The Defense Mechanism of Being “Okay.”

I have written so many things about life encouragement. Sometimes pouring hope into my words is the only thing that convinces me to go on, like they have a magical pull that will keep my spirit up. However, on most days it is just about being okay- going through boring routines- not being sad nor happy, just a blank slate.

It is the human way of staying sane.

We are mostly driven by the power of our emotions. These are fueled by our energies, and being just “okay,” is the act of our body to defend itself. It keeps it surviving, recognizing that this stagnant stage is for renewing energy.

It is though, a different story when you become so steady that all your emotions- including rage- are pent up inside you. This paves way for overwhelming reactions that are not good for you and the people around you. Acknowledging that these emotions are part of you makes it easier for you to gain control over how to express them, but sometimes, like I have said, not saying anything is also just enough.

People have the misconception that being “okay” is a bad thing, like it is you settling for less and not having the drive to yearn more in life when actually being “okay” is the way to contention- and what is life if not the search for what will make one content?

Being just “okay” means that you are in touch with reality and have acceptance of how your life flows, but it should not mean that “okay” is enough.

I know I got you confused there. Let me explain more.

“Okay” should only be a stage of reflection. It should not be permanent.

Our feelings, and life in general is not a one way line- it is a cycle. In a cycle, when one gets stuck in one stage, it becomes meaningless and unable to move forward.

Being just “okay” is the breaks in between the ups and downs, allowing you to transition into them. Humans will be unfulfilled without the purpose of seeking for something, and in that our emotions should be exercised in all ways. We need to feel pain in order to feel happy. We need to feel angry in order to feel peace. We need all the contrasts and we need “okay” to go between them.

So if you are just “okay” right now, take your time, but remember- there will always be something after, and if that exhausts you, you can always take a break and just be “Okay.”

It is Not A Cinderella Story: The Reality of Poverty

The pandemic has taken over the world and made it halt- but it cannot stop the graduation season. Countless of stories of success flood your social media timelines, mostly of people who have made it despite of setbacks. How the world loves to romanticize sufferings- the inspiring drama makes us teary eyed and hopeful. We uplift the people who we think have made it in their harsh lives, and it is in our human nature to sympathize.

Poverty should not be romanticized.

Rags to riches is one of the most popular storylines because it shows that if they can, why can’t you? We worship these even though we are well aware of the facts that only one in a million make it while the rest of us scrap by. We fail to realize that we shouldn’t be inspired by such because opportunities and wealth are equally distributed in an ideal society. We are so accepting of this broken system that we applaud those who reach the finish line, without even thinking about why their roads are bumpier than ours.

We talk about a child who climbs mountains just to get to school. We talk about girls who fight back for their educational rights. We talk about kids who are forced to endure hunger while in class. We talk about them like they are normal, but the real question is why is this all even happening in the first place?

For every one person who gets their Cinderella story, thousands in the world suffer. It is never about the effort you put in, but it is more about how their levels are only on 10 while yours is 100. No matter how hard they try, they will always just reach a 10 while you look down on them from your 20th and mock them because the climb has already taken a toll on them.

Perhaps on the evolution of human beings, we have been conditioned to accept hierarchy like it is part of us. We forget that we are the ones who created it in the first place, these invisible lines that make visible impact in our lives. The more we are advanced, the more our gaps widen. It is no wonder that those who find their eyes open to the many imperfections of the society are still trying to make their voices heard, because the truth is, we have not resolved anything fully. We are still bound by prejudices. We are still in this pyramid and the bigger it gets, the more the foundation widens- the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

The true way to success is not through hardwork- it is through the right opportunity.

That’s the only answer.

A man can plow his land and it still would not grow him crops simply because he has a bad land. Why doesn’t he change the land then? Well, he simply can’t because he is on an island. He can perhaps grow other things, but would it be the same as a man who has rich soil on good land? It would never be. Should he be just satisfied with what he is given then?

We try to justify it with contentment. It is true that happiness only comes when you decide it for yourself, and you can only be satisfied when you are contented. Again, we are so accepting of how broken our society is that hope is the thing that keeps us in check.

