Confessions of a girl being haunted

Ever since I was a kid, I have always been followed by the ghosts of my mistakes. They rarely go away. So I made a lot of steps in order to escape them.

I would try to get rid of them first, by saying sorry, by identifying what I did wrong, by promising I won’t do it again. I’ll be better, I promise, just stop bothering me please, just stop whispering in my heart.

I would then try my best to avoid them. I’m not a perfectionist merely for the sake of being one. Making no mistakes means there’s no new ghost to haunt you.

I would also avoid activities that make them appear, like being a burden, asking help from people, failing subjects, disappointing people,  hurting people, getting things that I want, being selfish, disturbing others. Every activity that I need to do is scrutinized, on whether or not I will be chased by guilt after I do this or that, whether or not I could handle the ghost that would appear. