Passions’ Guilt

Good evening ladies and gentleman.

Recently i have found myself wandering about the feeling of passion. Its one of the few beautifully pure things left in our modern lifestyles but what do we do to promote this feeling of wander? I got to thinking about materialism, love, sex, food, wine, travel, cars- everything. How to someone, somewhere, these object is a part of a lifestyle that at its heart is a feeling of pure, unadulterated joy.

These moments are important because the development of these passions is a fundamental step to figuring out who you are.

Yet, knowing how important these moments are, i sit in those lower moments questioning the very notion of something so supposedly frivolous like building a car, or just owning something i like or getting to go somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. I feel guilty for wanting to do something so “meaningless” for we as a nation have become obsessed with persistent and profoundly large steps in this need to progress.

Yet doing something just because i enjoy it, or because it makes me feel good, often seems like I’m wasting my time.

What if that comes back to the need to progress, to advance to the upper levels, to constantly and continuously moving in bigger and bigger jumps every time. It feels to me that society is trying to force us all to be born in their image, to like what the world tells us to like, to enjoy something we are told to enjoy. That way we can be kept under control and given just enough freedom to remain under the illusion we are free.

Is it really that black and white though? For freedom, is a state of mind. We see people on tv shows and inspirational people across the vast sphere of the internet making changes in their life and that positive effect is rippling around to millions of people across the world- one of them being you. Naturally you start to think- “maybe i could change the world too,” and for a moment- you feel inspired.

Then as time passes, even minutes after the initial inspiration you start to feel different, more worn down, for whatever you felt, has passed. Without realising, you carry on the same as before, sure that whatever far flung idea you had “would have never worked anyway.”

I have been there many times and i am only able to offer this alternative. What if you, what if i, what if nobody in fact was ever going to change the world? What if me, you and so many others have been living under the illusion this was even possible? More than that- what if we weren’t even supposed to?

What if, individually, we were to work to charge OUR world. I would work my world in my way, you would work yours in your way and as a collective, through genuine innovation and often in the smallest of steps, we would change the world, by simply working to bring about evolution in your world, thus facilitating a revolution.

So whatever your passions are, why not pursue them? It doesn’t matter how the world perceives what you enjoy, or what you love. If you wake up everyday looking to spend your time writing poetry or painting a beautiful masterpiece in the morning as you wander down to your garage to work on your project car in the afternoon- then why not?

It doesn’t matter what your artwork is and it certainly doesn’t matter what value it can add to the world- for it is yours and yours alone. It’s something deeply personal, the working on things that instils a fire in your soul, the personal touch on existing that makes your heart beat just a little bit faster and makes you want to reach just a little bit further. This is where we find passion. Its sensations and feelings of this nature that are the components of true happiness.

Nobody and nothing should be able to take that away from you.

No amount of guilt is going to change this, for it’s the difference between existing and truly living. The world will always think something, it may evolve but the fundamentals stay the same and not everyone is going to agree. You will disagree with some and others will disagree with you, it’s nothing to shy away from and certainly nothing to feel guilty about.

For apart, we will simply be left asking that age old question- “What if I had done things differently?” “what if i had pursued that? what if i had just listened to myself rather than what the world told me to do, then maybe I would have been happy”

But together, understanding and accepting that while our differences may divide us, the way they make us feel will always bring us together.

Puts me in mind of a verse from an old Frank Turner song….

“We’re not trying to shape the world
So people think like us
We just want our own space to dance man
No favours, no fuss”

Passions guilt is a just another obstacle to overcome, for then innovation and happiness will be a force for good in all of our lives.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Image from Pexels

The Perfect Candidate

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Tonight, and not for the first time for what has been more than 4 years now, I pose a simple, yet remarkably complex question…

Do you know who you are? I mean really know yourself and go to the great lengths you might go to for someone you care for, someone you love in the same way you would to know yourself? What drives you? What causes you to feel pain? What makes you fall head over heels in love and laugh until your stomach hurts?

To truly know oneself, is rare. This is something that continues across to our relationships with friends, family, coworkers and even strangers on a crowded train. Think of your job for instance- think of what happened when you walked on your first day, think of how you felt, your demeanour, the way you carried yourself and even the eloquence of how you spoke.

Then think to three months later and how prolific the change ended up being. Think even of how your posture changed, not so nervous or uptight as the people you were spending the majority of your average week with became a group of people you were becoming more comfortable to be around.

You became more comfortable around these people, so you felt settled enough to remove some of the barriers you had placed around yourself in self protection. We all, not just at work- are surrounded by barriers. The employment contract you signed, often just like in life, comes with a candidate specification and we have all been led to believe through years of fearful obedience to a emotionally flawed and damaging system this is the person we must be in order to be successful.

When the truth is, when we play this character, this supposedly “perfect person” we feel cheated in the happiness it’s supposed to bring us, when the truth is nothing really changes.

However, as time passes with a never ending uneasiness, people will start to break away at those cast iron blocks around us, as we do theirs. We learn by listening, and share through the confidence listening gives us and from this you might start to remove more and more barriers, maybe the mask of the perfect candidate is revealed to show a sliver who you really are.

