Cheating on me

Song: Cheating On Me, by Kwabs

Lately I, I’ve been rolling with the tide
It swept me away, to another place
Lord knows, you ain’t seen enough of me
Why did I fall asleep, on a love so deep?

Our love is like a fading melody
A song I should’ve sung, a note I should’ve reached
A loneliness, that I find hard to describe
Stayed up so many nights, I could’ve been by your side

I fell apart when I couldn’t see
I was cheating on me
Broke my own heart, when I couldn’t see
I was cheating on me

Why don’t you cry?
You live this life
You live this life

Meghan Howland
Meghan Howland

I am at the point where I am discovering how to heal all wounds. I am becoming more accountable and am changing my perspective. After a lifetime of never understanding why I was never meeting the mark. Not understanding why I tried so hard, gave it my all and I still kept being reminded of what I was lacking.

There is one key formula to getting what you want, irrespective of where you start and what you are dealing with. And until you apply this single formula to every area of your life, you will be cheating yourself on relationships, self-love and empowerment, life changing experiences, etc, you could have had. Do not wait for regret.

The formula is simple: forget the outcome. People are hurt, doubtful, cynical because reality crashes into their hopes and begs them to ask “why bother?!”. This, I know keeps your deepest feelings and thoughts— who you truly are— hidden, in secret. And most of the time, we think boundaries or being reserved, even adapting, is the answer. I dont think we can consider boundaries if we are submissive to the circumstances.

Jake Wood-Evans
Jake Wood-Evans

In the newly acclaimed film The Shape of Water, Eliza says to Giles “If we do nothing, we are nothing”. We are human and the worst thing we can put on ourselves are expectations and certainty. Searching for those kind of answers will always lead to unfulfiment. We need to replace our focus on the attempt, whether it leads to what we want or not.

Because in the end, us trying is making a stand for what we feel, think and want. There is no wrong or right— it is true to you and that is what really matters. Usually we never get what we want from trying, but put yourself out there and you will experience something new and fulfiling, I assure you. The experience of trying is what gives us our power. So my advice is, live by trying; and keep trying until you die. And you will have no regrets.

Rebecca Campbell

Start listening to yourself more, opening up those wounds, grieve, and then choose to heal by taking accountability and doing what it takes. When you push aside fear and hurt, the only thing between you and success is not knowing what to do or where to start. You just need to start. Only you can help yourself.

Constantly lead by example by doing what you need to do in order to accept yourself and never judge based on the outcome. You won’t ever cheat yourself of your own worth and ability again. And when others judge you instead, protect yourself by knowing you did right by you: there is your victory! And that’s all you need to think about. Just make sure you keep riding the bull.

If anyone wants to have a conversation about this topic, I will be doing a live video on it within the next two days (consider London time). Follow my Facebook Page and PM me.

Margaret Ambridge
Margaret Ambridge

 

 

 

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Intelligently Discerning

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong, it is knowing the difference between right and almost right.

– Charles Spurgeon

I was never really taught to be discerning. And yet I am beginning to feel like it is the greatest ability anyone could instil. The first thing I did, I admit, when hearing the word ‘discernment’ was google the definition. Then I googled it, and all this religious content appeared. I found out no one really knows all too much about it. And I definitely know that very few apply it.

Edgar Degas, The Bellelli Family (1858-67)
Edgar Degas, The Bellelli Family (1858-67)

When I ask others, what are my greatest qualities, they usually say the words ‘warmth’ and ‘compassion’. But are these qualities really me? I mean, I think people love that I am accommodating rather than discerning. My Mum taught me when I was very young to stop what I was doing and spend my time with the family friends that randomly show up at your door. I would say I was definitely too trusting and utterly naive, which funnily I have been criticised for by my parents. Facepalm *insert.

Friends usually label me as “non-judgemental” for which I am a great candidate for the “free therapist” slot. And also until March last year, I was famous for “the crazy and single friend/ attractive girl that could always make me feel better/ use as validation that I am still wanted by the opposite sex”.  Over years of these shallow exchanges and relationships, you do kind of get sick of even bothering.

Oscar Björck  (1860–1929), "Launching the boat. Skagen" (1884)
Oscar Björck, Launching the boat. Skagen (1884)

But is the reason why people adore what they choose to see in me really helpful to me or to them? I know that I have fit, in large, alongside everyone’s agendas and perceptions. I have been easy to tear a part because I have been an easy target with my openness and accommodations, having said very little that will make them question their behaviour.

