Saturday, January 24, 2009


“The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. It has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes ideas of cyclicality, unity or infinity. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations. More recently, it has been interpreted by psychologists, such as Carl Jung, as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The first time I heard about Ouroboros was when it appeared in the fifteenth episode of one of my all-time favorite comic books “Thorgal: Le Maître des Montagnes.” For the last ten years, this particular symbol has intrigued and fascinated me. Why? Maybe due to the evidence that it is a strange – even scary -- ring; or perhaps because you can approach it from a thousand different directions... Some believe “RENEWAL”, others opt more for “DESTRUCTION.” Either way, the one thing I knew with certainty is that I had an aroused curiosity for the emblem of Ouroboros. I sincerely still consider it to be one of the most appealing theories I’ve ever dealt with. But it has always left me on my toes, for I never got why it was so relevant to me… until just recently.

Although, as stated above, this token more commonly stands for a sense of unity, I, like Thorgal, Vlana and Tarik in the comic book, couldn’t help but look at its power in a more fatalistic way. You might think the pessimistic side just kicked in, but the mere fact that it is a snake which bites its own tail brings up ideas such as “vicious circle”, “going round and round” and more importantly, could it also simply embody this specific argument: “there is no action without consequences?” The snake, after all, also is the one who leads Adam and Even to sin in the Bible.

Cliché has taught us that the result of our deeds – good and bad -- will eventually come back at us. The follow through can happen within a minute, but all know that it can also take a lifetime to come into effect. Some, I believe, will probably experience it in the after life. Something called KARMA? Definitely. The proof that it is still around and about it repeatedly calls for attention with, for instance, famous artists like Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake interpreting karma in their songs. Of course, it depends on the person not to think it through or even not give “karma” too much energy and effort… But when consequences hit you like…

“You might not hear thunder… but you always see the lightning coming.” – Milka liebt Erdbeer

The Ouroboros is a perfect symbol that no faulty action goes unpunished. And it is absolutely no excuse to say you followed your heart, that you got out of your box/way. But it happens to lose your head and hurt someone, even the one you truly love... Even the strongest and wisest of us can and will bite his own tail. "Who ever said karma is a b*tch?" The Ouroboros will forever amaze me because truth is: it does not represent only renewal or the other, destruction. It implies both. It -- everything, everyday, life, the pursue of... -- is an infinite cycle. The knees might hurt when we fall, but that's the reason why someone was wise enough to come up with a perfect invention: band-aids.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ex to the Ex

We broke up. I broke up with him. He broke up with me. The “it’s over”-thing. Yes… that thing.

The break-up is what one would consider a very intense, colorless (or -full?) and frail experience. For instance, the scenario could look familiar to this: not only do you go through the “angry moaning and ugly complaining” - part where you question over and over again some things like "what brought you two to this conclusion" and consequently "why you are still such a fool over him". You may surely also have that profound urge to rip your eyes out because you want to finally stop crying your broken heart out. Of course, the hours of therapy and comfort zone with your best gals are a major factor taken into consideration. And last but not least, the special moment(s) where you know it’s all about you facing what is ahead.

The story goes on as it should be. But suddenly, you come to realize that the big fuss is over and you find yourself in its aftermath-zone. The break-up lies far away like a distant memory. The history of you two being together almost seems like a forgotten episode of the last drama season. You are happy. He is happy. The wound leaves but a scar now. It might forever be visible but you got through the pain and are now over it. Water under the bridge? Something close alright.

This subject got me thinking about that possibility you can usually be confronted to after a break-up: considering this person to be someone other than your man... and be… well, a friend. You are happy. He is happy. And not in each other’s lives: Everything is going smoothly. You are happy. He is happy. But in each other’s lives again…as friends? Going as smoothly? Hmmm... Of course, it is not meant just being friendly (with all the awkwardness, unresolved feelings that are fresh “after all” and the long silences in-between)…but to be real friends. How heart-aching and not pretty your story might have ended, could this often wished of “let us stay friends” aftermath be actually taken seriously? Is it possible in some sort of parallel universe to cross the friendship line with the used-to-be one? When are you really just friends with your ex?

In truth, long have I regarded that request to be total crap, nonsense and just some sort of bad rationalization to come up with in the wish to appear clean in the story. Classic bad taste! But taking that option into account may come in different packages of "handling it". First of all, how do you handle your PRIDE factor (and NOT the love thermometer)? Opening that old window to some fresh air, or even a brand new one perhaps: Why not? Acknowledging the fact that you are actually better off as friends than more-than-just-friends? Well, maybe that is the simple and honest truth, and there is nothing else to it.

