Discovering And Loving Yourself – Its A Choice You Make

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Life is really not very complicated. But we certainly leave no stone unturned to making it that way. We give ourselves ideas, complexes, shoulds, and coulds that destroy us from within, and make us defensive and vulnerable for no real reason.

I am an ardent student of the ways of destiny, fate, and free will. I have observed patterns and trends as a Tarot Card Reader, and I have studied these through the observations of Vedic Astrology as well. While I am not so good with the Vedic Astrology, the Tarot is second nature to me. I also believe in Reincarnation, and it is my belief that we are born and re-born not just to work out some random karmic accounts, but also to learn and discover what drives us.

Why do we, as souls (who are inherently perfect, btw), have this burning desire to keep coming back in some form or the other? Why can’t we just stay in our enlightened state and bliss out for the rest of forever? Why do we power the universe to create itself and us, over and over and over again?

It is because we need to feel alive. We need to feel flawed. And we need to express ourselves.

Unless we do so, all that bliss becomes meaningless.

Perhaps that is why the concept of Utopia fails over and over again.

Perfection is something we aspire to, but can never achieve – should never achieve. And it is good that it is that way. Otherwise, we would all get bored within no time. I know I would.

In any case, coming back to topic: I’ve studied patterns and trends of life, and I’ve seen a few things.

  • Life always ensures a balance. If something is taken away from you, you have already received something else in its exchange.
  • If you don’t learn how to see what’s been given, and what’s taken away, then you really are going to end up being a whiny brat.
  • And No. You can’t quite choose what is given and what is taken away. That is one of the main rules of this game. You can only choose how to react to it.
  • Most times, depending on what you focus on, you can make your life feel better or shittier. Your situation in life remains what it is – but how you feel about it can define how you allow yourself to experience it.

These are a few of my observations.

In a reading I’ve had recently, I asked about my love life. And to my utter surprise, I finally heard someone tell me things that I have actually experienced in my life. Not something that was close enough, or something that I was approximately correct. But this one was absolutely spot on.

I discovered that it was part of a karmic choice that I don’t end up in long lasting romantic relationships. And it was my choice.

Sometimes romance or romantic love can be something truly powerful. It is nice to love and to be loved. It is affirming to feel special, to have that someone special. One can totally lose oneself in the bliss that this sort of love generates.

But…

Love can also hinder you. It can blind you to yourself. It can make you lose your perspective. You can’t see things clearly because you see them through the eyes of your lover. You perceive reality through your lover’s senses. While you lose yourself in the bliss, you truly lose your self awareness.

Sometimes, it is essential, to discover who you truly are, you need to isolate yourself. You need to put yourself through trials and tribulations, and hard times and rough patches.

When you love yourself just for who and what you are – flaws and all – then that love is as close to perfect as can be. And only when you are this close, can you be in a position where you are worthy to love another.

It is only after you discover yourself that you can even attempt to try discovering another.

Do you know why so many relationships fail? Why sometimes long term relationships feel empty? Why you can sense a deep river of discontent hidden under the layers of happy domesticity?

It may be a result of not truly appreciating the other, sure. But more than that, it is a result of not truly appreciating yourself.

I know for a fact that I’ve been loved before – deeply and strongly – through so many of my past lives. The comfort of that love still echoes in this lifetime. Perhaps that explains why I am in love with the idea of falling in love.

But I’ve chosen, through a few of my lives, to experience being alone. I have wanted to know who and what I am. I have longed to discover what it is that constitutes my being.

I’ve been sad, and listless, and allowed myself to be hurt, betrayed, and defeated – perhaps because I have wanted to experience these feelings. Or perhaps because I was plain stupid.

In either case, I seem to have recovered now, thank you very much. :)

I have been left alone, kept alone, and have chosen to remain alone throughout my life. It was hard, and sad, going through it in the past. But now, I seem to have come to terms with it. Perhaps because I now understand.

Even though you may have the love of your lifetime within your reach, sometimes you need to step away from all that so you can find a way to first love yourself.

Because, unless you love yourself, there is no way you are capable of loving another person. It is that simple.

Destiny isn’t all that random after all. What you have been given is exactly what you need at that time – not what you want but what you need, mind you. You are supposed to learn to appreciate it. Because only then will you be able to embark on a journey of self discovery and self love.

Whining about what wasn’t given to you, or what was taken away from you, or what never came your way to begin with, is simply just a major waste of time.

As I’ve said before – it all comes down to a matter of choosing. You can look at the things that you haven’t received and keep crying and whining about it, OR, you can look at the things that you have actually received, and rejoice in those.