As I have experienced more life and more of myself over the years, I have become less tolerant of certain things, to which I usually make a stand against. And now people have to earn my trust and win my favour. The people closest to me have become irritated by this change, and associated it with me being “colder, insensitive and disrespectful” in disapproval. I no longer validate their approaches, no matter how valid my points are, and it really bothers them. And, until discovering the power of discernment through a chat between my newfound mentor Jordan Peterson and Russell Brand, I was both upset and conflicted by how I was and still am perceived.

But then I am faced with the consequences of the lack of discernment so continuously, it is almost insufferable. Aren’t we all? Think about it. Judgement, hyper-sensitivity, accommodation and agreeableness with the intentional avoidance of truth.

Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal (2012)
Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal (2012)

When you have someone complain about false democracy while they fill their free time playing video games; when there is a woman who can’t control her life and just wants to be validated and not told how to reclaim any power for herself; when you get people expressing their opinions or challenges a great deal, with no pro-action or internal reflection. Our current environment seems to be making matters worse.

You get some people who act like they have seen the light no one else has seen and have pearls of wisdom dangling from their body parts. Others are just super angry, like it is an injustice to not see life the way they do, to not check your grammar, to not assume anything not even biological gender, to not justify their actions based on the treatment of their ancestors or discuss anything they can’t digest properly or presume you are not worthy of discussing it.

Like when a number of Muslim men tell me I have no right to discuss the literal interpretation of their scripture and that my views are biased because of my past relationship with a Muslim man that ended badly. Massive assumptions of your character are made, and these people see themselves as enlightened and highly intelligent, offering you to either retreat or submit.

Anna Kluza, With A Handshake - Your Loving Vincent (2012)
Anna Kluza, With A Handshake – Your Loving Vincent (2012)

I believe that to be intelligent is to be emotionally insightful. Compassion and warmth and empathy, yes definitely! But as Mr Peterson has said, these qualities are not sustainable solutions for us humans. Showing only endless compassion and mercy does not prepare us for the real world. This place is dangerous and no one can live a life without challenges. We need to acquire the skills to overcome.

Understanding why people do what they do, and not challenging it impersonally, because of whatever reason (even if it simply out of love) is not helpful to you or that person! How can you be open and sincere in your communications ever, if you cover up the truth with either agreeableness, accommodation or judgement?

Here is my most recent example. I went on one of my rants on my personal Facebook page, because I had been through something and was looking at it from the other side. I usually do this- using Facebook how I please— so this is not news to anyone in my friends list. A woman I have known since high school, but impersonally thereafter, responded with her interpretation, imparting her gracious wisdom and assumptions. She ended her post with “take care of yourself”.

Ai Weiwei, Coca Cola Vase (2015)
Ai Weiwei, Coca Cola Vase (2015)

I do not know which planet she lives on (obviously one other than mine) or what has made her so sure she is the next Oprah, but I never asked for her feedback. Resonance was a prerequisite of response, and she did not comply. For me to make any sense of her narrow agenda-driven monologue was to believe it was more about her feeling superior. I really dont get that. This, for me, is a lack of discernment, killing all potential for a valuable exchange, for an open conversation, and for a meaningful relationship between her and myself (and pathalogically, everyone in her life).

This happens a lot, especially when people try to differentiate themselves and their learnings with age and experience. Like, you are a closed book but can share your pages with those around you, because you have been to a country they havent or are retired and have bred well. This is not contributing. This is some warped bullshit associated with very closed mindsets.

You get some people you know, like many close to my heart, that agree and accommodate when it suits their own agenda, and/or to avoid confrontation. There is very little that you stand for, and it is more difficult to come to terms with your own identity. But they insist on handing over their purpose and power to anyone who confronts them, because them are the “rules”. Psychologically trapped. Limited growth. And limited contributions to society and the people in your life. So wrapped up in other’s judgement, you forego self-expression. Individualism is such an imposing threat. Why?

Tracey Emin, Trust Yourself (2012)
Tracey Emin, Trust Yourself (2012)

So, let us remember how constructive discernment can be, especially if you are already empathetic and compassionate. You can teach others how to apply themselves to the real world while gaining intimate insight into many things, without it seeming to be overly personal, malicious and judgemental. You can learn more about yourself, really hone in on your ability to use your identity  to both understand, engage and make an impact. You can enjoy really enriching, honest relationships. You get to empower yourself while empowering others! Really think about it; about how fundamental it is to our general success. I really like this new word.

