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Do you feel upside down in your element? Feel like something inside of you is gnawing at you? If you do, it is probably because you need emotional purging. Only then can you plug back into your luminosity!
Emotional purging, also referred to as catharsis, or emotional detox is the process of eliminating emotions that don‘t serve you. These are emotions you might have even overcome and outgrown, but not completely released. The proverbial sweeping under the rug is what I am referring to here. At some point you might have realized the uselessness of a certain emotion and swept it away, but it is still lingering under the rug of your energy. You might even be fooling yourself into thinking that it’s no longer there, but it is. You need to purge it out. Emotional purging should be done slowly, and you have to allow the process to unfold gradually.
The purpose of emotional purging is to enable yourself to move forward. If you drag around old energies, you will only be carrying dead weight, which makes your forward movement that much more difficult. Pent-up engergy is like driving with the handbrake on. Release that brake and you will feel the real power of your accelerator!
unlike the handbrake analogy, this release cannot be done quickly. It
is not called a process for no reason. You have to work at it step by
step. It’s an incremental release. Good news is, the steps are
few. Bad news is, if you expect instant results, you’re not going
to get any.
what are the steps?
me give you 3 steps I have personally found effective:
1: Get to the bottom of your emotion.
This means you get in touch with whatever emotion you need to release, provided that you are capable of having emotions – which I believe you are, because otherwise you wouldn‘t be reading this article (laughs….). By getting in touch with your emotion I mean recognizing that it’s still there, even if you believe you have overcome it. Overcoming an emotion means it no longer hurts or bothers you. That’s very good indeed. Kudos to you, if you have achieved this. But remember, if it no longer hurts you it doesn’t mean it won‘t hinder you! Emotion is energy, and energy, although not tangible itself, creates very tangible scenarios. It is quintessential to release it. It has to literally leave your element in order for you to be fully and the only operator in your element. The first step to releasing this energy is getting in touch with it.
Step 2: Understand your emotion.
Old emotions are like old, heavy baggage. You really don‘t need them anymore. Some choose to carry them all their life, dragging dead weight. What about lightness? Isn‘t that what everyone desires? If you want to be light and free, you have to start visualizing your connection to the past emotion, see it for what it is, then see where you are now. Keep going to and fro between the two. It’s like looking at two juxtaposed pictures back and forth. Then disconnect from one picture by putting your focus on the other picture only, i.e. the new emotion. You can enhance this process by meditation. Any meditation you choose will help you energetically disconncect from the undesired emotion. You have to do this for days, weeks, maybe even months. Again, if you expect instant results, you will only run into disappointment.
Give yourself time. If you are a busy person and all you do is work, work and work, I got bad news for you again. To understand your emotions you need to invest in yourself, not in your employer or project! (laughs….). If that’s your case, you need to revise your lifestyle and adjust it to your wellbeing, not to your company’s profit and loss sheet! Without your wellbeing you will be nothing but scattered engergy, all over the place, there for everyone and everything, only not for yourself! To heal yourself, you need to heed yourself. If you feel upside down in your element, you will need to turn yourself right side up again! (did that sound too teachy preachy again?…laughs….). This all needs time, and time is something you take. You can have a quick breakfast in a hurry, or grab a bite for dinner if you are in a rush, but understanding your own emotions takes time. There is no quickie here! (laughs…). Once you understand them, it will be easier to do step 3.
to terms with an old emotion is accepting that you felt it at one
point. Denying it is conducive to neither release nor relief. One
thing you should never do is to ask yourself why you felt that
emotion. There is no why. We feel what we feel. We’re not robots.
And that’s precisely why releasing the engergy of the old emotion
is a long process and not achieved instantly. If you are used to
instant results and think there is an app for this, I got bad news
for you…..again! (laughs….).
If you run from these steps, you will spend your life carrying the engery of dead emotions. They’ll make you heavy, thus hinder your forward movement. If you do not properly process your emotions, they will build up over time and become toxic and will contaminate your relationship with yourself and others. You will find yourself repeating the undesired emotions you went through by projecting the residual engergy of it onto someone else. An emotional detox is one of the biggest favors you can do to yourself and the people you want to build a relationship with. Emotions connected to negative experiences, are dead skin. Peel it off and let fresh skin grow instead.
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Be a force to be reckoned with!
Schools teach us many useless things. There are so many unnecessary subjects they make us learn in school. Most subjects rarely help us in any way in life. I wonder why there has never been a class taught on recognizing self-serving opportunists. Have you wondered too?
Definition of self-serving according to dictionaries:
serving one’s own selfish interests, especially at the expense of others
serving one’s own interests in disregard of the interests of others
serving own’s interests, especially without concern for the needs or interests of others
If there is one thing I have learned in life, it’s to make sure I cut certain types of people out of my life for good. Cutting a cord that brings nothing but huge benefits in spades! What types of people am I talking about? Well, there are many….but in this article, I am going to talk about self-serving opportunists. I will explain my take on this prototype of creatures in a very straight-forward, to the point kind of language. My usual disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, nor a sociologist. I am merely an ardent observer of human behavior, and all the experiences I share with my blog readers are, as I just mentioned, „experiences“.
I lived with a self-serving individual, a narcissist one at that, for more than two decades of my precious life. My kindness was taken for weakness and stupidity. I let him use and abuse my kindness until I could take it no more. He truly believed I was there to serve him, and he used me as long as I served a purpose. I put up with him for way too long until I realized I had lost myself and forgotten who I once was. That’s when I finally left him. I wish I had de-camped instead.
When you read the following lines, please bear in mind to use your own discernment to connect the dots and apply it to your situation, if you have one, as you see fit. My only aim is to help those who might be needing an experienced person‘s advice. I am a very well meaning person, and wish all my readers lots of love, light and enlightenment. Keep in mind that if you know someone with one or two of these traits you should not immediately assume they are self-serving. But if you do notice many or all of the following traits, chances are very high that you are giving to a self-serving person at your own detriment. So now let’s begin:
characteristics of self-serving individuals:
are very intelligent strategists.
They strategize their plan to use someone and calculate meticulously in advance. In fact, they often have strategy related careers. Their business acumen as strategists is very high. They use their intelligence to gain their own advantage with little to no regard for others. They think they can get away with their evil intents because they slyly find plausible explanations for their decisions and actions. In other words, they are adept at legitimizing their cunning behavior. Needless to say they don’t always get away, at least not for good. To sum this up, they strategize and legitimize. All the while, they also have very low morals, often dormant. So they never „knock-knock-are-you-there?“ their conscience. It is a dormant or rarely frequented territory! Self-serving opportunists have little to no morals to tap into, they only tap into what they can explain as „plausible“ or „legitimate“! They find reasons and arguments why someone is serving them, and don’t give a flying f….. if it is morally wrong. You will notice that many of them love strategy games!
are good (public) speakers, but watch out for their body language
Warning! This is not to say that all good speakers are self-serving. In fact, there are many good speakers who are kind, loving, considerate and selfless. I hope we are clear on that. Now what sets a self-serving articulate speaker apart from other articulate speakers is their body language. They are in fact very good with words, that’s how they fool you into serving them. But if you are observing them in a speech or presentation, you will notice something strange about their hand movements. They don’t know what to do with their hands! A sincere person, speaking from the heart, with good, genuine intentions, without ulterior motives, will use their hands freely at the risk of looking awkward. One of the signs of sincere people is their hand movements while they speak. People who come from a place of good intentions, not calculations, will complement their words with hand gestures, and they won’t mind if it’s too much. It’s real, not taught. Even if a speaker is not kind and loving, they could still have sincere gestures that won’t hide their ulterior motives. In other words, one could be an aggressive, hostile jerk with untamed aggressive, hostile jerk hand gestures! This, although not desirable, is at least authentic and real. If you are taught to speak a certain way, you are out there to manipulate. Self-serving people are great manipulators. Keep that in mind! So if you are observing a self-serving speaker during their speech, presentation or interview, you will notice that they either put their hands in their pockets every 6 seconds and take them out again, or show no hand movement. If they show no hand movement, it is because they were coached not to put their hands in their pockets every six seconds and take them out again (laughs….). If you see them hold a pen the whole time, that’s not much better. I believe that your hands are there to move and further express yourself. There is nothing awkward about hand gestures. It shows you are human. I automatically warm up to a person who moves their hands while they speak, it makes me trust them more. It shows they are genuine. Now a person who keeps putting their hands in their pockts is hiding something. They are hiding their hands in their pockets because body language shows one’s true motives. While they are articulate enough to relish their bullshit with fancy words, their hand gestures might give them away!You will notice that most arrogant people walk with one hand in their pocket even around the office, even if it is not cold! Have you ever wondered why? It’s because a self-serving person is also arrogant. So pay attention! If you attend a seminar, or a speech of some sort, do not trust the speaker if they don’t know what to do with their hands. A genuine person moves them freely. Trust me! Of course, and as I mentioned before, there is such a thing as agrgessive hand gestures, so not all gestures are kind, loving or friendly, but at least they are genuine. What I am trying to say is, if the hands of the speaker are too tamed or hidden in their pockets, they are hiding something! That’s precisely what self-serving do while giving a speech, i.e. hide their true motives.
never see their weak side.
ego of a self-serving person will not allow for vulnerability.
They see kindness as weakness. That’s why you will rarely see them
engage in acts of kindness. If they do, it is certainly not free of
an ulterior motive. Again, that motive has been duly strategized and
calculated in detail and WILL BE legitimized by them.
They are skilled manipulators.
of the things they can make you believe is that you are not doing
enough for them, or that it is your duty to serve them. They might
not use the word „serve“ but that is the gist of what they think.
How so? They make you feel inferior and manipulate you into believing
that it is YOU who needs them. You will see examples of that in the
They self-praise their own manipulation techniques at workplace.
They might even share a laugh with you and tell you with self-praise how people just do things for them cause „threy’re stupid.“ They certainly won’t admit that what they’re doing is evil manipulation. They will call it their „innate power of leadership“. At workplace, for instance, they see themselves as born bosses, and believe that people are out there to serve them. That is how they set themselves apart from what they call „simple employees“. They do so proudly.
partners, they don’t complete you, they deplete you!
For one thing, I have learned that we should never allow someone to be in a position to complete us. We should complete ourselves on our own. This might seem sad, but it actually isn’t. It merely means, that no matter what your circumstances, you are fully and completely content with yourself, to the point of not needing that contentment from an external source, such as a life partner. Now, if you haven’t yet arrived at this conclusion in your life – because this is something to arrive at through life lessons – then at least keep in mind that self-serving people, if you have the misfortune to have them as your partner, will not complete but DEplete you! How? They take, take, take and take all they can get, and they give little to nothing back! By manipulating you, though – read my next paragraphs – they will make you feel like they¹re the ones giving you. Please don’t let it go that far! Stop those conniving sons of b……!
are well aware of their own behavior.
They use others all the time and they are not afraid of admitting it. They don‘t deem it as wrong. They don’t see it as using. If the other person does not object to this treatment, they will continue using them. That’s why it is important not to let them! You have to realize that your kindness is taken for stupidity! They see you as stupid, and they have a firm belief that if you are stupid enough to be kind, then you should be serving them. Again, that’s how these creatures legitimize their evil behavior!
consider themselves to be special.
They think that others should just do things for them because of their superiority! Why do they feel superior? Well….for the most part, it is their upbringing. I lived with a self-serving, opportunist for more than 2 decades of my life. I heard his mother tell me stories about his childhood. Stories like: „other kids used to carry his bike and be happy to be allowed to carry his bike.“ or „he always told other kids to do this and that and they did it.“ „he was always a born boss.“ His mom would tell these stories with pride. She was proud of her son. Apparently, she praised him for treating other kids that way. So he grew up thinking that using other people is a good thing. He learned at an early age that people are out there to serve him and it is a good thing to make them do so! His upbringing reinforced an already existing tendency in him. This tendency could have been tamed had he been brought up differently. Had his mother criticized this behavior and taught him to be kind and considerate instead, he would not have turned out to be an oppourtunist jerk! (pardon my English…….give French a break! laughs….)
have a hard time accepting being wrong.
you oppose them, they will simply ignore your „inferior opinion“.
