My Story: On Love and Fear

Only LOVE can overcome FEAR.
~Mikavelli~

Personal story:

As a child, I saw how fearful my peers were of studying; they preferred electronics and video games. I didn’t. I was drawn to the smell of fresh books and the unmarked innocence of new notepads. I fell in love with reading and writing, two parts of me that incidentally not many around me appreciated, nor had the patience to enjoy.

But I fell in love nonetheless, with characters, with planets, with words, with knowledge…I fell in love with the unencumbered infinity of time, space, experience. A place where there were no boundaries…

Life progressed, and innocence became a thing of the past as I slowly learned of the atrocities of which humans were capable; humans, this species I was indoctrinated to treat with respect. It was a respect I’d felt “they” hadn’t earned. Humans, the self-destructive, entitled, greedy evils destroying what was once beautiful: the planet, the lands, the seas, the people of the world…

Love had been overridden by competition, by aggression, by the anarchy that losing one’s innocence had allowed.

I learned, instead, to fight: to fight for what is right, what is true. To fight for justice. I fought for those who fought for me, and against those who detested me. I fought, until I realized that I had become exactly what I had been fighting against: FEAR. I had become… fear.

In fighting the fear, I realized that I was only fighting myself. And that the only victory was LOVE. I had to love myself. I had to overcome fear with so much love that I feared how much I could love — myself as well as others. I surrendered to my “self”, to the love that overcame fear.

The love of “self” does not mean to be in love with yourself.
It is in the wording: the love…of self…
self’s love, not self love.

So what if…just what if…we allowed someone to love us that exact same way…?

Love yourself, but let yourself be loved too.

Peace,

Mik

Life is Like A Stream

Growing up, my mother always taught me that our “life path” is like a stream, ever flowing, moving forward. We are to follow the path wherever it leads, even if it means warding off spiders, swinging through branches, climbing over rocks, and swimming through rapids. As we grow, we gather knowledge, experience, friends, lovers, challenges, hardships and what not.

Who and what we gather are like pebbles and rocks: some have rare jewels in them, others have unique minerals. If we carry every rock with us, we will become burdened. Over time, however, I’ve learned never to disregard or throw aside the pebbles, instead, place them gently in the stream and along the path so that you may come back when the time is ready. These pebbles can filter the stream and offer clarity of thought, they can be molded into gems later on in time. But always know where your treasure lie, and follow the path. If we stay on the path, we will never lose ourselves.

If we do stray from the path, we must always know how to find our ways back. Leaving clues and signs for ourselves to explore the great wide world, still knowing how to return to the path that leads us to where we need to be. To what our brains, our minds, our bodies, and our souls fundamentally desire.

Following your “life path” means going with what you know, deep down inside you, to be true to yourself. If you feel compelled to be explore and experiment, do what will get you there. If you were meant to create and construct, build as much foundation as possible. If you were born to reflect and express, learn as much as possible, meet as many as possible.

So often we find ourselves to be

Searching for what we already have
Pretending to be who we already are
Trying to undo what’s already been done
Unbecoming whatever it was we became

What what if, just what if, we’d chosen not to change. Instead of forcing growth we could just stay the same. So much of life is letting things fall into place. What if I told you, life is not a game?

Journey on and be free, know where your roots are, know how to find your stream, know where your buried treasures lay. And do what needs to be done at whatever cost (within reason), because always, always, you can come back.

Let us be each others’ boulders, the rocks we lay by the stream.

Love and peace,

Mikavelli

Undefined and Therefore Free

Processed with Rookie Cam

Create for yourself a world from which you need not escape.
~Mikavelli~

Dear all,

I write to you a personal one from the heart, a theme I embrace for the coming year and would much like to share.

Needless to say, 2016 has been a roller coaster year for many, not just in daily life but also in the world. It has been physically confusing with global warming and cold spells hitting various parts of the planet, it has been mentally straining with the influx of politics sprawled across social media, it has been socially challenging with people’s personal views suddenly becoming  measurement of friendship, not to mention financially challenging for the younger generation who have been struck with wanderlust.

