Category Archives: Philosophy

Epigenetics and Karma: Can our present be determined by our past or the past of our family?

After much insistence from some friends, I have decided to write a book.  Do I believe it is because they find me to be such a talented writer or that I have amazing enlightening life philosophies? No.  I assert that it is in response to the insane and often sadly entertaining melodramas that have perpetually played out throughout my 30 years of existence.  At times I have felt like Ron Livingston’s character in Office Space, doing nothing would be a welcome vacation.  My life if crammed into the confines of 12o minutes would be more like Four Rooms, several unbelievable vignettes that somehow collide to form a cohesive yet disturbing and hilarious story.  Initially when I sat down to contemplate the best course of action in order to effectively express the lunacy that I have experienced in a fascinating format, I was totally lost.  It felt overwhelming and far too complicated. How on God’s green Earth will it be possible to cover that much ground and communicate all the elements of my life that have created and molded me into who I am now?  It is too much.  But then I figured that I would use my infamous logic to come up with some sort of game plan and I arrived at this:  I have often wondered how Karma and other stimuli affect the causation of certain experiences that we go through, throughout the journey of our lives?

Being a Buddhist, I believe in Karma and reincarnation which to some may appear ridiculous and too “new wave” but oh well.  My inquiries into the subject are vast and numerous but the most recent relate to whether or not my Karma is also a result of that of my parents or their parents before them.  And perhaps Karma is too much a definitive term than what I am attempting to describe but it works in a general sense.  I am more speculating as to how the circumstances and experiences of our parents can lead to the actual determination of our own experiences and destinies.  This got me to pondering evolutionary theory and Darwin’s assertions on Nature versus Nurture and such. Which as an aside has always been quite thought-provoking to me because based on the fundamentals of Nature versus Nurture, my brother and I DESTROY the concept. More on that later…… Understanding that my knowledge on such subjects is limited, I jubilantly took to the internet and stumbled across Epigenetics.

Epigenetics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί– over, above, outer) genetics. It refers to functionally relevant modifications to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence. Examples of such changes are DNA methylation and histone deacetylation, both of which serve to suppress gene expression without altering the sequence of the silenced genes.

I also came across this amazing article in TIME http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952313-1,00.html

What does this have to do with my book? Back to my brother and me…. We share the same DNA.  We were brought up by the same people, attended the same schools and lived in the same house and yet you could not have created too more differing human beings.  So how is this possible?  And the mystery extends beyond us and into our parents as well.  In fact if you were to meet the four of us, individually, other than some shared physical traits and intellects, you would most likely never conclude that we are related.  This would seem to negate the theory of Epigenetics as well but I allege that it actually affirms it.

As I have aged, I have been more interested in learning more about my parents’ lives and even the lives of my grandparents and I have discovered that my psychological make up and even neuroses have direct relation to their experiences, either literally or in direct opposition.  By this I mean that there exist the notion that those abused will either become abusers themselves or they will react in an opposite fashion perhaps taking a highly adamant and vocal stance against abuse.  I, of course, am not speaking of abuse within my own experience, I just used that as a commonly known assertion.  During my delve into my own psyche lately, I have concluded that my main psychological malfunction is that I have issues with abandonment.  It is unfortunately a theme that has reared its ugly head several times throughout my life’s narration.  Karmically(made up word) speaking, I would assume that I either have had a pattern of being abandoned and that my lesson is to overcome it or that I myself have been the abandoner and must learn how destructive it is.  In this life, I am guessing that I need to learn to get over it 😉 Oddly and coincidentally enough though, while researching my parents, I have stumbled across the same theme.  Both have at some point been abandoned by their parents, either emotionally or physically.  And going farther back into the lives of my grandparents, the same theme is present as well.  Is it possible that even before we are born we are predetermined to have issues with certain life occurrences? And if it is possible are our reactions to these issues truly demonstrative of our inherent personalities or are they merely the result of awakened cells within our DNA structures caused by the accumulation of experiences and environments of those before us?

