Don’t let fear win

If you’ve been raised on a diet of fear and compliance, it is inevitable that your choices will reflect your fears, and not your dreams

Fear destroys hope and replaces it with futility.

In the face of futility, we resort to compliance, because compliance provides us with familiarity.

Familiarity tethers us to rituals, traditions, and behaviours that feed the cycle that sustains the power of fear.

That is, the cycle of compliance at all costs.

When compliance becomes the objective, blind following becomes the method, and critical thinking is set aside in favour of inclusion.

The need for inclusion destroys dreams, breaks hearts, and damages souls, leaving in its wake a field of martyrs who surrender their joy in the face of futility, not realising that it is fear that breeds futility, and not overwhelming odds.

Be courageous, brave soul. Self-imposed martyrdom is not the only path to peace. In fact, it defeats that very goal.

#courage #fear #compliance #tradition #inclusion #familyties #traumabonds #abusiverelationships #dreams #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #selfworth #selflove #selfawareness #selfrespect #mindfulness #inspiration #ownyourshit #ownyourlife #theegosystem #embracingME #pursuitofhappiness #victimmentality #zaidismail #mybeloved

When fear serves you poorly

People willingly buy into uninformed theories, or even hearsay, because it validates their fears.

We need our fears to be validated when we’re afraid of appearing incompetent, or feeling insignificant.

This is the beginning of the slide towards losing yourself to the opinions of the collective as you focus on belonging more than you focus on being true to yourself.

For some, isolation is such a daunting thought because they are afraid of discovering who they are, and the risk that they may realise that they’re not good enough.

You are only as good as you think you are. And if you find yourself convincing yourself about something that has no real substance to make it believable, you’ll find yourself constantly on edge each time that ‘truth’ feels threatened, because you’re afraid that someone else might just expose it to be a lie.

Be true to yourself, have the courage to face your fears, and don’t follow the herd.

The path towards peace is not cheap, but it’s worth it.

#ownyourlife #ownyourshit #authenticity #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #selfworth #selflove #selfawareness #selfrespect #mindfulness #inspiration #goals #lockdown #isolation #covid_19 #lockdownmemes

What is it about toilet paper?

Hype aside, I thought of a few sobering thoughts that may be worth sharing. If for no other reason but comic relief…perhaps. A tragic comedy, that is…

  1. Why hasn’t anyone taken the gap to produce a disinfectant to disinfect the bottles of the disinfectant that we use to disinfect our hands? I mean, we’re touching the bottles with potentially infected hands, not so? Or are disinfectant bottles self-disinfecting?
  2. I still don’t get the toilet paper thing. But more importantly, all the reports about mad shopping sprees, at least here in South Africa, seem to be from areas of affluence. Are the rich more paranoid than the poor? Or do the poor see this as yet another onslaught that they simply have to grin and bear because they have no option?
  3. The faith-based responses are the most curious for me. Every disaster is an opportunity to proclaim the superiority of our faith. But every opportunity to serve those less fortunate than us is an excuse to encourage them to have more faith. Actually practicing our faith is somehow never as important as preaching it. Like hoarding toilet paper instead of sharing disinfectant.
  4. Conspiracies abound. However, only to demonstrate how supposedly ‘woke’ we are about the underhandedness of our governments and the New World Order. But we happily indulge in the materialism spawned by those deviant masters. Remember that toilet paper binge?
  5. Blame it on the bat-eating Chinese. Because, you know, the way to combat that is to buy toilet paper. Although there is more and more evidence accumulating pointing to this being a manufactured virus, with a carefully orchestrated response. But, I’m not woke like you guys, so I’ll stay out of the conspiracy theory space. Where’s my toilet paper?
  6. Public gatherings. Hehehe. A sad joke. Those that have a safe space discourage it, and those that don’t, look on with curiosity wondering what the fuss is all about. Curiously though, the demographic of the victims of this virus are largely those from affluent backgrounds or so-called non-shithole countries. Perhaps a decrepid lifestyle in a crowded informal settlement is healthier than the self-indulgent lifestyles of the oblivious and wealthy? Perhaps that is why they need all that toilet paper. After all this time, they’ve lost sight of the difference between their rectum and their mouths. (I kept it decent, so don’t raise your eyebrow at me).
  7. The idealists are possibly the most refreshing of the lot. Believing somehow that this mass hysteria is suddenly going to imbue us with a collective conscience so that our excessive ways that are apparently killing the planet will suddenly be transformed into Kumbaya. Ummm, remember that toilet paper run on the markets? (all puns intended)
  8. Oh, the economy. How can we forget the focus on the billionaires that are sadly no longer billionaires and have fallen from grace because their stocks crashed? Perhaps they need more toilet paper because they’re crapping themselves?
  9. But government cares, right? Just like how they care about the poverty and long-drop toilets the rest of the year. Oh, wait, poverty and long-drop toilets are fodder for campaigning among the masses that keep them in power. But this horrid virus that threatens to affect their own kind is suddenly a national disaster. Is it a national disaster? Absolutely. But not any more of a disaster than the disastrous leadership that created the overcrowded settlements and decrepit public health system that is now grossly inadequate to deal with this disaster. But the fools with hoards of toilet paper are suddenly celebrating the show of leadership in dealing so decisively with this pandemic. The only pandemic we have is gross ignorance coupled with arrogance. But I’m probably just talking crap because I have toilet paper envy, or something like that.

We lost our humanity long before Corona. And if our response and attitude towards each other during this crisis is anything to go by, we won’t re-find our humanity anytime soon either. But social media makes us feel better about our empty lives and our need to gather in meaningless social traditions that serve none other than our own need for validation about the success we have achieved within the systems created by the ones that we choose to hate, while wearing religion on our sleeves, and reminding people of the end times.

