The Crosses we bear

Life path, The Self

will

A few days ago, I felt like I was on the verge of depression again. I’ve had major depressive episodes in the past and despite my best efforts to “wipe it off for good” it kept on coming back. That expectation – that I can wipe it away forever – only makes it worse. I feel like a failure every time it comes back.

I would go back to my toxic cycle of interrogating myself: Why am I depressive? Why can’t I simply be like those people who seem to just roll through in life? Why do I feel so much? Why do I think so much? Why do I give so much importance to almost every single thing when other people can afford not to care? Am I ever gonna live without depression? Is it just part of my identity? And if it is, does it mean I am fucked up? Maybe I’m just an ungrateful kid? Why can’t I just focus on the bright side and religiously keep a gratitude journal? Maybe that’s gonna solve my problems?

It already sucks to be depressed. But beating ourselves up because we’re depressed is just…hell.

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe some burdens are simply chronic. Maybe we just gotta learn how to live with them. Maybe it’s true that each of us has a cross to bear. Maybe depression is my cross.

I’m not romanticizing depression, but there’s a part of me that believes there is something good about it. I am depressive partly because I am sensitive, I am reflective and I care. It’s probably partly because of my upbringing, my genes, my sex, my nationality, where I live and how my life has been. Would I change any of these things if it means wiping out my tendency to be depressed? I don’t think so. I can’t do that. I won’t wanna do that. Doing so would mean I’d have a different family, friends, skills and different experiences in life.

Maybe to avoid feeling so defeated, maybe I just gotta accept my cross and learn how to live with it. Maybe this is also a part of accepting myself. Maybe by learning how to trust my cross, I’d learn how to trust my path more. Maybe with that trust I can turn this burden into my armor and a source of love and compassion.

Maybe through my struggle with thoughts of wanting to die, I’d find my own will to live.

 

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What makes Life worth it

People & Relationships, The Self

Amidst my questioning of the meaning of life and whether all our suffering is any worth it, I realized that the opportunity to love and be loved unconditionally – which in my case has been possible by being blessed with the presence of my younger brother, DJ – is worth it.

My hope for each of us to experience this kind of love.

By having known Dj, by living life with Dj, by experiencing the world through him – it makes all the suffering and the pain of living worth it. Nothing can dim his light. Nothing can diminish his spirit. Nothing can stain his joy and wonder.

For this I am immeasurably thankful.

Some points of clarification from an Introvert

Introversion, The Self

The topic of introversion has been more popular lately, probably because of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet. I am an introvert and I have also written about this topic a few times in this blog.

While it’s good to know that people are becoming more aware of the different natures of our temperament, I feel afraid that we may be lumping definitions together in rigid categories.

Things are never black or white, and the purpose of this post is to clarify some notions about introversion based on my individual experiences and opinions as an introvert. 

Not all introverts want to be understood in relation to their introversion. 

I have known that I was an introvert even before I knew of such a term and even before it became commonplace. Even as a kid, I didn’t feel any kind of longing to be understood nor appreciated for being myself. Yes, my brothers felt curious about my solitary playtimes. They wanted to know what’s up with me so they’d take a peek into the window of my bedroom. Sometimes my classmates in gradeschool would make fun of me because they thought I was nerdy since I preferred to read books than talk with them. Even my parents and some relatives would find me weird because I rarely acted like a kid. I was mostly silent, reading, asking strange questions or creating things.

While it’s true that my introversion didn’t interfere with me having genuine and fun relationships with my family and friends and with achieving success in my goals, it has brought my life some pain as well like when people thought I was strange and funny.

But, so what? Don’t we all feel strange sometimes? At some point of our lives other people would make fun of us. We would do something different or totally absurd. It doesn’t even matter what it is.

I never really longed to be understood for being an introvert. In fact, I never cared about other people’s level of comfort when interacting with me. It’s not my problem if they find me strange. I never forced anyone to like my presence nor to be friends with me.

What I have always wanted was to be left alone. I am, in fact, most annoyed neither by those who make fun of me nor those who stay away from me but those who keep on poking me with the intention (probably genuine) of understanding me.

Anybody who does that to an introvert is obviously heading the wrong way. So for the record, not all introverts want to be understood. I, for example, am comfortable alienating others.

Sometimes the reason why an introvert dismisses you has nothing to do with introversion at all. Sometimes they just don’t like you.

I think, us introverts, are better at shutting people off, or cutting ties because we are aware that some relationships are just more pain than they’re worth and we can be blunt towards ourselves about it. We are more clear of what we need.