And secondly, and the first factor is a piece of cake beside this one, you got to pass the NOT-IN-LOVE-WITH-YOU-ANYMORE test. I guess Next’s song “We can’t be friends ('coz I'm still in love with you)" makes total sense after all. I am assured that even how nasty, tormented and bitter the break-up was, it is all about that “All or nothing” – phase that is hard to overcome… because at some level, you just know that all and everything comes down to this specific detail. You are over him, but he isn’t! He is over you, but you’re still hung up on him! And that is the reason why that odd and maybe hopeful something will always be floating in those clouds. [And we are not even taking in consideration the (big) probability of you falling in love again since you’ve been there before. Hmm...] You got to be on the same wave length. If you, and especially if both you two, are finally not in love with each other anymore, then it’s only at that moment that you might become friends… the real friends that this famous break-up line “let’s stay friends” implies. You might even be happy for each other’s new lives (and new-found loves?) Ain't that dystopia? So ponder on an even better possibility: this person you truly loved in another lifetime, and who actually knows you better than any other, might end up being the friend giving you advice on love... and life. Utopia, might not.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Way Out

You wake up one morning and what would typically look like just any other day, something deep inside you feels quite different. Characterizing it as wrong would not be accurate, but somewhat more like unusual should describe this certain emotion. And suddenly, it hits you… hard. As it is the exact same sensation as when you stand so near a rail track and you feel the rapidity of the train pass right through you. Something bigger, as many would want to call it. You are late. It occurs to you that it can be caused by a thousand various reasons, but it can also imply one single ‘massive’ happening. You then get the test done as quickly as possible and there it is... Despite the fact that the instructions are obviously easy to read, no woman in this world is ever truly trained to get through those stripes without hesitation (but thanks to recent development, it now allows the result to be understood in plain English).
Wishing or awaiting this particular “consequence” is of course totally over-the-edge different from the impact of being SURPRISED by it. Astonished… Alarmed… completely frightened actually. Whether it was because of a small and so you thought insignificant “accident” or probably something else. As a matter of fact, one thing is sure: you did not ask for this. You don’t want this pregnancy and you cannot handle it… not right now at least. When the diverse possibilities that are offered to you ‘of how to deal with this kind of situation’ come to mind… considering this one so-called alternative is without delay also taken into account.
In today’s society, where the option of “ending life” has become legal and has taken an important place in numerous cultures and countries, de facto it still raises quite a lot of polemics on moral values and your stand on the subject. And it definitely should. No matter how advanced or modern the world is today, this issue will forevermore stay controversial. Being strongly opinionated about this topic, I cannot help but disagree and actually be very angry with the whereabouts of abortion. Knowing that the numbers of unborn children are increasing in time, it is revolting! How reckless can it get?
As stated above, there are simply too many reasons why one would get pregnant unintentionally, whether you were careful enough or not, sometimes letting it take effect unfortunately in bad procedures. It wasn't (entirely) my fault! But keep in mind that it is NEVER the child who committed the 'mistake'. As expected, it is evidently priority number 1 to think about the future: you still have plans for yourself and you are definitely not ready. How will you support your child financially, with or without the father by your side? Are you in control acknowledging the great yet immense responsibility of being a mother? And last but not least, will you be able to offer a good life to your kid? Too many questions, which each and every one demands an answer. And hopefully good ones. When you believe that you are put into a corner, you desperately want to break through. And you know you can. But in my opinion, even how exhausting and challenging these life-changing circumstances would be for you, and even how insecure the future looks like, choosing abortion is taking the easy way out.
Furthermore, it is now possible to check on the health of the baby during the early stages of the pregnancy. It is also an option to choose to terminate the fetus’ life if there appears to have a ‘handicap’. Some parents accept that solution. Once again, this is all about taking the easy way out. Not getting what you desire and you can just “zap” it off as if it were for your child’s and your own good sake! To think this will simplify your life! A crappy excuse. And simply unfair.
Exactly… it is unfair especially to this little being growing inside you. Some are convinced that the early (and not so early) cells of the embryo are not enough to properly define 'it' as being a “baby” yet, but it is. And it is yours. Would you like to bear the guilt of breaking not only your heart, but his/hers’ too? Being an adult gives you the consent to choose, but the child in your belly should of course have a VOICE as well. The right to be offered a chance to LIVE. Seeing, feeling, experiencing a pregnancy: won’t it always be the most beautiful gift GOD gave to women? So how can you possibly say NO to GIVING LIFE!?

Equation of the Heart

There are more important things than
... instant attraction 
... this electricity betwen you and me 
... our undeniable chemistry.
Solutions are questionable, but the answer lies in doing the right thing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bad Boy "X-"Files

Ever since I can remember, there’s always been a thang [not a thing... a thang. hehe] going on for what we like to call the typical Bad Boy - and by this statement it is not to include those wannabe heartthrobs or fake good boys (of course, I mean no offense) – but that incredibly gorgeous, funny, confident, simple yet so classy, charming, actually nice, sometimes naughty, perhaps smart ass, knowing how and when to bust a line (that we are maybe fishing for...hehe), very, very HOT guy !!! Come on, ladies, admit it : you all know about that territory :

« What a HUNK !!!!! But oH Oh ! (Probably) What a PLAYER !!!!... »

Indeed, it is as good as inevitable... Coming with the bad boy image and evidently, the bad boy self also comes along that border which no smart gal would dare cross. It’s out of your league (and this is to be considered in the most POSITIVE way). Not that you cannot... but you should not ! Maybe it's absurd to generalize but many are witness to the BAD BOY epidemia: a hunk can get a lot of girls, and he knows it. It is a battlefield and you may mostly have unresponsive results in efforts and time! He is almost un-...attainable ! Almost un-...touchable ! Almost un-...reachable ! Yet a mystery remains : even if you take into account and analyze the huge probability of how dangerous and unsafe the situation you’re getting into appears, why still have that curious... uncontrollable... physical... gravitational pull to this certain type of men ?!

