A Beautiful Paradox

I grew up with this notion of life – that since life is hard, everyone would be equally nice to each other – but I learnt recently that not everyone is nice. We are all victims to our own experience, hurt and eventually we become more and more wary whom we give our uttermost human service aka kindness to.

Believe it or not, accept it or not, we are all money driven one way or the other. We rush to work every weekday or sometimes, on weekends because our work offers income. This income brings food to the table, allows us to spend and live the life we desire.

But what is exactly the kind of life we want? Is life about dwelling a contented, three-story bungalow, driving our dream car or being able to travel everywhere we could without worrying about how much we are going to spend? Or is it about everything listed and more?

Could we unconsciously be vying for power? We want the power to control and the power to make decisions because we are simply too tired listening to the higher-up.

Whatever they are, we thrive to reach those life goals. We take every step we can. We measure every risk we can possibly think of.

Our “dream” life then makes us a goal eccentric individual, which means we cannot be nice to everyone. We have our loved ones and dreams at stake. Selfishness then becomes a necessity.

I reflected on my experience with humans and my countless interaction with every one of them during my travel and coincidental bumps.

I now understand this sad yet powerful thing about humanity – that we can never be 100% kind to each other – yet at the same time, we have to be kind. I now understand this truth as a beautiful paradox.

We have to be kind. But we cannot be too kind.

So where do we draw the line?

Honestly, I still have no idea how. For multiple times I’ve crossed the line I drew and too many times I have retreated and moved two steps back from the same line.

But what I know for sure is the brutality of listening to your gut feelings – not necessarily following them. They somehow already know what you want, what you don’t want and potential catastrophes you might have brushed off.

I emphasized listening not necessarily following because we would never actually fully follow our gut feelings. We simply don’t have the guts too. It is too scary, risky and what if our feelings ended up being wrong? So I don’t coerce obedience towards my instinct anymore. Listening works much better.

In summary, I learn that the perception of life then is not about being right or wrong. It is also not about being rich or poor. Neither it is about living a balanced life. Rather, it is about being entirely certain that sometimes, life just happens to kick you in the butt and throw you up in the sky – we just have to enjoy this beautiful paradox one day at a time.

“My heart is at ease knowing what was meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me.”

Please Wake Up, Indonesia!!!

I write this in response to the recent protest against Ahok in Jakarta because it.is.freaking.absurd. I also write this because the incident reminded me of the Chinese-Indonesian Riot I experienced in 1998.

Apologize that it is in English but my Bahasa is really rusty now I can’t even….

Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend anyone by writing this post and explicit words + pictures are used here and there to express my dismay and thoughts of the incident and my reflection on the 1998 riot. 

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5 Things I miss most about Singapore

Feeling homesick recently and foremostly, missing hawker food… so here are the 5 things I miss most about the little red dot…

1. Fried Carrot cake

Needless to say, carrot cake is my favourite hawker food. The blacker, the better – I could hear myself say as I watch the hawker auntie or uncle fry my carrot cake…

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The Misconceptions About Letting Go

 

If I let go, they might not come back.

I disagree. Clinging onto something does not mean they will be yours or they will return. Letting go too doesn’t mean they are forever gone.

Clinging on is just a mere act of desperation. For a spur moment, you might feel secured and assured. But that’s only for a spur moment. Imagine carrying a 100000kg worth of rocks. You fear that if you let go of these rocks you might not see them anymore and they might not return…or you might not find them anymore.

But they are actually slowing you down. They are heavy, burdensome and scarring you. That’s why you have to let them go. Watch these rocks scatter on the ground as you throw them away, one by one. Start to prioritize your happiness, health and well-being. Strengthen yourself so one day, you can carry all these rocks again without them scarring you.

Letting go does not mean you will lose the things you love. Letting go is loving yourself enough to give yourself the time to heal. When you’re well enough, you’d have the strength to be anything and get anything you want.

If I let go, I’m not doing my best. 

In my previous post, I wrote about doing more than your best. Letting go doesn’t mean that you are not doing your best. Letting go means you have to let loose. It does not contradict or stop you from doing your best.

Letting go of negative emotions gives you the chance to focus on the positives.

Letting go of the things you cannot change, like natural disasters, someone else’s emotions, others’ decisions, shows you that the only person you can control is yourself. When you let go, you’re still doing your best but with a shift in emotion, feelings and most importantly, a different you.

Letting go means I’m not doing anything to make things work.

Wrong! Letting go means making things work together with the flow of universe. To let go is to believe. To create your life while feeling assured that all things work for your goodness, to prosper you and not to harm you (Quoting Jeremiah 29:11). Yes, you have to act to make things happen but you don’t have to react to things that do not happen the way you want them to. TO ACT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO REACT.

Letting go is working hard without worrying. Letting go is pursuing your dream with happiness, in a state of calmness and euphoria.

I believe letting go is a beautiful act of forgiving, loving and entrusting. I let go because I know there are things that are out of my control. I let go because I’m secure enough to work on my well-being and my happiness. I let go because I want to attract people that will build me up, not bring me down.

Today, I sincerely write this to encourage you, who are reading this to let go of things that have been holding you back. Choose to feel light, joy and happiness. Chase your happiness while letting go of the turmoils and negativities that are holding you back.

If you believe in God, trust that when you let go, you let God work His way in you. You let Him work together with you for your divine plan. You’re not slacking off. Rather, you’re working hard but sans the heavy emotions that will only drag you down.

Do. Not. Settle.

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle…” – Steve Jobs

If there’s one thing I learnt in life… it is do not settle.

Do not settle for mediocre relationship. Relationship where deep down you know you have to compromise.

Do not settle for anything you feel you’re undeserved of. Because each of us has our values, limits and wants. Do not settle until you find them.

Do not settle for a man that cannot give you what you want. Be it time, happiness, commitment or love. You deserve every single thing you want.

Do not settle when your life is causing you grief. Work hard until you get where you want to be. Visualize your winning, your joy and your happiness. You let go but at the same time, you work hard, press on to reach your goals.

Do not settle. Life is not about settling down and being OKAY with anything. Do not settle for people who are always unavailable for you. Do not settle for things that are making you unhappy. Thrive to the best and never ever give up. Most importantly, constantly seek for things that bring you joy. Because life is so much more fun with dreams and inspirations.

Now some might say… it’s easy for you to say! Wait till you’re my age and you’ll understand how hard it is not to settle. How eventually, you will learn what to do and what not to do. Well, I tell you now, AGE is just a number. I won’t settle. Whatever I’ve experienced or will experience is only a lesson learnt. I will be the best version of me at whatever age I will be. Until then, I won’t settle. I won’t settle for a mediocre me. When I reach your age (any number it might be), I will say, I haven’t settled. And I will still not settle until I reach my goal.

 

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