I wander, does anyone really know you? Truly know all of you. What you like and don’t like, what scares you, what makes your skin crawl and that nightmare you cant get away from sometimes when all you want is for them to hold you that much harder? In this world now does anyone every really know another person? How much of what we see is them and how much is simply our perception of them?

Perhaps perception is the wrong word. As you learn more about a person and they learn more about you, its seeing through the character they present to the world, the “perfect candidate” in turn for someone else, someone more recognisable to the person you look at in the mirror and complain at every morning.

So my question isn’t necessarily about people you now, your friends or lovers seeing through the character completely and without compromise, because a lot of the time, that sort of love is nothing short of a fantasy born from what the through the fear of losing it can do. It is about you. You are never going to be able to truly reveal your soul to someone, if you aren’t able to show yourself who you are.

Who knows you? Do you know you? Who is your perfect candidate?

Im not sure i do to be honest. Even if can’t help question the notions and beliefs of my Perfect Candidate- I’m not overly sure who he is anymore.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Original image by Bongkarn Thanyakjj

House of Cards

What is it recently with this dictation the modern world seems so obsessed by? Maybe it’s something i’ve always felt but never been able to effectively put into words but its like we spend so long obsessing how we are supposed to feel. Maybe it’s television, the endless media tirade on joy, even other people, our supposed friends, family or even social rivals. We are always so busy watching everyone else, the most hateful form of social suicide feels almost inevitable.

We all think we know what we are supposed to be doing. We all have a plan. A general jist of what path you feel like you should be taking. You may have set goals for yourself- “by 20 i’ll have done this…by 23 i’ll have made it to that position…by 30 i’ll own my own house.” and so on. Make no mistake goals are important but when they are YOUR goals, not what the world has you convinced you should be aiming at.

If you have a goal and truly believe it’s yours, then nothing and nobody has the right to take it away from you. Yet, as we build towards this idea, the walls of life seem to close in. Then, it’s very easy to find your continuing life, the seemably endless day to day nothing more than a prison to lock your dreams, your hopes and loves into so you can carry on finding something to do with your time.

You know those days- maybe just like the one you had today. You’re maybe sat on your phone or looking at this through the familiar blue screen of your laptop. I wander, do your knees hurt from where you’ve been standing all day, do your eyes hurt from continuously sitting under the same light fitting thats been flickering for nearly a week now and even though you must have called maintenance 8 times- it persists? A timely reminder of your continuous existence while feeling like your unable to live?

Imagine on one of these days, nobody was around and you found yourself with an empty desk and a pack of standard playing cards. Naturally, you’re going to find yourself building that house of cards, where your mind is looking to just achieve something with the day. It seems like who we are and even who we want to be is built in a very similar way. Seemably fragile and delicate and something as simple as a gentle breeze able to bring about our untimely destruction, because it somehow seemed “impossible” to reach those heights- “so whats the point?”

Just like the house of cards, the smallest misstep, the smallest conflict or junction where you aren’t a hundred percent sure the way you go will lead to the certainty of success within your soul, the life blood you think you carry you to heights unknown- and it can all fall.

So. So. Fast.

What now? There you lie, sprawled out on the ground after having fallen so far. Your beliefs, your dreams, your loves having fallen around you, forming a neat pile of everything that once was. What do you do from here? What do you do- when you don’t know what to do?

Heres the thing about people- we are notoriously bad at saying the following phrase with any genuine meaning a lot of the time- “I don’t know.”

Not knowing is scary, because then you can’t be sure about what you’re doing or where you’re going and that means you can plan for it or know how to handle whatever emotions are presented to you. We fear the emotions we don’t know we are going to have- its why dreams fail, why people don’t go to the places they’ve always wanted to, why we find intimacy so difficult and why saying “i love you” to someone is the biggest cause of mental anguish this side of saying “leave me alone.”

What do you do when you don’t know? Well- we ask people, our friends, co workers, family. They all think they know what you should do, they simply want for you to feel better so they tell you what they would do. Empathy creates this environment where we think “well if it would work for me…”

Thing is, our situations and subsequent mental states are a result of us and the way we feel- in that they are unique. So we turn to what the world tells us to- to therapy, to pills, to something not to fix the problem, but to sedate the problem away. Maybe we don’t look that way, maybe we go down a more recreational route, maybe we do other drugs, go out and party, turn the music up so loud that the thrum of the bass and the ever increasing drum beat hopefully dulls out the pain in your soul and fear in your heart.

We believe this is the key to happiness, but all its doing is keeping us just ignorant enough to be able to “survive” being alive. I’ve said this before but it remains as relevant as ever- “living is a choice- existence is inevitable.”

All existence is doing is creating billions upon billions of people who feel so little through fear of hate or confusion. We follow crowds in some hope we will find something we lost as our house of cards collapsed to the ground, that maybe we could fill our lives with pale imitations of what we once were, rebuilding that house of cards but never to the same extent that we know we could, if we wanted to.

