To need and to want

I was reminded today, by someone very close to me, of the many things I had started or tried in the past year, that I ended up abandoning and giving up. One particular example immediately came to mind. Few weeks ago I signed for lessons in Swing dancing, a pursuit that has now come to an end.

Learning to dance is something I had always wanted, having always been a complete klutz on the dance floor, looking like a fool with two left feet. I’ve had a great deal of admiration for those people who can simply glide across the floor, marveling at, and yes envying, the ease with which they spin the most complex steps. It made me want to be like them, to be capable of happily enjoying a dance without embarrassment, and even maybe find myself the subject of admiration and applause.

So I signed up for something I wanted. And almost from the very beginning, I realized it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t who I was. I felt no joy at the mindless jumping up and down, that was anything but beautiful and graceful looked from the side. The constant change of partners in the class left me uncomfortable and unsettled, with a different stranger touching my hand, finding myself unable to find harmony and comfort with the ever changing hands that held mine.

So I gave it up. And today, following the remark about my inconsistency, it got me thinking. Why is it that we always want so many things, yet the moment we get them, we don’t want them anymore?

One of the first things I learned from my meditation teacher more than 15 years ago, was about the eternal battle each of us face, between the pursuit of our wants and the fulfillment of our needs. His words of warning – “We decide we want something and we go after it. And when we get it, we want it no more, now we want something else. So by design and definition, our wants can never be met. Our needs, on the other hand, always will be”.

But where do our wants and needs spring from? Our wants come from our ego, that pushes us to always want more. This is how it makes itself useful, it justifies its existence. We get it in our heads that we want something, we achieve it by will, work or sacrifice, and it brings no happiness or joy. We think we’ve wasted our time. So the ego jumps back up, putting a new batch of thoughts in our heads, making us want the next thing. And off we go… But it’s a losing battle we fight. It’s like building a cabin of straw on a windy beach, and every time we complete it, the tide comes in and washes it away. And we have to start from scratch. Giving into the illusion that the constant ‘building’ gives our life a purpose. Except that it doesn’t. We are wasting time and energy we don’t have, to build something we don’t need, to impress an ego that doesn’t serve us. And where is all of this rooted? Our ego lives in the past. It is the sum of all of our fears, pains and disappointments. We are trying to solve problems that no longer exist, because we have long grown past them. We no longer need the cabin of straw. We now need a castle of stone.

And this is where our needs come in. They come from the soul. From the path we have charted for ourselves for this life, before we even started it. Our soul doesn’t need the pursuit of momentary happiness, fleeting pleasure or instant gratification. It needs no cabin of straw. The soul’s work is to build a castle. Something solid, unshakable, indestructible. A sustainable foundation, on which we can base the next layer of growth and evolution on our path. A home, where we can find shelter from the harshest storms, where we revive and recharge ourselves after each of life’s challenges. It takes time, and the building stones are often heavy, but the reward is greater than we could possibly imagine.

The ego bombards us with thoughts and fears and doubts every minute of every day. That’s all we hear – what we don’t have, what we can’t achieve, how we must get this, do that, be something else. Surrounded by unconcerned faces, deafened by the news on TV and the mindless chatter of social media, manipulated by false admirers and ‘friends’ with hidden agendas, the voice of our soul – quiet, subtle and unobtrusive – is drowned out by the shouts of our ego.It speaks to us through our feelings, but how often do we silence our feelings and our intuition, to follow the voice of ‘common sense and logic’? How often do we convince ourselves that the right choice IS the right choice, even when deep down it feels anything but right?

This is where all of our pain and misery come from. From the conflict of doing what we want, instead of getting what we need. From not living in our truth but putting on a show, for the world and our ego to see. Following the voice of our ego will lead us down a path of emptiness and disappointment. We will find admiration, but not true love. We will find followers, but not partners, we will find success , but not fulfillment. The voice of the soul, however, leads us back to ourselves, to the things that matter the most, the only things that are truly real.

The voice of the soul can only be heard in silence, solitude and stillness. When we disconnect from the world, when we stop looking without, and we start searching within. So find a quiet place, sit down with your eyes closed, and just be. And ask yourself the questions that trouble you the most. Let your thought flow freely. If an answer comes to you and it leaves you feeling unsettled and sad or angry, it’s not the right one, move on. The right answer will leave you feeling happy, balanced, it will leave you feeling ‘right’.