We’ve lost our way. And Corona is not about to help us find it.

Anger

Anger is a result of failed expectations. When you find yourself losing your temper, consider which expectation you’re allowing to define your self worth.

Zaid Ismail

Obliviously Resilient

I’ve always taken comfort from my sense of resilience, but noticed recently that it appears to be waning. I seem to be more sensitive than before to the emotional jarring that goes with betrayal, and this concerns me. Well, at first it did, but now I’m simply afraid of reflecting any further on the subject. There have been times when in the moment, I found myself unfazed by the abrasiveness or abuse being meted out towards me. It always appeared to be black or white for me. Something was either right, or it was wrong, and the underlying principle that supported my observation or perception was all that I cared about. It was such an easy way to live.

Life isn’t as simple anymore. Principles still drive me, but they’re not as defining as they used to be. The reason I’m afraid of reflecting further is because I’ve realised that the more I grow to understand my weaknesses, my needs, or my flaws, the more I relate to the flaws and weaknesses and failings of others. Unfortunately, this also implies that the reverse is true as well, not in them knowing me, but rather in me also being able to grow more familiar with the arrogance, the aloofness, and the smug condescension that lurks behind the smile that dresses the words of so many I meet. It is in this realisation that I start doubting my past resilience and wonder if it was in fact resilience based on strength of character, or was it resilience grounded in obliviousness.

The net effect remains a beneficial one, so the concern I feel must be an indulgence in my own ego. Anyone claiming to be free of their ego is in fact driven by it. I guess that is the obvious sibling to the realisation that the proclamation of humility is in fact arrogance. I’m so easily distracted from the point of my ramblings these days. Being oblivious, not by choice, therefore appears to be a blessing. It’s what causes us to appear resilient, but it also causes us to appear grounded and uninterested in things that don’t concern us. Strangely enough I am once again reminded of the parallels between this and humility. I’ve previously argued that humility can only be observed and not practiced. I guess in some way, the same applies to resilience.

The same way that I may appear humble when in fact I am too jaded to acknowledge the superficial praises of others makes me jaded, not humble. Similarly, being oblivious to the true repercussions of the events I am experiencing results in a resilience that is unintended, although mostly beneficial. I think there is a point in here somewhere. I think my distracted state is a source of inspiration. I’m just too distracted to figure out how to put it to good use.

Perhaps distraction and naivety are the precursors to obliviousness. Such obliviousness, where its roots are not conscious choices, contributes to our sense of resilience. Questioning that resilience appears to be akin to looking a gift horse in the mouth. So perhaps I should be grateful for my inclination to be unconcerned about the fickleness of society, and instead of questioning how I may have appeared to others in my moments of oblivion that I previously embraced as resilience, I should draw on those experiences to harness this innate ability to be oblivious so that I can continue to feign resilience.

Fake it until you make it, right? Who can truly lay claim to sincerity when such a claim requires a healthy dose of self-indulgence to begin with? But that’s a post for another day. My brain is tired. And if you can make sense of this post, please take a moment to explain it to me as well.

They miss the point!

I have a tendency to seek the potential in people and then proceed to encourage them towards realising that potential. I do this because I am naïve enough to believe that that is truly the aspiration of all of us. You know? That age old claim that says that we want others to believe in us because we’re so precious and we have so much to offer but we’re just waiting for the right opportunity and the right support and the right everything to come along before we can take that pathetic step forward to suggest that we actually have something to offer. It’s all bullshit.

I’ve realised that the most gut wrenching and draining thing you could ever do is apply yourself towards the upliftment of others. Why? Simple. People are lazy by nature. They’re lazy and un apologetically uninspired because the few that pursue their passions are mocked and ridiculed for being different, while the rest are preoccupied with fitting in and being ridiculously unique just like everyone else.

Yes, I am annoyed and disheartened. More so at the fact that there is always an overwhelming chorus of people chanting for change, but as soon as the choir breaks up, they’re the first to run home to enjoy their celebration of mediocrity while living life through the achievements of their icons that are nothing more than fictional tales they see in the gossip columns of the tabloids. The stench of puny thinking is repulsive. People look at things and immediately decide what is good enough to get past what they’re faced with, while just a small group will actually consider how can they take what they are faced with and turn it into something larger than life.

I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to understand the human psyche because of a naïve notion that suggested that it is fear and nothing else that limits us in what we can achieve. I thought that by understanding those fears I would be able to help them see past that limitation and thereby unlock a beauty that would amaze even them. Of course understanding their fears was always only ever a result of me seeking to understand my own first. But they never get that. The default assumption is that if I am able to articulate what constricts them, then I must be free of it myself. I must have never experienced it hence my ability to seemingly trivialise what they feel.

They just don’t get it. In all my efforts I’ve tried to demonstrate to them that they are innately capable of greater things without the need for a guide or mentor or other pillar of strength to lean on. However, I didn’t realise that in doing so, they automatically turned me into their crutch to achieve more. That is not nearly a compliment to me when considered within the context of the disappointment it spawns. Each time I believe they’ve reached a new level of confidence and capability, I’ve found that they were only acting out of compliance with what they deemed to be my expectations rather than because they had a sincere conviction in the values that I thought we shared.

This is an unapologetically self-indulgent rant. It is a trickle of what needs to be vented in order to regain some balance in my perspective on life and people. I have trusted in the human goodness that is often celebrated, but each time it has resulted in the degradation of relations because the burden of expectation was greater than the willingness to be true. The impossibility of perfection should never be reason enough to dissuade us from its pursuit. Unfortunately, too often, we’re prone to believe that only icons or celebrated leaders are capable of such accomplishments, while conveniently forgetting that a human exists behind the façade that they have imposed on them.