Kindness is Not Weakness

She looked at me with insecurity in her eyes, as if pleading for sympathy.

I couldn’t.

Much as I tried to muster up a shred of compassion, she had used up the last ounce left in me. Used it up on some medial triviality that was, if anything,  inconsequential to the matter at hand.

For years, I had done my best to understand the root of the issue. For years, I had given a part of myself to her — my ears, heart, time, energy. I had been sympathetic towards experiences far out of my scope. My arms were always open for embrace, my head was always open to another perspective, but my soul was guarding my heart from digesting more than I could stomach.

Then it happened.

One day, I opened my eyes and realized that she was a living, breathing reminder of everything I had already overcome. She had the demeanor of a human, but the behaviour of what used to be my undefeated demons.

I was at the end of my tether, a tether I didn’t even know existed — perhaps very few people had ever dared reach it. Even fewer lacked the cognizance to know where my line lay.

But she, I suppose, fell into that category of “one of the fewer”.

I confronted her, of course, regarding the levels of disrespect radiating like Venus’ sulfuric acid — she didn’t “mean to”, she just couldn’t “help it”. Apparently it was my fault for letting her speak in that manner, for not defending myself.

Well my apologies for choosing to rise above the need to be unnecessarily defensive.

I took her advice, nonetheless, to prove a point. I “defended myself” by not taking blame for other people’s transgressions. This was, incidentally, viewed as “interrupting” and “not letting the other person finish speaking.” (Rambling, honestly).

Well my apologies for having self-respect and guiding a conversation instead of enabling validation. 

My tether.

How did I even let it go on so long?

Simple.

I’ve been there before.

I’ve been in her shoes before. Those juvenile, self-centered, self-indulged, narcissistic, insecure, egotistic, defensive, over-analytical, paranoid, anxious shoes.

I’ve worn something like that.

Many moons ago, but in those shoes I’ve tread those paths — climbed the mountains and rolled down cliffs, drowned in lakes and washed up on shore, broken my bones and worn them casts.

But I am not there now. Nor do I want to go back to any of it.

So when I say that I am out of sympathy, it is not selfish or uncaring. It is not callous or heartless.

It is that I will no longer allow anyone to twist something beautiful into their distorted versions of reality. I cannot fill the voids she won’t admit exist, and will not validate insecurities that are hers — not mine — to fight.

My darling, if you ever read this, I’m sorry that I’d ever let you mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m walking away because of the strength I’ve mustered up after recovering from this battle. I can’t let you interpret my words to your advantage simply to justify the mistakes of mine you continuously repeat instead of move past. I cannot keep being the buoy you cling to when you get stranded at sea, repeatedly. It’s time for you to pull your own weight — I’ve left you with enough care packages and tools to sift through, but it’s up to you to figure out how to use them. 

You’re on your own, darling, but in a way that you need right now. 

I’ll see you on the other side.
Hope you make it out alive.

Signed with the kind of love you’ve yet to understand, 


MG

The Black Hole (Part III)

After years of exploring the Black Hole, I returned to humanity.

I tried to speak of this experience with humans, but not everyone was as open-minded. Of course, there were some who took an interest and enjoyed hearing of my travel journeys. Those were able to live vicariously through my shared experience.  But then there were the sceptics, the ones who thought I was speaking gibberish and manipulating people for the sake of attention.

I wasn’t, but I can understand why they’d felt that way. After the Black Hole, I actually understood much of what I didn’t even realize I had yet to know.

See, though the Black Hole was filled with a great deal of what people call “nothingness”, it was only in the surrender of ego did I finally see everything within the nothing.

In becoming so detached and removed from humanity, I finally grasped the essential elements that drive them in such a manner.

My distance showed me that humans are simple creatures with complex insecurities. Simple in that they are hedonistic, utilitarian, narcissistic, and competitive. They capable of anger but also joy, strength as well as weakness. They love as deeply as they hate, they rest as much as they work. Humans are simple in that they are multifaceted beings striving to become one.

But humans are also complex in that they often have displaced emotions. They project  insecurities in inappropriate manners at the wrong moment due to egocentric defense mechanisms. They are far more often controlled by ego rather than truth. Driven by image over honesty. Humans portray weaknesses as strengths and are offended when shown the same image from another angle.

Returning to humanity, I had to uproot examples within the human world in order to portray a realization to which I came within the Black Hole.

It is that one simple way to test the complexity of a human ego is to take one out of its comfort zone and see how it responds to change. See, the ego, combined with personal experience, is what determines how adaptable a person can be.

Prominent examples can be seen in the following areas within today’s humanity: racist arrogance (feels uncomfortable around people of different color), xenophobia (inability to communicate with those who speak other languages), gender bias (expects to be served by the opposite gender), religious intolerance (quick to disagree with any terminology pertaining to other beliefs), ageism (judgemental of people from other generations).

