Hello there world!
Today I ventured into the huge library in my castle and found an old tale, passed around for generations, that I wanted to share with you!!
Hopefully you will like it!
“The boy without a smile.”
Hello there world!
Today I ventured into the huge library in my castle and found an old tale, passed around for generations, that I wanted to share with you!!
Hopefully you will like it!
“The boy without a smile.”
Good day everyone!!
Hope you’re doing good over there, remember to take care of your health! Your health is the foundation of anything else you would like to reach in life, becoming sick because of the seasons changing or feeling down because bad sleeping habits prevent your brain from dealing with the this and thats of life are really not favourable for any of us. Take care!
Today I would like to talk a little bit about empathy.
Over the years that I have been living, which haven’t been as many but I presume about the same, if not a little, more than the majority of my Youtaite/Utaite audience, I have realised that something I sometimes struggle with is empathy.
When you are using your computer as a means of communicating with your friends all over the world, when you are watching the news, when people tell you things that don’t necessarily interest you, etc… empathy can be a struggle.
I used to believe I lacked empathy, that something was fundamentally wrong with me when I watch the news and hear about something terrible, but don’t feel much for it because it all seems like some kind of far away television show. When I see people in a bad shape and don’t feel much for them. Was I lacking empathy? Was something wrong with my brain or heart?
I came to the conclusion that, that is not the case.
In fact, I believe I am actually quite an empathic person, but that I oftentimes struggle with dealing with that feeling. Why? Because it exhausts me. So, I consciously and also unconsciously started to block out things that could weigh on me.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually believe that this is a very important skill to have because otherwise everything would bring us down. The problem, however, was that I did not know how to deal with it when I pushed things away that did matter a lot and that it came to bite me in the behind. I am often called fastidious and that might really be true, especially when it comes to what I think I should feel and do. I have a certain image in my mind about myself and push myself to act accordingly. I feel cognitive dissonance when I can not help certain aspects in life, even though I think I should feel for them, which in turn exhausts me, so instead I decided to block them all out to preserve myself. Even things that really did matter and that I could change.
Feeling down is something no one likes, feeling down because someone else is feeling bad almost feels like you got infected by some contagious negative vibe. Tumblr and all those kind of places tell us to prioritise our own feelings over everyone else’s, because it presumes we only care about everyone else and never about ourselves and that this is the source of our stress and struggles. This is, however, strange advice because if we do so, won’t we become people that don’t care at all?
It’s all about me, me, me is not the kind of person I want to be.
The key is to balance this feeling out. Prioritise and open up. It’s easier said than done, but that is something I am also still learning to do because I believe there is value in doing so for the people around me which in turn will create value for myself.
When you feel for your friends misfortune it’s easy to fall together with them in a loop of sadness and/or anger. The idea is to learn to accept that this will happen and then deal with it. “Deal with it” is not some buzz-sentence that means “do something, I don’t know what, just get it done.” By “deal with it” I mean that you are actively searching for a way to help by accepting the truth of the situation and then processing it to flip it around again.
When we look at paintings from a distance they look magnificent and amazing, it is when we start to look up close and dissect everything to how it “should be” that we lose the capability to enjoy it for what it is. This is the same for when we look at ourselves and what happens around us.
I know every psychologist and consultant/friend you have will say so and that it is all easier said than done, but that does not mean you should give up on it and declare it a mission impossible. Processing is what we fail to do because it requires us to think about a problem which might stress us out if we believe it is hard/impossible to solve and then we shove it aside “we can’t help it.” Instead, we should focus on breaking the problem apart into manageable pieces, to look at it from different angles and to ask ourselves questions about what we can do. We should also believe that we can. My post about motivation has this as an essential step. It is important to believe we can do something. It is important to look at the problem, to break it apart so we won’t tackle a huge load and set ourselves up for failure and uncertainty.
Believe it or not, my dog’s puppy classes taught me that one. Don’t ask your dog to do a backflip from the get-go. Don’t put it in a stressful environment and get mad when simple commands like “sit” do not seem to work. Train in a calm environment and slowly build external noise up so your pup gets used to it and you will be surprised with all the things he is capable of!!
What I felt compelled to share with you today is to not push everything and everyone to a corner in your mind, because those things will only add to your stress. Open up, let it in, try to process it as far as you can and look for ways to deal with them.