Honestly, as I believed I had acquired some wisdom (as if... hehe), I thought I had a straightforward answer to this one.

But when THE SOLDIER'S HOT... What can YOU do?

Just [ Don't ] Drop it Like it’s Hot !!!! To each her preference in definitions. And that’s how the story goes. And else, ask Tupac who sang about this gal who got herself a player for life !

Forgiving Mariah Carey

The 90's for me rhymed with the great influence of a singing bird: Without you, Fantasy and Always be my baby are only a few to describe this excellent ERA. But the heartfelt admiration for this woman, none other than Mariah Carey, drastically changed when she divorced from former manager Tommy Mottola and also... divorced from her clothes. It wasn't attractive... it wasn't even sexy. Classy would have done it... but vulgar couldn't pass me by. One could actually see the reflection of deceit and disgust in my eyes. Next thing I knew is that EVERYTHING that I appreciated in this artist and in her music was buried and forgotten. The more she exaggerated, the lesser I saw the talent. Parading herself like that: change or evolution? Or what she likes to call "finally being herself"? Either way, I couldn't stand her. Adored and hated. Total contrast.

Then in year 2005, someone gave me Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi. I thought to myself: "You must be kidding me?" It was a gift so the least I could do was listen to it, at least once. And to my surprise, something changed in my point of view. I realized and actually admitted that it was a really great album: and I felt it again, after nine years. She is still way-too-much of a boobie, still the overreacting diva, still THOSE videos... But she proved to be quite the singer once again. Talent: bare-naked. And I shall not forget that. She'll never be "that singing fool on a seesaw" again but that incident taught me that giving her another shot was not too late. And it never is. Making peace with her was definitely a step forward.

This subject got me wondering about forgiveness. Deep and uncensored. We are confronted to different challenges every single day. The best situation can drift to insanity in a second, because of mistakes done or said. God gave men the ability to forgive, to ask forgiveness and move forward with each other's faults, as He forgives us men for all our sins. Small and deadly. Yet reality shows that we may have the ball on our side, but do we all have the gift to forgive?! Questions such as making peace with cheaters, racists, rapists, murderers, dictators, pedophiles, wife-beaters … or simply forgiving those who wronged us...even forgiving ourselves, us sinners, pop out. Many actions seem irreversible and can destroy more than one life. Betrayals have lead to lifetime anger and silence. There are no rules to how and when to forgive. Even justice doesn't define how you deal with it, nor is it said that you may one day have the power to do so. The only certain thing is that none should be surprised that forgiveness can happen, and does succeed. What we call making this world a better place.

Forgiveness is not a miracle. Forgiveness is a choice. A GIFT to use, given to each of us.

To overcome resentment and forgive. To not seek revenge and forgive. To not wish karma and forgive. Truth is: you cannot read forgiveness, you can only write it.

Difference, difference... who are you?

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,

perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

Let him step to the music which he hears,

however measured or far away."

-Henry David Thoreau

Difference is the most intriguing thing. It is easy to see and explore; but often slightly harder to accept. We start off curious, and we usually end up with funny situations, awkward conclusions or even incredible fear! Yes, difference can enlighten or frighten us. Yet it is the basis that connects us: all societies, all families, all loves, every friendship and every encounter... In my opinion, it is not the similarities that make individuals get along with each other, but how they share their differences in perfect harmony! Every single one of us is different (and being different is what we ALL HAVE IN COMMON!), even if it is not what we seek to be. It is wonderful to be so-called normal and simple, as it is to be weird and complicated! I just think it's important to be who you are, and pick up the best out of the complexity of this word "difference".

I like this quote because it adds quite a sweet meaning to DIFFERENCE. As it may suggest, you ought to be different or what we usually call "not like the others"; but in my opinion, Thoreau underlines the fact that it's okay -- even greater, better -- to make a difference and follow your heart, regardless of the difficulty, fights or even absurdity that come with it. It doesn't even matter if people do not follow or understand you, but it is what you think is right. And in the best of cases, you might have inspired one or two with your different "...", your "difference"... and what would happen then? 

Important to note is a simple truth: being you IS being different. What matters most is the effect you make. It's how you deal with the cards you have in hand, it's how you charm with your uniqueness, it's how you dream, it's how you speak your mind, it's the wish to be good, it's how real and authentic your ideas are, it's the actions you decide to take... no matter the scale (but bigger is always better, right?) How trivial this may sound: we are all capable of generating quite the impact!

