Friday (November 22) evening I had gone out for pizza and drinks with my best friend and my partner. It was a momentous occasion, since it was the first time both of them were meeting. We were enjoying bulgogi pizza with shots of Soju while my phone was ringing silently. It wasn't until we were all in my friend's car after eating, that I checked my phone. Several missed calls, a voice mail and a few text messages were waiting for me. My sister's message was urgent. This was only somewhat typical - it was the missed call from my father and mother that set me off. I hadn't spoken much to my father since October 25. We had a falling out, so to speak (parents just don't understand). So it must have been important for him to breach the awkward tension to call me.
I called my sister first. She gave me the news. My grandmother is dead. Just like that. Now, just imagine for a moment, a person who is akin to a Nazi, dying. Are you sad? No, not really. Actually, you probably feel elated. Like, finally. One of the most evil people in the world died - no great loss. I know it's a horrible thing to say - people say you should never celebrate someone's death. Well, perhaps if it was a regular person or even if they weren't, as long as they weren't bitter and cruel to their dying days. Unfortunately, my grandmother was like a Nazi. She hated everyone - every sexuality, every colour, every nationality, everyone. She hated her friends, her family and her peers. I don't remember her saying anything nice about a single person - except herself. She always had praise for herself. How kind she was - how smart she was - sadly, all delusions. She may have been steeped in denial and lost all objectivity. Either way, she was not a good person.
I dislike this fact however my opinion isn't necessarily shared. My sister was broken up about it. She was crying. She actually felt sad. I was surprised. I mean, my sister never visited - if anything, I visited much more frequently (to my chagrin). Nor did she speak kindly of her or to her - she would openly mock my grandmother, but in a way that my grandmother didn't know it was happening. It was embarrassing. I never dared to behave that way, despite not liking her. Yet, my sister was broken up about it. My father's reaction was expected - he was sad, but sad for different reasons. He felt like it was a life wasted - she didn't learn anything and she died alone, with no one who loved her. Perhaps she could have arguably deserved some pity if it wasn't for the fact she lived her entire life abusing others. I have zero tolerance for abuse.
So here I am, contemplating. My grandmother was 91 when she died. My father told me that she was found standing up, leaning on her walker with her eyes open. I hate to have been the one to find her. It must have been terrifying. The workers knew my grandmother and did their best to avoid dealing with her except when mandatory. She was in an assisted living facility where they had to check on her twice a day. So there she was, still moving, still stubbornly pushing - she died mid-movement. I can't think of many people who do that. That was her though - she was incredibly stubborn. So stubborn in fact, we were all convinced she would never go. She had already defied the odds years ago when she walked again, after doctors said she wouldn't. She had disc surgery in her back, and in more recent years, both hips replaced. Yet, she walked. Nothing stopped her.
While it's obvious there's no love lost between my grandmother and I, I can admire her tenacity. I have never known another woman so fierce, so stubborn, and so determined. Maybe I have her to thank for those attributes in myself. Either way, she's now gone. There's no point in belaboring the same point again and again, she's dead now.
Yet, it does leave me with some curious questions. How am I supposed to feel? Despite not liking her, I had visited her frequently throughout my entire childhood, adolescence and adulthood. I knew her closely. My father, sister and I played cards with my grandmother. We ate at the same restaurant for years and years and years. This Chinese buffet she preferred going to - she was also incredibly cheap and refused to eat anywhere else. We had gone so frequently, I recognized all the staff and knew exactly what food was served where. I had a preferred route!
So I was "close" to her. Although no one was truly close to her. She didn't have depth - she had layers of manipulative abuse. How do I feel about her death? I was honestly happy. I thought, finally. She's no longer a burden to my father. He often complained about how difficult it was for him to take care of her, and her affairs. She was stressful and demanding. If he didn't answer the phone, she would call the police and have them search for him - from another province! Controlling is a word that describes her. Yet, is that okay? Is it okay not to care about the death of a close family member? If one of your relatives was a "Nazi", would you feel bad upon their death? I will say that she was one of the last remaining ties to my father's side of the family. That part is sad.
Regardless, I wanted to update the Blog with what's going on in my life. I moved in October to a different place, so it's taken a long time to transition and organize everything. I've only begun to get settled in. I apologize for my absence but hopefully there will be more updates coming soon.