Abandonment is certainly not the only similarity that I have uncovered as well.  We have all lead exciting and wholly unbelievable lives.  Never a dull moment.  Never ruled by convention.  Ours are the lives that movies are made of and that are inconceivable and frightening to others.  Is this genetic?  Is it Karmic?  Were we reincarnated into this family unit BECAUSE we were already struggling with the same issues? I am excited to begin researching this project and to hopefully uncover the answers to these questions while telling the tales of several intriguing players.  We have laughed. We have cried. We have struggled. We have overcome. We have survived. We have lived.

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Am I Crazy?

Personal evolution is beginning to feel like a spiritual board game.  I take several steps, sometimes leaps forward and inevitably there is backward motion as well.  I suppose that it is necessary in order to continue moving forward while truly comprehending the path that has been taken.  I began this blogging adventure as a means to process and heal from a terrible break up.  To some, that was courageous and creative. To others it is”crazy” and misunderstood. For the latter, I wish that you could  understand my motives.  I want to have a voice.  When another human being takes control of your life and makes a unilateral and highly destructive decision and actions are forced upon you, you are helpless.  You are no longer an integral part of your own fate, you are plunged into the reality of reaction.  My reactions have spanned the spectrum of human emotion but in the end, I have been pretty impressed with my progress and the way in which I maintained my personal integrity.  But, I am human and I have my set backs, like today.

When it was first brought to my attention that Will was writing a blog and had been secretly for some time, I anxiously and fearfully read it. And there is nothing worse than learning about someone who you thought you knew through their writings.  About the only thing that comes close to this sensation of removed enlightenment, is the falseness of their words.  Upon discovering that he adores making himself seem like a deep, highly evolved, spiritual and altruistic person, I decided that I had read enough.  I KNEW the truth, I had survived it.  And thus I told myself with the encouragement of my friends, that I would not read it again.  Honestly, nothing positive was going to come from it but unfortunately I have masochistic tendencies and every now and then my curiosity gets the best of me and I find myself typing those pathetic letters into google and making the same mistake that I promised myself I would not.  And this is what I found today: http://williamsabia.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/not-so-fast/

Immediately enraged and disgusted, I came to the conclusion that the only person at fault for these overwhelming emotions, was me.  I had let my curiosity overwhelm my logic.  And it is disappointing when you realize that you are the one who is hurting yourself.  I mean he is NOT going to change, he never was.  So why do I even let it bother me?  I have been asked the same question over and over again, why do I do this to myself?  Well this morning, I finally figured it out.  A dangerous combination of optimism and disbelief.

The optimism tempts me and the disbelief is constant.  I suppose I hope that at some point there will be an apology or an epiphany, something. But it never comes.  I am shockingly still amazed at his ability to learn every life lesson there is to learn except for the one he needs to learn.  Self awareness is not something that you spew forth on a blog entry and create in order to garner the acceptance and praise of others.  It is something that you work towards on a daily basis and my main reason for self-awareness is so that I do not hurt other people or myself with destructive, selfish behaviour.  That is why when my blog is read, you see the flaws, you hear the doubt and you read the truth.  When I talk about Buddha it is not some concept that I throw out because it sounds interesting and philosophical. I have been Buddhist for many years now and it is something that is dear to me so to have the one that hurt me so deeply quoting and paraphrasing beliefs, it is almost insulting.  I want to scream, “HOW DARE YOU?!?”

How dare you act like you are a good person? How dare you not take responsibility for your actions? How dare you talk about love and loss? What did you lose? You ran half way around the world and YOU are talking about loss and pain! How dare you?  I could go on forever with these but in the end this is not about him. The problem is me.

I write extremely personal and unadulterated things because it may save someone from making the same mistakes.  Yeah I guess it is “crazy” to put such things out there in the vastness of the internet.  I honestly wrote the majority of this yesterday and saved it because I was unsure if I wanted to post it.  I began fearing what it would make me appear to be.  I have been told by my sibling several times that this blog, well at least the personal aspect of it makes me look like a psycho girl and so I felt like maybe I should change the direction of it.  Perhaps solely post my poetry or begin writing the treatment for my book but then I realized what a hypocrite I would be.  Anyone can write and share the easy stuff.  The anonymous things that can self promote, it is much more difficult to share your true nature and allow for the possibility of judgment.  If people want to judge me for being hurt, then so be it.  If people want to think that I am a “psycho” because I tell the truth and am unafraid of showing myself, again, so be it.  I know who I am., perhaps for the first time in a very long time.