Why „inferior“? Well….they see most people as inferior to
themselves. You will almost never hear them say: „sorry I was
wrong.“ Even if they realize they were, they will say something
like: „ok…let’s move on and be productive.“, „fine, I heard
you….let’s take care of things now.“, „Ok….you got a point,
but…..“. It would be a futile attempt to get an „I am sorry, I
was wrong“ out of them!
not a helping hand.
Let me give you a simple example. Let’s say you are at a dinner table with a few folks. When the dinner is over, people usually pick their plates and glasses and bring them to the kitchen to help the host. Everyone usually tries to do something. We all lend a hand, because it just doesn’t feel right to walk away from the table after that lovely meal that was put there for us. Right? That’s what most of us would do. We would be a helping hand, even if it meant taking only one glass to the kitchen. Self-serving individuals don’t tick the same way and always manage to disappear for a few minutes until the work has been done by others. They find ways of doing so. They might go to the bathroom, take a call, suddenly have to check urgent e-mails,….you name it. They find ways of not helping. They are very well aware of what they‘re doing. They’re strategists, after all. They have always done it this way, because they want others to serve them!(
It is hard for them to have a real sense of empathy.
They might know how to spell the word „compassion“, but they don’t know how to feel it. Even if they might sometimes show empathy, it will usually depend on what they are getting from the person they are empathizing with. There will always be an ulterior motive and the empathy is never genuine and heartfelt. They don’t come from a heart space. Period. Click on the following link to read more about lack of empathy:
To them, others are not important, so why listen? Unless you have been established as an “important person”, or they need something from you, they will have no regard for what you are saying. So don’t explain anything to them. You will regret any attempts you make to get them to look at you and show you they are listening. They won‘t even make eye contact. They ruthlessly continue doing what they’re doing and treat you like dirt. Why? Because it does not serve them, at the moment you are talking, to listen to you. Self-serving people respond only when they are getting something. So when they need you and it’s time to get, get, get, they’ll come and talk AT you!
They have no remorse for the way they use others.
The way they see it, if someone is „stupid enough“ not to question the service they are providing or the favor they are doing, or the kindness they are giving, they should continue doing it and see it as their duty. So why stop them or be remorseful?
They act like they are superior to everyone around them.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say someone is nice enough to offer driving them to the airport. Upon arrival, they might just get out of the car and wait for that person to take their luggage out of the car, too! Not only will they not stop the person from taking the luggage out, they will also give them a dry „thanks“, as if it were that person’s job! They are the empitome of evil arrogance.
The self-serving man I lived with for more than 2 decades once told me himself: „I admit I am an arrogant asshole“! He said it with a sense of pride, and he laughed. He said he and his colleague (same type of guy) both admit to being arrogant assholes! He literally admitted to this with no shame. He said: „if there are people out there who are stupid enough to be subservient, then we can tell them what to do.“ That was the mantra that got him to the top of the career ladder! He said that was what set regular employees and bosses apart. He said he hated being a regular employee, that he wasn‘t cut for that! So yes, many (but not all) of the self-serving people happen to be topdogs! Their mantra: Douchebaggery!
have a habit of keeping you waiting, but don’t like to wait
They will make you wait by design. Why? Because it will make you feel like you need THEM. The more you think you need them, the more they can pull the strings, manipulate you and have you do things for them. It is all part of their strategy. Now there is nothing wrong with needing someone. However, when they „need“ something themselves, they don’t need in a kind way. They just want to gain advantage and be served. That is not needing. Needing is different than wanting to gain advantage. Very different. More awful yet, they usually talk to you only when they need something.
Now if and when they happen to need something from you, and they find out there is waiting involved, they will raise havoc! When they want something themselves, they will be impatient and verbally abusive towards you to speed the process. It doesn‘t matter what it is they want. Even if it is as simple as getting out the door or getting into the car, the moment they want you to do it, you have to hop and do it! They will even say the words „hop hop, come on, move it“ to rush you into things. They are always in a hurry. In their universe, everything should happen as fast as they command! It’s always their timeline, not yours! Now, what kind of verbal abuse am I talking about, if you are not fast? Here are some examples: you‘re too slow, why don’t you get it, come on move it!, I don’t have time…hurry up, move your ass, damn it!, you’re not done yet?, etc…. They will rush you and make you nervous and insecure. By the time you are done doing whatever you were doing for them (or anything you were doing), you will be happy enough that you won’t even expect a „thank you“, which they won’t give you anyway. Why would they thank you if you weren’t fast enough? It‘s all strategizing. They know that by doing so, YOU will perpetually be on the thankful end (you will be thankful because it’s finally over) and that THEY did you a favor by waiting for it! That is their strategy. They do this to everyone who is not, according to them, of a higher rank. That’s probably how my ex made those kids carry his bike and thank him for it when he was a kid! God knows what he was telling those poor neighborhood kids before they willfully consented to carry his bike! Nothing but manipulation and that as a child! And it was re-inforced and praised by his dim-witted mother!
don’ really hang out with friends.
You don’t see them hanging out with buddies. They’re just not the buddy type. They say that‘s a waste of time. But the truth is, who wants to be their buddy? They might know some people and have business acquaintances they see from time to time, but they will meet them for a purpose. They are not the „hang out“ type of people! They‘re actually lone wolves, and if they’re a boss, they are often not liked by many of their subordinates. Why would people like someone who has no empathy, sympathy, regard or consideration for others? They have no true friends. They just have acquaintances and important, useful connections, often other self-serving topdogs and politicians. They also ON PURPOSE connect to other rich people. They want to be in the circle of rich people only. They do so by joining expensive clubs and associations to have the possibility of being in a network of rich and influencial people. Do keep in mind, though, that they always come across as very polite and courteous in public. This politeness is all calculated, not heartfelt. They have nothing heartfelt to offer. Zilch! They use polite phrases to match their ridiculously expensive suits, and they hang out with other “suits”…..that’s the kind of people they spend their free time with. Buddies are “no bodies” to them!
moral compass is defective!
Whenever they get a chance they will take advantage of someone, thinking all they did was just to outsmart the other! They praise themselves for it. To them it’s all about the survival of the fittest AT ANY COST. They don’t believe in morality. They only believe in institutions and guidelines. They mock spiritual people and to some extent artists. Now if art were presented at a work-related event, where there are topdog jerks such as themselves attending, then they would pay respect to it. They basically have no value for anything but their own monetary advantage and power. They are very greedy with regards to others, indeed. Self-serving people often spend a lot of money on themselves, though, trying to look sleek and wealthy, not because it looks nicer, but because it exudes power! You will find them collecting lablels and brands. They’re shopaholics! It fills their empty soul! Or they think it does.
don’ show concern for sick people.
Again, „concern“ is a word they can spell, but not feel….how could they? They lack empathy! So if you are sick or in pain and need rest, they might say something like: „take a painkiller,“ „take some medication“, „don’t be a vegetable“, „take this medication and get up!“ That’s exactly how they talk. Instead of showing empathy, kindness and love, instead of saying something like: I am so sorry that you are sick, is there anything I can do? Maybe you need some rest….let me get you something…….they just criticize you for being sick! Why? Because if you are sick, you can’t serve them! Even if they do get you something that can linder your pain, it is not given to you with kindness, but with an air of “take this and get back on your feet”. No empathy, no love.
They‘re not much into the ceremony of thanking people.
They will never use such phrases as „that is very kind of you“, „that’s so sweet of you“, „I really appreciate it“, „thank you soooo much“. If you’re lucky, you‘ll get a dry „thanks“ that is worse than a slap on your face. You have to remember that self-serving people are also very efficient. Thank you is not always efficient, neither is a smile, unless they deem it as such. A smile is probably even redundant to them. Sometimes they know they will need you again right away for something else, in which case a thank you would be practical and not hindering efficiency. But even then, it would be a dry smile and a dry “thanks”. Never kind or friendly. Kindness is weakness to them, remember?
They kick you to the curb as soon as they believe you no longer serve a purpose to them.
Precisely that. Problem is, though, sometimes they miscalculate. As smart as they are, they might sometimes discover holes in their strategies afterwards. Let me add a bit of a personal anecdote. My ex, for instance, tried to keep me with him for as long as he could, not because he loved me- I used to think he did -, but because he was gaining an advantage from us being married.
Being with me gave him a tax cut, a mother to his children, a wife who took care of a lot around the house while he was busy kicking everyone out of his way to get to the top of the career ladder and become Douche Officer. I am not going to tell you here how much I took care of at home. I was also contributing to paying bills. Especially when our children got older, I was working more and making more money. As soon as he believed our children no longer needed a mother around, he started mistreating me in a different, rather more obvious way. I had always sensed his self-serving personality, but had ignored it. It had not always been at an acute stage. I had my blindfolds on while raising our kids. I ignored the proverbial big elephant in the room. All along, though, he took advantage of my kindness. Once our kids grew older, he talked down at me more and more frequently and withdrew that little affection he had in that smaller than a pigeon’s heart of his, if any, ignored me, slighted me, and told me he had more important things to do than listening to me. I tried to explain to him how much I was doing for the family and for him. I was vying for his affection and kindness, something he did not have. But through manipulation he made me believe that I was a needy person and that if I was not happy I could leave. But when I mentioned divorce, he told me that it was a very complicated thing in Germany (where we live, that’s where he is from) and said it would only cost money with no benefits for me. He suggested I just leave and live separately! Why? Because he had strategized everything. He still needed the tax cut that he would not have if we got divorced, and because I work, it was a fantastic option for him to have me leave, pay for my own expenses, and give him a free tax cut. The tax cut was for him, not for me. I had to pay way more and he thought I would just do what he said and have him enjoy that cut after kicking me to the curb. Well, first hole in his strategy: I was legally authorized to separate our taxes after separation, which pissed him off immensely. Other holes in his strategy? I will talk about that in another article in the future. I just used this one as an example for how self-serving people kick you to the curb if THEY BELIEVE they no longer need you.
And why did he think he no longer needed me anymore? I think it is greed. He is a topdog, but he wasn’t always one. He had to get there. On his way to becoming one, he still needed me around. When he got there, once he found himself mighty and rich, and a handsomely paid boss indeed, he no longer wanted to share anything with me. He would ask me to pay many bills. I paid for half of our vacations, paid for hotels, rentals, restaurants, recreational parks, you name it. He had all that money, but he suddenly stopped sharing! I have no idea when this switch happened in his head. Even if we ordered a pizza from home, he would ask me to split the bill! How tight-fisted can you get?His greed was showing in his face. He looked unkind and ill. To make the long story short, he wanted me to leave so he could have all the money to himself! Even though I was working and making money, I was becoming, in his mind, more of a liability than an asset. So he strategized on making me feel miserable. He knew how delicately sensitive I am.
He made me volunteer to leave by hurting my feelings and stepping on my soul over and over and over again. As he did so, he felt nothing. I was in his way! „hop hop….get out of my life“ is probably what he was thinking. He said he didn’t love me, that people change, that „that was then, this is now“!! But he never thought I would separate our taxes and file for divorce. He thought I was afraid of that. He thought I’m not German and won‘t do research on German laws. He probably also assumed that I was afraid of divorce, not being a citizen of his country. His calculations had many flaws, because he was certain of my stupidity. He thought I was stupid enough to just live separately and let him have all the monetary advantages, so he let me go. Little did he know, I got an accountant and separated my taxes the day I left, got a lawyer and filed for divorce soon after. My kindness was interpreted as stupidity. His strategy was outright evil, but he underestimated my intelligence! The self-serving person is now being served! Voilà monsieur! (pun intended….laughs…). I AM THAT FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!
you are in a similar situation with anyone, de-camp and claim your
of the DON’Ts I suggest:
Don’t ever expect a self-serving person to recognize their mistakes and apologize for them.
Simply don’t! On top of that, I should warn you against the well-meaning, outdated adage of your elders when they say: „forgive them for they know not what they do.“ Don‘t!!! For they very well know what they’re doing! They’re strategists, remember? My sincere respect and empathy to the blind and the deaf….but self-serving people have ears and eyes, yet are blind and deaf! The only thing they see is their own gains and they don’t hear anyone! If there is a life after death, I suppose they might regret their behavior on their way to the other side. Don’t expect it before!
be their doormat, have clear boundaries with them.