DIFFERENCE is one simple thing that forces me to want to make a DIFFERENCE!

Furthermore, being the gregarious person that I am made me realize how much I adore HUMAN BEINGS: to encounter and get to know all kinds of people! And I can say I am truly blessed and happy to have met so many creative and wonderful people all through my life! And it's just the beginning. I can't get enough.

Some are near...others are unfortunately only near my heart...Some are still sticking around... others now only exist in my memory. There are some who have made a change in history, others have made a difference in my own life. Either way, I am thankful to all those who contribute: those whom I admire, those who impress me, those who helped me grow through good (and even awful) experiences, those who helped me shape my beliefs and persona, those who hope more than I could ever see the limit, those who believe in me although my worst flaws, those whom I believe in although their worst mistakes, those who taught me the difference between right and wrong, those who have pushed me for the better... and especially those who just love to take this journey called life.

Embrace the DIFFERENCE. Want a better DIFFERENCE!

It's great to travel... and by that, I mean to travel with your soul.

Feelings in a box?

A thought has been haunting me lately.

It got me to question: why is it that it comes so easily to put an important -- yet unfortunately one that has ended -- "time of your life" in a (shoe) box? It will maybe be lost and thrown away; but more than often, the box just rests hidden somewhere in the cabinet or under the bed. When the situation isn't like it used to be anymore, simple -- and even useless -- things that you alone know how meaningful they are, such as a cinema coupon or the receipt of a restaurant, become somehow... unkind. And all the souvenirs just end up in a shoe box.

Am I a material girl in a material world like Madonna? Oh yes, definitely, but I do not mean that in a negative way. I reckon that we all really like stuff to be around us because it's an evidence that we are feeling quite alright. But then again, it happens that changes come our way, whether we want them or not. And what is usually the best way to deal with "what's been"? Down the drain with reminders of "you being happy, and him looking sexy" (quoted by Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City")

I then asked myself: can we say that our life is actually made of boxes? Of course, there are the boxes which are always a delight to open and there are those that are way better off kept out of our sight. And it's at this point that I realized that materialism can only reach a certain limit. The "hardest" box to carry is, and will always be the hurt that sleeps in our own heart. Human beings tend to find a way to escape by avoiding or getting rid of evidence. It is very easy to do that deed but feelings cannot be put aside or be forgotten, even how much we want to bury them. It's a hunch that is uncontrollable, and which overwhelms us.

Boxes: proof of memories... 

The heart is the organ that betrays our mind, and  materialism. Yet fortunately, at the exact same time, it is also the weapon that will help us grow as individuals. Times of happiness, times of glory, times of mistakes, times of pain... We cannot get away from our feelings for the simple reason that these boxes -- great and not-so great -- form our being every step of the way.

Why are the boxes, so difficult and unlikely to be opened, mostly hidden and not in the waste bin? I guess it is because we get to understand that EVERYTHING that box contains is simply part of who we are. One day, a shorter span for some... much longer for others: we'll get to open THE box without feeling any bitterness, any remorse. The burden is lost, and the box is regarded as just another box. That is when we'll know we move or have moved on: we learn to deal with our past and our box(es), and the rest relies on the future.

Cry baby

In this time and age, people complain about all sorts of things… all the time. Good complaining brings results and change, but bad complaining is a carousel of headaches: whether it is about work, love affairs, the weather, people, looks, the government, insecurities, routine, choices, reality and the whole unfair world. But more than often, I wonder why certain individuals actually complain although they possess this package of gifts to be really happy. Something close to everything. Or as it always is, just so it seems. And I am no different: blah blah blah about this and that for X and Y reasons. STOP IT, right? So what is out there to make us quit whining (even for a little while) and be content with the simple thought of even having these gifts a.k.a good deeds a.k.a. privileges a.k.a opportunities a.k.a. life? 

If complaints would be recorded on a tape, this is what one could do. A good start is to just press the stop button, and breathe in and breathe out. Nice feeling, huh? It’s the gift of life! Then, it is to press the rewind button and review the source of our many complaints. Quite a few seem unnecessary, huh? Nourish the good, learn to change/live with the bad! And finally, it is to press the play button for you are to be counting your blessings. There is a lot, huh? Thank God! 

Although it seems incredibly easy to do so, why still tend to forget and lose track? I came to realize that perhaps some of our dissatisfaction come from the fact that our perspective has changed in terms of having that special touch with what truly matters. The real thing. Not only is it a good idea to look deeper (over and over again) into some definitions like respect, help, beauty, morality and success, which might have lost their edge, but to be reminded (over and over again) of wanting/having these simple things which are actually written on our birthday card wishes every single year: health, happiness, get much love and all the best! Do we cherish our blessings enough? 

