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Soulmate

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When we meet someone who stirs us to the core, we feel vulnerable. Then we will go to great lengths to protect ourselves, even do stupid things, or things that are inadvertently cruel. Even the most reasonable, dignified, respectful person will falter when feeling vulnerable. The eyes of a soul mate unravel you, make you feel naked. When your humanity is exposed, your animal instinct is to protect it. 

If you’ve been perfect in romance, and treated your partners perfectly, you haven’t loved. You haven’t confronted your humanity. If you confront this only in private, you haven’t made yourself vulnerable to someone else. To make yourself vulnerable to someone else is to expose your weaknesses, fears, shame and rage, bare for them to see. To accept theirs in turn. To follow them to the darkest, most frightening, torturous corners of their psyche. Mentally, this is to dive into lava and tornadoes, to stand naked in a snowstorm, to follow them into the void, to their fear of death, to their childhood traumas, just to be with them, so they won’t be alone there. To open yourself up to chance; to surrender control. 

After experiencing various levels of surrender and openness, one may feel that a soul mate truly knows them, and has seen them bare. There may be love, honesty and mutual acceptance. Ideally that would be the case in any relationship or friendship. But what separates a soulmate from the regular companion or lover is that a “soul mate” would not be dependent on a relationship. It is an unbreakable bond. It just is. A soul mate just is. You can fight as hard as you want to break the bond, you can walk away for years, you can marry someone else, you can deny it to the skies, but still, your soul mate just IS. To use a word like “soul,” one implies transcendence of desire, lust, and fear. Of course, those human elements are real and will never disappear, but when we truly accept and recognize a soul mate, the bond is beyond that. Frustrations and fear of loss will be there, but the outcome becomes irrelevant because the soul is stirred by something beyond. In recognizing a soul mate, we recognize ourselves, here and now. The synchronicity between you will push you both to grow, just as watching yourself in the mirror pushes you to pose in a more beautiful way. If your mirror had an emotional reaction, posing would not be enough. You would work out, eat right, care for your skin and hair, change your lifestyle just for that smile. The difference is, for a “soul mate,” this person mirrors your innards. Your mind, your soul, your humanity.

When someone sees you, watches you, unravels you, exposes you; you want to give, to grow, to be better in order to inspire that person, because you will see yourself through their eyes. You will never wonder whether that person is doing it for you in return, because it just is; expressing yourself to this person is being true to yourself, and it feels natural. Giving them anything less than your all feels unnatural; it feels like trying to stand still while the tide is pushing against you. Most people will do this for some time, resisting the forces of nature to try to feel like they are in control, to feel a sense of free will, to take a stand. But once you have recognized and accepted that you have met your soul mate, and grown enough to surrender to that force, you work with the tide without losing your own will. Your will is the will of the world. Giving your all is a natural process of revelation and growth, and all that matters is that this process is happening. It is honest, true; it is now, and it is infinity. With or without labels, commitments, sex, promises, or expectation, it simply is.

The trials and tribulations of corporeal life cannot touch something that is truly sacred. But we cannot recognize what is truly sacred until we, ourselves, have evolved. To recognize something greater than ourselves requires humility. Meeting a soul mate is not an easy, happy ride. It is a life changing experience that digs up all of our demons and fears, and forces us to face our humanity.

Special Snowflake

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“Special snowflake syndrome” is a biological imperative.

If we aren’t biased to love our own child more than another child, or our own pets over other pets, there would be chaos.

Same goes for ourselves. If we’re not biased toward believing in our own success over someone else’s, we would ultimately be removed from the gene pool and/or would not have substantial income to provide for our family.

So, actually, “special snowflake syndrome” is an evolutionary advantage. It means you think you are important and special enough that you believe in yourself, and you’re biased toward your own special success , your own special dreams coming true and your own special seed spreading.