 

 

Contributing in the Now

Our true path should be something like: Imagine the noblest aim that you can conceptualise and then sacrifice your life to attempting to attain it.

– Jordan Peterson

Now that the issue of my health has cleared, I am reinvigorated and reaching out for tools that will help me become more efficient and break bad habits.
It has taken leaving my home to face many truths, just to be who I genuinely am.
Finding Alex— my now husband- right at the time I really faced who I was, was just… urgh… harmonious. And because of him, I have never regressed back to self-doubt.

Winston Torr
Winston Torr

Now that I am here, seeing the world with different eyes, and pushing forward, I see everyone else enduring the same struggle— whether or not they acknowledge it.
I was going to develop my public speaking skills after I get my business up, but I am thinking the journey is epic enough to help people now, showing them success is not the reason why I tell these stories.
I want more. I want to not feel like I have to survive and adapt. I have made so many strong choices, and I want to stick by them.
Jordan Peterson said about depression, if you have no job, no friends and poor health, taking anti-depressants will not help fix your life, and that it is a very dangerous environment to be in. I ticked all three boxes, and still have two of those situations (which I am working on to change) going. The absolute strength I have needed to be here and the support Alex has given, blows me away. I could write a book about what I went through, and my Dad has had very good reason to be concerned about my chances of surviving it.

Andrew Wyeth, The Quaker. Collotype (1975)
Andrew Wyeth, The Quaker. Collotype (1975)

I am thankful also my parents, who consoled me during my many lows. I have had to endure what many people cannot, for nine months. I am not exaggerating. I have not been able to talk to many of my friends and family, because all of my energy was put into waking up during daylight and not wasting each day. Many days have been wasted. Many times, I have just been… paralysed.
The whole time I have been with my Baby, since we really got together (a month later, I became sick) we have only known to survive and persevere, and overcome temporary but regular bouts of insanity. And now, we are seeing issues here in the way we do things, because survival mode is no longer applicable. And gosh, it is so wonderful to see that in each other. Life is so wonderful. We hold each other every day so tremendously thankful.

Howard Pyle, Her head and shoulders hung over the space without, in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 109, June to November 1904
Howard Pyle, Her head and shoulders hung over the space without, in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 109, June to November 1904

Thank you for listening. I hope to use what I have learnt… I don’t know where to start but fuck it, I am sick of planning. Let’s just do! I am going to make mistakes but feel alive, make changes.

Yigal Ozeri, Untitled, Garden of the Gods, 2011, Oil on paper, 42 x 60 in., Courtesy Mike Weiss Gallery, New York.
Yigal Ozeri, Untitled, Garden of the Gods, 2011, Oil on paper, 42 x 60 in., Courtesy Mike Weiss Gallery, New York.

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.
– Walt Whitman

Still, I Rise: On Depression and Conditioning

The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
– David Foster Wallace

I want to dedicate this piece to the artists who left a legacy but endured insufferable mental illness.

sylvia plath

I have to write about how I feel, you see. I have this urge, that when something so emotionally staggering occurs, I must write to express all the hurt, the joy, the revelations I experience. And so I write to you today, after requesting to book an appointment to see a well-armored therapist. I am ecstatic… relieved… at peace.

Edvard Munch

I am getting help not because I am hopeless and without refuge. I am not begging for a shrink’s counsel out of utter despair and desperation. I have been conscious this whole time. No, it is more about me consciously choosing to gain a new perspective in order to gain a new way to live. Learning a new way which has not been taught to me through conditioning and life experience.

Chris Cornell

See, there is only so much you can do on your own, when you aim to Live exceptionally and truthfully. I moved to Russia in February last year, because I could not move forward in that total environment. I wanted to get myself back, but I felt I couldn’t around family and friends, and everything familiar that goes with it. I wanted to make the changes necessary so I could be an entrepreneur and empower myself through the way I lived. I never knew why I had to leave countries to change.

hart crane

So, I go and continue on this journey. One month in, I struggle for self-assurance. Two months in, I give up what is causing self-harm and free myself, I get accepted into the course and university I want so I can pursue my entrepreneurship dream, and I coincidentally fall in love. I become ill in April: nausea, shivering, weak limbs, dizziness, pain. And by June, I marry my new love in the early days of a Romanian Spring.

andree howard
I had struggled with severe depression and anxiety for nine months since May of 2017. My health was in question throughout with no healthcare services I could rely on, and I was isolated and living in Romania for five months out of the nine. Stresses of not working, getting a permit, and being socially shut up with the disappointment of not being able to accept a study placement, exacerbated the problem. This continued on when relocating to London in October. Still sick, unemployed and isolated, my depressive states included manic episodes, thoughts of suicide, and a load of sleeping. My depression has always been a circumstantial one, where I do not cope with situations that rid me powerless and inactive.

