When the obedient decided to chase after freedom

I think there is an important life lesson I really really need to log down. I have always been the obedient child. But I can see that it is toxic now. I would like to change that.

The obedient do not know how to fight against the odds. The obedient care too much about what others think of them. We are too good at hiding ourselves instead of showing the world who we are. The obedient are passively aggressive because we do not like you but we pretend we do. Something shows, right?

Growing up my mom cares a lot about what I do and think. She believes everything has to be according to the social standards. That makes me sick. I am screaming ‘I am not normal’ but no one hears that. Most of the friends were too busy trying to please their parents and act ‘normal’. But I refused to accept normalcy is something humans chase after. I can see so many flaws that society will not accept in me. It is so loud in my quiet mind that I know it is impossible for me to be normal. Luckily, I was smart enough to know probably this is the state for other people in the world as well.  They just refused to accept it. I don’t know why they can’t see it, but they are good people. The end result is, back and forth I doubt myself. They say I don’t belong. They say I am marching to a lonesome defeat. But I refused to believe in the society. I refused to give up. I have given in for a long time. This tug of war is between my identity and the world in front of me. How to strike a balance and call it a win-win?

I chose myself. I became an artist. I grasped any opportunities to express myself as a person. I studied psychology and philosophy. I studied the things that constitutes normalcy from a scientific angle. I studied the so-called disabled people and read their autobiographies. I stumbled upon Carl Jung’s quotes and I think that changes everything. At the age of 14, I read about Carl Jung and for the years to come, his words painted the wall of my room and the back of my mind. In a large scale, everything I do is to preserve the selves that society wants to repress, to entertain the selves that I am scared to lose. The emotions that are running in the background, the quiet screams only those who are sensitive would notice.

However, no matter how good I am being an artist, I did not learn to use words to express my own selves in front of others. Writing is good but it is still not a direct mean to express emotions. I still shy away from expressing my own emotions to others. The idea that others will actually accept I dislike something others like is hard to take.  Adults do not like truths, they just want to conserve the superficial harmony. This is something I hate about being an adult. This is something I hate about my parents.

This was true until one day I told my colleague I got nothing to work on, and he told me that is because I have complied orders and followed instructions all my life and do not know how to find my own work.  ”Our company gives us lots of freedom, you just have to ask for permission.” He is the colleague that many others do not like because he started many things but did not manage to finish them properly. A trouble-maker. But in that moment he said those words, I was not offended. Not at all.  I think he is wise. What he said is true. I do not know how to express myself even when people allow it. People would like to see what I can offer and bring up.

It is the moment that I think the world is not working against me but with me. The feeling of ‘the world is against me’ is really hard to shake off but in that moment I turned the concept around, I can sense freedom and acknowledgment are possible in this world.

The more I work with other humans, I realised they are not really rejecting me but curious about me. They want to know I will say, they want to know what kind of surprise I will bring them. This is something never existed in my world. People in my world used to reject me because I was not following instructions. People used to show hatred and take freedom from me when I refused to obey. I lived in an authoritarian world! In the sacrifice of personal freedom, I lost interest in living but drifting into a world that no human exists. I love to draw fluffy animals and I would be the only human being in my imagination.I drifted into the world of books in search of meaning in life. I go dark. I disappeared from the reality in favor of my own reality.

Humans are extremely hard to satisfy. We all have our own ideas but only a few can articulate their ideas fully to feel understood.

Paulo Coelho said madness is the inability to communicate your ideas. It’s as if you were in a foreign country, able to see and understand everything that’s going on around you, but incapable of explaining what you need to know or of being helped, because you don’t understand the language they speak there. We’ve all felt that. And all of us, one way or another, are mad.

Maybe that’s the reason: the obedient have a hard time to get out of their own madness. They lack the skills to tell others what they need to know.

To escape that, you either allow yourself to be mad in front of others or you learn to communicate in various ways. I do both, I suppose.

Yesterday, I had a dream of being naked but I do not feel ashamed. I remember Milton Erikson once told his patient that God gives us the body and we should not be ashamed of showing her breasts in public while feeding her son; or giving out gasses. They are the miracles of human bodies. Being mad is also what humans do, there is nothing to feel ashamed of. I think ‘madman’ do it differently because they cannot choose when to do the mad things, but most of us have this choice. I started to scream when I am at home, especially when I feel life is unfair. I started to shout and growl like a dog at home or in the forest whenever I feel like it. It feels good, it helps with the release of anger I have, for myself and for this world. I am also working at a school setting and learning to communicate with students who test my boundaries and get rewards for free. It tested my ability to communicate and value their ideas and at the same time stay true to myself.

