Sunday, 22 November 2009

Loving Yourself.

You are what you think. You are what you go for. You are what you do. Bob Richards

My late grandma used to say ‘Be the sort of person you want to know’. I’ve always held that close to my heart and I have always thought I was the sort of person I would want to know. However, for a very long time I have sought validation in others. I felt good about myself when someone else does. If there is a friend or a lover that reaches out to me and ‘needs’ me, it makes me feel invincible, like I can do anything I set my mind to, but the moment there is a break in that transmission, I begin to doubt my self-worth. It’s weird because in my head, I know that I am still the same person I was when I was being validated, yet that still small nagging voice tells me “you’re not really worth knowing” and it gives meaning to why I don’t seem to matter to them any more. It’s a very sad place to be really.

Sad because human nature makes it difficult to accept that just because someone doesn’t find you interesting enough any more, it doesn’t (AND SHOULDN'T) take from who you are. What we need to realize is that the people that normally get us spinning in self doubt are those we have purposely chosen to matter to us. If a total stranger tells you, you are worthless, even to your face, chances are you’d laugh in his face, or at worse call him an idiot, but people you have opened up to can just by insinuating, even if not intentionally, you don’t matter as much, and it will send you spiralling to a nasty state of self doubt.

The question to ask yourself is why are you so afraid of being rejected? Is it because you don’t like yourself and are afraid of being alone? Because You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with and that is just the plain truth. So the next time you find yourself doubting your self worth, spend the time to know yourself anew and love yourself again. And trust me, before you know it, that feeling of worthlessness will melt away.

And the next time, that nasty feeling tugs at your heart because that special someone doesn’t want you as much as you want them to, tell yourself, it is okay. We win some and lose some. That’s just life. Remember "One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false. It comes to be a dominating thought in one's mind" - Robert Collier. So it's in your hands to chose what you feel about yourself.

©Naan Pocen

Friday, 20 November 2009

Love is Faith is Love.

There is no such thing as a bad relationship. There are only bad experiences. A lot of us have had past relationships that had cut ugly wounds into our souls and had left behind ugly scars that we carry even today. And it is easy to explain it away as a bad relationship, but let’s face it, there must have been something good about it to even give it roots in the first place.

When we reach out to people, seeking to be loved, we are looking for more than just the three little words I LOVE YOU. We are seeking a sense of belonging and some sort of validation and we normally find it in the people we choose to fall in love with. But as with each experience, different factors can come into play and the once upon a time fantasy situation will begin to turn toxic until we find ourselves wondering why we ever got into such a situation in the first place. Sometimes we get so confused by the negativity that we fail to acknowledge that it was good once upon a time.

Recently a friend of mine tried to hook me up with a ‘nice man’ because in her opinion I was alone, therefore sad. I had for a couple of months before then been on top of my world because I was in love and felt loved, then everything came crashing down. I found myself in a strait trying to prove that I loved, when indeed it was futile. Love that is not received in faith will never be received. That was when it finally occurred to me that by forcing it - by continually trying to prove that I indeed loved, I was only wasting energy. It was in a way like my castle was actually built with a pack of cards. I paused, took a step back, re-evaluated the damage and decided not to dwell on my lose. Instead, I would celebrate the happy times. Yet I am human so there was a tinge of sadness in my aloneness which was why she though she needed to step forward and rescue me.

I tried to tell her that I didn’t consider my lose a bad experience, because unlike my other loses, this was not ignited by hostility, it was an explosion of ignited emotions that could have been avoided. I took from it all the positivity it had and was able to sieve out what I know I will not repeat in the future if I find myself in a similar situation. Broken relationships are the best tools for learning to be better and I had learned. But I didn’t feel ready to move on so I was happy in my aloneness.

The sad thing about her attempt was that she didn’t seem to understand that chemistry between two people is not something that can be created. It’s either there or it is not there. I told the ‘nice man’ that I was sorry for wasting his time but I was already taken. The truth was, I had reached a stage where I decided I would celebrate my aloneness. It isn’t being masochistic, it’s being realistic.