John Berryman

I pushed on by studying short courses, reading books, supporting my husband’s career, exercising, following a good diet and developing a routine. My health continued, however, to be my depressive anchor. Symptoms kept adding on, paranoia grew and I was crying a great deal. I tried so hard to self-manage, but there was so much fear and uncertainty that it was hard to stay consistent. I believed, after so many new symptoms had appeared, that my future diagnosis will be either chronic or terminal, and I would not live the dream I was pursuing and had left home for, a year ago.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

In December I was suffering from an episode and I called a therapist out of desperation. It would have taken four months to use the public mental health services where I was then living in London, and my GP was intent on ignoring my requests so as to minimise his budget and time. I told the therapist everything, everything I had been through in the last several months. He asked me “what in your childhood has made you so reliant on validation and structure?”. His question felt right, but I did not know how to answer it. I remained stagnant but curious.

Francisco Goya

Things changed for me, only yesterday, after my fifth appearance in the ER. With a local health service I could finally depend on, I was able to cancel out the fear of having a serious illness. I felt so free and happy, I talked continuously to my husband with thanks, apologies and hopes that I could now envision as part of our future. I now just wanted to go for it all. And what was more, was that I had come out of this battle ok. My breathlessness disappeared and I couldn’t wait to spend the next whole day, wondering and exploring, sporting a wonderful lightness. Nine months I had been living with those fears. And a lifetime I think I had been waiting to feel so cleansed of internal conflict.

For a long time, I envied successful people that seemed to live without much concern. I envied people who had simple, fulfilling lifestyles. Pulling myself back up, each and every time. Overthinking to manage. I am not saying it has been right. But that day was just perfection as I could think of nothing that troubled me, that made me stress and fear and hurt. That broke me down and insisted I struggle. Because I found an unconditional love and soulmate, I had no self doubts, no things to work on. Life, at that moment, was everything it should be.

Anne Sexton

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!

– Hunter S. Thompson

Legendary journalist and writer Hunter Thompson plays golf

I shared what was for me, a monumental stepping stone, with my parents in Australia over video chat. My husband by my side. Since the start of my depression in Romania, my father had growing concerns. Concerns that really were not new to me, as I have battled with depression since twenty and dealt with my parents’ depression since my teens: he is concerned with my stand against anti-depressants and has always questioned whether I can manage on my own.

My Dad responded to my current happy news in a similar fashion and suggested I consider my mental health. He proceeded to tell me my depression is genetic, that I need to consider medication and therapy. He tried to appear diplomatic by telling his advice is merely optional, but became irritated that I did not seem to look at my depression, nay my life, the way he did. It seemed, there are always internal conflicts to be had, until I die, if I suffer from depression: to struggle for the sake of no struggle in the long-term. This begs the question, why are we told There is no end to our mental suffering? Why are we supposed to be contained by it?

chester bennington

At the time, I could not believe what I was told to consider. Self-management and sufficiency does not live here. But I acknowledged his points, and moved on. We continued to chat about everything else in general, and our video conversation ended in laughter and positivity. It was 2 30 am London time, so my husband and I tried to get some sleep. Anxiety returned. I had breathlessness and some of those nagging health symptoms reappeared. I was starting to unravel the answer to that therapist’s question.

michael hutchence

My husband was frustrated, not understanding why I was so broken by what my Dad had said. Because he knew I did not believe the assumptions he had made and I could take or leave the advice. But that is not how my father works, and that is not really what it meant. There was no diplomacy, really, in all honesty. This was an imposition that has and will continue to press on. And my celebratory announcement was ignored. My subconscious understood my father very well, my mind retreating to its habitual defensive state. I no longer felt free. And those feelings I was enjoying and embracing, soon subsided. All I wanted to do was share my joy, and the outcome both shocked and disappointed. I was not expecting this. Once again, I was locked into a deep depression.