Not every self-serving person is self-serving in the same intensity. These people are usually born with this toxic trait, however, their upbringing and their environment can either diminish/tame or fuel this attribute. Once you find yourself having to deal with a self-serving person (hope you don’t end up living with one!), make sure you have very clear boundaries. They often don’t recognize the difference between kindness and weakness.
If you are too kind with them too often, they will take advantage of you. Ration your kindness. Teach them how to appreciate each and everything you do for them. Make sure they reciprocate. Don’t buy into this so-called „unconditional love“ bullshit! You can only have unconditional love for your children, not for any other. So by all means, make sure the conditions are very clear. One of the first conditions is reciprocation. If you find yourself doing things and serving all the time for little to no return, then stop! You are doing something very wrong! Don’t be „the bigger, more generous person“! Don’t! It won’t work with self-serving people. The more generous you are, the weaker you will be deemed as! Remember that! And what do self-serving people do to weak people? They use them! Got that? If you don’t have clear boundaries, they will step on you like a doormat. However, if the boundaries you draw don’t work or have very little effect, take it as a sign that it’s already too late. They might have been too shaped by their parents or by your silence, in which case, I suggest you cut them out of your life before they cut you to pieces!
Don’t get attached to them. You are being manipulated!
Getting attached to a self-serving person is one of the gravest mistakes you could make. Sadly enough, self-serving people usually prey on kind and giving souls and manipulate them. Why? Because they know they can get, and get, and get, and get. A loving, giving nature is the best victim. If you find yourself doing things for someone, because you love them, and because of the kindness of your heart, and because you think that’s what people do for one another when they care about each other especially if they are in a union of some sort, well that is noble and all that. But as soon as you detect self-serving tendencies, you need to put the brakes on, or at least count the blessings you give them! Literally count them and see how much you get back in return! Watch for reciprocation before you get attached. Loving, giving people get attached fast. I know that, cause I‘ve been one. Love is not something you strategize or calculate. It comes from a pure source. A self-serving person’s life, however, is based solely on calcuations. If you give them unconditionally, love them and think you are doing the right thing, you will only find yourself slapped, no…. let me say stabbed by reality. Sure, they will find ways of breadcrumbing you. That is also part of their cunning strategy. They are professional breadcrumbers! Don‘t pick up their crumbs thinking they are reciprocating! As much as your big heart still chooses to love them, they will not love you back. They only love power and money. Before you get too attached, count the blessings you are giving them! Be like them a bit. Count things, keep track. An eye for an eye! If there is no reciprocation, de-camp! And I really mean de-camp as in don‘t even give them notice! Remember! If you continuously have to witness that they don’t care about you, believe in it! Take your blindfolds off!
God I wish I knew these things better myself back then! I had all the opportunity to de-camp all along, because I had options. Yet I chose to stay with him because I believed it was the right thing, and I was in fact attached to him. This attachment was very unhealthy. It took me a long time to finally consider my abundantly available options! And I did so. But here’s my advice to you: even if you think you might not have options, you still do. It’s all in your head. When you leave an unhealthy attachment, healthy options come your way.
you have to defend yourself, make it short and to the point.
Self-serving people have a thick wall around them which hinders them from listening to others. They listen only for work or money-related purposes. But if you got something to say, something to get off your chest, if you need them to listen to you, make it short. If you need to defend yourself, say it fast and act upon it. Don‘t much talk, just do it! They don‘t give a sh…. about what you say anyway, so why waste your time? Go and take action instead.
give them too many chances!
Remember!!! If you give them too many chances, they will continue using and abusing you. They will always choose „self“ over sympathy. Any effort you will make to gain their sympathy will be in vain since they may have already gone too far to even realize the importance of justice, compassion, empathy, true love and consideration. Say no and feel no within you!!The more you give them a chance the longer they will prey on your kindness, which they see as weakness. They will do so until the day they believe you no longer serve their purpose, in which case they will kick you to the curb! Before that happens, leave. And when you¹re leaving, make sure you let them know how you feel about them and state your reasons for leaving. Do so briefly, or in writing. Not only will this remind you of why you made the decision to leave, but it may also make a tiny bit of impact on the self-serving jerk you had to put up with for so long – hopefully! Let life take care of the rest, for self-serving people will be taught many harsh lessons in life. They are usually too egocentric, too hard-headed, too arrogant to admit and accept they have made awful mistakes, but deep inside that dreadful abyss called their „soul“, they know what they are paying for, and they know that what goes around comes around. Oh they know sooooo well, as they go through payday. What goes up, must come down!
Self-serving creatures, I believe, will die lonely, with remorse and mental affliction and agony.
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Love’s got everything to do with everything. But first we need to establish what we mean by „love“. Let’s get on the same book before we go through the pages.
What is love and why is it symbolized by a heart?
Think about those moments you were excited about, enthralled or inspired by something. That amazing vacation you were packing up for, that dinner you were invited to, that job you were so wishing to have and you finally got, that amazing painting that captured your attention and gave you a beautiful feeling, that piece of music you could not get enough of that gave you an indescribable feeling of joy….I could give you thousands of examples. But if you think about all those instances, whatever they might be, I am sure you will agree that their common denominator is: your heart was beating faster than usual . Excitement does that to you. We get excited because we’re happy. And when we are experiencing love, we are also happy. Of course there are other less positive incidences that make our hearts beat faster too. When you get angry, nervous or stressed, when you drink too much coffee or smoke (ok….promise not to preach too much in this article…laughs….).
It is obvious that whatever emotions we’re feeling affect our heartbeat. Now, if you have noticed, when your heart is beating faster, it is impossible for you to fall asleep. By the same token, if you are happy and excited about something, the last thing you would be able to do is to sleep. But if you are not excited, let’s say worse, if you’re bored, you will tend to fall asleep faster than usual. Think about that boring meeting you attended, or the boring movies you watched with someone else, and if the person you were watching it with was dull too, oh well….double boredom (my heartfelt sympathies! laughs…) or those boring dinners where all you could do was yawn. These are instances of your heart beating slower than its usual. Even if you were an insomniac, you could easily fall asleep in these situations (laughs….)
Why ist that? Well…when your heart is beating slower, you are not emotionally connected to what you are experiencing. The weaker your connection to your experience, the higher the chances of flatlining. Love is the spark of life…the spark that keeps you alive!
Love is not something to criticize!
The English language uses the word „love“ way more often than some other languages. Germans, for instance (I have to give examples of the languages I speak) are very careful with the word „love“. While an English speaking person uses the word very freely, the careful, untrusting German chooses a different word. The English speaking person says: I love that coffee, food, place, song, etc…The German says: I like to drink that coffee, eat that food, I think that’s a good place, I like that song, etc…… Very rarely do Germans use the verb „love“, and that is part of the cultural and linguistic upbringing. They will even criticize those who do, because to them it is not possible to „just love“ things. They deem it as shallow and fake. There is a deep-rooted belief in the German culture that „love“ is a rare instance and cannot be felt for the collective. The French, on the contrary, go even as far as „adoring“ things and people. They don’t just love, they adore, which makes the experience even more emotional and intense. I can say, for myself, that I almost always get a warm feeling when I‘m around a French speaking person. Of course it does help that I speak the language. So what we speak, and how we communicate has a lot to do with the feelings we create. You don’t speak a language because you are a certain way, rather the other way around. You come across a certain way because of the language you speak and how you communicate, and through time, this can shape a person, a cuture and an entire nation. Now, could it be that one culture is experiencing more love than another?
Indeed yes. Language shapes thought. That’s why Germans come across as cold and unloving people. If you get to know them well, you will find out that not all of them are cold and unloving (well, most and many of them are….laughs…). It’s just the way they express themselves. And how you express yourself shapes your thoughts, and your thoughs are you! Now let me explain my take on that. If you really enjoy something and express your feelings of enjoyment, you will enjoy it even more. Your expession reinforces the feelings you are already feeling. If you like the taste of a particular coffee a lot, and you say you love it while you’re drinking it, you will experience a higher level of pleasure. This is called the „power of suggestion“. Now this is not to say that everyone who says they love something really does love it in the same intensity. To feel the love, you have to feel the love, and not to say you love. You get me? Saying it only reinforces an already existing feeling. So if you express something you have to express it honestly. And if you don’t like the coffee, then damn it, neither drink it nor express it (laughs….). I guess what I’m trying to say is: if you don’t have anything nice to express, express nothing! It’s better for you and the whole world! If you feel love, express it, if you feel hate, keep a lid on it and make sure you are quarantined and there is no risk of you infecting the rest of the world! Do you get me now!? Caveat: If the coffee you did not like was forced down your throat, then by all means make sure you express your repulsion! (laughs…) Remember: As long as there is freedom of choice, it would be healthier and more conducive for all people involved to engage in things that lead to feelings of love and shift their focus and presence away from those things that don’t spark the feelings of love. It is actually easier done that said. If you don’t like sunny weather, sit home and love your dark living room and express how much you love sitting home in your dark living-room, and how that makes you happy. Spread that love by expressing it instead of spreading your hatred towards sunshine! (laughs…..but seriously!)
Here’s how I see love…
Love is an experience that makes you feel happy, and that happiness makes your heart beat faster. Now the delicious coffee might make your heart beat faster for more reasons than your love for it (laughs…). Whether or not what we love is good for us (your dark living-room, for example!) is another question. But the truth is, every time we love anything, in that moment our heart is beating faster. That’s why the symbol of love is heart and not liver, or stomach, or whatnot! (laughs…).
Now we can’t possibly love everything, or can we? Well, it all depends on you and what you do or choose to do. If you choose the things you love, then you experience more love. Yet again, we can’t always choose to do only the things we love. One thing is for sure, though, you should never do something you hate unless you are coerced . So let’s take that right out of our equation. If you fill your life with things, people and activities you like and love, you can only experience love. The sum of like and love is love. No doubt. It’s like mixing sugar with honey. The outcome is still sweet. But there are people out there who just hate on things. They hate their jobs, neighbors, society, even coffee (laughs….), damn it…even your favorite coffee! What’s wrong with these people? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with them: they lack love. And as you have understood me so far, we are not talking about romantic love. We mean love the way I described. These people flatline on anything and everything. They’re the walking dead, and the only thing that keeps them alive is their hatred! (sad, sad, sad…..or should I say scary?). If you start loving life you will see that life will love you right back! And the first step towards loving life is living it!
Love’s got everything to do with it!
Life is about love. Love is everything. Love’s got everything to do with it. From the moment you wake up until you go to bed there are many loving experiences, only if you recognize them. You can love the feeling of warm water on your skin when you take a shower in the morning. You can love the smell and taste of your coffee brewing in you kitchen (by now you might have concluded I am a coffee addict! laughs…). You can love the sound of rain on your window pane while you are drinking that coffee you love, and you can look out the window and love the beautiful trees, the sky, the sun, even the clouds. You can love your job and the people you work with. You can love your neighbors when they smile at you and say hello (and just ignore them when they don’t while wishing them love). You can love that subway driver who waits just for you to get in, before he drives off. You can love the cashier who wishes you a nice day (even if she/he doesn’t…..laughs). You can love that lunch you order, because you ordered your favorite lunch and you can only love it. You can love that beautiful painting on your wall. You can love your freedom, especially knowing that freedom is not granted everywhere in this world. It is your duty, as a human being, to love and spread love. If you are a dead piece of wood, however, it would be hard to expect that of you! (laughs…). Of course you can also choose to ignore all of the above and continue your day oblivious to your blessings. In that case you are neither hating nor loving, you are just ignoring. And this ignorance will certainly not help you experience emotions of love.
happens when you’re ignoring your world?
