5 Lessons Learned from 2019

wth was that

I walked into 2019 thinking “now THIS is definitely gonna be my year!” I was super excited, optimistic, and confident that all my hard work would finally pay off, I would finally see the meaning behind all my endless years of suffering, and I would finally be rewarded with true love and success…finally!! Aaaaaaaand here we are, 2 days before 2020, and to say the least, 2019 was probably the most painful year yet. In reflecting on the hundreds of painful lessons learned, I boiled them all down to FIVE, and here they are:

LESSON 1: Social Media and Your Mental Health:

Social media can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you use it. Using it mindlessly, I found it usually left me feeling empty, even lonely. By being selective of who and what I follow, I’m able to make sure that the time I spend on social media feeds my soul and makes me feel more connected to those I care about and the world. All that power was literally in the palm of my hands and no one else’s.

LESSON #2: Investing in Myself (It Started With My Integrity)

First, I define integrity. It’s a complex concept, but it all boils down to living consistently and as honestly as possible to our values and beliefs. Our integrity is our most prized possession because our life satisfaction, happiness and internal peace all depend on our integrity.

Do NOT sacrifice your integrity for anyone.
Nothing and no one is worth losing your integrity.
Take all the time you want
to process what needs processing
but do NOT let anyone take away your integrity.

I used to be a walking doormat. I used to react to people’s attitudes and behaviors flushing my integrity down the toilet. I was equally as guilty of questionable integrity as those I blamed. So, how do we strengthen our integrity? First, you gotta know who you are and what you stand for. That requires self-honesty. You must embrace and acknowledge who you really are (the parts you don’t want to admit to, the parts you want to change, and the parts you try to hide from everyone, including yourself). You can’t go forward without that. So take some time to sit down with yourself, just BE with yourself, and get to know that person, just like you would with anyone else.

If you don’t think you’re worth
taking the time to
sit down with and REALLY getting to know,
then why would anyone else want to??

Investing in yourself is the best and most profitable investment you will ever make. There are tons of ways to do that, but the investments that make the most impact are the ones that last. Investing in makeup, botox, and bigger boobs aren’t going to change who you are to your core… Invest in your physical and mental health. Invest in your education. Invest in the things that last.

But in this process, I had to remind myself to go easy on myself. We’ll never be perfect. There will always be a gap between who are are and who we aspire to be. It’s a life process. No one has their shit together. We are all one f*ing mess just trying to pick up the pieces of our sh*t show life. Some of us are better at it than others, but none of us have our sh*t together. So in the process of being kind and understanding toward yourself, be kind and understanding to others. Pick your favorite shit show, buckle in, and ride with it.

Note: there are things you DO need to be hard on yourself about: shaving, showering, brushing your teeth, making your bed, cleaning your house, getting dressed up… all these things are for you. Don’t NOT shave or shower just because you aren’t going to be around people. Don’t live in filth because no one is coming over. Good habits remind you of your worth. They also make you feel like you got your sh*t together which can come in handy when sh*t inevitably hits the fan. At least you look and smell nice and your bed is made and your house is clean… Oh! And sleep 6-8 hours a day, and no more.

LESSON #3: How to Identify People That are Bad for You (so you can avoid them):

Some people (*cough* me) can be too understanding, too accommodating, too empathic, too forgiving, too open minded… I give people more trust than they deserve, and give people the benefit of the doubt while blinding myself to all the red flags. And in the end, those I loved and trusted most with my heart and life lied to me, used me, cheated on me, stole from me, and threatened my life. There’s lots of these people, and I used to think identifying them was difficult, until now.

Identify one thing they are significantly unhappy with, and then:
1) find out how they believe they got in that situation,
2) look at how they are actively dealing with it.
3) examine how long it takes for them to find healing from it (effort=results)

Are they healing from it? Are they growing from it? Where are they in the process of healing? How long have they been there? You must know that healing requires time, a LOT of hard work (emotional and physical), DAILY active attention (commitment to developing new habits, getting rid of old habits, etc.), and endless humility (admitting we are wrong to ourselves and others, and changing).

