Detachment

It’s something I have to constantly challenge and remind myself to practise. Be it from people or from things, I think it’s the only way for me to be able to gain some semblance of peace within, yet innately for the last few decades that I’ve been living, it is almost an ingrained part of me, no doubt I guess due to circumstances I’ve grown up in or experiences I’ve had when I was young that have led to what I am today.

It is perhaps telling, that the more I try to detach myself the harder it seems to be and the more bitterness I feel, whether it’s with myself or the people I try to detach from, when I can’t get to the state envisioned. I don’t know if it’s what I would call ‘soft-heartenedness’, if I just have a natural soft spot for these people that at the slightest hint of any positive showing of affection/friendliness to me, all earlier thoughts of detaching myself from them go out the window obliterated and I invest and dive fully headlong into it and somehow or another emerge with even deeper wounds when things again start to go awry.

I told my friend that maybe I’m just the ‘all or nothing’ kind of person, but yet the inability to practise and stand by the concept of ‘nothing’ has resulted in bitterness that in all reality has only affected me and left my heart in shreds and my mind in constant turmoil, the other person oblivious to whatever suffering I’d inflicted on myself.

The idea is to detach at an appropriate moment and not grieve, or stay too long in grief, when a relationship goes south or becomes that of an acquaintance sort of connection. The key is to understand that people come and go, and friends are made for a season and a reason. It may be true that some stay longer than others and maybe there may even be some who linger for an almost lifetime, the ‘evergreen’, underlying bedrock of friendships that somehow always remain, visible or not. Yet the truth is that there are and will be many who will come and go, and it is important to recognise and acknowledge that, appreciate it when they come and accept and celebrate it even, when the time comes for them to make an exit.

If I could only accept that graciously, even if the exit happens in circumstances that I least expect, I need to gird and ready myself for such situations and be ever ready to cut loose when it doth occurs.

I want to be happier and more at peace. I don’t want to keep on like this and exhaust myself and people around me – those that are still around.

There are so many things in life that need the mental capacity to deal with that it is needful to conserve the bandwidth for the most fundamental ones so that the candle doesn’t burn out prematurely.

Food enjoyed with another almost always taste better…

staying afloat

At the risk once again of sounding like a broken record as I succumbed to over-rumination, the mental image of a piece of driftwood out on the rough turbulent seas surfaced. Perhaps that is what describes the state I am in, physically and mentally. I really do admire people who put in the effort to live each day meaningfully and with some purpose because I think that is not something easy? I have chosen to be weak and whine about my predicaments, that my mental fog somehow prevents me to squeeze that ounce of effort from my self to do so because the dreams I have each night that oddly remain fresh in my mind when I awake in the hours of pre-dawn leave me bewildered and more weary than I was when I laid myself down to rest the night before.

I need to consider relocating my living quarters. I do not know how to handle the various sets of neighbours who create so much noise disturbances that even for the short few hours I am at home, I cannot enjoy a single moment of peace even when I try to drift off to slumber.

Change is internal, and it needs the person to want to change and make an active effort to change, starting first from the mindset before anything will see any results. I know. Many years ago, my sister-in-law told me that “change comes from within”. I had scoffed at that back then, my insolent and stubborn self who rolled my eyes and made a joke out of that with my friends. It was only after I had embraced Christ, and only after working for many more years in a role that sees me having to engage in sector development work, that I began to appreciate the veracity and value of that phrase.

Maybe it isn’t me that will effect the change, rather it is God who will bless me with what is needed to change, that I would be able to because I believe He will cause all things to happen for my good, for I have been made righteous in Christ. Head knowledge is something I have a bit of, where biblical truths are concerned (I am not that conscientious when it comes to reading the Bible I will admit that as much) but trusting and believing in what those verses say is an altogether different concept because it requires alignment of the thoughts, words and actions. How often have I confessed myself to be a blessed child of God, only to grouse to every living thing around that I am stuck in a rut I cannot get out of, then praying to God to remove me from the valleys that I am in?

