Avoiding heartbreak

In my younger years, like so many others, I suffered numerous heartbreaks. However eventually I learnt three powerful lessons that changed the course of my relationship outcomes and prevented frequent heartache.

Number one, I changed my focus of what I desired in both friendships and more intimate relations.

Instead of seeking meaningful connection with those that shared personality traits, talents or activities with me, I sought to be around people who were kind, genuine and humble and found that among people of these character traits I rarely experienced rejection, abuse or being taken for granted.

We tend to gravitate toward people we appreciate the most, and after experiencing a decline in my health which effected my lifestyle, causing me to be judged harshly by a large percent of the community, I developed an aversion toward people who were arrogant and judged quite harshly, and people who were pretentious or superficial. As a consequence I developed a deeper appreciation for genuine, kind, humble people disregarding popularity, social importance, appearance and intelligence which are qualities that usually instil the most appreciation and admiration. Because of this fortuitous circumstance I realised I had discovered a character ingredients that made for excellent friends.


The second change I made was to invest in people who are invested in me.

The more you emotionally and mentally invest in someone, the more your attachment will grow. If you start investing in someone and they show no return appreciation or investment in you then let it go while your attachment isn’t deeply embedded, instead of investing further and further without return.

A healthy relationship is built on levels of vulnerability being given and built on back and forth, ie you give a little, wait for them to give a little back, and so forth. Otherwise there is a severe power imbalance and you know so little about the other, you might have just given all your power, heart, and soul to a psychopath.

The third relationship lesson, and the hardest, was not to idolise the idea of a romantic relationship and take for granted your other beautiful relationships with friends and family. At one stage I was so enraptured by the idea of finding ‘true love’ in a romantic partner that I failed to see I had true love in members of my family. After rushing into a four year relationship I realised by the end of it that God, my sister, and father, loved me better than my romantic partner did and I had always had love and support but hadn’t valued those who loved me the most.

I hope you can glean some benefit from my insights to pioneer toward a fulfilling life with fulfilling relationships.

Until next time, take care!

The Social Ladder

The more familiar I become with the nature of humanity, the more I am inclined to despair the safety of ourselves and our planet. One particular tendency of human nature has me despairing of late and this is the overiding passion to scramble up the social ladder to a position of power and glory, vain power and glory I might add.

Why is this type of glory more desirable to most than genuine companionship and love?

In my analysis of people of this mind I could only imagine their desire comes from,
1. A superficial value system that values power and status above all else.
2. A secret arrogance that looks down upon their peers and fellowhuman.

Of all the people who have achieved great status in the importance of their influence in history and upon the world, The greatest, most notable, and celebrated people were those who travelled DOWN the social ladder to meet with those at the bottom and when they were then elevated to glory they took with them those they had gone down to meet.

The Reasons Behind

Motives are what drives us to act and speak the way we do. Two people could do and say the exact same things but have very different reasons behind it. What I would like to discuss today is whether it is the action that counts, or the thought behind the action?

Many people would look at an act of charity and assume it was good regardless of the person’s motives, but I would tend to disagree. If a person is kind and generous not out of love, but in order to make themselves feel good, it has a negative effect on the recipient of the ‘charitable’ act. I saw it so often among clients I worked with who had a disability. The workers who were doing it to make themselves feel good were full of ungenuine compliments, sugar coated tones and false kindness. Many people did not pick up that it wasn’t genuine, many even believed the worker to be ‘nice’ but what it creates in the recipient of the false charity is a sense that they are inferior and a feeling of being a charity case without any intrinsic value of their own.

I have come across similar attitudes with many people in all sorts of charitable positions and my advice is if you can’t love and value the people you give to, let someone else help them.

Motives make a huge difference and I honestly believe a mistake made in love is more beneficial then a perfect deed performed in pride.

Until next time, take care.

Choosing Integrity

I always wanted a cosy life, I mean comfortable is such a great feeling. I was comfortable for a while then something changed. The ignorance that had kept me in my cocoon fell away and that was the end of comfortable.

If you are paying attention you will realize what I am getting at, the only way to live comfortably in this world is to live in ignorance. To live a life of integrity is not comfortable because this world spurns anything that challenges it, and one living a life of integrity is more than a challenge, it is a downright threat to the many living without integrity.

