Posted in Life & Happiness

Deserving Love

One of our greatest weaknesses as a human being is that we never seem to be satisfied with “just right”. We always think we have too much or too little of something and this torments us. The same can be said of love. People will often complain that they are not loved enough by their family, friends or significant others. This is natural, for we tend to crave love and attention more than we are willing to give it to others.

The more interesting situation is when people complain of being loved too much. One defence regarding this is that they do not feel that they deserve this love. Some people claim that because of who they are (or more commonly, who they aren’t), they are not worthy to receive the tender loving care offered by another person. Of course sometimes this is said as a plesantry, but in some cases, a person may feel so guilty of this that they will reject the gesture and push the people they love away.

What does it mean to be “deserving” of love? Does this imply that love is some kind of karmic reward that should only be received if we have been kind and generous to others? We are often the harshest judges of our own character and more often than not, we will rate ourselves lower than how others see us. Some people are able to appreciate and be grateful for the kindness of others, while not seeing the effect their own kindness has on others. Because of this mismatch, sometimes we may think that others are being kinder to us than we are to them.

Knowing this, perhaps it would be easier if instead of tormenting ourselves with the question of whether we deserve someone’s love or note, we should let others judge how much love we deserve from them. For they are the ones who feel the kindness in our words and actions, and they are the ones who wish to return that kindness back to us. Instead of feeling guilty of whether you deserve someone’s love or not, feel grateful that you have people in your life that care about you.

And if you cannot shake the feeling that you really are not deserving of that love, there is only one real solution. Be more generous with your kindness and reciprocate that love to others to make up for whatever you are feeling guilty of. Love is an infinite resource and there is plenty to go around for everyone.

Posted in Philosophy

Why Things Happen

We have a tendency to want to believe in reasons. The human brain loves answers and explanations, so when something unexplainable or uncertain happens, we try our best to find a “reason” for why it happened. This psychological bias has shaped history, resulting in women being burned at the stakes as witches, cults and religions being founded and even entire ethnic groups being purged for a crime they did not commit.

But believing that things happen for a reason – whether such a thing exists or not – is not always a negative thing. Hope and faith that things will be alright and that the future will play out according to destiny or fate gives us comfort, as it allows us to begin to understand an uncertain future. Although the future will come no matter what and there is usually not much we can do to change it, we still want to know what will happen. This is why people seek fortune tellers, read horoscopes and secretly enjoy spoilers for books and movies.

But no matter how much we wish that our lives will play out as the universe has planned (hopefully towards a happy ending), the harsh reality is that things just happen. Things happen in the world not because of a pre-written script, but because of causality.

Earthquakes happen because of plate tectonics and hurricanes happen due to warm oceans and convection currents. Wars and economic crises happen because of human greed. You get heart disease because of lifestyle choices and your genetic make-up. Good things happen to good people because they treat people well and their deeds are reciprocated. You lost your wallet because you were careless and you ended up with “the one” because the two of you took action to get to know each other and did everything in your power to be together.

Everything in life is a result of cause and effect. Although it is more comforting to think that the hand of fate will push you towards the right career or your soulmate, or that good things are happening because of some karmic reward system, but isn’t it more rewarding to think that your happiness is a result of your own choices and actions? Sure, sometimes in life we need something to blame when bad things happen, but never let that be an excuse to stop yourself from taking that leap of faith to try change and build your own destiny.

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Posted in Philosophy

Four Seasons

Spring. The warm sunshine and the soft breeze form a balance to breathe new life into everything – flowers, trees, hibernating animals, babies. The baby grows on the nutrition that is love. The baby spends the most peaceful, free stage of childhood and experiences new things every day. He learns life slowly as he grows like a fresh sprout. Unfortunately, at this stage the sprout is also vulnerable to harm, and these scars will be a burden for the rest of the baby’s life.

Summer. The hot, burning sun, the boundless, clear ocean. The hot, burning love and desires, the boundless, clear possibilities life brings. The boy spends the happiest moments in his life, and discovers what he wants and who he is. Through this he also develops obsessions; his main obsession is love – so hot that it may even burn up into ashes or cause scalding wounds. He enjoys the present, without knowing the weight of the world and true pain. To him, the future is a land of infinite dreams and hope. His boyhood times burn like a roaring flame, and happiness reaches a climax.

Autumn. The leaves, bleached yellow, fall gently. The endless and cloudless sky. The cold wind. The boy, now a young adult, laments why life and love are so painful, and why he must suffer so much. The future that was once full of dreams has now become a hopeless reality. As the leaves die away, so do the boy’s hopes, romance and his identity. Can he pull through this bitter adolescence? What does he wonder while staring at the dead leaves? No one truly understands his thoughts and pain, and he trudges along a road strewn with leaves. The passion and heat of summer have completely disappeared.

Winter. There is no life. Only white snow covers the world, turning it into a blank page. The man feels that there is no meaning to life, and looks back on his life. The dream-like spring, the passionate summer, the despairing autumn, the end of the four seasons – winter. But then, he finally realises. The naive spring, the foolish summer, the pain he overcame through autumn. The man looks back at how he has grown and developed, and turns his attention to his inner self for the meaning of life and peace. After overcoming his mid-life crisis, he clears his mind and reaches nirvana.

Spring. A spring comes again, new life arises once more. The old man calmly smiles and thinks. He now understands the true meaning of life and is satisfied with his. He sees a baby facing another set of four seasons and thinks: “That child will walk a similar journey as I did.” He now knows that life cycles, and that spring will indubitably return always.

He is now completely at peace.