The greatest lesson to all this is that we should realize how much privilege plays. You may think that you are just doing average, or even barely making it, but only when you see the real face of poverty in the eyes of those who are on the streets, hungry and lost, will you find yourself accepting of how the right chances got you to be lucky. We should always remember kindness and be the opportunity that someone needs to make a change in their lives, then perhaps in that we can all change the world.

Life Thoughts

I have come to a realization that you can only know the real world once you have seen it through the eyes of those who suffered most. To what degree, though, one might say, because there is no way we can judge the suffering of each one and justify it as greater than the others. Some see it in wars, some in poverty, some in silence battles that hide behind masks of glittering images. Pain, in every way it is, is still pain. In this common ground you will find how the human heart relates with each other, because there is no greater comfort than knowing you are not alone.

To see it, one must take the journey of looking back to memories they have longed buried and relive the experience. Be in that feeling again; the hurt, the pain, the hopelessness, and remember how it made you to be who you are now. Remember that you have this, and other people go through the other things that can account for it. You have scars on your heart, others have it on their minds. You might have a fresh wound now, others might have already had it for years and yet the pain haunts them like a lost limb.

When one understands, then it becomes clear what the answer is- kindness. Kindness is so rarely pure, and bless those who have them so genuinely. Often it is developed from regrets, from guilt, from making amends. Are we to judge then if it is still considered as good? Kindness is a good virtue- but I say no. Kindness, no matter its form, will always be kindness.

Let kindness grow from your own pain, then perhaps, this world would get the change it needs. However, it is mostly wishful thinking for we know that with free will comes cruelty and injustice. Then I must revise; let kindness grow from your own pain, then perhaps, one’s life would get the change it needs- your own, or another’s, and then maybe both.

There is no greater thing than growing kindness and letting it bloom. // hrh

This Is Why You Should Hold On

This is why you should hold on.

You don’t have to get out of the dark. You have let it consume you, but sometimes.. sometimes we need to be in shadows. I just need you to light a little flame there, like the dark night with a lone star- lonely, oh so lonely, but hopeful. I want you to hope.

You don’t have to forget all the pain. You don’t have to forgive. But don’t ever remain hurt just to blame yourself. I just need you to accept the pain and embrace it- for scars are beautiful. I want you to fight.

You don’t have to pretend. You are not okay, and that’s fine. You don’t have to put on a mask, you don’t have to force yourself to feel something, or to be someone. I just need you to be you, no matter how everybody else sees you. I want you to help yourself.

You don’t have to move forward right now. This journey isn’t easy, and if you are stuck in this road, it’s okay. I just need you to never let go, no matter how much you want to give up. I want you to try.

This is why you should hold on.

And the fact that you are still holding on,

just shows that you are strong.

This is for you, who’s thinking of giving up today. // hrh

Photo: Basketball Diaries

It Is Not You I Miss

It is not you I miss, but the gap you left me with makes me think of it. I know I am long over you, as I am writing this I can’t even remember your face anymore. It’s funny how the small things that used to mean so much to me no longer matter. Like the sound of your voice; I remember how I would feel at peace just by hearing you during our late night talks.
 
The feeling of being alone is what haunts me. I miss having someone to call mine, I miss the feeling of being in love. And yes, even though I have been broken many times I still hope that someday, I will come across someone who will finally be the one who’s just right.
 
It is not you I miss, but being together completed me. It is not that it defines me, but I know for a fact that love is what makes us whole. The sense of belonging to someone makes one realize that the world is even more beautiful when you have someone you can share it with.
 
It is not you I miss, but love.
 
I’ve forgotten you; it’s been a while and I no longer love you. I have learned to be with myself and I don’t really mind it even if I would end up alone forever. I have hope, though. My heart hopes for another story, maybe another heartbreak; another chance to believe in love again.
 
It is not you I miss, and I think I’ll never do anymore.
 
— It is not you I miss;
I miss the someone I will love next.
 
// hrh
photo: A Walk to Remember

Come What May

You came to me with a strange look on your face while we sat down to look at the sky again. I knew by then you already have a question on your head. I waited, listening to the wind whispering to the leaves. Minutes passed by and silence swept over us.