It is not meant to be just content with what you have and cannot work or wish more for our own lives (and this is what I consider good complaining), but to be thankful to be given hindrance and challenges, and be given what we’ve got : these gifts a.k.a good deeds a.k.a privileges a.k.a opportunities a.k.a life.  So once in a while, maybe everyday, such ordinary days, it is good to remember and come back to basics. Remember the reason why God has granted us this life, knowing where we are at and where to be making a change. Life filled with deserved respect, seeing beauty in everything, learning moral and good values, working for success, being very healthy and helpful, having “happy” happiness, full of love and all the best which we are blessed to own or/and long for. To complain about what we have might bring to nowhere, to complain about what we don’t have might bring to nowhere, to pray and work for it might bring us somewhere. Positive-thinking always works.

My faith

Recently, one of my very close friends asked a simple yet probably the most revealing and important question of my entire life. With this latest happening in hand, she wanted to know only one thing about what had occurred: “ So, my dear, did He leave you a message?” I startled. And there it was. Crystal clear. It has never been clearer to me. With conviction, with sparkling eyes, with this big heart, I embraced the answer: “ Yes, He did leave me a message. The most beautiful I could ever get.”

This feeling of “things happen for a reason” and especially “why it happened to me” took quite THE turning point. Long have I wondered about what this sentence really meant… or how serious it could get. And even if it came down knocking at my door in a rather very shocking and scary way, I could not be more content about it. But let us take it from the beginning, shall we not? Because it truly took me a very bumpy, challenging and difficult road to get here.

In very straightforward terms, I am what you would usually call the person who lies somewhere in-between in regards to believing and having faith in God. And by this, it is not meant questioning His existence, but simply questioning having faith. Conclusion: An unstable faith. A fragile faith. A roller coaster faith… It has definitely not been a smooth and continuous path. I have believed. I have felt. I have experienced. But somewhere along the way, it almost became a struggle to know what it meant to have God in my life, until it finally got me to silently shouting “If God is so good… then where is He?”

To know that my faith could jump from south to north (with maybe sometimes a stop in the middle) assured me that I was still finding my way. But the thing about trying to find that way… You may tend to take the other direction instead of staying put and continue fighting. Insecurity maybe? Giving up so easily maybe? Fears maybe? Inconsolable deception maybe? Or simply a lack of faith after all? I knew for a fact that it came more easily and continuously to others, as a matter of fact to most of my entourage actually. But it was really something more challenging and different to me. As much as I wanted to believe, and even if these statements should not be compared anyhow, I took a good look at this world, even at our own lives entwined… And I realized that sometimes, when you start lacking faith in people and situations, you really begin to wonder and getting nauseous. And you choose to finalize those doubts by saying good-bye.

…Until that very special night. In all honesty, the kind of event which would bring someone like me to not only lack faith, but also bring me to be angry with God. Yet to my very own surprise, the situation took a whole different road.

God saved me during that crash. He really did. He really really did.

The second I opened my eyes and saw the glass broken into pieces, the second I could not move my body and it hurt so badly, the second where everything and anything was rushing through my head, the second I disappeared… I turned to God, and I had not done that in a very very long time. And I cried to Him. I plead for His Mercy. I asked for forgiveness. And I said something I thought I would never do in my lifetime: Thy Will be Done. And at this very moment, He held my hand.

I appeared. The next second I opened my eyes and still saw the glass broken into pieces, the next second I still could not move my body. It even hurt more than before. I was frozen. But it was not everything and anything which was rushing through my head anymore. It was my heart: it was rushing to a million kilometers per hour, and not because I was afraid. Something horrible even life threatening had just happened. But then, I did something that I had never done before, I trusted God with all that I am. I knew that God would take care of everything and that He had want me still alive for a reason.

It is said that we were very very lucky. So lucky that it seemed almost impossible. It did sound like a miracle. People also said the Lady of Fatima looked after us. I fiercely believe that. As for my part, I got it the worst as all of you know. As the doctors say, my situation was pretty delicate yet I was truly immensely lucky. I am truly blessed. My family, my friends, my peepz, my community and I were really worried and dazzled. But it turned out very well. And let me tell you something, no one should ever doubt how powerful prayers are: so strong to give hope, to give comfort, to give courage, to give support, to give love, to give compassion, to give LIFE.

God gave me a second chance. God gave me a second life. Now the roller coaster has stopped. It is a straight road and I will follow it no matter what will come. Challenges, as hard as they can get, are definitely a number one factor in life. Sometimes our plans and life do not turn out the way we want them to. And we are angry and disappointed. We are hurt and broken. But God has a plan. I KNOW having faith does not come that easily to many of us and I am not saying you need a miracle to attain it. I believe that faith takes the road that it needs. Maybe I needed that crash to get me awaken. God has His ways to show His love and His mercy. And the thing is: all you need to do is trust, praise and love Him with all your being. Life is good. But it is a life with God that is real. There are a thousand reasons not to believe and have faith. But there is one reason why one should believe in God. It is what I, someone so doubtful about Him… someone almost ignorant… someone in-between, am feeling inside as I write these lines. God’s love is so beautiful, it is so warm, it is so nourishing, and it is so unconditional… It is the One way. God is good. God is almighty. God loves each and every one of us. And if you do not know that yet, do not worry, you will. God bless you.