I cannot end the world hunger, but I can do things like, buy consciously when I go into the food aisle. Even if this sounds like you’re just trying to “make yourself feel like a better person” then what gives? That is also part of empathy. It’s alright to “make yourself feel like a better person” because when you take steps to help someone, you are in fact trying to be a better person which brings satisfaction because we are social creatures that function that way. That’s not wrong, it’s actually super-good! It means you acknowledge you did something for someone, that is being empathic. That’s why it’s such a great thing to help each other out. It’s full of mutual benefits and a way of sharing experiences and feeling like part of a system/group you belong in.
Moderation is the key for everything.
Now, my example of world hunger is maybe a far stretch. It is not something you can change in a day, but your friend feeling stressed, your mother feeling irritated, etc… are things you can definitely deal with by talking things over and actively looking for a solution.
It is okay to block out certain things, you cannot shoulder the world. But I sincerely believe that if we all open up just a little to the things we know are important to us, that we will be able to create a better environment for ourselves as well. We can not shoulder the world alone, but if we all stand around the edges, count to three and lift it together, we might be able to manage in carrying it to a place we want it to be in. This is why I believe that politicians like Trump do not fit in this kind of society where tolerance and empathy are essential to change anything at all.
Remember that super-cool anime that was basically talking about the concept of “karma?” Yeah, full metal Alchemist, that one. It taught me about the concept of “equivalent exchange”. I sincerely believe that this concept is applicable to life in general.
When you reject an entire group of people, like Trump suggested with his Mexican wall, they will also reject you. How does that benefit either of you? Not to go into politics, but it just happens to fall in this topic. Think about it if you don’t agree already haha.
There is no way to measure how much you help someone with small actions. It’s not like a set currency. Even if not everyone will respond in the way you expect, you can still walk away with the feeling you did something right, something small that can at least affect your direct environment and the people that matter in your life. Expectations is something we can’t help to have, that’s alright. I believe being a “good person” also means that when you do something for someone and they fail to respond in the way you imagined, that you are able to let go of the disappointment you feel and recognise you did something good for someone because you want to be good to them.
I’m empathic, a little too much. Things that seem far away get me down, words hurt me and other people’s woes and the state of the world does too. But what good is there in blocking it all out and become a boring adult? I want to stay curious, I want to see the magic in everything and everyone and I will do my best to achieve that as well as I can. It might be idealistic, difficult and not always possible. Call me naive if you will, but having faith in something bigger, call it God or just the good of people, is what moves people forward in the harshest moments. My goal is to be a certain type of person, someone who is good to others. So even if it is hard, I get frustrated and I can’t always act the way I wish to, I will do my best and keep it in mind.
How about you?
How have you helped someone you didn’t necessarily know or didn’t know you would get any special gain from recently? From putting a spider outside instead of killing it to standing up for an old lady on public transport. There are tons of small things we do because we feel it is right and because we feel a certain form of empathy for another living being and/or situation.
It’s alright to boast!
You can certainly be proud of yourself. Being humble is something I value in people, but if you know you did well bragging in a positive manner is completely okay! (don’t forget the moderation part though haha.)
Please do share that good feeling!! When you share you can inspire!
I would love to hear from you!!
The Power of Habit: www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-What-…he+power+of+habit
Getting Things Done: www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Do…words=David+Allen
I fell in love in Italy, for a split second I fell in love with a girl on a bike. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I fell in love with a girl and her bike. Maybe if she were to get off to greet me, I would fall out of love before realising, I was ever in love at all
This probably means I didn't fall from a great distance, it was so quick it had no time to resonate, I did not feel any pain, no heart wrenching dismay, no pages worth a novel. She passed me like a gentle breeze, as I looked up from my propped up knees waking me from my musings, albeit somewhat confusing, knew I had fallen, nigh missed the sensation Nonetheless, a small part of myself is now trudging uphill somewhere, in Bassano Italy, manoeuvring themselves through cramped streets to go home (?) Pretty thing and her bike, they'll never know what I lost to them, like a reverse robbery, both parties victims of this accidental crime Maybe I'll forget, about my piece of heart by tomorrow I wonder if that would be considered tragic Unsupervised tree, Cat in a box Paradox I concluded that, this is perhaps how humans slowly find themselves in debt with life We fall small distances, commit accidental crimes; ever so often we lose some heart. Until the pay is too high and we run out of breath, chasing bikes and fluttering hair in daydreams I somehow like to think of dying that way A lifetime of unconscious, generous loving, Until there is no more love to give away
Hello Internet, good evening, how are you doing? I have been doing alright. I’m sorry I haven’t been around as much… well, at least not that much for a person that is usually perpetually active on twitter and such places.