If there is no feeling of love connected to what you are doing or experiencing, what are you feeling then? Have you ever asked yourself this question? I believe that when there is no love or like, there is apathy. Love can have different shades and intensities, but apathy is the abyss of nothingness, an absolute nothingness. On a daily basis, there are a myriad of things and experiences available to you that you can love or like (keep in mind: like is a fainter offspring of love). The question is, why shouldn’t you acknowledge them by expressing your love in words? Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. What if you are not experiencing the feeling of hate? Does that mean you are loving? The way I look at it , the answer would be NOT NECESSARILY. Again, you could just be experiencing apathy. So now the obvious answer to the 64 million dollar question: „Is the absence of love the same as the presence of hate?“ would also be a definite NO. Hate is a stronger version of dislike. Love is a stronger version of like. If I don’t hate something, I might still dislike it, so no love there. If I don’t love something, I might still like it, so no hate there. Do I sound like Aristotle to you now? (laughs…..sort of….). So don‘t be ingorant of your environment. There are so many things to like and love. Just take a pick and begin! Not hating is not enough! Not disliking is neither here nor there. If you want to feel alive, and know that your presence is making a happy difference, you have to first get rid of your apathy, and then direct it towards the feelings of love. The absence of hate is sure better than its presence. But to experience love, you have to actively love. Stop ignoring your environment. Open your eyes and consciously look for things and people you know you will like and love. If you do this actively, you will feel a world of difference in your energy. And by energy, I mean your aura. You aura is what you radiate, and what you radiate affects yourself and the ones in your radius! 😉
Love is fuel efficient and better for your environment!
If you want to be in an elevated state of mind, you have to make sure you have no love deficiency. The lower your love deficiency the more elevated your spirit, and that is what you project onto others. Make love the fuel of your life and you‘ll move faster and lighter. People who are continuously disliking or hating spread bad energy. If you mix a highly deadly poison with a less potent poison it will still be deadly poison! If your days are filled with dislikes (less potent poision) and hates (highly deadly poison), you will be a deadly poison to yourself and the people around you! Not to mention that hating drains your energy and makes you heavier! It’s a waste of energy! Hating is not fuel efficient and pollutes your environment!
Put a little love in everything!
Put a little love in everything you do, and it will taste sweeter! And if you think you are not capable of liking something, let alone loving it, then you have no business doing it or being around it to begin with! Shift your focus away from it and put that valuable focus of yours on something you do like or love. This is how you can generate more love. And if you consciously do that you will never be love deficient. This means you will spread that love and elevate the spirit of other people around you as well. Sharing love does not diminish it, on the contrary, it multiplies it. It’s like a virus. Same with hate. Share your hate, put it on people and things, and soon you will have nothing but hate and toxicity around you.
Have you ever made the experience of stepping into a room of people and immediately feeling anxious or nervous? It’s enough for one single loatheful person in your environment to poison the atmosphere. You will feel it right away. The more loatheful people you have in your environment, the harder it gets to literally breathe, unless you are one of them and feed off of toxicity. As we all know, poison does not kill poison! (sad laughs….). By the same token, when you step into a room and immediatey feel at ease and warm, it’s most definitely because of the love one person or more people emanated at that moment. The more loving people are in your environment, the better and fuzzier you will feel. That’s how it goes. That’s what we mean by good vibes and bad vibes, and sad vibes. Good vibes is the presence of love, sad vibes is the absence of love. And bad vibes is the presence of toxic hatred. You see? You see why love’s got everything to do with it?
How to consciously boost your experience of love?
The more time you spend outside your home or office or home office (laughs…) the more the possibilities of finding even more things to love. Sure, you can be loving your job and home, but wouldn’t that be too limiting? You can expand your love horizon by the sheer expansion of your physical horizon. You can take a walk outside, on the street, in the park, anywhere you like and find many impressions you can love. That’s called inspiration and inspiration is a form of love. You can drive less and use public transportation more. Being out there with people makes you more real. Real world is about people in all places and not just at work. People whose world begins and ends somewhere between their living quarters and their workplace (or work commitments, whatever and wherever they might be) have a very stunted view of the world, and by „the world“ I don’t mean our planet earth, I mean the realm of existence, which includes people, things and places. These people might be so-called „globe trotters“ and might have been on endless trips around the world, but they have never connected to people and things at a conscious level. They have limited their experience to getting from A to B and taking care of business. I can’t begin to tell you how sad that is. Remember! The more you connect with your environment the higher your chances of feeling love. Again, I’m not referring to romantic love. On a daily basis, I love the trees, flowers, some streets, some cafes, some restaurants, some parks, some foods, some scenes I observe in the public, etc…. the list goes on and on and I consciously express that love verbally, not worrying how some other people with love deficiency might deem that as shallow! Now caveat: if you notice you are approaching things and people that dampen your spirit, just walk the other way instead of staying there and hating them! Not hating is conducive to experiencing less bad vibes. Imagine you have a very thick winter sweater on and you are sweating. Would it make any sense to hate the heat and sweat you are experiencing? Or wouldn’t it be more logical to just take your sweater off? Any crowd, area or place that is making you sweat is that sweater you don’t need to be wearing! Take it off and put on a T-shirt and you’ll be loving it! Hope you got my analogy.
So why love? Can we be happy without it, be it romantic or non romantic?
Because it is easy. Loving is the most natural and the easiest of all feelings. And I do truly believe that without it a human being is not able to be happy. Not even a dog will be happy without love. It is an instinct we are all born with. Why not activate it in as many areas as possible? It is bestowed upon us, yet we choose to ignore it! Why do we do this? It is one of the easiest things to do on this planet.
we learn how to love?
Of course we can. It is a conscious experience. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, until it becomes such an integral part of you that it would be unimaginable for you to live without it. And that will certainly radiate from you. When you radiate love, you’ll produce more of it. The more you produce love the more loving your environment….and this vicious circle is not so „vicious“ at all! It is an absolutely fabulous circle.!
Do we have to force love?
Of course not! If you absolutely don’t like something or someone, you don’t have to force yourself into liking or loving it or them. All you need to do is to shift your focus towards something or someone you do like or love. It is all about where you put your focus. And if you find yourself chronically disliking or hating things and people, then maybe it is time you sought professional help by a psychiatrist!
there things or people that don’t deserve our love?
Possible, but you will never find out unless you try. You should always give things and people the benefit of a doubt. You can’t just hate things and people without a reason. If you feel like hating without a reason, again, do consult a shrink! If love does not come to you naturally, you seriously need medical and mental assistance. Love is like appetite. If you chronically and perpetually don’t feel hungry, you will definitely pay a visit to a physician or you will be malnourished. Love is food for your soul. The less you experience it the more malnourished and undernourished your soul will be. An undernourished soul is a dead piece of wood. Do you want to be that dead piece of wood? If yes, well….Wood Luck! (sad laughs….)
Think about those people you met who gave you the impression of a dead piece of wood. Would you like to be them? Is that what you aspire to be? A dead piece of wood? Do you think the dead piece of wood will ever grow? A dead piece of wood is dead!
Like many other things in a free society, how we live life is a matter of our own choice. Not only that, it is a conscious choice we make without even acknowledging it is conscious. How we live depends on the sum total of our choices. That’s what life is really all about. Sum total of all our choices. We are free beings with free will. Why we don’t tap into love more often is only our own shortcoming. We are the sole culprits of our destiny. It is not written in the stars, it is all in our hands, or should I say hearts! Stars are just signs and synchronicities that help and guide us towards what we already know to be true. Every time you are unsure, ask yourself this simple question: do I want to be as good as a dead piece of wood?
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Ask yourself this: Why am I setting goals for the new year
Why do you set goals for the new year if your past experience shows that you will abort project? Why bother? Is it like some sort of buried treasure you get out of your chest (pun intended) every year before the new year only to find yourself burying it again some time in the new year? If that’s what you are doing then perhaps you should review your motives. For one thing, do you always need to achieve something, be it in the physical, mental or emotional realm? Or do you just want to be happy? This takes me to the next point…….
Be mindful, not mind full
Let me tell you something…. life has taught me, that if you constantly want to achieve something, you will never be happy and if you always want to be happy, you will never achieve anything! Catch 22! I got you all confused, didn’t I? Let me elaborate on this a bit. When you are on that mad track of future achievement, you will also be on the sad track of missing out on the present. These two things are oxymorons. You can’t have them both. And that sad track will sooner or later kill your motivation and make you procrastinate, in which case, you will find yourself in the never-ending vicious circle of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. You need to declutter your mind and purge out the thoughts of all the things you think you “have” to do. When your mind is full with aims that are more or less obligations, you will only find yourself in a hamster wheel. People will see you as that “busy” person, who gets things done, but are you getting them done or out of the way? If you have to get things “out of the way”, you are doing yourself injustice, and this injustice is what leads to procrastination. If you decide to do something, because you have an innate desire to do it, you will never be relieved when it’s done and over with and you will never want it “out of the way”! You will enjoy every bit of it while you’re doing it, which makes you a “mindful” person, as opposed to a “mind full” one. You will just be satisfied and proud you did it. And guess what? You’d do it again!
Remember, „now“ will soon be gone forever, and that is the only guaranteed „forever“ you can get in life. (laughs….) Likewise, if you are on the elusive track of wanting to be happy all the time, the way happiness has been defined by others, you will find yourself hitting walls, no matter which way you choose. Doing what makes you happy is not about a concrete, tangible thing that will forever make you happy. Don’t fall victim to the pep talk of „do what makes you happy“, if you think happiness is something to find outside yourself. That’s the mistake most people make. What makes one internally happy might and most probably will be different for each of us. The truth is, life is about balance. If you can achieve balance in the things you do, the only possible outcome is fulfillment and happiness, and for that, you don’t need a resolution. No one can tell you what makes you happy, but yourself. It comes from within you. It’s intrinsic, not extrinsic. If you are constantly worried about what others (outside influence) might think of you or how you might be judged, you will never do those things you (the inner you) really long to do. So make sure that you are the one who gets to choose what makes you happy, and once you really know what it is, there is no way you will ever procrastinate on it. And you know what? You won’t even need a new year’s resolution for it!
a balance in your daily life
No one on this planet is constantly feeling happy and cheerful. We all know that life is full of ups and downs and that we all go through a myriad of events and emotions whether or not we want it. The key to striking a blance is to think more positively while not expecting instant results. Now this „positive thinking“ you all have heard of is not about telling yourself that everything is going to be ok. It is about knowing that everything WILL be ok. That’s just how it is. Nothing lasts forever, good OR bad. Everything changes. So if you find yourself feeling miserable, do something that elevates your spirit. Put the „I feel miserable“ on the backburner, and the thing that elevates your spirit on the front burner. All the while, remember that the miserable thingy will sooner or later subside. It’s a natural law. Meanwhle, enjoy your front burner project, which could be many simple things and everyone has them. That’s how striking a balance works. When you find this balance, nothing, no matter how earth shattering, can scare or demotivate you. You will always find something inside you that will take you to where you want to be. That is the meaning of „positive thinking“. We all know people who think about the negative side of things. Those negative people you want to shake to snap out of it! They claim to be „realists“ and that is very true. However, your reality is what you make of it. Everybody’s reality is by their own making. If I love a hot summer day and enjoy every bit of it, and my neighbor hates it because it’s too hot, we both have our realities. I love the warmth and feel happy. He hates the warmth and feels miserable. That’s his reality, we are both realists. Whatever instance you find yourself in, you have 3 options: 1. you actively like it…… 2. you actively dislike it…..3. you actively shift your focus. It’s all up to you. If you actively like it, you will enjoy it and be happy. If you actively dislike it, you will not enjoy it and be miserable. And if you actively shift your focus because you don’t like it and it bothers you, you will give yourself a chance to pursue something else that you enjoy, and you will be too busy being happy that the thing you didn’t like will have no power over you. It will be there for a while, and you can certainly not sweep it under the rug, but shifting your focus to something else will help you cope with it. Choosing your reality means choosing your focus. That’s how positivity works. And positive people can indeed be realists and live a balanced life. Again, you don’t need a new year’s resolution for striking a balance. It’s a lifestyle.
I’m sure you’ve heard that one too many times. But seriously: what do you really want in life? What or whom do you put ahead of what or whom? (laughs….). Remember, life is short. That one morning that you wake up to realize that life is short, might be the morning you will NOT wake up to realize that life is short! (sad laughs….). No one is going to create your life for you. You are the sole creator with all rights reserved. So find out what truly matters to you (from within) and simply do it. You don’t have to wait until the new year to resolve to that. We don’t need resolutions. All we need is to tap into ourselves.