Some people look at those who set their face against the wind and strive to fight against the grain and think these people thrive on challenge, and indeed this is the case for some. But for most the choice is not made as a love for challenge, but rather as a love for integrity.

It hurts to be ostracised no matter who you are and this is one of the many sacrifices that one will face when they fight for what is right and true in a world where so many would prefer to live in lies and corruption.

Along with being outcast one will also acquire many enemies, and constantly be at war to stand one’s ground and to believe in oneself.

This life I am speaking about is a call to greatness and is opposite to a cosy life tucked away in the corner of the universe.

There also are rewards for living such a life, though the majority of people will be against you, those who surround you will also be people of integrity, people you can trust with your life, which is something fair weather friends will never be. You will also become a powerhouse of effective and influential living. If you ever wanted to make a difference to the world then standing up for what is right and true is the surest way to make a dent.

There is nothing more powerful in this world of illusion and deceit than the truth, and someone not afraid to live it, speak it.

I have chosen the rarely travelled road of integrity, it is often times tougher, fairly lonely, mostly uphill, but when I have reached my destination it will be upon a pinnacle and not amongst the graves.

Until next time, take care.

Listen to Your Heart

Intuition is something we all have, it’s when we listen to our heart. Mostly it isn’t as mysterious as it seems. Our sub-concious picks up on cues and body language that our concious mind isn’t aware of and we get a feeling about a particular situation or person that we can’t explain with evidence. I used to discount intuition all the time believing I was being judgemental, or jumping to unfounded conclusions. Years of ignoring my intuition taught me a very powerful lesson, my gut feeling was nearly always proven right, usually after I had painfully ignored it to my detriment. Today I want to address how to listen more closely to your intuition and, this is very important, how to determine if the voice you are listening to is your intuition or something else.

Lets first talk about what other gut feelings one can get that are deceptive.

1. Stereotypes.

A stereotype is a judgement made about a person based on a superficial quality where you have deemed all people with this quality as being a certain ‘type’. The best way to determine if your feeling is intuition or stereotype is to ask yourself if you hadn’t met that person and someone else described their appearance or label (race religion sexuality career hobbies) to you would you get the same feeling about them. If so then it isn’t intuition, it is your own pre-conceived stereotypes.

2. Irrational fears.

We all have irrational fears and they usually stem from experiences we have had in the past.

For example someone who has been rejected a lot, then meets someone who obviously likes them and cares for them may feel the person is going to reject them because of their own fear and insecurity that they aren’t lovable. The best way to determine if it is your fear or intuition talking is to ask yourself whether you only feel that way because of something that happened in the past or because you are afraid of it happening therefore you have made it a considerable possibility in your mind.

3. Social convention or other people’s opinion.

There is a very loud voice telling us what to think and feel in the form of society. My advice on this one is if you feel or think a certain way because most other people do, or it’s the way it’s supposed to be done, but your intuition doesn’t quite agree, go with your intuition. There is no safety in numbers and majority doesn’t determine what’s right and wrong. Once upon a time it was perfectly normal to bash your wife and children, have sex with children, and perform cruel experiments and torture on those considered less functional than the average member of society.

Our intuition is, as I stated at the start, a sub-concious distinguishing of clues, but it is also our soul speaking to us. (That is the mysterious part.) Some people believe the most concrete form of determining something is with our natural means, (eyes, ears, touch) but to put it bluntly, this world is full of crud.

People say what they want you to hear, they show you what they want you to see, if you rely on what you are seeing and hearing with your eyes and ears you will always be led up the garden path.

Get in touch with your heart, get in touch with your soul and intuition, I assure you, you will see much deeper into other people and situations, BUT don’t forget to test for the other deceptive voices.

Until next time, take care.

The True Measurement of Love

When people speak about wanting love they usually express sentiments such as, ‘I want someone who spends time with me,’ ‘I want someone who will sit by me when I am sad and hold my hand,’ ‘I want someone who will share my burdens and responsibilities,’ ‘I want someone who would stand up for me.’

All these sentiments have something in common beside the fact that they depict kindness. Indeed the very reason they speak of love to us is because each act expressed is an act of sacrifice.

No one ever says, ‘I want someone who only spends time with me when it’s convenient and takes their fancy,’ ‘I want someone who leaves me crying in my room until I am in a better mood and more fun to hang out with,’ ‘I want someone who won’t share in any of my problems or responsibilities,’ ‘I want someone who runs away when I am threatened so they won’t get hurt as well.’

