Valiant Blogger Award

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The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way. This award was created by Liz C. of the Daily Warriors.

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FOREWORD: Contrary to Rule No. 3, this post is more than 200 words. You would understand after you’ve read through it.

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My love for my parents is one of the strongest emotions in my life. But in Asian culture, love is seldom expressed in words. Besides being Asian, male and an introvert, it makes me feel even extremely uncomfortable to tell “I love you” or to even share my thoughts and feelings with them. Our daily conversation was a combination of what I had for lunch and what they had for dinner.

The word courage, came from latin root cor – which means “heart”. For this post, the meaning of courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. I don’t know where to draw the courage to share my story with you, like I don’t have the courage to tell my parents “I love You”. They raised me with love, so much love. They made me believe I’m worthy of love not because of what I achieved but because of who I am. Yet I so desperately want to be this perfect child for them, I share my happiness and achievements and withhold my struggles and failures. Although I’m proud of my achievements, it did not come to me sooner that this “sharing and withholding” thing had created a huge gap between us and we no longer feel the joy and pain of each other’s life and journey.

Frankly, I’ve been on an extremely rough time in life these past three months; I was heartbroken and torn into pieces by the end of a 30-plus year life relationship with my mom. I’ve written how it had been so heart-wrenching on my part on my post A Message for the Woman I’ll spend the rest of my life Missing and the subsequent post about finding my own balance in Is “Goodbye” simply a word.  Many questions about unexpressed emotions, unsaid words of love and affirmations, hugs and kisses that were not delivered, kept ringing on my mind since then.

One time, I can no longer withhold my emotions, I broke down and I burst into tears. Luckily, my wife was there to break my emotional fall and absorb the outburst of all the pain and sorrow thru words spoken gibberishly that flowed right out of me. It hurts so bad, not just because of the loss of someone so dear to me but also by the lost opportunity to express all the love and care I withheld, in the sterile hope that a tomorrow is always guaranteed to come.

Sad but true, life stops for no one. Hence, I need to rise up from the ruins of my pain and guilt. Through the unconditional love, patience and support of my loving wife, I am able to face my emotional battles every day. This blog also became my therapy — a platform wherein I can express my emotions about life as well as my aspirations in life. Yes, if you’ve been with me and reading my posts since I started this blog, you would have noticed that all my posts were manifestations of my thoughts yet with the implied deeper purpose of anchoring myself up with my established ideologies, principles and convictions, in an attempt not to lose them whilst I’m fighting my own daily battles.

I couldn’t yet say that I have fully conquered and won that particular battle, and I don’t know when is the TIME that I can finally say I’m through with it.  Nevertheless, I am  somehow recently slowly gaining grip with my emotions. I owe it to the people around me, who loved me and are always there for me in this battle, including you, my readers and virtual friends here in the blogosphere. Your support to my every post, even your simple comments on each of them, solidifies my personal ideologies, principles and convictions and motivates me to keep on fighting. Because of that, Thank You, I’m getting by day by day.

I still have my dad. He’s a chronic stroke survivor for more than 4 years now. And every day I express my love to him and make sure he feels it. I have also my lovely wife and a family to whom I get courage and motivation in my journey pass grief and towards reconnection.

I don’t know if I deserve the nomination for this award, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to have shared part of my life story with you all.

Recently, the feeling of being “reconnected” (with my dad) after so many years is like magic. I didn’t expect that what feels so uncomfortable before felt so natural in the end.

My advice to those who are going through really tough times in their lives: RUN!!! 

Ran towards those who love you and whom you know will understand what you’re going through. And just make it a habit to say “I Love You” to all your loved ones, will you? No matter the day or the circumstance.

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Thank you Liz for creating this award which gives opportunity for people to inspire others through their resilience, courage and persistence in fighting the good fight of this so called Life

For my nominees: I nominate all my readers for this award. Like me, I know you also have your own battles in life. Hear from you soon.

Andrei

P.S.: Liz, please forgive the few extra words.

The Right Way to Rock the Boat!

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Men are afraid to rock the boat in which they hope to drift safely through life’s current, when, actually, the boat is stuck on a sandbar. They would be better off to rock the boat and try to shake it loose, or, better still, jump in the water and swim for the shore. –Thomas Szasz 

It is inherent upon us to crave for approval from fellow human beings and that we fear disapproval. We were somewhat designed to skirt the danger that is social scorn. True, public scorn has risks, but we greatly exaggerate them. Fear of others’ judgments is a necessary human adaptation, but it is a clumsy and imprecise mechanism. That’s why we worry so much about risking the boss’s wrath in requesting a promotion, defying dad by forsaking the family business or breaking with our colleagues by going against the established mediocre systems, etc..

We avoid conflicts and are hyperconscious of other people’s opinions of us, especially people we deem important. We like those who like us. Problem is, we go overboard and freak out if we make an inappropriate remark or otherwise jeopardize our status. We all worry about others’ approval, regardless of our place on the food chain.

Every social encounter is a subtle dance of dominance and submission. Asking someone to clarify a remark, taking your time to answer a question, suggesting a date—or saying no to one—require an intuitive understanding of the dance steps. Assertiveness is taking the lead. Chances are, even the most forward among us err on the side of submission. (After all, outlaws commit crimes in only a fraction of the instances where a crime is possible!) So unassertiveness becomes, for many of us, the default. Implicit self-instructions like, “when in doubt, shut up and go along,” sometimes keep us, and kept our ancestors, out of trouble. But you want to thrive, not just survive.