Examine their attitude toward their hardship. Are they bitter? Blaming? Complaining but not doing anything effective or positive to resolve the situation? Do they cover up their pain? Do they escape or avoid it? Do they drink it away or drown it in other addictive behaviors? Does this pattern repeat in other areas of their life? Watch carefully.

This is so important, because if you ever become a perceived problem, in any way, whatsoever, big or small, that’s how they will deal with you as well. That’s how they deal with life. Run from these people. It’s not worth it.

LESSON #4: LET IT GO, You CAN’T Make Sense Out of NONSENSE

Some things don’t make any sense because they aren’t supposed to make any sense. We can spend countless hours, weeks, months, and years trying to understand why someone did something to us, and it will never make any sense. We suffer because we want it to make sense. This keeps us living in the past, and one immediate result is being imprisoned with remorse, guilt, shame, resentment, and bitterness.

You have ZERO control over the past.
That means that all the thinking in the world
won’t change a thing.

Keep your focus forward facing as you commit to being the best version of yourself possible.

If it’s meant to be it will be,
Never forget that.

Whether your goal in clinging to the past is to offer compassion and understanding, or just to get emotional closure, both require you to let go. Only when you let it go will you find freedom.


And the most important lesson I learned:

Life is full of curve balls and f*ed up people who do some REALLY, and unbelievably f*ed up things. Sickness, death, loss, breakups, divorce, betrayals… so many really, truly, sh*tty things are happening, unexpectedly, and randomly. You never know when it could be you. And when this pain comes knocking at your door, you will doubt the goodness in the world. You may even doubt yourself. There will be horrific people that make you doubt the goodness of humanity. You may be tempted to decide no one can be trusted, and close your heart to the world.

There will be moments that make you question
if this life is worth living.
It is.

Don’t let the darkness dim your light. Don’t let evil people dim your soul.

Don’t let hardship dim your faith.
If you do, darkness wins.
And you’re bigger and better and brighter than all of that.
Never doubt the power of your light, no matter how dark it gets.
Keep shining.

Do whatever you need to do to keep your light shining. Love always wins. Let love prevail. The seed you plant now will grow in time AND unfortunately (because that’s how love works) you will likely NOT be there to witness it in its final blossom… but the whole world will be better because of YOU. So love truly, wholly, love bravely, love unconditionally. LOVE ALWAYS WINS. Never forget that.

#LoveAlwaysWins #LetLovePrevail

Who am I? Shortening the Gap Between Real Me & Ideal Me

profile pic 2There exists a gap between who we are and who we believe we should be. Who we are is our “real self” (how we think, act, and look), and who we think we should be is our “ideal self” (who we would like to be).

Now… take a moment to stop reading and pinch yourself really hard. Do you feel pain? THAT is your real self. The YOU that can feel and experience pain. There’s nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you strong if you said it doesn’t hurt. It’s simply who you are.

Now… when those we love betray us, if we are honest with ourselves… yes…we hurt… Do you feel that? That is you who feels sadness, disappointment, anger, jealousy, and insecurity.

When we accomplish great things, we feel great! This is you who feels joy and pride for achieving goals. Our “real self” is not “bad” or “good”. It’s just who we are to our CORE. The one behind the mask. It is YOUR responsibility to know fully and embrace that person behind the mask.

And for many, accepting who we really are is difficult. It is difficult because we are constantly comparing who we are *now* with who we think we *should be* and USUALLY there’s a BIG GAP.

So we keep hiding who we are from those we love and care the most about (and sometimes even harbor unspoken and subconscious resentment towards them because we feel we can’t be ourselves around them), and this is a big reason why relationships fail. We are afraid to be REAL.

What’s more complicating is the fact that both our real self and our ideal self will change throughout our lives: the real self changes when we overcome challenges that bring us closer to our ideal self (this is GOOD!); our ideal self changes through culture, family, and environment (this could be good or bad depending on several factors).