Your life is not a business deal, you are not running a corporation. Your job is not to ‘do the right thing’. Your job is to be blissfully happy, fulfilled, and to feel at home, no matter where you are. So go on, sit in silence and find your home.



Expand your RAS

Recently I got invited to join two very different, in fact opposite in nature, Facebook groups. The one has an objective of sharing with its members uplifting and inspiring stories, good news and motivating experiences. The other is an outlet for people to moan and complain, a place to share all the ugliness we come into contact with in everyday life. Naturally, all day long I am bombarded with notifications from both sides – sometimes funny, occasionally heartwarming, and in many instances outright ridiculous. Turns out if you give people an outlet for a particular emotion, they will always somehow find what to pour out of it.

As hilarious at times it is, to scan through the posts, I am struck every day how few the posts in the ‘good news’ group are, and how numerous and elaborate the complaints and the bitching on the other side. For some reason, perhaps influenced by the general negativity of our corner of the world, we find it easier to notice and comment on the ugly, offensive and unpleasant happenings in our daily lives. It’s as if we go out there deliberately looking for something to gossip about or be offended by, having made it our daily mission to expose stupidity, rudeness and total lack of manners of some members of our society.

I think however, it is our own negativity that makes the dark and ugly around us stand out. We can only notice in others that which we already recognise in ourselves. And looking at the world around us is nothing but looking into a mirror, where our own ideas and emotions are reflected and shown back at us. That is, if that’s what we are determined to see.

Because, you see, there is another way. There’s this phenomenon, a rather complex function of our brains call Reticular Activating System. I won’t go into the details of its medical complexity since I don’t understand exactly how it works anatomically anyway. A lookup in Wikipedia will tell us that “The reticular activating system helps mediate transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high attention”. Or as it’s most commonly know as ‘the red car phenomenon’. Like, when you buy a red car, and suddenly there are red cars everywhere, so many more than you even noticed before. And that’s something that, I’m sure, we have all experienced, more often that we’re actually aware of.

Say, for instance, you take up a new hobby. Like fly-fishing. It’s totally new to you, you’ve never thought about it or paid any attention to the fact that it’s practiced by millions of people. Before, in your world, fly-fishing didn’t even exist. But for one reason or another, perhaps encouraged or persuaded by a friend, you decide to give it a go. And suddenly something strange, yet wonderful starts to happen. You walk into a bookstore or go to a magazine kiosk, and for the first time ever you notice the dozens of books and magazines on fishing. You open your daily paper, the one you’ve been reading for years, or go to your favourite news site and there are articles on the subject everywhere. Turn on the TV? Yup, apparently there’s an entire channel dedicated to your new pastime. What happened? Did the world suddenly discover fly-fishing? Did everyone just like that decide to engage in the same activity as you?

No. The answer is much simpler. There is no world-wide conspiracy to flood every media outlet with news and information about it. You simply expanded your awareness to include something that was always there, you just never noticed it before. You ”transitioned from relaxed wakefulness to a state of high attention”. Or as my meditation teacher used to put it, so simply and elegantly, “where your attention goes, your energy flows”.

Whatever you choose to focus your attention on, it leads to an expansion of your awareness and growth of your consciousness. Whether you choose to expand your knowledge on a subject, engage in a new activity, search for something in life or simply buy a red car – where your attention goes, your energy flows. You will start noticing it everywhere around you.  

Which takes me back to my Facebook group – the optimists and the pessimists, as I call them.

Whatever we are intent on finding in life, it’s already out there. The question here really is – what do we want to fill our days, and our minds and hearts with. Should we go out in the morning, taking notice of all the ugliness around us? If we did, we would find it. But how about we start our days, firmly intended to look for beauty and light? No, not live in denial of that which is less than perfect or desired, but simply make a small effort to find something to smile about, something which, when shared with others, would brighten their day. And when we find something to smile about, let’s share it with our little world.

It’s up to us to choose what we focus on. And whatever we bring our attention to, the more we seek it, the more we would find it. For the Universe is kind and generous in this way. We each create our reality with every thought, word and action we put forth. And at the end of the day, the question that matters is, what kind of a world do we want to live in.

So start tomorrow. Take one good, positive thing, and make sure you find it, again and again. And the next day find two. Then three. Do not let a day go by without this. And soon you will notice a shift deep within. And your world will be better. All it took was for you to expand your RAS.


