I’ve heard this so many times that it’s come to mean quite the opposite: “I’m pretty sure you’re not actually Catholic.”
Granted, when I was younger, it was for more benign infractions. “You’re so rude. But you’re Catholic!” and “You drink so much. But you’re Catholic!”
These days, I hear it in connection with more contentious beliefs. “You support gay rights? But you’re Catholic!” So as much to clear my own head as anything else, I thought I’d set my thoughts in order in the most public and inadvisable way possible: on the Internet.
My poor decision-making skills have nothing to do with my religion.
What It Means
“Gay” is a weird adjective to use, really, and not just because of the “gay old time” ambiguity. It’s been used to describe such a wide spectrum of things (“gay rights”, “gay lifestyle”), even in the specific context of homosexuality, that…
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
This might seem like some kind of poppycock but have you noticed that when you really want something with every fibre of your soul, that things begin to fall into place? It is up to us to keep our eyes open to the world around us to notice the signs or ‘omens’ as The Alchemist described that will help us achieve our dreams.
But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons that I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so. The inevitable Regret, the bitter poison to your soul, that will follow when you realise that you have given up following your dream for quickly attained material comfort is not easy to swallow. Would you truly be happy and content if you just settle for the quick win but never try going after your dreams?
So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.
When Santiago meets the love of his life, he is taken aback by wonder of it all. Just imagine, that in order for two people to have met, centuries and centuries of people had to have been born and died, billions and trillions of countless decisions made and influenced that final singular outcome. Every single person you meet in your life has a role to play. It is your duty to understand what it is, and to react accordingly.
There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. We can spend our entire lives reading from books, in our journey to acquire more knowledge. In The Alchemist, a scholar has spent most of his life reading up on the act of turning lead into gold. He has read every book on the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher’s Stone. When he finally meets the mythical Alchemist and asks him for direction to turn lead to gold, he is only told ‘Go and try.’ He realises then that it was his fear of failure that had kept him back from actually trying to do it himself. His journey to understand alchemy would not be complete without actually doing it! Alchemy is about evolving and transforming into something better. By his action, he transforms and changes, from a scholar to an alchemist.
Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. The hardest part of the journey is actually taking the first step. We can spend our whole lives dreaming of climbing Mt.Everest, but if we don’t take the first step of booking a ticket to Nepal or getting out of bed to train, we will never make it to the top. Of course, once the first step has been taken, you will never know what the future holds. The key is to enjoy whatever happens.
People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. I once read this quote and it has seared itself into my brain, “we deserve everything that we desire in our lives.”
I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul. Remember that you are made of the same atoms that make up the stars, black holes, hurricanes, the very fabric that holds up the universe. Within you lies the entire galaxy. You are made of stardust and the burning core of our earth. You have the power to create, to destroy, to evolve. You can be anything you wish to be.
“My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” We are so afraid of hurting ourselves, our heart, that we build an armour around us. Yes, this keeps us safe, protected from the terrifying world out there. But this also keeps dreams, love, and hope from within our reach. The image of suffering is most likely to be over hyped by our imagination. Imagine the worst that could possibly happen, and as long as you or anyone else wouldn’t get physically harmed in the process, just go ahead and do it.
“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.” The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn. We usually give up because we think our efforts have been futile. Ironically, our end goals would have been the closest at the point of time we decided to give up. Nothing worthwhile in life has ever come easy, it has to be fought for. You will be tested by the universe and you must withstand the trials that you will no doubt face. When you eventually get what you have been fighting for, the feeling that envelops you will be worth it.
As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure. You may not be able to control what happens in your life. But you are always in control of how you choose to respond to the situations. It is your attitude that will influence your perspective on things, and in turn how you feel in your soul. Like attracts like. So if you tend to react negatively, most likely, you will also receive negative reactions. Stay positive, and you will see the tides changing and eventually realise that the universe has always had your back, and been quietly conspiring to help you achieve your dreams.
Personally, I am a dreamer by nature. I am easily excited by the prospect of new ideas and new problems to solve. The ideation process that leads to the solution can keep me up for nights until I have cracked it. But the issue occurs during implementation: I find myself getting caught up in other new problems, to see through till the end for the current problem.