I am a human who has loved and lost.  I am a woman who is nearing the completion of a very long and arduous process of growth.  I am a Buddhist who is trying to remember the tenants of my beliefs.  I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. Things are not always rainbows and sunshine but they are also not always gray and dark.  This is what I have learned.  I am learning to let go of the things that are painful and remain open to the beauty in life.  I am learning to accept that the Universe is not going to give me what I want but rather what I need.  I am learning what makes me strong and unique but also the traits that are less desirable and need to be addressed.  But is this not the point of living?  I choose to do this openly and I will continue to because I will not be that which I loathe.  I will not only post things that make me look enlightened and interesting.  I hope others will be comforted in that, it is ok to be wherever you are in your process and on your path.  It is ok to have doubts and to question your actions and your emotions.  It is ok to be who you are and to acknowledge your mistakes.

This year will be about this philosophy.  I will be stronger than ever.  I will make more forward progress.  I will recognize my regressions, examine them and move on.  I will continue to work diligently on strengthening my mind and body so that when I look back on this situation, I will know that I conquered it. It may have been painful and exhaustive.  It may have even taken longer than I would have liked. But I will know that I can do anything and I did.  I will also know that I am prepared for any circumstance and that should something of this nature creep its way back into my realm, I will have the skills necessary to move through it more gracefully and more constructively.  I am finding power in my flaws because in the end, they will make me work to be the person that I want to be.

So there it is. If I am crazy then that is fine, I can conquer that too!

Gaslighting, a form of emotional manipulation

Happy New Years! Well I expected and hoped that NYE would leave me optimistic and ready to take on the world but per usual someone tried to rain on my parade. To this person, guess what? I still had a great time because I made it that way! So in a way I will thank this person and the universe for giving me a chance to prove that this year will be whatever I make of it, no more depending on others for MY happiness! I remember me 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CJlxp9UAUc

Now for the in-depth analysis…….

A good friend sent me this article the other day on gas lighting and how women are manipulated and perceived as being crazy for having emotional reactions to inconsiderate behaviour.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

I assume that he sent this to me because of recent experiences that I shared with him.  Without going into too much detail, I totally and completely agree with the author’s assertion.  I am an intense personality, I mean I am a redhead, it comes with the territory right? But I have also been called abnormally logical for a woman.  The second clause in that sentence is exactly what bothers me about men.  So because I am logical and a woman that is strange?  Seriously?

However, the same man who can compliment my ability to remove all emotion from a situation and handle confrontation rationally can then accuse me of “overreacting” and being “dramatic” when their poor behaviour is called into question.  The idea that both those aspects can truthfully coexist in one human being is a little far-fetched.  I am certainly not asserting that I have NEVER overreacted but it is not my norm.  I am considered to be a strong, independent and intelligent woman. I say that I am “considered” this but I believe it to be true as well or at least I do until a man tells me that I am not.  I am unsure as to what is worse, the fact that I allow myself to judge my entire personality because of what some dude says or the fact that men seem to want to control me with manipulation.  Either way, it is an unhealthy and undesirable cycle.  I find myself making the same excuses and exhibiting the same traits that are described in the article.  Telling someone that it is acceptable that you stood me up, or did not call, or were late, or took the cowardly way out when it is entirely NOT! And why? Because if I tell you what an ahole and how ill-mannered and disrespectful you were, I will be the “crazy” girl.  It is amazing, I spent years in a relationship with someone who manipulated me in this manner and now that I have been back in the dating pool, I have already witnessed it.  I am sorry but common decency and consideration are not too much to ask for and if you are going to try to convince me that they are, you will be met with resistance!

