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Archive for May, 2010

Today I bumped into a dear one during breakfast, whilst waiting for another dear one to arrive. Unfortunately, the dear one whom I had an appointment with did not turn up because the dear one whom I bumped into turned up. During breakfast, he asked me, “so how are you? Long time no see.” It was comical because he lives just behind my house and we hardly physically meet each other. I teasingly joked, “how do you know that I do not see you every night?” and his reply was, “hrmf, where got… never come see me also… no need come see me lah… whatever it is… NOMFB – None of My F*%king Business!”

I smirked a sheepish smile, again being wooed by the wisdom of NOMFB. But when he went on and went complaining how no one cares for him and thus he should not care for another as much, I begin to recognize an ancient pattern of ignorance – resignation, instead of right understanding which led to the NOMFB attitude.

NOMFB is indeed a very powerful idea that could bring peace to our inner being provided that it is from the space of wisdom, from the right understanding and right perceptive. Many a times, when we are caring for someone – be it a parent, a partner, a friend, a sibling, a child – we tend to get carried away and start to overextend ourselves. Over-extend here means, making decisions for others when others are supposed to make decisions for themselves; and the simple opposite of this is under-extension where when we are to make our own decisions but give away our power for others to do so. In both extremes is a form of self-betrayal, not taking full responsibility of oneself. We either take away other’s power or simply give away our power to others. It’s the same thing only that the pendulum is swinging from one end to another repeatedly, in ceaseless ignorance.

To finally arrive at a place where we stand in our own space neither over-extending nor under-extending ourselves is to be at peace with ourselves with wisdom as its root. However, to arrive at NOMFB due to resignation is ignorance at work. In a resignation mentality of ‘NOMFB’ lays more of a ‘I-give-up’ state of mind, rather than out of the right understanding. What peace could there be, except resentment towards the world, always in defense of oneself, weary of attacks coming on. This is a quality necessary to be recognized and thereafter transcended in order to be at peace with oneself and the world.

There can be much wisdom in NOMFB. Of course, we may omit the ‘F’ word if you will, but it is all the same. If I am truly standing in my space, taking responsibility of and for myself, trusting myself; I can bless you with that too… to trust you to unfold your own journey without my interference, my ideas and my expectations. Although it may seem daunting for those who are finally ‘released’ from another’s hold of overextension, the under-extended brother will eventually learn to rise up to his own integrity and true self.

Without minding your business, I am free to love and accept you freely. I am able to be more present and to support you in journey in a loving way. If I don’t mind your business, it is not because I don’t care; it is because I care too much and understand that in order for you to grow, you will have to do the walking; without me carrying you.  And without my constant watch over you, you are free to grow your wings and to rise up to your own greatness.

Wouldn’t we like to be blessed with such freedom to grow? Wouldn’t we like to bless others with such freedom to grow? Letting go from the space of wisdom leads to freedom, where else letting go from the space of ignorance only further binds the meanings or expectations that is already instilled in the mind. Which would you prefer? Freedom, or bondage?

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I never wondered what went on an ex’s mind until quite recently. Being an ex to someone myself, I never really investigated my intentions of thoughts, speech or actions; also until recently. I am wondering, when two people part, must it always be in a sense of resentment. Can a separation or a departure be of peace, for the love of oneself and another?

It’s hard. Because how could a break-up be merry? Even if it was by means of mutual consent, some resentment lingers on, waiting to be unleashed as and when – whether in rage, or in revenge. Both can come in different forms; with gentleness or harshness or furiousness. All depends on the ‘plan’ seeded in the head of the one being broken up with. Usually, the victim is someone who has been left in a relationship. Nevermind the storylines because they are all the same – all borrowed and recycled. If we are trying to tell ourselves, “no, my story with him or her is different” then we are just headed further into our ignorance, farther away from the truth.

Coming from a broken family myself, I would tend to work harder on making my relationship or marriage work; coming from an angle of a potential adulterous myself, I would tend to keep a tighter view of a hawk eye on my partner. Is it really my partner who cannot be trusted? Or is it me since I am aware of my own potential of being tempted, and then viewing my partner as a victim? And to curb that fear of being a victim myself, I would tend to grip him tighter so not to allow him to go astray or be tempted. Why? Because I fear the guilt I’d have to face.

