Tag Archives: self love

Barren

“Beware the Barrenness of a busy Life”- Socrates

For some reason I keep remembering Socrates’ teachings and his many quotes. It dawned upon me that I need to refresh my memory with his work and some of his most renown philosophical thoughts.

I keep recalling Socrates’ preoccupation with the thought of how much we fill our lives with so many things that make our life seems busy and purposeful. He raises the questions of how meaningful our life really is. And to assess the meaningfulness of our lives, he suggested that we remove all the tasks, chores, work and so on from our life and once nothing is left we will be able to arrive at a conclusion.

The last few days have been a period of soul searching. I am seeing where I am at now and based on my current situations I am evaluating my life to see my likes, dislikes, make certain adjustments and trying to find the time to adhere to certain personal changes.

But working two jobs and having little to no time for myself, have proven that a busy life will keep you away from focusing on what I will term the “more important things.”

A busy life can really bear a barren life.

If I were to remove my jobs from my daily activities, I would certainly find that there are so many other important things that I do need to address on a personal level. And without having nothing to do I would probably come to the conclusion that so far I am not living a meaningful life.

Socrates also says that “not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued.”

It is clear that not mainly existing because we wake up and are alive is deemed valuable, purposeful or meaningful.

There are other things that we need to employ as a part of our lives to make it meaningful and valued.

It may be the act of kindness, sacrifice, love, appreciation, accomplishments and so on that we employ in adding meaning and purpose to our life.

It can be a simple act of submersion or daily bath, like Henry David Thoreau at Walden pond, that brings tranquility, aspiration and make us feel renewed and revived.

I have since pledge that I need to start finding things to be a part of my life that will help me to live and lead a purpose filled good life that is chiefly valued.

And you all should find the time to do the same.

Triggers

Off the top of my head, triggers can be anything ranging from a person(s), behavior or objects that causes a reaction that affects our mental being.

One of the important tenets of understanding our mental fragility is to recognize our triggers. If we know our triggers, or even know a few of our triggers, we may be able to know what to avoid. Knowing our triggers is also crucial in helping us know why we are in a distressful state. Most importantly, triggers will help us to know what mechanisms we need to employ in order to start feeling better.

So what happens when I am triggered?

As someone who is ever so helpful, I am oftentimes overwhelmed when too many people are looking to me for help. The pressure of thinking everyone is relying on me elicits emotions of distress and anxiety.

To be honest not all the time I am able to know that I am triggered or what exactly causes me to be in a certain mental state.

However, at times I feel myself wanting to be in isolation, my sleeping pattern is disrupted, and I prefer to lie in bed all day without interacting with anyone.

The increase of such patterns always let me know that something is resting on my mental psyche. And the best part is, I do let myself wallow in my depression and anxiety.

Sometimes we all need a break and personal space.

People and life can be overwhelming.

But as I grow and learn more about myself, I realize that I have adopted certain actions or refrain from certain actions and relationships that will cause me to feel depressed.


Certainly, life is unpredictable and uncontrollable so I am not always able to take control of the circumstances that I experience.


But here are a few things that I have done to help me when I am triggered or to prevent me from being triggered:

  • I refrain from being in constant contact with people who always seem to need from me.
  • I refrain from having relationships that are parasitic.
  • I refrain from being amongst people who always have negative things to say and who want to convince me that the worse things are good for me.
  • I do not associate myself with those who will whisper all the bad and negative things others have said about me.
  • When I am triggered, I try to change my chain of thoughts (not to happy thoughts) but to understand what I am going through and see what I can do to start feeling better.
  • I also take the time to feel the pain, hurt, sadness and anger before trying to work on feeling positive emotions.

Despite what we are facing and going through, I know some days are better than some.

And the truth is we all have days of feeling low.

Sometimes we prefer not to feel our pain, hurt and are scared to embrace our diminished mental state, but we should all remember that we are all human. And while we can aspire and work towards perfection, no one is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect.

So do not beat yourself up too much when you are going through a low time. Always remember there is hope and while our current distress may seems like forever evrything in this life is temporary.

Forgiveness

In one of our weekly zoom meetings, I was reminded that forgiveness is really for one’s self and not for the other person.

This statement has resonated with me.

At first glance, the phrase seems to echo the opposite as we always stress how much those who have wronged us need to be forgiven. However, upon further elaboration it was highlighted that forgiveness lifts a burden that persons would normally bear when they hold on to the hurt and pain others have caused them.

As I sit and write, I feel at peace because I am truly align to only those who bring happiness, tranquility and good will to my life. I have mastered the heart of accepting forgiveness as a part of my personal traits through practicing self-expression, acceptance and knowing that from time to time there will be people who will disappoint me.