I can only imagine society without the understanding and forgiveness of women.  I also contemplate the legitimacy of the diva philosophy.  I had a friend once that told me I was way too nice and sweet.  She said that this was my problem. She on the other hand acted like a total diva to guys. If they did ONE thing that she did not like, she either totally iced them out or acted like a total bitch.  Unfortunately, this garnered the  opposite reaction that I would expect, they loved it.  They chased her down, begged for her attention, bought her gifts, took her to elaborate dinners and vacations.  They could not get enough and it was almost as if the meaner and more irrational she was, the harder they tried.  Up to this point, I have rejected this philosophy.  If I have to play games and act out of character then I do not want you.  But some men really do seem to respond to the challenge girls, which I appear to be at first.  After awhile though, they figure out that the tough and hardened exterior that I present is just that.  Once the facade is penetrated the goal has been accomplished and interest is lost.  And yet, I hear men endlessly complain about bitches, gold diggers, divas, and self-absorbed women. But when confronted with a good, sweet and caring chick that digs them, it is just too easy.  So the acting out commences and they start testing your resolve.  And when you have finally had enough of the BS and you express your frustration and disapproval, you are a psycho or melodramatic.

I am all for personal accountability and growth but the endless attempts at deflecting responsibility lead nowhere.  I am not crazy for expressing my dislike for something rude and inconsiderate.  It does not make me a drama queen that when I caught you being dishonest I told you that it was unacceptable.  Now if I threw my shoe at you and cursed you out or slashed your tires, maybe……. But merely stating my displeasure, no!

So here’s a thought, women stop criticizing yourselves for being expressive and dudes, if you did something that is not cool, admit it and move on!

Now then 2012, watch out because this girl is feeling empowered 😉

Unconditional Love, Possible?

At first glance anything can appear beautiful, further inspection reveals its flaws.

Shallow tendencies despise and reject this,

deeper understanding illuminates the true perfection in it.

So why do I feel like my flaws are judged so harshly?

I am intense.

I do feel deeply.

I care immensely.

Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming and send people running.

I long for real acceptance.

I yearn to hear that love can be unconditional.

Am I so hard to care for with all my passion and concern?

I have been told that these aspects make me unique and special,

but they seem more like curses when I am consistently met with resistance.

Has everyone forgotten what it means to emote?

Are we all so frightened by our feelings that when confronted with intense emotions our first response is to bail?

I recognize my flaws and want nothing more than to eradicate them but do they really make me so impossible to love?

“You move too fast.”

“You feel  too deeply.”

“You think too much.”

When did theses qualities become so negative?

It used to be that you had to lie, cheat, disrespect, not think before speaking, be too closed off.

Now openness and honesty are the exceptions, the abnormal.

What has happened to us?

Why is love so difficult for some?

Now the question becomes:

Stay true to myself or play the game in order to succeed?

But is that true success?

Is there someone who will accept me for who I am?

Or am I doomed to be caged by conventionalism forever?

Renewal

Finally the sky is crying new life into this arid land

for months nothing but death and stagnation

all forms of life have suffered

flora and fauna expiring from thirst

fires have claimed lives and homes

but now the water births rejuvenation

I can smell and taste the purification

my own heart welcomes the release

nothing is more satisfying

then being revived.

Forgiveness and ambivalence

As I sat in the Zen den last night playing guitar and listening to the invigorating sounds of rain drops pattering my tin roof, a familiar yet unwelcome wave of ambivalence pounded me.  They say that there are 7 steps in the grieving process and acceptance being the final but I am either some alien anomaly or this process has no apodictic conclusion.  This is to say that while I have come to accept the circumstances and the actions at their origin, I am still emotionally undulatory. I suppose what is really plaguing me is that several months ago, I conjured and delivered quite possibly the most venomous email ever, well for me anyway. I had finally reached my breaking point and I felt that not only were the feelings expressed honest but also necessary. Prior to this, throughout the saga I had remained the heroine.  I was understanding, forgiving, loving, compassionate even sympathetic.  All those around me found this most disturbing given the circuitous nature of the situation but I maintained that I would not lower myself to the level on which he was operating.  Unfortunately, that email was the swift and certain end of that.

