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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Lyrics Carried Within (4of4)

And I finally come to the end of this little series of showcasing some of my all-time favorite lyrics that speak for and about me and what I'm for.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is a song I've always loved and don't get tired of. I could say it's #2 in my top favorite Christmas songs. I appreciate how sanctuary and community-like it is. And how fitting that is for this time of year! But beyond that, I love how, despite its sentimentality, it is still grounded enough to recognize that there's a chance that paths will diverge. Yet, although that may be saddening, it's taken with acceptance while cherishing however long they will be together. As someone who avoids sappiness but is undeniably soft for faithful friends, I wholeheartedly resonate.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Capricorn's Basics

Transit Date: Late December.
Starting Winter.

Position: 10th.
Element: Earth.
Quality: Cardinal.

Symbolized by: The Goat.
Typically Associated with: Ambition, pragmatism, organization. 

At Best: Tenacious and accomplished.
At Worst: Impersonal and condescending.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

What About Your Legacy?

Maybe you don’t believe in the afterlife. Maybe what happens in life only matters to you while you’re alive. And if that’s how you are, that is valid enough. However, if you find yourself caring about what you could leave to others after you’re gone, then it’s worth pondering some more.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a theist, an atheist, or an agnostic. Regardless of any of that, you may or may not care about the long-lasting consequences that your actions could have.

You may be moved to highly ambitious goals. Not just in the service of yourself (your name, your image, and how you will be remembered), but in the service of others (a generous gift to them). What will it be exactly and in what measure depends, but it can be taken as your mark in history.

Alternatively, it may be simpler than that. Rather than going down in history as somebody noteworthy for a major contribution to the world or an area of it, you may instead be moved to help your family, your community, and others around you or that you choose in some significant manner.

This aim can push you forward to achieve and accomplish more than you would otherwise. As you’d no longer be living only for yourself and your brief life, but for more that goes beyond it. And if the idea of it is inspiring to you, then you’d know it is meant for you to pursue…

Points on Existentialism

 #1  If you are born and wired to do more than just exist, you will be venturing into answering unsettling questions about life - about its meaning and purpose. These can shake up and turn around your world, but suppressing them won’t do you much better.

 #2  It is by searching for the answers to your existence that you are able to unlock and unleash awareness of yourself, people, life, the world, and the universe. One question will lead to another as one answer will lead to another.

 #3  Once your perception and comprehension of existence is expanded and refined, it won’t go back to how it previously was (unless your brain is impaired in some way). In other words, you cannot unsee what you’ve seen. Often, the reluctance to learn is tied to the fear of forever losing what you’ve already conceived.

 #4  Not everybody has a grand purpose. Not everybody is full of meaning. And that’s just the way it is. There’s balance in the diversity of it. So rather than striving to be at the top in these aspects, you can strive to make the most of your existence as it’s meant to and that could be rewarding enough for you (so long as you do not let others’ insecurities and projections get to you).

 #5  You may believe that you are alone in questioning as much as you do, but you aren’t. These are simply topics that are not normally brought up unless you dwell within circles that regularly and openly discuss such matters.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

So I finally got to watch this concert film! On December 13th, no less! Taylor Swift decided to release it to watch at home on her birthday and I'm so happy that she did! I missed my chance to see it in theaters, but I'd been wanting to watch it since the moment I first heard of it and upon seeing this astonishing trailer.

It's no secret that I greatly appreciate Taylor Swift as an artist. And from what I know so far about her, as a person too. So I was more than thrilled to enjoy this show from the comfort of my home. I knew it would be out-of-this-world inspiring and it was. You wouldn't believe how much, despite having gone a different route, I love performing arts and how fulfilling it is for me to witness it. And coming from Taylor Swift, there's so much heart, mind, and work put into it that it easily transports me to what I'd call a world of magic.

The fact that she combined all of the albums is so grand to me, too. I still remember the first time I heard You Belong With Me and how I thought it was somehow different from what I was used to but oddly catchy - and from there, the rest is history. I never got bored of Taylor Swift. I may not be following and keeping up with her every move, but I've been listening to her music throughout the years and am familiar enough with her work for this to be personally meaningful to me.

It is also quite bewildering to me because I remember so much from over the years and I hope I always do. I hope that my memory won't fail me because these are memories I wish to hold on to. There are countless special moments tied to songs that come back more vividly through them but also just moments of how it's been like to exist at the same time as her and witness (or catch glimpses of) her trajectory.

I remember liking her first songs while having no idea how big she'd one day be. I as well remember dedicating a few of her songs to close friends. I remember having my sense of wonder restored after having lost it almost completely because of how sentimental she was. I remember defending her from haters, offline and online, just because their arguments were so baffling to me. And then I remember purposely annoying others with her music because they were hating it for (IMO) no good reason (and sometimes I troll, I'm not saying you should too). I remember somehow entering the period of terrible relationships and drama and suddenly having too many of her songs fit (which was ironic to me). And despite not caring about famous artists anymore, she remained the one I kept wondering about as time went on. Ultimately, I remember hearing what I needed to hear right when I needed to. In between all that, I went from a casual enjoyer to someone with profound and immense respect and gratitude for her.

I also remember hearing her say, when she was much younger, that it would be lonely if she was in competition with all others. At the time, that amount of purity irritated me. But I'm glad I'm now where that makes perfect sense to me and I could not agree more.

I believe that, at this point, if you don't recognize Taylor Swift's genius and gifts, you're being a fool. Maybe willfully ignorant and in denial for some messed up reason. Though, of course, you're free to have preferences.

I had a grand and memorable day today as it was filled with outstandingly beautiful art. 💗

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Picking The Right Causes

Picking a cause can be tricky.

Usually, it is not a calculated choice but a calling upon being personally affected or having people close to you being affected by whatever wrong that should be righted. You experienced and/or witnessed something that put you on a path of caring about it. And the fact that you do, endows you with extra firmness and determination to stand up and fight for it.

When, instead, it is a calculated choice and you’re not strongly invested in it, you can still be of tremendous help to it, depending on your position to be of aid, but might not be as sacrificing when the moment comes to make hard decisions that will inconvenience you.

But as long as you’re making a positive and/or constructive contribution, do your motives really matter? Yes and no. Yes, they matter when they will dictate counterproductive behavior somewhere down the line and for understanding how much merit there truly is in it. And no, just because your motives aren’t 100% pure and selfless it shouldn’t completely invalidate your contributions and keep you from making more. But here’s a messy area of morals and ethics to untangle with each unique situation.