Finally, you spoke and said, “Why?”

I waited for more, but apparently that was all you said. I thought about it, and came up with this:

“Why? I do not know. Some things happen, some don’t. No one knows. But that’s what keeps living; we live to know the things we probably won’t even know.”

You smiled at me, and took a deep breath. And just because of that, I understood- I understood how it felt to live.

 

// hrh

The Art of Lucid Dreaming

Every night, as my body falls asleep, my soul is awake, aware that it is in a dream. I usually see events unfold from a first person point of view with limited physical control, with my mind following the dream as it is to see if it has a message for me. I let the dream take over, and only interfere with it on times when I feel like I might be stuck in it or if it turns into a nightmare.

Facts say that we humans always dream, but most of us forget about it when we wake up. Ever since I was a kid, I would always have a recollection of what I have dreamed about the night before as I wake up every day. Sometimes I would get a whole episode, sometimes just fragments, although I cannot seem to remember everything. I have ignored this, thinking it was normal, and never questioned why my dreams seem to be real.

I don’t recall when I first heard about lucid dreaming, it’s just that I was amazed that there was a term for it and that it was rare. I researched about it over the years to fully understand it, there was even a time I tried to interpret almost every dream I would have. It made me more anxious and tired, as I would be stressing about what signs in my dream would mean and if it was bound to happen in my already challenging life. I learned that some people would even see themselves sleeping, and I was totally freaked when that first happened to me. I try not to do it again in fear of not being able to go back to my own body, I think that’s why most of my dreams are first person view. I don’t think I can even imagine what my reflection looks like in a dream, a defensive tactic I have developed to avoid seeing myself from another perspective.

The best dreams are the ones that seem so out of the world but yet feel so real. I have flown once, and I remember how vivid it was; how ecstatic the feeling of flying was like the superheroes I watch on TV. I remember waking up to aching legs, because in my dream the pressure of flying was made from one’s legs. I do not know how to swim in real life, but I had some dreams where I would be able to breathe underwater. I was living my fantasies while I slept.

However, as my eyes close and darkness captures me, it can also follow me into the other worlds I see. I have had encounters in which I had to force my physical body awake by thinking about which body parts I can easily move first, like my toes or fingers. I have tried to avoid these by not watching horror films before sleeping, as I tend to relive nightmares.

Perhaps lucid dreaming is my way of searching for the void I feel whenever I am awake, but the truth is sometimes I also yearn for a dreamless sleep where I can fully rest.  I don’t think I remember a time where I just.. slept.

 

 

Human Cloning: A Discovery We Should Not Pursue

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The human race has come a long way. Our hunger for knowledge never ends, and the more we discover, the longer the path gets. Every day, a new idea gets developed, a new theory proven, and a new product invented or enhanced. The constant change in this world and our ability to adapt to it is the core of our survival.

It is always been our goal to discover things for our convenience. The subject of cloning has been explored by scientists as an option to prolong human life. Several studies and successful experiments have been conducted on animals. It was in 1996 when the first mammal was cloned through cell cloning. Dolly the sheep lived for six years, and her embryo was created by taking a cell from her biological mother and inserting it in a sheep ovum.

However, the question still remains to be seen on whether we can now clone humans. The closest things we have to biological creation is IV treatment and surrogate, helping parents with physical issues conceive and have children.

As of today, we can only explore possibilities through science fiction movies and literature. Story lines are often about how human clones are made to support organ harvesting and surrogacy. We have been trying to prolong human life ever since the peak of technology and so far we have been successful. Today’s mortality rate is about 70 years compared to the lifespan of people from 100 years ago, thanks to our advancement in medicine and technology. Is there, then, a need for us to create an exact replica of ourselves to only harvest them for the anatomy we need? Do we really need to create copies of ourselves? Are the copies we create still us, or are they different, albeit with the same DNA structure?

If we can produce clones, what’s to say we cannot engineer our genetics? We already have the capabilities to make unnatural changes to ourselves, though most of them are only physical. We can now change our sex, change our physical structures- but what if we can also alter our DNAs to create abilities beyond human? Cloning opens many possibilities in scientific research. When we are able to replicate DNA, what stops us from creating and enhancing it? We might accidentally have beings who are human but so different from us in a way that they have powers we have only imagined.