Kai-zen or the art of making it happen

We’ve all had those moments, every once in awhile. We sit down, we start thinking and we take stock of our lives. And the conclusion we get to, is that it’s not going so great. We haven’t accomplished any of our goals, our dreams seem as distant as the day we conjured them up, we never lost that holiday weight, changed our diet, quit smoking and on and on and on… We start to feel like a failure, we get depressed, and that of course, demotivates us even more. So now, having taken a harsh look at our reality, we have even less desire or energy to do anything about it. We surrender to doom and gloom, we tell ourselves that nothing matters, nothing is worth the effort, why make plans and have dreams if nothing ever comes to be. And we go back to living day in and day out, telling ourselves that there’s no point to it all anyway, so why bother.

This time of the year is particularly bad. We’ve started the new year just a couple of months ago, filled with hopes and dreams and lofty ideas of the better life we’re going to live and the better person we are going to become. The slate has been wiped clean, we have a fresh start, and this time we are going to make those New Year’s resolutions stick. Except that life continues to happen the way it’s always happened. We work, we pay the bills, we take care of mundane everyday chores, and before you know it, it’s already March. And we’ve done nothing. We’ve changed nothing. Said taking of stock takes place and we conclude that we have failed, miserably, yet once again. And doom and gloom and depression set in.

But is it really so? Is it really that hard to make positive changes happen, to make dreams come true, to achieve goals and to reach new levels of knowing, being, doing, having? The sad truth is that we are our own worst enemies. We aim so high, that when we fall, we hurt like hell. And it is emotional hell where we find ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle. We have a negative experience, this hurts our confidence, this in turn lowers our self-esteem feeding the belief that we are good for nothing, which in turns stops us from realizing our full potential. Which leads to even worse results…and the cycle starts all over again, a downward spiral. Until one day when, if we are lucky to get there, we realize that life is not doing this to us, the universe is not punishing us, our deity is not squashing us down. Our lack of faith and optimism and courage have turned our worst fears into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The less we get from life, the less we want, and the less we want, the less we get. So we dig deep into that well of light, which by the way never dried up in the first place, and we shake off the blues, we pull ourselves up and we say to ourselves “No more will I be a victim of my own worst fears. No more will I let myself think of or want for myself less than I deserve”. We do that, and we get up and we march forth. If we’re lucky. Others get stuck in this bottomless pit for years, some even for life. For that’s what it does to you. It takes away your life. You’ve given yourself a life sentence.

So how do we get out? How do we change what appears to be almost unchangeable? Do we make a list of all the things we want to accomplish and throw ourselves at it, changing everything at once, turning our lives upside down overnight? Personally, I think that’s the surest way to fail at everything. Putting yourself on a different diet while hitting the gym five times a week might seem like the right way to go, but your body needs time to adjust to such major changes. And physical changes are not the only ones this applies to. Developing productive habits, changing our way of thinking, letting go of fears and painful memories – all of this takes time. It took you years to get yourself to where you are. And you cannot change overnight. Your body will cry, but worse than that, your mind will rebel. Your ego wants to run the show and it is not happy when you take control in your own hands. So you miss the gym once and then you miss it again and before you know it you stop going at all. What the heck, you’re not getting any thinner, are you? After all those weeks sweating and working out, no results to speak of. You slip in a burger or a doughnut, and soon you’re back to living on junk, since, let’s face it, you’re so miserable eating healthy. You sneak in a cigarette or two, telling yourself that you just need one now, because you’re having a bad day. And soon you’re back to a pack a day, because, let’s be honest, you gotta die someday anyway. And that dream that you know will take you six months to accomplish, three weeks later you’re not any closer, so why bother, nothing good ever happens to you anyway.

But there’s another way of doing things, a better way, tested and proven over centuries. The Japanese call it Kai-zen. Translated elaborately, it means ‘Constant daily incremental improvement’. It means taking one small thing about your life and doing it just a little better every day. And after a week or two, when this new way of doing it has become part of your daily life, take something else. And change it just a tiny bit, every day. And then tweak another, and another. On a daily basis it will feel like you’re changing nothing or at least not much. There will be no shock to the system, no turning your life upside down. But slowly, as the weeks and months pass by, you will have changed yourself and your life for the better. Because quantitative accumulations lead to quality improvements. Reducing a bad habit by 1% a day will see you be rid of it in a few months. Changing one ingredient of your daily meals every week will turn into healthier eating habits over time. Increasing your meditation time by one minute every few days will turn you into a Zen master in no time. Ok, maybe not. But you get my point. 😉

