Differency is scary

This thought came to me when I read a blog post about being insulted or avoided when being different from others. The writer was wondering why is it that people can’t just accept the fact that people are different and so be it. Why it is so difficult to cope with.

We all tend to think ourselves rather accepting and tolerant persons, at least I wouldn’t like to think myself as a narrow minded redneck in any case. But the truth is quite something else.

I think that the fear for the unknown is somehow inherent in all of us. We have used to see the world from our own point of view only, and for some reason we also tend to think that it is the only way to see it. If something is dfferent from me, there is always a possibility that it could be something dangerous. I see this feature as a some kind of a primal instinct from some ancient times when the most important thing for our survival was the ability to discern the possible threats.

We are sheep. Really.

Have you ever observed yourself in different situations? I have. It’s kind of fun sometimes.

One thing I have noticed about myself is that when there are other people around, I tend to let them to do the decisions. When I’m alone, I have no problem to make them myself. I can give you an example from a documentary I saw some years ago and also one from my own life later on.

In this documentary was made a fake emergency situation. People were sitting in a waiting room when some smoke started to come under one door. There was a huge red alarm button clearly visible on the wall. Now, how would you have reacted? Pressed the button, right?

The results of this experiment was that if the person was sitting there all alone (s)he had absolutely no trouble of immediately pressing the button and perhaps going to the door and trying to help anyone who was supposed to be inside. But things started to go really interesting when there were several people in the same room.

When the smoke started to come uncer the door nobody did absolutely nothing. They peeked the other persons in the room, and when they saw that nobody was worrying, they didn’t worry either. So, the smoke kept coming under the door and everybody was sitting quietly and peacefully doing nothing.

My own example is a bit similar, but from quite a different situation. Stopping the bus when standing on the bus stop. When I’m alone waiting my bus, I have no hesitations to raise my hand to stop the right bus. But – now watch me – if there are others… I keep waiting till the very last moment to see if there is someone else who will raise his/her hand to stop my bus before I do it myself. This could be also laziness, right?

What has this to do with differency?

Well, when avoiding to be different you tend to become similar with others. Similarity is acceptable, right? Do you remember those messy teenager years, when the whole meaning of existense was to fit in, belong into your group of friends? But then again, there has always been those persons who have made this being different as some kind of an art.

What makes some people being succesful when being different, and others avoided and neglected?

This is a question I would gladly have an answer, but I really don’t. I would like to believe that being yourself is enough. That when you are comfortable in your own skin, others would accept you as you are.

The truth is, everybody is different. You are different from me, I’m different from my neighbour, my colleagues, my bosses, my friends, my family. Nobody sees this world and it’s opporturnities and challenges quite the way I do. And I think that is good.

You hear me? That is good.

But it seems that we still are afraid at first being different from others ourselves (thinking too much about what others will think if I do this or that, at least we in Finland are pretty good at that), and secondly we are afraid of others who are different from us.

This person I mentioned in the beginning told me that people are not willing to get to know him first before making hasty judgements and opinions on him, and I find this very sad, because he is very charming and friendly and funny – as I think we all are if we can be ourselves, who we are meant to be.

 

So, even if you’re or someone else is different, it’s all good. And even though differency might be scary, we are braver, aren’t we?

 

Fooled by heart

They say that love is blind. You must have heard that one before, right? But have you seen it happen in your own life? Have you felt it? Have you been fooled by your heart even though your mind knew better?

Oh, I have.

The most frustrating feeling ever must be the thing when your mind and heart are completely and wholeheartedly disagreeing with each other. When you know in your mind why something can never be, and you can mention several reasons (pretty damn good reasons) for why it can never be, but your heart wants what it wants.

I have always considered myself more as a person who tends to think and (over)analyze everything, than to let feelings decide. I may have huge feelings inside, but I never let them guide me, never show me the impossible, because, you know, impossible is impossible, end of the conversation. I analyze my feelings so thoroughly that they lost their power.

You can call it sad, if you want. It might be. I dream about being led by my passion, but it seems I don’t have that great feelings anyhow.

One reason for my constant hesitation with my feelings is that my heart is a fool. She doesn’t know what is good for her. She has been misled countless of times, and she still wants to believe. She is unbelievable. Frustratingly foolish.

Even when some people are proved to be dishonest, crooked and sarcastically emotionless, my heart wants to see only the good in them. She gives explanations, excuses for their inconsiderate behavior, and she forgives. Constantly. All the time. All the freaking time.

