Thriving corns

Fellow empaths, people sparkling and bringing joy and light wherever you go (even if it is sometimes a crazy sort of light). I love you guys.

You guys fill the world with so much love, so much wonder.

It’s a blessing, joy, delight, privilege and all sorts of positive words to live in a world where you guys exist.

I love the world with all of you in it.

Which is why I want all of you, well, us, to thrive.

And I thought it’d be worth a good hard look at how we are NOT.

At first I wanted to say that we are special flowers that need special conditions to thrive, then I realized that maybe WE aren’t really that difficult to nurture and grow etc. but that the world we live in is designed AGAINST us.

It’s like..planting a cactus in a rainforest. It’s gonna die, not for its lack of hardiness.

I realized that empaths make a good barometer of whether or not our society is going in a healthy, sustainable, virtuous direction. Because we want everyone to do well and be happy.

So…the premise is this world is toxic for empaths, good news is, many of us adapted!

Bad news is…a lot of of the adapting is actually screwing us over in the long run.

We’ve learnt a lot of toxic values and perception that we decoded with our empathetic brains and ended up with some truly self-sabotaging and damaging habits and worldviews.

I don’t think I’ll be able to address them all in one post, but the first one is the ‘selfish’ thing.

SELFISHNESS means that your happiness is built on the misery of others. It’s possible for an empath to be accidentally selfish, but consciously selfish? I really don’t think so. Which means, as long as you are not actively hurting someone else, YOU ARE NOT BEING SELFISH BY CHOOSING THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY, BY PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST, BY LOVING YOURSELF AND BY VOICING WHAT YOU WANT. Having healthy boundaries set good examples for other people. And means you’re not enabling others to be assholes.

SELFLESSNESS IS NOT A VIRTUE. There are only very very very very VERY few situations in which self-sacrifice is the positive, virtuous answer. Usually, martyring yourself is one of those accidentally selfish things empaths do. You can’t help other people if you’re burning out and dying. Helping others at the cost of you burning out and dying is NOT positive in the least. You bring GUILT to people when you burn yourself out helping them. You risk yourself becoming full of grudge when you burn yourself out to help others.

YOUR happiness, health, well-being etc. is the SOURCE of all the beautiful things you can give people. Most empaths feel the most fulfilled when they are giving and making a difference. So here’s the deal, in order for you to be fulfilled and happy and helping people, you NEED to take care of yourself, ask for help, set boundaries and put yourself first. When you do, you’ll have infinite amounts of energy to give and NOT FEEL LIKE A SELF-LOATHING PIECE OF SHIT FOR NOT BEING STRONG ENOUGH. And suffering some strange guilt about not being happy that you’re sacrificing your own happiness.

We thrive in virtuous cycles, by that I don’t mean full of virtue, I mean the opposite of vicious cycles. We thrive in closed systems, where good begets more good and more and more good. And that good starts with YOU.

So love yourself. You practicing loving yourself inspires others to do the same, so love yourself if not for your own sake then that of others.

Finally, it’s no your fault you’re so fucked. It’s society’s, but that’s what we’re here for, to show a better way forward so we don’t end up with rain  trees planted in deserts and cactuses in rainforests. We’re gonna do this right so we all live well and harmoniously. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH PEOPLE! LOVE YOURSELF!!

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Thriving corns

Go in peace

Celebrity deaths and suicide rarely hit me hard, but this one is a bit of a sore spot for me.

Jonghyun’s voice, his music, his songs, have supported me through countless sleepless nights. His music gave me solace when I had depression. And I wonder if he knew how many of us he’s saved through his music, would it have given him a bit of light at the end of his tunnel?

But I stay true to my values, I feel that if a person was in so much pain, suffering and unhappiness that they chose death over all else, then that is their right. And I hope they find peace. I hope he found peace and relief the moment before he left this world. That he wasn’t carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders anymore.

Not everyone commits suicide for the same reasons, I know that; and people cry out for help because they don’t want to die. Some people want to know they’re not alone. But there are also some for whom life is more painful that it is beautiful, and the darkness that constantly looms over those with depression is not one that I can explain with words that’d do it justice. I know that friends and family will be sad, but to keep living only to keep people you love and care about from feeling sad… for that to be your ONLY reason to live… Will you want someone you love to suffer and stay alive just because of you? I’m sure he’s fought with it, and ultimately decided that his own happiness, or at least relief is more important.

I will miss this person’s music, but he’s put so much good into this world while he was here, brought millions of people joy, peace, solace and so much more. He’s done more than enough.  Thank you for everything you’ve done and given us.