Having been hiding in the Black Hole for so long, I’d become so outdated as to what had been going on in the physical world. Much as I had obtained a theoretical understanding of the human ego before my journey’d commenced, it was not until I became void of my own did I see clearly the prominence of it within humanity.

…And with that newfound knowledge, as promised, I shared it with the world.

Not for the fame, not for the glory, but simply because I was curious and am now excited about the discovery.


Sincerely hope that you have enjoyed the adventure written in these three parts. It has been a delight journeying with you.

May you, too, reach a sense of enlightenment, acceptance, understanding, and peace from within. May you learn to exist on your own without relying on the ego.

I wish you all well. Thank you for reading. 

 

MG

 

 

 

Advice to My Younger Self

Dear younger self,

I am going to write this from the perspective of an older self that you have only recently come to understand.

There was a time you thought you knew it all, m’dear, you thought you had it all figured out. Much of it owed to what those around you allowed you to believe; they put you on that pedestal you never asked for, gave you the attention you never felt you deserved, treated you with their version of “respect”.

Young self, you must understand one thing, not everyone is like you. Yes, you’re self-indulged, but they, m’dear, they are self-absorbed. They’re too caught up in the busyness of their own lives to appreciate all you have to offer. So hold onto some of it, dear, don’t give all of it away.

You invite them into your world, but you have yet to discover the galaxies inside of you. They know not of these universes that you, too, are unaware of at this moment, but they see the light shine through and are drawn to it.

You can welcome them, m’dear, you were born to be hospitable. You were born with arms longer than the average human, arms that reach around the world and embrace the souls that are in genuine need of touching. It’s what you do, because of the kindness, grace, and mercy that has gotten you this far. So don’t take it for granted, m’dear. Hold onto that.

One day, you will reach a realization that you can choose who to let in — yes. everyone who enters deserves respect and sincerity, but not everyone will choose to stay. And for that reason, my young self, know your boundaries and accept your limits. Know your role in their lives, and accept that you can’t be a saviour to your entire world.

Sometimes, transformation does begin by letting go, by pushing yourself off the cliff that was once your comfort zone, your nest.

One day, m’dear, you will meet someone who can and will do for you all that you’ve done for others. Someone who will look at you, appreciate you, and not want to let you go. Someone who not only has that desire, but also that willpower.

So for now, m’dear, do not rush. Don’t be that impulsive naive self that got you into the wreck in the first place. The wreck was so long ago anyway, it may as well be a divers’ hub by now. Swim away, m’dear. There’s nothing more you can do than you’ve already done to atone for the atrocities of your past.

I am that future you never dared to dream of, m’dear. That future is now present.

Embrace it, love. It’s time to stop surviving the storm and start thriving from what the waves have washed ashore.

Now that you’ve learned to shield yourself from waves and breathe underwater, how about moving on up and learn to ride that wave?

 

 

MG

 

 

 

 

It

It can be the most beautiful spectrum of life, the most colourful aspect of every silhouette.

It can be the most devastating pain, the most stabbing of truths unraveled at the speed of light.

It can be the most thrilling ride, filled with highs and lows, ups and downs, resets and continuation.

It can be the most exhilarating of encounters, an array of mutually experienced chemical changes.

It can be the steadiest and slowest of growths, a conservative one that serves to conserve, to preserve the beauty that is already in existence.

It can be the most rapid of changes, a liberation of sorts, roaming freely around each other, dancing daffodils in the wind.

It can be the most excruciating of moments, an essence of a droplet magnified into a concoction of patterns, of repetition, of spirals and depth.

It can be the most fleeting of frivolous fun, a joyous joviality jeering in the most “banterous” of manners.

It can be each and every reflection of who you were, are, and have yet to be.

It can be honest.

It can be deceptive.

It can be perceptive.

It can be receptive.

But if it is not reciprocated, it is non-existent.

That, is what sets it apart from love — Love can exist without reciprocation.

“It”, however, cannot.

“It”…

 

 

…is friendship.

MG

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Self-hate looks a lot like self-love.

And the only one who truly knows the difference…is…

(Scratch that)

The only ones who truly know the difference…are…all the ones around you who can feel what you feel.

MG

It’s Good to Be Back

(Disclaimer: If this post causes emotional discomfort, please confront your demons by heeding wise advice.)

I was spontaneous yesterday.

Now, for those of you who know me — it really does depend which era of me you know, now, doesn’t it?

Let’s try this again. For those of you who have known me in the past couple of years, maybe three, you’ll probably gasp when I, of all people, say “spontaneity”. And I know exactly why; I know the reasons for your surprise probably better than I let on, as I do with most things in life, to be honest.

So why was being spontaneous a big deal for me?

Because, mates, it’s good to be back.

