The most powerful form of reassurance

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“It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before dawn” – Paulo Coelho

When we’re going through a tough time in life, we grasp at straws to find ways to ease our distress. Amongst other methods, we try distracting ourselves, numbing our feelings through alcohol and drugs, sleeping our sorrows away, or seeking out advice from close confidants. Several of us even turn to professional therapy. While some of these tactics are healthier than others, they have a common purpose: to help us find the light at the end of the tunnel.

What severely exacerbates such a dark period is irrational fear. We often become (consciously or subconsciously) fearful and insecure that we’ll never escape the tunnel. That we’ll be stuck in this distressing period forevermore. If we could shed this fear, and instead reassure ourselves that brighter days are to come, they would come far sooner. But in such a fragile state, many lack the wherewithal to harness such confidence for themselves. I’ve found that the best way to find reassurance is to engage with people and resources who can acutely relate to our anguish. Continue reading

Is happiness just a fleeting high?

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“Never underestimate the human capacity for delusion” – Roger Cohen

The renowned filmmaker, Woody Allen, once said, “I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.”

Life is undoubtedly plagued with misery, but I question why most humans seem to crave it nonetheless. Is it because life’s happiness outweighs its anguish? I don’t think so. I think it’s because we delude ourselves into believing that life is worth it. Continue reading

Authenticity will set you free

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Chef Gaia

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive” – Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage

Authentic people are few and far between. True authenticity comes with fully embracing one’s individuality for what it is; this means not trying to alter our beliefs or personality traits due to societal pressure. Authenticity is an achievement that, when unlocked, will pave our path to true success and contentment. And I don’t think success should ever be thought of in a monetary sense, but rather in a quality-of-life sense. Continue reading

Up for grabs: your individuality

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“Don’t compromise yourself – you’re all you have” – John Grisham, The Rainmaker

When we go out for dinner, my mom will choose an item off the menu to order. But then, much to the waiters dismay, she’ll want to customize the shit out of it. I’m talking about substituting so many ingredients that she essentially creates her own dish. In the same way, we as humans, are pretty adamant on customizing the individual traits and beliefs that are a part of us. We seem to want to mold an entire new person out of ourselves. What we’re failing to realize is that we are human beings, not pad thai. Continue reading