Curiously enough, the shape of the heart is just the letter B curved... beautifully. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Behind the fence

As a somewhat profound conversation often include familiar expressions such as “I can so relate to…”, “I totally understand what you…” and “I know exactly what you mean …”, we get to assess that both subjectivity and compassion truly have become us when it comes to listening to and caring for the others. This is especially relevant in cases where we can clearly identify with what they are going through. In addition, those two notions go hand-in-hand as being a people-person not only pushes you to feel sincere sympathy and understanding, but as the definition of compassion states, “it is [also] accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering."

But then a sudden thought came up: bringing me to wonder about the fine distinction between objectivity and subjectivity, asking myself how it would be like to actually sit in a jury. Surely, giving a honest opinion or piece of advice always comes from the heart and your right-hand mind, no matter how close you are with someone…

…Or wait a second, is that really true? Consider the times where you were expected to have a clear-cut objective stand on a subject; do you not reckon that being judgmental or even "hard" on people does seem much easier when not directly connected to the person? Would the answer be a crystal clear yes? Most definitely. But when the same wrong doings are committed by someone you know/appreciate/love… Even if you aren't directly concerned since it's not your story and problems to solve, you recognize that your level of tolerance and humanness instantly goes up a notch. Of course, it is not presumed that because kindness and familiarity came into the way, that your vision started to blur your very own idea of right and wrong. But it forces you to take out your goggles and look further into the other side of the fence, helping you gain new perspectives. Finally, everything appears to be so much bigger as you realize that the two sides of a story can maybe involve, not only a person you care about but also, in the best or the worst of cases, the fence just turns into a mirror.

Recollect all the times you had a strong opinion on a sensitive topic, all those years being so very sure about your thoughts on this and that, even perhaps believe you know better… What happens if those principles are put into test? You will probably be tempted yet not give in, but don't ever conclude your morals cannot be shut down. Food for thought: “Never say never” wasn’t invented for nothing. Indeed, life sometimes brings you to the most surprising places, which are, for instance, being put in someone else’s shoes: those of one you were convinced you’d never ever be in. A little confused? Then try thinking outside the box and really imagine how it feels to be behind the fence.

The distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, to be given the permission to judge or not… takes a whole different dimension the very second you honestly comprehend this subtle analysis. "I know exactly what you mean... Don't I?" I've been there before." When you cross the line over to the unthinkable, like someone you love has, like someone you don’t appreciate has, like someone you do not know has… At the end of the day, it isn’t a question of which side of the fence you stand on that matters, what is important simply calls for yet another great reality check: experiences -- the best and especially the worst of them -- are only packaged with a handful of lessons. These people, whoever they are, manage to learn from them. And so will you! Piece of cake.

Your Nobel Prize

The 10th of December is dedicated to a very special event: the award ceremony of the Nobel Prize. Since 1901, this Prize has been honoring men and women for their outstanding achievements in these different categories: Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, Literature and for work in Peace. This annual happening takes place in Stockholm, except for the Nobel Peace Prize which is awarded in the capital of Norway. The Man behind it all is Swedish scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist: Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). In other words, my “ideal” man.

My fascination for the Nobel was accentuated as I had the privilege to meet 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Muta Maathai, awarded for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. That very sunny day in Oslo last June 2005 will remain with me forever... Such an amazing and inspiring woman! She's powerful yet so simple and down-to-earth! I then tell myself: I want to be just like THEM! And maybe someday, I’ll be in Scandinavia on December 10th to be getting my Nobel Prize.”

Thinking about the Nobel and its Laureates got me all smiling about the different persons who touch and influence our being, especially those who are capable of supporting and enriching some of our own wishes and dreams. And I realized how relevant it is for the young and forever-young to have mentors, coaches,… Role Models. It never occurred to me to be calling it idolizing or putting these certain individuals on a higher ground, since that would take away their humanity (and that is horrible/impossible to do!). But to simply consider it pure admiration. They – their words, their actions, their personality or their path - speak to us in one or even a thousand ways! Many whose names will perpetuate in our books and newspapers, others whose names will echo in our little hearts indefinitely. People we look up to. People we need to be guided by: Someone who sets example(s). Someone who believes. Someone who values. Someone who works hard. Someone who dreams. Someone who gives hope and courage. None other than…

…Our parents, our grand-parents, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, our friends, our nannies, our teachers, our priests, our workers, our wives and husbands, our scientists, our children, our doctors, our missionaries, our soldiers, all our different artists, our athletes, our revolutionaries, our Nobel Prize Winners

…Our inspiration(s)!

Aren’t they just Ordinary People [always in courtesy of John Legend]… who just happen to be extraordinary ?!? Exactly… Name them close to our heroes.

A true /or thru with/ love management

It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. -Confucious

"I'm thru with love...I'll never fall again...Said adieu to love...Don't ever call again..." 

What an adorable song by Henry Busse!!

