Our Affair with Vanity

Our valuation of vanity is far more greater than the value we put on improving the act of doing and being.

When I say ‘our’, I mean you and I, noone else. This is a dialogue, an intimate conversation where I am writing this words and you are replying with the thoughts, feelings, sensations and memories emerging inside you, only you and I are accountable. It’s not something to just read and agree with, it needs an action from our (you and I) part. Feeling a sense of righteousness in agreeing with something and not recognizing how one fits in that narrative is detaching oneself from that topic, that philosophy, that concern, one is entertained but not really transformed by it.

Rather than giving you a sense of gratification by writing more about vanity and how, why, we put value on it over everything else. I will leave you to find it for yourself. If you do it, you will be transformed,  if you don’t, you will be just someone who associate with an idea without challenging it, who does not apply the 1000 books one reads.

We keep on talking about problem statements like consumerism, misogyny, climate change, see it as an objective issue. It’s a subjective issue and guess what, you and I are the subject.

Some fancy word

There is so much clutter in here,

I can’t find the thing I am looking for, It tends to go out of sight, just when I think I see it.

So many ideas, so many concepts , so many perceptions seeped in.

I didn’t even realize how much space they started to occupy in here,

It’s hard to tell now, who was I before they started.

I want to save up all that space for something beautiful, something that will enrich the world in here.

I hate this urge to rhyme.

Yet, I need (so pathetic!) to feel accepted by the world that exist outside, which now even occupies the inside.

I can throw away the clutter I see outside, which I can touch, I can conceptualize;

But how do I throw away that is in here,

So articulate, when I am trying to ignore it,

Yet so abstract when I intentionally notice it.

How I can get rid of everything unessential, I see out there,

That’s how I want to choose the choice to be the minimalist inside.

With great clutter, comes great anxiety.”

I, hence you

I am whole, I have been whole all this time,

I just forgot to remember.

I am everyone, everyone’s name is I.

Eventually, I became more attached to the concept of I.

No painting is same as the other, no tree branches like the other, always some variation that makes one, the other.

The variation makes one unique,

The variation makes one distinct,

The reason for pride becomes the reason why one feels lonely.

The pride is because of the attachment to the uniqueness,

The loneliness is because of the attachment to the separateness.

A second I am here, and then I am not,

Harder to accept, the more I believe in the belief of I.

Who says that?

Who says, who says you are not perfect, who says you are not worth it?’

It is a beautiful and encouraging song but more importantly with an amazingly introspective lyrics.

We are talking more and more about self love now and we ought to do that but how does it look like? To manifest anything, one needs to know what it feels like, looks like, smells like, tastes like, so how does self love look like to you?

Self love can just stay a word sometimes, a very popular, classy, idealistic, 21’st century word. What it looks like as a verb, makes an actual difference in an individual’s life. Let’s leave that thought as a homework for all of us and go to the sticky center of what happens after the ‘They lived happily ever after’ part of the movie.

In the movie of your life, let’s suppose, you struggled and came to a realization that you want to choose self love and that becomes the beginning of your story but we are just at the surface of the oceanic process of self love.

‘Self love’ is usually our poster child of mental health but it is a poster child, an idealistic representation, with an underlying assumption of hope that once self love is chosen, everything becomes alright and remains that way all the time, till death do us apart. You and I know that, it is not a very accurate picture.

Let’s see self love as a project and apply the basic project management model to it.

Project Management & Change Management - Kocer Consulting + Engineering
Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkocerconsulting.com%2Fservices%2Fproject-management-change-management%2F&psig=AOvVaw3Ak9L4TkLCLwUPQR6fqWQr&ust=1635908901660000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjRxqFwoTCOjP6d3Z-PMCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAT

Once I plan to choose self love, I define an action which will be part of self love project and I implement it for example, by sitting with my emotions and understanding them when I am struggling . I monitor what happens when I do that, by observing my thoughts, my feelings. I observe maladaptive thoughts arising and saying ‘You are so pathetic to feel so much’, ‘you are so sensitive (translation: you are so weak)’, ‘you are making big deal out of nothing’, ‘your emotions are not valid’!

Evaluating this, I realize that these thoughts are going to stop me from feeling my emotions, to understand why it hurts when it hurts, they are going to stop me from healing myself. What I will do then is to not deal with my struggles and repress my hurt because it is so difficult to be kind to myself when my inner environment is so hostile. When I hear those horrible thoughts, they make me feel bad about myself. As I observe that those thoughts resides in me, I assume that it is me who is saying all those cruel things and obviously then I wish not to be me. I start to dislike myself and when I cannot even like myself, how is it possible to love myself and hence the self love model collapse. It needs an improvement, a better design to troubleshoot the obstacle it just faced.

The improvement we need are those words in those lyrics,

“Who says, you are not perfect?”

When the thought comes up, ‘you are so weak’, ask it who is saying that. You will be surprised by who that voice turns out to be. It will be, all the times a person, a situation told you, made you feel weak directly or indirectly. You can check if your own values align with that thought. Is it something that you would say to your loved one? If the answer is No, then it is not your thought, it is borrowed from someone or something that brought you down once but it hit you so hard, so significantly (or by someone very significant to you), that you took it as the truth and carried it so far with you. It burdens you still, and it became a weapon that you use to punish yourself with.

