the assurance of knowing that what I feel, cannot be wrong. Ideas can be wrong. Judgements can be wrong. But feelings, no. You can never tell yourself that what you are feeling is unreal or insignificant. If it exists, if it’s there, there is a reason for it and we have to learn to trust that.

What I do based upon those feelings are still open to discussion. How we react to situations is definitely something that we all can work on. But I think how we feel about them should not be questioned.

Don’t Give Hurt Back

Youve.Got.Mail.1998.720p.BrRip.x264.YIFY.mp4_20170810_215005.981

“Now I can see that I bring out the worst in you. Let me just help you to not say something that you’re just going to torture yourself about for years to come.” You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Be who you want to be, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes we get emotional, we get hurt, we get frustrated. We want to point out the faults in others. We want them to understand how much they’ve hurt us, and maybe even pay for their mistakes. Although it seems attractive, it won’t make you happy. It won’t give you what you want and it won’t make anyone have an epiphany and change. But it may hurt their feelings, and then you end up being the same.

I used to think that not opposing the wrongdoings of others made me weak and foolish. I used to think that it meant being taken advantage of. I felt it a duty to present a mirror to them, make them face themselves, and the dark sides of that self.

But then I realized that no one wants to know. And no one is going to change unless they want to. And if that does happen, it will something internal for them and not something that you initiate. And in trying to show the shortcomings of others and make them face it, I realized that I was being judgmental, defensive and mean. But I don’t want to be that person, I am not that person.

Does being kind and forgiving and loving only apply when others treat us the same way? Of course not. If we truly are the kind people we claim to be, we have to be kind even to those who are not kind to us, no matter what they have done and how much they have hurt us.

This is not weakness. This does not mean that you have to give yourself up to that person. It doesn’t mean you have to be with them or do as they say. You still decide how that person will be in relation to you. You still prevent them from hurting you again. But without hatred or anger, without giving hurt back.

It can be extremely difficult to accomplish this. I’m still working on it. When we are very emotional and sensitive, it is difficult to think straight. You may not get it right the first time around. If you don’t, it’s okay. Apologize and move on. I never feel small by apologizing. If I make a mistake, I will own up to it. I will say sorry, and I will move on.

Listen to this: http://www.tarabrach.com/audio/2011-10-19-Divine-Abodes–Compassion-TaraBrach.mp3 

Truths, Cynics, and the Greatest Love of All

Some believe that love is about another person. No. Love is about ourselves.

It’s about how it makes us feel. It’s the emotions, thoughts, dreams and expectations that we attach to an idealized image of someone else.

And again some believe that love means being with another person. But loving someone doesn’t mean that you have to be with them. It doesn’t mean that the person is right for you or will make you happy and vice versa. It doesn’t even mean that the person is good. Love is not logical. It’s not pre-programmed and it doesn’t fit into a rigid construct. Sometimes, loving someone just means that the person takes up some space in your mind and heart. Maybe forever, and maybe not. And still, that person in your mind and heart is not the real one… it’s the idealized image of that person… because that’s the only one we ever want to keep.

Who is this soul mate that everyone keeps talking about? Is there such a thing? What does a soul mate look like? How do you know it’s him?

What if a soul mate is not a spouse or life companion in the traditional sense? But rather just someone who understands us and accepts us completely and without reservation? Why must all be found in one magical person? Who can satisfy us emotionally, intellectually and physically? Is that the soulmate, the one person who can accomplish all three?

I’ve always longed for a soulmate. Not finding him forced me to broaden my mind.

The alternative truth about all of this is that we are made to believe by society that all of us– our thinking and way of life– must fit into a single box. We are born, we study, we work, we get married, we have children, we raise them, we retire, and we die. Everyone falls in love. Everyone finds someone suitable for themselves. Everyone has a soulmate.

Today I want to tell you the reality. None of this is true. Some people fall in love, and often not mutually. Most people do not find someone suitable for themselves, and few people have what they call a soulmate. And ALL people compromise.

The world is not the cinematic fantasy driven into our heads and hearts as children. Life is challenging and it almost never turns out the way we plan. The true secret to happiness is compromise. Compromising in all areas of life and learning to be content with what we have and not what could have been.

Your elementary school teacher lied to you. What she should have said was: “You cannot be anything you want. You cannot accomplish all of your dreams. But as long as you keep trying, it’s okay.”

From young, we are taught that anything is possible and acquiring our wishes are inevitable. But it’s not what we acquire or don’t, it’s how we tried and how we overcame the challenges along the way.

The truth is that no one is a failure. If people’s success in life was measured by the unrealistic and shockingly over-exaggerated expectations imposed by society– such as wealth, status, appearance and health– you can be certain that no one can be termed to be successful.

I’m not trying to be fatalistic. Of course we can change aspects of our life, but I also believe that there is a limit to what we can change about some areas. For example, no matter what you do, you may never be a millionaire or a CEO. There are only a few areas of your life which you can change without limits and which do not require miracles, well at least for most. And that’s knowledge, belief, and ethics.

There are no limits in expanding and broadening these. No one can prevent you from obtaining them and you can reach as far as you wish. Good thing is that these are actually the only things that matter. And as long as you keep trying, you can never fail, because in all three, the path is the destination. Every day that you try, you succeed.

Going back to soulmates, I suppose one is always a cynic until it happens. I meant, if it happens.

The adorable thing about the human heart is that it’s like a mischievous free child. It forgets. It’s always happy, and it’s always hopeful about the future. The greatest cynic in the world cannot deny those moments of weakness, when the dark, gloomy clouds of pain, sadness and disappointment depart, revealing that glimmering all-powerful ray of hope, however small it may be, that love exists. There, far away, somewhere in the distance, it awaits, to be found and to find.

Some believe that love is about another person. No. Love is about ourselves.

And maybe it’s about our love for the greatest love of all– the One who is most loving.