Vincent van Gogh

And soon, I realised the answer to my therapist’s question was exemplified in my father’s recurring impositions and the hostility and forcefulness and instability that ensued inside of me. I love my father dearly and we are very close. But at that moment, I knew the limitations I put on myself subconsciously have been because of the limitations my parents have put on me. My parents did the best that they could to raise me and my four other siblings. But we are all only human, and we have flaws. And those flawed coping mechanisms will impact how your children perceive life issues and deal with them. And the children need to find out how this affects their lives and foretells their future. I now understood that I could not stay like this and get what I wanted. No matter the challenges I overcome, the optimism I exude and the adventures embarked on, I have a limited perception.

But let us not see this as something we must passively come to terms with, something we must carry. Awareness should be used constructively. And if you are aware of who you are and what your life means to you; you can separate and clearly distinguish what you want vs. what holds you back, you can then calculate what needs to be done to reconfigure yourself. You can keep your identity and make proper use of it. So, I feel blessed right now to be here when many do not get this far or live to see the day. I feel free not to be so conflicted, repressed and frustrated.

David Foster Wallace

That way of living as I have is now void, because I am wanting to build and not to struggle as I have any more.  I was taught to be resourceful but not to self-manage. I have been taught to be tamed by external factors; to adapt but not to act differently; to feel overwhelmed and not know how to cope. I have been only taught to swim, not to soar. So thinking about this all, how plausible is it for me to follow my dreams and become what I aspire to be? I would say, not much.

I need a new way and I need someone to teach me. I look to a therapist as my teacher, as I seek to break old behaviours and boundaries so I can push forward. I do not know what will become of me- what things will change and remain. I know I need to do this, that I have endured and persisted to get here, and it is my own choice to act.

Paul Gauguin

Here are my key discoveries:

  • Some things about you may be so deeply ingrained in your abilities, you have never understood why you cannot do and be what you want
  • You need to free yourself, before you can go beyond your taught perception, beyond the life you were conditioned to follow
  • When people said to me, you cannot escape your problems when you travel- they come with you: they are partly correct. Deep issues do follow you and may strengthen. But you are on your way to confronting them in order to overcome and that will happen with time and stripping back. Going home early, is when you choose to escape
  • You are not defined by depression or by others. If you know yourself, stick to your accomplishments and your capabilities. You are stronger than you know to get this far
  • Try to always be conscious. If you feel like you are doing and getting things you don’t want, but do not know why, keep delving into yourself to understand what has become of you
  • Going to a therapist does not mean you are weak or dependent. It can mean that you are self-managing while being independent, resilient, adaptive and resourceful: you need the right tools to become an unstoppable mother fucker!
  • And lastly, Maya Angelou:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

virginia woolf

 

 

Everybody Gets Lost

FI_RobinEley
Robin Eley

“Everybody gets lost somehow; it’s where we were meant to start” Zachary Britt Last month marked the fifth anniversary of The Renegade Press, as well as the first anniversary of a friend taking his own life. I had originally planned on creating two separate entries to celebrate my achievement and commiserate the loss of […]

via KAIROS by CHRIS NICHOLAS #The Renegade Press — BCSBook Reviews and News

I am Light.

The power of surrender and of trust.

“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.”

– Alan Watts

I left my home to deal with myself. I was hurting, in pain, because I was fighting internally. I was heart broken, but I could not let go of the aching. I was suffering. I thought the hardship was mutual. I believed he was going through the same torment; wishing for the same solution. I accepted what I had to endure.

12170596_1084540291557432_711952645_n
Portrait of myself by artist and friend Anna Zapolskaya

Once he told me that his choice to commit was careless and I was not considered, I let go. I understood his agenda, acknowledged the negativity it was causing (Eckhart Tolle’s trusting of pain is noteworthy) and I carefully considered the power of my potential decisions. Love left me, then and there. I said goodbye. I was rid of this inner conflict and subsequently, light poured in. I could now grant myself the love I deserve, within me. I wanted to take care of myself and recover my authenticity. I rid myself of the pain by making a simple choice of losing the battle. I no longer felt like broken glass. The relief, the lifting of so much heaviness, was huge.

I reclaimed my soul from the lost and found within a day. It was unbelievable. I was struggling for so long to take care of myself and not feel so unhappy. I tried so hard to break free. But my subconscious was trapped. And then… all of a sudden I am… free?!

David Wojnarowicz Untitled (face in dirt), 1990
David Wojnarowicz

Not only did I walk with more confidence; I strutted with a strength I have never known. Daily life was not so difficult. I had been to that deep bottomless pit, laid there trapped for about a year, and survived. I was myself again. I levitated. I felt like I had come out of Hans Solo’s carbonite cast. I am so grateful to my facilitator, because he gave me the closure I needed to move on. I have never felt so whole. I reached a moment of higher consciousness.