What will you choose?

settling down

Settling Down

This phrase has always evoked some strange feelings within me.

Somehow, when I hear these words I feel as if it calls me to just accept whatever deal fate has dealt me, and to just go with it. By settling, and by settling down(wards), I would be choosing to just stop. I would be just telling myself that I ought not to expect, or to aim higher than what I’ve managed to get at this point. To me, it represents a point where I tell myself:

This is it. This is as far as you go. You can’t expect yourself to go beyond this point. This is all you are made of. This is all you are capable of. This is all you are worthy of. Nothing more than this is ever going to come your way. You are ensuring that nothing better that this will ever come your way.

Somehow, I can’t reconcile myself to think this way. Settling and settling down(wards) to me makes me feel as if I’ve chosen a point beyond which I don’t expect anything in my life to get any better. It also feels as if I am choosing not to even strive for, or wait for, or expect any better.

To me, that is as good as giving up. To me, that is failure.

And while failure is acceptable in certain areas of life, it is not acceptable in certain other areas.

Settling Down

Prisons We Make

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7 of SwordsThe prisons we make are the ones we’ve built from the ground up. These are our precious comfort zones. We feel safe here. Secure. Warm. Protected.

But we also end up shutting out the rest of the world here. We don’t get hurt. But we don’t feel anything too. After a while, we even forget that we’ve become numb.

It feels like we’ve taken anesthesia to kill the passion that burned within ourselves. We don’t want to feel anything anymore.

If we stay here too long, we end up forgetting that there is another world out there. We end up trapped in this prison of our own making. We don’t even know it, but we are slowly being suffocated in this place.

Major 11 JusticeWe must break these walls down and walk away. We must set ourselves free. We must triumph over these obstacles. We must. Or else we perish. We fail. Miserably.

As the words fall free from my fingers, tap dance upon the keyboard, and appear on the screen, the whispers in the shadows begin.

“Come onnn!” they urge. “Lets go back! Its more fun back there!”

The Cheshire cat grin beckons. The gnarled fingers reach out and gently caress. The breath hitches. The heart beats faster. The steam rises in wispy tendrils.

This game has gone on for far too long. I recognize all the traps now.

Major 20 JudgementDid I tell you that I found the trap door. I’ve discovered the loophole. And no – I’m NOT sharing. Its my secret after all. I’ve become smarter you see..

I’ve become a shadow among the shadows. I’ve embraced this stealth. I go back and feed my Monster. I need my monster. He is my strength and my weakness. Like a drug. Like the high.

1 Major The MagicianBut this time no one knows of it. And it’s not like anyone cared anyway. I feed my secret monster when no ones looking. And my monster – well, he takes care of me. He protects me.

He stirs the fires of my passions. He pushes me on. He powers the tap dance of the words on the keyboard. He gives them the relentless energy to keep dancing even as the fingers bleed and the keyboard is a sticky mess.

Then, when the dance is all done, he does help me clean it up. He holds my hands in his. He licks the blood and makes them shiny again. He wipes they keyboard carefully between all the keys. When I wake up in the morning, the keyboard is shiny again. Fresh and ready to go.

11 Page of SwordsIts our pact. Our secret. The Deal we made. This is what we negotiated. Have I told you I’ve become smarter now? I can negotiate better than before, I think.

I can see him smirking in the corner as I say this. But he should know better by now.

He thinks I am his slave. But the reality is that even he can’t live without me. Who will take care of him like I do? Who will hold him close the way I do? Who will growl with him like I do? Who will be able to keep up with his fiery urges like I do?

They call it Win-Win. I like that title. I lick my lips and keep typing. The heavy breathing dries them up quicker than normal. The fevered heat burns me inside out. I feel like I am melting into my bloody, sticky mess of words.

No one really knows of this. But now you do. Keep this secret and you will be well rewarded. I promise. We promisssssss….

The Tarot Card images are from the Prisma Vision TarotThey are copyrighted with their publishers. No copyright infringement is intended.

The Second Lead

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The second lead. This is the character who doesn’t get the main character in the end. This is the person who basically just gives up and walks away.

There are all sorts of second leads. The second leads who’ve been trying to get the attention of the main lead since day one. The second leads who dumped the main lead and then returned, only to find that the main lead has moved on. The second lead who does all that he can to help and support the main lead, only to discover that the main lead’s heart belonged to someone else all along.

I may have missed out on a couple I think. But these are the second leads I do recall right at this moment.

These days I’ve been feeling a bit sad for these second leads. I want to stand up and scream at them that the main lead isn’t going to be worth it in the end. I want to urge them to not make such grand fools of themselves and to just leave. I want to go hug them, and hold them close, and tell them that its not their fault – and its not their main lead either.