Because whether we like it or not the most important thing in life is to listen to yourself. To make yourself feel everything, even the things you don’t want to. To accept it as the house of cards falls and rather than rushing for the glue carry on building- for as we carry on building and as it carries on falling again and again, we will learn more about what we are facing and the balance required to do it.

Then, you will become a master of construction and understand that you and only you are in control of your own fate,

Now. Get to building.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

The Universe

So. Here’s the thing. We, as humans, perceive time as a linear construct. We believe the passage of time started at yesterday, moved through to today and will move onto tomorrow. We live our lives in the belief that this pattern is continuous, looking back at the endless list of yesterdays wishing that today had that comfortable familiarity, hoping the finite number of tomorrows can bring some level of joy the memories of the past can bring.

Throughout this cycle there is one, all be it, rather open ended factor intertwined through every aspect of our lives- sometimes for much more negative reasons than positive. People. We as a species are growing in number faster than we can find somewhere to live. The key to understanding who you are becoming revolves around a number of factors, be it emotional context, how you feel and perhaps more powerfully in this uber-connected society in our interactions with people.

What i have come to find, in this way that i have been thinking for many years, is that people are so much more than a presentation of a moment- or perhaps more appropriately a collection of moments, often the most powerful meaningful feelings or sensations all tied together into what essentially becomes a connection. A friendship, a relationship, In whatever way, some form of profound connection to another human being.

Connections, profound or meaningless, are not necessarily based on how long you have known someone, or whether you still see someone. These moments, where time is lost and you feel truly in that moment is where these connections are born. I have a notorious obsession with solitude, in that i sometimes wander about how much time i spend alone. I wander in my weaker moments if i am lonely. These thoughts pass, my sleep deprived state trying to hold me down to a memory, hold me to how “well i was doing- now you’re ruining it with thoughts like this.”

Even in your darkest moments, connections are always there. Talk to your friends, talk to your partners. Just talk to someone, not even about your greatest loves, or fears if you don’t want to. Lose yourself in connections, because what you lose to the universe could come back to you in such an outstanding way. I once believed life was about these moments, the days that make your hair stand on the back of your neck, the moments you can’t seem to forget no matter how hard you might try, even if you’re not sure who you would be without them.

The moments of bewildering beauty have their roles to play, but the more i learn about life, the more i learn it’s not that simple, nor should it be. The connections are scary, painful, sometimes impossible. In those moments, throughout that connection there will be things you want to forget, the moments in time the anxiety at even the idea of the memory could be so great you just want to scream. Then catch your breath and scream again.

Yet, we persist. We go as far as to convince ourselves we hate that person, we hate ourselves for forging that connection in the first place or just generally flinch at the mere image or fleeting memory of someone. These people have probably moved so far on with their lives you may not even be a memory anymore, but we still persist in the hate filled joy these memories bring. Yes, its scary- yes it creates anxiety you may never feel like that again and for sure there is no way of knowing either way.

So we just exist in this endless loop, almost with the universe offering us endless opportunities to break the cycle, your subconscious mind openly giving you every opportunity to move through this deadlock. We can’t though, not like that. The fear has you like a caged animal, the familiarity of the four walls a welcome site in comparison to the unknown of the futures outside our realm.

All it takes is one decision. Through the nerves, the pain, the curiosity and mind blowing beauty. Make a decision that you would never normally make. Do the exact opposite, something your past would never be able to predict. I’m not going to say you shouldn’t feel this way or that, i learnt a long time ago the only thing you shouldn’t feel is nothing.

Your universe is always giving you options to evolve and develop. I’m not saying all the changes are going to be good or happy changes, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen. Make that first decision, then work towards the next one. Then do as you feel you should- follow your instinct.

Theres an old rather lackadaisical idea that I’m supposed to say here and thats “follow your heart.”

Don’t do that.

Your heart is an old romantic fool thats been deluded by media and endless fairy tales that the world revolves around happy endings- it doesn’t. But to carry on this over hyped and over used metaphor in how you should ignore your head and follow your heart- i’ve never understood that either. Your instinct comes from your gut and thats what will always have your back. Instincts are within the first three seconds of a thought passing into your periphery. When it comes to connections, i truly believe that they are the most important three seconds that we rarely give any attention too.

Listen to yourself and be open to all life has to offer. So maybe you were with someone, or maybe you had a friend. You cherish those memories and at the time you were convinced it couldn’t get any better. How do you know? Tomorrow doesn’t even exist yet, so the connections you forge tomorrow could be evolutionary and create something you wouldn’t even imagine possible.

Your universe puts people into your life for a reason, and takes them away for a reason to. It doesn’t matter whether you know someone for 2 weeks or 2 years, but you learn something from every connection you make- as its your universe showing you what you are building when you look in the reflection every morning.

People and connections are in your life for way more than any of us understand at the present moment. Just wait for it. Be patient, be confident and be open to everything in your life. All it takes is one decision and one moment to realise how important every connection you have ever made has been in your life, regardless whether you still maintain that connection.