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Three Simple Things Happy People Do Everyday
Take a look around you and try to spot a happy person. Now by happy I mean content, really content. And believe me, we can all more or less detect who is really happy. Take a look at that happy person you have spotted and try to see what’s different about them? If you do so, you will discover that there is an energy around that person that almost instantaneously draws you. They pull you in without your resistance. It’s as if they had an invisible forcefield that attracts you. And once you get closer to that person, you will see certain traits in them that set them apart from the so-called „unhappy“ folks. Let me tell you three simple things I have discovered about truly happy people.
Happy people do kind things, first for themselves, then for others
To be able to be there for others, to lend them a hand, to be a shoulder to cry on, to listen, and to do all those generous things kind people do, you will have to make sure that you are coming frrom an emotionally safe place yourself. It’s like that oxygen mask on the plane you need to place on your own face first before you are able to put on your child’s face. If you don’t take care of yourself, you are not going to be able to take care of another. If you don’t do kind things for yourself, you will not put yourself in a position that will be conducive to doing kind things for others. Being generous and kind requires having your own stores of positive energy, which can only be replenished by continuously engaging in kind actions towards yourself. Abandoning yourself is the surest and fastest way of finding your stores depleted. Once you are kind to yourself, you will feel more positive and willing to be kind to others. Happiness is inevitably the most prominent offspring of kindness. If you’re kind to yourself, you’ll be kind to others. In other words, when you make yourself happy, you are able to make others happy as well.
Happy people are grateful people
Gratitude is not overrated. Its benefits are way more obvious than any vitamin supplements you might be taking. Gratefulness goes together with mindfulness, which is focussing on the present and cherishing what you do have in the present moment rather than longing for something you might be feeling a lack of. By being grateful for what you have, you only put your mental focus on a positive field of energy that breeds positive emotions. Expressing gratitude promotes positive feelings, and positive feelings promote feelings of joy and happiness. The more frequent this mindful practice of gratitude, the broader your mindset in the realm of the positive. Once gratitude becomes your permanent mindset, you are going to think and behave in positive ways that can only lead to more and more positive things and events in your life. It’s like muscle training. The more you flex what I call your „gratefulness muscles“, the more life will hand you happy and joyful reasons to be even more grateful for. Gratefulness breeds happiness, not the other way around.
One of the first decisions you will make, if you want to be happy, is to be happy! This might sound absurd, but it’s actually very straight forward. Happiness is a choice not some random good luck. We all have our shares of what we call good and bad times. Nobody is exempt! One of the very first things happy people do is to choose to be happy. If you practice kindness and gratefulness, you have many reasons to smile. A kind person does not frown while being kind. A grateful person does not have a sour face while feeling grateful. Be kind, be grateful and you will find yourself smiling more often. It costs nothing, and the rewards will be abundant. Of course you can’t force yourself to smile if you are nasty and mean to others. You cannot have a genuine smile if all you are thinking of is hurting or tricking someone else. To feel good you have to do good. Once this becomes your conscious choice, you will have no other outcome than happiness. And by all means, do express the happiness you feel by smiling. A smile is easy to pass on. It is contagious like a yawn. Don’t be discouraged, though, if some people do not return your smile. It is not you, it’s them. They might be lacking empathy. Not everyone has empathy. The same way some people are short-sighted, some are hard of hearing, some have speech impediments……some people don’t have empathy. They will not reciprocate your smile because they don’t feel endeared. They don’t feel endeard because they lack empathy. And keep in mind, people who lack empathy, do not know that they lack empathy.So they do not suffer. That’s why it is very important not to expect them to return your smile and even more important not to suffer if they don’t. Keep up the good work and pass on the good vibes regardless. Don’t let anything or anyone discourage you.
At the end of the day, you really don’t have to do much to be happy. Real happiness is more attainable than you think. Your reactions to the events of your life are what creates your state of mind. Happiness is nothing but a state of mind that is solely created by you. If you really want to be happy, you need to work on it everyday, and this work is really very simple. It is not rocket science. Be mindful, be grateful, be kind, and life will automatically put a genuine, heartfelt, happy smile on your face, which you can pass on to the rest of the world. You can pass it on because you will really feel it from within. You will feel it everyday because you practice it everyday. You will practice it everyday because you will see how easy it is. And that’s what happiness really is. Some of the easiest things in life are among those we assume to be the hardest.
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Have you ever encountered a narcissist?
Let’s up the pain intensity of the question: Have you ever lived with a narcissist? Maybe this got your curiosity. You might already have a good idea of the behavior of a narcissist. You might even have read books about or worked with them. But I believe that you will truly know one if you have lived with or God forbid are still living with one. If that’s the case, my sincere sympathies!
Dear reader: I am not a psychologist, I am only an ardent observer of people’s behavior, not to put them under a magnifying glass but to merely understand them. Why? We are social beings surrounded by people on a day-to-day basis. Unless you are a hermit, you’re going to have to find ways of relating to others. Why? Because you’re not a narcissist. It is everyone’s spiritual and emotional duty to heed others out of affinity. Affinity is everything. If you don’ t feel that affinity, that love, chances are you are a narcissist.
A narcissist has no compassion. Compassion is one of the most beautiful feelings one can have. Without it you will turn into an ugly, soulless entity. As a college teacher and company coach, I find an incredible amount of gratification relating to people, listening to their stories, empathizing and sympathizing with them. My compassion towards others is what fuels me and gets me going. Without this sharing and caring, life would literally lose its meaning for me. I always feel honored being privy to people’s thoughts, stories and situations. It shows their trust towards me. This trust and affinity is something you can never buy. It is earned, and it is indeed a beautiful thing to have acquired. It’s healthy power: power of love. Love and compassion are emotions to feel towards others as well as oneself. Self love is not to be mistaken with selfishness. In fact, how you treat others is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. Narcissists don’t have love or compassion for themselves OR other people, they just put themselves above others. The only feeling narcissists thrive in is power and superiority. They are only about one-upmanship to the bitter end, All other feelings are irrelevant.
Now let me go ahead and define a narcissist for you. My definition is based on my personal experience, backed by some scientific data, which I will duly quote here. When you are done reading my article, by all means feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.
According to the United States’ National Library of Medicine, „a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has an excessive sense of self-importance, an intense preoccupation with themselves, and a lack of empathy for others.“
Now let me elaborate on each:
A Narcissist is self important.
A narcissist feels grandiose, i.e. superior to others. How they do so is by considering and treating others as inferior to themselves. Their attitude towards others is of a condescending nature, unless they deem others as „socially important“ or „more important“ than themselves. Everyone else is below them and will be looked down upon. They lift themselves up by putting others down and they might not be even aware of this behavior. It is their normal way of treating people. They make you feel inferior through constant criticism and intimidation. According to psychologist Stephen Johnson, a narcissist is someone who has „buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self. This alternate persona often comes across as grandiose and above others.“
We can therefore infer that the inflated feeling of superiority and self-importance stems from a deep-rooted lack of self confidence caused perhaps in early childhood and adolescence. Narcissists are always skeptical of people and situations. They are notorious pessimists, considering themselves highly logical and realistic while being sarcastic and condescending towards positive-minded people, calling them fools. They have little to no trust or faith in anyone or anything but themselves. They are insecure, dark individuals with a very low self esteem. They often overcompensate their lack of self confidence by displaying snobbish and patronizing attitude towards others. They thrive in their haughty arrogance.
Narcissists might call their colleague, sibling, relative or spouse stupid, unstable or crazy and might even suggest a medical evaluation of their mental health. It is their way of making the other person feel insecure. Only by making others feel insecure do they feel their own power and superiority. They just hate to be outsmarted. If they find out you have figured out their manipulative behavior, they will start invalidating your emotions and feelings. That’s how they roll. Once they dim your light they begin to shine in their own empire of egotism! According to Steve Bressert Ph.D., narcissism is a disorder primarily prevalent in males, so feel free to refer to the majority as a “he”.
A narcissist is obsessed with success.
You heard me right. They are obsessed with success. How obsessed depends on the degree of their narcissism which varies from narcissist to narcissist. They are solely preoccupied and focused on themselves and their own achievements, disregarding everyone else in the process. Their very high expectation of themselves forces them to always want to win. In fact, they hate to lose, be it in a game, sports or in real life situations. This high expectation is not to serve a noble cause. It is only to inflate their own ego which might have been dampened in one way or another in their childhood, adolescence, by parents or peers. While a healthy, loving person strives to achieve a purpose and overall success in life and not just in career, a narcissist thrives in gaining power and control over people and situations in personal life and career. This is the kind of success they are obsessed with. Their aim is to prove to the society that they are the best, for the sake of being the best and the feeling of superiority it brings to them, not for the sublime sake of serving people, helping or creating a loving, positive and conducive environment. Ambitions of success and obtaining power and influence are what a narcissist is driven by. What’s scary is that they don’t heed or care who they might be hurting in the process. It will be irrelevant to their personal ambition.
They are often very successful career people, while maintaining that not many people will understand the compexity, intricacy and importance of their job. They might not say it in words, but they see themselves as gods. They will often say that very few people have things in common with them. They see others as intellectually limited and inferior to them and not able to comprehend their projects and endeavors. Most people are stupid and they are superior to most poeple. Period. That’s what a narcissist thinks. Given this obsesession with success and conviction of their own superiority, it is very common to find them in positions of power and influence. You will find many narcissists as politicians, CEOs, top managers, Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc… They are constantly driven to prove themselves, which as mentioned above, is primarily due to a low sense of self esteem. Deep inside, a narcissist is afflicted with the fear of rejection. The source of this fear stems from their upbringing, family origin, parents’ social status or lack thereof, etc. They project their own hidden feelilngs of inferiority onto others, thus putting themselves on a pedestal in the process and feeling important. Narcissists are self-serving, egotistical individuals driven by success AT ANY PRICE. They will take advantage of others to achieve their own ends. They will utilize whomever they can get their hands on for their own gain while feeling no remorse.
A narcissist lacks empathy.
Individuals with NPD have little to no interest in other people’s feeings. Their lack of empathy makes them unable to feel or appreciate feelings that are not their own. It leads to the inability to feel love, remorse, guilt, sadness, happiness, shame, and the like. That is precisely why they often become super achievers at any price. To them there IS no price. The end does not even need to justify the means! If you were ever thinking of expressing your feelings to a narcissist, don’t even try! It wouldn’t be any different than expressing yourself to a brick wall! If you feel like you need a shoulder to cry on, any random dog on the street would be a much better choice. A narcissist is not the one to turn to.
They will drop cold comments downsizing your situation and demanding an evaluation of your mental health. They will never acknowledge your feelings, because it’s not theirs and therefore not important.They are just not able to put themselves in your shoes and feel you. Instead, they will make you feel more and more insecure about being you. They will call you overdramatic and accuse you of desiring attention. Instead of simply reflecting love and showing the sympathy and empathy you much need, they will cold-heartedly kick you to the curb for wasting their valuable time.
Other indicators you might be dealing with a narcissist:
Narcissists don’t talk to or with you. They talk AT you. Obviously this implies that they prefer to tell you what to do as opposed to how to do it. And they usually want it done fast and efficiently.
Narcissists hate to explain things. If they have to do so, there is a good chance they will be placing their index finger on their lips as they begin to think about the explanation. That is their subconscious way of telling the other person to shut their mouth as in shut up. They want to talk when they choose to talk, not when they are asked to. They would make the worst teachers!
Narcissists use the pronoun “I” a lot – regardless of their language . They may even repeat the pronoun several times in a row, as in: I…I….I….. while they’re thinking about the rest of the sentence. Their focus is on themselves, not on what they are going to say, hence their frequent usage of “I”.
Narcissists never give a straight forward, honest answersuch as yes or no. They will answer in a manipulative, devious way, always leaving you uncertain. This keeps the other person in a perpetual state of need (as in needing an answer). By being needed, yet not delivering what’s needed they feel powerful. If you are experiencing a state of limbo with someone, there is a good chance you are dealing with a narcissist who would like to keep you in suspense so they can continue manipulating you.
