Life summarized 

This existence seems to be merely an awareness based on fabricated thoughts and individualized perceptions we call “reality” that dictates most of our behaviors.  This overall existence called “life” is mostly preferred over the notion of “death” because we usually don’t want to acknowledge the inevitable end of this perceived existence.

We choose what we believe, many times without realizing it, and continue our existence as if what we believe is an ultimate truth.   We deceive ourselves with fantasies and illusions that nourish our egos and makes us feel secure and important… but it is all an attempt to distract us from our destiny: death.

We tend to want to belong to some kind of group and community , creating societies, in order to feel secured and protected (trying to recreate the experience inside the womb).   But we often fail to realize and accept the fact that we are simply deceiving ourselves.  Unconsciously afraid of facing the reality of our mortality.

And because of this profound fear, we continue our journey of biased perceptions attempting to maintain a state of awareness we call “happiness”, not realizing that it depends solely on circumstances that we choose to cherish.

This existence is slowly decaying and shutting down.  This awareness will eventually cease to be present and we will  not even know it has happened.  All we can be aware of is what is experienced at the present moment.  Right now.

Think about it.

 

 

 

Dissecting reality

dissection_tools1

We create our own worlds in our minds… We create images and ideas in our minds, which creates our realities.   .. When we like someone, it is not the person itself but the idea that we have of the person that we like. When we go through some difficult situation, it is the interpretation or the idea of the situation that we dislike. Everything we experience is through our interpretations, our ideas.  So I have learned to break down my ideas and images. So I have started to dissect what we call “reality.”

I see people driving down the road in high speed, and my first instinct reaction is to get mad at them.   But then I ask, why am I choosing to be mad?  What thoughts and perceptions do I have about people driving fast that are triggering the anger?  Then I find no good reason to feel anything, except to be cautious.

Then I have a disagreement with my spouse, and she withdraws.  I also isolate myself in rebellion.   I automatically feel upset and nervous, but then I question the reason why I feel so anxious.  What am I afraid of?   Argument?  Separation?  Being alone?

The next day I may be at work and trying to meet a deadline.  I feel anxious that I may not do the job on time.  Then I stop myself and rethink.  I take a deep breath.  I dispute the reason why I may be feeling anxious.  What is the worst that could happen?  Is there a need to feel this anxious?

I look back at all the things I have learned to take for granted.  I have taken a second look at all the things I thought were simply “normal” and “acceptable”.  And I start questioning them.

Assumptions.  Beliefs.  Customs.  Expectations.  Discriminations.   Family traditions.  Habits.  Ideologies.  Myths.  Obsessions.  Religions.   Social rituals.  Values.  World views.

They all can be taken apart… dissected.   They all can be questioned and dismissed.  We don’t have to adopt any of them if we don’t really want to.

They are all in our minds.

They all can be dissected.

 

Help! Wife wants to go to church!

I almost had a panic attack… not really.    But seriously, I was speechless when my wife expressed the interest in going to church tomorrow.  I asked myself, “is it because it’s Easter Sunday?” Which is common to people who live religious lives, but not truly dedicated to “church life.” I used to criticize people who go to church only on special occasions, like Easter and Christmas Day.

Now I am one of those people.

However, I don’t even like going to church on special days. I just don’t. I have evolved in my spiritual life significantly.  You can read more about my journey in Living the Kingdom blog. To me (and this is my honest opinion), it is a waste of time going to church. This post is not about religion or spirituality.  I am just expressing my opinion and disapproval of an activity I used to do regularly because of tradition. It was a norm to go to church at least once a week. It was part of the culture and family tradition.   But I started researching, reading, and questioning to the point that attending a religious event became the same as going to a sports or political event. They all serve an “idol” and are based an ideology.

I don’t mean to offend anyone (although feeling offended is a choice).  Again, I am just sharing my thoughts about a tradition that many people still follow and they have a right to do.  But I personally don’t think it is worth my time.