And how can you be sure that what you’re doing is right? You can’t always be. But you can keep aiming to do the right thing and continually inform yourself to further learn what that is.

Too often, people are misguided. They latch onto causes to fill a void, better their image, or as an excuse to be cruel while believing themselves justified. None of these are likely to end well. The cause or causes you live for should matter to you beyond yourself - whether you picked them with your heart, with your mind, or with both.

Some people are born and live through terrible circumstances that set them up to champion certain causes. But for some others, they may have to look around and dip their toes into different types of suffering to find the ones that resonate with them and that they can be moved into alleviating. For the latter, there’s the risk of choosing something shallow and making it clear to the world that they are out of touch with what is most important, that they have been privileged. But they must keep pushing for better if they are to be humanitarian.

Let’s never forget, however, that you do matter too. Being too self-sacrificing will only lead you to lose your ability to continue to be of assistance. You can be compassionate, but you must be wise as well. Thus, it is advisable to give from your abundance and not from your scarcity. To have limits on how much you let go of or go out of your way for others.

It is fine to have one or more causes dear to you even if they are not deemed a priority for most. As long as they are not ultimately vile. You can devote to those and then more if you can afford it. May be “what you were put on this earth for”.

Points on Activism

 #1  Taking action for a cause is something to take seriously. Both your mind and heart should be in the right place. And if not, at least try to make that something to work toward.

 #2  Indignation alone is not a reliable marker for which behaviors should or should not be accepted. Indignation can come from different places and most of them are not virtuous.

 #3  There is no one single and only way to further a cause, but you must at least revise your approach for how productive it is and how well it makes use of your position (your advantages and your privileges). It is also fine to refrain from participating at times, though you may be reprimanded for it.

 #4  Things aren’t black & white, there is nuance and context to consider. Oversimplifications and extremism do not lead to progress. Not everyone can be perfectly thorough and valid in what they think and feel, but you can at least make it a habit to question and keep yourself in check.

 #5  Many causes are worthy on principle but eventually get highjacked by mindless and/or heartless actors that ignore (or even deny) what it was supposed to be. We must continually steer things to get back on track.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

How Does Solidarity Matter?

Imagine a world without any solidarity. None. Zero. Would you like to live there? Could you even survive it?

It tends to be overlooked, but solidarity is what holds relationships, communities, and even societies together. Having the genuine desire to be helpful to the people close to you, to those around you, or to everyone you can. Being fulfilled when you are. Glad to make things easier or better for others, not only for yourself.

This automatically makes you a gift to the world - or at least to the lives of those you’ve shown solidarity towards. Whether that’s appreciated or not is another matter. And so is reciprocation. But ultimately, it is a deed regardless.

However, good intentions are not enough. You may have to look at what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, why you’re doing it, when and where, and for whom. And that’s a lot to consider. There are no quick and easy answers to ensure you’ll always get it right. But you can start by asking what you can do to help (to yourself and/or to whom it concerns). Then pay attention to what unfolds.

It is comforting to believe that the good you do will be returned to you. If not tenfold, then at least in the same amount. But that doesn’t seem guaranteed. It is true that goodness flows and goes back and forth, but sometimes it is sent where it gets lost or hits a dead end. It may reach a malfunctioning or disabled conduit. Perhaps one that twists or destroys it. This does not mean that you should stop trying, it just means that there are intricacies to take note of.

And if you’re somebody who is naturally solidarious, attempting to be selfish will kill your spirit. Instead, seek others who also thrive in solidarity so that you can be your best self.

There will still be people who’d rather compete than cooperate. And some friendly (or at least civil) competition is fine and can promote competency. But lending a hand, having each other’s back, and so on, can also go a long way and build competence as well.

Points on Kindness

 #1  Kindness is not the same as niceness. Niceness denotes the quality of being pleasant, cordial, amicable, and such. Kindness, while may manifest as such, it’s not necessarily nice. Kindness can be tough and rough, and maybe even appear cruel. But it’s still keeping the best interests at heart. 

 #2  People often feign kindness for the social benefits of being perceived as kind. And often, genuinely kind people are taken as fakers too. It may be out of projection (inability to comprehend genuine kindness and attributing one’s own motivations and intentions instead), or out of skepticism (due to previous experiences or simply learning to be wary). 

 #3  Genuinely kind people are also often accused of being naive - stupid even. But that may be far from true. They may simply refuse to give in to the machinations of an unkind world.

 #4  Kindness is still kindness even when some form of kindness is expected in return when it can be granted. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for being taken advantage of and walked all over. Abusers (and misguided folks) will tell you it’s selfish, but that’s a convenient oversimplification lacking relevant nuance and context.  

 #5  You can be a kind person and have days, weeks, months, or even years when you don’t have much to give. It can happen to even the best of us. And it’s okay to receive kindness and focus on restoring your abundance before you give again.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Christmas Celebration

In December, we celebrate Christmas!

It is the holidays, time to wrap it up and be merry and bright.
Maybe you aren't a Christian, and that's fine.
You can still enjoy what Santa brings or do your own thing.
What's important is to give yourself a break.
And share with others if you can.

Winter Season

In December, get ready to welcome the arrival of Winter!

Winter is the fourth season in the cycle. Considered a season of hibernation. 
It is when the cold finally sweeps in, possibly to a freezing degree. 
Being icy and sharp, forcing you under layers and layers of fabric, 
it invites you to be close to others or to hide away. 
Make the most of it before it all ends.

During this season, we are pushed to conclude and rest to be set for what's next.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

How's The World's Culture Progressing This Year, 2023?

I started doing this last year, with the intention of continuing with it each year around the same date. Basically, a summary and/or a few highlights of my views and opinions on culture and its progress. You can read my 2022 article if you haven't already and then continue with this one!

My Personal Stance
It remains the same! As it has been from the very beginning, I stand for what is truthful, effective, and fair. I don’t yet have all the answers, but I do my best to consider and weigh different views and opinions to grasp the reality of the matter and find solutions to issues. Generally, I see that people are either ignorant, confused, misguided, malicious, pushing an agenda, or a combination of two or more of those. And I try to have patience but it can run out.

Cultural Progress in 2023
This year, I haven't delved much into the area of LGBTQ+, as it looks like more of the same to me. Essentially, movements having started with certain valid aims but being taken to outrageous degrees that I cannot agree with in sane judgment. And people in and outside of them being reasonable or unreasonable about them. Ultimately a fight between truths and lies. What I ended up seeing more of this year is the current state of relationships (and the dating scene) and I'd rather expand on that this time.