It is not that I did not mean every word of it, I did.  How could I maintain loving someone who showed me such apathy and disrespect? I could not.  I had to make a stand, or so I believed.  I had to tell him that I never wanted to speak to him again, didn’t I?  To say that my words were rooted in pride would be a fallacy, they were rooted in pain.  In those moments of fingers racing irresponsibly across the keyboard, I recall the sensation of a blatant and brusque realization.  Every action suddenly and ceremoniously slapped me in the face. All those 7 stages in one volcanic, apocalyptic explosion but unfortunately the only emotions conveyed were anger and hate.  At first, I was highly satisfied with myself.  I had taken back my power. I was no longer lending my heart to someone’s immature and erratic whims. I was taking a stand.

Then came the waves of shame.  And now they are waves of regret.  Ambivalence, the mother of all conundrums. And this is precisely the reason that I acted out of love for those first several months because that is who I am.  My ex-fiance told me this morning when I confessed that I was having a delayed reaction to all of this that I am just not capable of not caring.  He said that I never should have written all those things because I am not that person. that I will always care.  I consistently struggle with whether or not that is a negative attribute.  When does forgiving become tolerating? And when does tolerating become egregious? And when does that egregiousness become abuse?

Buddhism is founded on compassion and forgiveness but when is enough, enough? Is it ever ok to condemn someone for horrendous and hurtful actions? Or should we constantly forgive and forget? My intellect tells me that the actions of this man were unforgivable but my heart tells me that I will always love him and that I am better than the things that I said.  I just wish I knew how to protect myself while also being the big-hearted person that apparently, I am.  I used to imagine myself as a statue with cracks, perhaps one of those Greek goddesses missing an appendage or something. Beautiful and flawed. Now I realize that I am still a wobbly ball of clay striving to take form.  I suppose there is freedom in that.

Maybe the real forgiving that is necessary is that of myself.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I5d6pa3EcE&feature=related

Language Lover

So I have been dosing my cerebrum with the works of Carlos Castaneda, Dante, Sophocles, Lao Tzu and Celine.  Surely eclectic and wonderfully written.  In recent months as my mind has been ravaged by insecurity and unanswered questions the escape into language has been invaluable.  I have always loved language.  From a very young age I was exposed to foreign languages and I am truly appreciative for this.  The private school that I attended required us to take Spanish and Latin and Spanish soon became one of my favorite subjects.  Then in high school I decided to take French as well and continued into college.  Now I am venturing into the world of Arabic.  What I truly love about linguistics is that these are the ways in which we express ourselves and I think that it is so integral for us as humans to try to understand each other.  And I mean really understand each other.  Anthropologically speaking, language is the main aspect of any culture and I would love to learn about as many different cultures as possible.  For now though I am enjoying reading all of this classic literature, some in its original language.  Words are so beautiful and the way that some manage to effortlessly string them together and create such amazing art is awe-inspiring.  Dante’s description, Castaneda’s romance, Sophocles’ tragedy, Tzu’s intellect and Celine’s mystery all breathtaking in their own right.  I have an interview with a company tomorrow that specializes in increasing the globalization of businesses and I could not be more excited.  I would love to be able to facilitate the unification of multiple countries and be able to do so with my knowledge of language.  So excited!

 

 

Words can be spoken with wisdom or wrath

sentences construed constructively as

emotions seep through the expression

I love this language of life

endless options are ubiquitous

some evoke romance and love

others more forward and clinical

all ways that we can learn about each other

unity is within our reach

how do you speak?

 

Wish me luck 😉

 

 

 

2011: Good Riddance!

As the year comes to an end, I can not help but be relieved and excited for this has easily been the worst year of my life. For most that statement would seem or actually be hyperbolic but for me, it is an entirely accurate assessment.  Other years have been difficult, often stressful with equestrian competitions, family health emergencies and work but the incidents were spread out over the course of the year and usually there was some semblance of resolution.  This year, this bastard year has had back to back tragedies and there is no resolution in sight.  Sure, I am emotionally healing from all the loss but it will never be completely gone.  It is almost as if my heart is a bone that has a compound fracture, it will heal with some surgery and some pins and screws but the evidence will always be seen.  A CSI-esque post mortem on me would have the investigators saying, “This woman had her heart-broken, as you can see on the X-ray, those prominent white lines represent the calcification.  It is an old wound, she was most likely 30 years of age when it occurred.”