That said, I came across this the other day, which made me think of what others have always talked about on self-love. What exactly is self-love and how does one demonstrate that or ‘get better at it’?

Also, is it that I am just not being resilient enough or too idealistic, and not veering on the edge of burning out as I sometimes feel, that I am just so unhappy at my workplace. Many have told me to be thankful for what I have, and perhaps then that would take my mind off the negative aspects of the role, that according to them, are just part and parcel of working that we all have to learn to accept, that if I were to stop expending so much of my brain cells on such thoughts, then maybe this “isn’t such a bad place after all”? Is it really?

This is just another set of useless thoughts that nobody needs to read about. But I don’t know where else to put them down otherwise, so this will have to do for now.

detachment

I have always struggled with investing too much of myself emotionally to people and perhaps even things.

The latter is a problem only to the extent that it has made decluttering difficult because throwing things away is made tougher, exacerbated by the other issue of a tendency to be lazy in efforts to re-home these items that I no longer need/use.

Attachment to people is a way bigger hurdle that I need to constantly remind myself to learn my lessons, and let go of putting myself too much into interpersonal relationships. It is actually fine and nothing wrong in being authentic and giving my all in friendships (beyond acquaintances or colleagues), but I need to learn about managing expectations or not becoming overly-expectant of what “should” the connection be like.

Frequently, a point-in-time closeness has sometimes made me forget the pain and heartache experienced in past experiences where I have let myself go too deep into expecting how the relationship should be, and ended up burnt and getting myself hurt. Sure, it really is a case of me asking for it, but how is this balancing act going to be maneuvered in a way that I don’t hold back in authenticity, while being able to accept that things aren’t going to be how I wish for them to be all the time? I cannot expect that the other party, whose actions and thoughts I have zero control over and not absolute awareness of, would always behave in a way that I would have in the same situation. Different people hold different values and they may not always be considerate of the other person, or they could be dealing with some shit that has resulted in them behaving in a capricious manner that inadvertently and unconsciously hurt someone else, i.e. me.

It will always be a work in progress that I have to keep posting these mental ‘post-it’ notes to myself. It is tiring indeed, but I believe that in the longer run, being able to manage this well would contribute greatly to my overall mental health and well-being.

rain rain and more rain

The rain finally stopped after what became an almost never-ending weekend of rain. The weather was gloomy right from Friday afternoon and when the first drops of rain spilled, there was hardly any respite.

Through the sploshing through puddles while trying to make my way from office to yoga class on Friday evening as dry as practically possible, maneuvering a complex network of underpasses and sheltered walkways, to braving the relentless drizzle that fell in light and heavy spurts for a family dinner to celebrate Dad’s birthday on Friday the 13th no less, the drastic dip in temperatures definitely signalled the year-end. As much as I am not fond of getting my footwear wet from traipsing about in wet weather, or even having my clothes feel damp and clammy from the specks of rainwater that inevitably fall onto me, I really enjoy how this whole thing makes the whole Christmas season seem more real.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the rain pressed on in the early hours of the morning when I roused from bed, blinking my eyes open to a cloudy grey sky and shivering under the thin duvet cover (without the quilt inside) that I usually used as a blanket. Hot yoga in such weather felt like an awesome idea to get myself warmed up, and it felt good to just sweat for a couple of hours before once more stepping out to the cold atmosphere.

I read something online about how when we feel a lack of connection to the people at work, whether we just do not connect on a personal level or feel that maybe there is too much toxicity that we don’t really want to be a part of, the article recommended building up on relationships outside of the office. In such situations, we are not going to remain in touch with the people in office the moment/day we leave, so while we are in the midst of trying to leave, it is much better to be able to focus on work while looking forward to forging deeper ties with our friends outside. It is true I suppose, that this could be a way to take my mind off the disappointment or sadness I feel at being left out of cliques or with co-workers who fail to or are simply unable or unwilling to demonstrate the same kind of empathy I display to them. But friendship is never about equal reciprocity, in or out of the workplace. Yet this unequally yoked relationship automatically subjects one party to an automatic disadvantage when this person attaches too much weight or invests too much emotionally into the connection which the other party probably doesn’t at all.