I actually find it fascinating that some people just don’t get it when I reject them. I think they find it unbelievable that a person can just cut them off without any evidence of guilt or confusion.

Yes, of course we can  dislike other people, too. Yes, sometimes, we can be very harsh, too. Yes, sometimes, we’re just better at ending things.

Introverts, don’t necessarily long for intimate talks either.

It’s a popular belief that introverts, generally, hate small talks. This might be true but it doesn’t mean that we prefer personal conversations instead. Since introverts, like me, are easily drained by other people’s energy, getting caught up in other people’s drama is the last thing on our bucket list.

Our temperament has nothing to do with our communication skills. I am in fact effortlessly good at small talks.

In fact, contrary to popular belief, I sometimes prefer it because of its shallowness. I can hide and rest beneath it.

Why would I want to have personal talks just with anybody I meet everyday? I would want to NOT establish a deeper connection with somebody I am not interested with. I would prefer that the people I don’t intend to keep in my life don’t know who I really am and I prefer not to know who they really are as well. I am also aware that small talks, can in fact, be very enjoyable, especially if it’s with a nice stranger. It can humanize our daily modern routines. It’s a good respite from our inner musings as well.

What we do the morning after reveals more of who we are

Manifestation, People & Relationships

I’d like to reflect on one of Slavoj Zizek’s favorite argument about revolution. He says that the gathering of a huge number of people, all desiring for similar goals is relatively easy. You’ll feel your collective emotions and power together. You feel euphoric, united and larger than life. However, what really matters is the morning after. Months after the collective gathering, how have things really changed? Have they changed at all? Is it the kind of change the collective wanted? How did they feel about it? What are they gonna do about it?

Like in other aspects of our life, it’s relatively easy to do something out of passion, desperation  or inspiration. It’s a lot easier if there is some kind of momentum that pushes us in the direction we want to go.

However, what reveals our truth, what pushes our free will into full control is what we do the morning after. What do we do once our desperation ends and we feel safe in the achievement of what we want? What would replace that fiery, illogical passion once it’s attained its purpose? How do we appreciate our dreams once they’re actualized?

Do we start to take things for granted and mindlessly move on to conquer new territories? Or do we stay with the humble knowing that we have barely touched the surface and there is the infinite depth to be explored? Do we just rely on our emotions, our passions, our longings in manifesting what we want? Or are we capable of coming from a position of awareness of what we deeply find meaningful and what we believe we should do both in the pursuit and enjoyment of it? Are we fickle-minded and lazy, giving up in the first sign of the absence of emotional reactions? Or do we go beyond and take control of our emotions instead? Are we fleeting in knowing and pursuing what we want? Or do we stand on the firm ground of our being despite the temporary and confusing nature of our impulses? Do we even know how to make our emotions and our awareness of them work for us to begin with?

This is fascism, too

People & Relationships

Fascism is not always overt. Most of the time it’s subtle and/or nobody openly discusses about it. No one is directly giving you orders on what to do or not to do. But this kind of fascism is actually more venomous.

It happens when someone wants you to do something for their benefit, but the catch is, they don’t simply want you to do it – they want you to like doing it.

Anyone can act that way towards us – our boss, our parents, our partners, our friends, our siblings, our kids etc. We can be like that to anyone especially those we are intimate with or have the power over in a societal sense.

I don’t disagree with giving orders when we are in the position to do so. There is nothing wrong, for example, when a parent tells her kid to sleep early because she has to go to school the next day or when a traffic enforcer orders taxi drivers to unload passengers in specific stations only.

What I find disturbing is when someone wants to take control of your emotions, too. That’s when it gets absurd and fascist. Anybody has the right to feel all kinds of emotions in all kinds of situations.

There is no inappropriate feeling. All feelings are valid.

Furthermore, by expecting someone to feel in a way that we like them to feel (because it makes us feel good about ourselves if they do), we are only putting ourselves up for frustration and disappointment. Nobody wins.

The debate on “forever”, which goes on forever

People & Relationships

During lunch, my mom enthusiastically mentioned about the break up of her gay friend with his boyfriend because of a third party. I noticed a certain kind of satisfaction as she was telling the story. It’s like she even felt triumphant to have proven her belief that “forever doesn’t exist”.

I kept silent about it. I didn’t agree nor disagree. I just shared my observation that I didn’t know of any gay man who is in a serious, long-term relationship. I once argued with my mom that maybe the reason why some gay men couldn’t end up in long-term relationships is because they don’t want it to begin with. I believe monogamy is simply not for everybody.