And above all, most of all, practice gratitude. If you are alive, even moderately healthy, if you have food on the table and a warm bed to sleep in, you are already wealthier than millions of people out there. Every day, take few minutes to go outside. Touch a tree, pick a flower, stand on your balcony for few minutes in the morning and listen to the birds in the trees. Watch the dance of the clouds across the sky. Find one thing, each day, to be grateful for. Realize how blessed you are to have been given the opportunity to experience this magic called Life. Cheer someone up and it will make YOU feel better. Give something away and it will make YOU feel abundant. Whatever you want or crave, give it away. And give yourself a pat on the back. You have made it this far. You have overcome obstacles, solved problems, found solutions. You have surmounted challenges and defeated pain. You have fought, and you have won, many times. You can, and you will, do and be and have anything you want. The trick is to want. To want it badly. To quote Napoleon Hill, “you have to have a burning desire” for anything you want. And you have to believe. Little by little, one day at the time, step into the light and make constant daily incremental improvements.


The other cheek

As already discussed in another of our articles, life is suffering. We all know that and we’ve all been hurt at some point. Maybe even now, while you’re reading this. More or less, we’ve all been lied to, deceived, and betrayed. We’ve been humiliated, oppressed, and chained. We’ve been misled, violated, and abused. We know suffering. Whether physical or mental, we know it in depth. If that’s not the case, you should know by now that you are a minority. A lucky minority. As for the unlucky majority… well, life is still suffering.

It seems that some wounds never heal. Sometimes we are broken so bad and so hard that we don’t even know if we’ll manage to stand up again. And yet, we do. That’s the whole point. Overcoming everything and everyone. People often hurt us and that’s for a fact, deliberately or not, just a bit or big time, but they do. Sometimes they torture, sometimes they play, sometimes they are just mean with no evident reason.  Or manipulate us to get what they want, making us feel weak, inept and empty. And some of them are so bad that they make us believe it’s all our fault because we’re no good, or not worthy enough, or we don’t deserve better. They sell us their lies and expect us to buy them. And we do, because they’re incessantly messing up with our heads, undermining the faith we have in ourselves. Insecure people are easier to manipulate, to influence upon, and of course, to affect.

Now, the Bible says: “Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” But should you really turn the other cheek and let people abuse you? Maybe, but I’m not that advanced. It must be a sign of real virtue to let people do you wrong as much and as long as they want to and still remain unaffected, knowing that they are not really able to hurt you or take your freedom away. It seems like the end of the rainbow, at least to me. I find myself very far from that biblical concept that you should let people hurt you in any manner whatsoever because this is deemed divine. It might be, it ought to be, but personally, I’m not there yet.

So, let’s say you’re not one of them saints and one fine day you say it’s enough. You tell yourself this was it, the very last drop and you can’t take it anymore, so you take your own path. But even if you break the chains and you wisely decide to shut off those people hurting you and abusing you, that chain is still there. It still rattles and you feel it tightening around your neck. The leash is still there. It’s inside of you, as are all the hits you’ve taken, physically or otherwise. You’re still wounded, you’re still hurt. Maybe you imagined that if you parted, it would all go away, but it doesn’t. The pain is still here. To haunt you and torture you like before, as if nothing changed. You could have stayed, but you didn’t. You broke free. So why aren’t you happy now? Where did you go wrong? Why doesn’t your life seem that wonderful as you thought it would be? Because you’re holding a grudge. Because instead of enjoying your beautiful present, you keep living in the past. You keep living the memory of your sad experience, day after day, with no hope of resurrection. You keep blaming the people who made you feel so miserable, who hurt you so much and tried to destroy you in their own vicious way. Out of the blue, all that you’ve been through hits you and you realize you haven’t made an inch further. So you start hating your abuser(s) from the bottom of your broken heart, you curse them and you hope they died. Quite understandable, at some point all that hatred turns back to you and eventually you start blaming yourself (if not already). Thinking that if you had made a different choice, a different decision, all this wouldn’t have happened. And the worst part is, that you didn’t do the right thing, you didn’t make that change happen, you did nothing to mend the situation. So you punish yourself for what you have or haven’t done and start living a life of guilt and regret. Towards yourself and all those people who have hurt you. But mainly yourself.