All these latter sentiments seem the opposite to love but if you look closely all I did was depict a person who wouldn’t sacrifice. Wouldn’t sacrifice his/her time, his/her happiness, his/her comfort, ease and his/her safety.

This leads into my point today; the true measurement of love is sacrifice. Those who sacrifice a little for our sake, like a 20 dollar birthday gift, help us feel warm and fuzzy. Yet those who sacrifice a lot are the ones who make us feel truly loved, like our parents or grandparents.

Love is an act of sharing and sharing is always a sacrifice, but there is reward in it too. When you give up your time, money, heart, comfort to someone else, you show them unmistakeably, irrefutably that you love them, and your love may very well become their greatest treasure.

Until next time, take care.


Hungry Mouths to Feed

It has become apparent to me that we, as a people, are always hungering for something that never satisfies. I would argue that it is because we feed the wrong mouth.

To elaborate on my analogy, we all have three mouths demanding feeding. The first is the appetite, the second is the ego, and the third is the heart.

We feed the appetite by making our natural desires our number one priority. By pursuing them regardless of others, or our own, best interest.

We feed the ego by behaving in ways that are designed to gain attention, or flattery. We might flirt with someone who isn’t our partner, gossip, or be focused on proving ourself right when it isn’t necessary.

We feed the heart by putting the well being of others ahead of our appetite or ego, such as speaking and behaving in ways that are designed to help someone else, (no strings attached) or nurture our relationships.

So, why is it wrong to feed our ego or appetite? Because to do so, we usually have to feed OFF somebody else. We are taking from them physically or emotionally just to make ourselves feel good.

The best way to avoid doing this is to question your behaviour. Before acting ask yourself the question, “What is my aim for what I am about to do/say?”  You may only remember to ask yourself occasionally at first,  but you will soon get the hang of which of your habits is feeding which mouth.

Feeding your appetite or ego comes easily and naturally, we are biologically bent toward selfishness, but I would like to encourage you all to rise above your biology and set your heart on greater things.

Until next time, take care.

Is There Purpose to Life

Some say there is no purpose to life, while others claim they have found an answer. A lot of people think it is a subjective matter of choice, but some believe there is an objective truth.

Whatever your position may be I think we can agree for there to be any purpose to life there must first be life, so whatever else might be the purpose, one fundamental purpose should be life itself.

Considering it from this view then we could say things that are conducive to life work toward there being a purpose, while things that are contrary to life lead to the absence of life, thus the absence of purpose.

To purposefully work toward life we need to have a clear idea in our minds as to what defines life.

The famous philosopher, Camus, came to the conclusion that life was pointless and compared life to the story/myth of Sisyphus, who was cursed by the god’s to tirelessly roll a huge bolder up a hill. When the rock reached the top it would roll all the way back down again and Sisyphus had to endlessly repeat his pointless effort.

I don’t know about you but seeing or living life this way, to me, doesn’t constitute living at all. If I were to define living it would be by what makes me feel alive, and pointlessness certainly doesn’t make me feel alive.

It seems to me there are certain things that ‘awaken’ us that could be almost universally true. Whether those feelings are challenging or comforting, they can always be described as enlivening.

One particular purpose I wish to mention is ‘passion for justice.’

We have felt it a million times, something in us stirs, then grows. We want to make what is wrong right. We imagine if only we had the power, the weapons, the words, THEN………..we go back to work, to the t.v., to the gym, and do nothing about it.

Didn’t you feel it? For a moment you were alive, you wanted to be a hero, but something told you that you had no power. The biggest thing stopping us from living a life of purpose, living as if we are alive, is our ill conceived perception of our limitations.

I knew someone who was seeing a psychiatrist and had initially told the doctor that she wished to change the world. Every subsequent session the Doctor would ask her “Do you still want to change the world?” The doctor saw her desire to be significant and make a difference as a sign of insanity. That is one of the saddest testimonies to the insanity of our worlds view of normal.

Don’t be like Camus and resign yourself to a pointless life. His greatest achievement was to construct an essay on how pointless life is. He not only brought death to himself but tried to prescribe to others his lifeless way of thinking.

Choosing a life of purpose is not the easy option, the easy option is a life of pleasure. But one will leave you constantly empty, while the other will leave you full.

