Sincere advisors

Cherish those who hold you to a higher standard, not those who pacify you when you’re wrong.

Of the rarest of creation, I believe, must be the sincere advisor.

If you find one, cherish them, because their commitment is to your upliftment, and not to their own ego.

Photo Credit : Naadirah Ismail

Ready to Rage

When tolerance levels are breached, rage is an inevitable next step. It’s like the boundaries of fear that are overcome in moments of desperation when the realisation sets in that remaining true to our current approach, is as meaningless or ineffective as throwing caution to the wind, and demanding what we need, or want. But, in that lies the problem.

My tolerance levels are defined by me, not anyone else. Each time I give in to the breach of it, to the rage or the demands that bubble beneath the surface of my emotions, I find myself buying into the assumption that in doing so, that final act of desperation where reason has failed me will, in fact, yield the responses that I want, or expect. But that assumption is what is incorrect.

Assuming that others care enough to honour your needs or requests is an assumption based on entitlement. Or maybe not. Nonetheless, demands only ever result in compliance at best, but rarely, if ever, respect. And thus, I find myself reminding myself that we cannot give what we don’t have. If I lack tolerance, it means that I lack patience, or that I embrace entitlement. It’s a fine line between sanity and pacifism. At which point do we accept and move on, and in the process compromise what we stand for, versus stand our ground and demand a change in behaviour from others?

Pacifism, or the need to turn the other cheek does nothing to correct the unwelcome behaviour of those that assume that they are entitled, and in the process trample on the rights and dignity of others. The balance must lie somewhere between being driven by the principle of it all, and desiring that they realise the value of upholding such principles.

That desire is what challenges us in our moments of weakness. Moments when we experience the intensity of the void of not being served as we serve, or appreciated as we appreciate. Moments when our respect is assumed to be expected, and our concern is assumed to be neediness or interference. Those moments test our merits and our resolve in being able to set aside what we need, in favour of what we wish to see realised in the lives of those around us.

Rage if you must. But remember that rage will only ever allow you to vent in the moment at hand without any benefit for the future. If nothing else, it may reveal the truth of the sentiments of the ones that you hold in high regard, but as always, be sure that when you prompt such a response, you must be ready to embrace the answer.

Rage if you must. But rage with purpose, and let that purpose be enabled through actions that create rather than destroy the very outcome that you hope to achieve. Let your rage inspire you to act, but not to impose. Let your rage drive you to change that which you despise or find lacking, but don’t let it convince you that you are entitled to a favourable response. Nor are you entitled to righting the wrong that you find problematic.

Recognise your rage as the source of the intensity of your passion. Then, feed that passion, not the rage. The world is full of raging beasts, each demanding their significance without earning it. Or demanding such significance from those that have no interest in appreciating them. Don’t add to that rage. Replace it with passion, and purpose. Replace it with a conviction in who you are, and not who you demand others to be. The former is the beginning of the path towards peace, and the latter is the path towards hell on earth.

Let your rage bring peace where imbalance thrives. Let it inspire others to rise with conviction, rather than fight with abandon. Most importantly, let your rage never be unbridled, because in that is the root of losing ourselves to the very same contempt that we hold of those that breed such contempt into this world.

Be better than that.

Trappings of Entitlement

Ingratitude seeps in when you look for evidence of deliberate kindness despite there being no evidence of cruelty from others. We’re so conditioned to find goodness against the backdrop of evil, or generosity in the midst of selfishness, that we’ve grown to believe that only the evidence of deliberate kindness is an indication of care or concern from others.

Most often, it’s the restraint of anger or the withholding of harshness that is more evident of the kindness that lurks beneath, because it means that someone in an anguished state still recognises your worth enough not to dump their harshness onto you.

When we feel entitled to overt expressions of kindness, we automatically take for granted all the servitude that we receive without complaint or expectation of reciprocation. Being mindful of the small things always reveals the bigger things that we should value. Be mindful of your blessings.