It seems trying on too many fronts at work. Short of being able to finally discover and identify what it is that I want to do that can be a professional pursuit, the simple thought of continuing at this current place for an indefinite length of time certainly makes for a depressing one right at the start of the week, as we count down to the last 15 days of 2019.

It’s the eve of Chinese New Year

For the past few months, it’s always been clockwork, what I do daily rain or shine, weekday or weekend. Most days anyway, unless there is some other appointment that conflicts with the routine.

There have even been days when I would awake with a jolt, wondering which day of the week it was, and if I’d woken up late to miss the regular yoga class I attend. It’s rare and of course I hope it never happens, because anyway as of late, I can’t sleep well. Most days I would rouse from slumber before the alarm actually goes off and so my day would begin earlier than I’d planned for it to.

It’s CNY eve. Most people are scrambling to do their last minute shopping, whether for groceries for the reunion dinner, for the next few days’ meals, or new clothes and shoes. Several shops had already done their last day of business yesterday and let their employees off for today and the next couple of days.

Lunchtime. All F&B outlets that are still open register long queues of hungry people, students or working adults off from their half day of school or work, or those taking a meal break before going off to run more last minute errands.

All this while, it was ‘business as usual’ for me. Did my usual stuff, had my usual breakfast, and decided to go get some non-CNY stuff.

Then I continued to mull the plausibility of skipping reunion dinner.

I really don’t feel like it because I just wanted to hide myself at home and veg out, maybe indulge in fast food for dinner.

But.. could I? And would I? The last thing I’d want is to make my parents worry, or unhappy. Not turning up to reunion dinner, when I’m obviously not out of town, would be a big thing.

Then again, would anyone notice actually?

And so I fulfilled my duty. Is it out of love for my parents or an obligation to be there, I really don’t know.

2017

Happy 2017. Although it’s already the third week of the new year.

Philippians 3:13-14 says:

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

In this brand new year, I should learn to look forward and not into the past; that whatever has passed is past and put them behind me. It is ok to reminisce but to live in past memories only serve to make us get stuck in a time warp, unable to progress forward.

Well, I don’t know if there is anything that I am hanging on or holding on to in the past that is rendering me unable to look forward or move forward, but I know that action is important. We can have the best-laid plans but if no action is taken then there will never be any breakthrough. I hope that this can be the year of change for me, in all aspects of the word, that I can persevere in making the kind of changes that I want to see in my life.

Being financially-bound by commitments, the biggest of which is the housing loan that I should stop harbouring resentment towards but be filled with gratitude and gladness that I now have a roof over my head and place to sort of call “my own”, add on the various other necessary payments such as taxes and insurance premiums the latter of which medical-related ones are on the uptrend, I may be constrained with pushing forward with my initial plans to action.

That said, I still want to believe that this is going to be the year of change. Changes can come in small steps, but I need to take one step forward to make things happen.

Food for (my) thoughts

Came across a website earlier on, and read some articles that could be useful for me. One of them talks about addiction to food, which more aptly, the article states, could be “eating addiction”. There’s even a slideshow that was created to discuss it, along with groups at risk, prevention and so on.

As I clicked on the various links that expounded further on the topic of binge eating (disorder), a lot about the behaviour and feelings described resonated with me. I wonder if it could also be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy as I try to draw myself into the box of people who may fall under the diagnosis of BED.

Looking back on 2016, so many things have happened this year that has physically and mentally worn me out. I hope I have made good progress on some fronts in terms of breaking through on some thoughts and ideas that have ceaselessly spun themselves in a spiral within the small compound of my mind. In the coming new year, I also hope that there can be real tangible progress that will move me forward, even if it is just for an inch. It certainly beats staying in the same spot, pondering the next move but never making it.