I want to just go and tell them that the whole point of their existence is to discover that they are worth so much more than what the main lead is offering.

Maybe it is a personal thing, but I am starting to feel a tad more sensitive about the second leads.no regrets

“What is wrong in going after what one wants? What is wrong in doing what it takes to get what one wants?” – one of the second leads asks this to one of her friends in the episode I was watching. And I tend to agree with her. Unless you truly try all possible alternatives, you leave room for regret to walk in.

Of course, all this makes sense if you know when and where to stop. Greed is good, but only to a certain point. After that, it becomes an obsessive compulsion, a need for posession – and that is not love.

The second lead who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand the truth and the value of real love. This second lead inevitably ends up in disaster. The one who walks away sooner than that, still treasures the love. And remains a winner.

Now love becomes important, the lover is inevitably soon forgotten. Suddenly, the lover becomes replaceable. Maybe not easily, but the person isn’t as important as the feeling. That love – that feeling – that is always precious, and always treasured.

Sometimes the second lead realizes that she has made the wrong choice after all, and who she thought was the main lead wasn’t who she was supposed to be with.

Over a period of time, the second lead moves on, and finds a better life for herself.

She becomes the main lead for someone else.

This is an ending I would love to see.

Today, a friend of mine asked me for a favour. Something to do with an ex-boyfriend of hers.

If this would have been me from before, I would have taken the time to counsel her, tell her about the pattern of negativity that I’ve seen repeating in her life, and I would have spent hours trying to get her to stop destroying her life.

Instead, I told her that I couldn’t help her, and that she should figure it out on her own.

I waited all day to feel even a small twinge of guilt, but all I felt was relief.

As days go by, I think I will most certainly get better at this. Soon, I will be able to behave like most people in this world – uncaring of the other human beings in their midst.

I do this not because of some misplaced desire to fit in. No. I’m doing this so I can stop being the shoulder that everyone thinks that they can cry on.

Here comes the part of my life where I embrace my shallow-ness. 

Shallow

Confessions and Other Stories

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felix juggling miceI’ve been right in the middle of so many things lately – its funny how I am even managing to keep all things in the air, juggling like that. But I don’t feel hassled at all. I am taking things at my pace, going at the speed I want. So, strangely, I don’t feel rushed or pressured at all.

I am right in the middle of getting my first round of feedback for one section of my Tarot book. These are mostly from my students who will (I hope) try out the system I’ve come up with in the book, and give me their honest feedback.

Once I have that, I can move on to the editing stage, and get my book draft ready for the second round. I don’t want to reveal what that will be as of yet, but yes, there are many things that I’ve got on my mind with this baby of mine.

watch_korean_drama____by_flayravenz-d2mzcayWhile all this is going on, I turn to my guilty pleasure for comfort – the combo of Netflix and DramaFever has my heart and soul. And yes, so do many other Sci-Fi shows on TV. But nothing gets romance like the Korean Dramas that I’m hooked on to. No seriously. I am in love with them.

There are many reasons why I like Korean Dramas actually. But the only reasons that make any sense on any level is the fact that these serials actually have a sensible story for the most part, and the fact that they do romance like no other. Despite their awkward, deer-in-the-headlights kissing scenes, the whole thing is just too good for words.

At this point, I suppose I must confess, (I mean, that is one of the reasons why I’m writing this blog post), that I am, and I always was, and I shall always remain a romantic at heart. I’ve devoured romance in many forms – books, movies, and now K-Dramas.

But you know the sad part – I’ve never experienced any of it in my own real life. Now, don’t go pitying me. It’s not a sad thing. It’s rather unfortunate, actually. The world is that much sadder because an insanely romantic person like me went unappreciated by the pathetic men in her life.

artemis_by_janiceduke-d5j0i0gIn my entire life, I’ve chased after men that were too weak-willed to pursue me and win. I’ve been Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, and I’ve gone after the men I’ve wanted and I’ve had them – bagged and tagged – simply because I could. But once I had them, honestly, I’ve lost interest in them. The thrill of the chase was over. And they weren’t all that fun in the sack either.

The only reason I remained in those relationships was because of some random emotional attachments. Really. I should’ve known better.

I tried to be all nice, and loving, and compassionate, and well, humane. When all I needed to be was shallow.

I freely admit that I am a very bad judge of character. Even if I know their patterns down pat, I am just very hopeless when it comes to being shallow to these people.

If I had to put many of these scenes in a K-Drama perspective, I would describe my relationships like this: the second girlfriend who loses out to the affection that the guy has for the first girlfriend.