In relationships, we tend to initially show up as closely to our ideal self as possible. We want to show our loved ones how wonderful we can, and want to be. As a child this got us attention and affection. As time goes by, however, parts of our real self start to show up. If we are loved unconditionally, this feels wonderful! If we aren’t… it can end up feeling like a shit show…

Our loved ones start to see the truth: We don’t actually have our shit together as much as we let on. We aren’t as clean, organized, or patient as we led our partner to believe. Yes, our shit stinks. Yes, we have bad morning breath. Yes, we are insecure, vulnerable, impatient, and scared of getting hurt… the list goes on… We are human.

Eventually though, we stop acting and start being “real”. This is natural and expected. We shouldn’t take it as a betrayal to see the “real” self of our partner show up as we become closer. It’s a beautiful unfolding!

What we should be paying attention to though, is the gap between the real self and the ideal self. How far is that gap between who our partner led us on to believe, and who they actually are? To be fair, YOU need to also consider how far that gap is between who YOU lead your partner on to believe, and who YOU *actually* are.

Ideally, you want that gap to be as minimal as possible so that as your relationship develops, your partner knows what they are getting into, and you allow your partner to know what they are signing up for. Embracing the “realness” can be a beautiful thing when the gap is small, and a HORRIFIC NIGHTMARE if the gap is large.

A smooth transition when the gap is small is usually a sign of a healthy relationship. The worst relationship is when the person you thought you were with turns out to be VERY different from who you thought they were (or vice versa). That will either require a very bumpy transition or the end of the relationship.

BUT.. whether we are in a relationship or not, our internal struggles (what make us feel crappy, insecure, inadequate, angry, etc.) usually stems from the GAP between who we are (are real self) and who we think we should be (our ideal self). Something inside us desires congruence between the two contrasting pieces of ourselves and if it is INCONGRUENT, we suffer internally. This suffering can spill over any potential for a true, meaningful relationship.

The closer we get to our ideal self, the happier we are with ourselves and with our lives. The problem with becoming closer to our ideal self is two fold: 1) You have to embrace your REAL self, know who that is, and accept it. And 2) the environment in which we place ourselves in will have a HUGE affect on who your “ideal self” is. We must be clear about who we are and where we came from. Is our environment congruent with the ideal person we see ourselves to be? Does our environment nurture and support us to become the person we aspire to be?

Carl Rogers originally came up with this theory, arguing that we behave the way we do based on how we perceive our situations. This is why our environment means so much. Who do we surround ourselves with? You will be just like the people you spend the most time with.

If we were to compare ourselves to flowers,
what soil are we allowing our roots to embed themselves in?

Read that again.

The point is, the distance between who you want to be and who you really are is going to be the source of your suffering or joy, and YOU get to choose ALL OF IT. YOU get to pick how you’re gonna feel about anything that happens to you in your life. YOU get to pick where you spend your time. YOU get to pick the person you want to be, and YOU get to pick how you’re gonna get there. And where you are RIGHT now, and how you feel RIGHT now… it’s all on YOU.


A Complicated Relationship


These days I’ve been struggling in my relationship with Reality. Reality doesn’t do the things I want it to. Reality doesn’t tell me the things I want to hear. Sometimes I think Reality is intentionally punishing me. Oftentimes, Reality will even take things away from me that I really wanted to hold on to. Sometimes I wonder if our relationship is one-sided because every time I try to argue with Reality, I always lose, 100% of the time. Reality never apologizes. It just is…unapologetically Reality.

One of the biggest reasons I struggle with having a meaningful relationship with Reality is that I’ve lied to myself, telling myself that if I’m friends with Reality then I can’t also be friends with, “My Ideals and Preferences”.

Notice “My Ideals and Preferences” goes by a much longer name… she’s so complicated, always changing, and sometimes she just seems to be all over the place… Reality is so much simpler, but so stubborn. These two rarely get along because they clash so much, yet both are such an important part of me. I end up having to be the middle man, trying to help them come to a peaceful resolution, and that is not an easy task.

“My Ideals and Preferences” tells me Reality is mean and ugly. Reality tells me “My Ideals and Preferences” are the cause of my suffering. Both demand that I pick one.