The universe is giving you the stepping stones to live your life and openly and as freely as we can. Its up to us which path we choose. It’s up to us whether we walk down a path at all.

The universe will always try to show you. All its asking is for you to listen.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

The Pursuit of Blissful Sleep

Good evening ladies and gentleman

We spend approximately one third of our lifetime asleep. If you live until the age of 75, that means you would have spent 25 years asleep. The vast majority of your brain is out for the count, just the parts keeping you alive remain full of the sparks of life.

As we sleep, we rest and recover from the day, or night that preceded it- or thats at least what we intend i suppose. Yet the pursuit of sleep is often littered with problems and obstacles. When all you need to hit the reset is a few hours sleep, the joy of your bed can sometimes seem like nothing more than a figment of your imagination.

When you can’t sleep it feels as if your entire DNA is being re-structured because you don’t feel like you. In sleeplessness issues can be bought so far forward it can be impossible to ignore.

The rougher periods generally come from something different. Sometimes we can choose not to sleep, occupy our minds with something that we feel is necessary to drive us forward and other times we just have no choice.

It’s a confusing thought to wander what the point of going to sleep is. I’ve had this thought pass through my mind more times than i care to count, like I’m trying to delay the inevitable passage of time to delay tomorrow as much as i can. Eventually you have to concede and go to bed for the sun will soon rise again, to only lie there under the soft white sheets, wandering why you are alive, what is the meaning of life, what did you do with today and what did you learn. I find myself thinking sometimes in quite a profound way and other times i feel so totally blank- tired of thinking so much but still not sleeping.

What follows comes the realisation you failed in your pursuit of blissful sleep. In its place nothing more than a persistent curiosity of where you went so wrong or what you’ve been thinking about to get to this point of poor or sometimes no sleep. Which ironically, makes sleep even more difficult.

When you are open to life and every feeling that comes with that, it gives you an acutely different perception of the world. But take away the majesty of sleep, its as if you’re handing over the reigns of your life to someone you’d barely trust to tie your fucking shoes- something that can often be a struggle. Sleep deprivation, or insomnia in some cases is taking away the one thing you need more than anything else in the world and taking that away is a danger like few others.

What happens to your mind when you don’t sleep? To me, it’s the capacity for emotional context and balance, which is the one thing that gives you the perspective on your life, what you are and who you are, the part of you that sees you that you’re special, different, unique, capable and even loved.

Born of no sleep is the issues of overthinking- which can be a fairly constant battle to manage. I’m generally always thinking about something, considering some form of theory on old school philosophy, modern takes on old ideas and questioning the very social hierarchy that emotions seem to place upon people. I think about how easy it could be to accept the world “just as it is” and how i must fight against it for what i believe in. In periods of no sleep, that voice that screams to give up- to not be okay with “not being okay,” to “submit” is so much louder. So much harder to ignore.

It’s a difficult to sensation to explain when you find yourself beyond exhausted. I think its a misconception to assume to be tired simply as a result of not sleeping, i can sleep for hours and still feel so much worse than i do having “rested.” Lack of bliss is a powerful force for you have slept, but not rested. Nightmares plague your soul, your unconscious mind filling your dreaming body with every possible fear it could bring on, the tossing, turning, fears of what may or may not happen, the fear of loneliness while wanting so badly to just be left alone.

When you don’t rest, its as if your soul remains asleep. I wander how we go about dealing with this inability to find that blissful sleep we all strive for. The way i see it, its your mind telling you something in your life isn’t sitting right with you. Whatever it is your entire system are out of balance and until you figure out what it is, the pursuit will be nothing more than that, a chase for sleep you are always going to struggle with.

Jim Carrey said that depression is your minds way of telling you that is tired of playing a character for the benefit of society and i feel like this thought could be used to deal with the issue of sleep. The way i look at it there is some form of internal struggle or conflict making the pursuit of blissful sleep a near herculean distance to run. Your mind is telling you that something is wrong, the question is how open you can be with yourself to look deep into your reflection and try and understand what’s going on.

Now i say this like it’s easy. I know its not- sometimes it feels a near impossible task in which genuine sleep feels nothing more than a distant blissful memory. I can spend hours lying in the dark staring into space, feel absolutely nothing when lost deep in a music playlist seemably never ending. When you’re there, in your way, you fear you may never be able to pull yourself out.

Worse still- you aren’t sure that you want to.

But what if we tried? I’m not saying it’s going to help immediately, in a week a month or even a year. I hope as you read this as part of the bleary eyed life we all seem to live these days you connect with these words and give yourself that chance. Talk to your people, people who see you truly, not as the character you play. Even your dog, it doesn’t matter.

Write it down, write a song, write a poem. Take a photo, create a work of art. Cry. Cry floods and floods of tears until you see it. I know it’s scary, it feels impossible. Find your way to let it all out. Doesn’t matter what it is. Please try. Please.

Then maybe, someway, somehow..

The Pursuit of Blissful Sleep will be successful for us all.

