Lost Boy

Important note: TRIGGER WARNING

I am not sure how long YouTube will allow the following video to be on their server, but please thread forward cautiously. It is Robin Williams’ documentary entitled “Come Inside My Mind”.

At some point, this documentary brought me back to a particular moment in my childhood. It must have been the darkest moment of my life as a kid. It was such an awful experience that I could actually hear that voice telling myself that “you do not matter, you are nothing”. From that moment, I actually gave up and lost myself.

As a result of that and since then, my mind has been conditioned that pleasing others and seeing them happy is my life’s top priority. I kept yearning that acceptance and always ensuring that I did my best to please those around me. On the flip side, it was very hard for me to trust people and I was always suspicious of people’s intention. I started to not only keeping scores with myself but with others as well. There seemed to be a built-in gauging system and I beat myself up for someone else’ unhappiness.

When it comes to people who made positive impact on me as a person, I have found myself to be dependent on their thought process and ideals. I also yearn for their affirmation and acceptance all the time. Thus, I often find myself motivated to appease them by acceding to their demands, delivering my best, and be the best that I can be for them.

But it gets tired sometimes and I’ll be lying to myself if I say that I didn’t feel like giving up.

I have been trying to figure out the sadness that I have been experiencing every now and then for the past few months. It wasn’t until I heard the words of Robin’s son Zak in the documentary that it began to hit home.

He said and I quote:

“His pathos was seeking to entertain and please. And he felt when he wasn’t doing that, he was not succeeding as a person. And that was always hard to see because in so many senses, he is the most successful person I know. And yet he didn’t always feel that.”

What he said applies to most of us who have become too dependent on the approval of others that we have totally lost ourselves. In the fast paced world, I felt it most when I immersed and poured myself entirely and completely into my job. I found it hard to adjust whenever there were some downtime. I felt that I wasn’t valuable, contributing or being productive.

Through that, I have learned to be generous with my praises when people do well and always make it a point to acknowledge people so that they know that at least someone took notice and they matter.

I am slowly learning to come to terms and forgive myself. It is not easy and I am definitely a work in progress like everyone else. The best place to start is knowing that we are not alone.

Even though people do not usually say it out loud, each and every one of us matters to at least someone out there.

It is like looking out the window to see the moon thinking that we are all living under the same stars, moon, and sun. And if you grew up in the 80s, you will be reminded of the song that goes…

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight,
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer,
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there…

~Somewhere Out There (An American Tail, 1986)~

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Unlearn and Relearn

At this juncture of my life, I cannot help but to feel that I had allowed others to shape how I think – adults in my life as I grew up, religion and religious leaders, and people and organizations I look up to. Each time I wanted to be myself, my mind has been conditioned to accuse myself of being arrogant and I get back into a reclusive depression. I feel like for way too long, I have not taken responsibility for myself because it is easier for people to fail and as long it is not me, it is alright. That is not taking responsibility. I have allowed others to mess with my mind. I have allowed myself to depend upon others to mess up my mind and each time I had doubt, I go back to that dependency. The vicious cycle continues and my life becomes so mundane and meaningless.

It happened so much that it is almost like an addiction to this dependency and each time I deviate from the “conditioned path”, I allowed myself to be brainwashed over and over again. The vicious cycle repeats and continues day after day, month after month, and year after year.

I realized that my mind has been conditioned to conform to certain standards and my soul yearned to break free. Each time that I tried breaking free, I had been told both subtly and directly to get in line and stay in line. Even to have such thoughts is interpreted as being influenced by the devil. I believe now that organized religion does that to people.

I recently watched a video of a guy ranting how a self-righteous person told him how she did not want to be associated with him just because she thought his tattoos made him look trashy. Followers of religions have a way of thinking that they are better than anyone else and miss the point of living out their religious teaching through empathy, kindness, and love.

Like it or not, we are in some sort of religion even if we are not aware of it. When we are into something and when it consumes us entirely, our passion goes overboard and get the better of us.

I appreciate the fact that I am “work in progress” and have the opportunities to be a better person for myself and the people around me. Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Mark Nepo this week hits home for me. The amount of inspirational and thought provoking contents in just a short 1 hour session was what I needed this week spiritually!

Patterns

Patterns

I am not sure about you but I feel that very often we go through life in repetition of patterns.

In the field of software engineering, a software design pattern is defined as a general and reusable solution to a specific reoccurring problem.

In life, once we get into a particular pattern that we sometimes call the “comfort zone”, our thought process is pretty much set until a disruption breaks the repetition of the pattern.

The buzz word in the business world today is IoT, short for Internet of Things. After a few decades, the internet still remains as the biggest disruption to our lives. At this juncture, we want everything “cloud”.

We need to recognize the fact that people born into every level of society are stuck in a certain pattern. A poor child born in the projects will repeat living in the patterns he or she knows best emulated through growing up in the patterns of his or her parents. The vicious cycle repeats until a disruption takes place.

The one most important disruption anyone should be given is EDUCATION. Education brings about change in people’s lives. That’s because it is one tool that can help equip a person with knowledge that changes the thought process and thus, breaking the repetitions of patterns.

For those of us who are aware of such situations, we must recognize those disruptions. I like calling them the “blips” of life. If we are in positions to action on these blips, we will be able to bring about change for the greater good of humanity.

So what’s your blip today?