You used to love him. It was him. And with him, you were everything. A fluffy rabbit, a heroic joke, a constant firework, a cheesy romantic, a fruity cocktail, a unique sunrise, a perfect picture. The kind of love where you actually cannot even see the limit of it: it's unconditional, it's infinite... it's indescribable. And as much as this emotion is intense, the antagonist is a much greater burden to carry. The kind of pain where you actually cannot even see the limit of it. Rain in the night, oil in the water, a mirage in the desert. The hurt is so profound: it's heavy, it's insane... it's unbearable. 

You used to love him... and went through the fire for him [in courtesy of John Legend]. And you're still going through a damn fire.
  • Fooling yourself
You've heard it all: He's not worth it anyway. You'll find someone better. You can live without him. This will make you stronger. You're better off since it's over, and so on and so forth... Even how reassuring and true all of this is, aren't you quite a stubborn wreck? Yes, of course you are. Can you please stop fooling yourself? Indeed, despite this whole circus, truth is: you love do... you just do. Every night you would tear your heart up -- not only for the pain to go away but also because it's time to stop loving him -- but come the morning, your heart would be full again. The rebounding process is the longest and the hardest, but often one that is not always fully accomplished. And by this it is not meant rebounding as jumping into the next fling or relationship, but coming back to who you are "without him". If you miss this period of sulking immensely and getting lost in yourself again, you are not going anywhere. Assuming that you are okay when you're clearly not. Forcing rebound is the best recipe for a catastrophe. Ask yourself: What specifically makes you strong (or stronger)? It's not being a rock of confidence, a fierce woman or just the wish of not being alone. Real power is opening your eyes, stop lying to yourself, admitting and accepting you are weak. This will make you even stronger. It may take a lot of time but it will be no minute less, no minute more than it needs. 

In addition to that, women know this: when relationships don't work out, it is common to feel that history repeats itself. And the conclusion to that would be: "Men are all crap and all the same anyway!" It is true that the hurt of a broken heart may be similar (or even worse) but let us not forget that they are still totally different people i.e. different relationships. It is not only childish to put him in that category as undesirable happenings occur simply because he proved to be "like the others after all", what is even worse is to find someone else just to forget or replace him. Why the urge and the need of evidence that there is a man out there who can actually be an exception? 

Going back to the game... a rebound or not... Just giving love a chance again... being ready for it or not... provoking it or not... It is not a secure place. And even if you've moved on and you are at the top again. Ironically, what is certain is that uncertainty remains. There is no assurance that this time, within a new relationship, it will work: everything and anything can happen. Could you ever think that this one great relationship could be the trigger for unbelievable pain? What you learn from past relationships will remind you what you desire and what you will want to avoid.. and what is a good start is to remember that love is not about finding an exception in the bunch of men, to finally shout to yourself "this one is different, he won't hurt me". He surely is different, but more to it, it is love that is the exceptional relationship. And the sweetest candle you could light is to never forget to be a lover of love, despite... To have believed and still continue to do so. Never ever give up on that incredible feeling.
  • He doesn't love you
... because if he did... yes, because if he did, WHAT?!? Looking back is one thing that is totally unnecessary. Questioning, analyzing and counting points leads you to NOWHERE. Asking: Why? Could it have been any different? If you had or hadn't done or said this? If you had or hadn't reacted like that? Why did he... or why didn't he? Who is wrong? Who is right? IT DOESN'T MATTER. It's a waste of time. It's a waste of thoughts and may I also add, it is exhausting. Looking back is just going in circles. Things are just the way the are. Now. At this very moment. What has happened... happened. And he doesn't love you because... he just doesn't. That's being in a relationship: you should be working together. And that is absolutely bigger than destiny. Both of you cannot change what's been, you can only use it to look ahead. And if it's not the case... then truth is you cannot do or force anything anymore. Enough of finding reasons or excuses... Enough of even blaming him, and especially, please stop blaming yourself. Of course, it would be so much easier for your heart if you could indeed hate him. But you shouldn't. And you won't. Hating him is hating yourself, it's compressing this ball of evil into your stomach. It is not healthy for your conscience. A total nightmare. And in the end, none of it makes you feel any better anyway. Not the slightest bit. Important is at least you wanted, you tried, you fought for your love. If he gave up on you, all you can do is wish him the best. The Why? may hunt you indefinitely... Yet the brightest candle you can light is to simply never ever regret to have loved him.
  • Time destroys everything
How could you ever love someone else as much as you loved him? How can pain and deceit be minimal enough to finally look forward? How could you ever trust another soul? Can you believe in love after love? Finally, when do you really cease to love him? No definite answer?! There is no formula which one can hold on to. But you are definitely realistic... and maybe hopefully optimistic. The best candle you can light is just to be surprised of what plan awaits you.

R(h)umor me

"Rumor has it that..."
Really? What happened? Who did what? What did who?


...But actually, how is it possible? 