So I guess I will have to accompany my wife to this place that I truly don’t want to go to.  I am not always going to do what I want, am I?

What do I rather do?  I rather go help feed the homeless.  I rather go visit people who are sick.  I rather call those who are lonely and distant. Yes, that is what I rather do.  Because, after all, isn’t church a group of people doing certain things, instead of a building?

Just a thought.

Ridiculous Holiday

Fighting during Black Friday 

See the video above and you will see just how ridiculous this holiday season can be.  People literally fight over getting the best deal in stores during last Black Friday’s shopping day.  This just proofs that we are just selfish beings who strive for materialism and greed, fueled by today’s consumerism.

What was the reason for the season again…?  Oh, giving to the poor, right? Visiting the ill, I thought.  Giving thanks for what we have, I presumed.

But in today’s fast pacing and money driven society, we have evolved into a new species of violence and hatred over the cheapest deal in the local mall.

The Spirit of the Season is already here…!

Stop Loving So Much

Have you noticed how often people mention the word “love” in their everyday conversations?

They say things like “I love that movie!” or “I love this dress!”   We tend to say that we love those things we really like.  When we experience a very exciting situation, such as being on a roller coaster or going to the beach, we say we “loved” those moments.  Or we “love” our favorite kind of food.  We also “love” our favorite color or music.

Don’t we realize that we are using the wrong term?  We don’t really  love music, movies, or colors.  We can only love living beings!  We can only love people, animals, and plants.  Why is this? Because love is not based on how it can be convenient for us. Love is about benefiting others.   We love family members because we care about them and wish for them to be healthy and well. We love our pets because we take care of them.  We love plants for the same reason.

We don’t care for colors, music, and movies.  They just benefit us and give us pleasure.  So whatever gives us pleasure or is convenient, we simply like, not love.  Because, after all, love is a selfless act.

The living beings that we care about, and want to benefit, we truly love.

So… stop loving so much.

How much time in front of the Mirror?

How much time do you spend in front of the mirror?  One minute? Five minutes?  Fifteen? An hour?

And why do we spend so much time in front of it?  Do we spend this time for what purpose? To look “good” and appealing? To make sure we present ourselves appropriately? To whom?

Do we spend this much time in front of each other?  Instead of trying to look “perfect” so that others can approve us, can we also try to be genuine so that others can accept us for just the way we are ?

 

Have we been ignoring the most important part of our lives?   It is not our looks, our clothes, or the facade that we use when we go into public settings.

It is simply the real self that we so much hide and protect under our facade.  The mirrors help us to keep our true selves hidden. I wonder if we would survive without mirrors.  I wonder if bathrooms would be used as much if they would not have mirrors.

Will we experience an apocalyptic crisis if all the mirrors in the world simply disappear? We would then have to face the fact that we are more than our looks.  We would then have to accept that we have a self inside of us that may be exposed.

We may finally learn to depend on each other for comfort, reassurance, and support instead of a metallic or glassy flat surface on the wall.

We might actually look at each other for who we really are, not who we want others to think we are.

A “mirrorless” world would bring honesty, better communication, more understanding of each other, and transparency.

Can you imagine this world without mirrors?

Irritated

For some unknown reason, I have been feeling irritated and easily frustrated.  Almost every little thing would trigger a deep sigh or a complain.  It has been an uncomfortable  week.  And I feel guilty because there are so many things that I should be thankful for.  I have been complaining about the littlest thing, such as the paper jam in the printer, the pen falling to the floor, or the coffee being too cold.  I mean, I sound sometimes like a grumpy old man, and I am only in my 30s. God forbid that something major does happen.  How would I respond then?  I really don’t want to know. I wake up in the morning and my first thought is “Back to reality….” instead of being thankful for a new day or a new opportunity to do things better.

