Strength

We often think strength is associated only to the brave, the courageous, the undefeated. We forget that choosing to walk away from a loved one requires strength. Grieving for a loss is strength in itself. Overcoming an illness or disability is strength. Strength is opening up about your abusive childhood years to another. We tend to overlook the daily struggles the person next to us faces and look miles away. We idolize big names and international faces. Call them heroes and look up to them.

Are we missing out on something significant and apparent? I think so.

We trivialize the struggles people we know face and always make a mountain out of our own hurdles. We grow up answering questions and handling issues with black and white answers. And when someone’s answer doesn’t align with our categories, we classify them as wrong, rubbish and warped logic. We overlook that some issues can have a grey area. Some issues have to stand the test against time and will iron themselves out when enough time passes.

We can do better. You and me both.

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Is the grass really greener?

We often find ourselves envying the lives of people we both know and don’t know lead. Seated from our comfortable seats in front of our 32” flat screen LCD monitor, we wish we could trade lives with someone whom we very easily think is having a ‘better’ life. Be it in terms of having a blessed family, or a weekend full of crazy parties, or the one who gets to displace themselves physically every other week or month. In a nutshell, we think they’ve got it all and forget to consider the issues and struggles they have chosen note to share via the online medium. The wrong decisions they’ve made, the disappointments they’re trying to come to terms with and their sadness gets masked beneath their multitude of posts to share their beautiful and happy moments.

But, is the grass really greener on the side of the pasture or is it just our wants and desires that’s getting the better of us?

Remember that for every person who you envy and want to swap lives with, there will be at least one other person willing to be in your seat. So, cherish what you have got as cliche as it may sound, cause the grass may not always be greener on the other side.

Have you caught yourself in this position before?

16-year-old self.

Dear 16-year-old self,

I’m bursting with so many things to tell you. But, I think I wanna begin by saying I wish you held on to your adolescent years a little longer. You often fought with yourself to grow up and questioned so many things about life. You questioned happiness and threaded it with caution instead of embracing it when it came knocking at your door, albeit transient and short-lived. Happiness at every phase in life, whether you’re 16 or 60, is going to elude you. It’s only going to leave you if you decide to hold on to it longer and tighter than you’re supposed and expected to.

The years ahead of you will redefine what friendship and friends mean to you. You’re going to get hurt, betrayed, cheated and go through a whole lot of other emotions but you’ll survive only stronger and less gullible. You will realise soon enough that life works like a curveball and that, karma exists. You just gotta be patient and let things run the course they’re meant to.

You know nothing about love. So quit trying to understand it. Love isn’t meant to be understood. You’re not going to understand it even when you have your first kiss. Or let alone, on your wedding day, for that matter. Or even when you have your first kid. Maybe then, you might understand it just a tiny bit more. But, you’re still going to get a lump in a your throat when the next person comes up to you and asks you what love is.

I can’t wait for you to join me on this side of life in 7 years and 5 months time.

Love always,

Self

Midnight in Paris.

Hemmingway to Pender on making love and fearing death

Pender: Were you scared?

Hemmingway: Of what?

Pender: Getting killed.

Hemmingway: You’ll never write well if you fear dying. Do you?

Pender: Yeah I do…I’d say it’s probably, maybe my greatest fear actually.

Hemmingway: Well it’s something all men before you have done, all men will do.

Pender: I know, I know –

Hemmingway: Have you ever made love to a truly great woman?

Pender: Actually my fiance is pretty sexy…

Hemmingway: And when you make love to her you feel true and beautiful passion and you for at least that moment lose your fear of death?

Pender: No, that doesn’t happen.

Hemmingway: I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing and when the man that is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino hunters I know, or Belmonte who is truly brave, it is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds, until it returns, as it does, to all men and then you must make really good love again…Think about it.