I have learnt to embrace the absurdity of human life and embrace the unconscious mechanisms that most people may not understand.The acknowledgment of personal freedom feels good, even though it may not be what you think it is. It could mean doing harmless silly things in front of others. It could mean being proactive and stand for yourself and the values you held close to your heart.

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My kind of Mantra

Fill yourself with love, imagine yourself holding someone in pain. Someone in physical pain, or emotional pain. Hold her/ him tightly, tell her/him you would take good care of her/him. Promise her/him. Generate the type of energy that is kind and loving, hug her/him, touch her/him. Practice it. Imagine yourself as someone strong, someone with scars and someone who understands. Someone protective and someone who is willing to take the responsibility to dig deep.

This is my kind of mantra. I will be here, for you, till we see the sun, and you are strong enough to carry one with yourself. My name is called trauma healing. I am just a tool in God’s hand. I use all my might to go through hard times with other people, I stay with their uncomfortable times so that they can find ease and peace and tranquillity on their own.

You are born whole

I thought about how some people got multi-personality and split their own self into different layers. I looked at people who teach others to love themselves. I proposed our psychological self is actually making up of different layers. When we say you have to respect yourself this is a strange statement, because you need someone else to respect. How can you give something to someone if there is only one person? But respecting yourself is possible, loving yourself is possible. So psychologically, everyone has different layers of self. Freudians use the idea self, ego and id to explain this. The ideal self is the realistic side of you who want to be successful, admired, loved by others. You follow the norms, do what the society considers as good. But this might not be what you want. What you want to do or your own inner child, is the id. We will go back to the idea of the inner child later, but right now I want to stress my definition of self is slightly different, we have an indefinite number of layers within us, it’s not countable. Also, it is not as clear cut as id, super-ego and ego. There are always grey areas in between, and probably some layers in between.

 

Furthermore, self-love is the glue to hold these layers together, the stronger your self-love, the more you can accept your different layers,the more you can hold yourself together, and the closer you are to unity of self. And by that, some people will say ‘they feel they are whole’, it is that feeling. Unity of self, I mean different layers of self merged together and one no longer feel there are distance among layers of self, he or she can accept the dark sides and the bright sides of himself or herself unconditionally. But this feeling is actually independent of others, in daily lives many people attribute this feelings to their lovers. But love will always stands outside if you cannot love yourself. Love from someone just triggers self-love from yourself, everything is about you, and you alone.

 

We just talked about how self-love can make us feel whole and it is independent to others. So, what is the typical state for most people? There is a huge gap between their ideal self and their inner child. Adults, implements lots of socially acceptable values and beliefs and traditions and customs to themselves, and have the ideal that they have to fulfill those things in order to be successful and happy. Because of that, they are no longer able to see their own inner child screaming to them about what they actually need or desire. They are far away from their inner child. They are usually will not say they are unhappy, but they are not happy neither, because they are not even sure what they want. They thought growing up is about leaving their playful side of themselves behind, and starting to care more about others than themselves. They thought leaving their own desires and needs and satisfying other’s needs and desires means growing up, implies maturity. But as one steps away from their own need and desires, one is also stepping away from their id, the core layer of self. As a consequence, many people step away from their own self and no longer able to love themselves, hoping others can do that for them.

 

Sadly, this is a very common story.

 

To explain this, Freudians will probably say the superego is dominating the psyche and repressing the needs of id. To solve this, the person has to look carefully what the id need and rationally satisfy the desires of id. While in the approach of Carl Jung, this will probably be explained by socialization and the initial wholeness of self disappeared because the internalization of cultural and sociatal values to ‘you who are’ as a person. You learned to look outward and thought that is exactly who you are. Until one day you realised the image of you no longer applies and you freaked out, has an identity crisis and cling to the old self image you have. You cannot see through, the answer is always within, deep within. The only way to find out who you are and feel whole again, is achieved by looking inwards. Getting away layers and layers of what you thought as a good person, examined the criteria that the society considered as good and bad. You will start to see, there are no one judgement that is universial in this world. Everyone holds a different ruler. When you thought you are beautiful the other person can see you as ugly. You are considered ugly in this culture but beauty in another. There are no rules. 