A few aspects of how relationships are taken and dealt with came to my attention and it's been both infuriating and disappointing to me, who's relatively fine being single. I can't imagine what a nightmare it must be for those for whom this isn't the case. And many of the problems seem to arise from blindly taking relationship advice from people who are not really qualified for it and may be speaking from their trauma, wounds, ego, assumptions, or mere inexperience and ignorance. 

• 50/50
Sounds fair, right? Except it rarely is. Too often, the 50/50 deal fails to take into account numerous relevant factors and, in its insistence on splitting everything (or what's convenient) evenly, makes the relationship entirely transactional. One or the two would be overlooking or taking for granted the investments and sacrifices of the other, as well as particular strains that would make things harder for one than for another. What should be an agreement to both do their best to contribute to the relationship becomes instead a poorly calculated deal - where one or both could be blind to their shortcomings and deluded about the value that they bring. In its short-sightedness, it also fails to take into account that, as humans, you may not always be able to contribute a steady percent; one day you may be able to give an 80%, another a 50%, another a 10%, then a 30%, or a 75%, and so on. And the relationship is not looked at holistically. 

• High/Low Value Man/Woman
Some would judge this value based on character and virtue as they relate to what would foster and maintain a fulfilling relationship, which would make more sense to me. But the number of people making superficial judgments and basing them on trivialities is concerning to me (to say the least). Yes, it is fine to have preferences for what you like and value a certain set of traits more highly than another for your personal choices. But when you're making "objective" calls on what is or isn't high value, you should at least try to see beyond yourself and your conditioning. 

• Masculine/Feminine
This has gone on in more ways than I can count, defining and redefining. I have my own notions of what can be considered "masculine" and what can be considered "feminine" and I know that, ultimately, they're just categorizations that facilitate descriptions. But I've been coming across a few takes that make me want to ask if they hadn't learned anything - until I realize that they probably never attended the same classes I did and I cannot expect them to be on the same page with me. Ultimately, this isn't set in stone and your own understanding of it can be quite flexible (not to mention, subject to epochs). But when people arbitrarily attribute traits to one side or the other or are completely going off outdated and shallow stereotypes, I have to breathe in and breathe out. Something I can appreciate, though, is the subcategorization I've seen come up plenty lately, of the Wounded Masculine/Feminine. This adds more dimension to it and is worth pondering, in my opinion. As would be the typical Mature and Immature, and the Healthy and Unhealthy versions of each.

• Situationships
Are situationships more common these days or did I somehow step into a a stream of them? I would guess that even if it is the latter, it is also the former to an extent. It's like they are more normalized and people don't experience as much guilt or shame over them - even when it's clearly making the other uncomfortable. And given how lifestyles have changed, with both pressure to operate in certain ways and freedom to do whatever you like, for countless different reasons, it has become the go-to for many. And maybe I'm just tired and they would have been fine for me when I was younger and could be fascinated by romantic drama and dilemmas, but I find them extremely frustrating when grown adults are involved. You can and should do better than that. 

• Battered or Bettered
There's a trend going on about the boyfriend and the girlfriend effect. And while not unbiased (mostly showing the girlfriend effect as favorable while the boyfriend effect as disfavorable), it does bring us to the reality that some relationships make you worse and some make you better. And this can be seen in how healthy and happy you look while in them. In bad relationships, your hair, your skin, and more suffer. You also seem uncomfortable and awkward in what you wear and how you present yourself. Not to mention tired. In good relationships, it is the opposite. And I find it insane that even at this point in time you can still find people who take pride in treating their partner badly. As if they deserve applause for getting away with being a lousy partner that would be a good riddance. If you look at your partner and you're not compelled to be and do what would make them and their life better, something or someone is seriously lacking.

• Loneliness Epidemic
Then there's the "loneliness epidemic". Something that many have laughed at and rightfully so. I mean, look at how careless people are being with others and their relationships with them. And then they wonder why so many are now choosing to be single and have accepted singlehood. Do you want people to suffer and be miserable when they could just not? And it's not a matter of having to force relationships and make it so they're a requirement for much, it's that people are not bothering to be worthwhile and have worthwhile relationships. That even the most tolerating and accommodating person would rather opt out of them. You're not entitled to a relationship in this regard ever, but even less when you don't show devotion to them. 

Again. That’s all for now. I may still sporadically engage and elaborate on various topics, but expect the continuation of this post next year. Please stay lucid and keep improving!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Familiarity, Comfort, & Nourishment

Being in your zone of comfort, where things are familiar, isn’t necessarily bad.
You may be deriving nourishment from it.

Maybe what you’re used to is not recommendable for you, maybe it is indeed something to move out and on from, and maybe it is holding you back from much better. You’re stuck there. And perhaps it is slowly killing you.

But this isn’t always the story. Sometimes we happen to land in environments that are enriching to us in one or more ways. Or we don’t have that fortune but devote ourselves to curating such a space for ourselves to at last be surrounded by what is best for us.

When that’s the case, leaving without return seems unwise. What is it out there that makes up for not being here? The possibility of challenges that lead to growth, yes. But should you be constantly on the go without anywhere to call home? That may or may not be for you.

There are things that you can do as a risk-taking wanderer and things that you can do while safely sheltered. And you can mix and switch between these two ends.

For someone with defined preferences, sticking to or at least often taking up what has proven to be beneficial to them, can make the entire difference between living a fulfilling life or not. But you must identify what that truly is, distinguishing it from what appears to be so but is no more than a detrimental addiction keeping you in a destructive cycle.

From there, you won’t feel so guilty about your “guilty pleasures”. Because they aren’t pleasures to feel guilty about, they are just pleasures that reward and treat you to what you need and more.

Points on Rootedness

 #1  To be rooted is to be firmly set and standing on grounds that support you. 

 #2  Rootedness may seem or even be restrictive, depending on how much freedom you seek or yearn for, but to those ready to stand in one place for long, rootedness is relieving, comforting, and even empowering.

 #3  You can be rooted in different types of things. It is something specific to you and the type of growth you are able and/or choosing to have.

 #4  Rootednes may be precisely what you’re lacking in prolonged periods of confusion and aimlessness. It can connect you to what matters and how to go from there.

 #5  Tracing back to our origins, we would find much of what will forever be a part of us at the root.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Lyrics Carried Within (3of4)

Another one! This one held dearly in my heart!