Narcissists don’t much like to make eye contact. They might do it in a business context, but even then it is very erratic. As they speak to you, their eyes will often roll around and look at you very shortly. When they are concentrating on their next sentence, they close their eyes. Why? Because the other person’s face distracts them. Why? Because they think the other person might have suspected their manipulative strategies. Why? Because chances are they are about to twist or tweak the truth, if not lie. So closing their eyes is always their best bet.
Narcissists are very secretive people. They will rarely include you in on their thoughts or plans. They don’t like to share information. They only come to you to tell you what to do. That’s where the conversation with a narcissist begins and ends. That’s how they’re in control of their environment.
Narcissists are impatient and hate to wait. They hate to wait for the waiter, cab driver, traffic light, the car in front of them, you name it! They think everything and everyone is wasting their time, and they won’t hesitate to react abrasively if not aggressively in such situations.
Narcissists often laugh or smile sarcastically. If you’re lucky, that’s the only unhostile facial expression you will get out of them. And when they do so, it is only their mouth that’s laughing. Their eyes will be busy showing contempt. In fact, their usual demeanor is that of contempt, impatience, resentment and boredom, or they simply have no expression on their face. They are adept at poker face, if they choose to. Remember…they will always put on a friendly face in public, especially at work or while dealing with people they deem as “important”, but once they’re around people who should really matter in their lives, they go ahead and put on their usual face, i.e. anywhere from emotionless to contemptuous, often followed by a sarcastic smile.
It’s what’s within their soul: an abyss of emptiness! It’s as if you were looking at a face without a face! That scary! It hurts and haunts you. If you are a sensitive person as I am, DO NOT STAY AROUND SUCH A PERSON. They will damage you!
Narcissists are master manipulators. They manipulate you by keeping you in the dark. They keep you in the dark by withholding information. They withhold information by delivering half-truths. They deliver half-truths by not giving straight-forward answers.
Sounds familiar? Have you dealt with one? I hope not. But if you’re reading this article, there is a good chance you have. By now you might probably be wondering what I suggest for putting a narcissist in their place. I will tell you what I have done and what has worked for me.
The only way to put a narcissist in their place is to flip the script and break free.
You heard me. Run as far away from them and as fast as you can. Cut all ties. Cut the cord. Pull the plug. Flip the script and go! If you spot a narcissist, there is no good reason why you should stay around them, unless you would like to inflict pain upon yourself. I did that for a while…unfortunately too long, and let me tell you…it wasn’t easy. It was extremely painful. The pain was excruciating. But once I realized I was dealing with a narcissist, I left the situation as speedily as I could. Believe me, I still had my doubts months after I left, but I eventually began to see that it was one of the most brilliant decisions I ever made in my entire life. Why brilliant? Well, isn’ t saving yourself brilliant? You tell me!
Is there a cure for narcissism? Unlike other disorders, there EXISTS one, and only one cure for narcissism that COSTS NOTHING. However, it is very unlikely that the narcissist would take the prescription. The cure is a COMPLETE DEATH OF THE UNHEALTHY EGO. For the narcissist to be willing to take the prescription, they would have to be taught very harsh lessons by life. If they are as smart and superior in intellect as they claim to be, it would be in their best interest to take that prescription before they kick the bucket. Otherwise, they will end up in a very dark and sad spot called emptiness.
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What makes you tick? This might sound like a very abrupt introduction, but seriously…what makes YOU tick? Take some time and think about the answer. If you can’t think of an answer, take a look at the following image while letting your thoughts run….
The average person can almost always give a concrete answer to questions such as:
What’s your favorite color/drink/food/day of the week/country…….?
What would you like to do now? – although not all average people would know the answer to this question either (laughs…).
Where would like to go on vacation?
And so on….
You got the idea of what the average person can give a concrete answer to.
But when that same average person gets the question „what makes you tick?“, they will not always have an answer handy. It’s a very simple question, though….or is it? If it is, why does it leave many people clueless? And do you think that if you can’t answer this question easily you are less than average? (laughs……). No worries. It just means you are a very confused individual. In my opinion, not knowing what makes you tick is a sign of not knowing yourself.
So what’s to do?
„Nosce te ipsum! „- „Know thyself“
More than just a fancy latin phrase, stemming from a Greek aphormism…. do you know „thyself“? Because to know what makes you tick, you will first have to know yourself. And how you get there is simply by not ignoring your emotions. What and how you feel about any given situation can teach you a lot about yourself. Let’s break this down to simple questions. Here are some examples.
What/how do you feel when you:
smell something (food, fragrant, scent, odor, etc… from mild to strong and everything in between)?
see different shades of light (from bright to dark and everything in between)?
hear a sound (noise, nature, music,etc… from soft to loud and everything in between)?
touch something (from soft to rough, hot to cold and everything in between)?
And whatever it is you’re feeling, can you describe it with a word? Can you put that word in a sentence? For instance, one might say: when I hear a sound of nature, say the sea or the wind, I feel „serene“ and this „serenity“ makes me very content. Or: when I hear any sound of nature, I feel nervous, thinking about the next tsunami (no laughs here…) and it makes me very uncomfortable.
Do you have a word or sentence to describe what and how you feel in any given moment? If you do, chances are you have an idea of who you are, thus know yourself. However, no one knows themselves fully, but the more you are in touch with your emotions, the more in depth your knowledge of yourself.
For instance, I know that on a cold, rainy day I have to eat a warm, spicy soup, while listening to classical guitar, covered by a soft, fuzzy blanket, smelling a jasmin incense, with my curtains wide open, windows ajar so as to allow me to smell and hear the rain, a couple of candles lit on my coffee table regardless of the time of the day, and oh……if I happen to be eating bread with my warm, spicy soup, that bread had better have sour dough in it! Yes…that precise! Now, if the day were warm and rainy, as opposed to cold and rainy, then the picture would be very different (laughs….). Likewise, if I were at work on such a day, the details and intensities would vary. Nonetheless, once I create the environment that makes me feel at ease, then I start ticking! (laughs…..). What makes you tick, gets you motivated, gets you up, gets you going. You just do what makes you happy. Apply this to any situation in life and you’ll find yourself more and more in tune with your environment, no matter how much that environment happens to be going against you. There should absolutely be no shame attached to tending to your own needs. Got that?
The thing is, life is full of instances with their own variations and intensities. The more you are in touch with what you feel in each and every circumstance, the more you can work around it to make it less difficult, or more enjoyable for that matter. We cannot and will not be able to always change the circumstances. In fact, often this will not be the case. But what we can do, is to change the way we feel about them, by tweaking our environment, at least to our partial liking.
Those who don’t believe in rainbows and butterflies may feel free to have the rain and the flies!
If you grew up in a family learning no matter what the circumstance „you’ll have to tough it out while suffering in silence“, you might want to say, instead: „no matter what the circumstance, I will add a few things I like to it and it won’t be as bad, or will be better. We might have learned, through our upbringing and by hearing the „wise words“ of our parents that „life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies“. Partly true, but we can always try and add some vivid color to the grey, light to the dark, sweet to the bitter, laughter to the tears, etc…. Those who don’t believe in rainbows and butterflies, may feel free to have the rain and the flies! Don’t be dumbfounded if you hear from someone like me that you were not born to suffer. It is your duty to make your own life easier, enjoy it and see the rainbows and butterflies in it. If others don’t deem this as appropriate, don’t hesitate to deem their opinion as unsolicited in return.
You know what I mean, right?
Live your life before you leave your life
You don’ t really think I forgot the title of my article, do you? (laughs…..)
This one should be self evident. „Live your life“ means, by golly, LIVE! When we „live“ we mean live everything, including work (a sigh of relief to workaholics? Nope! But to people who work). Now let me define the verb „live“. You don’t have to take my definition as absolute. In fact, I do not claim to be an expert in definitions. I only have my own definitions that work for me. So take it from there, with no liabilities. Are we good? So here’s my definition: I like to use the German term „erleben“ which means „to experience“ because it has the word „leben“ in it, which means „live“ and „life“. To me, I live life when I experience the process. Only then will I feel something. If I don’t feel, I consider myself dead, as in not „a-live“. I guess you could also say that you are not living as long as you are not feeling. So I believe that to live means to experience, not just go through the motions. We have to keep our feelings activated. That simple.
There are a zillion ways to feel, with all the shades in between.
Now feelings aren’t always about happiness or sadness. Emotions aren’t always negative. Some folks are afraid to use the term „emotions“ thinking it denotes „moodiness“. Emotions have little to do with moodiness.There are a zillion ways to feel with all the shades in between. And by the way, don’t worry. Even if you don’t find the right words to describe them, it is ok as long as you feel them. Just hire me, and I will help you find the perfect terminology! (laughs….)
Before you pass over…
People who have lost touch with their emotions stop feeling their situations and circumstances. Knowing a circumstance is one thing, feeling it is another. Knowing without feeling is just a mental trap, very similar to an illusion. Knowing something is the door, feeling it is the key. If you lose the key, your door is no longer safe! Got that? Unless you decide to build a brick wall. Well in that case, go ahead and enjoy your rain and flies behind your wall (sad laughs…).
We will all one day pass to the other side. So wouldn’t it be nice if we lived on this side before we passed over?
I call life a free-will zone. It’s not too late to start a new beginning….not until you push up the daisies (laughs….).
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If you intuit, you will get into it! Practice makes perfect
The moment you know that you know something, but you just don’t know why (laughs…). It might sound funny, but that’s exactly how intuition works. No hocus pocus, just an inner knowing that should not be ignored. When you instinctively know something, you may not find any logical reason for knowing or better yet sensing what you know. That inner voice you have an uncanny urge to follow is your intuition. That’s something few people choose to tap into. After all, we live in a digital world and most of us are ruled by technology. Why should we leave any space for intuition? Sad, isn’t it?
I am going to relate to you what I have learned about intuition. What I’m about to share with you is based on my own experience. I am not a psychologist nor a sociologist. I just pay heed to people and situations and am very aware of my environment. I use my senses to their full potential, because they have been given to me for free (laughs…..to you too, by the way!), and it would be a pity if I did not let them guide me through mindfulness. So now let me tell you how I see intuition.
You can’t tap into your intuition if you are using your head too much
Your mind is a valuable tool. Use it for statistics, mathematics, etc….best tool ever. For that, obviously, it needs some kind of external input. It is programmed by the input it receives externally. Intuition, on the other hand, is not a regularly recurring process. It is not a standing order. It is not fed externally.Your intuition kicks in before you start thinking anything. It comes out of nowhere, and it disappears just as fast as it came. You can’t control it. All you can do is to choose to either trust it or not. If you use your head too much, i.e. if too much heed is paid to your thoughts, intuition is ignored as a result. This doesn’t mean you should be completely mindless, either (laughs….). It just means that if your intuition is telling you something, simply let your mind translate it. Your intuition is like a messenger. Your mind is a decoder. Allow the message to be delivered, and let your mind quickly decode and translate it into an executable language. If you are not using your head too much, you can allow it to do a proper decoding.
You can’t tap into your intuition if you are ruled by your ego
Our intuition is a blessing! It is our internal GPS that is there to guide us. When you’re faced with making a decision, your ego always comes up with reasons why you should or shouldn’t do a certain thing. Sometimes the list of pros and cons your ego presents you with is so long that it makes you feel helplessly clueless. The more clueless you become, the slighter your inkling and the more strategies and logical reasoning you will feed into the process until you believe to be absolutely sure of the soundness of your decision. These pros and cons are based on previous experiences. Your ego believes to be making the right decision, and you let it do so by submitting to it. Your intuition, on the contrary, will always only give you one answer with no reason attached to it. No explanation, no strategy, no calculation will be at hand. It’s pure instinct. How do you know it’s right? You don’t (laughs…) but most of the time you will find out it is. The less you are ruled by your ego’s long and wordy list of reasons, the more you can rely on your intuition’s short and sweet message which always comes to you before your ego starts chattering away! Rely on what you hear first! That timing is crucial!