The problem arises when they can’t be forgiven. Okay. You tell me now that we should forgive everything, and be a good person, right? But let’s be honest. Not everything can be forgiven. Or maybe they can be forgiven, but never forgotten. But my heart here, she wants to forget. Every detail, every heart breaking moment of pain and loneliness and disappointment. All she wants is to forget and give them another chance.

But my mind, she tells me that it can’t happen. That once fooled, I can’t trust anymore. That I should keep my eyes open, and be wary. Shut the door of my heart that my heart wants to keep wide open for anyone to step in and make oneself feel like at home. Shut the damn door and let nobody in. It’s wiser to be alone, then nobody can come and hurt me anymore.

So, what to do when they both fight for their right to decide what to do with the door?

What to do when the people don’t change? Where is the line to stop?

Oh, yeah, I told you I tend to listen to my mind on this. I’ve used to. Since lately, when my heart has found a new weakness and given the phrase ‘love is blind’ a whole new perspective and meaning. I see, but I don’t want to. I get hurt, but I want to forget. I get fooled, but I let it happen. I feel stupid for believing, and I feel stupid for not doing so, but I want to keep going on. I know it will end eventually, rather sooner than later, but I decide not to think about it. I want to ‘live in the moment’, you know. The biggest lie of all. Nothing good has ever come of my hearts decisions. Why is she so dumb that she can’t just stop doing them, once and for all?

Anyways. A long story about nothing really. My heart is a fool, and I’m constantly being fooled by it. My mind is going crazy over my inability of staying calm and cool around certain people. It is not just that love happens to be blind, it is blind because I deliberately choose blindness over clear vision and judgement.

What is wrong with me?

Shards of the feeling

 

I like to cry.

I can admit that much. Somedays I just need to cry, that’s all I want to do. And how sweet and hurtful it feels. It’s something that first brings me down, and after the misery there is more hope. After the tears I feel much better, like been born anew. The situation may not have changed a bit, but I have received a whole lot more strength and capability of coping with it. It’s like magic, really. That is the main reason why I don’t think that someone who cries is weak in any way.

As a mother of two I also need to cope not only with my own tears but also with my kids’ tears. And you know, kids don’t hold it back, at all. My kids, at least the smaller one, cries every day. It’s all natural to her. When she falls down and hurts herself, she cries. When I tell her she can’t do something she desperately wants, she cries. When she gets scared or lonely, she cries. When the bigger one teases her or she feels her rights has been violated in anyway, she cries. When she gets tired, she cries.

It may sound like she wouldn’t do anything else but cry, but that’s quite the opposite, really. I have never seen more bright, happy and trusting girl as her. She is adorable, deeply caring, very cute (and she knows it) and always ready for new adventures, and she never complains.

And I have tried my best to keep telling her it’s okay to cry.

It’s so natural to kids to cry that I’m almost envious to them. Why is it that it changes when we are adults?

The reasons my daughter keeps crying can be easily be understood. Aren’t those the reasons we adults cry as well? The things may be a bit different, but the reasons for the tears are the same. Loneliness, being scared, being physically or mentally hurt, not getting what we want the most, when our dreams shatter around us, losing something dear and then missing it. And sometimes we are able to cry because of empathy, when these same things happen to others, the ones we love.

These things are the same when crying as a child or as an adult. But something still changes: our own attitude towards crying.

As an adult we try our very best not to cry. We think it is somehow a sign of weakness, or vulnerability, and if this world teaches us something it is that we can’t be weak if we want to be successful. The whole world is ruled by the strong and loud ones, and when we sometimes need to break away from that all and be quiet and cry, we feel that we have not been successful, that we have been failures somehow.

Just admit it. Crying in public is embarrassing.

For me it is, at least. After all I just wrote, I still feel deeply embarrassed if I can’t hold it back. As I said, I do like to cry, but I usually want to do it in my own private time, when nobody can judge me being naïve, or childish, or weak, or just stupid when crying over something that isn’t that important.

But why do I let the judgement of others effect on my own personal experience of things? If I cry for something, that something is important to me in some way. I wouldn’t cry because of something I care nothing about, would I? Others can’t understand why something is important to me if it means nothing to them, but I’m pretty sure that when they do cry they are really doing it for some reason.

We all have our reasons. They might not be the same ones, and they will not be the same ones. We are different, we like different things, we care about different things, we are scared of different things, we long for different things. But the thing that is similar to all of as is the reason behind the tears.

I’d like to think that tears are a sign of a feeling so huge that it can’t just fit in, and it must turn into tears and fall off.

 

The reason I’m thinking of tears so much today is a friend of mine who feels that crying in public has somehow ruined his reputation as a decent human being once and for all.

Okay, well. There is yet another thing with tears. Men don’t cry, right?