I was quite young when I first listened to this song, Celine Dion - Because You Loved Me. I had yet to form my concept of love and I liked so much how all this sounded.

I remember wishing I could someday have a love like that. And well... Guess what! The wish was granted. Not once, not twice, but several times. From minute to grand scales, from vaguely to precisely, from symbolically to literally. Romantic context aside, this is to me more of a sentimental matter. And indeed, I'll be forever thankful.

As I continue to grow and evolve, I become more able to fend for myself. So the situations I now can find myself in are less dire to me than the situations I could find myself in before, but I still appreciate the assistance in all the regards that can be covered. And similarly, I aspire to be able to give back.

Few things are as painfully lonely as being powerless (and handicapped) without anyone else to count on.

Once More, Thank you!

While we approach the end of this year and I begin wrapping it up, I'm again filled with gratitude for everyone who's been with me through it!

As it's usual, at least with me, things didn't go completely according to plan. It has been both less and more eventful than I expected. In that I couldn't do or participate in as many of the things I intended to, but was also met with more than I could have anticipated (delightful, terrible, mixed, and in between). All in all, it concludes mostly on a positive and constructive note, having made significant progress.

I'm truly thankful to those who believe in me and root for me, those supporting and assisting me, and those contributing in any or various ways. I haven't been able to be as present and engaged as I would have liked to, but you are not overlooked or taken for granted. (I'm just trying and failing to gracefully juggle and push forward to a point where I can give back more and better.)

Honestly, would not have been able to get anywhere near this point without your help. I may take my own credit, but I still see the ways in which you have patched and moved me toward higher and greater. And I'll continue to honor that in part by doing my best to stay on track, face challenges, overcome obstacles, minimize delays and detours, and keep my spirit.

Truly, thank you! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Hunter of Fate

I can't NOT have this here. I love it so much! I was going through an especially rough moment when it came out and wasn't too eager to check it out, but I'm so glad I took the time anyway! It turned out to be exactly what I needed at that point!

Everything from the settings, to the character, the colors, the music, and the lyrics, pulled me out of a shrinking space in my world. And it doesn't cease to blow my mind how art is at times capable of such magic. It's as if, due to circumstances, I was starting to cower in a corner without really realizing the true extent of it and, just like that, this work managed to make me ME again. And not because I no longer had threatening problems surrounding me, but DESPITE having them - which is a whole other level of enhanced bravery and improved vision. I am so thankful for the existence of this and the incredible timing of it.

Also, it's not that I know the artist from long ago - from around a decade ago (unbelievable history)! Tamlin, an amazing person, ally, and friend who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the psychological and more. An enviable artist as well (though I like her too much to envy her, I'm instead in awe of what she makes!). I did love this song and this video by itself.

It's just so freakin' adorable, too! ❤️

Monday, November 20, 2023

Sagittarius' Basics

Transit Date: Late November.
Concluding Autumn.

Position: 9th.
Element: Fire.
Quality: Mutable.

Symbolized by: The Archer Centaur.
Typically Associated with: Honesty, humor, fortune. 

At Best: Philosophical and adventurous.
At Worst: Non-commital and irresponsible.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Fantasy, Charm, & Enchantment

How dreamy is too dreamy?

In a world of crude and crass realities, it doesn’t hurt to indulge in marvelous things. In fact, it alleviates the pain and suffering of it. Or at least this is the case if you’re born with an inclination to what is otherworldly.

You’d rather run or hide away than have to deal with more of the same that seems to be slowly but surely killing you. And while this can be frowned upon, chalked off as a disorder or disability, the story changes when it becomes a respected job - where what had you turning away from what’s mundane also has you forming an alternative that others can barely resist.

In fantasy, there’s more to things. This can become a problem if you let it make you into someone who is never satisfied or even appreciative of what makes you fortunate. But guided well, you can instead become an enhancer rather than a dismisser of reality.

Bringing fantasy, charm, and enchantment to what you do, is bringing magic to and through your work. Something many may be deprived of and in dire need of.

There’s the risk of losing oneself in it, not wishing to return to what’s dry and dull in contrast, but that’s something mostly to be managed by the individual indulging and not by who’s providing this “drug”. Yet, it is still considerate to not purposely make it so addictive (and even coercive) that it is sure to detriment others.

Points on Illusionment

 #1  Illusionment, besides being wishful thinking superimposed on reality, can be a form of denial or of escape. 

 #2  Illusions often are no more than delusions keeping you from uglier and perhaps harsher truths that you must face. However, at times, they serve to protect you from truths so cruel that you are better off without knowing until later on.

 #3  Illusionism is crafty work. It can be harmless, when its intent is to astonish. And harmful, when its intent is to deceit.

 #4  Mingling and switching, without fail, between illusory and candid realms denotes a vivid imagination paired with sharp senses.

 #5  Although it is noble and virtuous to seek truth in all, the power of illusions is undeniable when it leads to self-fulfilling prophecies that are rewarding.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Small Town Escapade

A picture's worth a thousand words, but I'm still tempted to say more...

There is so much contained within this compilation of moments and memories. A bit self-indulgent, you could say, but I look back with fondness to the small town life I had upon escaping the city, over a decade ago. It was in part by choice and in part forced by the circumstances. Regardless, I was extremely fortunate to be welcomed here. To a slower and softer existence.

To me, desperate for a drastic change, it was magical in more ways than I can count. But I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. It was everything from long bus rides, receiving protective items, seeing simpler buildings, staying in a cozy home, having gardens, growing food, adopting animals, spotting insects and other creatures, drinking tea, getting treats, being by the river or by the sea, collecting rocks and crystals, going grocery shopping, frequently eating out, occasionally visiting the theater, spending time reading and writing, practicing music, doing crafts, stargazing on the rooftop, enjoying the rain, reflecting on everything, to even a creepy and abandoned house closeby with a messed up story. And not fully quitting video games or tech in general! I needed that.

I had these pictures posted before with more on what they represented or commemorated, but now I'll only have them here to recall these events and not completely erase them from my history as I proceed to another phase (I had to leave many out but these can do).

So, ultimately, here's what was in store for me - condensed. All of this will eventually be further away in the past, but I might always hold on to it and cherish it as the salvation it was. 💜

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Romanticism & Sentimentalism

Have you ever been in love? It’s different from loving. But it could be both. You can be in love with someone or something you love.