I guess I assumed that when you reach a certain age there are certain ways of doing things.  When you get to be this wonderful age, you have the right to say things like, “What are we in high school?” But the sad part is that this amazing, magical age when wisdom and maturity take over and all of your actions are rooted in intelligence, logic and past experience, it does not exist.  I am 3o and I have such a horrendous time of comprehending how at this age, people are still acting like children.  And it is not just the 30 year olds, it is 4o years olds and some in their 50’s. Unfortunately, 2011 brought me to the realization that maturity and virtue are absolutely not proportionate to numerical age. I thought, based on past experience that when you break up with someone, you express the reasons and it is a one-on-one conversation.  There is no peanut gallery casting dispersions, no overly dramatic scene just two people who cared for one another ending one relationship and hopefully salvaging another.  My ex-fiance and I were together on and off for seven years and lived together for most of them.  At the conclusion of our relationship, we expressed our deep love for each other but also knew that our relationship had transitioned into more of a friendship.  He is now my dearest and closest friend.  There was no yelling, screaming, name calling, no ugliness at all.  I assumed this was possible with every relationship.  I suppose my thought process is that if I thought highly enough of someone to live with them and even to contemplate marriage, why on earth would I not want them in my life? I have no idea why the general consensus is that ex’s can not and should not remain friends.  Shouldn’t we all have the maturity and unconditional love for one another, that even if one type of relationship does not work, we are still open to another type?  There will never be any resolution to this break up.  William will never tell me why or say he is sorry.  We will never be friends.  I will never see one of my cats again.  William will never see his glorious Siamese boys again.  And I will never understand why everything had to transpire this way.  This kills me.  The fact that he is over in another country and keeps blogging pontifications about American life and the cultural differences and blah, blah, blah also kills me.  No emotion, no regret, no guilt, no love, no friendship just BS.  I guess that is who he is though.  Bottom line: No resolution.

2011 also left me unemployed.  I had a great job that I loved and I was let go not because I did not do my job or because I came in late too many times. No I was fired because my boss fell in love with me and we worked for his in-laws. I knew he was in love with me because he had told me numerous times.  He sent me emails and poems, all expressing that I was his soul mate and he had never felt this way about anyone.  I found all of this hard to believe since he was married and had been for ten years.  At the time his wife was also pregnant.  I tried to reassure him that he was just having these feelings because he was stressed about everything and needed an emotional distraction but he maintained that his feelings were real.  I told William about all of this because I thought it was important to be honest, I had no idea this information would be revised and used against me later.  I told my boss over and over again that I was in a committed relationship and that I was not going anywhere and that he and his wife should get counseling, which they did.  But at some point, he was overwhelmed and decided to tell her that he was in love with another woman.  From what I understand which is second-hand, he was honest with her and said that nothing had ever happened between us but that he was still in love with me.  Apparently though, the fact that we had no physical contact whatsoever was of no relevance.  The fact that I was not in love with him was of no relevance. 24 hours later, we were both fired. This also happened to occur the same weekend that William left.  Yeah, real shitty weekend! And has my boss ever called to apologize for his lapse in judgment which cost me my job? No.  Has he ever called the “love of  his life” to see how I am doing? No.  So again, no resolution.

I suppose the worst aspect of 2011 is that it has left me questioning everything.  I was a solid Buddhist before all of this.  I believed in astrology and the Aquarian Age shift, hell I was stoked about it.  I believed that people were inherently good but that every now and they messed up.  I believed that I was in a good relationship with a good guy.  I believed that I was on my way to having a career in an industry that I loved.  I believed that you get out what you put in.  I believed that all my hard work was going to pay off.  I believed that everything works out in the end.

