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On my more pessimistic days (so, pretty much everyday), I like to remind myself that no matter how hard I try, I will never be truly happy. It's just highly unlikely that I, or anyone else for that matter, would be able to obtain that state of pure satisfaction where everything in life turns out perfect. We're human beings; perfection doesn't exist. We take things for granted. Some of us can't go for a day without complaining about something, anything, everything.
This is inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing. Even experts have trouble coming up with the best solutions to solving problems - oftentimes they settle on one way, carry it out, only to find a better method afterwards. I think it's beneficial that as we step forward, we also take the time to look back and recognize that it's all about perspective. We should not be so easily satisfied with ourselves - in fact, we have to be harsh critics so as to constantly strive for improvement. We should be cognizant of the fact that nothing is perfect.
This came to my attention when I was asked whether I believed there is that one right person out there for us.



How do we know when we meet "the one"? Chances are, there is probably someone out there that is a better match for you than anyone else, and you will never meet them. But, we eventually want to settle. How do we know when to stop looking?

Reality

Jan. 1st, 2012 06:37 pm
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What constitutes as "reality"?
"Acknowledging the present", you might say, and I wouldn't disagree -
but I wouldn't choose that as my sole answer.
After all, I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for the actions I've committed, the choices I've made, and the people I've met before. The past may not exist anymore, but it played a big part in shaping my reality today. Try as I might, but I cannot disregard my past.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though. We cherish fond moments in our heads, but the past is often rife with negative memories as well. It hurts to think about them. How do you cure pain that isn't physical?
I knew that in order to "return to reality", I had to let go of my regrets and other similar sentiments. Get rid of the things that bring me down. I just didn't know what "letting go" meant.
I was passive at first and tried relying on time to work its healing magic - it didn't work. Rather than disappearing like I hoped they would, my regrets manifested into more permanent forms. They would creep into my mind when I least expected it during the day, and haunt me relentlessly as I slept at night. I could not ignore my problems. I broke down.
I squandered a lot of time attempting to "move on". I knew my regrets resulted from my inability to come to terms with my emotions, so I tried to sort them out. I thought I could handle whatever life threw at me, but the more time tested me, the more confused I became. I was powerless to act when I couldn't even understand how I truly felt. I lost track of what was real, and I fell into depression.
You see, I got it all wrong. It's not about realizing what is real - that would be futile.
I have to realize what is important to me. Instead of focusing on past negative aspects, I need to remember my positive values and shift my attention back to what needs to be done. I can't change the past, but I can convince myself I don't need to.
What is reality? For me, it's knowing that the fight is not over until I say so. I still have goals to accomplish, people I care for, and those are important to me. That's my reality.

Memory

Jan. 1st, 2012 12:41 am
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Why do memories have such a strong hold over us? Where does the obsession with them originate from, and how come we welcome it?
What are memories? Memories are biased interpretations of what we perceived to be real at the time. They are personal recollections of the past, often consisting of intangible ideas, yet we place so much faith into them. We close our eyes and we think, "We remember, therefore we know".
We're often told to "live in the present" and not "dwell in the past" for the sake of progress. Failures are considered hindrances to success, but we also analyze our past mistakes for the sake of improvement. We fixate onto memories because they present a reality that once existed to us - a reality that we may want to reproduce, to sustain, to fix, or to completely avoid.
We are able to store memories in our heads and distinguish them from reality at the same time. We trust our own memories, and we use them every day. Memory allows us to function, to interact, and to establish relationships. Some may even go as far as to say that we cannot live without memory.
Why is it so important to remember?
There is a line between truth and reality. Memories may or may not be the truth, but they are very real to our minds. We seek comfort in the fact that while we are not gods in the real world, we are gods of our own worlds. Reality is out of our control, but we can control ourselves.
Memories are not facts or observable phenomena, but we put faith into them because we trust our own judgements, in hopes of securing control over our desired reality. It doesn't matter whether they are true, or whether others agree with them - our memories serve as identities, definitions of ourselves, and reminders as to who we are.
However, memories are far from perfect.
There is nothing wrong with cherishing memories, but it can become destructive when we obsess over the past, such that we close ourselves to the world. We identify with memories because they are familiar, but we mustn't be afraid to be open to new experiences as well. Sometimes we're so accustomed to memories that we become apprehensive to reality's changes - foreign changes that may not make immediate sense to us. Reality becomes unbearable - because not only do we have zero control over it, we lack understanding. We turn to memories, to the past, and try to make sense of things in our own ways.
It should be noted though, that ignorance does not alter reality; it only serves as a blindfold. We can fool ourselves into thinking that we know better, but we only know as much as we are exposed to. Our memories are limited, and our knowledge is limited. We can learn from the past, but we must learn to move on as well. By opening up to the world and trying to understand it, we can form new experiences and work towards a better future.

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