I used to straightforwardly say that I didn’t believe in “forever” that’s why I didn’t believe in marriage. Maybe that response was more out of bitterness and cynicism than an actual, well-thought of belief. Since I met my partner and since we had been together, I realized more and more that there are certain concepts that can only be left to our own faith.

No one can prove if an actual thing which we call “forever” exists outside our imagination to which we can aspire to. Making conclusions based on our limited experiences is obviously naive.

Another argument I would want to point out is that by presupposing that a separate factor exists independently (this time I refer to that thing called “forever”) regardless of our decisions, we are actually washing our hands clean and avoiding all responsibility for the outcome of our relationships. Creating a loving and strong relationship with a partner can be done regardless of the existence of an independent and definite fate. Destiny/fate is not even a part of the equation because nobody decides on how things turn out or how they mean to us but ourselves.

Good relationships are not simply handed down from the heavens and some people are not randomly lucky or unlucky in love.  A good relationship comes out of a deep awareness of oneself, of the other and of the world that we shape and that which shapes us. A good relationship is a result of a series of decisions borne out of this awareness.

Contrary to popular belief, I would say that we always, ALWAYS attract the right person for us. Our partner is our reflection. We attract them and they attract us because we are in alignment with each other. It doesn’t mean we deserve an asshole partner or a shitty relationship. What it means is that there is something within us that attracts them and there is a reason why we let them into our lives and have power over us despite the fact that they’re not good for us. It doesn’t depend on external forces like forever or destiny. It depends on self awareness and self love.

I understand that some people say they use cynicism to protect themselves or their loved ones from getting hurt. But I don’t think we need protection. What we need is empowerment. Blaming forever/destiny for our own poor decisions won’t be helpful as well. We’re just stripping ourselves of our own power by doing so.

The importance of Difficult Feelings

Faith, Healing, People & Relationships, The Self

small

I woke up in the middle of the night.

I couldn’t make myself go back to sleep and I was pretty inconsolable in my loneliness. I meditated and talked to Archangel Michael instead. I asked him the importance of experiencing difficult feelings such as pain, loneliness and grief.

This is what he said:

When we’re having any of these difficult feelings, we become more aware. We begin to ask questions, to seek meaning and connections with things around us.

Our hearts are more open because it’s crying, it’s bleeding and it asks for comfort. We reach out for help, we pray to God, we crave the presence of our family and our friends.

We are more grateful for the little acts of kindness that we get from strangers. Even nature comforts us.

When we’re in pain, we become small. Those difficult feelings make us want to connect. They make us realize that what matters is life is neither status nor wealth, but the quality of our relationships and the depth of the love that holds us together.

What you seek is seeking You

Life path, Manifestation, Meditation/Visions, The Self

seeking

What you seek is seeking you. – Rumi

I’ve been haunted by this quote these past few days (or has it been weeks? my whole life?). I know it’s related to 11:11 which I kept on seeing lately as well.

This quote reminded me of a meditation I did a few months ago. Archangel Michael told me that my life purpose was whatever it was that’s in my heart. It can both mean that:

a. I will find the answer to the great life purpose question inside my own heart. I must listen to it. I must reflect on it. I must actively engage it.

b. My life purpose is whatever it is that I love. And it can, in fact, change.

It’s not entirely different from what I understand from Rumi’s quote above. The simple act of living enables us to manifest feelings and thoughts (pleasure, pain, fear, ideas, beliefs etc.) that with the power of our focus turns to life on their own. Because the energy we put into them, they acquire their own momentum as well.

There comes a point in time where we cross the line. The path we have created ends up pulling us into it instead. We no longer have to struggle. We no longer have to find it. The path unfolds in front of us as clear as day.

But it’s never done. It’s always open-ended. The rule is to simply follow it’s unfolding and then create and direct it’s becoming.

It’s us who create our own destiny. We just have to learn how to trust ourselves. We have to learn how to trust our own desires and where they’re leading us into.

The world wide web as the spiritual

Faith, Meditation/Visions

We manifest heaven/the ethereal/the infinite in our planet in many ways. I couldn’t help but notice that the world wide web operates in the same way (eerily similar) as the spiritual world.

Invisibility – The world wide web is invisible to our human eyes. Maybe if we have additional senses we’re gonna be able to see it, smell it, touch it or just experience it in other ways.

Most of us can’t see the `spiritual world` but we know it’s there. If we train our ‘extrasensory perception’ we can observe it better. It’s just about knowing how to tune into it.