There is something special about loving. About being loved but ESPECIALLY about giving love. The satisfaction of giving love is not about saying ‘I love you if you’d love me back’, it’s about saying ‘I love you period’. The greater joy comes when the love we give is received without question or suspicion. However, there is a sense of peace that comes with stepping back and letting go when the love we share is not being received. For it is a great show of love not to importune someone with a love not trusted.

© Naan Pocen


Happy Hour.

Isn’t human nature a bitch! During a language (English) lesson today, someone asked me if I loved Happy Hours and I said I did. Well who doesn’t? At given hours, you go to a bar, and for every drink you order you get a serving of free finger foods….the magic word here is FREE. That IS what makes Happy hour HAPPY, the concept of getting something for free. When I lived in the Caribbean, I remember, the busiest hours at the bars were happy hours. Happy hour was also the rowdiest hour when any imbecile that had two brain cells to rub together used it to create a scene.

For a writer, such scenes are a gold mine for character mining. So in a way it was fun. However, I was NOT a regular. If anything, I avoided happy hour. For two reasons. I was working as the Editor of one of the leading newspapers on the Island and I was careful not to party with the locals. I guess you can call it ‘taking care of my reputation’. I’m sort of eccentric you see. To the average eye, I look like a party animal, and more so because I enjoy people, I wear a happy disposition most of the time and tend to be bubbly and lively around others. I’ve been told often enough that smiles and laughter comes easy with me. It is true too. But my most enjoyable moments involve very few people. I enjoy twosomes, I enjoy my own company. Heck I am a Gemini! I can’t be bored as I always have something interesting going on either around me or inside me.

I didn’t chose to be a writer because it was a financially rewarding career, I chose to write because I can get lost in worlds I create. And I can create worlds that entertain ME if the one I find myself in stresses me out. One of the men in my class made an interesting observation about the little town I live in, he said “The average age of the people in Rapallo is 95, it is full of acidic senior citizens!” I agreed with him during the lesson because in a literal way, it seems so. There are more older people than not. However, when I was driving back home and I recalled that line I burst out laughing. I’ve lived in this little town for about a decade and I don’t consciously feel like I am surrounded by old people.

Granted, the first time I came here, I though I was in a retired hometown of sorts. There were old people everywhere. Now don‘t get me wrong, I have nothing against old people. However, when the average figure you see is one of a bent frail person all bones and wrinkles with a sad gloomy expression, it puts a dent on your spirit. My first thought? “Great! How am I supposed to survive here? Who will I make friends with?” Where I come from, friendship between people with a huge age gap is rare. I figured, well, these people surely must have younger relatives (?)

I decided to resolve that dilemma by going where ‘young people would go’ - bars or parks right? WRONG. It was the right venue though for those sneaky old bastards to stick their greasy a$$es, staring and making indecent proposals because after all I was a coloured woman and coloured women are call girls. Yep, they told me just that to my face! As time rolled by, I learned something important, it doesn’t matter if I was young and wanted to dress in a trendy manner, I don’t have the liberty to dress the way my Italian age mates would. If they dressed trendy, they are ‘young’ if I did, I was ‘provocative’. So that began the end of Happy Hours for me, the end of trendy dressing and the end of high heels.

The old women however, were different. They were full of nostagia, they had stories to tell, they gave advices, they shared about the 'mysteries' of life. I learned from them, the value of friendship, the importance of relationships and the true meaning of loneliness. Yes, I have a substantial numebr of elderly friends. I guess that is partly the reason why I don't feel like I am surrounded by old people any more. On the other hand though, I've a handfull of younger friends as well, some as young as in their twenties.

I still love happy hour, but I have learned to create mine. Happy hour is that hour I have friends over for a meal and we sit back afterwards with a couple bottles of wine being silly and laughing at nothing! Yes…I still love happy hours for the FREE stuff I get, the free sincere company of friends.