At times, I have given so much to those (not my family-sadly) around me that I am always so hung up on the pain, hurt and disappointments. I have helped not with the intention of being given the same treatment but like any other human sometimes I am deeply affected by the unreliability of those who I have helped- especially when it comes to my turn.

A few years ago, I encountered a disappointment from someone who I believed I am always there for no matter how inconvenient their needs were to me. And in that very moment, I was filled with anger and bitterness because I felt as if when I really needed that person to be there they blatantly refused to.

And in a lengthy conversation, in which I deliberated about the unfairness of the world and the selfish nature of people, with my younger sibling, I came to the conclusion that I should not be fuming but instead I should feel disappointed- it is a better form of human self-expression.

But how do you handle disappointments?

The most profound human action to disappointments is that when we are left in the cold we should begin to treat others callously. We develop mistrust in others and grow to see the bad in everyone.

However, after my long conversation I decided that I did not want to be like that because when I am in that mode, I am filled with so much anger and rage. I felt hurt and all that pain was channeled into a heavy burden that made me feel sorrowful and cold towards the world.

This is the exact feeling I have (and you will have) when I have not forgiven people.

In essence, forgiveness is really for you and not for those who have caused you pain.

At some point we have to accept that it is easier to take people for who they are, understand that from time to time those who we hold dearest to us may disappoint us and finally forgive and move on.

No one wants to be enraged 24/7 or to be walking around with a heavy burden because he/she is filled with hatred and bitterness from the pain someone else has caused.

Going forward, let this be the day that you mend the fences that are possible and you get closure to those that are irreparable. I will never say forgive and forget as the human mind does not work like that- unless you have Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

So take the time to wallow in your pain, disappointments and injustice and then when you have had enough forgive so that you can rise like the Phoenix.

However it may seem, I’m not obligated

Kindness and assistance can be rare commodities because the world is never always amiable to us. Hence, it is of utmost importance to let others know that we are grateful and express gratitude whenever someone offer us assistance in any form.

The thing, however, is that sometimes dependency on others, can give rise to relations based on obligation.

I know for some people, obligation and help do not have any correlation. On the contrary, there are situations in which people allow those who they have helped to feel as though they are forever indebted to them- this is the type of obligation I speak of.

Being raised in the Caribbean, obligation is sometimes evident within some parental relations.

It is the norm for mothers and fathers to take care of their children. However, when you have reached a certain age and start to earn income there may be certain indicators, which suggest that it is the children’s turn to start taking care of their parents.

The obligated riddled parental relationship is usually expressed through reverse psychology, guilt trips and blatantly telling the child/ children how many sacrifices were made so that they could be in the position they are today.

There is also another form of obligation that comes with being helped in our social relationships.

Yes! Our friends may very well be there for us in our times of need. But not every friend will let your thank you be enough. You may get a reminder in the form of jokes, in private whispers behind your back or even blatantly to your face.


However, there is a deeper issue that comes with the whole notion of obligation and help.

The person who feels obligated is oftentimes overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and even depressed. There is a heavy burden as one person is trapped in the idea that he/she always has to say yes or be there because he/she was given help.

As such, the onus is upon the obligated person to channel his/her captive emotions to freedom. There has to be a point in which you, as the obligated person, realize that you are grateful (hopefully) for whatever was offered to you or for whatever was done on your behalf.

This will be your first step towards breaking the ties of your parasitic relationships.

You have to know that it is acceptable to say no or not to show up if it is literally not possible. Do not inconvenient yourself solely because you feel as though you have no choice.

There is always a choice.

And the best part is, the moment you detach yourself from the feelings of obligation begotten through help, you will have your peace of mind. The burden you once feel will be irrevocably removed from your life.

I also know that sometimes when you make the decision to stop feeling and acting obligated it may start an inner fight. But always remember that:

“Detachment, sometimes it’s necessary in order to restore your sanity. [And] Your peace of mind.” – Anonymous

Culture of Nothingness

I can hear the pain in your voice, yet still you say nothing is wrong.

I can see the tears rolling down your face, yet still you say nothing.

I have heard stuff that you are going through, but you opened not your heart to share it with someone.

Why does it feel so wrong to bare the most ugly and painful parts of us with everyone?

As Caribbean children we are taught to bite our lips and nod our heads to the point that saying nothing transcends everything.

We wobble in pain, grief, uncertainty, chaos and misery but we have no courage to speak. We force a smile or put on a facade just to avoid being asked why we are sad.

And the funny thing is, even in our greatest moments nothingness seems to prevail over everything.

Why are we so reluctant to share even our wins and our success?