 

Look within, and you will see many things you assumed as right are just culturally accustomed as right. Who you are? The society says we should avoid the pain we have gone through and only focus on being positive. But avoiding the pain also means you are avoiding yourself. Ironic, isn’t it?

 

Once again, please look within. Acknowledge the emotions repressed by your family and friends, acknowledge the things that are stored inside you for the sake looking good. Self-love means looking deep inside, accept the sides of you the society does not give permission to, acknowledge the pain you are in.

 

Life can be twisted and fucked up, but you are whole, every creature on this Earth is whole.

Things therapists said (some of my favourite from tumblr)

  • My therapist was there at 4 am physically holding my hand after my overdose, gave me an object she’s had since she was 15, touched the scars on my arm so I wouldn’t feel ashamed, and visited me multiple times inpatient. If that isn’t an absolutely amazing therapist then I don’t know who is. 
  • I told my therapist that i have no idea how i would cope 3 weeks for christmas break without seeing her. She told me i can call anytime during crisis and one day each week for 5 minutes to hear her and check on me 

  • I’d give you antidepressants, but I think your dog can substitute that just fine. Just look at those cute eyes =))) 

  • Her: Lashing out isn’t going to help anything. Me: I can’t take this anymore. I want to give up. I’ve been holding on for so long and I just can’t take another second of this. Her sits beside me and takes my hand Listen, there are going to be ups and downs and things will seem like a mess. You’re strong enough to hold on. I’m proud of how far you’ve come. Please don’t give up. I’m here for you and, remember, I pray for you every night. Me: starts crying Her: hugs meStay strong. 

  • This happened when I was 17, I’m 22 now, I’ll never forget her kindness <3 I was in inpatient for anorexia/ depression and my therapist spent 12 hours with me in hospital after a suicide attempt with no breaks. I got really upset “come here” she said and pulled me into a hug, for the first time in years, I cried, really cried but more importantly felt safe. She didn’t let go until I’d finished and repeatedly kissed my forehead. I don’t care if it was “unprofessional” her kindness saved my life. 

Being mentally unstable for a few days.

These few days I embrace a new identity: being mentally unstable. I have to admit when I should finally breathe freedom, I find myself trapped. I found myself powerless. I have no motivation to do anything, in a terrible mood for days. The idea of being like this for the rest of my life haunts me. I desperately need a way out. It makes no sense but this was me. No, this is the real me. I had been working hard during the second term of my second year. I have dragged myself to the library almost every day. Sometimes I let myself slack off for a day or two in a week. But 5 days in the library, each time more than 5 hours, that’s how I lived my life and got most of my work done.
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So, finally, my holiday came, even the thought of it was exciting. I can’t wait. But hell no, I stayed up late every single day I know I got  nothing to do. Then, after two whole hours of struggling, I got out of bed, went straight to the kitchen to get some food into my system. Sometimes after breakfast I went back to sleep, sometimes I forced myself to at least finish some chores. But every single day, I am not living my fullest. I did everything because there was a necessity there. Where are my motivations? Where are my passions? I am lost. But if you know how I lived before I went to college, you know that’s pretty normal. I did nothing until a guilt spiral began and I painfully dragged myself through the tasks I have to do.
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Two days ago I finally have to accept there is something terribly wrong with me. I have no purpose. I feel wasted. Finally the funeral question woke me up, but it did not save me. Basically, the funeral question is an imaginative question. Let’s imagine when you die, what do you want people to remember you for? What do you think the people attend the funeral will say about you? My answer is, people will only remember me being a shy girl, know me nothing. Not my art work, not my kind heart, not the things I pour my heart into. I felt my whole life is a lie. It felt so wrong, but it felt so right. That’s exactly how I live my life. I have never had the courage to show people who I really am, I have been taught to be a good student and learn to aim at being successful in the cultural standard and forget about my own dreams.
Video

Sometimes I am scared of My Darkside, Can I get rid of it?

*I’m sorry if the use of language in the video is a bit inappropriate*

 

Have a look at the mirror, me and my family look so alike. I mean physically we are so alike, it must be the genes. How about mentally? There must be some genes controlling as well, aren’t there?

Looking at my relatives who love to judge people.