The experience of romance and sentimentality isn’t exactly universal among human beings. We all likely have heard of it, most of us know of it, and plenty of us understand it. But how have we experienced it? It can dramatically differ in manner, intensity, and direction.

You would assume that romantics have it easy in romance, but the truth isn’t so simple. Relationships void of or with minimal romance and interest in it are easier to form and maintain. Hence, the term hopeless romantic applies to more and more romantics. Being and staying in love can be tricky.

Sentimental folks have it easier than the romantics since, in their case, it isn’t about seeking, finding, and sustaining exchanges to keep it alive. It is more about noticing what is worthy of holding dear and holding it dear. And this can be anything from a concrete object or an abstract concept. Loving speaks on your capability of loving whether you’re loved in return or not.

Both, being romantic and sentimental, can charge you with an extra energy that alters your state. And this extra energy may overflow to the point where you have no choice but to yearn to express it - and make it justice as you do.

It is no wonder muses are often a source of inspiration by inciting romanticism and sentimentalism, leading to beautiful works that may come across as sublime or even divine.

It is engulfing. Perhaps, for one or more reasons, it repels you or it doesn’t move you in any significant manner. But for others, it is a piece of heaven on earth. And it may considerably soften you.

Points on Veneration

 #1  Veneration can put you in a vulnerable position, but it is not to be deemed unworthy altogether. Some things do elicit and deserve that level of appreciation and doing so can enrich you too.

 #2  What you venerate plays a major role in how your life will unfold. Doors will open and close based on it. And paths will hide or reveal themselves to you because of it.

 #3  Beware of those demanding unearned veneration. They are ruled by vices rather than by virtue. 

 #4  If you are venerated, you can feel the pressure to remain as you are or as you are doing. But true love for you and your work gives you room to roam.

 #5  Veneration as a goal can have you engaging in questionable behaviors. Taking it merely as a bonus (and in some cases as a means to a greater good) will have you better directed.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Homage to Linkin Park (R.I.P. Chester Bennington)

I wrote about it in the past. In July 2017, right after Chester Bennington’s death. It was impulsive. And I promised myself I would write about it again, putting more into it. But now it’s hard because I know that, no matter how much I try to reach into myself and everything that Linkin Park’s work meant to me growing up, I won’t be anywhere close to making them justice through a few words in an article. And it’s also difficult because I’m not sure I’m ready to be that open and vulnerable. But I’m not special for it. Linkin Park helped a vast amount of us get through angst we didn’t even know we had, let alone know how to face and handle, while our intrapersonal intelligence was abysmally poor. And we could see the genius in that.

By the time I first listened to Linkin Park, my fangirling days were over. Yet, it was easily a band I’d look forward to hearing (and seeing) more from. So I kept up with them to a degree. They tackled topics that intrigued me and drew me in. And at this point, I owe much of my depth to them. Maybe I would have sought it out and gotten to it through other means if they hadn’t been around, but I got it through them and that’s just a part of me now. They got me thinking and feeling plenty. And now I can’t help wishing I could somehow turn back time and drop a “thank you” to Chester Bennington somewhere even if he could miss it. I wish I could believe in spirits roaming or watching from above, too. Although the day I heard of his passing and the days that followed I was shaken in ways I could not quite make sense of, I was still quite indifferent to it. However, as I become more and more aligned with what matters the most to me, it pains me more and more that he’s gone.

Ironically, rock and rockers had a reputation for being “a bad influence”. Linkin Park included. And back then, before knowing and understanding as much as you may now do, with all the information from different perspectives made available (especially the psychological), it could make you wary. But if you truly pay attention, who is really the bad influence here? This is a typical case of rocking the boat and what it entails.

Linkin Park, in particular, came off to me as anti-corruption. Not anti-establishment, rebelling for the sake of rebelling, showing off how indomitable they are, but specifically anti-corruption. “Corruption” in the usual and the wider sense. Whether it was within relationships, families, among peers, in regards to communities or societies, or within oneself. They addressed it in numerous instances, from various angles. Pointing to whatever was rotten or rotting. To those not caring to listen, it could sound like mere whining and complaining. But to those more attuned, it was insightful.

I’d say that there are artists so extraordinarily perceptive that it hurts. They notice and take in more than most. And then they carry that - which consumes them. They may release a bit of it through the art that they make and perform, but the rest remains for them to keep or let out in other ways. It can be maddening. So it’s not too shocking if some choose to cope via desperate means. Crushing if they eventually give up, though. It is a heavy burden bestowed upon them that’s not always sufficiently alleviated. They’d be the first to sense trouble. Possibly warn others of it before it is too late.

My personal favorites are many. Songs I could listen to at a time when I needed them. That practically guided me through what I was experiencing and/or witnessing. And that will always be important to me. Such as:

- Papercut
- Numb
- Breaking the Habit
- From the Inside
- What I’ve Done
- Points of Authority

These are only a few. You can check them out if you’re curious enough. But in short, they’re practically a self-awareness trip. While Points of Authority, instead, is a song that everyone should probably hear - and steer away from anything similar.

Taking on all the problems of the world can make anyone lose hope. And even if you go through them one by one, it can wear you out. I would never consider Linkin Park pessimistic in their work. On the contrary, they were optimistic enough to be courageous enough to do it. And regardless of how much it means to anyone, the effects of it are undeniable. We took an honest look at ourselves and at what was around us, prompted and aided by them. Although divine intervention could come in handy too.

R.I.P. Chester Bennington. You will be fondly remembered and your work highly cherished. Linkin Park and your voice in it is an immense gift to the world and to the lives of all of us who were in dire lack of it.

Linkin Park, you've become forever a part of my life and it is an honor!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Sense & Sensitivity

You may believe you can get away without them, perhaps overlooking how present they are in works, but it’ll probably catch on.

Maybe your work isn’t of the overly delicate kind, and that’s fine. But somewhere, somehow, you may benefit from having some degree of sense and sensitivity. They can tell you when something is off or in conflict. Furthermore, they can help you finely tailor stimuli.

It may not sound very compelling if you’re the type to steamroll over things or to leave things to chance. However, your perception will be greatly enhanced and, as a result, so will your art.

These may be talents in some, but they are also developable skills that anyone can have. At least up to a point. The first step is to relax and take a moment to allow yourself to notice details that you have overlooked.