When people tell me this I’m ready to jump on the wall. I mean, seriously? Why it is considered so ‘manly’ not to cry and always stay on top of everything, being cool and steady? Do you guys really think that men don’t have feelings?

 

Well, yeah. I’m embarrassed, but I have cried in public several times. Because of heartbreak, because of joy, because of beautiful song on the radio. And in public in this case I don’t mean those times when there was only a few friends seeing me, but rather the whole city, the whole bus, the whole street full of people. But sometimes it is just impossible to hide the tears, sometimes the feeling explodes in me and the only thing I can do is let the shards flow out through my eyes.

Have this made me somehow worse? Have I ruined my reputation?

 

Let me put it this way. I don’t care. It’s my life. It’s my pain, my joy, my feelings. And nobody else has no right to say anything about it if they’re not going through the same thing, if they’re not feeling the same. And even if they were – the tears are mine.

 

The way others see it, or how they feel about it, or what is their attitude towards it.. that is not my concern. Really. If someone makes fun of you when you’re crying, that is just a sign of immaturity, stupidity and inconsideration. They are not making fun of the one that is crying, but of themselves. That is my opinion on this. People who care, will understand.

 

The ones who matter don’t mind, and those who mind, don’t matter.

 

And tears are just water. They can’t change you as a person to worse. The only thing they do to you is give you strength and relief from your situation, what ever it might be.

In the end that is the thing they do.

The personality

Somebody said: “You have your own personality – and that is good.”

I overheard this statement lately and started to really think about what does it mean. What does the one who says this want to say? Actually when hearing this I suddenly felt a bit offended without any reason, really. That was the reason why I started to ponder upon this one.


Don’t we all have our own personalities? Some of us are not just so aggressive and pushy than the others. When saying this statement mentioned above, what kind of a personality does this mean? The pushy ones?

The things I assume/interpret it to mean could be one of the following:

  • You are very different from me and I want you to know it, and it’s okay.
  • There’s something very odd in you, but I try to be polite when mentioning it to you, and adding ‘that is good’ should do the trick of “politing” it up.
  • I respect your personality, being openly just as you are and not trying to be anything else.

So, from my point of view when saying that someone says that someone else has ‘her/his own personality’ it is actually a polite way of saying: whoah, you’re so not like me! How can you be so different?

But the question remains. To who are we about to say these words? What kind of a personality is “the own personality”?

I consider that it would be said to confident people. The ones who don’t really care what others think about them. The ones that are somehow little different from the rest of us. The ones who laugh the loudest. The ones who wear pink hair and 3-inch nails.

The ones who keep it coming no matter what.


 

Okay, it’s cool, and I respect all these kinds of people. But I’m not one of them. Does it mean I don’t have my own personality, then?

But then again, I could agree with that some of us try so much to be nice to others that they somehow forget who they are. Those people who are willing to give up of anything if it doesn’t please others. But does it mean they don’t have their own personality?

I don’t think so.

We all do.

Not all of us are so pushy with our own opinions, or our needs and wants. Some of us are more easily satisified, some of us are able to do compromises. Would you call that kind of a person as a her/his ‘own personality’? If someone is shy and quiet and tends to withdraw from any confrontations, doesn’t this one have her/his own personality?

Sure (s)he does!

I think that we all do have that something inside of us that makes us, us. Who we are when we are completely alone, what we think inside of our heads. Not all of us are so different from others from the outside, but inside of us there is this ‘personality’. The thing that doesn’t change when times do. The thing I know I am no matter what.

And the thing is, we don’t need to try to be anything else than we feel inside we are.

It is good. It’s enough, and it is good. And so are you.


So, when I felt offended without any reason, I interpreted this statement was meant to be a compliment to the other. And in the same time I thought that because I’m very different from the person who this was said to, I can’t be approved or admired in the same way. And that was the silent insult for me, for being too lame. But actually, me getting offended had nothing to do with the statement or the reason it was said. It was my own interpretation of my own worth, and it was my attitude that made me value myself lower than those who were speaking.

It surely didn’t mean I don’t have my own personality, for I do. As we all. And as I just wrote above, we all are good enough. We are different from others for a reason.

And the most relieving realization I have ever made was this: I don’t have to be anything other than me.

I don’t. And neither do you.

If you’re aggressive, keep being, if you’re not deliberately hurting others.
If you’re shy, keep being, if you don’t feel it’s restricting your ability to get on with your life.
If you’re the one who laughs the loudest, keep laughing.
If you get easily emotional over things, keep on feeling.

You are the only one who knows who you really are. Don’t ever forget it, or feel ashamed of it. Be proud that you are you, that nobody on this planet is exactly the same as you.