Omnipresence – It’s another fabric of our reality. We don’t use it as just another way to communicate or create. The internet creates us as well. It shapes our culture. It shapes our perception. It influences our actions.

The spiritual world is not in another place at another time, far away from us. It’s actually here where we are. It’s in all the places we go to, including those we haven’t discovered yet. It’s in everything we do. It’s in everything we perceive. It’s in everything we are. 

Infinity – In relation to those two above,  the world wide web is as infinite and mysterious as our own mind. It’s as unfathomable as the Universe. It’s boundless.

The Universe is another manifestation of the non-physical world. As we have learned through science, the Universe is not just limitless, it’s actually expanding faster than ever.

Cloud Storage – You can store your data in what is called a ‘cloud’ which is not limited to just one physical structure and location. You can access it as long as you are able to connect to it using the right medium. You can either increase or decrease your storage capacity based on your preference and need. Upload, download and share anything at your own convenience.

It’s in the non-physical world where we store or upload all our ideas, our desires, even our fears before they get manifested in the three dimensional reality of our planet. It’s through our expectation, focus and will that we are able to ‘download’ them to earth as physical manifestations. It’s where our dreams come from, it’s where our inspiration comes from, it’s where our wishes come from. It’s also where our higher self is.

Google Suggestions/Autocomplete – Suggestions are  for the most part based on your browsing history. To make it simple, you get more of what you ask for. Like attracts like in the world wide web.

This is simply the Law of Attraction manifested in another form.

Instant Communication – Distance and time don’t matter online. As long as you have a stable connection and the right gadget, you can communicate with someone in real time anywhere on Earth. You can even choose which app or website you prefer to use.

Time doesn’t exist in the non-physical world. It’s something we created in our reality. But we are somehow able to transcend it now using the internet.

Communication in Multiple Platforms – When you send a message on Facebook using your phone and your account is also open on your laptop, you instantly see your message popping out on the latter. You can keep the communication going on even if you switch gadgets.

What we put into our material plane is instantly uploaded into the non-physical plane and vice-versa. Our intention makes it possible. We make things – anything – possible. 

Manifestation Playground– What we can create, upload, download, watch, read, play, experience online is endless and highly varied. It’s a playground to manifest our desires and fears and pretty much anything we are curious about.

We don’t just use the non-physical world to manifest – it’s where we create, change and develop the rules and processes of manifestation itself. Apps and technologies, like universal laws, get outdated, too. 

Objectivity – We can use the internet for whatever purpose that we may have. It’s gonna give us what we ask for. It’s not biased.

Only experience can tell us if we’re using what we know of the spiritual world in the name of goodness or evil, love or fear. It’s a tool for us spiritual beings. We can either use to expand or stagnate. But since our Universe operates in the law of cause and effect, we reap what we sow.

 

We can observe the world wide web to understand more of the non-physical world and it’s connection to our material, three dimensional world. Maybe I could list down some more in the coming months. This makes me pretty excited about the developments that are happening so fast we couldn’t even pause and reflect enough on them.

 

The Joy of a physical life

Meditation/Visions, The Self

I caught myself in a trance again during my meditation this morning. I listened to Jason Stephenson’s Waterfall Chakra Balancing Meditation. (FYI his meditations put me in a trance! I’m gonna write about my meditation practice and the guides I listen to next time)

As I focused more on his voice and the sound of water, I became aware that I couldn’t feel my body anymore. That feeling was familiar to me so I didn’t feel scared the way I did during the first time. I felt both like a body floating in water and the water itself. I no longer existed as an individual, as a drop of water – I am merged in the infinity of the water. I am the source, the existence and the possibilities of water and life in general. I couldn’t feel myself anymore. It no longer mattered what or who I was. I could be a human, an insect, a mushroom or a stone. Past and future didn’t make sense anymore. None of my human worries mattered. I was just in the present moment because it was only in the Now that I could have existed. Then I had an epiphany:

Now I understand why the Universe wants to incarnate in the three dimensional world and why it had to create the Ego. Now I understand why we need to feel alone and separated, too.

It’s because having a personal, individual experience is such an incredible feeling!!! The Universe delights in the experience of all kinds of sensations! It’s so joyful and interested to have countless points of view. Universal energy is rich because of this variety. Ego makes it possible to have these differences.

I’m not gonna be the same after that meditation. By having this profound realization, my perspective on my life has been forever changed. While I would still experience difficult and uncomfortable situations and feelings, I can start approaching them now from a place of curiosity  – what I know to be the driving force of universal creation and expansion.