Struggle?

Struggle.

What is struggle?

It’s a strange one, when you really try to break it down and describe it. We hear this world dropped so casually in conversation, struggle, as if it is like an obstacle course that needs to be completed, or a challenge that needs to be accepted.

But struggle is so far from that. Struggle isn’t boot camp — it isn’t a place where someone blows a whistle and you do as you’re told lest you be punished. Struggle isn’t school — it isn’t a place where thoughts and ideas are handed to you on paper and you memorise the way others think. Struggle isn’t a workout — it isn’t an action where you come out feeling exhausted in all the right ways.

Struggle, is that part of life that is so common around us that we don’t even know what it looks like.

We only know what it doesn’t…

What does it look like?

It’s when the kid across the road is carrying far so many bags that probably outweigh his little body, and he’s trying to drag all of it to the bus stop.

It’s when your friend stutters in every conversation because he’s nervous about what he’s trying to say, formulating the words so as not to offend because deep down he actually cares about you.

It’s when a single mother is trying to care for two crying babies whilst dealing with a screaming child all at the same time; that frustration in her eyes simply because she is tired and fed up, helpless and unsure of what the “right thing to do” is.

It’s when an old man with a broken leg is hobbling on his cane through a crowd of apathetic pedestrians, or curious onlookers…

It’s when a young teen who had a whole life ahead has to deal with the repercussions of the entire world finding out that daddy was a pedophile.

It’s when a fresh graduate who spent four years working through college can’t find a job even after a year of being out of a world-rewound university.

It’s when someone knows their time on earth is limited, and wants to do as much as possible before the body eats itself.

It’s when someone spends twenty years committed to a company only to be made redundant by a machine.

It’s when a family with good parents, good values, and good morals who do their best to raise decent children still can’t afford Christmas presents.

It’s when every ounce of effort exerted to the point of near-self-destruction still barely makes the cut, despite making every right move.

It’s when you’re tired of being tired…of being……tired………

Struggle, is real. Struggle, is all around…Even though struggle is not always a choice, perspective, however, is.

Meaning is in the eye of the conveyor

Peace!

Mikavelli

Embrace The Storm

A seventeen year old once asked me if all problems in life spring from laziness. It took me a moment before responding, “yes, and no.”

That thought, however, did get me thinking. Firstly, different cultures breed different definitions of “hard work”. Some see working hard as a career, a financial ladder to climb. Others see it as overcoming struggles of one’s youth. Some see it as maintaining a healthy and happy home, others see it as maintaining a healthy and happy mind. Secondly, different people have varied perceptions of hard-work. To some, it’s what we put out into the world, and to others, it’s what we give to ourselves.

So is it truly laziness that springs all problems? Yes, and no.

Yes, in the sense that whatever we become negligent in, we will lose balance. Now this is not to say that we must do all things on our own — in today’s fast-paced era with rapid advances and reactions over responses, it is very draining to do all things alone. This type of “aloneness” can also lead to levels of arrogance, as evidenced by the growing narcissism within the millennial generation; not necessarily the grandiose sense of it, but the covert sense, where people don’t make an effort to relate to others yet expect others to cater to their needs.

This, my friends, is arrogance, the type that is sprung from laziness and negligence. It is an insecure arrogance, not a humble pride.

It is for this reason that we have people in our lives: to humble us. Some maintain our emotional health, some boost our physical selves, others cause us to reflect on our inner workings, and then there are those who motivate us to put it into action.

Of course, we could do all of it alone if we really put our minds to it, but it can also be a long, tedious, and extremely lonely journey. This type of “loneliness” leads to complacency. People get tired, and then take a rest. They get comfortable resting for so long and forget what motivation feels like. Climatologists would look at this “low pressure zone” and call it a “tropical depression”. Psychologists would look at it and call it a “clinical depression”.

Here’s the good news: we’re all human, we have life. I look at nature — flowers, trees, grass, oceans, skies — all life has seasons and changes. We’ve accepted that flowers bloom in spring and leaves fall in autumn, then it is pure logic that humans, too, have seasons. All life changes with nature, we are humans, we have life, we have human nature.