Rephrase: “I haven’t been around nearly as much as I usually would be. For that I am sorry in the rare event that you might have missed me or wondered if I have become roadkill by now, I’m still alive. Hi!”
I am alive and well, currently in Italy on vacation with my family. I think I needed a little of that. Some history, sun and touristy activities. I recommend it, even if it is not somewhere like Italy. A change of pace is always a nice idea when you feel overloaded with everything.
Since going on this trip, I have been limiting my usage of data. I will have to credit a huge part of this decision not as much to my iron will as to the fact that I cannot afford to use the amount of wild data necessary for constant updates in a foreign country, on top of that not every public place has free WIFI-access. Tragic much. Not to mention, skype has not been working for me since 1920 so that’s all the way downplay ayyy… This data-diet made me realise something: No matter how ‘millennium generation’ this sounds, Twitter and Skype have become very dear to me. I am positively addicted if that wasn’t clear already. Going cold Turkey has been vexing, frustrating and lonely despite being around people. I had to turn more and more to myself for my spur of the moment thoughts and could not rid of them if I tried. I first thought I just had to “suffer” through this and enjoy my vacation ignoring that gnawing feeling until I noticed that this kind of environment made it easier for me to write. That made it all suddenly way more beareable, it did!
Alright, I suppose “write” does sound a little pretentious for what I am actually doing. Just think about the actual verb instead of anything grand or philosophical. An “Anba Len novel” won’t be in your local bookshop for quite awhile, I reckon.
Writing could be anything, from doodles on napkins to sagas about worlds visited through old closets. I will leave it to you to decide on which side of the scale my scribbles belong.
Along that line I realised that, perhaps, Twitter, as convenient as it is, makes me milk my thoughts a little to quickly. I tend to follow the principle “Uit het oog, uit het hart.” in life. I reckon it is one of those emotional defense mechanisms or something… it’s a Dutch saying that means as much as “Once something/someone leaves your field of vision, it/they also leave(s) your thoughts.” literally translated it says “Out of the eye, out of the heart.”
More tangibly put, I tend to over-share, albeit with some censoring here and there. I tend to quickly discard my thoughts without fully developing the raw materials that come up in that split second. I send them off almost simultaneously as they come up. Instant gratification. I believe that even someone like I has their moments of brilliance, but instead of sitting on that egg for awhile I immediately tend to throw it on some hot rice with soy sauce to put on the table. Whilst that can be tasty and filling, it does not touch upon even a notion of the many more nutrituous possibilities eggs have combined with other ingredients and techniques. Twitter and other such convenient places have become a place of egg dumping instead of refining the art of cooking and baking. When they do develop, it is mainly because I have bright followers helping me, it all never goes very far by myself.
The cold turkey state I’m in right now, however, left me to fend on my own. Apparently that is not necessarily a bad thing. Some battles should be fought by yourself.
I came up with quite a few interesting musings, or so I’d like to think myself. There is always the danger, however, that this semi-internet-confinement has left me vulnerable to my natural haughtiness and arrogance. No one around to put my feet back on the ground and stuff. Though as time passes I have come to ponder if that arrogance is not the key to something more?
From experience and hearsay I know that children tend to commit to develop the skills they are already praised for. Why would you develop a skill you are seemingly bad at anyways? You either already think you are good at it or can see yourself being good at it. I know quite the fair amount of people, for example, that went into teaching because they thought the teachers they had were rubbish and they saw themselves doing better. An interview of my favourite English band, The Arctic Monkeys, confirmed those thoughts for me. Alex Turner, the lyricist and main vocalist of the band, mentioned how he first tried his hand at writing lyrics when he was 12. At 12 years old he heard a song from the Beatles and thought it sounded like something silly he could have come up with if he had sat down to write it. Much like we all probably had a moment in life where we looked at a Picasso painting and found ourselves, in our imagination at least, capable of such paintings if we had a reliable gag-reflex, ate just the right amount and variation of finger-paint and were sat in front of a canvas. Some well timed arrogance lead him to try to write for himself and then learn first-hand how it is not as easy as it looks/sounds.