You look at me and think, “but you didn’t go anywhere”. Physically no, but in the past two years I did go down a path I once promised myself to never venture. I promised myself I wouldn’t because of how many people I lost to it — the cancer of the mind, eating away at the soul, leaving behind a mere shell of a human body to remind us that yes, this living, breathing, entity is our responsibility.

So I left. I couldn’t leave physically — I had too many commitments out here in the city, a life I’ve spent a decade trying to build and am still dissatisfied with my efforts, knowing how far I’ve fallen when I look at how much I achieved once upon a time.

I couldn’t leave mentally — no, my brain is generally over stimulated due to intelligence, which, unfortunately for a lot of people, means I have no off-switch. I notice things. Then I understand concepts because I’ve seen it somewhere before, so I associate that and make a connection. That link tends to be more logical than emotional because I like being objective, studying the facts, understanding the patterns.

Logic is my comfort zone.

But I left, emotionally. It was one of the longest journeys I’ve ever taken — to be completely void of emotions and shut down, tuned out from the world around, still hearing details but feeling like everything is meaningless. Sometimes, this can be a good feeling, like if that emptiness is actually contentment and peace. If that emptiness is actually silence and solitude. What I felt though, was far from that.

At first.

It was a lonely emptiness, where not only did I feel like no one could relate to me, but that I hadn’t found a way to relate to myself. I was so far gone, so different, so…unfamiliar to myself. Most people think I had it done to me, that I was a victim of victimless crimes; that I was subject to whatever abuse had led me down that path. But it was my morbid curiosity, because I chose those situations knowing that I am entertained by aggression.

Aggressors find my amusement annoying. It adds fuel to the fire, pushes their limits; unable to laugh at themselves, the angry flip from aggression to full on abuse.

Of course it’s fun, it’s like that predictable explosion, a controlled avalanche.

And it’s what I do, I laugh in the face of rage. I laugh, because I understand anger, I know rage, I terrorized them a long time ago, and they are now subservient to my control. I don’t avoid it, but I generally don’t project it either. So yes, watching each and every single one of you flip out in vengeance does entertain me, because I remember what it was like to be immature.

I remember what it was like to be insecure.

But I also remember…what it’s like to be fearless in the face of insecurity.

My darlings, like I said, it’s good to be back. Oh, how I’ve missed you…

G.

Where Am I Now, They Ask

“Where are you?” they ask, then don’t stop to listen to the response. Well…

I am capable of anger. Rage, too, mind you. It is not an anger that reacts to the ordinary, mundane trivialities of social construct, such as religion, race, gender, and class. No, it is a genuine anger, not a projection. It is an underlying one, the undercurrents, which have found different mediums of release so that no more human collateral is necessary.

However, I am capable of anger. And pain. And rage.

Some call them demons, I call them artists; exploding paint into an array of beauty, of wonder in the making.

But more than anything, that anger comes from disappointment. Sweetheart, I’m disappointed. I know you are, too, but part of that springs from the knowledge that we both want the same thing and just not from each other. We want it from ourselves.

Yet, I have the audacity to write this to you, knowing that you’ll never read it –  I use audacity in the context of “courage”, not “entitlement”. I am that flux between your best dream and worst nightmare. It is my humanity I present to you, as sincerely as I know how.

You’re free to come and go as you wish, you always have been. But darling, you have become as apathetic to my presence as I am resilient to your absence.

So for once, I just wish you would meet me halfway. That said, I don’t know if I should be reaching or settling…but I’m present, somewhere in the middle. That’s me.

Balanced.

Present.

Always, the last one standing. The one they’ve left to hold up the fort.

And I do, using the pain and strength that came from shattered bones regrown. On cold days, the scars do burn a little, a reminder that there is still a fire within me. On hot days, the anxiety levels rise and my aggression is channeled into “midnight strolls” that turn into 20 kilometer strides around the city.

I have no choice but to be strong. My weaknesses are merely “assignments I have yet to complete.” The disappointment in me springs from always feeling incomplete, from the perfectionism that has been instilled in me through knowing that I can only ever improve. The disappointment in knowing that I have become who I aspired to be, and now need new aspirations so as not to become complacent in the results. There is no end to the learning process, only expansion and improvement.

But they say, moving forward sometimes means allowing the future to unravel and unfurl, the seeds that have been planted through time.

They always say “reap what we sow”, and then leave out the entire “growth” process. The longest part of the journey. They say it as if one can plant a bean and it magically sprouts into a beanstalk, instead of describing the journey of how it took to turn into a plant. So yes, we reap what we sow, but in between, there’s a whole ton of adventure and growth.

Those are the challenges: the long days in the sun, plowing through the soils, finding the right fertilizers, weeding out bad roots…and yet…those are the parts they all skip…and you ask why I’m disappointed.