I am not alone in this. Many if us face the same issue of getting distracted and not finishing up the loose ends of our projects. So how can we improve on this?
I have found that breaking a singular goal into smaller actionable tasks allows me to quickly work towards something and more importantly achieve it. The satisfaction I get from finishing it, spurs me on to the next goal lined up!
Day 2: Appreciation
Do we take the time to appreciate the work that our colleagues do everyday?
We have a tendency to get caught up in our own rat race that we don’t realize the amount of work on our team mates’ plate.
So today (and forever more) show your appreciation to your team. Your company won’t exist without the people in it, working their asses off to build the greatest version of your product.
Day 3: What has happened to Passion?
When did we stop being passionate? When did it become uncool to have passion? Yes, it is a much easier way to live life, showing everyone how much you don’t care about an outcome; whether you win or lose, you remain unaffected. But are we really living, when we remain in this state of ennui?
As someone who has been called “energiser bunny on steroids”, I know how much more colourful and exciting life is when you live it passionately. So go out there and shout your excitement about a falling star, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing!
I leave you with this quote from a wordsmith and all round panty-drop causer (Tom Hiddleston) who said the following during one of his interviews and I have taken the words to heart.
“I gave myself permission to care because there are lot of ppl in this world who are afraid of caring or afraid of showing that they care; because its uncool, it’s uncool to have passion. It’s so much easier to lose when you show everyone how much you don’t care if you win or lose. It’s much harder to lose when you show that you care. But you will never win unless you also stand to lose. Basically, don’t be afraid of your passion, give it free reign and be honest. work hard and it will all turn out fine. We all have 2 lives, the second begins when you realise you only have one.”
Day 4: Stop drowning!
There will be times when it feels like you are drowning in a swamp, be it in your personal life, or in professional life when you are working on projects.
Take 3 steps back, take deep breaths, and think of the following:
– Figure out what you are looking for (aka The Compass)
– Once you know what you are looking for, it becomes easier to identify how to get there (aka The Map).
– More importantly, you can identify when you have reached your milestones (aka The Treasure).
Day 5: Feedbacks
Suddenly you find your heart beating just a tad faster, your palms slightly sweatier. But why do we get nervous when we think about someone giving us feedback? What are the thoughts going through your head just before you meet someone for a feedback session? Do you hear doubts and thoughts of “they hate it. They are probably gonna say, you suck!”
I have found that if you separate your sense of ego before your feedback session and simply approach it with a desire to learn from the session, you benefit much more from that interaction. Also the voice that you hear in your head is a projection of your own insecurities, and if you can identify them, you can stop yourself from projecting them onto your critic.
Just remember that if someone is actually taking their time to give you constructive feedback, it means that they genuinely care about the issue that you are talking about.
So listen, don’t take things personally, learn, grow. Become better.
Day 6: Embrace change.
Change can terrify us. Because you never know what the outcome could be. You can choose to hide and stay stuck in the present state or you can choose to go charging into the new unknown, soul blazing. You will either fail or you will emerge triumphant. Either way, you know you have given it your best shot. Either way, you will come out of this changed. Transformed.
Day 7: Never assume!
We tend to make assumptions about things in our life. That’s normal. It’s easier to make quick decisions based on our past experiences or knowledge that we gained than having to pay attention and figure things out. But we can make mistakes when we assume. Some mistakes are more costly than others.
For example, I assumed that my hair stylist would charge the market rate but I was dead wrong. Ended up paying 500+ for my hair treatment. All because I didn’t ask, based on an assumption.
So painful lesson here: Never make assumptions!
#30BouncingBackDays is dedicated to discussing failures and how we can bounce back from them. Every week, a collated list will be posted. Share your stories in the comment section!
The video’s description asks, “What happens when you put a boy in front of a girl and ask him to slap her? Here is how children react to the subject of violence against women.”
As the video begins, it seems promising. An off-camera male voice asks five charming young boys questions, one at a time:
“What’s your name?”