To be honest, I like hanging out with “My Ideals and Preferences” more than “Reality” because “My Ideals and Preferences” make me feel justified in doing and thinking what I do. In fact, I can usually get away with a lot of stuff that isn’t good for me by listening to “My Ideals and Preferences”. Unfortunately, this causes a lot of conflict with my personal relationships, my professional relationships, my career, my family, my children, and can sometimes negatively affect my physical health.

That’s when I realize that maybe “Reality” isn’t that bad after all, even if I’m not seeing or getting what “My Ideals and Preferences” gives me.

When I embrace Reality, Reality helps me come up with realistic, effective, and long-term solutions to my problems. Reality helps me see things as they are, which enables me to deal with life much more effectively. Reality is quite different from My Ideals and Preferences, but what I’ve come to realize is, Reality is actually much kinder than the story My Ideals and Preferences say it is.

However, “My Ideals and Preferences” will always have a special place in my heart. My Ideals and Preferences remind me who I am, encourage me, motivate me, and make me feel brave when pursuing the unknown. She also reminds me to take good care of myself when Reality gets to be a bit too overwhelming…

It’s on me to make this relationship a healthy one, even if it is a complicated one.



Up until recently I used to think self-respect meant not allowing people to walk all over you. That approach required quite a lot of unearned arrogance and pride, a closed mind, and very little space for humility. That didn’t get me far…

Now I realize that self-respect is a healthy balance of seeing what needs to be fixed within me and changing it to be the best version of myself. But this comes coupled with a confidence and contentment knowing I am good enough, doing the best I can, and am right where I should be.

Ultimately, I recognized that self-respect meant me being genuinely honest with myself, and not allowing anyone’s attitude or behavior toward me affect how I feel about me. It meant not letting someone or something lead me to act with questionable dignity and integrity.

Self-respect isn’t easy!! 😂

Joy & Suffering

bee this time

The extent of the damage we cause to ourselves and others, in trying to relieve ourselves from our perceived suffering, can be minimized when we finally accept and realize that we cannot control others.
If we were to be brutally honest with ourselves we would understand that our suffering is the result of either (a) the natural consequences of our shitty choices, thoughts, attitude, or behavior or (b) because of something completely out of our control.
In either case, when we hold someone else responsible for making our suffering go away, we are in essence running from our responsibilities. We are trying to make someone else change so that we don’t have to feel the way we feel. We make ourselves a powerless victim. We strip ourselves of our power, and we give all the power to the person that we believe is causing suffering.
JOY comes in and out of our life. It’s a wonderful feeling. And just like JOY, suffering also comes in and out of our life. Without one you can’t have the other. Just like we can’t feel warmth if we’ve never felt cold. But the good news is we can significantly decrease our suffering.


As we mature, we learn that trying to make others change only leads to more suffering. We may think our mini battles with this person is making a difference, but it is just a distraction from the real problem. We delude ourselves into thinking we’re taking action on a problem, when in reality we are running into a glass wall over and over and over again. We can’t see the wall in front of us. We have to stop, clear our vision, and open our minds (the door).
We’re constantly on the search for an escape from suffering and discomfort. We are at a constant war with the world, with ourselves, with others, and with reality, and that is the ultimate source of suffering.
Eventually, we come to realize that the only thing we will ever have control over is our attitude and how we face suffering and discomfort. Interestingly, this (our attitude) is our primary source of JOY and this JOY can be made and experienced as much as you want.
Joy begins pouring into our lives, and suffering is minimized when you stop trying to change others. You become allies with Life. You come to understand yourself and your fellow humans a little better. Life gets easier, because you get better at dealing with it.

Where does the power to do what is right come from?

why bother

What is it that drives us to make a choice to follow one path or another? To commit to one thing but not another? We certainly don’t know what we are actually signing up for when we make that choice. Emotions change. Life changes. People change. Perhaps what we are going off of is an innate desire to find or feel purpose in our life.

We are born with some deep ingrained intention (which could be also seen as a “purpose”; i.e., “why am I here?”), which is likely developed by either what is fed to us as children, something we create on our own, or a mixture of the two. In most cases we don’t fully understand this “purpose” or “intention” until we’re older (some never understanding or even contemplating it).