I feel betrayed. Betrayed by the lies you didn’t mean to tell. Because the lies you tell yourselves, are the lies you tell me. And then expect me to swallow it like it’s not insulting. Expect me to stand there and take your projections of insecurity because I’m “strong enough” to ward them off, apparently.

Well, I’ll tell you, I’m not warding them off, darling. I let them sink it, taking the place of what used to be “respect”. Perhaps it’s not that respect needs to be earned, but that disrespect should be earned. I approached you with respect, the respect you hadn’t earned, but still expected. So I handed it to you, sampling it to see what you’d do.

You took it for granted, love. You took me for granted.

It’s not a line you’ve drawn between us, or a wall you’ve built between us, darling.

It is an abyss you’ve created, a canyon, where we’re both on the edge wondering who’d fall first.

I assure you, I’ve already taken that plunge. A long, long time ago. I’ve been down here a while now, exploring the caves and digging for diamonds.

But I’m not staying down here alone, so when the storm comes and floods this canyon into a river, I’m letting it carry me wherever it leads.

Because this, darling, is out of my control. And evidently, out of yours too.

I love you. And I’m sorry that loving you hurts this much, but I’m not sorry that hurting grows me this much.

So join me, or don’t, but know that I won’t be here forever…

MG

The Women in My Life

(True story, biographical.)

“How do you know you’re at peace?” I asked my mother once, in my teens. She told me “when your masculine and feminine stop fighting each other, when you stop fighting yourself, that’s when you’ll find peace.” So I asked, “which side should I be then? Which one wins?” My mother smiled and said “figure it out.”

I watched, trying ever so hard to understand how my mother could be so at peace despite everything she had been through as a mother. Then I looked at both her sisters, and realised they’re made of that same metal that makes my mother who she is. Naturally, it made sense to get to know my parents’ siblings better so that I could better understand them…

In the last two years, I’ve learned that mother’s younger sister has been doing remote work from home for almost as long as I’ve been alive! What my generation aspires to do, she’s already an expert. Last month, I discovered that mother’s older sister is one of the first women who ever  wore trousers as work attire in corporate London, back in the early 80’s. When she told me this, it hadn’t even occurred to me that there was a specific “skirt / dress only” dress code.

“We were supposed to only wear skirts to work,” my aunt told me, “but skirts can get very uncomfortable, you know. So one day I put on a pair of trousers because it was more comfortable. Next thing you know, other women start doing it too. Eventually, it just became accepted in our company (Ernst and Young).”

I reflected, and pondered: it stood to reason that the strength came from my grandma. With R20 (USD 1.50) in her pocket, my grandma moved the family of ten (five went ahead, I was told, the other five came later) to the city in the 1960s during the apartheid in South Africa. As a family, they never let the Apartheid become a factor hindering them from just living their lives. When survival is your main focus, and it slowly seeps into the “norm”, you learn to embrace the better parts of life.

My grandparents always opened their homes, always welcomed those in need. Though they didn’t have much, they gave what they could: love, shelter, and a hot cup of tea. They didn’t discriminate who came through the doors. They were loving, but they were tough.

To the kids, they were very disciplined, from what I was told. Swearing warranted washing your mouths out with soap, dishes had to be cleaned immediately after dinner. Beds had to be made and tucked in completely, without an angle sticking out anywhere (although, I was recently informed that bed-making was my great grandmother’s rule). Disciplined, but always out of love. They knew that as long as the kids were disciplined enough to later be self-disciplined, then they would be able to take care of themselves.

They were right. And so it continued in the family line. I see it in my mother, I see it in how she is with our family. I know it comes from her family, that strength, that unity, that togetherness. The way she always did her best to stay strong for all of us when we were all falling apart; when we’re at our worst, she’s always the one motivating us, holding us up, comforting us and letting us know that “it’s okay not to be okay, as long as you get up again when you’re ready.”

My mother is the strongest woman I have experienced. She taught me everything I know and more, at least by providing the platforms where I, too, could become self-disciplined and self-motivated. I am where I am (literally) because yes, she birthed me, but also because she is the one woman who has always, always been there for me, through thick and thin. The one who has lifted me when I was down, but humbled me when I was arrogant. The one who can fight me when I need it, and calm me down when I diverge.

I am strong because my mother is strong. She is strong because the women in her life are strong.

So how do I know that I am at peace?

Because my masculine energy and my feminine energy are no longer at war.

I am a person, a human. A human with strength, both inner and outer; a person with emotions, both aggressive and passive. A human with weaknesses, both external and internal; a person with flaws, both on the outside and on the inside. A human with motivation, both physical and emotional; a person with compassion, both expressed and empathised. I am not perfect, but I am balanced, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

Balanced, and equal.

Within myself.

Peace,
MG

(Re-blog from https://mikavelli.com/2017/03/09/the-women-in-my-life/ )