 

Ressam Monica Lee ve Görsel Sanat Calismalari
Monica Lee

As I was starting to unravel inner peace, the world decided to join me. I did not ask for it to. It just happened. This is why I have a deep faith. A few weeks ago, I was rewarded for my years of diligence and courage. I was acknowledged by a powerful, impartial entity named Parsons School of Design. Once again, I was back in the game of being an entrepreneur and driving self-belief. All of a sudden, doubt was no longer an option: I was being rewarded, not rejected, for being myself. At a time when I needed to feel that.

I felt unbreakable, unstoppable. I was content. So I moved forward with everything I had. I danced like I never danced before. I talked to anyone I could. I hugged as many people I was able to. I honoured my learnings respectfully and with deep appreciation. I chose to relentlessly give out my legacy– my soul, not my ambition– to others in the present as did Annie Dillard, in the hope of bringing something into their lives. They did not need to know my name. I only wished to see them flourish. Because I knew what it was like to fall and scratch at the walls.

annie

I was no longer detached and dying of alienation. I did not know I was inflicting this harm unto myself. As Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova says, “it’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator”. From now on, I chose to liberate myself by making simple choices and giving myself to others genuinely, without ego. I only acted with integrity. And once again, within a matter of days from my last moment of recognition, the world responded.

He appeared. An instant connection. He came into my life with his soft blue eyes and his sincerity. It hit me the moment we exchanged words. Unexpectedly. This feeling… this individual blew my mind. He is everything I have wanted. He is everything I have never had. He is divinity defined. I knew this from one tiny, unexpected moment that would usually pass me by. It stung. An exchange of words… was all that was needed.

andre wee
Andre Wee

Knowing myself so well, I knew what this meant, what this was (reflecting on Aristotle’s “relationships of shared virtue”). To ignore it would be to ignore truth. No matter how vulnerable. No matter what was ahead. And the universe gave him to me. More like, I gave him to me. God, that makes me smile with tears running down my face. This joy… joy not happiness. The absolute. The most precious gift. JOY. This exists people! Joy has presented itself because I rewarded myself first. I know I am worthy. This is no accident either: he is the culmination of my life’s work.

Within weeks, my destiny has been reformed. Naturally, rapidly, without force. I tried for so long to force it. But because I chose to no longer fight, and surrender instead, the purest emancipation has taken place. Acceptance is one thing; surrender is another, as author Mark Nepo states.  I finally saw the situation for what it was, not how I wished it could be. Words of bitterness were no longer expressed. I was so bitter, so hurt, but I could not understand why. I did not see the elephant in the room; I was blinded. I was hurt by people not being what I wanted them to be as much as he wasn’t. I knew it was not personal… but I was so hurt.

Surrendering is the secret. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of knowing yourself, and differentiating between what you can control and what you can not. It is spiritual empowerment. Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements acted as my inner voice: act with purpose; make the right choices.

fouragreements

It has taken me this journey to get here. I never thought I would say these words: I am in love with myself, with my life, with the world, with a soul mate; I am light; I attract light; I am defined only by my soul. I cannot thank myself enough for getting here. It is due to my actions, after all.

Only we can make these choices. I wish for nothing more, other than to share my experience, in the hope I may challenge someone’s train of thought and break self-doubt. Be honest with yourself. Confront your demons. Go through the pain, the solitude. It will only bring you joy, eventually. Trust me. It has taken me this long, this much, to get here. And the world responds: a new dream will form.

Francis A. Silva Sunrise at Tappan Zee
Francis A. Silva

My Beloved Clara,

I always enjoy festivals in solitude, quite alone, with perhaps just a few dear ones in my room, and very quietly — for are not all my people either dead or far away? But what a joy it is to me then to remember how big with love is a certain human breast. For, after all, I am dependent upon the outside world — the hurly-burly in which we live. I do not add my laughter to its medley of voices, nor do I join its chorus of lies, — but it is as if the best in man could shut itself up, and only half of him sallied forth dreaming.

How fortunate you are, or, I should say, how beautiful, how good, how right! I mean that you bear your heart as a conscious possession, securely; whereas we are obliged every minute to conceal ours. You see everything so warmly, with such beautiful serenity, just like a reflection of yourself; and then with the same serenity you give unto each his due.

Johannes Brahms

Johannes-Brahms