Being an ex-girlfriend to many, or even a potential girlfriend-who-never-made-it to the blossoming of an official relationship, or even a girlfriend who had been literally dumped where the so-called ex-partner had fallen in love with another; what would my mental state be? I remember that each time I meet up with someone who knows any of my ex’s, I would enquire about their well-being –if they are doing well, if they are married, if they are happy with the current partners. Why? To compare! And although on the surface, I may say, “oh, I am so happy for him/her” but at the back of my mind, I am wishing that he/she would never be as happy as he/she was with me. Thus, when I do have an opportunity to connect with any of my ex, there is a tendency to behave in a more ‘superior’ way, projecting that ‘I am greater than thou’ attitude – “see, I am doing so much better without you.” It is that guilt of being left high and dry. It is that projection or reflection, whatever you call it, that reaffirms ‘how unworthy I am when you left me’.

Being in the shoes who had willingly asked for a break-up, there is too a kind of guilt. In that guilt, we constantly are concerned about the ‘victim’ whom we had broken up with – “if he/she is doing ok?”; “if he/she is already dating?”; “if he/she is happier with that person he/she is with now.” It is like, there is a certain kind of reliance to ensure that the ex partner is experiencing a better relationship with others just so to prove that it was a right move to have left him/her to justify the guilt. What nonsense!

“I” am always more important than anyone else. No matter how much I tell others I love them, or how much they tell me they love me, it is always “I” that is placed right at the top. Eventhough a relationship has been past tense for dog-gone years, “I” am still existing in the relationship in the present. How could that be when I am already happily with another? When we are reminiscing the memories of what happened, still strongly struck by the feelings that surfaces – that’s when we know we are still very much present tense to the relationship. And so my teacher asked before, when we think of something that happened yesterday, and we feel happy; were we happy yesterday or are we happy today? What you feel now is what you feel now, even if that memory were to be a zillion years ago. Thus are we living in the past, or in the present? We are here, but the mind is elsewhere – agreeing to the past stories of victimhood.

Both being dumped and dumping scenarios in a relationship are accompanied with a mentality of victimhood. Just yesterday I began to question the necessity of marriage. I was telling my teacher earlier this evening how binding this marriage thing is. When we say ‘I do’, I am not really committing to my partner but to myself that I would stay committed to this partner. But after some time, I may change my mind! This is indeed the nature of the mind! But because of the ‘binding contract’ in a marriage, or in my mind so to speak, I ‘suffer’ in silence and day dream about the possibilities of being with another in my mind. As if, that is not another form of adultery.

We are all victims in our own minds. In truth, nothing requires our commitment, whether to another person or thing and vice versa. So what is this big deal about parting with another except ideas which disallow our freedom to love and let go freely? As much as this, I am not preaching that people should not get married or should get a divorce or should go ahead and have an affair. What I am trying to say is that the only person we truly need to be committed to, is ourselves – the beingness in us – never having to betray our true self. In that state, no one can move or shake us – not a man, not a woman, not a marriage, not a break-up, not even an adultery.

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Can we ever, ever choose the pace of our growth? I remember comparing myself with those around me some time ago, never fully appreciating the space that I’ve arrived at. When I perceive that I am not any better or wiser than another, then I begin to beat myself up, ‘how could I not see it?’ And then it would head towards, ‘gosh, why can’t they see it?’ because I have grown since.

Comparison is always ongoing in each of us. When I take a picture with an object, and someone else takes a picture with the same object; we compare again. When I do some work, and someone else had done it before; the comparison thought is always there – if I look better than that person, or if he or she looks better than me; if I am doing better, or did he or she do it better?

The thing is this – there is no point of comparison. Each of us is as unique and special as we could ever be. Each of our learning curve, our growth pace differs from one to another. Even if we were to find someone or a group of friends who seemingly possess the same qualities, we can be sure that each of our journeys in life is still somewhat different. In fact, our starting points are also different.

So why the need to compare? Any sort of comparison will always require a confirmation. And this confirmation is usually accompanied by a sense of seeking for approval. In each of our minds, we already have a list of requirements to fulfill, so once the list is mentally ticked off, the result of our own seeks would be ‘YES! I am BETTER!! Haha!!’; but when it is not reflected outwards, instead of coming back again, we then tend to seek for opinion/approval from others, collecting evidence if ‘I am better’. In that situation, we give our power to anyone out there, to approve or confirm that we are in fact, good and worthy.  

