The Paradox of Being Human

 

You can be right, happy or human. It’s your choice.

We live in an era where everything is changing at high speed. Technology is starting to occupy most of our lives, relationships are redefined daily and workplaces are not what they used to be. Given this state, the natural response should be seeing ourselves as a work in progress. Is this truly happening today? Not really.

As far as I can see, most of us have this innate need to be right. We want to control each little detail of life. It doesn’t matter if in our search for acknowledgment another’s experience is diminished.

Although our need to be right might be useful in some contexts, such as the workplace, in close relationships this brings us further away from our partners. We all want happy relationships, but lack of empathy is the underlying reason why we don’t have them. We prefer to live alone and be right, rather than listen and be happy. We have a lot to lose today because of this need to have our view of the world acknowledged. Even if we do, sometimes it is still not enough to get out of our own head.

This is the reason why we can end up in social isolation. If we think we are right all the time we don’t make space for the other person to come forth and show us their unique experience. Every person has a different set of eyes and a brain through which they process the human world. Starting anything with the benefit of the doubt and taking into consideration our differences leaves room for conversation…or as I’d like to call it, for true connection.

Today, everyone is talking about how they want to be connected, but in truth, we are more disconnected than ever. We already know why. In our quest to be right we loose what truly matters most – our relationships.

I found it useful to share with you my personal struggle with this matter. Now you can dive deep into the mind of someone who is right all the time. Please don’t get lost:

’’As a person who likes to have her own way, I discovered the drawbacks of this very thing. You can end up isolated and misunderstood. Instead of trying to switch the point of reference, you remain stuck. There is no room for growth. It’s just suicide.’’

I know I talked about what happens, but how can we change this? Stick with me for another personal account:

’’What I did to solve this issue was to doubt myself. To fit another’s puzzle pieces into my own story. I think that what we need right now is not a rigid view of the world, but rather a conversation about vulnerabilities and the stuff we are going through. We put up walls all the time and being right is just a way of protecting ourselves from the unknown, form saying yes to life, from the whole range of human experiences.’’

”Assuming that I can get it completely wrong was the best thing ever. I got to connect with people, listen to their stories and understand the way each idea was shaped inside somebody else’s mind.”

Instead of choosing between being right or being happy, a question of ’’either or’’, I think we need to get to the core of ’’both and’’. To redefine the discussion towards stories and meaning-making. In my view, there isn’t a right answer, only different versions of the same story.

For those who are strong enough to understand that being a human being is a paradox in itself, I can only assume they will live a happy life. For the rest, I think you’ll struggle to try to find ultimate answers to the questions of life. A quest which will only lead to despair, because there are no right answers, only more questions.

Aren’t we just animals circling around the Sun? Just admit, we are living paradoxes and we have no idea what the heck we are doing here, but we are doing it anyway.

Right or happy? Just be wrong for a second. Just be human. It’s the best thing you can be.

Lots of love,
Mădălina Dan

Image source: https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/

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What it takes to be yourself?

 

”Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– Margery Williams

 

Hello, dear readers!

I read yesterday a story called “The Velveteen Rabbit” and I wanted to share with you a short paragraph from it. In my eyes, it’s about becoming authentic in life. I will let the paragraph speak for itself. Enjoy 🙂

“What is REAL?” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Lots of love and always remember – be authentic each passing day. You can never get ugly, only more beautiful.

Hugs,

Mădălina Dan

Fight for your dreams

 

’’Let go of your story. Tie no weights to your ankles. You can do this.’’

Two days ago I had a mini breakdown. There are days when I feel like this when I want to give up everything. Go back to bed, hide under the covers and never write anything ever again. There are days when I want to give up university, to forget my dreams and trash them all. Then, I remember the reason why I started everything in the first place. I go back to my vision board, only to draw again – this time something better.

Yes, there are days when most of us want to give up on our dreams, I’m sure I’m not the only one. My question is,, what would be left of us if we give up on the single thing we love the most in this life – our dream?’’ For me is writing. For another person might be engineering. For another might be dancing. It doesn’t matter. Your dream is your dream. I know you might make up excuses right now for all your limits, for everything that it’s staying in the way between you and your dreams. I get it. I get it why you do this. That has been me for many years. Years and years in which I told myself why I’m not good enough for writing, why I’m not ready to put myself out there, why I shouldn’t have a voice. Those years are over because when I look back from my death bed I cannot allow myself to see a person who lived her whole life in fear of the unknown. I want to see the person who conquered her worst nightmares since she believed in her dreams. She believed in her dreams more than she believed in herself sometimes. This girl had roadblocks, limits and 1000 reasons why she shouldn’t have done it, but she did. That’s what I want to see – someone who had the courage to ‘turn her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans”.