I read an article recently about how movies were horribly inaccurate in regards to in-laws. I attempted to find the article again but unfortunately no luck. I will update if I find it.
Regardless, I just shook my head. Obviously the author of said article has not dated OR they have had the incredibly rare luck of finding mates with decent, genuine in-laws. I am almost entirely convinced that such a thing does not exist.
In the article, the writer mentioned the film "Monster-in-Law" as being ridiculously dramatic but frankly, they are wrong. Okay, fair enough, some of the events are quite over-the-top however not unlikely.
I've had some experience with "in-laws" and let me tell you, I would recommend avoiding the in-laws, forever. There is no real reason to meet in-laws unless you're getting married. I know that might sound rude or something but let's face it, once you're over 21 your parents are not the decision makers. If they are, you have a problem. I'm specifically speaking about mama's boys - stay the hell away from any man who "loves his mommy". That is a waste of time. You will always be second, if not last.
The very first boyfriend I had was a mama's boy. I wish I had known something about that beforehand. I had no idea that one person could have such an influence over someone's life. I know that when I make decisions that the only opinion that matters is my own. I will consider input from my family or very close friends but ultimately I will have to live with the decision.
Hello readers, today I'm going to discuss my own perspective of life and death. If you are sensitive about these topics, please feel free to stop reading right here. My blog is a place where I can express my opinions but I certainly don't expect you to share them. You are entitled to your beliefs and it is not my intention to tread on your dreams. However if you are curious, please read on. I realize these topics are complex but I'm hoping to provide the simplest answer I can.
Over the course of my lifetime I have been plagued with the thoughts and unanswerable questions of generations before me. What is life? What is death? (What is the meaning of life? I will attempt to answer that in a later blog post.) Before I could answer these questions I spent all my life asking questions of my own. In university I chose all of my courses to learn the most I could about people, be it individuals, groups, cultures or beliefs. With much thought and consideration, I have finally come to the answers that satisfy me.
For the answers to life and death, I personally found that a mixture of ideas and intuition was best for me. Everyone will come to their own conclusions and this just happens to be mine. After studying tribal cultures such as North American First Nations, Australian Aboriginals and African tribes like the nomadic Kalahari, I discovered something very similar between them. They all believe that life is cyclical. I don't think this is by mere coincidence. Somehow, very different people across the world all came to the conclusion that life is not linear but it is cyclical. I've combined this belief with pieces of Buddhism, neo-Paganism and a dash of mysticism.
It is a common Buddhist belief that what brings us misery is desire and ego. In order to separate ourselves from misery, we must abandon our desire to want things and at the same let go of our ego. Doing both of these things will only leave room for happiness. When I think about things that make people miserable, ego and desire are often the reason. Things such as "wants" are unnecessary and inevitably create more want. We are never satisfied with just one thing, there is always something ready to take its place. For example, "I want a flat screen television" turns into "I want a bigger flat screen television". It's like a never-ending goose chase. We are never satisfied. Perhaps the real reason is that none of these things truly satiate the appetite for happiness. They are mere distractions. They may entertain us but they will never fill that hole. (In a previous post I discussed The Key to Happiness and the hole borne in each person's heart.)
Then there is neo-Paganism. If you aren't familiar with the term, let me help acquaint you. In my own words, neo-Paganism is a collection of sub-cultures that derive their practices, ideals and beliefs from the history of Paganism. People who are a part of neo-Paganism would simply call themselves "Pagans" since they do not separate themselves from the cultures before them. To sum up, neo-Pagan cultures include many diverse groups such as witches and druids but they all tend to share similar beliefs, that is respect for people, the Earth and the belief in Karma. More importantly, neo-Pagans believe we are all connected. The environment, the animals and of course each other. We are all united and share the same energy and in turn to harm the Earth or another living being is to harm ourselves. To love each other is to love ourselves.
I have described pieces of beliefs that I have come to accept for myself from tribal cultures, Buddhism and neo-Paganism. The last part is mysticism. Again, in my own words, Mysticism is the idea that we privately seek our own answers using our intuition to reach conclusions. Perhaps this means meditating or praying in private or maybe communicating with nature, whatever it is, is up to you. In my own thoughts and times of meditation, I have come to accept certain ideas.