How does a depression blow over? Embrace the storm. Let the cyclones and typhoons blow away the pollution so that you have clear skies (clarity) and sunshine (smiles). The rain (tears) wash away the pollution (toxins) and

voila, the solution presents itself.

But you must first embrace the storm.

(Hint: the sky isn’t always up…it’s right in front of you… the globe is round… just saying…)

Mikavelli

Embracestorm

Mind Over Matter is Truly the New Matter

(*Disclaimer: This one is a bit paradoxical, on the theme of “Crossroads”)

We live in a world of information, competition, and perceived freedom.

It is true that since the perpetuation and expansion of what one generation calls the Internet, and the rising generation calls “Social Media”, information has been at our fingertips by choice.

The Internet has provided us with a platform of access to our minds. A smartphone, a laptop, a piece of almost “mundane technology,” once one of the greatest inventions of our species, now a simple representation of our minds manifested in a physical realm. The Internet is an invention, probably the only revolutionary invention (not upgrade) of the modern generations. It is also one of the first real tools that has no physical entity except for how it is expressed. The Internet, cyberspace, social media…they are intangible creations that transcribe our minds to the eyes of other readers by leaching onto physical entities such as gadgets.

The mind (Internet) over matter (devices) is the new matter: all that appears to matter is what happens in the mind

This information gives us “choices”, guidelines and “standards” of “civility”. In the last two decades, we have seen this level of “information boom” shock the planet into civilization. All that was known to us suddenly sent the world into an unspoken fear of the “perceived known”. That shock woke the world into realizing how much there is we don’t actually know. How chaotic everything can be, and also how fear drove one spectrum into civility and another into barbarianism.

Is it really a choice, though? We believe that we have the freedom to indulge such information, such knowledge, such “updates” and so forth. But how often have you clicked on a link, a post, a picture, simply because you “couldn’t resist the urge” to do so? Does this not stand to reason that your freedom has thus been overridden by the constraints of habit?

The Internet, or social media, has allowed us to develop new languages and modes of communication where we feel like “mind over matter” is truly the new matter. Being drawn into political debates about countries that have no physical bearing on oneself, empathizing with the idea of philanthropy (social justice) around the world, taking it upon one’s egotistic shoulders to “change the world”, adopting new labels and definitions simply because this “sounds a bit like what I am”.

What if…none of that matters, and all if it minds?

None of those “matters” are physical, all those thoughts are intangible. Therefore…none of it…”matterializes.

Your physical self (the matter) and your emotional+psychological+spiritual self (the mind) are merely reflections of each other. What you write online reflects what goes on in the mind, and what you put into your head, you could condition yourself to become.

So now, in 2017, it is no longer the debate about mind over matter vs matter over mind. The mind, and the matter, have now combined.

Have fun with that!

Peace and blessings,
Mikavelli

There’s a Time and Place for Everything

It’s time to state the obvious: we’re all human.

Some people are loud. Some people are quiet. Some people are energetic, others need more time to recharge. Some are cognitive, some are emotional, and others are spiritual. Some come from patriarchic cultures, others from matriarchic ones; some from expressive languages, others from passives ones.

All in all, we’re in a globalized world of international nomads migrating like there’s no tomorrow, and many of us live like each day is our last, knowing that one day we’ll be right. If that’s the case, then why, pray tell, is there so much “justification” for being human?

Every personality type in life has pros and cons; there’s no “right way” to do anything. Each person has their own individual process tailored to their personal needs, and the only difference is the outcome. Some people prefer bouncing ideas off of others by generating live feedback and open discussion. Others may prefer to work independently and figure out the puzzles in silence, then come back with a final product. Whichever your personality type, no one can “tell” you who or what you are. Only you know that; the difference is, those in your life who care about you will advise or support you in the best ways they know how.

If you know that you benefit more from working alone, go do it, just get it done well. If you know that you’d prefer bouncing ideas off of people, find people who enjoy your conversations and can challenge your thinking.