It is as though we were indirectly taught that silence is everything. We turn a blind eye, we cover our ears and we bound our tongues only to pretend that what we have witnessed, heard and want to say is imperceptible.

There are a myriad of reasons we do not want to share certain aspects of our lives with the world. I, however, no longer am afraid to speak my truth.

Some wise person once said that with experience comes knowledge. And I can attest to that as each day I live, I have learned that:

  • It does not matter if those who have ill-will hear of your pain or your triumphs (they are not a part of your life anyways)
  • Not because you have bad experiences and speak of them, it does not necessarily mean you are bitter or hung up on the past
  • Self- expression is great
  • Your story (whether good or bad) may just save someone
  • You only hurt yourself when you keep everything bottled up inside
  • Open up your heart and share the good and bad if you feel comfortable or inclined to.

So, today I implore anyone (Caribbean affiliation or not) who is reading this to remember that it is ok to choose someone to share your wins and losses with.

It is totally fine to even share them with the world.

Do not be caught up in the culture of silence and nothingness.

Take the time to understand yourself in your best and worst moments. Embrace who you are. Share your stories with the world- they may just be a safe haven to someone somewhere.

Disappear with Me

A few years ago one of the sweetest couple I know suffered an unimaginable accidental loss. There is always something about accidents and loss that almost always remind us of three things:

  • as humans we are vulnerable
  • we should always cherish the life we live and
  • our life can be shorter than what we have in mind.

There are things that happen to some people who we may say are undeserving of the pain and suffering that was haphazardly brought upon them.

I remember talking about how beautiful the wedding looked, the food and the chef. And in the moment when I thought it was lone celebratory happiness, we received the devastating news about an accident that had occurred.

In that very moment, I pledged that I will always be happy by surrounding myself with only those who care, who had ‘good vibes only,’ and those who ensure my tranquility and peace of mind.

For a while I was doing well but as usual life happens.


There are some things about the dark that are absolutely unsure.

When we think of the dark or darkness, we think of total absence of light, evil or danger. On the other hand, darkness can also alludes to tranquility, solace, control and isolation. The truth, however, is that you cannot always tell what you will find in the dark.

There are times in my life when I can feel the darkness creeping in. My chest tightens, my heart rate elevates, my sleeping pattern is disrupted, I am extremely lethargic and I can barely make it to the bathroom to take a shower. In those very instances I am overwhelmed, depressed and I begin my days in isolation.

If I may be transparent, oftentimes I do know my triggers but there are days when things that I might have tucked away in my subconsciousness resurface and take a toll on my mental state.

It might sound weird but the truth is whenever I disappear I enjoy raveling in the dark ALONE until I am able to find ‘myself ‘again.


I have a couple friends that within 48- 72 hours of disappearing, they will immediately text to ask when I am coming back to the real world- they have learned how I am. There are others who think I am just ignoring them. Some even think that I am busy with my other sets of friends.

I almost never clarify the misconception. I, sometimes, am too overwhelmed by my own personal happenings or mishaps to explain the struggles that I am experiencing. I also always find it to be so painful reliving my darkest moments. As such,I choose silence over explanation and try to pick up where we left off.


About three years ago, some sweet lady asked me a series of questions, vetted my answers and then gave me some advice.

Everything that was said is what I already knew but had never put into perspective. I came out of that conversation with a plethora of information that helped me accept my flaws, weaknesses, strengths, vulnerabilities and myself.

All of the above mentioned tenets laid a new foundation with how I handle both my social and intimate relationships. I think my biggest flaw is embedded in my strongest feature. I am vulnerable because of my ever so willingness to help.

As a consequence, I have made it my duty to incorporate certain things in shaping the person who I am today:

  • I have learned that it is perfectly fine to not save everyone who comes my way,
  • to know that not everybody who asks of me will receive,
  • to always ensure that I reserve some of me and,
  • to not give all of me away because no one is deserving to get more from me than what I give to myself.

I know it all sounds so selfish. But if you truly know me that would probably be one of the last adjectives you would use to describe me.


Now that I have let you all in on some cup of ‘tea’- as my fellow young generation would say, I want anyone who is reading this to know that it is perfectly pleasing to love every inch of you. Do not feel guilty to change how you operate within your relationships, especially if your new actions will bring you satisfaction, peace and happiness. Protect your heart, body, mind and soul from friends, family and strangers who will ruin you and bring you running into the darkness.

Take some time away from everyone if that is what works for you because the truth is you may never know what will happen if the darkness consumes you.

Disappear with me in the dark to self- evaluate and reconstruct because it is better to seek control and understanding than to be destroyed by it.