But my whole purpose of this post however, is to break the trend of shaming people who commit suicide. There are religions that condemn those who kill themselves to hell. Where is the compassion? Isn’t it more selfish to demand someone suffer and live? WE should be ashamed that we have created a world, a situation so painful that a person’s only solace is death. We all inherently want to live, so to have pain so great that it overrides that will, or to have that will broken… The problem isn’t them, it’s us.

And maybe, just maybe, if suicide is seen as an acceptable option, or at least one that will be understood despite the pain it will bring, less people will do it. Like I said, the stress of staying alive just to please, or not upset another person…people in dark places don’t need it. I know I would feel very loved, more loved than if someone desperately tried to stop me from dying, if they told me that they respect and accept if death is the only way I can find peace and happiness, even though they will be very sad about it because they want me around and would prefer a world with me in it than without, but they don’t want me to live out of such obligation, that their primary desire is my happiness. I think if someone told me that, I’d be more open to trying other ways to find light at the end of the tunnel.  Because it won’t feel like an all or nothing, it’ll feel more like, well if nothing works, I’ve tried and death really is the best option for me.

Shaming suicide drives people into a corner, and makes it seem like the only viable option over one of many. I believe that a world that doesn’t judge suicides will be one that’s compassionate enough for people to open up and ask for help.

So, if anyone who is reading this is contemplating ending their life, I don’t know you, I can’t tell you what you have to live for. I’d like to tell you that even though it doesn’t look it, the world is a beautiful and amazing place, but if you’re in a state where there’s too much darkness and you’re simply too broken to enjoy it, I understand. I hope the choice brings you solace and peace and not suffering. But I also hope that you’ll look inside yourself, remember the spark that made you think the world was a wonderful place, be it a scenery from somewhere, a song, a food, a conversation… Remember that spark, and openly call for help. There are those of us who won’t judge you, it’s okay that you can’t make it through on your own. You were never supposed to.

*hugs*

Go in peace

Making peace 

Just because I wasn’t the one doesn’t make it okay for you to actively, intentionally hurt me. 

And that’s what it all boils down to. 

No matter how incompatible, how ill-suited we are for each other, that’s no excuse or reason to manipulate, insult, gaslight, triangulate, exploit and abuse me, or anyone.

You chose to do so. A conscious choice. 

I do not begrudge you or hate you for it.  

This is who you are and how you’ve chosen to live. 

I wish you well, and hope you find happiness or whatever it is that you seek in life. And I hope one day, i can find it in me to be happy for you. 

And for me… I’ve learnt that true unconditional love is not a gift everyone wants. Loving someone, believing in the best in someone means not enabling them, it means walking away when you can’t bear to watch their destructive vicious cycles anymore. Acceptance was never the lesson, learning to walk away and make peace with that was. Learning that not everyone can nor wants to be saved, learning to not trust people’s words but their action, learning to set boundaries and love yourself. Those were the lessons. 

Making peace 

Fear is the root of all evil

I see the world with fear as the root of all evil.

Many of us fear loneliness.

But loneliness is like hunger.

When we fear hunger, we don’t really fear being hungry, we fear the inability to state that hunger.

We fear our own powerlessness to fulfill needs, reverse or protect ourselves from harmful situations.

So when we fear loneliness, we fear being unable to make true connections, we fear being inherently unlovable that we will not able to have human connections.

It’s not stupid, we’ve evolved to need connections, it’s what’s kept us alive.

Companionship and connection is a human need, as much as air, water and food.

We fear the powerlessness to fulfill our needs, to be safe….to survive. And so if what we fear is powerlessness, it makes sense that fear will drive us to attain power and control at all costs.

In the end, it’s always about power isn’t it?

All the terrible heinious acts are all about power, to feel in control, to feel safe.

But of course, having power is fleeting, power isn’t permanent, and power doesn’t really make you feel like you’re a lovable person. Power doesn’t allow you to control the weather. And once you have power you fear losing power..it’s an endless vicious cycle I think.

It plugs up none of the holes, fills up nothing , alienates you in a meaningful way…

The ability to let go, to learn to lean in, live in harmony, ride the flow, I think that’s the road to true relief, to feeling safe. When you feel that being you is enough to fulfill all you need, when your unique self is all the role you have to play…there’s security in that that is beyond words.

I think if we believe that there is natural order, and in that order everyone has a place, a function, and as conduits, as part of a system, everything that we need will come to us, flow through us..we’ll be connected, we’ll be fed as part of an ecosystem…a closed cycle.

I think that leads to a more virtuous life.

Fear exists to keep us alive from threats, it has its place, but its place is not the controlling, ruling entity of our lives.

Fear is the root of all evil

My Will

“It is the content of a life, not the length of a life”-Dorea Potter nee Black (penned by ShayaLonnie)

I write today my will.

