Understanding Myself

 

If you know me, you know that I like to think and analyze concepts as well as people. I enjoy learning and understanding philosophies and people’s backgrounds and lifestyles. But one thing that I have the hardest time thinking about, analyzing, and understanding is myself.

This post is for me to figure myself out. For me to explore and organize my thoughts and declutter the piles of information that weigh heavily on my mind and burden my heart. This may be the most difficult thing for me to write so far. This will be like cleaning and organizing a room that’s completely unkept or clearing up a yard that is overgrown with weeds and dead trees (both of which I need to take care of). These are very unpleasant tasks because the work and frustration get compounded the longer I put it off. Weeds grow bigger and multiply and dirty clothes and trash pile up.

Come to think of it, this blog’s intention is exactly that-a decluttering of my thoughts. Yet, why do I feel like the more I write, the more confusing life gets? People have told me that I over-think things, which I agree with. Maybe this is what makes my life so difficult to comprehend. Yet, life is complicated in itself. There are times to think. To think critically about life and its struggles. But maybe it’s time for me to take a step back from all this information and bask in the simple things of life.  Like a simple coffee with a friend, a walk in the park, a good book, or a game of basketball. Hmm, I don’t know.

Here’s where I hit my roadblock. When potential words are held back from this blog by walls constructed by years of worries and wonders; wonders of things to be or not to be. When these words are met with walls, I tend to ramble around the rubble of the walls that I chisel away with a toothpick. Rubble made of broken toothpicks rather than stones.

This intellectual, Asian American, philosophical, passive, false humility that erects such an edifice of self-loathing and anxiety that does not belong as a cover for a temple. Maybe it’s time to take out the garden shears and start cutting away at the overgrown weeds that wrap around the walls. Well, maybe not? Weeds don’t look too bad, at least the way I’ve configured them. Dandelions have a nice yellow hue to it. As a kid, I always enjoyed blowing the seeds and seeing it disperse through the air. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them as an adult…

Such are the thoughts of the foolish and lazy side of me. This analogy holds true to life. How much of my internal “weeds” have sucked the life out of me? Have kept me from producing fruit?  A Google search of “weeds and bible” brought me to Proverbs 24: 30-34. Such wisdom is more precious than rubies

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

With this, I realize that the complexities that I struggle with in my life are not due life being necessarily complicated, rather it’s due to my laziness in clearing out useless weeds that surround my life. It’s a struggle to produce life-giving words when chained down by thistles. It’s when I break through and slowly cut through the weeds that fragrant beauty of Christ can begin to emanate from the soul through my words and actions.

 

 

Insecurities

Yep, I’m going to write about this.

This feeling of insecurity that so many of us have but rarely talk about. Instead, we project these insecurities onto objects that so many of us have and can’t stop talking about. We all know what they are, and for many of us, it is our most intimate and familiar companion.

I’m writing all this while I contemplate my own insecurities. The words that are edited out or left on here are a reflection of this contemplation. This post is my attempt to understand the edifice of insecurity that I’ve built up to secure the fragile complexities of my own life. This edifice that is meant to be a large imposing stronghold that projects a firm understanding of life, contains a neglected and emaciated spirit.

These metaphors that I use confuse me. It’s difficult to stay consistent with them. But I use them because I realize this is essentially a reflection humanity. The things we wear, post, buy, drive, etc. are mere representations of ourselves that we want to show others.  We objectify ourselves! But this is isn’t something to be always ashamed of. It’s just life. Our objects and creations are a symbol of humanity.

We are essentially weak, fragile, lost and broken creatures, navigating the infinity of this world. The only reason why we’re here today is because of what we create. Our objects, laws, and social structures, give us the confidence to sail vast oceans, stabilize societies, and preserve our lives.

But let us not forget who created what! We made this laptop. We made our phones. We write these stories. We are intelligent creatures with limitless possibilities! So let us have confidence in our ability to create, rather than putting our confidence in our creation that thieves can rob and moth can destroy.