Nevertheless our actions are guided by these, whether they be conscious or subconscious. But somehow, in our darkest moments, our intentions/innate and individually defined purpose(s) sneaks back into our mind and reminds us who we are, and to hold strong and move forward, or else we will be violating our ‘agreement’ to our purpose in life. It serves as a motivation in life and an internal compass when we’ve lost our way. Some people refer to it as our “internal GPS”.

And that’s where struggle and suffering comes in. That’s where maturity comes in. Until we see life as it really is (shit doesn’t always work out in our favor, things don’t go according to plan, and sometimes we gotta jump ship and give up), BOTH the great and the devastatingly disappointing pieces of life must be accepted, or we won’t be able to fully mature. And when things go south, there’s that miraculous reappearance of our “internal GPS”. As humans we are constantly going off course from our “path”. Did you know planes are off course 90% of the time?! They just keep correcting according to the GPS. And so do humans. We just don’t realize we have this internal GPS that’s guiding us.  Those who are more aware and in tune with their internal GPS tend to self-correct frequently and very quickly. Those who are not as aware tend to take a bit more time (and unfortunately some end up crashing, having to put themselves back together and trying over again).

Getting in touch with our internal GPS is risky, scary, and quite challenging. It means sacrificing temporary moments of pleasure or pleasantness for a longer, and much more delayed gratification. And in that time of sacrifice, we know nothing. Will it work out? Will we fail? Will our partner cheat on us, or lie to us, or die on us? Is this a good investment? Will I lose my job? Will I get cancer? We never know. One thing we have to remember is that our purpose is never fulfilled. Goals can be fulfilled, but our purpose isn’t. Because that is our lifeline. If I were to tell you my intention is “to be the best version of myself” in all times, I could also tell you that I fail majority of the time, and that I can’t say “I did it!” 6 months down the road, or even 20 years down the road. It’s a constant battle that guides me, my choices, and how I life my life daily.

Why bother!?
That’s where faith comes in. Following our internal GPS requires devotion; not to a person or thing, or even an idea, but to something bigger than ourselves. A faith that when we continue to follow our path, we will find what we are looking for. And this is the beauty of life. Balancing our reality of being human with our hopes, dreams, and desire to fulfill our “purpose” while we are alive here on Earth. We balance it all, taking care of ourselves along the way. Balance…

Your Legacy

There’s a theory- well, it’s actually a “law” (The Law of Thermodynamics, to be precise)- that claims energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The basic idea is that energy can only be transferred or transformed from one thing to another.

You’re probably thinking “WTH does this have to do with my legacy?“. Well, assuming this “law” is true, this means that the energy in and around us is always there. There isn’t ever a time or place with “no energy”. The energy is either neutral (conserved), positive, or negative. I’m definitely not a physicist, and for all I know what I’m saying is total nonsense… but if I’m happy I’m emitting positive energy. If I’m pissed, I am emitting negative energy. And there are sometimes when I’m just not happy or pissed, but I’m just kinda “there” (i.e., “neutral”).

When I’m mad, my “energy” or “vibes” tend to pour over into others around me. People can sense my mood. When I’m full of joy, people tend to reap the benefits of my joyful mood. We have the potential power to take our “energy” and affect those around us in a positive or negative way.

And THIS is where your legacy comes into play.

In thinking about our short time here on Earth, we don’t have a lot to leave behind. I know some people may think that living until 100 seems like a long time, but it really isn’t. We are born, we go through this awkward phase of learning how to walk, talk, and get along with others, and for most of us, we actually die still trying (or not trying…who knows…)

But the point is, in this short time, the only thing we think we leave behind is the memory of who we are and what we contributed to the world while we were alive, but memories can only go so far. On the other hand, if energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then what happens with our energy when we’re gone?

All the times we bestowed grace and love on those that carried negative energy… all those times, instead of adding to the fire of hate, we diluted the flames with kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and love (all of these towards ourselves and others)…

Feeling horrible sometimes is inevitable. Loss and pain (physical or emotional) is inevitable in life and it’s only natural to feel what we feel. But I don’t think that our feelings are “the energy”. The energy that is transferred and transformed by us and through us is in how we respond and process those feelings.