Am I just one of them? Selfish, judgmental, making fun of others.

Thought they know so much more than anyone, thought no one can be better, thought the world owes them….

I get tired of thinking about them, but then, at the end of the day, maybe I am just one of them. Can I get rid of it?

 

Or in a family with depression, am I just one of them?

Will I get depression oneday? Am I born with it? Is this just coincidience if one day I get it too?

All the socialization and interactions with my relatives, all the genes, everything counts.

The chain of thought started to freak me out…

Can I run away from my family?

 

Or if I have the desire to be a murderer.

Am I born with it? Can I blame it to my genes? Can I get rid of it? Am I a shame to my family?

 

”Sometime I wonder what’s inside of me, 

 my family are hiding inside me,

I never know what I do know.

Running away is something we always done well,

Well and mostly I can’t even tell what I’m running from

Corpsed into ice, I cannot ,I cannot,I cannot, run from my family” ( from the lyrics)

 

Can I get rid of the dark side?

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I cannot find the answer, but a wise young man says something remarkable that keep me thinking —the accepance of our dark sides.

”Like all people, I have a “shadow,” and I have learned that the healthiest thing one can do is to integrate this darkness into one’s self.  If you reject it and abhor it, then you only repress it, and it only gets stronger when it is not acknowledged.

As I have experienced life, and learned how to increase my capacity for tolerance and compassion, so too has my capacity for darkness grown as well.  This is natural, because balance is the rule of nature.  In order to become more compassionate, I must also cultivate the capacity for more selfishness.  In order to be more tolerant, I must also cultivate my ability for intolerance and hatred.

This sounds scary, but it is not.  Because while we all have the capacity for both good and evil, it is our choice at every moment whether to engage in decent activities or engage in behaviors that will harm others.  I have long since come into the habit of choosing compassion over hatred, and peace of mind over anger. ”

By: Seraph1m

Written on December 26th, 2007 on http://www.experienceproject.com

view the whole passage here: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Have-A-Dark-Side/116964

The Idea of Death

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Credit: Toothpaste for Dinner.com

”No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

It’s been a while Steve Jobs have passed away, but his quote about death will certainly stays in the living world, as long as there are people living, his quote must trigger some kind of alarm or struck a chord in someone’s heart.

Truth is, death can help us live better, at the same time death can freeze us from doing anything.

Once in my life I was confused by the above saying, as a little twist of the wordings can have a totally different meaning, the change of wordings can have the power to go from positive to negative. Where should I draw the line? How come some people are inspired by death but then some people are devastated by death? How could this be possible, can a candy taste nice and terrible at the same time?

Being devastated by death is easy to understand at first sight. As you are going to die, there is nothing left, just imagine you are being sacked and you want to cry, you are devastated (if you love your job or you need the job). Simple as that, what follows death is an overwhelming negativity. The part hard to understand is how negativity can flip over to positivity.

I remember once there is a trend people keep telling others to ‘treat every single day as their last day of their life ‘, not sure if this is really a ‘trend’ or not. But if you are thinking the same thing I was thinking, you would sign. If you are living today as your last day, will you save money for your future? No, just use them all, there is no future anyway, who cares about that? If today is your last day of your life, do you need to care about hurting people, maybe, but you got a good reason not to, no one can go punish you in the future, because you got no future after all! Life seems to be a big joke to you. Yes, life is not right. Some people gave all the money to their loved ones and go kill themselves. They know they are destined to die, they are hopeless, they are worthless, they live out ‘today as their last day of their life’.

*Sign* They have never thought of the parts if they were still alive. *Sign again* The quote is not clear in the message it is giving out. Death is a knife sharp at both ends.

Though the fact of death destroys us, the idea of death can save us.

The flipping of positivity comes from questioning the chance you are going to die. You are going to die tomorrow, but there is a chance you are going to be living as well. You never know.

It is the unknown that give us power to fight, it’s the unknown that make us give the best shot, to do our best. It is the unknown that tell us to do whatever you need now but not later. When you are aware of the unknown, you are at the state that you are aware you may die, and at the same time you are fully aware you may live. So, don’t drench yourself in negativity, and at the same time do not take everything as granted as no one guarantees everything stays the same for you, not even your life.

It is the state of unknown that keep us to be aware every single moment, life is fragile, but human strength is not. Death is inevitable to destroy us , but the idea of death is not.