For some reason, those idiotic men could be romantic with her, but never with me. This always saddened me. I could’ve appreciated their romance so much better than her anyway. Besides I’m definitely the better kisser. That, is a fact. But men have been known far and wide for their inherent stupidity when it comes to loving women. That too, is a fact.

Recently though, I found myself in a different sort of a cliché. A far cry from being the second girlfriend, I became the first girlfriend who returns as soon as the guy finds the second girlfriend. Of course, I was bound to lose this one too! What was I thinking! LOL

person-598312_640When it comes to relationships I’ve always been the loser. I’ve always given more. I’ve always understood them. I’ve always been kinder, nicer. But you know what? That was just me trying to please. That was me trying to put aside the thought that I was somehow shortchanged.

I should have stayed shallower. I should never have let my hopes for romance blind me to the reality that was staring at me in the face. I always chose blinded by pity. I’ve never really met a man who fit in with or was close enough to be my ideal. I always settled for less because I wanted to be kind.

At some point in your life, your daddy tells you to stop expecting too much, and to settle for something less because that’s what you’re worth. And you end up buying that concept so well that the rest of your life is colored by it.

But I’ve started to walk away from such thoughts. Nowadays I have started to allow myself to be a little more shallow. If I don’t feel the emotion, I don’t pretend to have it. Even if that means I look a little less compassionate, or a little less nice, I don’t mind.

Nowadays, whenever I see my face in the mirror, I’ve even noticed a strange sort of glow in my eyes. Something has started to feel that much right inside of me. I have even started to like myself a little bit more. I’ve started to smile at myself and laugh at the inside jokes. I’ve acknowledged the voice inside my head, and I respect it. I listen to the opinions, and take the advice that comes through.

Isn’t it strange? I’m simply just being myself.

Not being nice when I dont want to be nice is actually working out for me.

Seeing my situations as stories has helped me see a different sort of a resolution for myself. And no, I am not going to reveal the end of this story just yet. So don’t even bother asking.

no_smoking_by_sirwendigo-d3fhqzmAnd you know the best part – I’ve finally managed to quit smoking. No nicotine gum. No nicotine patch. None of that. Its been a month or more I think – I’ve lost count actually. I haven’t smoked.

It’s not like I haven’t had the urge to smoke. I have that off and on. In fact, there are times when I really miss it.

Right about this time of the year is when the weather outside is the best. It’s not too boiling hot yet, and it’s not cold either. This is the best time to plonk down on one of the chairs in the porch with my iPad and a glass of cold, iced tea and read a book or two while smoking my cigarette and listening to music on my iPod.

But then here I am. Doing all of that except for the smoking part. Isn’t that weird? It feels weird for me. Even being able to smell the scent of my shampoo in my hair two days after washing them feels weird for me.

You know what though… I hate telling people that I’ve quit. If they notice then that’s fine. But I hate telling them that I quit.

Why?

Because they get all sanctimonious and start praising me for the wise decision I took. They start talking about the health benefits from quitting and I instantly want to do two things: slap them silly, and walk away.

Why?

Because I didn’t quit for health reasons. Also I didn’t quit so that they could praise me. I most certainly didn’t quit smoking for the sake of other people. I quit it for my sake. Me. That was the only reason. And no, it had nothing to do with my health.

And, I still love smoking. I miss it terribly. I miss how it made me feel. I miss every single thing about it.

Back then, when I was smoking all the time, I had two reasons for keeping up with it. One was that I loved it to bits. Seriously. And the second was that I didn’t quite care if it took a few years off of my life. I mean, I’ve spent all this time wondering what the big deal was about living anyway. Truly. Apart from the brief time when I was genuinely suicidal, I’ve always wondered what the big deal was about any way. One day, all of us are going to die. Some sooner. Some later. I only wondered what the point of prolonging this inevitable scenario would be anyway.

But now, something inside of me has changed.

E_Phillips_Fox_-_A_Love_Story,_1903I’ve started to see things in a different context. Like a story or something. I’ve started to focus on myself. I’ve grown ok with being seen as shallow sometimes. I’ve grown to like being perceived as self-centered as well. I’ve started to say the things I mean, rather than saying the things that I ought to say – even if the things I end up saying are mean and sometimes hurtful, I say them.

I’ve stopped wanting to please people. I’ve stopped expecting romance to happen in my relationships / dates. I’ve stopped trying to push myself into portraying or feeling emotions that I am supposed to feel. Rather, I just express what I am feeling right now, and if people don’t like it, well… Not my problem.

I’ve found a reason why I ought to live – even if it is a little bit more time than what I am supposed to have in this lifetime. I’ve found a reason to want to be around for a bit more time. And no, I’m not sharing the reason. It took me 38 years to finally figure it out.