The key is not to turn off our humanness, our feelings, emotions, but rather take a step back, maybe even take a few breaths (or more) and really consider what kind of energy we are putting out there.

Even if we do nothing, energy, by the law of nature, will naturally spread out. It’s like a hot pot that has been removed from the stove: eventually it’s going to cool down. The energy spreads out of the pot and into the air.

So here I am thinking, we have 3 choices: we spew out negative energy, positive energy, or somehow try to find a way to conserve our energy or at least keep it neutral, because it’s here to stay, and it’s indestructible.

This, I believe, is where your legacy is. It can’t be seen with our eyes, and sometimes it isn’t directly or automatically felt, but if the law is true, I believe we are always leaving our mark and establishing an unforgettable legacy.

Make it a good one.


(Photo found on trinity Roselle foundation; no copyright infringement intended)

One in the Same

If we were to classify all the suffering in the world, I bet it could likely all fall into one (or more) of only a handful of categories:

* Things didn’t work out the way I hoped or expected/Things aren’t going the way I wanted them to.
* Someone said or did something I didn’t like.
* Something someone did made me feel threatened/offended/hurt.
* I feel lonely/rejected/neglected/abandoned.
* I don’t feel connected to others/People don’t understand me.
* I’m grieving the loss of someone.

There’s probably a few more, but for the most part, in a modern world, I think all our suffering could generally (albeit broadly) fit into one of the above six categories. But what I also came to realize is that not only is our suffering one in the same, but so is our response to it.

If we were to then categorize how we respond to our suffering, the grandiosity in our response is almost entirely based off the amount of control we think we actually have in any given situation, which is more often than not, overly miscalculated.

In other words, the more control we think we have, the more extreme our response. The less control we think we have, the less extreme our response.
For example (and these categories are far more extensive):
* I can change their mind or teach them to do what I want them to do or behave they way I want them to behave so that I don’t have to feel like this anymore.
* If I do x, then I can make this situation change towards my liking so that I don’t have to feel like this anymore.
* If I fill my life/mind//body/etc. with x, y, z, I won’t have to feel like this anymore.

Perhaps the extent of the damage we cause in trying to relieve ourselves from our perceived suffering can be minimized when we finally accept and realize that we cannot control others, and in almost all other cases of suffering, there isn’t much we can do about shit that didn’t go the way we wanted it to. Just like the joy that comes in and out of our life, suffering is simply a part of that: the opposite side of the spectrum. Without one you can’t have the other, and as much as we like to delude ourselves into thinking the opposite, there is not one single person on Earth that is immune from suffering.

In the above cases, we see that we are trying to control external circumstances, which can sometimes be seen as “working” until we realize it wasn’t a long term viable solution, but rather a short-lived distraction to get us by until we can find another one. We’re constantly on the search for an escape from suffering or discomfort. This feels like a constant war with the world, which has got to feel like a truly crappy way to live.

Eventually, we come to realize that the only thing we will ever have control over is our attitude and how we face suffering and discomfort. It won’t make reality any different than what it is, but at least you are no longer going to war with reality. You stop fighting others because you realize we are all one in the same. You become allies with Life. You come to understand your fellow humans a little better. And life gets just a little bit easier, because you get just a little bit better at dealing with it.

Growing Up and Being a Mature Person

Some may argue that maturity comes with age. Some argue it comes with experience. I don’t know which one is right, but maybe it’s both. What I have learned at my ripe age, is that maturity isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being real. It’s about being honest, and it’s about not letting the desire for pleasure or fear of pain be the motivation for the decisions we make in our life.

Immature people speak and behave based on their current emotions and personal feelings. This behavior is based on their understanding of rules, trade-offs, and the social order around them.

For an immature person, everything is seen as a trade-off. These children (and a shocking number of adults) approach life as an endless series of bargains. I will do what my boss says so I can get money. I will call my mother so I don’t get yelled at. I will do my homework so I don’t fuck up my future. I will lie and pretend to be nice so I don’t have to deal with conflict.