Until next time take care.

Making Decisions

While I was at university studying philosophy we were given a task to argue for or against a position held by the well known philosopher, Sartre.

In a nutshell Sartre maintained that there was no essence to man apart from what he chose to make himself to be via his decisions. Furthermore in every decision that one made, one was completely free and entirely responsible.

Though many people may not have thoroughly thought through such ideas there is a prevalent attitude in society of this being the case. We are told to ‘pull our socks up’ when we aren’t acting in a socially acceptable way. When others commit a crime or wrong us we are quick to play judge, jury and executioner. We judge others by our standards with little thought to how illogical this is.

Our choices are shaped by

1. Our individual experiences that NO ONE else has shared

2. Our individual decision making skillset.

First I am going to address number 1, our life experiences.

Because our parents have our growing hearts and minds in their hands for a good 18 years, what they teach us about the world and who we are has the largest impact, and largely influences our perceptions. Then as we grow our peers and teachers also play a large part in shaping our perceptions.

We can only work with what we have, and while our minds are a tool to understand things we need information for our minds to process. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, if you aren’t given correct information, (healthy and conducive to life) through theory or experience you will come up with the wrong answer (ie. wrong lifestyle choices.)

The second point I would like to address is our skillset. Decision making is a skill based process and we draw on skills such as insight, foresight, analytical thought and depth of understanding to make our decisions. These skills are both nature and learnt but are not largely determined by choice.

I would ask Sartre if he were still alive how can we be equally responsible and equally free in our decisions when we are unequally advantaged in the abilities used to make decisions?

So with this in mind, how would we expect people to live up to our standards, and why would we even have complete faith in our own standard?

Now to take something practical from my thoughts. What is the correct information we need to learn, and how do we improve our decision making skillset?

A simple formula that helps me determine what information to take in and what information to reject is this, if it is life giving I hold on, If it brings death I reject it. By life giving I mean things that make you glad you are alive, hope, love, friends, believing in yourself. Things that bring death are despair, fear, rejection.

Anything that your parents or the world taught you that feeds death is incorrect information, it is incorrect because it is destroying you for no other reason than you believe it. Once you figure out what brings you life, then you can use that information to bring life to others instead of death.

How do we improve our decision making skillset? There are some things we may not be gifted with but we can always improve. Get to know people who have insight and wisdom, The biggest step toward improving any skill is to be teachable. It doesn’t sound like much but usually people don’t learn because they lack the humility to be corrected, or their teachers lack skill.

Hopefully my thoughts inspire you to greater things. Until next time, take care.

Love, Happiness and all the Rest.

Welcome to my blog. If you have stumbled upon this entry I suggest you read the previous entry first, as this one completes the ideas I began last week.

So why do people place a higher importance on happiness than love, and indeed in many cases love contingently on whether the object of their affection makes them feel good or happy?

People are often taught at a young age that when their parents are pleased with them they are rewarded with things that make them feel good. When their parents are displeased with them they are punished with things that make them feel bad. Both rewards and punishment are acts of love if they are given for the right reason, though many times parents aren’t doing these things in a measured consistent manner which is acting in the best interest of the child, in other words they do it for the wrong reasons. Many times parents will punish their children based on how their children’s behaviour made them feel, and at the other end of the scale lavish their children with undeserved praise and gifts because seeing their child happy makes them feel good.

Behaving this way teaches children feeling good is being loved, and feeling bad is being unloved. This is a lie nearly every single one of us has been taught at a young age, and the reason why is because our parents learnt the exact same lesson.

This lie also makes our pain and trials unbearable, because when we mess up, when we are wrong, and when we displease someone, we equate this with being unlovable, and when we go through difficult situations and hardships in life we get the sense we are being punished by life itself, or some greater power and we again equate this to being unlovable.

The truth that I have learnt is true love can often feel bad. True love is putting others and your own needs ahead of others and your own desires. Often our needs conflict with our desires and in order to run from the challenges and the ‘bad’ feelings, we give ourselves what we want to make ourselves happy, which equates in our minds to love. We do the same for the people we love.

Because this lie is rampant throughout the world it is very hard to give genuine love, as people prefer you meeting their desires rather than their needs, and we prefer meeting our own desires rather than our own needs.

I know the things I have spoken about are very challenging but I hope it has inspired something in you to pioneer toward better decisions. Take care til next time.