They can be dimensions, layers, angles, connections, forms, tones, and more specifics. What is it like up close? And what is it like from afar? What if you turn it around? And what if you look at it from above or from below? How is it in relation to other things? And so on…

Beyond this, how is it affecting you? Is it affecting you at all? How and how much? What could that be pointing to? You may be numb to it or simply not be picking up anything too strongly yet. But it is in you to be open or closed to these sensations. Then, it is also on you to moderate it.

Points on Delicacy

 #1  Delicacy is a state of mind that you can access and switch to if you innately have it or have trained yourself to. You slow down and basically tell the rest of the world to wait. All nuance is now available to you.

 #2  There is the risk of losing your toughness and roughness when tuning into a more delicate side of you. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case; both sides can coexist within you though they may not be simultaneously active.

 #3  Being delicate is another of the gifts that can seem like a curse although it is a blessing in disguise. The more harsh and cruel the world around becomes, the more difficult it is for someone to thrive in this manner - but there’s still value in what you do.

 #4  Although being delicate can be considered a feminine trait, gender does not make it exclusive to itself. And depending on where, when, and how you manifest it, it can seamlessly blend with the entirety of you.

 #5  Certain things in themselves require a delicate treatment or they’ll break, malfunction, or simply not be optimal.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Thanksgiving Celebration

In November, we celebrate Thanksgiving!

Historical origins aside, it is an excuse to gather around.
To count your blessings and acknowledge your fortune.
To give sincere thanks for what is meaningful and significant to you.
And perhaps to catch up a little with neighbors and relatives;
see how culture is doing while differing ones come into conflict.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Past Halloween Costumes

I wanted to dress up for Halloween this year, but given a series of events, I won't be able to. Better luck next time!

What I can still bring, though, is a compilation of some of my past Halloween costumes. Some are simply a few things I quickly put on in the spirit of Halloween (better than nothing). But for others, I regret not having taken more and better pictures (to have the full attire and capture the whole mood) or going all the way with them (finishing up artistic makeup).

In any case, these are all characters that exist in my imagination. And I suppose are now out in the real world, too. This is one of the many reasons why I love Halloween - it's the holiday that prompts us to take on a different persona for the heck of it. And I love doing that!

I've gone as "Broken Porcelain Doll", "Ghost", "Dark Pierrot", "Pirate", "Witch", "80's", and much more.

I'm so glad that there's not a limit on how old you can be to dress up for Halloween (and other occasions) because I'd like to keep doing this for as long as I'm here!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Lyrics Carried Within (2of4)

Continuing with lyrics that are particularly relevant here, there's Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).  

It is as though this song prepared me for the world and will forever be timeless. That is a sad thought for some of us.

I'd say it contributed to my cynicism in regards to people, but maybe it didn't enough - as I could still fall for it. But then it gets to a point where it's not so much "I believed you and you turned out to be something else!" And it becomes something more of an "Alright, let's see how much of what you claim to be looking for is really what you're looking for." Yet, still disappointing when the harsh truth comes.

What's more interesting to me than wanting to use and abuse others, is wanting to be used and abused by others. It's like the former is twisted, but the latter is beyond messed up. If you look closely into them.

There are elements of utility even in the most caring relationships, of course, and even the kindest people could get carried away with pushing and taking from others. However, beware of when it is significantly worse than that.

Both the ones wanting to mistreat others and the ones wanting to be mistreated can be seriously harmful to you. The first seems obvious but the second can be overlooked. Have you ever been with someone "harmless" who somehow often managed to bring out the worst in you? Or maybe just someone with an endless amount of benefits of the doubt and second chances? How did that go?

Most of us here are quite rotten.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Too Unhinged & Deranged

How far can you or should you go?

What happens in fiction land, stays in fiction land. Maybe that’s a handy guideline to adopt when it comes to exploring, experimenting, and experiencing the most unhinged and deranged aspects of yourself, of others, and of living creatures, organisms, and machinery in general.

However, are you really free to go as wild as you’d like when that’s the case? Not quite. You’ll get passes but you’ll still be marked as suspicious. And that’s something you would have to maneuver through, possibly by having a vast amount of evidence pointing to your innocence to counteract the effect of these concerning activities.

And while it’s true that it’s often the most small and simple-minded people who are quick to point fingers and yell, “Witch!” To have everyone around gather with pitchforks and carry you to be burned at the stake, it is valid to be wary of those displaying a level of enjoyment in violence or other twisted and messed up things. That doesn’t mean those that hide it are automatically more trustworthy, To some, that can be more concerning because… Where does their anger go? Surely, any human without a disability impeding it is able to experience anger. But it does mean that when you do show the signs, more people take notice and, rightfully so, their guard goes up.

This can be discouraging. But if you’re meant to go into these sides of life, it may not fully stop you. It will also largely depend on how accepting or rejecting your environment is of this nature. And if you’re committed and responsible enough with it, it will take much to deter you.

It is proven, however, that it is worse to be in complete denial and ignorance of what horrors lurk or lie beyond - in the past, present, and in potential futures. Depending on how this venture is taken, it can serve as a form of preparation for the same or similar situations, on smaller or larger scales. But there’s indeed the risk of being consumed by it instead and taken down a darker road.

Please always exercise sound judgment and stop before reaching the point of no return.

Points on Monstrousity

 #1  What’s monstrous often stems from a lack of moderation, from giving into vices. However, it may also only be that which scares or disgusts us. If not also harms us regardless of whether what is done is universalty or inherently good or bad.

 #2  Monstruosity may be deemed out of shallow criteria, for superficial and unexamined reasons. What is “ugly” (in the typical or wider sense) and therefore undesired or even unacceptable by strict norms.

 #3  A monster may be someone that threatens our sense of safety, or merely our comfort. Regardless of motives and intentions, they can come across as such. 

 #4  A monster doesn’t necessarily appear as such. They may be attractive and seductive, lulling you into trusting that they are incapable of any ill. But still behave in ways, albeit subtle, that severely lack consideration and care for others.

 #5  Monsters may be powerful, but they usually aren’t invincible. However, you must be able to face what they are to know how to defeat or overcome them.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Another Love

Most of you have probably already heard this song, but I'd like to elaborate on it because, in my opinion, it is a very accurate depiction of the effect a breakup can have on someone's heart and be oddly specific about it.

So, no, it is not always like this. Some may never experience this exact same thing. But I can tell you it happens. It's not just excuses (as many are guilty of these days).

Some of us can be so intensely invested in somebody else that, when it doesn't work out, it is truly devastating. And it goes beyond still being attached to the other person or wanting them instead of anybody else. You can be fully done with somebody, emotionally or simply romantically, yet still be in this state. Because after pouring all your love on to them, what do you have left? 