Nothing is done for its own sake. Everything is a calculated trade-off, usually made out of fear of the negative repercussions.

You can’t live your life this way, otherwise, you’re never actually living your life. You’re merely living out an aggregation of the desires of the people around you. In a sense, you’re a slave. To become a mature and emotionally healthy individual, you gotta break out of this bargaining and calculating way of thinking, and realize the higher guiding principles.

“Ideally, after some time, we will begin to realize that the world cannot always be bargained with, nor should we subject every aspect of our life to a series of transactions. You don’t want to bargain with your father for love, or your friends for companionship, or your boss for respect. Why? Because feeling like you have to manipulate people into loving or respecting you feels shitty. It undermines the whole project. If you have to convince someone to love you, then they don’t love you. If you have to cajole someone into respecting you, then they don’t respect you. The most precious and important things in life cannot be bargained with. To try to do so destroys them.”

You cannot manipulate happiness.

While people who navigate the world through bargaining and rules can get far in the material world, they remain crippled and alone in their emotional world. This is because transactional values create toxic relationships — relationships that are built on manipulation.

A mature adult gives without expectation, without seeking anything in return, because to do so defeats the purpose of a gift in the first place.
Life is far more complicated than simply pursuing one’s pleasure and avoiding pain.

As children grow up, they experience the shocking realization that the world does not cater to their whims, and that the only things in life of real value and meaning are achieved without conditions, and without transactions.

As a mature adult, you sit and think critically about yourself and about what you’ve chosen to care about, not through word, but through deed.

What level of maturity are you actually operating on?

Sit down, get honest with yourself, and really pick apart whether or not your interpretations of your actions actually make sense. Are you just deluding yourself? Do your actions reflect what you think is important? If not, where is the disconnect?

Happiness and health come when there is no disconnect with your virtues and your thoughts and behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong: The problem is not you. The problem is what you’re choosing to value, how you’re choosing to see the world and the way in which it operates.
You didn’t fuck up because you caused pain. You fucked up because you caused pain for bad reasons.

Sometimes we think we are the mature ones, so we go around trying to make others “mature like us”. But you can’t go from a child to an adult without being an adolescent in between.

Maturity happens when we realize that it’s better to suffer for the right reasons than to feel pleasure for the wrong reasons. Adulthood occurs when we realize that it’s better to love fully and unconditionally and lose, than to never know what it means to really love, and what LOVE is really about.

Eventually you learn what pain is worthwhile, and what pain is just kicking you further from inner peace and joy. Choose wisely.

grow up

(NOTE: This is a summary and interpretation of one of my all-time favorite authors, Mark Manson, in his article “How to Grow the Fuck Up: A Guide to Humans”; a VERY long, but VERY WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO READ piece I absolutely LOVE.)

Finding “The One”

the one

If you want to find “the Perfect Person” you must die and go to heaven, because the Perfect Person does not exist on this Earth…

And what if we die and we find out there is no “heaven”?

What if we are all perfect, in our own unique ways. What if here, right now, is Heaven? What if we are creating our own Hell?

No one is without flaw. No one has their shit together. We don’t need to look for the perfect person, because that person does not exist. Nor will you ever be perfect, so don’t feel bad if you come with your own baggage.

Rather, focus on developing skills that help you cope with and overcome your unhealthy behaviors. Be with someone, who in their imperfections, also develops and cultivates healthy coping mechanisms to overcome their own unhealthy behaviors.

It’s inevitable that we will find ourselves with imperfect people. This is life. This is something we have absolutely no control over. But we always have a choice to put our focus and energy on cultivating healthy coping and processing tools, and to be in relationship only with those that value and commit to that same level of accountability.

We can spend our short earthly lives searching for things and people that simply do not exist… or we can put our energy on finding peace with who you are, and where you are in life right NOW…

Ironically, where we are in life and who we are is also constantly changing. Being able to flow like water in that inevitable changing… now THAT, I believe is heaven.