If we were really authentic with ourselves, accepting ourselves as we are, it is likely that we too would accept others as they are; whether they progress or not, whether we grow or not. It doesn’t make any difference. Only separation tends to make us more judgmental of ourselves and others. Thoughts of comparison stem from an idea of unworthiness. You may not believe me, but if you were to authentically look within yourself, investigating each and every comparison thought that arises, then you will soon enough discover that behind those ideas is our own sense of unworthiness. On the very superficial level, we tend to think that we are great. But if we are truly great, then why the need for comparison at all? Why the need to put others on the rat race with us?

While others pulling us into the rat race are beyond our control, we must be aware that it is all only happening in their minds, in their experiences and has absolutely nothing to do with us and vice versa. We are only responsible for ourselves and to constantly remember to come back to ourselves, to be gentle with ourselves. You will be surprise how much gentleness and willingness can aid a person’s growth in all areas.

If I am able to true to myself, I am already home. And being home, I am already the best that I can be at this very moment in time. Loving myself at this stage, desire is born. And this desire, in loving myself, would alleviate me to higher learning anyway, because I am thriving all the time for the love of Truth – not to be better than anybody, or for anything.

To fully appreciate where I already am right now, is more powerful than longing to be where I am not yet; in fact, I cannot be sure if there is really somewhere or anywhere else I ought or need to be – For wherever that I am at this moment in time, is as perfect as it can ever get. This moment is Now; this moment is Reality… this moment is what God is…

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Am I really loving you? Or the experience that I am having with myself but with you in it? If it was another that I was experiencing this with, would it be then that I am loving another and not you? Would the result of my experience with you or another be of any different, except in the judgmental context of my mind? When I feel ecstatic, is it really you who makes me feel this way, or my own senses heightened which results in my ecstatic experience? So is it you, or is it the experience that I am in love with? If my experience is coming from the state of my mind, then how could it be you that I am in love with?

You touch me, but who feels it? Although it looks like you are the one touching me, it is actually just me touching me… because the touch on my skin, has brought about sensations which can only be interpreted in my mind. If my state of mind is joyful, then feeling of joy would be my experience. If my state of mind is fear, then feeling of pain or resentment might set in. Can you see then it has nothing to do with you? So how could I be in love with you?

When you sit next to me, your body brushing against mine, oooh that thrill… but is it really your body brushing against mine that is thrilling me, or is it my thought of your body brushing against mine that is thrilling me? If I had no thought of being thrilled by your body brushing against mine, then would I still be thrilled when your body is really brushing against mine? And if I had that thought of your body brushing against mine, thrilling me; then could be it that even without your body brushing against mine, the feeling of thrill visits me anyway? Then who or what am I feeling thrilled with, except with my own state of mind? So can you see now, my feeling of thrill, or ecstasy has nothing to do with you… and if my feeling of thrill or ecstasy has nothing to do with you, then how could I be hurt by you? That’s absolute crap.

And when I come back to me again, fully aware of my own mental states, although I see you, but I don’t really see you. I am only seeing me, because there is only me… swimming in the myriads of my own emotions, my own thoughts, my own state of mind…  So how could it be that there is someone else out there who could make me happy, make me sick, make me thrilled, or turn me off… absolute, absolute crap…

So when I know of this, and I understand and realize of this, I recognize and appreciate that you have never done anything. Can you imagine how freeing that could be for you and me? No, don’t imagine it… breathe in it! Because this IS the truth! We have never done anything to each other. We are free. And this definitely calls for a celebration of liberation!!

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If I am loving myself, not having to rely on another to give me love, I am totally at peace with myself. And while I am loving me, I am also loving him, when he loves himself in loving the things he is doing; even if it means his attention is not on me, but on someone else or something else. I am loving to see that, because in loving him, he is too, loving me.

If I am seeing that he is loving himself when he is being with another, either a person or a thing, it is okay with me because he is loving him and loving me. But when my ideas protrude thoughts like ‘he is mine’ or ‘he shouldn’t do that’, I can be sure that I am headed for trouble – my own suffering.