What can you do when you are in a gap? When you feel like nothing is adding up? To begin with, close your eyesclose your eyes and imagine the life you want to live, the life of your dreams. Now, open them and start to write. Write what that dream means to you and how badly you want it. Promise yourself that no matter what happens or who stands in the way you will go after your dreams with all your heart, soul and spirit.

If you feel like the end goal is too big, make it small. Each day set a certain time to work on your dream. Each day do something little for yourself. Those days will turn into months, those months into years and sooner rather than later you will realize that you are already living your dream.

Believe me – you can do this. Refuse to give up.

”Life is only a game and the only for you to win is if you play.”

Lots of love,

Mădălina Dan

Be Christmasy All Year

 

I thought I’d say something about Christmas since everyone is wrapped in presents, waiting for Santa, singing carols and just tasting the Christmas feelings. For me, Christmas is not about the gifts you get or how much you can eat, but it is about connections, authenticity, vulnerability, family, and friends. This is great actually, but there is something that really concerns me – most of us are happy only when it’s Christmas, while the rest of the year we are disconnected from the world, staring at our phones and running from one place to another. Christmas shouldn’t be the only time when we show love and appreciation towards the ones we love. Christmas should be all year in our hearts. We should all sing, dance and be happy all the time. Connect with people. Travel the world. I don’t think the atmosphere is really about the holiday, more like people coming back to themselves, living from their hearts. It makes me both happy and sad that we do this only a few days in the whole year. It would be amazing to be ourselves all the time, to love, to dream and to be happy. Show appreciation. Follow our souls even when we don’t sing carols or we don’t cook a certain type of food.

My advice to go against this? Be present, be present all the time. Show appreciation. Hug the ones you love. Try a new hobby. Do some form of art. Dream. Be yourself. If you do this, trust me, Christmas will be all year – in your heart.

Be happy all the time,
Mădălina Dan

The magic of friendship

 

Each one of us has a little voice inside that whispers the things we need to hear the most – like how beautiful we are. Most often than not we ignore this voice, we ignore our own needs and values, searching for somebody else to feel the void. We shrink ourselves, we become dissembled pieces of a puzzle that was once whole. Armour after armour, we put our shields up, hoping that one day we will be fine. Hoping that one day we will be happy. The problem is, that day is not coming, not until we become brave enough to do the work, to face everything that has been hidden from our eyesight.

I think we need to help ourselves, to forgive and love each part of our mind, body, and spirit, but also never ignore the help of other people. There are so many amazing human beings in this world that are willing to hold our hand when we are walking through storms. These people are not here to take our pain away, but to create spaces where we can feel safe enough to open up and share stories. To become vulnerable and let our guard down for a change. To simply be ourselves, without the need to please or fake a reaction, because we can be accepted for who we are.

There is so much healing in feeling empathy and realizing that another heart is beating in sync with yours, that another human being can actually stay there and listen to everything you have to say. Not judge or run away or criticize your choice, but just listen. See beneath all the layers of hurt and reach your soul. That’s what a true friend does. It doesn’t heal your wounds, but it encourages you to face your demons. It lets you go through your own journey, being fully conscious that one day you will become a beautiful butterfly, even though that day might not come as soon as he or she might expect. A good friend loves you in the most amazing way –  with an open heart and a free spirit.

I think there are no words powerful enough to describe the gifts that the empathy and vulnerability of a true friend can bring to our lives. Maybe they should be described as magic fairy dust because they soften our hearts and the blows of everything that came before. We can see ourselves as worthy of love and forgiveness when somebody else deems us as such, although there are times we might think we don’t deserve it. That’s simply because we tend to be too hard on ourselves and not forgive our undesirable parts, but a friend who truly loves us will look past our mistakes and wrongdoings, will judge us based on our soul. A true friend will set us free from the prison of self-hatred.

Once we understand that a whole new world opens in front of our eyes, we realize that we don’t have to go through the journey alone. Sometimes having a shoulder to cry on can be the best thing. Sometimes what we need is someone to listen and be there. Having a good friend makes us automatically become a better one. We become wise and beautiful and vulnerable, managing to sit with our own grief because we know we are strong enough to hold it in our hearts. We are strong enough to face everything when we know that other amazing people have our back and we are not alone in this complicated place called life’’. We become confident enough to believe in our dreams and see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the end, we’re all in this together, not alone.

Lots of love,

Măđă