People talking: the vicious circle. News spreading starts from the school yard to our work place, from the fitness studio to the club, from the smallest village to the capital city, from the community to ...worldwide entertainment. This larger scale is proven by those PEOPLE magazines and E! Channel. Whatever we do or say, how hard we try to avoid it from happening, it is simply a fight we can't win. It remains a circle from which we are all the principle characters: we are the directors, we are the producers, we are the editors, we are the actors and we are the audience. We complain about it because the "what's the news"- factor has turned into such a bad connotation. For instance, the quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt implies that "People with small minds talk about people. People with average minds talk about events. People with great minds talk about ideas." Yet aren't we, the people, who actually sustain the deed? [of course, some more than others] Discussing ideas can include mentioning people, so do events! It just depends on how you talk about people. So doesn't the snake bite its tail? 

The subject seems quite subtle because it is too improper to talk generalities and too easy to name exceptions. Only a few aspects can be covered. Maybe it is in our human nature to talk about people and our happenings, since it's not only nokia that connects people...but people connecting people! And this got me thinking that rumors, how true or untrue or partially true they are, are not the major problem. It's the projection of one's self to the rest of the world, it's the fear of judgement, it's the bitter thought of (their) being fake, it's feeding the curiosity, it's the search for the truth...
We need to go with the flow...but how to go with the flow in a more POSITIVE way?
1. Let THEM talk. Just imagine and count:
  • How often do you hear from people "this and that" about.....................?
  • How often do you hear people talking trash about...............?
  • So imagine them talking about YOU to........................ AND SO BE IT. Let them talk.
In my opinion, assuming that you have a personal judgement on a story or on people, based on what the "NEWS" are, is politically correct. We complain because when it's about us, it can not only hurt at times but we are mad because it's none of their business in the first place anyway. But look at it from outside: on a higher level. First of all, yes indeed, do not care about it... REALLY.

Yet I am also assured, like everyone else, that gossiping is not about caring or not. Right? It's not even considering what people think and conclude. But the reality is, at the end of the day, people can and will always analyze. People are just talking about people, and people love to judge (whether one admits to it or not.) You might not care indeed, but "people judging" shouldn't stop there. It's still none of their business to talk about your whereabouts, but what is even more revolting: assuming is not knowing. Prejudice is not judgement. And judgements are never final. (I also take for a factor that there is a very big difference between prejudice/judgements from strangers and judgements from our "own" people.) It doesn't matter on how the facts are put on a platter or the relevance of the news, what should happen is to lighten up: people should open their window a little wider, even have it wide open. Keep in thought that "this & that" comes jumping from one mouth to another; and never forget that if there is some asking to do...No one knows it better than the person(s) concerned/involved. It's a pity that many are too curious but those who stay fixated on "I heard that..." and judge on that so-called gossip are way more out of line. Don't judge a book by its cover, but after reading it.

2. Let ME talk

How foolish this may sound and I don't suppose it makes any sense either, but a way of attenuating the negative connotation of the "rumor" circle is to talk about YOU, yourself, your life, your ideas, your events and obviously, about your stories as well. Sounding arrogant and selfish? Absolutely. But don't you have more credit to it since you are the one who is directly concerned i.e. the star of your own movie? Yes, you do. Gossiping will be you wanting people to have the exact same opinion as your own, which is neither right nor responsible. Let people forge their judgement about your persona and the people who are actors in your stories, they have a right to their opinion: whether it is in a good or negative way. You do not even need to mention the person per se as a person. What matters most is not who is involved in your life, but what you get to learn from your relationship with her/her. That is sharing, not gossiping about "..." Do you sense the difference? At least the "story about you" comes directly from... well, you. And isn't it always worse to talk about the others?

3. The Reputation

The biggest consequence of "people talking" is your reputation, whether you want to uphold it or destroy it. It's funny how we can have a certain image about someone, whether it is blurry or crystal clear. But it is just simply for the best to know the person: your judgement call may persist and you have the right to that; but your thoughts can also change completely. I believe in a try, even in a second chance, and even more in continuous hope. People try (hard, harder, hardest) why don't we change our opinions as well? I have admiration for those who realize that their reputation may be tough and there is a reason behind it, and yet they make the best to get out of it. Those who still judge the past are intolerant. Food for thought: we fools realize that we are indeed fools... and no need of outside judgements to remind us of that. If the fools have changed and the outside world cannot see that, their loss. But, on the other hand, I despise those who actually don't like you and yet still lie to your face. Being polite is one thing and being fake is another. Bitching is something horrible but pretending is even worse. It's your right not to like someone... so no faking and keep that up.

4. The Truth

All this said... something will stay a reality: News, rumors, gossip and chitchat will de facto never be THE TRUTH because none of us is capable of telling THE truth. It's the best, most beautiful thing yet impossible to reach. What I feel/live is not what you feel/live, what they think stays what they think : my truth is not your truth, their truth is not THE truth. The facts can contain some or all of what we call the truth...but who tells about the facts? PEOPLE. We are the ones who spice it all up! It's a question of interpretation. It's just how we assimilate information and what we do with and about it that defines our being. How do YOU handle information? The circle ends here: when you know how to answer that.