When I don’t question my thoughts or my ideas, I continue to dwell in my suffering. Although I may try to resist it or elevate myself from my suffering – I know better; I want to swim in it, bathe myself in it and literally be it if I could – so that I could feed my addictive pattern of being a victim. You see, in being a victim, I am somebody. And it is nice to be somebody, because that would mean I exist and that I am important – whether or not it is a victim role I take on.

I fail to see, that even when I am using these tricks for my ‘existence’ to prove my ‘importance’, I am fooling no one not to see that I don’t exist and am not important. The truth is because I am thinking that way, because of some weird, unwholesome and unquestioned idea that I have at the back of my mind, I am believing that I really don’t exist and I am not important and gosh, how I hate that!

But if I were to come back to myself, and really look into myself, I’d realize that it was only me in need of something that I had perceived someone else could give me. In fact, it is not even really ‘me’ in need but an idea of needing.

If ideas are the ones that are making me feel this way, then who is the one running my life? Is it me? Or ideas? If it is truly me in charge of my life, then how is it that I am needing or relying on someone else to love me or to fulfill my needs? And if ideas were the ones who were running my life, then I must be in awed because all my life, I have lived ‘under control’ thinking that everything that I’ve done, said or thought of was from me, me and me! How ironically insane! Me not being me, me not living my life!

As I begin to question the thought system I am having, I realize that I never had to ‘exist’. The ‘existence’ which I thought I needed to ‘exist’ was merely an idea which needed to ‘exist’ out of ignorance. Once I’ve met with it and faced it lovingly – it disappears, also lovingly. And in that space, need I say more, is just continuous lovingness.

So if I am truly appreciating myself – whether I exist or not, whether I am important or not – I am already loving myself. And in that space, I exist in a non-existential way and don’t exist in an existential way. Now, isn’t that a wonderment! I am neither this, not that! And it is freeing! I cannot even begin to describe the joy! And oooh, everything… everything is just loving as I am loving because everything just is ……  It is indescribable…

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It is just a story, and yet it is through stories we learn.
What we learn is not of how the story begun, went or end but of the essence the story presents.
Give attention to the essence, we grow a little wiser;
Give attention the story, there you go again – down and down the rabbit hole…

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If we have truly tasted even a hint of self love, it is unlikely that we would allow ourselves to be reliant on love from another. I am not saying in the context where we stop others from loving us, or stop loving others; because that is in fact quite impossible and beyond our control. I am speaking more of self sustenance, without being affected or moved by another’s words, actions, behavior or perception of us – good or bad; pleasant or unpleasant.

And if we have savored a tinge of self acceptance, it is too, not likely that we would not accept others as they are, or fear if others will not accept us. There is no way because everything that revolves around us, is of us. It will come to a point, where we project others already accepting of us, or that we are simply at peace in our own beingness even when others find it hard to accept us. Again, we would not be affected or moved by another’s words, actions, behavior or perception of us – good or bad; pleasant or unpleasant.

We think we can fall in love with someone; or have someone fall in love with us. It is really, just an illusion and an occurrence when the mind is in the state of lack, hence in need of something to fulfill its deficit. Because we love stories, that is how the stories begin – the He and the She, the He and the He, or the She and She; as one ignorantly or intuitively picks up another as a resonating symbol.

The Hes and the Shes we invite to be in relationships with are merely symbols of our inner states; each symbol deferring from one another and dependant on one’s perceived need or lack, also relevant to waving states of the mind. One minute, I need you – so I don’t want another; another minute, I don’t want you – because I need someone else. Depending on my need at that point in time, I am calling out sustenance from different symbols, expecting them to fill up my empty tank.

 When the symbol in the mind is not fulfilling my need, I may feel hurt or anger towards this person who bears the symbol; and when the symbol in the mind is fulfilling my need, I may feel that I am in love with this person who bears the symbol. Over and over, we allow ourselves to be in a state of self betrayal, failing to recognize that it is those very qualities in these ‘symbols’ that we need to acknowledge within ourselves, or give ourselves. Again and again, we find ourselves in a repeated cycle, not being able to transcend the symbols to reclaim ourselves, thus recurring our sufferings.