Yours, with love as always.
DR x

Photo Credit- Sofia Garza

Reflections of Reality

Good evening ladies and gentleman

I have found recently that the way i write, or get ideas for how to write has been undergoing a sort of evolution. I think of the most off the cuff ideas generally at the lower points of my mentality, or when boredom has been running through my rife through my mind, as if i was hungover after a heavy night out. Its almost like when your body craves fluid- my mind begs me for some form of idea, something to make your heart beat and soul truly sing.

It’s during one of these “hangovers” that i got to thinking about what it means to live in “reality.” The word in itself gives connotations to ideas of “how you feel the world should be” and there being “nothing i can do- its just how it is.”

Its a word we use at the end of a debate, when your out of ideas and your conversational armoury has run dry- this is the time when “reality” takes a hold. It’s very pessimistic in the emotional thoughts and feelings that are connected to even saying that word, like admitting defeat. I wander how much we know about reality, about how the world tries so hard to be real, yet so often seems such a hoax and how this compares to our own personal reality.

I’ve written enough already about the obsessive desire it feels like society tries to convince us “their” way is the only way. How it seems like our only purpose in life is to fit into the ideologies and beliefs of a wider audience, to gain followings and gain this so called “ideological reality.” This is something that connects to our personal reality i think, because i feel there have been times in deep misery or longing when we tend to stray from the morals of uniqueness, personal knowledge and ideals and wander, to just for a second…in whimsical curiosity- look to the other side.

A look across to the other side and the grass always seems a little greener over there- so you wander. You think “i bet that grass tastes amazing!” even though it’s just another way to lose another aspect of your reality, forging a path to eventually become nothing more than a reflection of your former self.

Through all this revolves the argument that we are born of the circumstances presented to us throughout numerous stages of our lives. Its a powerful argument and its something i’ve considered to be true for a number of years, but theres more to it, that you as a human being are so beautifully complex its near impossible to define who you are or who you want to be through your past, your present or even your idealised future.

I find we as people, in 2019, will take the easy way out of an emotional problem so as to not deal with it. Now, take this as you will- I’m not saying the potentially massively terrible actions or events that have happened to people aren’t playing a part in their emotional existence and how ones personality is evolving from that point, but what worries me is what is being lost as a result of this event.

Its like i said- we are being defined by our circumstances because we are being told that’s what is supposed to happen and what you’re supposed to do in reaction to it. We are all guilty of it i think because it’s been drilled into us in such a way to not even notice what we are doing. Its like we are so unsure what to do- so you end up listening to people who will never see the world like you do- to then end up living through their ideal of your situation. Ignoring the overall issue that nobody else has ever felt what you’ve felt or been through what you’ve been through in the way you’ve done it.

The way you react to an event is always unique to you.

We fear repetitions of the circumstances that caused so much anguish the first time round, so we wrap ourselves up so much to avoid it happening so it never will, but at the same time ignoring a part of you that makes you feel special, that makes you feel alive. Say a racing driver has a terrible crash, should they quit and never race again- or should he keep going because of the way it makes them feel?

Obviously a fairly acute example but its almost like we are all constructing mental museums- a nod to the person we once were, while lost in the fear of what we could be. The end result is inevitable, because it’s nothing. No way to go back to the pain of before, but no way forward to the potential of what the future could hold for you, depending on what you choose to do.

We walk around our Museum of Reflections, seeing how you felt about yourself, the things you loved to do, people you once cared about, people you loved- through nothing more than glass screens and reflections. It’s easy to become so lost behind things that have happened, feelings you have experienced and people you have lost. It’s an emotional scapegoat we have all been using for years and i feel like we’re all losing out on ourselves as we try and stare at the world through a mere reflection of who we used to be.

Just because something happens you shouldn’t lose something, but it should add something to you- this is the difference between change and evolution.

The alternative is we risk putting up more and more glass cases, more and more parts of us lost to the land of maybe in reflections of who we used to be- to the point where one day you wake up yo someone you don’t even recognise in the mirror. Our personalities as people have become so fragile its as if one little tap could shatter us all into a million pieces.

I say let it. Let yourself be broken, let yourself feel the pain you don’t want to feel, feel everything that scares you. Embrace the fear and accept the pain for what it is if it doesn’t go how you hoped. There is no failure only learning and no change just evolution. See the reflections of yourself and what you once were, windows into memories which have caused you to build walls higher and higher, not to get away from everyone else, but to get away from yourself, in some hope this way you could believe society may actually accept you.

And remember – they will never accept you. Not unless you bend or twist to their ways, becoming a carbon copy of the rest of the world, while nothing more than a reflection in a window of what you once were. Be yourself and don’t worry about everyone else, they are generally too busy worrying about what you’re thinking to worry about what you’re doing.

If we don’t we risk becoming nothing more than a Reflection of our Reality.

Yours, with love as always.
DR x

Photo Credit- Yaz Artuner

Humble.

So, tonight as i sit here to write to you, i wander. If you have never been here before, welcome. If you have, I’m sure you’ll know this isn’t the first time i’ve got myself so lost, twisted up in thoughts and feelings of pain, of how loneliness can affect how we see the world, and of how more than anything else, how the world now seems so far detached from any form of humility.

