All quotes are from The Book of Joy.
I just ate a kitkat (four sticks) and a whole slab of lindt caramel chocolate, so my thoughts are running wiiiiiiiild now. I just wanted to write about what goes on in my head when I think about self-acceptance and being undefined, regardless of what stage of life you are at. I was watching ‘peachyanas’ on youtube, her video on her tattoos and piercings and she is an interesting character. Her Instagram is also quite interesting!
No it’s not because I have a tendency to stare at girls wearing next-to-nothing. Her videos just seem very genuine and carefree to me. It made me think about how I learned my mannerisms and how I am now 23. With close to the same habits as my 17-year-old self.
I mean I could not speak as I am speaking without having learned it from other human beings. I could not walk as a human being. I could not think as a human, except through learning it from other human beings. I learned to be a human being from other human beings. We belong in this delicate network. It is actually quite profound.
As much as I would like to be undefined, a part of me is tied to my family and my culture because I’m like a fish in water. I don’t recognise that I am behaving as my parents are behaving, and my mind works in the same way as so many other Singaporeans, because I have been doing it all my life. I learned to be a kiasu and kiasi dugong since I was born, my seriousness comes not just from my genes but also from my environment. Peachyanas’s style of talking and dressing made me see her as a whole human being really quickly, and not just as ‘another fashion youtuber’ or whatever it is that she does. I don’t think she puts up videos that often. But her Instagram game is mad hahaha. She said something about how she loves herself and the whole point of life is just to be joyful and I thought- yeah.
We were from all traditions and despite our diversity, we produced a unanimous report. We concluded, ‘There is nothing wrong with faiths. The problem is the faithful.’
I would say that I am quite a tolerant person. I try to understand whatever people do, even if it is completely stupid and invasive and disturbing to other people. Some might feel like I don’t care about standards of morality and right living, but I think the closer truth would be that everyone has their own path to lead. That neutrality and I guess, understanding? Allows me to accept what everyone is doing. It just is. I might not like it, but it just is. Humans are just being themselves. If there are changes to be made then good. But if it is a fixed mindset then there is really no point harping on it. Okay I might or might not be talking about my sister, and the way my mom tries to get her out of her room. The context is that my sister has always loved staying in her room with the door closed. Now that she is 25, I doubt things will change?
“Basically,” the Archbishop continued, “I think we’ve got to accept ourselves as we are. And then hope to grow in much the way the Dalai Lama described. I mean getting to know what the things are that trigger us. These are things that you can train, you can change, but we ought not to be ashamed of ourselves. We are human, and sometimes it is a good thing that we recognise that we have human emotions. Now the thing is being able to say, when is it appropriate?”
On my adult path of self-acceptance and recognizing my negative emotions (I don’t get positive emotions very often, although I practise a lot of gratitude), I think I am quite aware of my moods and my actions? I don’t try and extrapolate my actions to how others might perceive them, I think that’s quite a mindfuck. Like “okay I am really anxious today I shall sit in a corner… I wonder if everyone thinks I’m antisocial…. should I give out peace offerings??” I just know how I feel and what I am doing in response to how I feel, even though I know that I should be doing B instead of A, but I just don’t have the energy to do A. I don’t always have high standards for myself. It would be very pressurizing.
We try to control the moment, which results in our feeling that what is happening should not be happening. So much of what causes heartache is our wanting things to be different than they are. “I think, in many cases,” the Dalai Lama explained, “you develop some sort of unhappiness, some discontent, which leads to frustration and anger.
While stress and frustration may sound like superficial problems or complaints, the Buddha identified them as the core of so much of our unnecessary, or created, suffering.
I have been creating images for blog posts recently! Just to keep track of my posts on instagram. It’s not meant to be anything, I don’t quite know what I am doing either. But hey. I like pictures.