Question every negative, self deprecating thought that arise, every self negating action, every self sabotaging choices we make, to conform with those borrowed voices which are not ours but are living in us like an ingrate guests.

Ask again and again, who says that?

You will get an answer in the form of images, words, voices along with a gut wrenching feeling. It won’t be you, who is the owner of those cruel thoughts, the next thing you ought do is to shut it up, tell that thought that it is not true and it is not welcome anymore.

Our body is made for survival, its instinctual. It is true for our mind as well, it is suppose to work for us and it will, once we choose to take the lead.

Not every thought is true and not every thought is you.

To every thought that brings you down and conspire you against you, ask it loud and clear, Who says that?

Sweetheart ♥

Little heart, red heart, purple heart, my sweetheart
Beating to the rhythm of the love, my sweetheart.

Little heart, blue heart, pink heart, my sweetheart
Skipping to the beats, you dance and sing, my sweetheart.
The butterflies flies to your beating, oh my sweetheart.

Little heart, green heart, red heart, my sweetheart
You beat beat beat and you stop, oh my sweetheart
Beat beat beat, there’s a knot in my gut, oh my sweet little sweetheart
Beat beat thump,  stinging pain in my sweetheart.

Little heart, yellow heart, orange heart, my sweetheart
Beat thump, beat thump, my aching little sweetheart
Heavy thump, heavy thump, crack open sweetheart
Break break break, you aching little sweetheart
Break ache, knotting pain, my hurt little sweetheart.

Little heart, grey heart, black heart my sweetheart
You break open, crash open, sad little sweetheart.
You seek seek seek , what breaks you my sweetheart
You hurt, you ache, you mourn mourn my sweetheart
I feel you, I see you,  I am with you my sweetheart
We can mend, all the pieces, you’ll be whole again my sweetheart.

Little heart, brave heart, loving heart, my sweetheart
Little heart, kind heart, loving heart, my sweetheart
Beat beat beat, brave warrior, my sweetheart.

Mirror, Mirror in the Lake…

In the worlds and words of Myths,

A story of love still holds;

The Greek Myth of Echo who loved Narcissus,

But Narcissus who fell in love with himself.

Its been said that they both were cursed,

Echo could only repeat the words she heard,

It was a retribution for her lies and deceits,

And Narcissus got a taste of his own medicine.

People who loved him were never good enough for him;

One day he saw his reflection in a lake,

And got enamored of his own image ;

After breaking too many hearts, Narcissus fell in love with himself.

As often as it does, it turned into an agony,

Just like those who loved him, he could never reach and touch his reflection;

His love too was incomplete.

It was a Poetic Justice crafted by Nemesis, The Goddess of Vengeance,

Reap what You Sow,

She saw to it.

In Ancient Greek Mythology, looking at one’s reflection for too long was considered a bad omen (It does make sense as it makes you more vain).

In the next part,

Let us see what is means now to look at our own reflections, Shall we?

Appreciation Post

It’s the end of September 2021, it was a start of long waited new and end of something long due. Finally had the courage to walk away, doubted it so much and still doubt a little. However, it does keeps fading away as I feel myself whole.

I have been addicted to the pain for so long, happiness feels uncomfortable, wrong somehow, But I keep on overriding that thought, relentless love is my solution, when relentless neglect was the cause.

It is the end of September but September was the start, so I am so thankful for you September, for nudging yet comforting me through all.

A Sign

Be Brave to close that door,

You will be rewarded with a beginning once more

Sticking around for the sake of hope,

Just listen to your gut, your body;

It will be honest

And tell you if that hope is worth staying for

You are a Sensory, Spiritual, Intelligent Being,

You register subtle signs, clues, answers;

Just by being, Just by existing

Don’t gaslight yourself and your body,

You know better than to doubt it

That anxiety, That itch, That ache unexplained,

It is the manifest;

Your soul, your body, your energy trying to tell you something

Let this moment assure you,

Let this be the sign,

It is not giving up,

If staying is so futile

Choosing to feel better is your freedom,

It is your right,

Give yourself permission,

To choose yourself

This moment promises you,

It is ok to let go,

Be Brave to close that door,

You will be rewarded with a beginning once more

Epic Vs Only ok

Such a wretched existence,
Same dull every good, to how are you,
Same scrolling down to pass the in between moments.
Numbing all the idiosyncrasy of our being.

So horrifyingly melancholic,
To be reminded for a fraction of second,
That the trees, the rain, the ocean exist,
And how we are conditioned to look but just for a minute.

How painfully wasteful,
To live our ‘young years’ by working ourselves out of health,
And live the majority of our actual life with bitterness and regret.

Can’t take even a moment of this old ways,
Better no existence than such dreadful remainder of days.

Monday and the blues,
Friday and finally out of the woods;
Nerves that fire together,
Wire together, it’s true.

All the possibilities we can create, with our brilliant mind, body and spirit,
And this is what we settled for, an inadequate way of living!?

Breaking free of the shackles of our own making,
Taking the freedom to live, hence taking the responsibility,
Courage to face our own potential,
Bravery to put in the work to reach those potentials.

It’s all going to end after all,
But to be human is to not go gentle before the curtain falls.