In truth, I love no one, other than myself. In truth, no one loves me, other than him or herself. Although I’d like to think that he or she loves me, and he’d like to think that I love him or her – it is not possible in the overwhelming sea of defilements. When I don’t have need that needs to be fulfilled by you, I will notice that I don’t really need you to be around; when I have a need in which I perceive only you can fulfill, I claw onto you like an eagle to its prey. This happens the other way round too; never excluding anyone who fails to see that it is he himself who needs to fulfill his own need – of understanding and acceptance – with love and compassion – in reclaiming self.

When will this sickening game ever end? Can it ever end? Until then, the symbols remain; but once transcended – not only the other person is free, so am I. There lingers only pure acceptance and appreciation of what can be experienced as unconditional love.

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When I started my inward journey with constant efforts and willing inner work which included self-awareness, self-observation and self-inquiry, I soon realized that these qualities became pretty much a natural process unfolding during times of trigger. One by one, closed ones whom I was once and some, still pretty much attached to soon by now, do not require much effort to reflect inwards. To some extent, it had become a second nature to me. Taking responsibility became from a “doing” to an effortless quality that has become part of the practice. Although it can never be immediate all the time, but the time span to begin the self reflection process becomes increasingly shorter.  

So I think I am somewhat free or rather have achieved a certain self sustainable level being able to stand in my own space of integrity, loving me. The truth is, I am still far far away from it.

Recently, or actually not-so-recently, I realized that it was pretty hard to reflect inwards when it came to a particular person. It’s as if there is a sort of indulgence that accompanied the story which kept me toggling between what is real, and what is illusionary. The strength to do inner work seems weakened when it came to this particular person, as if this someone out there is really real. My Darling reminded me that the spiritual journey is never quite linear, and lessons come to us harder and more difficult compared to what we have handled before – for that is necessary for our growth; very much like heading towards an advance class.

The tests come in harder because there will be lots more distractions, lots more bewilderment. And because there are others involved, it is so important to deal with it cautiously and compassionately. ‘It’ means my perceived thoughts, feelings and actions and another’s perceived thoughts, feelings and actions. While it is beyond my control the outcome of the journey of the other; but for the Love of Peace, and Love itself, I can choose to; whilst continuously taking responsibility for myself and do my inner work; to work with the other so that the outcome may consequent to a heightened level of wisdom accompanying deep mutual respect and love for one another without any element of defilement or limitations.

Lesson of the day: Salvation is my only function here. So what is the use of multiplying the layers of what is not real, and to indulge in what may only be a figment of our imagination? It only hurts because I am thinking I need to let go of what was never mine to begin with; having to go back to the painful veil all by myself without anyone there supporting me.

But hasn’t that already become second nature – the inner work, you’d ask? So it has come to another entry level of pain, a deeper layer to unfold or undo so to speak.

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Most times, we want some things, or yearn for certain experiences but run around in circles not getting to them.  We unconsciously prevent ourselves from fully experiencing what could possibly turn out to be one of the best encounters in our lives and revolve later that regret into self-remorse.

I remember during my early college days, I was very much infatuated with this guy who never knew how my heart went thumpety-thump whenever he was near. Although when it was finally revealed that he too had affections towards me and vice versa, we never proceeded further beyond any normal friendship because I was the cool cat – never granting him any special attention despite the heart’s desire to stand beside him, sit with him, hold his hand, talk to him and etc. Soon, he felt that I was not really interested and after a while, switched his attention elsewhere. Needless to say, I was devastated.

Similar to this good friend I have who has experienced countless courtships. She was constantly suspicious of her man even though her man had no previous history of cheating. That suspicious or non-trust she felt towards her man or rather men in her case, had caused her many times a heart break. She could never understand why these men left her, one after another. It took her a while to at last realize that she was actually self-sabotaging her relationships. It was as if she was not trusting that she could actually experience heightened joyous relationships with her partner and was constantly set to prove herself right by creating friction between herself and her partner. So it was like a protective mechanism that she had set for herself thus already sending the relationship to an automatic destructive mode. Very much like already expecting to fail a subject in university before even the term commences.

In business dealings or projects too we tend to do that despite being sure of our success rate. We somehow come up with something unconsciously to ensure that the deal does not go through, or is never smooth flowing – fear of insufficient funds, fear of lack of support, fear of not enough turn-ups, fear of rejection and etc. It is as if, we are not worthy of such success, such joyful experiences.