Many of us have spent this past year hyped by the definitions our generation has been adopting: LGBTQ, religious affliation, political stance, racial profiling, defining of gender and so forth. I, myself, have been susceptible and vulnerable to the perceived security a “definition” can hold, even the most simplistic ones such as “single” or “taken”, “drunk” or “sober”, “happy” or “sad” and what not. But this year, a few conversations and human experiences made me realize that every rambled answer boiled down to the exact same common factor: It’s all situational. Single or taken? Depends who’s asking. Drunk or sober? Depends on the company.

We hold onto definitions because we want to feel understood, to feel accepted, to feel like we have a community of people who agree with who we are, fundamentally. We allow ourselves to be defined by the same society we so openly criticize, not realizing that we are society. We generate for ourselves a new word to better describe ourselves, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the government will give “someone like us” rights or freedom. Truth be told, if you are accepting of how you define yourself, be it in any language, symbol, code, song or anything, then societal definitions should have no bearing on you.

I sit here as an actual writer with the knowledge of how much limitation there is to diction. How a single word is never enough to encompass the full essence of whatever concept is being expressed; knowing that no adjective can accurately describe the exact depth of beauty you see in a person’s eyes when (s)he smiles at you, knowing that no suffix can convey the intensity and magnitude of inner strength, knowing that only a combination of words can perhaps get a reader close to the passion one bleeds onto the screen.

Nay, words have their limitations, and for that exact reason, I still have not found a word that can accurately “define” me. The actual me. I’ll be honest, when I realized that, truly experienced the lack of words at the core, it was groundbreaking, earth shattering, and so magnificently liberating that the earthquake from my world caused ripples in the worlds around me.

Yes, being undefined, uncommitted, and unburdened, is liberating in a sense, but also completely disconcerting. It is a new challenge that some have faced, some have avoided, some have feared, and others have embraced. Whatever the outcome, undefined and therefore free will be my theme for 2017, and for those who are sick of the social media labels tying you down to what “words” tell you is “socially acceptable behaviour”, then all I can say is: create for yourself a world from which you need not escape. Build your world with the right connections, live your world with the right people, be your own world at the core.

2016 broke the world, but “you gotta break ‘em in order to make ‘em.”

Your past will make you or break you
It’s up to you to decide.
You can always rewrite the future
By living in present times.

Undefined and therefore free
That’s my 2017
If you choose to follow me
Then welcome to your new reality

~M.G.~

Season Finale 0f 2016

It’s safe to say that 2016 has been a year of transitions and change for many. Not only has the international arena taken a huge turn in development (as evidenced by Dahl, 1989-90), but immigration borders somehow started closing up the same time “wanderlust” hit social media. I could go on endlessly about social media being a physical representation of how our unconscious mind is capable of blowing perception entirely out of proportion, but I fear that digression would inadvertently lead to another novella.

Alas, a small pattern has seemingly formulated within my immediate arena of social life, and as it would stand, December seems to have picked up a tad in contrast with the rest of the year. Large players in the game have shifted strategies as we embrace the alleged “New Word Order” with new players re-entering the arena. We’ve had the whole of 2016 to adapt to an unstable and ever-changing world, and many seem to be awaiting 2017 with the same anticipation seen just before 2016, 2015, 2014……

Nonetheless, there are definitely exciting turns to look forward to in the next year: all things considered, for the first time ever, I feel like history books are coming alive. As a kid with a vivid imagination, I was always curious about what the world I read about in books would be like in real life. Everything our millennial generation was taught in school, the world we were braced for, the regimes we challenged as powerless students, are coming to life with the snap of a finger. I have not lived long, but just enough to know that no era has seen a global change at the rate 2016 shifted. While we attribute the “change” to technological advances, how many of us have actually considered that perhaps it is simply our attitudes to what we’ve been absorbing that changed…?

Does our generation now possess the necessary apathy that enables us to survive these constant fluxes and cycles? Is it the instability of the external world that has forced our generation to look internally and strive for stability within ourselves?

It is for these reasons that I say with mournful delight that the key events of our year, 2016, have encompassed a few “necessary evils” that shook the globe, awoke humans, and pushed us out of the caves where thought we were safe. Yes, our generation is adequately prepared for a conceptual “war” – one that takes place using words, using technology, using ideas…but in the grand scheme of things, how important is “our role” in “the world” if we are the world?