Memories

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Memories are the devil’s lure, tempting us to remain immobile. Good memories tempt us with their sweet song and lead us to resent ourselves and others for their impermanence. Bad memories lure us to succumb to cynicism. Memories are just as fantastical as dreams for the future. They exist only as constructions in our present mind. Memories and dreams are tools to use in the present. If we use them as tools, they can be harnessed to enact our passion and purpose so that we are living in the present with a powerful feeling of being part of something greater than ourselves. The journey becomes the destination. All feelings and thoughts about past and future can be harnessed in the present, but they must be understood as mental constructions or else they will lure us deeper into themselves.

Desire

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Soul-shaking, earth-shattering passion is something that grabs hold of you. It’s not something you can look for. When it grabs hold of you, there’s nothing in the world that isn’t worth doing to make it work. It’s no longer about pride, dignity, power, influence, control. All it is, is life. It comes along with the natural impetus to be more selfless; to be a better, bigger person. To grow beyond the capacity we thought ourselves capable. 

No matter how unrealistic, illogical, nonsensical and impractical desire may be, a feeling like that is what living is about. It’s the difference between living and surviving. It’s worth hurting for, fighting for, yearning for, suffering for. The roller coaster ride of desire and obsessions is painful and can make a person want to shut down and regain control for the sake of sanity. But that would be surviving, not living. I will do everything in my power to embrace the dreams and challenges that bring me to life.  Desire is insanity. Or perhaps it’s the least insane instinct of all.

Power

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Power is having the strength to overcome adversity. Building up influence, building skills, saving money to be autonomous; these can help inner strength to build through self-esteem that results from hard work and effort. But true power is within yourself. When all else falls apart for reasons beyond your control, power is having the strength to stand strong, stay true to yourself, hold on to your integrity, and triumph.

Power is resisting the urge to betray your integrity, become vengeful, angry, hostile and self-destructive, when life fucks you over. Power is keeping your eye on your goals and moving forward no matter what else happens. Power is trusting yourself. If you have your integrity, you will always have power.

Power is rising above the trials in your life to keep the dreams of your childhood in sight, even when the world has stripped you of everything else. No matter how out of reach your dreams may seem, there is always a path back to them, and that path is inside of you. As long as you remember how to find your dreams, you will have power.

Inner strength and fidelity to self is mastery of life. As long as you have that, you are an unstoppable force. You don’t have to scramble to ‘get power’ because you already have it, and nobody can take it away from you.

Style

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Style, to me, isn’t about flowery language, ‘the moves,’ and presentation. It’s about being true to yourself. Anyone who expresses something honest is bound to touch on something universal. Great art will not reveal the artist, but rather, will serve as a mirror to reveal the spectator to herself. The same goes for clothing, conversation, loving, or any action or expression. Animalism, humanism, and a unique voice exist inside every individual. If someone taps into her true self and explores her own potential, then her honest expression and communication will naturally have its own style, and her very existence may become a symbol in the eyes of others; as she may symbolize their own potential.

What some people might call ‘style’ I would call integrity. Integrity involves honesty as well as commitment. If a person is dedicated to her craft, she can express herself more honestly in the moment. For instance, if a musician puts in her “10,000 hours” practicing, then the minute she is moved to express her deep emotions, she can go to the piano, close her eyes, press the ‘record’ button and let the song write itself through her. If she rehearses a lot, then when she’s on stage, she can let herself go and trust the music to pour through her limbs as a numinous force that moves her on its own. If someone does something with such ease that her body is a vessel through which honesty is expressed, then she probably put a lot of time into honing that skill. In this manner, style develops from within.

Wrapping something up in an attempt at ‘style’ impedes communication. A lot of music, art, conversation, loving, or day to day expression is caked in makeup, bullshit and selling-points that mask the raw humanity that could otherwise be expressed. The most beautiful outfit looks dull on a person who doesn’t breathe its colors, and an eloquent political speech is made of dust if the politician has no past actions to back up his words. People use skimpy attempts at ‘style’ to compensate for a lack of hard work and self-awareness. This is the trap of ‘aiming for style’ that people fall into, rather than simply being. If someone is brave enough to define and pursue her passion and purpose, and puts blood, sweat and tears into her life and work, then even if she is a garbage woman she will automatically collect that garbage with style. But ironically, she who is concerned with style is unlikely to have much style at all.

Cats have more style than dogs because they aim to please no one.