In my experience, jerks are horrible in numerous ways, and damaging so. But it's the ones you could be happy with that can leave you the most void in this manner. And it isn't so simple to move on then.

What's sad is that maybe the next person would have been better for you. It has nothing to do with them that you can't love the same way and instead act dryly as they wait for you to come back around. But who knows? Maybe something similar also happened in the previous relationship and there was also a waiting period.

This is one of my biggest fears, though. To mistreat someone who deserves better because I am not well. Believe it. I have pushed away outstandingly woderful people in the past because of this. If I love you, then I genuinely want the best for you. And if can't see myself as what could be the best for you, it is difficult for me to stay. And this is also the reason why I have no sympathy for awful people who make things worse for me begging to let them stick around. But I digress.

I've been in a situation where I desperately wanted to avoid this "timeline", where I was so emotionally vacant that I'd push a loving person into this rage. But lying and pretending isn't so much better. I'd rather not say what I don't really mean. Even if it is an understandable white lie.

And it's kind of like that here. He does care about her. May love her and acknowledge the amazing person she is. But he's just... empty at this point. If timing had been different, he maybe would have been madly in love with her too.

So, sometimes, some of us, really do need time. To mend and fill our hearts again and again be able to love properly. And, I repeat, it has nothing to do with the next person. They're not less than nor not enough.

Am I saying that you shouldn't get involved with people that aren't at their best? Not quite. But you should know what you're signing up for and decide from there. Because even if they want it badly too, they cannot magically fix themselves overnight...

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Conjuring & Transmuting

But isn’t that, like, magic? Complete fiction or illusory at most? It depends on how you look at it!

When we speak of conjuring and transmuting, we are speaking of two particular processes. These processes are often associated with the realm of magic, of unbelievable powers reserved for those who are more than mere humans. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be borrowed for more practical and common instances of them - whether to take something mundane and view it through the lens of wonder or simply to effectively communicate what is being done exactly.

When you’re drawing from within yourself and connected deeply with what could be various sources of inspiration that fuel you or even possess you, what comes out of that can be considered something you conjured up - especially if the specific measures and mixes are essential to the formation of it, had you consciously controlled them or not.

Similarly, transmutation is something you do. When instead of completely discarding what seems useless or even detrimental to you, you have it go through a transformation that turns it into something worthier to you, to others, or in general instead, and it is somehow an equivalent, yet perhaps an opposite, that is by definition transmutation.

In art, when engaging with one’s artistic abilities, conjuring and transmuting is not foreign. Artists seemingly forge gems out of nowhere and turn coal into gold. And it is magical to those who appreciate it.

Points on Mysticism

 #1  Mysticism, though may sound superstitious, is indeed a real phenomenon that encompasses observable traits and behaviors. However, as they are more abstract and subjective than concrete and objective, they can be missed by those more inclined to the latter.

 #2  Mysticism, mystics, and mystical experiences relate to the perception and comprehension of what’s beyond the obvious and can be linked to concepts such as souls and the divine. Which may or may not be further interpreted and expressed.

 #3  Mysticism can be a state of mind. Some access it through the use of drugs, but they can still be reached through other stimulants that tap into one’s intuition and ability to shift perspectives and recognize extra layers.

 #4  The recognition of symbols and archetypes, as well as patterns, are typical ways to deal with and practice mysticism.

 #5  If you are gifted with the mystical, you are not necessarily a “magical” being, but you tend to be spiritual and have a heightened sensitivity to the fabrics of life and the energies that run through them. This can make you “psychic” and “prophetic” to some degree.

Friday, October 20, 2023


Mere coincidence or somehow connected? Tricky to tell. Nevertheless, certain events can seem too significant to ignore. They may not be heaven-sent, but still be the result of what can be considered divine order. And if you trace things down enough, you might get to the source from which these connected but seemingly disconnected coincidences emanate. Then again, there’s still the possibility of being a simple meeting by chance in space and time.


Much like patterns, archetypes are structures that can be perceived by going beyond the details attached to them that may differ. In other words, an archetype holds an essential form that can be repeatedly found with different characteristics but maintains what fundamentally makes it the same. E.g. The King, The Queen, The Tower, etc.


Symbols can be anywhere from perfect analogies to vague semblants of what they are intended to represent. Usually, context matters greatly in order to grasp what they’re about. They may be constants or variables, meaning always the same (at least within a given constraint) or changing meanings depending on when and where they’re placed and aimed to refer to.


Can divinations be trusted? No, not really. But they can be considered. Maybe they don’t connect to a greater spirit or a divine order to grant you answers, or maybe they do but the channels are ineffective. The message may be distorted or misconceived. However, generally, divinations can nudge you into paying attention to areas that you might have otherwise ignored. They may also tap into your own intuitive knowing and lead you into realizing truths.


How often do you pause to reflect? Is it something that you can go days, weeks, months, or even years without engaging in? Alternatively, do you compulsively do so, reflecting whenever whatever sinks in or is stirred up? Perhaps you have a more moderate medium. Regardless of the case, reflection is undeniably worthwhile unless it turns into dwelling that becomes stagnant. What amount of reflection suits you and your temperament is specific to you. But even if you’re not generally inclined to it, there may come moments when it is best for you to reflect.


Not everybody dreams (or is able to remember their dreams) and it varies for those who do. Maybe dreams are not a big part of your life, maybe you only dream every once in a while and it appears to be totally random. But for people who dream 3-7 dreams whenever they doze off, there may be more in them. And if they have paid attention, they would have noticed that there’s more to them than just shuffled perceptions and interpretations.


The brain is a marvelous organ with capabilities beyond belief. But what can be endlessly fascinating is what it holds within, as well as how it processes, stores, accesses, and compiles information. The psyche is still quite the mystery - and the via through which we can begin comprehending all. It comes through in everything, so why would we ignore it?

Scorpio's Basics

Transit Date: Late October.
Middle of Autumn.

Position: 8th.
Element: Water.
Quality: Fixed.

Symbolized by: The Scorpion.
Typically Associated with: Intensity, depth, darkness. 

At Best: Fearless and penetrating.
At Worst: Malicious and manipulative.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

What are your Blind Spots?

You know what you know, but do you know what you don’t know?

Blindspots are the areas that, as the name implies, we are blind to. They may be blatantly visible to others, but you overlook them. In some cases, we may not notice what’s in them even when it is pointed out. Unless you illuminate the area for yourself, you won’t be able to see what’s there.