When I was young, I had to learn that time moves “forwards” and history will remain as such, which made me wonder, “why learn history when we are preparing for the future?”

Then I grew up, and realized that time is cyclical. The human condition was once called “human nature”, and nature has a cycle. Yes, “global warming” has shaken things up with the carbon and pollution, but human “nature” is, too, reaching a season of change. Have we truly become so complacent in our place in the world that we are genuinely and deeply angered by change?

Is it anger or is it fear?

Yes, many a concept has been challenged over the year, many a regime threatened. Many weak minds have been offended, and the strong-willed have somehow lost hope. But we enter 2017 with the experience of how extreme our species is capable of being, of realizing that we are not as evolved as media wanted us to believe.

If, even for a second, we could strip from ourselves any form of definition we adhered to by way of social-media pressure, then maybe, just maybe, we’ll find out who we are..

My Love, you are more prepared than you realize. Embrace the experiences you never thought could happen; without having to think, analyze, or over explain, we now have the opportunity to experience history in the present. It is a frighteningly beautiful thing, exhilarating and nerve-wrecking to say the least.

But it is as real as whatever fictional literature we’ve ever read.

With 2017 around the corner, I guarantee it is the year dreams become reality. Fantasy becomes actuality. Fictional characters become autobiographies.

Walk undefined.
I dare you.


Peace,
Mikavelli

Merging Worlds

There are some whose worlds come together and complement each other as they merge and formulate new worlds in the making. The worlds intertwine with the commonality of foundations, where there is acceptance of differences, where there is an understanding that each individual world has its specialty.

There are others, however, whose worlds come together and collide, not in the magical, chemical way where passion goes both ways. No, the collision where all that’s left is destruction. Where all that’s left is ash and decay. When you walk past a land that was once beautiful, once solid, once secure, only to see it for what it has become. A fragment of history, a world that was once reality.

One can have multiple worlds: family, friends, work, academics, romance, and so forth — it does eventually become a constant shuffle of juggling the compartmentalization of each world. It’s knowing when to take breaks, when to go “all in”; when to rush, when to pace; when to love, when to fear…

Have you ever revisited old worlds that you’ve destroyed? Ever tread your history as if it were a biographical museum of your selves — past and present?

I have.

When you sift through the debris of the destruction from your past,
You slowly rediscover enough raw material to recreate worlds that last.

Life is an unending journey of transforming worlds: of gathering the necessary tools to construct actual worlds within worlds, to reclaim land that was never ours to claim, to build, create, and shape. It is knowing when to let go and when to push through, when it’s acceptable to rest, and when you’re just being complacent in the excuses made for laziness. When to walk away, when to confront; when to build and rebuild, or when to ditch and destroy.

Every now and then, worlds change. They change internally when one learns from experience, and externally when one strives to make an environmental difference to physical habitats. Worlds can change with the flux of the world, and ones response to the flux.

But as worlds come together, as different entities meet at a metaphorical crossroads in the middle of the universe, it results in:
a) embrace the new worlds and let yours expand or,
b) defend your world to the death by keeping out every one who tries to be a part of it.

Each of us come from a world where things work differently, where we’re taught to perceive things differently, and where we, despite how much similarity may be drilled through convention, cannot fight the unique and individual design of our DNAs. Our whole lifetime will be a journey of figuring out the roles of our worlds in the world; there is no one right answer. There are so many ways to do what’s “right”, why restrict it to the one thing you were taught from that one world you were in before it expanded?

We are what we are
We are what we choose to be
We are what we merge
We are…

Peace!
Mikavelli

as-we-sift-through

The Simplicity of A Rational Life

 

Our only limitation is that we don’t know our limits. ~Mikavelli~

People live with the attitude that the ONE life we have will last forever, but facts tell us that we can’t. Everything living comes to an end, right?

But LIVING is relative and subjective. The breathing and heart-beating (physical) aspect might come to an end, but legacies, thoughts, and ideas have its way of continuing to exist without necessarily taking a physical form. This is called “inspiration“.