Humility and honesty are two things i’ve always believed to go hand in hand, not one resulting from the other but not existing without it. Honesty sounds like a complicated thing to understand, even though it’s born from the most unique sort of simple human nature. While this may be true- the society we live in is almost making the idea of being an honest, humble person “unfashionable.”

Look around. You have to look pretty fucking hard to find anything honest these days. The world is designed to shine light on people who follow a set of ideals and standards, set down and passed through numerous different other people in an endless quest to do only one thing- create a feeling that passes for “happy.” We post on social medias from the moment you wake up to the last moment before you sleep, endlessly watching these “people” who have so much more wealth, followers- just a lifestyle in general so many people aspire for. The people who speak so loud and say absolutely nothing- only what they need to in order for you to buy their latest product- that next “shiny” thing.

I wander about money affects us as people, because it almost seems like an infection. We don’t know how to be honest, because money starts to dictate how we think and feel, but the truth is- what is money? What makes it so powerful as we obtain more and more money, any capacity to be honest or humble goes out the window- almost like “i don’t need that now- i’ve got this.” Look at someone who has won the lottery for example. Before they won they were doing their best, working hard and humble in the fact they had hobbies and passions and worked to be able to enjoy them. As they worked they tried to find a way for passions to become a full time joy and were proud of their progress, enjoying creating something.

Give someone money though and it changes everything. They want for nothing, because they can buy everything. Hence why so many millionaires are so lonely and lottery winners end up broke. Money is just paper, numbers on a screen, yet it somehow has the means to fundamentally change us as human beings. Often i think that person wouldn’t even recognise in the mirror, in the same way i don’t recognise myself sometimes.

Its bigger than just money though. I’m sure you have fears, as I do. That fear is a powerful hand controlling how you live your life, like a big shadow doing all it can to block out the powerful light looking for just the smallest crack in the armour of darkness you think is protecting you. We have all been born into a world of overthinking, that you need to achieve this standard or that, have this hair, this body, this job or this car because without it “I’ll be nothing.”

It’s as if we are living an almost “half life.” I’ve spent a long time thinking too much, miserable at the prospect of a lifetime spent in a world that i don’t understand and often don’t even want to, wandering through life as if it was simply an existence. We live for a purpose, to be obedient, to play your part in the same endless machine of KPI’s, early morning coffee runs and afternoon board meetings. Why does it seem like part of us has to die in order for us to simply exist?

The fear of falling drives us to never climb to those heights, even though the view from up there could stir your senses and tantalise your soul in a way nothing else could. We can live up there for so long and maybe, just maybe feel at least a little free. The problem is we have to get there. How do we do that? Well. I have no idea.

But what i do know is this. We all exist, whether we like it or not. We all wake up in the mornings, you have the same routine as you arise from that same slumber feeling the same way then you go and do the same day after day, minute after minute feeling less and less as you do. Anyone can exist. To live? To live truly and humbly, living honestly and towards your own ideals and morals, seeing the world as the relic, the rusting cogs and switches that we throw ourselves under just to keep the whole thing moving as just that- a relic.

Life has the means to be humble. If you fall from life, and fall from love- be humble. Be honest with yourself then as far as it may seem away, one day, maybe one day- life will find you again.

It’s simply a question of where we choose to look. And who we choose to be.

Yours, with love as always.
DR x

Photo by Marina Khrapova

F!#k Positivity

Now. I do know that the title of this one seems a little harsh. I ask for nothing more than a chance to explain my thinking on how unhealthy positive thinking actually is, because in terms of the mental damage it causes as this endless campaign of “joy” is pumped into our eyes, hearts and souls in modern society, positivity is a poison like no other. It serves to cause you no less pain or anguish than any negativity that may lay at your door. So I ask you- read the title again, consider how you reacted at the moment you read it. When you get done with this piece, read it again and see how you feel.

Everywhere we look these days, in books, throughout the media, on YouTube, the “stars” of Instagram, Facebook and the idea of fame and fortune, the ideology of positive thinking is always there. Always. We are told “the key to happiness is found in positive thinking.” It’s everywhere, this idea that whatever you think or feel, whoever you choose to be should all be span into some form of positive light, then all of a sudden actions, thoughts or ideas you once feared seemed much more capable.

This slavery to positivity is everywhere, even in some aspects of mental health. It’s almost a form of anxiety, as if almost manic to the point where the world may be burning around you, but your still there “looking on the bright side.” Think of it like this. If the building you were sat in right now was on fire, the crackles and embers of the burning furniture growing ever closer to you, what would you be thinking? Would you be thinking “this is nice i was starting to get cold.”

No. Just…no. You would be taking rather significant steps to get out of the burning building.

Now before you scoff, tell me to fuck off and go for that X in the top corner, bare with me, i know that was a ridiculous example, that was kind of the idea to make the point I’m trying to make about positivity and the secret the world has been keeping from us. We are told that positivity and negativity are polar opposites, truly yin and yang, if you will. So, to take this as an idea, you can’t have one without the other. Without positivity, negativity is meaningless and vice versa. So the “only positivity” way of thinking is just as damaging, if not more so than the obsessive pessimism and general cynicism a lot of people may feel everyday. Positivity is almost like an ignorance of the world, not to cliche a Rocky quote that “the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.”