Today, we have a luxury most humans never had. We can pursue more than just survival and reproduction—we now search for meaning, contentment and fulfillment. In theory, we know we’re free agents, but when we tie ourselves in knots about how to tell the in-laws not to middle about how to nurse of raise a child or how to “effectively” manage a family or agonize about requesting a raise, we’re really grappling with the prehistoric dogma: Sit tight and don’t rock the boat.

In a world with written laws and police (not to mention the option to relocate, find another job or remarry), we needn’t be hypercautious about every social encounter. But most of us are still saddled with this preimposed, perennial dogma —an overly developed concern for how we’re perceived by everyone. I bet that you would agree that most people are pretty preoccupied worrying about what you think of them. We have less power over others’ opinions than we think, so we might as well discount them if possible. When the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman was hunkered down at Los Alamos, his ailing wife, Arlene, sent him personalized pencils inscribed, “Richard Darling, I love you! Putsy.” When she found out that he didn’t use them because his famous colleagues might laugh, a stunned Arlene asked, “What do you care what other people think?” Her words became his assertiveness maxim—and the title of one of his books.

Being assertive does not mean you must always get your way or proudly flout social norms. The golden mean of assertiveness resides between the extremes of passivity and aggression. Straightforward communication always beats cowering or commandeering.

Starting today, try monitoring the social risks you avoid, and note the times when you act either passively or angrily. Then look for the assertive alternative. Push yourself to act assertively even if it feels alien and uncomfortable at first. Like for our ancestors, conditions were often either “safe or sorry.” Today, you’ll be sorry if you’re too safe.

Learn to tolerate the discomfort of doing what you think is right even if you feel great emotional pressure to conform. Make clear statements about what you prefer. Take your time when answering questions put to you. Make your preferences clear without demanding that others accede to them. Practice making requests and refusals as well as letting others know your positive thoughts and feedback. Accept other people’s right to refuse your requests.

Let’s rock the boat, shall we?

P.S. If you liked this post, you might as well love: Breaking up with Medi O. Crity

© 2017 viewpointsofandrei.com

Your Word is your Bond

 

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Do you think before you make a promise to someone? What if you can’t deliver on your word? Does it really matter? The world isn’t going to come to an end, is it? Well, actually no, but have you considered . . .

Many people are pretty casual about making promises. As a result, promises are frequently made at the drop of a hat with no real intention of keeping them. “Let’s do lunch,” “I’ll call you later,” and “I’ll be there in five minutes” are all examples of throwaway promises that are frequently made but seldom kept. However, this casual attitude can have real consequences.Think about it — when someone else breaks a promise to you, or gets caught in a lie, doesn’t that make you feel violated or cheated?  You can’t help wondering whether you were wrong to ever trust that person.

There was a time when keeping your word held special significance. We took great pride in being of good character. Personal integrity was both expected and valued. That was a time when everyone knew each other’s family, and you wouldn’t do anything that would cast a shadow on your family’s good name. It was a time when integrity was instilled in children at a very early age and was viewed as instrumental in achieving success. The truth is, our world may have changed, but the importance of integrity has not. While we may not know everyone in our own town, the world is still smaller than you think. Create some bad news and you’ll learn this for yourself.

Every time you give your word, you’re putting your honor on the line. You’re implying that others can place their trust in you because you value integrity and would never let them down. It goes without saying that if you don’t live up to your word, you may end up tarnishing your credibility, damaging your relationships, and defaming your reputation. Most importantly, you’ll be letting yourself down.

But . . . when you operate with complete integrity, what you say will be taken at face value, your intentions will be assumed honorable, and your handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, you can take great pride in the standards that you’ve set for yourself and sleep well at night knowing that your conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all.

What do you think? Are people too casual about making promises?

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

 

 

 

 

Thoughts and Quotes (#theWayoftheHeart)

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“Follow your heart” is a creed believed and followed by billions of people. It’s a statement of faith — a gospel proclaimed in many of our stories, movies, poetry and songs.

Essentially, it’s a belief that your heart is a compass inside of you that will direct you to your own true north if you just have the courage to follow it. It says that your heart is a faithful guide that will lead you to true happiness if you just have the courage to listen and act. The creed says that you are lost and your heart will save you.

This creed can sound so simple and beautiful and liberating. It’s a tempting notion to believe.

YET, be reminded that the heart is a vessel – of joys as well as sorrows. It beats out anger and frustration as much as mercy and love. It, sometimes, gets played, stabbed, wounded,  stamped, burned and broken, emotionally. It mechanically beats and functions. It works to keep us physically alive at the same time to keep everything inside of it — the happiness, pains, longings and miseries — sustained also. It can get highly intoxicated by the variety of emotions that it takes and processes on a regular basis.

I often have heart to heart talks with my heart lately (and on the not so long past) and I was surprised by what I found out. My heart has said things I would not wish to repeat. Being true to myself, my heart tells me that all of reality ought to serve my desires. And about how I should be treated by others, and varied assortments of selfish, narcissistic wants and longings. More often than not, such conversations pointed farther south, down into the realm of deeper and darker emotions.

As much as I love and admire the strength and resilience of my own heart, and how it has never failed to keep me alive and feel alive, I still won’t entrust my precious life on its bidding. I must not follow it, rather I must lead it to where  I want to be at in life and who I wish me to become as a person.

Have you talked with your heart lately? What did it tell you?

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com