[This is deeper than I realised]

The absence of gratitude

It’s easier to assume that someone is ungrateful rather than to invest time in discovering what it is that distracts them. If we work with the assumption (if not the truth) that one is in search of the same joy and peace that we are, seeking to understand each other will be easier than wanting to judge each other.

The absence of gratitude is not always ingratitude. Often it’s a distraction. Like looking at the dark clouds instead of appreciating the rain. The distractions are what take us off our desired path in life when we place significance on things that are out of our control, or not as consequential as we believe it is. That’s when we find ourselves persisting in righting seeming wrongs, or defending imaginary attacks. The most effective strategy, I’ve found, to combat this is to seek understanding rather than assuming judgement. The more we understand, the less we judge. This does not mean that we condone or justify, it simply means that we seek to understand so that we may be able to accept with peace, rather than surrender with bitterness or regret.

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #selfworth #mindfulness #selfawareness #ownyourshit #ownyourlife #theegosystem #forgiveness #understanding

Start before you’re ready!

Today I decided to take my own advice. I recorded my first video clip to share with my followers even though I wasn’t ready for it. But I cannot expect to grow in my skill at providing video content if I don’t start. So this was my beginning.

I needed to stop protecting myself from getting it wrong, because as long as I protected myself from that potential outcome, I prevented myself from growing beyond it. Hope you enjoy my first snippet! Much more to come…

A Beautiful Mess

The last year has been a beautiful mess. It has been a year of pushing boundaries and testing long-held truths. People, relationships, skills, passions, and even hobbies all came under close scrutiny as I peeled away the layers of assumptions that coated them over the years to test whether they still served me well, or at all.

I tested my hand at mindful living, more so at carving my own path through the forest and the lessons that I learnt along the way, most of which are still incomplete, have unlocked new realities and resurfaced old joys. My sense of self continues to evolve, almost on a daily basis. Accepting a truth about my reality on one day seems foolhardy or delusional on another. But in between it all there has been a lightness in my steps that has been absent from my gait for decades.

I lost myself to life over the decades. Courting authenticity with a naive mind can be taxing and expensive. Living out my convictions has increased the isolation around me. Only, it’s an isolation that holds much peace despite the loneliness that it threatens to share. The peace is the absence of expectations, except for the moments that the capitalist structures around me tear away at my being through the yoke that still weighs down on my shoulders. The realisation that what feeds the soul doesn’t feed the belly intensifies each day.

Uplifting quotes or extended hands to those that find relief in its offering falls short of its reciprocation of upliftment. The multitude of needy hands reaching out while their eyes look defiantly away cuts short any embrace that might once have offered some fulfillment. Fulfillment has been replaced by servitude and servitude proves to be no more than a payment of debt. Social debts and divine rights are pervasive. Harmony and a divine handhold not so much.

The unbeaten path always promised solitude. Perhaps that is the only promise that has been fulfilled. Everything else carries with it the weight of expectation or reciprocation. Distractions and virtual embraces offer more comfort than the distracted ones around us. Do we connect virtually because we see each other more clearly without the social stigmas and classes present, or do we connect virtually because it is the only connection that is accessible?

I no longer serve the social structures that I once courted, and along with it gave up any hope of finding the support that this new life demands I have. This used to be a cryptic space but I’ve realised that any confusion or mystery resulted only from my hope that there was more to be enjoyed, or acquired. Seeing the social constructs for what they are leaves little room for expectation, or even hope. Hope is only relevant in a symbiotic relationship, not a cannibalistic mutually exclusive one. Such has been the interaction between society and I for as long as life has held any promise beyond the immediate breath. Serving the divine is all that keeps me tethered to such contracts.

This beautiful mess is the freedom that such realisations and independence endows. The absence of belonging and only the belonging to absence. It once seemed so vapid in its concept but has proven to be utterly grounding in its experience.