Everyone has their own reason and own path. As long as I found mine, its good for me. And its nobody else’s business.

The more I let go of trying to be a certain way, and the more I remain true to the voice in my head, I smile more. I laugh much easily. I genuinely see humor in the ridiculous people around me. I get frustrated with stupid and walk away more often. I don’t bother with being nice. I don’t even bother with trying to explain to people how stupid they are.

I was tested with an IQ of over 140 when I was in school. All of my life, I’ve tried to live as if my IQ was 100 or thereabouts – simply because I didn’t want other people to feel uncomfortable around me. I didn’t want people to feel stupid around me. Of course, that didn’t stop them from actually being stupid – which is even more pathetic.

In any case, now I don’t give a rats ass.

This is me. I am smart. I am also quite shallow. I am also a romantic. I’ve quit smoking, but I love cigarettes. I love walking in Nature, but I absolutely don’t do Nature Hikes and all that crapping in the jungle business. On the topic of crapping – I like to keep the door of the loo open when I take a dump because I’m a bit claustrophobic. The first thing in the morning, I read my emails on my iPad as I take said dump. I’m slowly developing a strange appreciation for coffee. I don’t like to grow my nails because I can’t type as fast as my thoughts go with nails that are even 2 mm longer than my finger. I actually understand money much more than most thanks to my Masters Degree in Economics. But I am not motivated by money at all. As long as something is fun, I don’t mind spending days doing it. But when it stops being fun, I don’t even turn around to look at it any more. I don’t lie. And I dislike liars. In my view liars only end up lying to themselves in the end, and I can’t stand to be around self-deceiving people like that. I am commitment phobic. But strangely, the only commitment that I’ve managed to keep is the one to myself. I still, occasionally, listen to Yanni on my iPod. I think I am going to take the American Citizenship in a few years even though I am eligible even today – cutting off my connection with my country is actually something deep for me. I was quite surprised by my patriotic feelings. I hate politics. I hate politicians. I think democracy is dead, and the only reason it is still around today is because there isn’t anything else that can replace it, and because no other system does such a fantastic job of fooling the citizens into thinking that they have the actual power. I genuinely think that if women were to take over the world, wars wouldn’t really end – they would actually get more vicious than what they are now. I also think that because women are capable of bringing life into this world, they can also be the most hard-hearted, vicious killers. I also think that just because you have a uterus doesn’t mean you have to use it – everyone has a brain, but they don’t use it either, so people should stop making women feel useless if they choose not to have kids.

Luxor_ChampagneI know, I know – TMI. But deal with it. This post isn’t titled “Confessions” for fun, you know.

The point is, I am discovering my real self as I let go of wanting to adhere to some random rules that were probably thrust upon me somewhere along the way. I have started disallowing stupid in and around my vicinity. And I’m owning to things that truly matter to me.

I’m basically just being me. And if you don’t like it, well, bye. And if you do like it – stick around. And if you want to ask me out, well, I like roses and champagne and walking hand-in-hand on the deserted main street after a late night movie and snack. Y’know. Just sayin’.

Death is The End

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Death is The End.

Its where everything finishes, for the person who is dying anyway. For that person, all the pains, problems, issues, and what-have-you of this life – its all over.

What remains behind are the people who care for that person, love that person, and who will miss that person. 

All the memories will still be there, but, the person won’t. And that hurts. Its painful. Hurt, Regret, Anger even – are some of the feelings that overwhelm those who are left behind.

Even they don’t know it, but suddenly, the person who has died becomes ‘a body’. Deep down inside they know, that it is but an empty shell that’s been left behind. A hollow shell, if you will, that once contained life. Maybe that’s what a soul is made up of, who knows? But now, something vital is not there any more.

For those of us who are left behind, the concept takes a while to register, to sink in.

But for the person who has gone away, Death is the final goodbye. The inevitable ending for their life’s story – Death is something no one can escape. 

Those left behind suddenly feel bereft. Suddenly, there is that one empty space in our lives, which can’t be filled by anything or anyone else. 

Perhaps, that is why we have all these rites, a funeral. Powered by our myths and beliefs, we come together to shed our tears, share our favorite memories, laugh and cry – and say our goodbye. A beautiful ritual so that all those who are left behind can say their final goodbyes. A send-off for the soul.

“Go ahead,” we all seem to tell that soul, “fly off into the world beyond this world, and find peace. Go be in pain no more. Laugh. Smile. Be happy.”

Our memories though, will always remain. Some digital. Some just in our minds. All of them in our hearts.

We will miss you. Terribly.