So 2011, good riddance.  I am so ready for this year to be over. 2012 Bring it on! End of the world? Whatever, my world already ended. Bring it on!  This year WILL be better.  This year will be what I make of it! This year I will not be naive.  This year I will not let other people interfere with my goals and my standards for myself.  This year I will not be caught off guard.  This year is going to be about me and my quest to be the best version of myself possible.  And I can not wait!

Ok Universe, I surrender!

After a harrowing David Lynch is directing my life weekend, I required some much-needed R&R but to no avail.  Over the course of the past six months I have experienced trauma, loss, joy, pain, understanding, growth, shock, awe and just generalized weirdness.  Previously I was not a cynical person but I am beginning to comprehend how they are forged.  People whom I cared for very deeply have behaved in ways that are unfathomable to me and I have been left questioning why and how in many circumstances.  The lowest of the low and the highest of the high have all fallen during this journey.  I have witnessed the human condition in its entirety and the conclusions are less than pleasant.  What I am most displeased about is the disparities that exist in people and that there is no way to discover these without putting yourself in some kind of danger, emotionally anyway.  And unfortunately this is consistent in all types of relationships.  Friends have lashed out, family has shocked me and dating well, yikes let us not even go there. But every day I make a conscious effort to be appreciative for all the things that I do have.  My amazing house, my glorious animals, my youth, my health, meditation, all the last remaining functioning brain cells and of course my dear dear friends. It is a pretty good list.  So maybe all these issues that are weighing on me are just tethers to be cut so that I can liberate myself.  I was told yesterday that I have a propensity to over think things.  I am sure that it is an accurate assessment but why do I over think? Well, I thought about it a lot (insert laughter here)  after it was said to me and I have found it is because I am so afraid to mess up.  One wrong word, one questionable facial gesticulation, a misinterpreted tone and everything goes to hell. Apparently I am supposed to be some kind of enlightened Buddha, never allowing myself to feel or demonstrate anger and always knowing the right path to take.  Yeah, that’s no pressure.  I suppose what I am truly bothered by is what I think we are becoming.  Evolution and growth seem to have taken a back seat to petty, self-indulgent drama.

Example #1: Facebook is evil or at least I am pretty sure that it is.  Yes, I have heard all the pro FB arguments. It allows me to stay in touch with people and friends around the world. It has gotten me back in touch with old friends and so forth. But really, could you not just email them or hey perhaps even pick up a phone?  I started a facebook account just for my ex and me so that his family could feel more included in our lives and it has caused me more grief than anything.  The other day I actually had a “defriending” conversation. Really?  We are defriending now?  I am quite certain that if I do not wish to be someone’s friend, they will know about it in REAL life.  This person thought that I had “defriended” him, duh duh duh dunnnnn.  After the shock and disdain wore off and I assured him that I in fact had not done that and that I am also not the kind of person that does something like that, I got to thinking, is this really where we are as human beings now? Defriending people? It seems so juvenile much more like a school yard behaviour than a legitimate expression.  I have never defriended anyone.  I honestly do not see the point.  I have not even defriended my ex’s family members.  Sure some of them defriended me but that is on them, not me.  And when they did that I was honestly hurt and offended.  I allowed myself to become upset over being defriended, it is so pathetic.  The energy that I could have used doing something creative or helpful perhaps even enlightening sucked away by life on Facebook.  And it is even changing the way that we date, the way we perceive ourselves and how we interact when we are in each other’s presence.  I was at a table the other night and everyone was so busy checking in and tagging people that conversation was literally non-existent for almost ten minutes! Is that healthy? Probably not.

Example #2: Everybody lies.  My yoga teacher told me that he was going to write a book and call it Everybody Lies.  It is actually going to be the first in a trilogy.  The second book he wanted to name, Everybody Loves.  We tried to come up with the last but unfortunately we could not come up with anything as humorous or witty as Everybody Lies.  When he first told me about this endeavor, I scoffed at it because I believed it was a false statement.  Surely, EVERYBODY does not lie, right? Wrong.  I realized recently that he is right, everybody does lie in some way shape or form.  Whether it is an insincere laugh or that compliment that is solely made in order to give a false sense of security, we all lie.  If this is the case, do we ever have any truly honest exchanges?  It is frightening to think that we are using our ability to express ourselves to manipulate and falsify rather than to gain higher knowledge and understanding of one another and our surroundings.  I try to always be honest and to be tactful if I need to say something that someone does not want to hear but even I lie.  I have smiled when I wanted to scream or said I was fine when I was not.  Is lying a necessity or should we all give total honesty a shot and see what happens? Wish I had all the answers.