But most importantly, let us not forget who created us! If you believe in a God, then you believe that every fabric of your being, every invention, intelligent thought, and every step we take is given to us. Everything that we create is because of who created us. If this is true, then humility should overflow from our creation. It’s like a renowned architect father giving his son a lego set to build. It would be arrogance for the son elevate his lego creation over his dad’s buildings. It would be the worst kind of pride to elevate the lego creation over the father himself. Rather, the child should be humbled by the gift of life and the ability to create.

So maybe it’s time that we see edifices that we’ve erected as effigies to be burned down in protest of what we have allowed ourselves to become. Once we’ve burned down the idols that we’ve spent hours polishing and refining, then we can start cleaning, feeding, and showing attention to the creator of the idols, and ultimately the Creator of all things.

Freedom from our creation allows us to freely create our lives.

(I recognize that this might be an abstract and impersonal analysis of insecurities. Depending on the feedback I get, I may post more about this topic, but only if I feel secure about what I write….haha)

A Strange Disconnect

I’m sitting outside a shopping plaza under the shade of a table umbrella. I have an empty smoothy cup to the left  of me that I finished in 5 minutes. Creativity escapes my thoughts as the sounds of swooshing waters from a nearby fountain draws my attention. I’m outside, but I might as well be in virtual reality. The wind, the sound, the people, seem to be so very distant. Cars drive by and park. People exit the machines and go into stores. Rinse and repeat. Is this what the psychological idea of disconnect feels like? I don’t know. I look up to find a way out of this state of mind.

I see a cute girl in a black dress and heels cross the street in front of me. A purse casually hanging from her left shoulder. Her right-hand carries a cup with a green straw, her left-hand hangs to her side as nonchalantly as her purse. I lose sight of her as she walks into her car.

Has she been reduced to an image? An image that radiates light and colors to my eyes which sends an idea into my mind? Are these people still people to me? Or have they become analogous to Netflix or Hulu character whom CGI and brilliant scripts have overshadowed who they are? We go through heaven and hell with these characters. We know their innermost thoughts and secret identities. We see their vices, we have epiphanies with their epiphanies, and mourn with them as their loved ones, whom we’ve also grown to love, pass away. We spend most of our waking hours with these characters, yet when the 10-hour marathon of 20th season ends and the sun begins to rise, we go to sleep and forget, as we enter into another world of fantastic characters and brilliant scenarios we call dreams. When we wake up, we live life as if they never existed.

This is how I feel right now. The people around me are just characters on a screen. Very boring characters who don’t own dragons, run a meth lab or solve unsolvable mysteries. Even the environment around me appears to be similar to a 4-D ride at Universal Studios. What I see is animated, what I feel is someone shaking my chair and spraying water on my face, what I smell is artificial fragrance, and what I experience is formulated by people who want us to buy their shitty products once we exit the ride.

Looking around this plaza is like looking at a Hollywood set. It’s actually quite beautiful outside. It’s pleasant under the shade. A warm wind blows through my un-kept hair. I can feel a few strands dancing atop my head. I imagine how silly that might look so I try to slick down my hair from the beads of sweat on my forehead. A gray baby bird peers curiously around a table looking for food left over by customers too lazy or inconsiderate to properly throw their trash away. She locks eyes onto a discarded pepperoni and lunges towards it with great velocity and control. The bird picks it up with her tiny beak, takes a bite, and drops it. She repeats this action a couple of times until she is scared away by a group of teens on their cell phones.

This is what I see and feel around me. Yet all I feel is a disconnect. Disconnect with my environment, my feelings, my thoughts, and my writing. Don’t get me wrong. I do feel and experience things, but everything seems like I’m next to a green screen. I can be awestruck from a magnificent scene in a movie, but deep down I understand it’s fake. In this world, I can see shooting stars, lightning storms, sunsets, and think it as magnificent, but deep down I feel like it’s fake.

This reality may feel fake to me, but it’s reality nonetheless and this brings comfort. The hours I spend on Netflix or playing video games pale in comparison to the impact I can bring with just a few minutes I invest in reality. I may feel numb or disconnected still, but I know there is meaning in the real world around me.