As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY. As I began to love myself I understood that in any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health— food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since, I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!
by Stan Hayward
I am in my 80s. To be this age is largely luck. To be this age and reasonably healthy with peace of mind is even luckier. To be this age, be healthy, and not lonely makes one feel so lucky that you want to gulp the moments down like a drowning man reaching air. I have been in five car crashes without being hurt (none were my fault). During the war as a child, I experienced several bombs falling within close range and where people within yards of myself were killed or injured. Numerous other such incidents sometimes gives one a sense of invulnerability, and other times that the next incident won’t be so lucky.
I regret much but also realize that having regrets meant that I had opportunities to regret; I was lucky to have those opportunities. There is a desire to leave one’s mark; graffiti on the wall of time; an apt engraving on a tombstone or small plaque on a park bench. The gifts of inheritance that will be gratefully accepted, and carry the essence of one’s past. The slogan ‘I was here’ seems as important as always, but much more in the sense of ‘I hope I deserve it’ rather than ‘And now you know.’
Much thought is sometimes given to organ donations, with an underlying feeling of ‘Please God keep me healthy and I will give my body to science in return.’ Though living on as a kidney transplant is more of an altruistic gesture than a religious one.
When friends pass away, it is not just their presence that is lost, it is also the memories they have of you. The “Do you remember when…?” conversations that pepper the elderly reminiscences. Fear of death is actually rare and is commonly a joke. On the other hand, fear of losing one’s memories, faculties, or independence is real. We put a great value on having people who we can trust — especially to carry out wishes when we are gone. Making final decisions can be upsetting, particularly if they relate to young people who are distant in age and lifestyle yet close in relationship.
by Nick Notas
Everywhere around there will be someone who tells you that it can’t be done. They’ll argue that you don’t have what it takes. That you’re foolish. That you’re following “childish dreams.” Any person who’s gone after something they want or believe in has had to swash through a sea of doubt.
It’s easiest for naysayers to sit back and tell others what they can and can’t do. To spread negativity while staying safely in their comfort zone. It makes them feel good to tear others down when they aren’t the ones putting their neck on the line. In reality, they have their own goals that have dwindled into “pipe dreams” that will never get done. They haven’t accomplished theirs, so why would they encourage you to accomplish yours?
This phenomenon is so real it even has it’s own name — crab mentality. It’s much easier to try and pull someone down than to lift yourself up and join them. That takes courage.
Sometimes the loudest voice of doubt is in your own head. It’s the most powerful. It knows you. How could your own mind be wrong when it’s been with you all your life?
That would be true if the mind was infallible, but it’s not. It, too, is susceptible to mistakes, fears, and self-defeating thoughts. It wants you to do well but at the same time protects you from being hurt if you don’t reach your objective. You have to fight through that defense mechanism — success is born out of risks and failures.
I am ugly. I am unattractive. I know that my skin is awful, my hair is greasy, and society simply does not permit women to weigh as much as I do.
But, mind you, this is not the same as having low self-esteem. Because when I look in the mirror, I hate my body, not myself. I simply shake my head and think, “This isn’t me. This mediocre sack of meat isn’t me. I’m just renting it out, driving it around. It’s a tool. It’s a vehicle. I use it to take myself places that I need to go, and that’s all there is to it.”
Ok fine, I’m not Zen enough to actually believe I can escape with that train of thought. The truth is, I am frustrated with the irreconcilable disconnect between my pride and my presence. The acne mask and the fat suit egregiously fail to conform with my mental mockups of my perfectly badass self. I suppose the only real solution then, besides undergoing extensive surgeries, is to upload my conscience to a supercomputer.
Maybe the Singularity will happen, and everything will be great, but in the meantime, I much prefer the Internet to real life interactions because most of you haven’t got a clue as to what I look like, and if you don’t like me it’s because my ideas suck and not because you find my face unpleasant. The Internet allows me to temporarily abandon the limitations of my subpar physical avatar.
Even if people are especially curious about my appearance, I only allow them to make vague inferences based off a single profile picture, uniform across all my social media haunts, taken a very long time ago at a surprisingly flattering angle, in which I actually manage to trick them into thinking I look quite average. Well, I don’t. I’ve gained 50 pounds since then, and academic stress makes my acne flare up like nobody’s business.
Regardless, I decided a while back that everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and I would do well to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. Even people who are bad at everything are less bad at some things than they are at others. After some introspection, I concluded that I was less bad at learning things than I was at looking pretty, so I would ultimately benefit far more from sharpening my skills and pursuing a technical career than from trying in vain to undo the effects of losing the genetic lottery.
As for the romantic side of things, I avoid unnecessary heartbreak by keeping myself from harboring silly delusions about reciprocated love in the first place. I have rationalized that it is okay for me to be ugly because 1) marriage is not the optimal arrangement for everyone and 2) the human race would likely carry on just fine without my genetic contribution.