I love life and I love being here and having all my senses. I just wish we could get back to a time when things were simpler, if there ever was a time like that. I hope that we will find ways to encourage real communication, evolve ourselves beyond petty belief systems and seek the truth rather than what we want to believe.

 

Does it pay to be Good?

I just got off the phone with one of my closest friends and I am left questioning whether or not it pays off to be a good person.  Being a Buddhist, part of the belief structure is that not only does Karma exist but even if it did not we should still all strive to be good and right.  Even in Christianity and Judaism, in fact most religions are based upon some construct involving this same tenant.  Do good and act right or face the consequences.  But is this really practical? Does it actually work out this way in reality?.  I am not so sure anymore.

My friend is an awesome person. He is kind, loving, talented, attractive and amazingly considerate.  He would much rather hurt himself than hurt someone else.  I find all of these qualities amazing and unique but he is still fighting depression and a lack of self-esteem and self-worth.  As I have been struggling with the same thing, we have had many conversations of this nature but this one left me particularly despondent.  He told me that he no longer believed in Karma or even that people got what they deserved whether it be good or bad.  That from what he had learned over the years bad people got away with hurting good people and that they were happier despite their actions.  He believed that no matter how much good we do or how well we try to act inevitably we will still be hurt and most likely be screwed over by all the bad people in the world. His question to me being, so what is the point? Yikes.

I wanted to say something deep, profound, poignant and wise but I was rendered temporarily speechless.  For once I could not honestly argue the point.  I suddenly recalled a conversation that I had with my brother several months ago.  I had called my brother, who lives in the Cayman Islands, distraught.  It was shortly after my break up and I was asking him whether or not I had deserved what was happening to me.  I had chosen my brother to question about this because the nature of our relationship would lend itself to brutal honesty and I wanted an unbiased opinion.  Given that my brother waits for me to make mistakes so that he can point them out, I knew I would get the unadulterated truth.  The conversation that ensued was nothing short of a typical conversation with my brother, all logic and no emotions.  His wise words were something to the effect that bad people do bad things to good people because that is what they do. He said that there was no way that I deserved what was happening but that was beside the point. I was involved with a bad person and he did a bad thing.  That was it.  Nothing deep and profound just you got screwed by someone because they are lacking, not you.  I guess it made me feel better?

It seemed that I had been a frog.  http://allaboutfrogs.org/stories/scorpion.html

As I tried to gather my thoughts in order to tell my friend something positive, I recalled all the situations in which I had witnessed Karma.  I recounted as many as I could to him so that perhaps he would have some faith that all his good deeds and kind behaviour would eventually be rewarded.  As I attempted to demonstrate this, I felt somewhat fake.  Given all my recent experiences I had a very hard time convincing someone that being good IS the point.  After all, I had been destroyed by someone’s actions and he is not effected in the slightest.  I have not even received an apology and he was supported by his entire immediate family in his actions.  He left the country and is apparently quite happy in South Korea.  He does not miss his animals, he does not think about the children we could have had, nothing.  So the question still remained, does it really pay to be good?  Is there a point to always acting appropriately and kindly?  Or are we just fooling ourselves?

My friend also said that he would rather be blissfully ignorant right now than knowledgable and miserable.  He said that maybe all these people who are living in denial and delusion are better off than we are.  It has become such a hard topic for me to argue.  I used to think that being intelligent and self-aware were blessings.  I used to think that Karma was a universal law.  You get back whatever you put out. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  But in a world where people can hurt each other so deeply and commit such heinous crimes against one another, all the while never having to face the consequences is this universal law obsolete?  And if it is what IS the point? Does it really pay to be good?

I hope that it does.  I HAVE to believe that it does.

“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.” – Buddha