Truth is and perhaps you’ve heard it before, nothing changes if nothing changes. That is, nothing will ever change until you found the strength inside to forgive and let go. People make right choices, but also wrong ones. People make good decisions, but also bad ones. More often than you could imagine. But you can’t blame yourself or them forever. What I’ve learned from experience, is that if you want out of the mud, you must make peace with yourself. First, forgive yourself for making the wrong choices. Don’t even call them mistakes. Theoretically, there’s no such thing as mistake, there’s good experience and bad experience, so consider that a bad one and make the choice to have only good experiences from now on. And no matter how hard it may seem to you, forgive others for making their wrong choices too. I know, I know, when abused for a long time one way or the other, it’s not an easy one to smile, reconcile and let go like that. But you should. If you want to get anywhere, you should. There’s a very useful means to practice forgiveness, it’s called metta, or loving-kindness meditation and it basically teaches kindness, towards yourself and towards others. But not only people-you-like kindness, kind to people you dislike or even hate as well. I’ll take a closer look on metta in one of the next articles, for it’s definitely worth giving a try and it helps a lot.

To summarize, there would be no good if there were no evil. There would be no light without the darkness and you would have not been the person you are today without all of your experiences, good and bad. So give gratitude for them all. For they all taught you something, they all made you strong. And don’t forget to give credit to yourself for who you are today and where you stand. If you think you’re reading this by chance, you’d better think twice. You’re here for a reason and you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Remember, your future is just a matter of choice. Your choice.

The end of the road

What if you knew you’d never see the sun again or see another bird? What if you never saw flowers, clouds, trees, or children? What if this was it, the very last day of your life, the end of the road? If you knew this was it, would you be happier to look at the blue skies or feel the wind on your face? Would that make you smile? And how would it feel if this was the last breath you take, the last sound you hear, the last time you touch your significant one, or feel their body next to yours? So if you knew there was no more of it, would that make you act differently? Would you benefit more from everything? And if you knew this was the last special moment you have, would you treasure it more? Do you really need to know something is going to end to appreciate it? Usually and as stupid as most of us are, yes. We tend to ignore things that we already have, looking high above at those we don’t. Or a bit to the left from where we stand now. Or to the right. Anywhere else but here. Yeah, right, the grass is always greener on the other side… Fact is, it ain’t. Your grass could be as green as you like for as long as you want it. But as long as you keep overlooking your blessings, instead of counting them, your grass will always look yellow and dry to you. Funny enough, somebody else surely prefers your grass to their own.

We’ve all been there at some point. We have shelter, warm bed, clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink, family to love us, friends to support us, children to make us see the greatness of life (in the lack of children, pets also do). And even if something in the above listing is missing, we still have it. All. But what we do is complain of what we don’t have. It’s good to be ambitious, yes. By default, aspiring for more is good, because it helps you grow. Hypothetically. But real question here is do you need it? Do you really want a greener grass? Do you really want more? Could you go without it? And who draws the thin line between need and greed? If you can’t answer any of these questions or you can’t find your real reasons for wanting something, then you have a problem. Motivation is important. You should know when, why, or how you feel the need to have something else. To know when what you have is not enough anymore. For your desire could only be an illusion, right? And again, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Yet another cliché, but oh, so true. However, not necessarily a must. You could start counting all of your blessings now. Why wait for them to go to appreciate them? Why try to win something back, when you could try to keep it in the first place? Start by practicing gratitude. Gratitude and appreciation for everything present in your life, good and bad, whatever the case. Practicing gratitude at the close of each day is a fool-proof way to fill your heart with warmth and light. And be sure that, being so kindly thanked for all the efforts, Ms. Universe will keep giving and giving. And this is not some kind of a treat for you being a good boy/girl. It’s more a matter of creating your reality in line with your wishes. As I keep saying, your life is a product of your concept of it, or in other words, what you make of it. Rule is, if you want to have something in your life, give it to somebody else, be it money, love, compassion, etc. Universal logics is, since you give it away, then you must obviously have it, so that’s what Universe does – gives you plenty of it. Simple rule, huh? Yeah, it’s that simple.