I am irritated with the cliché that “everyone is beautiful” because surface friendliness and pretending to be PC don’t solve anything. It doesn’t help the young girl with confidence issues because even if you’re “nice” enough to tell her that she’s beautiful, are you nice enough to, like, actually date her? Words mean nothing without actions, yet it’s patently unfair to expect people not to be shallow because at the end of the day, beauty is beauty, attraction is attraction, and sexual desire is governed by deep-rooted evolutionary impulses that people don’t understand and can’t control.
It would be far more useful to promote the idea that people can contribute to the world in a variety of interesting and fulfilling ways besides making others salivate over their bodies. You can make original scientific breakthroughs! You can regale people with tales of heroic conquest! You can build products that make people’s lives easier! But I guess changing the world wouldn’t make for an effective beauty products campaign.
by George P.H.
Like the caterpillar above, most people think that “everything will be better” once they get/become/achieve something. Whether it’s the right job, car, home, number of lovers or something else, we really expect that one thing to finally make us happy and complete.
This is what I call “waiting to be saved”; expecting an event, time or situation to make you happy.
(My personal favorite is, “I’m not happy now but I will be once I’ve given the best years of my life to my career! Then I’ll finally be able to do and feel what I want!”)
Of course, “everything” doesn’t “get better” when you get what you want. In fact life often becomes harder and more confusing when you’re successful. Why else would so many celebrities have depression & substance issues?
If you’re waiting to be saved, know one thing: it’s killing you. The true secret to being happy and free is to lose all hope. Here’s why & how.
There aren’t many activities in life where just showing up guarantees results. That’s because life is hard. Building a business is difficult, there’s not a step-by-step formula for success. Relationships are complex and can fail even if you do everything right. But there is one thing in life that’s a guarantee: Exercise.
Nothing so simple can have as much of a positive effect on your life. Exercising is by far the smartest thing you can do if you want to live a happier, more active, longer, more vibrant, more energetic life. I’ll go as far as saying that it is essential for true success because well-being defines success. And it’s not even hard to do.
Do you believe me when I say its “simple”?
Here’s why I consider exercise to be simple: 80% of the benefits from exercise are from showing up and exerting yourself. Virtually no training is required. Your body was built for physical activity. You don’t need to think about it or worry that what you’re doing is wrong. Any physical activity for an extended period of time on a regular basis counts as exercise. Just keep it simple to start and do natural human motions: running, pushups, pullups, jumping, dancing, etc.
Obviously there are ways to make exercising even more beneficial by learning more or following specific workout programs, which requires additional effort. When you are ready for more advanced programs, remember to start light, use proper form, and over time add more weight and/or run faster. As you become physically fit and push yourself harder, exercise becomes very challenging. But at its most basic level exercise is stupid easy.
I mean seriously, think about it. You don’t have to know anything or do anything extremely difficult. Exercise only requires that you show up and try. And IF you do this, you will have more energy, feel better about yourself, and see improvements in your health and motivation, at a minimum.
Is this obvious to you? Then why don’t you do it…
You are probably saying to yourself, “I know, I know…exercise is good for you. Everyone knows that exercise is good for you…” If you’re saying this and you already exercise regularly then you most likely haven’t read this far. If you feel this way, but you don’t actually exercise, before you stop reading, hear me out.
Currently you’re a slave to your occupation, you’re worried about your financial situation. You have the desire to travel the world but you have a fear of the unknown. Forget about your savings, travel is the only thing that makes you richer.
All you can do is just stop thinking about it; just do it. When you land flat on your ass on the other side of the world you’ll begin questioning if you’ve made a mistake. When you’re riding a motorcycle from the north to south of Vietnam you’ll be wondering why you’ve never been travelling extensively before. When you’re climbing Everest Base Camp you’ll be questioning why you live in a city. When you’re getting a five dollar massage you’ll be wondering what you’ve been paying thirty times the price for. When you’re eating cuisine that invigorates the soul you’ll be stupefied. When you’re watching a lion crawl through the tall grass of the Okavango Delta you’ll get the perfect photo. When you’re drinking Belgian beer you’ll wonder why anyone drinks Budweiser. When you’re hanging out with Polar bears in Churchill you’ll wonder why we’re not looking closer at alternative energy sources worldwide. When you’re diving with sharks in the South Pacific you’ll realize Jaws was a terrible portrayal of such beautiful creatures. When you’re at Carnival in Salvador, Brazil you’ll wonder why you pay entrance to the clubs where you live. When you’re flying down the side of a volcano in Nicaragua on a sled so fast you can’t slow down you’ll know you did the right thing leaving home.
The list can go on and on and on. The world is far too big to be stuck in an office chair working for some bureaucratic bastards who care more about their bank statements than their employees. I’m going to have to quote Mark Twain here..
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
In the end, who knows.. Maybe you’ll end up marrying a Philippina and living on a white sand beach in the Visayas where your student loans will be a distant memory. Just let go and see what the world has in store for you. – solitaryman69