You can’t tap into your intuition if you’re coming from a place of mistrust
Let me tell you something about trust. In my experience, most trustful people are also very intelligent and tend to make more intelligent decisions than those who lack trust. Now, this doesn’t work in the reverse order, i.e. trusting others will not automatically make you intelligent. This means that by using your intuition, you will become a better judge of character and situations, which in turn will help you trust people and things more readily. Better judges make better decisions and quicker. If you are continuously mistrustful, you won’t allow your mind, let alone your intuition to come in. Mistrustful people stall. They simply stall and the more they stall the more they risk going backwards, which is kind of like a nightmare, if you can follow me. So using your intuition actively leads to intelligent decisions. The more you trust your intuition, the more heed you will pay to whom and what is worthy of your trust and the sounder your decisions (keep in mind that not everyone IS worthy of your trust, especially if their actions have proven otherwise). This goes to show that the sounder your decisions, the more intelligent you can consider yourself to be. Point blank. Congratulations!
You can’t tap into your intuition if you are relying too much on technology
This particular argument is no doubt obvious! If your are constantly using a device, scrolling up and down (smartphone, laptop, tablet, you name it), how do you suppose you’re ever going to notice your environment? Using an electronic gadget means you are ignoring everything else around you. In any given environment, a physically healthy person should be able to see, hear, smell, touch, feel and sometimes taste a multitude of things simultaneously. The more you activate your senses, the sharper they will become. When you are using an electronic gadget, you are limiting your senses to your device. You will mostly see and touch and perhaps hear. Not only that, to make the matters worse, this seeing, touching and hearing will be given to your gadget only! On top of that, you won’t feel, you won’t smell, and definitely won’t taste. Using all your senses simultaneously and regularly helps you expand your take on your environment and tap into your sixth sense, i.e. intuition. That’s the only way. And by God I have experienced that. How? By not constantly seeking a gadget’s company, confirmation (or comfort, should pity be the case!).
You can’t tap into your intuition if you are not actively practicing empathy
Let me ask you a simple question: What happens to you internally when you see another person cry, suffer or undergo some kind of pain? Do you feel their pain and suffering? Do you try to help in any form or shape? Does it affect your emotions? If you have empathy the answer to all these questions is yes. Now what if you feel nothing? What if someone else’s pain and sadness does not touch you in any way? What if you walk by as if you did not even see them? What if your face looks blank because you feel blank inside? Does that mean you have no empathy? Possibly! Were you born that way? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe your empathy has been underused and has shut down as a result. That is a very possible scenario. This happens to people who have cut off their emotions due to a variety of reasons (e.g. stressful jobs, false friends, family upbringing, etc…). If you cut off your emotions you will habitually lack empathy until it becomes your normal way of life. In order to empathize, you have to be able to imagine yourself in someone else’ s shoes. If you have been continuously suppressing your emotions you will kill that imagination and end up losing your empathy. This, coupled with a job that is very structured and requires little to no creativity and imagination, will incrementally turn you into an emotionless person. You will thrive in your career because you are a super robot which brings in super results with no emotions, no love, no imagination and no empathy for others. This is how some super achievers become super achievers: at the peril of their emotions and what makes a person beautiful. Paradoxically, you might seem stable. From the external vantage point, you might seem to have it all together. Your life might appear to be on an even keel. But once others find themselves in a conversation with you, they will wonder if they aren’t in some sort of a monolog! (sad laughs….). If you lack empathy, you will only stick to facts and experiences drawn from those facts. There are no more emotions to tap into. You will stick to facts because you believe facts to be predictable and emotions not. The more you allow this vicious circle to envelope you, the slimmer your chances of regaining that empathy you once had, unless you were born an autist, in which case none of the things I just said apply to you. Practicing empathy starts with listening and paying attention to others and your environment. It can always get better if you listen and care more. That’s how it gets activated and remains continuously charged.
Empathy is to be felt through people and connecting to their emotions. Commit yourself to facts and figures and ignore people’s emotions, say good bye to empathy! It’s a choice you are making. Ignoring other people is also a lifestyle many choose. Question is: do YOU want that lifestyle?
If you are going to continue reading this article, chances are you don’t.
You can’t tap into your intuition if your imagination is dormant
Let’s talk about what I call a chronic imagination deficit, which leads to a very mechanical life with lots of accomplishments and merits, and little to no love and feelings for others, possibly not even for yourself. This is how some people have a blank face. Believe me, it isn’t always botox! Laughs….If you have cut off from your emotions and lost your imagination, thus empathy, you have left absolutely no room for intuition. Your decisions will all be logic based. Sure enough, you will not suffer if you fail, just as much as you won’t be overjoyed if you succeed (think about that blank face!). Now this might all sound practical and not such a bad deal, until a rude awakening slaps you to give you that wake up call. Here’s the deal: facts, as much as we like to call them facts, aren’t always true. Facts can be manipulated just as much as emotions, if not more. Facts can be calculated and delivered with an outcome you will sign in for.
So following facts and making your decisions based off of them does not always guarantee you success. In life, I have discovered that facts aren’t always as truthful as we believe them to be. You will believe those so-called „facts“ if you are ruled by your ego and shut down your feelings. When you find yourself at the mercy of facts (facts are dictated by other people not by gods!) and you have already deactivated your intuition, the mistakes you could be making could be graver than you thought. Granted, we all make mistakes, but in all honesty, I would much rather make mistakes from a place of love and empathy than from a dead place of miscalculated facts. And believe me, the more you allow your intuition to help you, the better the quality of your decisions and the feelings attached to them. After all, what are we without feelings? A blank face charging ahead in full command of nothingness. Congratulations to the Commander in Chief! Laughs……
Don’t let your imagination die. Use it actively. How? Practice empathy. Empathy and imagination sharpen your intuition.
You can’t tap into your intuition if you think you know it all
Some of the most knowledgeable people make the most astonishingly stupid mistakes. Do you ever wonder why? Well, how about this: It’s not the knowledge, it’sthe knowing. When you are making a decision relying solely on your knowledge, thinking you have all the facts and let your ego kick your intuition aside, you are coming from a place of fear. Your decisions will be made on the precipice of „failure/no failure“. Your ego is afraid of failure. Your ego thinks: am I failing or am I not failing! But your intuition is never coming from a place of fear. Intuition does not think zeros and ones. Your intuition does not think failure or no failure. It just feels right and that’s all you need to know. It is not your knowledge, it’s your knowing. Many people think intuition is the same as a gut feeling. But I believe it is not. Intuition is a feeling in your heart. It is a fuzzy and comfortable feeling. If you have a sinking feeling in your gut, a sort of tightness, then it is not your intuition. It is fear. Fear is ruled by ego. Ego is ruled by experience. Experience is fear based. Intuition is an inner knowing. It feels safe and easy. It’s a knowing and you know it when you know it, not when you „know it all“.
Think you got me.
You can’t tap into your intuition if you don’t pay attention to your dreams and other clues
Your intuition always tries to communicate with you in your dreams. It is a major way of your own spirit communicating with you. When your soul (if you believe in one) senses something, it will project it onto your dreams in vivid images. This is your intuition’s way of screaming at you. If your intution is trying to have a soul jolting conversation with you, if it’s been trying to warn you about something, listen and respond. Allow no resistance. Don’t be frightened when your intuition is heightened! Heightened intuition begs for a letting in on signals. This won’t be just through your dreams. When your intuition wants to get your attention, it sends you signs and signals. You will suddenly start noticing things you did not notice before. Those things will be occuring and recurring. Let’s say you have been wanting to travel to XYZ destination for the first time, but have not been able to make up your mind. You will suddenly see signs, posters, articles, whatnot about that destination, for or against it, depending on what your intuition is trying to tell you. Has this ever happened to you? In our daily life, we run into an abundance of signs our intuition is sending us. Most people are too blind to see them! Would you like to change that? Would you like to let your intuition guide you more and more? Will you allow it?
If you’re still not sure and need more persuasion, listen to Einstein:
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Sorry about the wordplay, Descartes!
Can we really be sure of anything in life? Aren’t even the most seemingly certain things in life doubtful? „I think therefore I am“, said Descartes. So much as: my gray matter working is a sure sign I exist. Well let’s see. It all depends on your definition of existence.
Cogito ergo sum: „ I think therefore I am“ what is your take on this phrase?
Do we all have those moments when we start doubting everything? Is the day really day? Is the night really night? Is my neighbor really a person, or is he a ray of light? Does he exist? Am I really eating this bread, or is it my imagination? Did I hear a sound or was it the reflection of a thought that my mind gave a pitch and an octave to? Am I here? Do I really exist? Is everything I believe to be existing really existing? It might all sound like you are high, you could be (laughs…) but you need not be. Brace yoursyelf! You are drowned in thinking! We do that, i.e. we think, but hopefully not to our own detriment! I said hopefully, because many of us do.
How do most of us go about thinking? Well, first we have to establish that there is a „we“ (laughs….). But do we really have to prove our existence? I am not a philopher and I certainly do not wish, aim or dare to compete with, oppose or question Descartes or any other philosopher for that matter. For all I know, I might just be a small dot in the corner (not even the center……laughs…) of a huge map of random imaginary existence. And by the way yes, I do believe that we all exist if we choose to acknowledge life. And if someone were to urge me to question life, I would say it is a futile attempt trying to investigate this case, unless you have nothing better to do than scrutinize the validity of your precious existence, which defies sanity and the logical thinker’s own logic by any conceivable measure. So what am I trying to convey here?
I think, therefore I’m not going to question life and my own existence. Life is something to feel.
Life is a gift that you should feel and accept with gratitude. Life does not deserve doubt, it merits recognition with certainty. It is not by doubting and questioning the existence of things and yourself that you know you are as in „you exist“. When and if you feel happiness, joy, sadness, remorse, excitement, euphoria, empathy, enthusiasm, love, compassion, rage, regret, frustration, hope, pride, you name it…, that is the proof you exist. Anything short of that means you are a walking dead or a half zombie, or a robot (laughs…)!
Sadly enough, there are people who don’t feel, because they’re too busy thinking. Why? It beats me! Perhaps they are convinced it makes them look smarter. Perhaps they were fed to believe that the more they assume that air of thinking the more respect they will earn from others. Perhaps they have internalized the belief that feelings are illusions, so they think and think, therefore don’t feel anything (laughs….). Or they might have a deep-rooted aversion against emotions because to them it would take a „fool“ and require „foolishness“ to feel and express emotions, and oh boy, do they not wish to be associated with „fools and co.“, for they’re destined to represent the epitome of wisdom, located at the center of the universe! (laughs again….).
What Descartes did was to suggest that if he was thinking, he could be assured of his existence. Let me kowtow to this great philosophy before I shamelessly tweak it. Sure, thinking is one sign of physical existence, but thinking without feelings is borderlining non-existence. That’s the way I look at it. You might say that writing this article will require thinking. My answer to you would be: not entirely. I let my feelings bring words to me. I don’t think. Not the way most people would. I think with my heart, not with my mind, i.e. I feel. My thinking is only a tool to accurately label the emotions I am experiencing. What do I really mean? Let me give you some simple examples:
I think, therefore I’m not going to miss out on life’s little blessings, the sum of which account for a myriad of blessings.
My senses are the surest ways of connecting to the world and affecting my experience of events and situations. To me, emotions come before cognition. I know something because I feel it and not vice versa. We can debate on that for hours, but that’s how it is for some people. This makes my perception of people and things very different than that of a standard logical thinker. When I feel something, I have no doubt. There is no ruminating involved, my senses do not deceive, as thoughts do. What I sense, is my reality, which no one or dogma can take away from me. Trusting my senses can sometimes lead me to uncanny conclusions. My senses are my internal compass, diligently and patiently guiding me through this humongous mass of what some people call chaos, i.e. our magical, wonderful universe.
When I open my window and see flowers, I stop thinking and start heeding their beauty, smelling their fragrance, and feeling grateful for the emotions these wonders of nature awaken in me. That’s when I feel alive and know that I exist.
When I smell fresh coffee in the morning, my mind shuts off automatically (my gray matter is quite adept at that, I authorized it long ago), then I take a deep breath, inhale the aroma, feel the happy feelings it injects into me, appreciate the flavor I’m about to savor, and feel alive after the first sip. Thus I have no doubt I exist. I feel it.
When I look at the sky, stars, the moon, when I see the sun rise and set, I know they’re there for me. They’re life’s precious gifts I should not doubt nor question. They are the very reason I know I am alive. I feel them, and they tell me I exist.