The world is not a nice place, and to act as if it is?- that’s certainly no healthier that the overthinking and persistent negative thoughts that blight so many people in modern society. It’s almost as if we are easier to manage this way, when very much either in one camp or the other. Each technique has a pathway and this is the road we choose to travel on in that moment.

What if the world was cheating us though? What if both of these roads…these long tiresome roads actually went to the same place? I feel as if positive and negative mentality are actually very similar, therefore one is no better than the other, whether you choose to see only the positive aspects- or negative aspects of your life and society as it grows around us.

Then from this, when we are being “positive” in the sense of the word that society has given us this definition- for something to then go wrong in our grand positive scheme is tantamount to a disaster. In contrast when we are of a negative mindset and something goes as we weren’t expecting, there is a weird sense of surprise of “well i cant believe it went the way i hoped,” and so on.

Which life should we be living? If i were to lay to pathways ahead of where you stand- which one would you take? Easy.

Neither. Rip the road up. There is no road, there is no journey to a predetermined destination by positivity or negativity. There is just understanding, and feeling who you are and who you want to be, here in this moment.

To me, this obsessive positivity isn’t going to create a happy environment, or any positive environment quickly- only a world disillusioned from how the world really is. The same with negativity- it has a way to paint the world in a fairly dreary shade of grey. However sometimes seeing the world in that dreary shade of grey gives you a much greater appreciation of how beautiful the world can be when you see it in colour. You have to actively look for the beauty in the world in order to be able to see it, so positivity has its place in your world, but negativity should be given a residence in one of the corners of your mind too.

It’s a battle, it’s a war. But the end result is you.

So fuck positivity. It’s just not worth it.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Image by John Hain

The Art of the Apology

I have always argued that in its own right, the way we feel, the way we hate, your passion for things and people we love, the euphoric moment of when you put a mouthful of food you love into your mouth and the moment that person you love more than life itself turns the corner- these moments that you cannot really explain are your artistry. The art of who you are and who you choose to be. Its you taking up the brush every morning as you walk to the mirror, painting, colouring, shading your way through the day. Just like the rest of us, we are all hoping we are going to wind up with our very own masterpiece.

All artistry is born through language of some sort. It grows within us as we evolve and develop through life, first as we toddle off to school as four year olds trying to make friends, to even as OAPs battling their own bodies to keep drawing on the passion that gives them life. All of this, the artistry, the development and evolution is all born through the power of language.

I touched briefly on language last time when trying to deconstruct beauty, how we as a society have developed a strange fixation on using powerful words in situations where language of that power is only designed to promote a certain emotional response in you, the person listening. Let me explain.

What does it mean to apologise? To come out with the phrase “I’m sorry.” This is arguably one of the most powerful phrases in existence, for it, at face value, is you conceding that you made a mistake, that you screwed up and are looking for forgiveness- to reconcile with the person you are apologising to. You made a mess of something and now someone is upset and you need to do something about it. Hence we wheel out the same old phrase, thinking it can solve it all and you can go back to the way things were.

Apologies without action are excuses. Thats the thing with language, especially with the crafted apology. I don’t see the point in them. The art of an apology is to show you screwed up, but what you were doing at the point of this wrong behaviour is something you were fully aware of. Everybody knows what they are doing in any moment in time, the apology is just designed to try and get back to that time when we were all blissfully ignorant half the time. The action that caused you to apologise is something you chose to do- and you got caught. Stop using powerful language and the occasional tear to try and make things go back to the way they were before, its impossible.

The power of the artful apology packs so much of a punch we often think it’s the key to our salvation of a friendship or relationship, but once you feel the need to apologise, the connection is changed forever. That person, often without even realising doesn’t feel like they can trust you anymore, often guilty for even trusting you in the first place.

Now i’m not discounting all apologies as trash. Admittedly i feel like the vast majority of them are, but like beauty, apologies are a multi coloured faucet of powerful emotions, not towards the person you apologise to- but to you. It is here we find ourselves staring down the barrel of guilt. As we stare down the barrel of guilt, for an apology to be worth anything at all i feel like that barrel needs to explode in your face once or twice.

It’s the pain you feel that makes your apology worth anything. Not pain for being caught, not the pain of regret, because whatever we do or whenever we make a decision to act, we are fully aware of what we are doing. The pain is to be found in the horrific realisation of what you’ve done. The pain is what gives an apology its art, the pain of empathy as you see the tears well up in the eyes of that person you care about, as the walls you and them were working so hard to tear down go straight back up, higher now than ever before.

Take the hits. You have to. Understand what you have done and wander how you would feel about it if someone did it to you. Accept that you were aware what you were doing, regardless if you made a mistake and do something about it. You can own all the guilt in the world, wrecked by the pain of your ghastly mistake, but be dam sure this pain doesn’t earn you forgiveness. The art of the apology isn’t for the benefit of the other person, more so for yourself i think. It’s always been my belief we are becoming more self serving as a society and from this it can be more difficult to admit when you’re wrong.