I’m not planning on dying any time soon, but I’ve realized that the fragility of life is beyond my optimistic and pessimistic speculations. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Also, I find there no better way to review your own than writing your will.

I note, with some disappointment in myself, that should I die tomorrow, I leave behind very little to bequeath to the people in my life. I shall do my best to remedy that.

However, as wills go, whatever financial assets I have, I will to my mother, may she use them to contribute to the good of the world, as I’ve always known her to do. If for some reason she has strayed from that path, then I ask that the meager sum be donated to whatever cause is most urgent in society right now.

I leave my fluffies (I hate calling them this, but I grudgingly will call them….stuffed toys) to those in need. I hope that the people in my life will indulge in me and set-up some kind of cuddling cafe with my fluffies and I hope that the people in need will feel the love I’ve always been given when in their presence.

I leave…although the most proper term is probably return, my small crystal collection to Annabelle Ip, who has been one of the brightest lights in my life and my longest friend, even though we have drifted apart due to one reason or another.

I leave all my belongings to those in need, any of think of themselves as my friends, feel free to come and take what you need. I’ve got a decent amount of art supplies, a couple lenses and camera accessories, and a pretty nice stereo system for the taking.

My books…ah my books. If that fluffies cafe is set up, do you guys mind terribly having a library section? I hope people can magically find whatever book that will contain the answers, or at least hint to answers they need in life.

Really…I’m not terribly hung up about my physical possessions I suppose, I’m a hoarder, sell them, keep them, use them…I’m sure people will figure it out. I just ask that most of things find a good home or purpose, because I’d like to not contribute to more waste and environmental degradation.

Oh but I do have a fair bit of non-material possessions.

I’m happy to give out my plot bunnies and idea bank to people to adopt, to turn all those plot bunnies into wonderful stories and ideas into reality and make this world a more magical place please.

Archive my photos and videos? They’re not just my memories but memories of others. Maybe someone might want to look back one of these days, who knows?

Oh and there’s TEDxPS… if there’s anyone who’d like to carry on the torch of TEDxPS, do me a favor and burn it? Start a TEDx in your own name, with your own vision (although of your vision happens to include making the event language-blind, I sure ain’t complaining). And mom, do me a favor and start that all mandarin TEDx.

On that note, what’s really important in this will is how I’d like my funeral to go.

I know it’s pointless to tell you guys to not be sad and not mourn, but do believe that no matter how I’ve died (because I have no clue how), I did so with no regrets and leaving behind wonderful memories. I am grateful to have lived in this world and met so many amazing people, good and bad.

For those whom I have wronged, I leave you my most sincere apologies, for those who have I wronged me, I leave you my forgiveness.

So funeral!

I was hoping my funeral would not be about me, but about commemorating what I loved most about the world? Awe and wonder?

Play my favourite movies (Rise of the Guardians, Lilo and Stitch, Namiya, Howl’s moving castle, Tangled), have a live band play some songs and dance, and eat delicious food (preferably Japanese). Feel free to do some flea market and sell my stuff to raise funds…and instead of taking turns to talk about me, please take turns to share your ideas on how you’d like to live your life and contribute to the good of the world, and thank the people whom you still have in your life.

What else..oh yes, my body.

If that procedure is available in Singapore, please turn my body into a tree. I’d like to return to the earth and give new life.

I want my death to be meaningful, just because my consciousness has ended doesn’t mean I don’t have anything else to give.

But if there’s anything I want you guys to take with you, is to remember that, I am so grateful to have met all of you, and I love you, always.

 

My Will

Choice

You chose to abuse me.

I chose to understand that it came from an insecurity and that if I showed you enough love, you will finally feel safe and stop being abusive.

Then I realized that it’ll never be enough.

And that’s not my problem.

You chose to never trust, never feel safe, never put ytourself at risk. You chose to never care, never feel, never be accountable, never repent, never love.

You chose abuse.

So I chose to not be abused.

Love has nothing to do with this equation.

Letting someone abuse you is NOT an act of love.

I don’t need to allow myself to be abused to prove my love.

Choosing not to hate someone for abusing you is not an act of acceptance or forgiveness.

Understanding abuse is not permission to let someone abuse you.

I don’t know if I love you.

I don’t doubt the ‘love’ bit.

You don’t need to know someone to understand their pain and wish them well.

I just wonder about the ‘you’ bit.

Who are you?

Have I been loving an illusion all along?

Have I been in a relationship that never existed?

In the end, none of these mater.

I choose to remove myself from the presence of someone who disrespects me, hurts me, insults me, manipulates me, leads me on and gaslights me.

I choose to not be abused.

And that’s all that matters.

 

Choice