It’s not about the “definition” of being “extroverted” or “introverted”, “ESTJ” “INFP”, “ADHD”; all of these words are medical terms coined by doctors to discuss treatment for patients. The fact that even I can casually drop these words into a blog having no accredited qualifications in this department (yet) only shows how easily our generation uses these words as adjectives to describe each other. We all think that we know more than we actually do, we are more entitled than we have earned, and many have become so self-centred instead of self-reflective.

Wake up, people, we’re all human here. There’s no “right” personality or “correct” trait. Everything is what it is, and everyone is who they think they are. What if we were to put all differences aside and get to the core of everything: do what you know from experience is best for you, and if you don’t have the experience to tell you, then go and make those experiences.

Quit sheltering yourself from everything that would make you stronger just because it’s “inconvenient” to have an experience at that given time. We’re always waiting for the “right time” to do things. The “right time” to organize a store room, or the “right time” to find love, or the “right time” to move house. Yes, timing is important when there are multiple factors, but most of the time, the “right time” is simply: what needs to be done and when?

There’s a time and place for everything. Stop making excuses for yourself. If you’re inspired, express it. If you’re tired, take a rest. If you’re excited, laugh and smile. If you’re sad, cry it out. If you’re angry, vent or rant. If you’re in love, show it. If you’re at peace, remember this feeling. From honest experience, just go with it. Don’t overthink it, don’t analyze it. Just go with it. The more we hold back, the more we regret the memories we never made.

There’s a time and place for everything.

Peace,
Mikavelli

You See Wounded, I See Mended

This song is uplifting in every way possible, it’s been quite inspirational. Meaningful and beautiful lyrics. Enjoy!

“Oh, but I can still recognize
The one I love in your tear stained eyes

When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended

You see worthless, I see priceless. You see pain, I see purpose. You see unworthy, undeserving, I see you through the eyes of mercy.”
-Matthew West-

 

Does Negligence Render Us Narcissistic?

…of what does our world truly consist?
~Mikavelli~

It’s safe to say that enough articles have come up in recent years about how our generation has become, by far, one of the most narcissistic generations in human history. Not only have we been spoiled by social media’s constant reminders of self in comparison to our worlds, but we have also become so moralistic and self-righteous in our deluded drive to “rectify humanity”. What if I told you, humanity was never broken, but that our perception of self in relation to our role in “our” and “The” world is warped?

Many of us have this unspoken and almost unrecognized superiority complex where we have to “save the world” — be it the actual physical world, be it a sociologically “incepted” concept such as race, gender, status and so forth, be it sorting out other people’s relationships, be it filling in the loopholes of our memories and experiences. It is an entitlement where we feel that humanity has failed, the world is broken, and 2016 caused us to lose all hope.

I call this “entitlement” because so often we complain, about anything and anyone, which springs from the standpoint that “the person did not fit my paradigm”. Or, in laymen terms, “he/she did not live up to my standards or expectations”. And there it is, the most entitled attitude that we project our desires and expectations onto a person, or an ideological concept, or a situation, or a monetary figure etc.

We are so focused on the details of what we perceive to be our world, our reality — but of what does our world truly consist? Even as I sit here typing this behind the screen, I’m shooting myself in the foot over the irony that my world actually consists of people. Humans. My world is what it is because of the people who choose to be a part of it, and yet a screen is how we are reminded of each other. It is how we make an effort for each other.

Showing appreciation should not feel like “effort”, but how often do we get so raveled up in our own priorities, our own passions, our own perceptions, that we neglect the PEOPLE who are our reality? 

If the answer is more often than you’d like, then I would recommend taking a moment to personally reflect on the issue of whether negligence renders us narcissistic.* (Clear distinction: narcissistic, an adjective describing those who are self-absorbed and self-centred. This is not to say that one is a narcissist, merely that one exhibits characteristics not unlike one.)

Before we project our repressed narcissistic behaviours onto narcissists who actually have a condition (painful as it may be), maybe we should reflect a little.

Or does all this reflection just generate more narcissism…The paradox is yours.

Have a good week!

Mikavelli

References
1. Millenials Admit to Being Narcissists, but Don’t You Dare Call Them That

2. Me! Me! Me! Are we living through a narcissism epidemic?

3. Me! Me! Me! The Rise of Narcissism in The Age of the Selfie

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.~