Mutation is our bodies’ answer to the change around us in order to equip our race with change. Natural evolution shows how different species have survived through mutation, and how most are extinct because of their inability to adapt. The human race, being at the top, with our critical and logical thinking being our greatest assets in survival, has not even stopped evolving yet, since we are the only beings capable of riding with the current of change.

The more we explore and enjoy our convenience, the more ways we end the human race. Viruses emerge, the climate is changing rapidly, and we have weapons at our disposal that can wipe places off the map. We are more divided than ever- with unending wars being fought because of borders, race, inequality. Human cloning can solidify gaps in the society in ways of who can afford it and who can produce it.

The greatest fear we should consider in human cloning is that that replica of you can replace you, but who’s to say that it’s still you? Since they are genetically engineered, will they be better than us? What will happen if they decide that their purpose isn’t what just we have for them, but that they want their own lives? Is it humane to create clones without giving them rights, and only considering them as science products? Is it not the same as also harvesting our fellow humans, because with their biological make up, despite of how they were made, they are still humans.

It will be an unending debate, but as of today there are no discoveries that are publicly announced that human cloning is possible.

Perhaps what makes us human is our limitations, but going beyond also made us what we are now. The human race will never end, we will just always shape into what is required of us, and of us in the present, all we can do is imagine and hope that we still retain our humanity throughout our journey in the future.

Studies:

Lassen, J.; Gjerris, M.; Sandøe, P. (2005). “After Dolly—Ethical limits to the use of biotechnology on farm animals,” A study on the successful cloning attempt on mammals

Hanover, R. (2019). “The Similars,” A dystopian YA novel on human clones

5 Traits of People Who Are Born in February

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February is the most unique month of the year as it is never constant. Every four years we add one day to the calendar and call it the leap year, due to the fact that the Earth orbits around the Sun in about 365 and a quarter. To synchronize our calendar year to the solar year, February gets 29 days instead of 28 in a leap year.

Perhaps this gave way to why people in February are often characterized with having their own world.

  • Creative

People born in this month find ways to channel their thoughts and feelings into different outlets. They are the artists, the quick thinkers, the initiators- the mind of a structure. They have wide imaginations that are the basis of reality.

  • Sensitive

They are thoughtful and appreciative, hence they tend to take every little thing in mind. This also paves way to overthinking, especially about questioning themselves. They are always ready to lend a hand to others and to give a part of themselves, even when there would be nothing left for them.

  • Observant

They notice every detail, even those that are somewhat irrelevant. They value even the simple things in life because they believe that the most important things are the ones that we often miss.

  • Deep

Their minds are always wandering off to an adventure and they have a wider outlook in life. They tend to see things more than what they seem.

  • Mysterious

Nobody can every tell what to really expect from them, as they are fluid with change. This sometimes make them difficult to understand, as most do not know how to deal and handle their mysteriousness.

 

 

photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris

 

 

 

Ready, Get Set, GOAL!

We all know a certain philosophy- but not all of us live by it. We come across inspiring words and stories almost daily, thanks to the powers of social media. The world today seems to increase its pace, and the question is, where are you now?

· Think

Many of our life decisions are based on a pulse feeling, so it’s a good practice to think about what you really want. This also allows you to know yourself better, and in knowing yourself better you learn how to prioritize and organize.

· Believe

You are the only one who can set the limits. Be confident, the world is out there for you to conquer. It may be a tough battle, and not all of us get the luck. However, don’t stop yourself from aiming to be better than always. A little growth over time goes a long way.

· Act

Your dreams will stay as dreams unless you take a step to reach them. Be patient in working for them, for nothing happens overnight. Remember that you can build your life the way you want it to, so you better do the best.

Time flies fast as you grow old, and in some moments you come to a point where you start to rethink your life over. Usually, this leads you to the road of regrets, frustrations, and hesitations- making you feel like you haven’t done enough- so it’s now time to get up on the other side of the bed and live the life.

 

photo: Oscar Söderlund: https://unsplash.com/@messisorder