Let’s keep on being amazing!

The change

a change is gonna come, he said
it has been a long time coming, he said,
but I know that the change is gonna come.

yeah, right, I said
the change may come, I said,
but not all changes are for better, you know.

you can’t help what you like, he said

you can’t, I said,
and the sad part of it is it hurts so bad.

you know what you could lose, he said,
all hope when you’ve got mountains to move.

if there wouldn’t be any hope in the world, I said
it would be so much easier, I said
just close your eyes and fade away.

everything will change, he said
i will be better in time, he said,
and so will you.

i wish i could believe you, i said
it’s hard to accept that, i said
there’s nothing to be done.

i’m gonna try, he said,
i don’t have to be anything else than me.

and you shall not be, i said,
the problem is, i don’t know who you are anymore,
who am i.

if you miss me, don’t, he said,
if i’m never gonna see you again, I won’t.

that’s very true, I said
and it’s better that way, I said,
I’m glad even one of us has the strength.

i guess i win, he said,
so goodbye again.

again, i said
over and over again, i said,
goodbye.

Voiceless

I have been more or less unable to speak last 4 days now. All I can do is make a whisper even though it feels in my throat like I was shouting as hard as I can.

I have had time to think, then. And I have realized how tremendous role does our voice have in our lives. I have discovered plenty of situations where I should’ve been able to use my voice; in other words speak. Situations that haven’t mattered before, have become huge touchstones.

Just imagine:

  • getting into your bus to be able to travel to work. Yeah.
  • going to a café to have a latte. Yeah.
  • seeing your small kid climbing on the table and not realizing she’s on the edge… yeah. (I better have quick reflexes, right?)
  • singing along your favorite music. Yeah. This part totally sucks.

I started to think that the voice is something very important to all of us. Not just for some gavindegraws, but all of us. It’s the one tool we keep giving from ourselves to others.

What do we give?

Our thoughts, our feelings, our support, advices, jokes, warnings… All that we are.

Voice – or better said – the ability to speak and share thoughts is one of the things that make us humans. Make us who we really are. Make us connect to others.

Thank god there’s Twitter, Facebook, text messages, letters and all that stuff. I would have felt pretty devastated otherwise.

I have never before considered voice that important. Well, surely it’s one of the first things about us that others can see (or hear), gives the image of ourselves, but it has been more like a given to me that we have a voice.

That I can speak.

I have thought that I’m not talking that much usually, but being totally unable to communicate with others is just horrible. I have learned that I *do* talk pretty much. In situations I haven’t concidered as talking in the first place.

When all I can do is nod or shake my head, it kinda restricts my ability to have control over my life.

Doesn’t the Bible tell us that God created the world by speaking? “Let there be light”, he said, right?

In a way I agree. Speaking out is the (well, not the only) way making things to happen. A couple of days ago there was this “Ask Me Anything” -thing on Reddit with (you might guess) mr Gavin DeGraw and I kinda connect this to the same thing. He didn’t answer any of my questions, though, but if I hadn’t made any, I wouldn’t even had a chance for it. I needed to “speak out” to participate. I’m glad I didn’t have to do it by Skype or anything! Ha!

If you go to a café, you need to “speak out” – they will have hard time trying to understand what you want otherwise.

Language, words, voice.

I guess that’s my holy trinity.

But, does writing the words do the trick, too? I love writing, but using voice brings life to the words. Brings the whole new aspect or dimension to them. Or using only your voice, as when singing without any words, can relay so much feelings.

Oh! Just got it! See:

  • WORDS: information
  • VOICE: feelings

When you know how to use your voice, you can magnetically charm others, using your own feelings, the depths of your soul, your whole being; others – who are able to feel as well – cannot be other than charmed.

I don’t know. Just playing with the thought. What do you think?

As a wrap up I think that as it is with every really meaningful thing in life, it is with voice as well: you never know how much you appericiate it before you lose it.

Take care of your voices!

Wings

You want your wings?
I’ll give them to thee.
All the wonders of the world you will see:
the castles, forests, mountains’ height –
are all yours now, just take a sight!

But you will have these things are shown
only if you grab them alone.
You see, in being free there is a catch,
you can’t be where I’ll be at.
You take me with and all you’ll see
is me and you, and you and me.

You can’t have both, you’ll have to choose:
what will you keep,
what can you lose.
It’s your call, you know it well.
It can be heaven, it could be hell.

What ever is that you will do,
make sure you know that you are you.
Do what you love, love what you do.
That’s the only wisdom I can give to you.
In your heart you will know by now,
you just will, don’t ask me how.

So here they are, your wings brand new.
The world is waiting.
What will you do?