Are we not worthy to enjoy the fullest of experiences? Why do we run round and round in circles, always swimming in cycles in fear of being rejected, hurt, ridiculed or even embarrassed?

It has been shared with us that what our hearts’ desire is always attainable, but our mindless behavior thus action always seem to screw things up along the way for us. This is because we have not fully understood the ideas which are running at the background thus projecting the foreground of experiences. I was just telling my Darling today, that in spirits we connect and it seems alright not to meet; yet when we are face to face with each other (I was not referring to her by the way), we tend to unconsciously initiate some shield around us that disallow us to connect physically with another. The most interesting part is that after we leave a reunion, we realize that that was not the experience we had aspired with someone, and wished we could somehow turn back time to re-do everything – and since we can never turn back time, we automatically venture into the self-remorse mode – beating ourselves up for not appreciating the moment with that someone.

When we finally remember to put bodies aside, we go back into peace understanding and experiencing the connection in spirit – but is that a form of deceiving self or a form of resigning to the fact that we could never face each other eye-to-eye – and I do mean the eye-to-eye part here quite literally.  

Like it or not, we are always putting up a show when the curtains are up and when there are perceived audiences. The truth is no one may be watching, but we illusionize ourselves being watched by others and with the accompanying fears arising, we switch on our defensive shield. Exactly who are we defending or shielding ourselves from, except ourselves?

Appreciating the moment is to be in the Now. To be in the Now, is to remember to be present. To be in the present, is to be mindful of what arises. But to go back to the source of ideas, is to begin self-inquiry. As my sot-sot like-minded friend declaims, who would I be without my story? Who would you (and the world) be without my story about you (and the world)?

It’s just another story you see… just another story…

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At some point in Life, we realize that we can never influence what others think no matter how much we try unless and until they buy into our idea – that is, what we were sharing at that moment in time. When they buy into our idea however, it is clearly their own doing and has entirely nothing to do with us.

But soon, we realize that whatever we say or do somehow do carry some weight to the direction or decision another makes in his or her life path. But that direction headed or decision made still, has nothing to do with us, but their own independence and willingness.

I had a chat with my teacher 8 days ago about the fasting process which I dropped. Not that he influenced me or anything like that, but he was merely sharing from his own perspective about the whole process. By evening, without much procrastination, I decided that I would restart the fasting process again for 7 days; which I had successfully completed today. When I was asked why I started fasting again, I couldn’t deny that my teacher had a role to play in it, but in all honesty, I did it for myself and no one else – not ignorantly being influenced by anyone or anything.

When we are conversing with someone, we share our experiences, ideas or views somehow intuitively knowing that if that someone was to have an alternative perspective of looking at things, that perspective itself could very well liberate or bring joy and peace to his beingness. Having said that, it is also important to understand that the acceptance of this someone of the idea which we share is beyond our control and is never our doing or responsibility. So it is like… each of our sharing is like a special key, designed specifically for an independent moment on its own. During the sharing, the key is already presented to the driver, or sometimes even put into the ignition. But in order to start the engine running, it is still dependent on the driver to twist the key.  

Accompanying these kind of selfless sharing I would call it, do require a certain level of wisdom and skill. With wisdom, we understand that we simply convey the message, not in any way convince; with skill, the sharing is cushioned with love, support and compassion instead of an I-know-better-than-you kind of approach.

It is interesting to note that I myself came to this point from a cycle. I used to share because I simply loved to talk (can’t deny that I still love that though)! And then I realized that I got offended when what I shared was not accepted; because I ‘wanted’ that someone to ‘accept’ my ideas and live a better life! And then I went to shutting up (even when I still loved to talk) because I strongly believed that I could never influence the way people think anyway, so what is there to talk or share? And finally, I arrive to understand how it is important to share wise-fully, skillfully and lovingly – not only for the love of talking (I mean, in my case) but also for the wellbeing of others. To add on to how it serves me, it always boils down to my own intention of talking or sharing – out of fear, or simply Love.

My teacher was telling me this afternoon that like it or not, we are all interdependent. We are independent, yet interdependent. We do certain things because someone else asks or invites us to do so, but it is never for them that we are doing it for. A little ironic and paradoxical, yet so true.

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