When I hear a nice melody, the kind of music I might be keen on, I stop thinking, listen deeply, let the music take me to a place that has nothing to do with thoughts but everything to do with feelings. I stop ruminating, instead I feel euphoric. And then I feel that magic called life which beautifully and effortlessly confirms my existence.
Should I start hypothesizing whether or not what I am seeing or smelling or hearing is all a product of my imagination and that everything could be an illusion or part of a parallel universe? I sure could, but why would I? Why would anyone want to do that? Why question a gift that is yours when you can have, savor and feel it? Would it make me a smarter person to think and question and doubt everything? Absolutely not. Pardon, mais je ne pense pas! It would only make me a dumb ass (oops, pardon my French!). To what end? I love philosophy and enjoy philosophizing, but not to my own detriment. So let’s put it this way: I think, therefore I’m not…….. I feel, therefore I am…….. Got that? Merci infiniment!
I think, therefore I’m notgoing to succumb to society’s definition of wisdom.
Many of us grow up to believe that the less we show emotions the wiser we are or appear to be. In other words, to be wise means to be stoic, devoid of emotions, self-contained, like a book in a shelf. Some societies praise that. Some cultures define wisdom as such. Emotions are for the fools, we’ve all heard. So kudos to the emotionally dead, for they exude temperance and demonstrate wisdom.
They are the masters of their domain. What domain, may I ask? Zeros and ones? Oh please, by all means, keep it to yourselves wise masters! People who feel things do not wish to be a part of that pathetic domain. And yes, call them fools, for they do not care. After all, What is wisdom? Who is wise? Who started deeming it as such? We live in a free world (although that’s debatable, too), and it is everyone’s prerogative to define anything in any way they wish. So, I have decided not to abide by the society’s interpretation of this notion.
Wisdom means you see with your heart, hear with your heart, smell with your heart, say with your heart, touch with your heart and feel with your heart. And when you do so, you feel your soul in you, and you can be certain you exist. Granted, wise or unwise, we all make mistakes. But I’d much rather they came from a heart space as opposed to a calculating space inside that box you call your head. After all, we say “feel alive” and not “think alive”! Correct me if I’m wrong! And when you feel alive, you will know for sure that you exist. Now wouldn’t it be a wise thing to know that you exist? Or do you want your gray matter to keep torturing you on that doubt (or any other doubts) for the rest of your pathetic non-existence? The wise fool in me revels in life and all that lives and feels, and in knowing I am indeed a part of that wonderful magic.
The wisest thing you can do to yourself and environment is to feel and acknowledge.
The real wise don’t run after a zillion things to achieve, they feel things one at a time, and ideas and inspirations flow to them naturally. They don’t do things, they savor.
The real wise don’t need more and more tools to know things even better, their internal compass and their intuition guides them and their feelings for the most part, tools are occasional supplements for mundane activities.
The real wise don’t get tired or bored of anything, they constantly discover and feel new emotions in any given situation which makes any moment a wonder of its own.
They real wise don’t strive for perfection, they appreciate and feel everything for what it’s worth.
The real wise don’t chase after fulfillment, every moment in life is flowing towards them to fulfill their emotions, body and soul in different dimensions. They feel fulfilled.
The real wise don’t seek the company of the standard wise asses, they enjoy the beauty of their own internal feelings and that of their kindred spirits.
The real wise are not impressed by insincere, calculating, so-called logical “thinkers”, they really appreciate and feel the ingenuity of their circle of the like-spirited (notice how I say “like-spirited and not “like-minded”?).
The real wise are not afraid of showing emotions for fear of imbecility or weakness, their vulnerability gives them strength to be receptive to new ingenious ideas and feelings.
The real wise are never drowned in busy-ness, instead they are immersed in the feeling of what they do. And believe me, they could be very productive and industrious all the same. And because they feel, they are never too busy for anyone or anything. Feelings are infinite, tasks are finite and constraining. You will only understand this if you come from a place of feeling, not thought.
The real wise are never in a hurry to get somewhere lest they might waste time, they know that time is more abundant when they slow down and feel the moments for what they’re worth. The real masters will not become slaves to any time constraints. Rushing is for the fools!
Now let me ask you a question: How many times did you see the word “feel” or “feeling” in the most recent paragraphs? Guess you know by now where I stand. That sums up my definition of wisdom.
Do I think I’m wise? I don’t think, therefore I’m not going to answer that question (laughs…) I only feel that I really appreciate life and my existence. With the same token, I don’t second guess what my senses tell me about people I am surrounded by or the environment I find myself in. I feel everything intensely. Every emotion touches me deeply. Sure enough, there are times when those emotions get the better of me, and their effects are way more dramatic on me than on unemotional, stoic, logical “thinkers”. but heck…they make me feel alive. I feel my existence. I think with my heart. I feel, therefore I am alive.
And here is to the alleged “wise” who think, therefore they know it all:
that one day when you thought you had it all figured out
returned what you had bought
got something new till you found out
that nothing would suffice
in fulfilling your ideal
when you can’t tell fake from real
that’s when it all began,
your world turned into high and low
high, when you said “I can”
low, when you clearly didn’t know
a vicious circle started
and your world turned fast and faster
arrived yet soon departed in this game you’re now the master
you don’t know where you live but you have the world’s best phone
you’re ruled by your agenda
and dictated by your time zone
you can’t really complain
cause you’ve got yourself so busy
“no pain there’ll be no gain”
which makes your life seem easy
but when you’re terrified
in confusion you dig deeper
your fear gets magnified
cause when you dig it all gets steeper
and then you stop and think
for you believe you’re old and wise
you’re a book in a shelf
and it’s time you got a prize
they praise you for your wisdom
you seem very self-contained
you’ve become part of a system
and you’re just another game.
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„I have learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.“ – Maya Agnelou
If you were to take a snap shot of your life in the past 10 years or so, what are the things you’d be taking stock of? Would you be content with your development and who you have become over the years? Or are you too busy to deem this question as pertinent?
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and see what you really see. What DO you see? Do you see the person you like to be? Do you see someone your past self would look at and say: „I’m proud of who I have become.“ ? How do you define yourelf? How do you define your success? Is it the amount of money you make? Is it your fame? Is it your title? Is it your status? Who are you? Who are your really? Do you define yourself through your job and career accomplishments? Because if you do, I feel very sorry for you, for you are not living your life, that one thing that is given to you, gifted to you, handed to you, yet you choose to put on the backburner, because the frontburner is too busy boiling over with career.
Overexertion killed the cat! Keep the balance!
Let me make it simple: there is more to life than just work. Granted, having a career is very important. And liking what you do is more so. There is a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you make a difference by offering a service to others. It gives you that natural force you need every morning when you wake up and say to yourself: „I make a difference“. However, overexerting yourself in the career realm (like any other form of overexertion) is truly toxic, not only for you, but for the people in your life. It destroys your soul and changes your personality. It removes the values you once had and gradually turns you into a sad, efficient robot. Tragically enough, it takes hold of you to the point of you not even knowing that your peril is an incremental sealed deal. It will kick away that last bit of integrity in you and make you numb to all those valuable things in life that you were born to enjoy, it makes you oblivious to the importance of giving. You single handedly deny yourself of life, by overdedication to your job, hence overexerting yourself for a lost cause. A cause that could care less about you!
Putting your life on the backburner turns you into an emotionally crippled being!
While it is essential to have a job and enjoy doing it, it is crucial to find a balance between life and work. When you put your career on the front burner for too long, you become emotionally crippled and continue seeking power and recognition through more and more work. Other people’s happiness will no longer mean anything to you. It is not someone’s smile that makes your day, or a beautiful, sunny day that makes you happy, it is work, work work that gives you a kick, like a drug. This misery spirals at the risk of losing many valuable things and people in a life you don’t even know you are living. And soon you will be entering the faculty of workaholics and graduating with honors! Congratulations!
And here’s how workaholics will operate: they become controlling, manipulative and emotionally crippled! The worst part is, they become numb to other people’s emotions. They don’ feel sad if someone else is sad, they don’t feel happy if someone else is happy, they don’t feel anything. They just don’t feel. Period. They work. They do do do. They’re efficient engines with no other destination than work. They turn into robots. Oh pity! Is that even a life! They don’t hear sounds, they hear their ego.
They don’t see life’s amazing little details, they see numbers. They don’t smell the freshness of a beautiful morning in the spring, they smell power or money, or both. They don’t feel life and love, they perform. And if you bring the importance of a balanced life to their attention, they’ll often mock you by telling you that unlike you, they have more important things to do. They even go as far as telling you they don’t believe in happiness. They tell you that they have a job to do and their mission is not to look for happiness, but to do their job. They turn into a walking ego! They lose their soul. Yes, very sad. They will be full of themselves yet devoid of a soul.
That’s what happens to you when you put life on the backburner and tend to your career only! You lose your balance. You will become out of sync with your environment. Nothing will matter to you except your job. Your ego becomes your ruler. This ruler dictates work and you surrender like a slave. And that’s where you find meaning and recognition. That is how you end up defining yourself. You become your job, and your job becomes you, and your ego feels boosted in the process. Meanwhile, you find yourself competing with a whole bunch of other lonely egos, each trying to get more inflated than the other. A whole bunch of soulless egos who believe they make the world go round, until one day reality serves them with a rude awakening. Do you want to end up like that? If you’re reading this article and are going to continue reading to the end, chances are you don’t. So here’s a very simple advice:
Make your happiness a mission by living a balanced life
Many people don’t realize how precious life is. They take it for granted. They take people for granted. They take everything for granted. Life is a gift many people slight and ignore. There is so much beauty to feel and appreciate. There are so many blessings to enjoy and be thankful for. There is so much joy to feel that costs absolutely nothing. Yet many people choose to live blind and deaf, completely ignorant of the beauty that surrounds them. When you start acknowledging all the abundant blessings around you and feel grateful, you generate good vibrations and positive energy. Being grateful changes your mood and gives you good feelings. People who are consumed by their job feel none of that! Oh what a miserabe existence! I believe that we all have a mission and that mission is nothing short of being happy. The easiest and most available way to this happiness is to to stop and smell the flowers, both literally and proverbially. If you find yourself devoting too much of your time and energy to your job, career, position and power, if you let your ego kill your soul, you are doing something wrong.
Don’t let a job kill your soul! Get up and yell charge! Take charge of your happiness by enjoying and appreciating your surroundings, the people in it and the feelings you are able to feel, before you lose your senses and let a job make you numb to the abundance of this beautiful gift called life. Let your soul help you feel. Nourish your soul by taking notice of life. Life is a present, and the only way to feel it is to BE present and IN the present. Give it a try…NOW.
So what defines you?
The answer to this question cannot be very specific. There is no single element that defines a person.
We are the sum total of everything we do, feel and create. We are the product of our actions, emotions and choices. It is not a job, a house, a car, a partner, a family, a feeling an emotion, a God knows what that defines us. It is all of those things, rolled into one and the way we take and handle each without slighting the other. In other words, it is your soul. Your soul is what it is because of your choices.
Whatever choices we make in life and the impact they make on us and on others is what is left behind when we pass to the other side. Our soul is the sum total of our choices. People who choose to confine their soul in a cage by giving themselves to one area of life have diminished souls. People who wake up in the morning and consciously choose to open their iPad and connect to that „omnipotent business“, to all the „important nothings“ in the first hour of the morning instead of first looking out the window and enjoying, appreciating the sky, the sun, even the clouds….smelling the air and being amazed by life before they begin work have a diminished soul and will eventually become soulless. And that’s how they are defined. They choose to be defined that way. That is the amount of soul they will allow in their life. It is like going to a 5 star restaurant and asking for bread and tab water. It is malnourishment by design! It is a choice! Your soul is a choice.
You get what you ask for. Your soul defines you! And sadly enough, some people with diminished souls, those who are ruled by their ego, will become soulless, losing themselves in their career. And those who choose to expand their soul by giving to and investing in different areas of life on an equal keel, consciously choose to live a soulful, thus fulfilled life. They radiate love and positive energy, attract positive people and shamelessly enjoy the gift that has been handed to them: LIFE!