Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to find fulfilling work, according to science

How to overcome regret, according to science - Research confirms: You're more likely to regret the things you didn't do

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” - Galatians 5:13-14

This is in-response to this post: What About Me?

When I lay in bed at night, meandering in that state where the mind is still active, I frequently am bombarded with insightful thoughts percolating into my consciousness. I did yesterday, the night before my NCLEX-RN exam. It was related to my recent feelings of regret and shame, and as I was trying to decipher all what my emotions could tell me, I realized this: Be a giver of your love. That’s what I really want. I quickly jotted the following down in my phone: “It’s not so much that I dream about having sex with her, rather it’s the fact that I want to give the love of god to another person and share that love, especially after finding out what happened to her in her last relationship.” What happened to her in her last relationship bothered me and I won’t state it here. And part of me believed and fantasized how great I could make her feel, to give her all of me. That fantasy really appealed to me. If I had to imagine the same situation with a girl who showed interest in me while appearing to have it “all” and seemed to be unfamiliar to suffering, would I feel the same way towards her? Perhaps when you’ve suffered, you become more sensitive to the suffering of others, and want to do your best to help. And perhaps it’s quite na├»ve for me to imagine another person who has not suffered even if the appearance suggests that way. If I gave all of myself to that person, I feel like I might be “damaged goods”, after all, my development into becoming a better person has been a work in progress for a long time coming, and will never stop. It’s based off the belief that this girl’s too good for me, regardless of the naivety and veracity of this belief.

Nevertheless, I remembered back to a book I read with the Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness. In it, the Dalai Lama states that romantic relationships make people experience a much more unstable roller coaster ride of emotions, and states that he feels the fantasy of romantic relationships is unrealistic. Instead, he talks about not limiting intimacy to just your romantic companion, but to all people. When asked if he ever felt lonely, the Dalai Lama replied, “No”. This reminded me to the life of Jesus and how he lived his life and what he stood for: giving unconditional love to all people, to help others in need. The memory of me helping a guy out at the San Francisco Cal-Train Station then came to mind. It’s the feeling of doing something so small to me, but so significant for him, and the feelings of meaning, purpose, pride, and unconditional love came to me. It’s the same feeling I have in my fantasy with this girl my brother is seeing. I then realized that, you know what, even if for some reason I don’t pass my NCLEX tomorrow, that shouldn’t cause me sadness, as it’s really not the most important thing in the world. I believe what people most want out of relationships is intimacy, which comes from unconditional love, the love of Christ, the love of God, regardless if you believe in an afterlife or not.   

Surprisingly, as I think back now, these feelings of jealousy and regret did not explode to the same intensity and degree until I learned what happened to her in her last relationship. After finding out about it and honestly, in my heart, aching for her when thinking about it, these feelings of regret and jealousy intensified to where I felt I had to write them out to clear my head and feelings yesterday.

I am a very spiritual person, so my beliefs about having compassion and helping others fit perfectly into this puzzle. After realizing these things yesterday, I knew I have to give my love and desire to help those suffering to as many people as I can. Recalling that there is a blood shortage, I decided I wanted to give blood. 
Tuesday; August 5th, 2014: gave blood after NCLEX-RN Exam

I then thought of cases in my present life and the friends I do have, how I can show my unconditional love to them, and how and what I could give them. Not only is being a giver a trait of an alpha man, which helps with attracting women, but now I understand and have another motivation to do it besides just trying to get girls. People often think that we need to receive love to feel love, but in fact, the opposite is more true. It is the person who gives love who feels more love from all the people in his/her life. And when it comes to hitting the three main pillars that I believe yield in happiness: personal growth (self-improvement, having new experiences, playing); contribution/making a difference; and having strong, deep relationships with others; practicing giving unconditional love hits all three pillars to a tee.

Perhaps I can best conclude this post this way:
Hit rewind, Click delete, Stand face to face with the younger me, All of the mistakes, All of the heartbreak, Here's what I'd do differently 
I'd love like I'm not scared, Give when it's not fair, Live life for another, Take time for a brother, Fight for the weak ones, Speak out for freedom, Find faith in the battle, Stand tall but above it all, Fix my eyes on you… 
-Fix My Eyes for King & Country   

Monday, August 4, 2014

What About Me?

“Hello my name is regret. I’m pretty sure we have met. Every single day of your life, I'm the whisper inside, that won’t let you forget. Hello my name is defeat, I know you recognize me, just when you think you can win, I drag you right back down again, until you’ve lost all belief”
-          Hello, My Name Is - Matthew West

I’m wondering what 22 years of my quiet, introverted, shy, school-work oriented lifestyle has yielded in. I’m wondering about what happiness I have gained from it. As I sit here writing this, I feel unhappy inside. Feelings of regret, shame, fatigue, lethargy, weakness, anxiety, terrified, uncertainty are all percolating under my everyday stoic face and few words I make from small talk. I’d imagine that most people never guess that’s what’s silently cutting inside of me, eroding and quietly burning away at me. I suspect I look okay but I am dying inside. I intellectually get that there are people out there who have it worse than me, but WHAT ABOUT ME?! Are these people and I just suffering away, living lives of quiet desperation, while seeing other people who seem to have it better than us, only to feel that they DO have it better? I imagine a specific bald-headed TV doctor telling me what he told another guest of his, that I need to work harder and be patient, only for me to explode and say that I have worked so hard academically! But my lifestyle is still no different. I feel fucking miserable!

I am not proud of what I am about to say. From the list of emotions I wrote down, I am most troubled by regret and shame. Recently my twin brother got to know a girl. I had a chance, but I said no. He acted on it, and while for a moment I thought I could live vicariously through it, living vicariously is driving me down a spiraling path into a fantasy that has led me to regret, jealousy, shame, and anxiety. And I can’t seem to shake myself out of it, and what’s worst, I’m having trouble putting these selfish thoughts aside. He’s my brother. How could I possibly feel this way?! How could I possibly entertain the notion of if I had said yes? I cannot be this type of person. I just cannot. I am a good, moral person. I need to remember that I am young, decently good looking, great-bodied, smart, hard-working, moral, kind, understanding, ambitious, and adventurous person with grand dreams and potential for making them come true. I need to remember that I have had an opportunity presented to me before, and I didn’t take it, partly because she wasn’t that good looking but nevertheless. I don’t feel that I have had many opportunities. And being out of school now, where am I going to find opportunities now? Besides this, I’m also worrying over where I will find real friends in the future, how I am going to create a community, a history with people. All these things adding up are giving me anxiety. In addition, there’s still the problem of the constant mundaneness and dreariness that has been present in my life for years. All these things together are making me quite unhappy with my life right now.        

All I can do is to remember this: that I am young, decently good looking, great-bodied, smart, hard-working, moral, kind, understanding, ambitious, and adventurous person with grand dreams and hopes for the future with the potential to make them happen. Hopefully that future is here very soon. Just keep pressing on. That’s all I can do about it.