I need to learn how to relax.  I need to take things lightly.  The funny thing is that, being a counselor myself, I encourage my clients to do what I also need to do.  Why can’t I apply what I teach? I have done yoga, exercise, and watching movies.  I guess my job may be taking a lot of my peace of mind.    Don’t know for sure.  Any other ideas on how I can relax and stop complaining so much?

Should We Forgive?

forgive

Is it right to forgive others when they hurt us? This blog is about being frank and honest with each other. But if I feel hurt by others, I would rather feel I sincerely forgive them before claiming it. What would be the exact procedure of forgiving? Is it forgetting? Is it excusing the other person’s wrongdoing? When people repeatedly hurt us, how can we possibly not feel hurt and lose faith of the person who hurts us? I have learned that to forgive is a powerful way of liberating ourselves from emotional bonds. Holding resentments and grudges can really damage our emotional wellbeing. It is like a thorn in our hands, a pebble in our shoes. Being able to forgive would be getting free from this pain. But how can this be done when the pain is too great? How can a victim forgive the rapist? How can a family forgive the murderer of a child? How can a child forgive the abuse of a drunken parent? I guess it requires some time for forgiveness to take place. I imagine it is like still remembering the painful experience, without the emotional pain. It is like no longer feeling the trauma that the experience caused.  And if I forgive, does this make me vulnerable again?  Or is it healing myself? Can we be honest with each other and truly forgive?  And when we say we forgive, is it really true, or are we saying it just to feel good about ourselves?  Is it ever OK not to forgive?  Sorry that this post has a lot of questions, but I think these are questions we must ask ourselves when it comes to being honest with ourselves and forgiveness.  Any thoughts about this subject?

Is there such a thing as “unconditional love”?

I have been wondering, does anyone express true care and concern? Doesn’t everyone do things to gain some personal reward? When we work, it is because we expect to be paid. When we volunteer, we want to feel some kind of satisfaction, either as a productive citizen or simply a useful worker.  When we care for others, we do it hoping that what we do creates comfort in ourselves as caretakers.  When we teach, we expect the students to show improvement in their learning so that we can feel we have accomplished something.  Almost everything we do, if not everything,   is done with some expectation of a reward.  We want to get something out of it.  How about mother’s love to her child?  Mother instinct;  it is in her genes for the survival of the human race.  We act and behave to survive.  Survival of the fittest.

Or is it?  Is there such as thing as true care and genuine love?  I am talking about the kind of care for others without any expectation of a personal reward.  The religious would probably say it  is Jesus, God, or some other deity that shows us this kind of love.  If this is true, does it really happen in this world?  We write songs and poems about true love and self sacrifice.  Can we really experience this, or do we just wish and dream about it?  Does it truly exist?  Is it even possible to love others unconditionally?

Have you said Hello lately?

HelloI was in the eye doctor office today looking at glasses,  when I thought I heard someone call my name.  I turned around and it was the front desk person.  I thought she was attending me while I waited for the eye doctor , but then she clarified that she was just saying “Hello”.  Then she said “I was saying hello… I think when people meet each other they should say Hello to each other”.  I had to agree.  How often do we get close to a stranger and simply say Hello, even if we don’t feel like saying it?  How often do we get out of our comfort zone and reach out to others?  Are we so afraid of each other that we don’t dare to communicate with others for fear of being judged or ridiculed?  I often find my own shyness get in my way of connecting to others.  Even at work, I find myself isolating from others, and I don’t know why.  Maybe because I am the manager, a person with authority?  Well I tend to do the same in other settings, so perhaps it is just me feeling afraid anywhere.  I want to be more social and reachable, but my natural tendencies do not allow it.  I want to reach out without fear and anxiety.  Sure, there are boundaries to keep and respect, but I don’t think it would hurt to at least acknowledge that there are other human beings surrounding me that probably need to be recognized by uttering a simple “Hello”.  Perhaps if we all start doing a little bit more, if we make the effort of reaching out to others more, maybe this world would be a better place.  Don’t you think?