Life is cyclical. We are born, we live and we die but only to be re-born again. I am a true believer in reincarnation. Just like the Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created or destroyed, I believe that we are beings of energy and therefore cannot be created or destroyed. Our bodies are mechanical but the "energy" that makes us tick exists almost separately. We are all connected and to me that describes life as a ball of energy. When we are born, energy is borrowed to make us breathe and when our bodies fail us, the energy is returned. Perhaps it is easiest to compare to people's notions of a soul. The difference for me is that the soul is described as individual, as though it has a personality of its own. I'm not sure that's true. I am more inclined to believe that due to life's connected nature, the energy is without personality. For me this means, there is no judgement and therefore no heaven or hell.
I realize it may seem like a lot to take in and perhaps it's somehow offensive to you but that would be silly. I am not here to persuade you to think like me. In fact just the opposite, I'm hoping to inspire you to search out your own answers. I am here to say that I have come to this conclusion after much deliberation and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to reach their own conclusions. If something I've said rings true with something deep inside of you, please follow up and do the research. Learning is always a good thing. If you want to ask me questions, just use the contact form and I will get back to you. In the meantime let's try to spread love, not hate; peace, not war.
I think making a distinction between love and obsession is very important. Many people have the two confused in to one ambiguous amalgam.
Obsession: Obsession can feel like love. Someone experiencing feelings of obsession towards someone else will feel an overwhelming desire to be with them at any capacity. They want to be near them all the time. It is similar to infatuation. Obsession is the advanced stage of infatuation. It starts with a crush. You see someone and you like them. Sometimes what someone calls "love at first sight" is purely a superficial reaction with no real substance. You find them attractive so the crush begins. Following that you try to get closer to them, perhaps not in the traditional sense. You might ask others about them or more commonly these days, Facebook stalk them.
This sort of behaviour continues. Depending on the person, the proximity to the crush can vary. In some instances the obsession can occur with a celebrity, so it would be incredibly difficult to get close to them at any capacity. People who develop obsessions tend to view their crush as better than themselves yet they have a belief that since they "love" them so very much that it makes up for any shortcomings, this is a significant point. If the crush is someone they can interact with it is a different situation. In many cases they attempt to become friends and once that has been accomplished they dream about being more.
For some the closest they get is the "friendship". Some of them claim they've been put in the "friend zone". Just because you're nice to someone doesn't mean they owe you a relationship or anything else for that matter. Being nice should be standard for everyone.
Whatever the relationship between the obsessed and the obsession, it can never be genuine. The obsessed is ultimately selfish. They want that person all to themselves. They become intensely jealous and angry when their crush is involved with anyone they might view as a threat. It doesn't even have to be a romantic threat or a credible one, everyone else is suddenly a threat. Obsessions are ultimately negative and can become dangerous. Although the person experiencing the obsession may feel as though they are the only one who truly loves their crush Love is the wrong word.
Some obsessions can become lethal. It can develop into an unhealthy relationship, stalking or in extreme cases, life threatening. Obsessions are not only bad for the person being obsessed over but they are bad for the person experiencing these extreme emotions. If you feel like any of these feelings ring true for you regardless of the degree of obsession, you need to take a step back and really think about why you feel that way. You don't love them. If it was love it would be mutual.
Love: Love is a beautiful, glorious thing. It is nearly indescribable. It is not like obsession. The most important distinction is that feelings of love are mutual. Love doesn't appear right away. It can develop out of infatuation but it is rare. It is more likely to develop as a tense mix of emotions and confusion into the intoxicating sensation of being loved and loving back.
Another significant difference between love and obsession are the emotions. Obsession will leave someone feeling an odd intensity akin to loathing. Ultimately, it's a mixture of negative emotions. Love is different. Love leaves you feeling free, not trapped, for both parties involved. It's practically a whirlwind of confusion and positive emotions. Love is selfless. Love is easy. Most importantly, love is unconditional. Once you have truly loved someone it is permanent, you will never stop loving them no matter what. Sometimes a break-up can truly define whether you experienced love or not. If you end up hating them and wishing you never met, it was never truly love.
The best indicators of a long lasting relationship are oddly the people closest to you like friends or family. People uninvolved in the relationship are able to have a more objective perspective (dependent on the fact they're not obsessed with you). They can determine the legitimacy and longevity of the relationship. If you're enjoying the rose coloured glasses of a relationship, you might not want to ask. Just enjoy what you have no matter what it is. Nothing lasts forever.
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