I found that notion interesting. A pinch of arrogance, some reality and then acquired humbleness to a serious and focused pursuit of the art. All of this realised without the help of any social media or person to tell him he should go for it. Even now he, apparently, abhors the idea of Twitter. I am fairly certain that this attitude has become part of the AM marketing stunt, but let us stay romantic and assume he does this to sit on those eggs in his head, developing them by himself until he throws it into public and hatches a golden one or to make some mighty good cheese and spinach omelet with it.
For now, I am studying up on that and trying out this and that by myself. I hope that I can show you the fruit-… er… eggs (?) of my efforts someday…
Though micro-blogging has become as natural as breathing for me, lengthy blogging like this is unknown territory. A little frightening even… hopefully I will manage to get a little better at it over time.
As always, feel free to leave comments, I can only learn from you!! Meanwhile, I will do my best to sit on these little quail eggs here for awhile so that maybe someday I will hatch something that can move about on its own and if not I will watch some more literary Ramsey videos to whip up, at least, a decent sunny side up when we meet again.
A few musicians I thought I could share!! I like to listen to them anytime, but especially when I’m in a certain mood. Late evenings on my own, when I’m studying, when I’m writing, when I’m drawing,… that is to say, when I need to get into a zone where I seperate myself from my body or something vague like that. To me, listening to them can bring me into this seperate universe which calmes me down and helps me come up with ideas and to formulate my thoughts.
I left a link of one of their songs each, not necessarily the one I like best, but rather one I would like you to listen to or something… There is no particular order here either, whether I prefer listening to one over the other depends entirely on my mood. Anyways, here you go!:
There are a whole lot more, but these are the first few that popped up in a snap. What do you think? Agree with my list or think it’s rubbish? Any suggestions for artists I can listen to during studying or maybe as a cooldown after an intense session? There are many more but I would have to sit down and write down a real list and… yeah… anyways.
Let’s talk music! I am practically parched here!!! ❤
A few minutes before the end of their birthday in Europe, I rushed and made this post to celebrate their birthday!! A photoshoot with the progress of Boss and Henchman’s room!! I don’t know if I already screamed here about obtaining Spain by the way? Well then… hereby you know… I also made another unboxing video, so look forward to that?
My Hetalia twitter was such a blast!! The amount of Romano and Veneciano theme’d art I have seen!! I made a lot of new friends as well. Incidentally, I have noticed a lot of accounts that are really into the Hetalia character “Belgium” started following me. It was a little weird at first but they are all super-sweet people that just really adore Belgium and I could not feel happier!!
Now in this picture you might have noticed it all looking a little empty. I’m slowly and gradully working on making it fuller and more of a room to live in for the both of them! I painted the Italian flag-poster in the back myself (A true Picasso). The room probably needs a Spanish flag later but that one is slightly more complicated so I will do that when I my brain is not sautéed… we’ll see what we can do..
It’s actually a lot of fun to busy myself with these kind of things in between all the schoolwork I have been facing recently. Just doing something with your hands and marvelling at how cute the characters are. Somehow, I feel that the trash-life is a great way for escapism. Only that I am too old to sink into the “nyan x3” depths so I do not really escape as much as use it as a sanctuary to not think about what I need to do all the time… which is… not escapism? Just blatant denial of reality for a few forgiving minutes until I use that strength to kick myself back in gear!
Anyways, here a message I wrote in my best Italian…
Il mio augurio parte dal profondo del cuore con sincerità, per arrivare a te felicità ed augurarti buon compleanno Lovino e Feliciano!
I’m sorry, I don not have a Feliciano figure, but uh… look in the left on the box. He’s somewhat present in spirit? (Gilbert too, for some awesome reason or the other.)
See you next post, grazie e ci vediamo, arrivederci!!
Ps: don’t you just love Romano’s eternal side-eyes at Spain? Also, Spain’s arm at the right angel gives the impression that he’s making a selfie 8′)!!