Some people live many lives, and experience changes. The life that worked at 21 is not always the same life we want at 35 – in essence, we don’t just limit ourselves to one LIFE. LIVING is about exploring, experimenting, and experiencing. What we take from our experiences defines our character, and the more experiences we have, the more we know our limits.

However, until those experiences are had, everything is infinite. The importance of an experience is that it tells us what our limits are.

But what we take from the experience is how to accept those limits. As a kid, we are encouraged to go out there and make things happen. As a teenager, we try to make those things happen. As a young adult, you start to realise those limitations and why certain things might’ve been impossible as a kid.

Then comes enlightenment: to fight or to walk away. We reach that stage in life where we go beyond cognition, we go beyond the pros and cons lists we can logically make. We reach experience, and that is something which can’t be taught or transferred. Cognition is something that any logical person can comprehend by reading a book or an article. Experience is transformative, it’s something that you feel and then learn how to cope or grow.

We can never force someone to have an experience; force can only lead someone to understand a concept from a logical, formulation point of view. But to truly teach, educate, and inspire, we must allow others to have that experience for themselves, and allow them to experiment different strategies for themselves.

We can never tell someone what to think, only how to experience. And when the world reaches that mutual point where this can be experientially understood, then we’ll realise that every system ever created by man was simply to compensate for an insecurity that springs from lack of experience.

The more you read, the more you realise what it is you don’t know. The more you communicate, the more you see how others think. The more you travel, the bigger the world begins to seem – which means the more possibilities arise and you don’t feel like you only have one reality.

But the more you experience, the more transformed you become. And when you reach that point, you’ll discover what really matters – and none of these discoveries ever include lots of money or material items.

Everyone comes to that realisation in their own time, but step one is the same for everyone: get out of your comfort zone and make those experiences, because it’s your life and no one will live it for you. Those without experiences will, at best, understand you cognitively.

Yet those with experiences will guide you, because not know can they grasp your situation cognitively, but experientially. And people like that truly understand how to balance feelings and logic.

The reality of being rational: embrace both emotions as well as logic, and go with your instincts because your logic will fall into place naturally.

Stop falling into the 21st century trap where everything appears to happen immediately. Remember that the first humans were not created in the 21st century – we have never evolved. We still live in caves (little blocks of personal space called a bedroom) and we still eat dinosaurs (birds – including chickens – DNA has been scientifically proven to be evolved from dinosaurs).

Humans appear to have progressed, but evidently it just meant denying human nature. Embrace your human nature and apply it in the real world.

That’s balance. And that, is called accepting our limits. Go and find out which ones you can push, and don’t force the ones that can’t be done. We can never shut off our emotions, but that doesn’t mean all of our reactions have to be emotional. Our actions will be rational if we experience our emotions, not analyse them.

If you want emotional analysis, talk to a psychologist – but on a daily basis, embrace the emotion, know where it comes from, and understand why it makes you feel that way. Then go ahead and feel it, express it, and keep doing whatever you need to ensure long-term happiness. (Hint: keeping up with the latest trends is not long-term. It’s just unnecessary stress to distract you from your real stress).

So go forth and make things happen. Experience the feeling, and apply it in your situation. It really is that simple.

References
1. The Experiential Learning Cycle (Alberton, 2013)
2. T-Rex Protein Confirms Bird-Dinosaur Link (National Geographic)

Stability and Solidity

You spend your twenties believing that you’re bulletproof. ~Moby~

The cycle of cognitive development can be a predictable one: as children, we are curious about the greater world, wanting to know a little bit about everything. We have little to no experience in life, and haven’t made enough mistakes to understand consequences. As teenagers, we strive for freedom and try to break free from all that constrains our perceived liberty. It is a phase in life when we feel entitled and complacent, a time when we can argue with a rationale warped to fit our desires, and a time when adults let our immaturity slide because they understand we have to experience it.

Then comes the start of independent living: your twenties. This is the phase when one realizes the immaturity of what was thought to be, as a teenager, the most brilliant or scintillating of ideas. When one looks back two years, four years, or even ten years, everything that was once believable as a teenager is suddenly impertinent to one’s physical (not perceived) reality. Everything you believed – every fantasy, every dream, every construction, every version of the future – is merely reflection of a modern fairy-tale.