These blind spots can be outside or inside ourselves, separate from us or within us.

It is recommendable to at least become aware of their existence, if not get rid of them by perceiving what they encompass. So that you can proceed in a manner that reduces or prepares for potential risks. Pitfalls and more that may backfire can be avoided, too.

Furthermore, blindspots are vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the ill-willed. To someone versed in this, and familiar with mental mapping, noticing others’ blindspots isn’t too difficult. And they can be used to confuse and manipulate. Attacks through them can also be particularly hurtful and/or disabling. As though not knowing what hit you and how - being caught off-guard and unable to fend from it.

To those who take advantage of this, if not bright enough, playing or appearing ignorant or naive (or just dumb) can lead to their downfall as they underestimate how much the person is grasping while overestimating how much they are. People with overinflated egos are especially prone to making assumptions that ultimately won’t serve them and have plenty of blindspots themselves

Points on Ignorance

 #1  You don’t ought to know everything to begin taking action. However, depending on what you’re like and what you’re doing, there’s a level of knowledge that you must achieve in order to feel comfortable and confident going forward.

 #2  Knowing too much can be paralyzing. If at any point you feel overwhelmed by what you know, take the time to sort through the information to simplify it and be able to see and set a course.

 #3  Knowing too little can be fatal. Aim to prepare yourself with at least what is essential to your competence.

 #4  You shouldn’t expect to have no gaps in knowledge, even on subjects you know well and are turned to for answers. Be open to finding out that there’s something you didn’t know and adjust accordingly. It may be humbling, but stubbornly refusing to admit ignorance can be worse.

 #5  It can be a waste to attempt to cover every base on your own. Don’t be too afraid to count on others who can be trusted to provide knowledge.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

A Clear Conscience

How clear is your conscience? Do you have a conscience? Does your conscience speak to you? What is even a conscience?

In people, a conscience is a built-in mechanism that assists in determining what is the right way to behave in given situations and circumstances. With a conscience, you are prompted to evaluate the actions you've taken or could take. Considering not only how they benefit you and how convenient they are for you, but also what impact they have on others - directly or indirectly. 

Because of this, something as seemingly harmless as leaving a piece of trash on a park bench instead of dropping it in the nearest trash can may leave you feeling displeased with yourself. Accidentally being rude to an innocent stranger may nag you for hours. For worse, more severe and serious offenses, you may be robbed of sleep. Or at least, that would be the case if you're a conscientious person.

A conscience could be suppressed and repressed to the point where it is barely hearable, but it could still be affecting your state. You may not be as much in the mood for things or even begin hating yourself and not knowing why. Having voices in your head that you do not recognize as your own is a possibility, too. And if you're the kind who dreams as a way to access and process what's in your subconscious, what you've been denying might come up there.

Lacking conscience, on the other hand, denotes a brain disability. Although, ironically, those that do often take pride in it, mistaking their inability to weigh matters in terms of impact, consequences, and balance, as a sort of 'slickness' that allows them to take shortcuts in life and go through it unbothered. It can be enviable, but the reality is that it is self-centered and relatively short-sighted. And in extreme cases, leads to sociopathy and psychopathy - if not just narcissism.

Ideally, your conscience would work for you and your greatest good. Not as something that hinders your potential, crippling and paralyzing you, but that helps develop and reveal your best version. So that you can live an exemplary life with few to no regrets.

For this, engaging in self-reflection when you run into a moral or ethical issue is important. This is how to fine-tune the systems that program and inform your conscience. And it is life-long work. Along with keeping it clear.

Points on Guilt & Shame

 #1  Guilt and shame are words sometimes used interchangeably. However, there's an important distinction to make between what they refer to. Essentially, guilt is experienced based on your own principles, values, and conscience. Whereas, shame, is experienced based on the views and opinions of others - or the potential of being judged unfavorably by them.

 #2  To deal with guilt, you must be brave enough to look at yourself and see your faults and shortcomings. Many do not work through their guilt because they cannot face themselves, preferring to hold on to the illusion that they aren't to blame or take responsibility. It can be difficult even for mature and evolved individuals.

 #3  To deal with shame, you must be discerning and ask yourself what is warranted and what is not. While taking into consideration the responses of others can help you correct yourself, adapt, and fit with them, there are times when the norms must be questioned instead. 

 #4  When you experience guilt and/or shame, it serves to examine them rather than being blindly guided by them. They may arise from misguided beliefs that are needlessly limiting and even detrimental.  

 #5  If you rarely or never experience guilt or shame, it could mean that you have a refined system that keeps you aligned in what you believe, what you say, and what you do - leading you to behave properly and appropriately in most cases. Alternatively, your conscience is lacking and you are not being alerted of missteps through guilt and shame. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Expectations & Gratification

We may be needlessly setting ourselves up for frustration.

Having expectations and pursuing gratification can do wonders for your productivity. The former gives you aims while the latter gives you rewards. But it can become counterproductive if not formed well or delayed enough.

In the case of forming expectations, you don’t have to limit yourself to what is most “realistic” and therefore settle, but it may help you to find the spot that works for you between being firm and being flexible with them. E.g. What is within your domain and what isn’t? You can push yourself to do your most and/or your best, and expect that of yourself, but it doesn’t quite translate the same way when expecting that of people or life itself - there’s less you know to account for and less that you govern over. So, to some degree, you must leave matters to chance and be adaptable enough when whatever comes. Yet, it tends to be the case that odds will be in your favor if you strive for excellence - just as long as you don’t insist in fitting into places that you’ve outgrown.

When it comes to delaying gratification, it can be tough but it is doable. But like with forming expectations, there’s a sweet spot that you must find for yourself. One between being able to go without it and being kind to yourself regardless. Being a joyless machine can only get you so far. And primarily chasing after joy will turn your process into a roller coaster ride. That said, gratification may come with what you're doing, when the tasks at hand are inherently fulfilling and you are appreciative enough to derive fulfillment from them, or found outside or after the task, like listening to nice music while drinking a cup of your favorite tea or by getting feedback and collecting a payment. For example. What is gratifying is innumerable and often not obvious. It is also specific to each person, though underlying principles might be the same.

We are prone to frustration, when we’re too heavily reliant on expectations being met and gratification being granted. This frustration can be a sign that they are of extreme importance and should not be taken lightly. But it can also mean that they’re backfiring on you and should be revised.