It’s from this the apology is born. The apology is not to make things right, but to accept that you did wrong. That is when the apology takes an artful form. Stare down the barrel of guilt. Become a student of the mistake you have made, understand it, take on every emotion you feel from it, don’t hide from anything, then you have a firm base to build from. Thats the only way to grow- to evolve.

As for forgiveness, apologise truly and maybe you will be forgiven. As Shane Koczyan said: “apologise and be grateful you received peace at such a bargain.”

For nothing is certain, your apology might be yours- however the forgiveness you have no right to at all. This is the art of the apology, paint it as you will, born of pain on a hopeful path to a new peace.

Yours, with love as always,
DR x

image by Maycon Marco

A Painful Beauty

We have a habit, especially in English, to use words that are very powerful and evocative in very simple and minimalist ways, which often means the word can lose its meaning. I have often thought about this idea that we are actually quite dramatic in our use of language these days, in a thankless quest to appear more intelligent, to broaden your vocabulary not for the benefit of yourself, but of everyone else. 

There seems to be this overwhelming need to be clever in modern society, be it amongst peers, in a social circle or throughout the public consciousness. We need to be…more. In particular when it comes to the enigma that is the word “beautiful”

In particular, the idea of “subjective beauty.” Based on my perceptions beauty in society is something quite simple, in how we can walk down the road and perhaps see a woman walk past that gives you some level of desire and then come out with “Dam she’s beautiful” or words to that effect. Nothing more than a passing thought a lot of the time, that moment where you appreciated the physical attributes of a woman and carried on minding your business. 

Its here where inevitably arguments can brew- “I don’t see women as objects i see them as people too.” Don’t mistake what I’m writing here as an attack on you personally, i don’t know you. It’s from this assumption of an attack that makes me sure of this poisonous mentality that it’s wrong in any way to appreciate the physical attributes of a woman, the features you find sexually attractive. Its almost taboo to talk about it and is something we have all done-  thought a woman was sexy so gone up to her in and tried to make conversation.  Not just in that circumstance but this obsession in society these days that attractiveness and connections don’t just come from physical attributes is true, but it’s almost like we should be ignoring them altogether. 

The point is, at no point throughout that last paragraph or so did i use the word beautiful. Beautiful i think is too dramatic of a word to simply understand and desire the physical attributes of a person because it means so much more than any of us understand, especially off of a first or single encounter. Beautiful is a word that cannot be defined or understood, a word like intimate or love. These words as i write them actually mean very little. The problem is encountered where they are used in a “minimal” way. When we use a powerful word to make a minimal point, it can create a powerful reaction like no other.

This reactions brings with it the belief of importance, for we all want to be important to someone. The issue is when this feeling of empowerment and importance comes from a place where it was never intended. And so on. As far as i have witnessed society has given men, women and young adults this idea that if your going to be beautiful you need to be able to do A), B), C) and so on. You carry on this way until you get to the point where you’re not really living your life, enjoying the random moments of total wander and brilliance- because you’re too busy ticking items off a list. Its as if we are all distracted by this fairy tale idea, as men about being a charming prince meeting the perfect princess and as women needing to be the “beautiful” perfect princess. When in the end all you’re doing is checking items of a list you’ve been told are the key to you happiness. A list that a lot of the time never has a bottom. 

So this is where the issue of language comes in. We mistake words like “sexy” or “gorgeous” for words like “wonderful” or most predominantly- “beautiful.” Anybody can be sexy, we can meet a standard set by a certain demographic of people and then you are arguably sexy. Beauty is different, it needs pain. Pain is a power that most of us are familiar with, even if we aren’t aware of the power it has given us. Being beautiful isn’t about a certain lifestyle, having a nice car, or having the physical attributes to meet the standards of your social circle. Beauty is so much more complicated than that. You see someone who is “perfect” and you see someone who hasn’t lived and don’t get me wrong i’m sure they have their rhyme or reason for it- but to me that doesn’t muster feelings of wander and beauty. To be beautiful is a horrible process, painful, brutal and often so very tragic. 

Written in the myths of beauty are words never said, or too much said, tears cried endlessly or not at all. Beauty is wishing we had taken that chance when we didn’t, that fleeting moment where we let fear control us. Beauty is that moment where you decide “fuck it” and do something while your rational mind is screaming “NO WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!”  

Beauty is a life lived and a love lost. Beauty is confidence in the face of adversity and in the fear of being lonely. Beauty is looking at that person in the mirror in the morning and being dam sure you are the one to dictate how your day goes, not anyone or anything else.

It’s taking back control, from the past, from anyone and everyone. It’s you being OK with being you, whatever that means.

Thats what makes people beautiful. 

Anybody can be sexy. Thats not actually that difficult. 

Beauty has a pain to it- and that’s what gives beauty its power. 

There’s nothing more important. 

Yours, with love as always

DR x

@jakeboulterx