The modern fairy-tale: that version of a life you spend a decade of your existence romanticizing – everything that you want to do after college – to work or to study, to experience or to define, to attempt or to decide. All these questions run through one’s mind simply because each day inspires new possibilities. It is in this phase of cognitive development where one is perfectly capable of differentiating between rationale and desire, yet may not have that worn-and-torn life experience called “cynicism” to deter an attempt at making a dream come true. This, however, differs subjectively based on the approach in which one uses to render this romanticized fantasy a reality, but ultimately, humans work with what is known: and where knowledge is lacking, experience is needed. Thus, being in one’s mid-twenties in the twenty-first century first world has offered vast opportunities and ways to actually live, and not merely exist.

Being in one’s twenties is supposedly the best time to gain experience, but this definition of “experience” merely pertains to the “experiences” that you choose, not the ones that are thrust upon you from your childhood. By this reasoning, “experience” is not limited to age: children and teenagers can easily go through just as much (if not more) than adults, and after one’s twenties, experience does not cease to be gained simply because one “grows” or (at times) matures. “Experience” does not simply mean “something that happens in life,” it refers to what is gained or lost from the “happening” or “occurrence.” Conversely, as experiences are subjective, one of the biggest mistakes many parents make when raising children is putting the child into a similar situation in hopes of determining the child’s experience. The experience is not a mistake – manipulating the variables in such a way is, because it is a common misconception that one can repeat or reconstruct a certain experience.

Experiences are meant to be had, not explained.

Gaining experience and living an “exciting” life depends on one’s personal definition of the words but also the approach one takes in reaching the optimized goal. To some, “excitement” and experience come from travelling the world, from exploring and understanding cultures and societies; to others, stimulation or excitement come from doing what one loves, and loving what one does. Furthermore, some regard experience as the amount of pain and suffering one has to endure in order to develop resilience. When one reaches their twenties, the two priorities in life suddenly become “stability” and “solidity,” and these can involve any category in life. Stability refers to career, finances and relationships; solidity to self, friendships and family. The common misconception is that living an exciting life doesn’t entail stability – again, this depends on one’s personal definition of “excitement.” There are times, however, when stability has to be sacrificed in order to gain solidity, and vice versa, but this is not an ultimatum. If sacrifices are inevitable, though, they are based on one’s personal definitions of “excitement” and “happiness,” combined with the goal one hopes to achieve.

To those who deem “excitement” as world travel, stability is not necessarily a component, but solidity is – solidity in finding one’s self, in cherishing and building solid friendships, and for many, establishing a firm basis with family now that one is old enough to communicate without being patronized. To those who deem their everyday life as excitement may entail, at times, losing a sense of self to complement the chosen path, only to find one’s way back to solidity. To those who intentionally take the toughest route in hopes of growing back stronger, who absuse “pain” as a method of gaining experience, may work for some but not all. This methodology may work for those who trust that their support network is strong enough when they need to recover from the “battle,” but if the support network was that strong to begin with, then why take the route of masochism in the first place?

Every mistake is an experience, but no experience is a mistake.

Nonetheless, each individual takes a different approach towards achieving their perceived definition of happiness in starting a journey of a “life of fulfilment.” Whatever the definition, priority or goal, the ultimate enrichment, experience and enlightenment comes from one’s own chosen path – mistakes and failures, accomplishments and achievements – thus, stability comes from routine, practice and habit. It is a lifestyle which can only be achieved with a certain amount of sacrifice along the way – that sacrifice being the risk of occasional boredom, lack of stimulation or simple mundanity which constrains one’s inspiration; conversely, this small sacrifice in the beginning leads to equanimity in the long-run. Boredom and apathy are fleeting states of mind, but stability is the concrete foundation which only paves way for taller and stronger skyscrapers. Solidity, on the other hand, refers to the strength, integrity and self-assurance it takes to exist as an individual entity without the co-dependent need for a crutch. Although the paradox is that humans are reflections of other humans, the actual human experience – existence, living and being – are had by oneself. Hence, solidity comes from the ability to be, and to live comfortably in one’s own shoes.

It takes true strength to admit weakness and wisdom to admit folly.

 

Mistakes