Thursday, August 9, 2012


I've started this blog about three times trying to collect my thoughts in order for it to have some semblance of coherence.  I apologize in advance if my thoughts seem disjointed and scattered.  Emotions have been a topic of conversation over the last few weeks among my friends. I think it's part and parcel with where we all are in our lives at this point but for some reason it keeps coming back up so I think it's time to air it out a bit...
e·mo·tion (noun) :  A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.
Love is obviously an emotion.  Some might argue the most powerful and universal of all of them, but I think what we tend to, pardon the pun, romanticize is the operative term "spontaneous" when it comes to understanding the true nature of love.  In random conversations about this, I recently had an epiphany and as a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, the following sentence is quite possibly one of the more jarring revelations I've had to date...
...promising to love someone forever is futile.
Just reading those words feels like glass in my eyes, but after further contemplation it led to a rather interesting theory.  Lets consider the very complicated concept of commitment as it applies to emotion.  I submit that committing to an emotion makes no sense.  Don't believe me?  Let's for the purpose of argument, replace the word "love" with another very recognizable emotion: Fear.
So, the previously romantic proclamation would thus read:
"My dear, I promise that I will be scared of you forever."
It doesn't even sound logical.  The reason that is, is because there are a number of factors that are obvious when it comes to inducing fear.  However, eventually if all things remain constant, fear just starts to fade.  There's a level of desensitization involved and a level of understanding what you're actually afraid of that eventually pushes things towards the mundane.  Thus, one shouldn't make that promise.  I'm not promising that I'm going to be scared of you forever, I'm promising that I want to be.  I'm promising that I will work on it, constantly... and if you continue to be scary and want to scare me, I promise to be receptive. I promise to think of new ways to scare you, and that I will try and be the scariest person I can be to you and if for some reason, what I'm doing doesn't scare you anymore, we'll figure out what did, does, and will.
“If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.” ~Madeleine L'Engle 
Love (noun) is a feeling, love (verb) is a choice. I feel this is a powerful distinction. Love isn't automatic, it takes work, it takes constant visitation, mutual reciprocation, foolish risks, and deep patience. Ironically, as much as we're all searching for it, love is an emotion that I feel we don't treat this way. We tend to look upon it as something that can be attained; focusing too much on it as something that just happens to us and not as something that we do. Acting as if once we've reached the destination, the journey should end. Which, for people who think this way, it often does... typically as abruptly as it started. What one needs to do is not commit to the spontaneous reaction, the uncontrollable feeling that comes over you, the emotion itself; but rather the person that makes you feel this way. This commitment is what love is.

... I think?

I suppose the challenge still lies in finding a person worthy of such efforts... which is something different all together.

“...the truth about forever is that it is happening right now” 

Friday, July 27, 2012


Life is about managing expectations.
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ~Alexander Pope
... this is easier said that done.  It's within our nature to have expectations.  I'd imagine that part of our advancement as a species stems from developing predictive cognitive abilities and being able to draw conclusions without having to actually experience them in real time.  However, it's not too far reaching to understand the concept that expectations are the root of disappointment.

All too often, the problem isn't having personal expectations but rather the imposition of expectations onto others.  Judging them by an unseen and unknown list of standards...and that's fundamentally unfair.  This is simply setting people up to let you down which leads to disappointment and ultimately will fester into resentment.  We're in an age where communication lines are so abundant and instantaneous that we've really lost sight of it's value, and like anything that comes too easily, we take it granted.
“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~Anais Nin
We have a tendency to see things through "me" colored lenses.  It's exceedingly difficult to assess a situation objectively and see it for what it is without having that personal bias.  I'm not even necessarily saying that one should, but for the purpose of this stream of consciousness I'm standing by my theory that for peace and happiness in life, one must learn to approach the situation not only on a personally, but universally as well.  It's paramount that we understand that we're each fighting our own battles and that one can certainly not presume to have walked a mile in another's shoes.  However long it took us to develop these habits and perspectives; wouldn't it stand to reason that it would take equally as long to change them?

... or don't need.

It's times like these when I find it necessary to internalize. Sometimes, the mere act of looking inward to find out if the questions you have are rhetorical will reveal profound epiphany. Oftentimes the questions you ask are left unanswered only because you don't want to hear the answer. Why do we have this intrinsic need to be right? To have everyone involved understand your side of the story but yet have such little motivation to understand the situation as a whole. We're so damn solipsistic. The truth will always reveal itself, so there's no need to fret, there's nothing you can do to change it anyway.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” ~Buddha
Truth is unbiased, unemotional, it cares not who you are, who you were, or who you will be. Truth is the everlasting constant. How you choose to react to it is just that... a choice.

choose wisely.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


hope (noun, verb) : The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

There are few things in this world quite as wonderful and simultaneously terrible as hope. Hope is what drives many of us to do better each day. It's what keeps us motivated to persevere through the rougher times and is sometimes our only light in the dark.
Yet at times, hope is what keeps us hanging on to false pretense. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel ... is a fucking train.

I digress, this weekend, I went to watch a movie centered around a man dressed like a certain flying rodent. In the film, the antagonist had a very powerful line:
“There cannot be true despair, without hope...”
This notion has stuck with me, for days after and continues to rattle around in my brain ... perhaps it's the yin and yang of it all that appeals to my more Asian sensibilities; perhaps it's just the profound concept that sometimes, it really is darkest just before it goes pitch black. Either way, I can't seem to stop hearing it echo in my mind. What does it mean?  
“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
However, I've never been a good pessimist... quite the opposite in fact. What I garnered from this otherwise villainous sentiment is that though hope might be what makes despair absolutely torturous, it stands to reason that a little bit of despair in life is what reminds you of times when hope is absolutely necessary.  Challenge is what makes us who we are, and the ability to endure is what separates the wheat from the chaff.  In order for us to learn courage, we must be put in a situation that requires it... to learn patience, be denied something that you want.  People will do the right thing, and perhaps the world isn't just full of pain; merely people all going through similar trials and tribulations ultimately trying to soldier through and the pain... is just the aftermath... of growth. I'd like to believe that.

Each day, you read in the news about some horrific injustice... about someone who is unable to deal with life and ends up making terrible decisions... including the most terrible, and conclusive. If only these people were able to find hope amidst their despair.

True, hope can be misleading, uncertain, and will sometimes let you down... 

well I say... 

...let it.

If you can, embrace despair as it will make you stronger.  For it is only when you accept disappointment, that you can truly be thankful for what you've received.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. ” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

...make sure your friends know that you care about them, often. Don't be frightened of weakness but rather seek it out and bolster it with confidence and eradicate it with truth.  Read between the lines...

Don't hesitate to ask what's wrong if you even begin to suspect that something is. You may be the hope they're looking for... you could be the rope that they need to save them, or the light to brighten their darkness.

... and if that's the case, I hope that I am strong enough to be.


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