“How old are you”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Thanks to this line of questioning, each boy is brought to life for the viewer. With a range of personal demeanors and interests, it’s easy for viewers to see each boy as a unique and lovely individual.
Then, each boy is visibly surprised when a tall, blonde, conventionally beautiful young girl joins them in front of the camera…
Two-Sentence Summary As the Spell of Shattered Sight looms in the distance, the residents of Storybrooke prepare for the worst. Even a happy reunion between Anna and Elsa can’t stop it, especially after Rumplestiltskin orders Hook to trap the fairies (who were working on a counter-spell) in the sorcerer’s hat.
Favorite Line “Well if the mayor only has to worry about one villain—and it’s herself—that frees up a lot of time for infrastructure and other issues.” (Snow)
My Thoughts When Once Upon a Time is driven by pure emotion, there’s nothing else on television that makes me feel like this show. “Fall” was basically a series of deeply emotional moments strung together by some very small (but significant) points of plot progression, and sometimes that’s exactly what this show needs—to take a step back from breathless plotting and twists and simply allow these characters time to open their…
My insides churn, like relentless waves crashing against the shore on a stormy night. My tears are stuck in my throat, and my breath comes out in sharp gasps, a drowning man aching for oxygen as he drowns.
I keep thinking what I could have done differently: told you the truth, called you earlier to tell you everything was okay? Perhaps right at this very moment, we could have been sharing laughs over a bottle of wine as we reminisced about how over the past two years we have been playing a long game of “does she? does he not?”
Instead, I am alone in my bed staring at my phone and I see your whatsapp profile looking back at me, empty.
I just feel so alone you know? For a second on Saturday morning as we murmured our feelings to one another, I dared to hope that I had an ally who would have my back. Someone that I could trust completely. Never have I ever dared to dream that that would be possible for someone like me.
There you were, fingers tender as you pushed my hair behind my ear and you whispered “I have always liked you.”
My heart stopped in that instant. I am not sure if you realised it though. I laughed off your comment. “Why would you like me? I am crazy!”
Then I say out loud a secret I have never told you, “I like you too,you know.”
You chuckle at that moment and proceed to tell me that you have known that I liked you. I am not sure why, but in that moment, I feel the need to protect my obvious lack of acting skills of pretending that I am not affected by you.
“Oh! But I so got over you in two months.” Lies. I am not over you.
(And probably never will be. A part of me will always remember you as the guy who made me realise that I am capable of feeling greatly about someone who happens to be one of the nicest, and most hardworking person I have come across in my life. It was always the little things you did that made me care about you.)
But for the rest of the night, it was soft cuddles and crazy talks, the kind that comes about when you are buzzed on cognac and life in general.
(I have never been that good at letting go. So I am not sure how to let you go. You have become woven into my tapestry of life, that I can cannot find the thread of where you begin or end. You have become a part of me and perhaps it will always be that way, your thoughts and actions rippling through various facets of my life.)
I am confused because we can’t seem to be honest with one another and we keep playing these games. Usually I am all for games but right now all I want is the naked truth.
No frills. No fuss. Just get straight to the point.
I was taking a cab to Pasir Ris Mrt after a wonderful lunch at a friend’s home when the conversation with the uncle turned to his Love life when I asked him how his day has been so far.
Turns out he was madly in love with a lady who was just too afraid of being together because of her complicated past. She has been separated from her husband for many years and has been living her life as widow with her three daughters. She is too afraid of what her children or society would say if she got married again at her advanced age.
He reminisces about the beginning stages of their relationship when she would be okay with kisses in dark alleys but today when they go out for lunch or dinner she would walk ahead of him so people wouldn’t know they are together.
“I love her alot. I don’t know how much longer I can live this way. But I love her too much to leave now. I gave her my word. I just wish she would live for herself instead of worrying what others thought of her.”
I sniffle a little and he hears me, and somehow he ends up comforting me, “I have been alone for so long, it is ok!”
I really hope things work out for him.
Cos you see, finding love in this disconnected world is so rare that when you get it, you should latch onto it as hard you can and fight to keep it alive. I think there can be nothing greater than to love someone and know that you are loved in return.