So how would you feel, if you knew it was the last time you see someone? Would you tell them something else, something wiser, or hold them closer? Would you cherish your last moment together as sacred? And if it was the last kiss, the last hug, would you treasure it more? Just think, if you’re not given the chance to admit that you were wrong, would you play it nicer? Sometimes we tend to overreact, be rude or totally inconsiderate to others, because we somehow believe that we could always make it up. Some other time. Next time. But what if there’s no next time? What if you never see that person again, how would that feel? Think about that. There’s no need to wait for things to collapse to do something about it. There’s no need to wait for the apocalypse, so you start caring for environment. And there’s no need to hurt someone just because you could always apologize later. Maybe not. So be wise, for life is full of surprises.

Learn to let go

Sometimes in life we get attached. And sometimes we surrender to love, unconditionally and without being reasonable for even a moment. But sometimes circumstances seem to be against us and no matter how hard we try, we don’t get what we want, which hurts us deeply. Nevertheless, just like a moth to a flame, we keep going back to the same “wrong” person, to the same circumstances that make us suffer. Time and time again. It’s like if we keep trying, we’d finally get there. We’d finally make it happen, winning not only the battle, but eventually the war. But who are we really fighting? The person who fails to make us happy? Circumstances? Fate? Life? What is this urge to constantly get back to what hurts us? And even if it might bring some positive emotions for a while, it’s obviously not beneficial to us in the long run. So why are we so insistent?

In most cases, it’s all the ego speaking. We feel that not getting something that we want, is a sign of failure. So we keep trying. And suffering. But what if that person is not good for us? What if we weren’t meant to be together in the first place? Not much of a consolation, I know. So we tend to keep living the illusion, using it to comfort us when we’re down. And we keep feeding the self-delusion any way we can, because we don’t like the true colors of truth. But what’s the point of all that anyway? What’s the point in living the illusion when real life is nothing like it? What’s the point in dreaming of the end of the rainbow, when we’re not even sure it’s what we’ve been expecting it to be? We just want it. Now. Yesterday.

Most of us tend to have that weak point – that one and only person, who, inter alia, is able to make us vulnerable and responsive. That person who messes our heads up and whose words touch our hearts deeply. Usually in the blink of an eye and without much effort. That person, for whom we’d turn the world upside down. For whom we’d do anything,  go anywhere, risk it all. Call it obsession, call it fixation, but they have the power to make everything look and feel different. And we believe there’s that special connection between us. That it’s mutual and shared. And even though our reasoning mind says “no”, our heart says “yes”. Yes to all. Refusing to label the chimera as such, we await that text message, that call, those words of love, that would justify the wait and make up for all the suffering so far. But where does all that end? And does it at all… ever?

We might get what we want for a short while, but most often it doesn’t last and we’re left alone again. To hope and dream. We’re back to that painful waiting phase, telling ourselves it just wasn’t the right time and inevitably finding a number of excuses. And against all logic, instead of seeing the situation as it is, we tend to live the lie. We find all the reasons, all the excuses we need to keep believing. Truth, however, is quite simple, although often blurred by emotions. I consider emotions our worst enemy, for they prevent us from seeing the actual situation, the big picture and drag us back to our comfort zone. What difference does it make if we are hurt? What difference does it make if we are not happy? Emotions certainly don’t care about any of this. No matter if we are inclined to admit it or not, deep inside we know the truth. We know if that person is to be a part of our future or not. We know if they are good for us or not. We realize that we must let go at some point. But we just don’t want to accept it. Even deny it. And acceptance is the hardest part. Sometimes, though, it’s better to wave the white flag. Sometimes it’s better to just let go of what doesn’t serve us. “But I love him/her!”, I hear you insist. “It’s love and it’s meant to be! It will eventually happen!” Euh… sorry, but no. Ain’t gonna happen and the sooner you realize it, the better.

Love is not supposed to be an effort. It’s not supposed to be a torture, or suffering.  It can be hard, indeed, and that’s for a fact, but love flows. It’s never consuming and deceiving. It never leaves you helpless and hopeless, quite the contrary, for what is meant to be, it just is. It’s there. You don’t need to look any further. You don’t need to question it or doubt it. You don’t need any proof or evidence that it’s there. Relationships vary based on what people are looking for/demanding from their significant other, but in essence it’s not supposed to be complicated or difficult. If they are, you might consider to reconsider. It’s one thing to have that special person going in and out of your life on a constant basis, but a completely different thing to let them overwhelm you in a harming way. You should not let them affect you negatively. Hard, I know. And even harder, if your heart is shouting louder than your common sense. But still, you should respect yourself enough to know when it’s best for you to say “no”. And just let go.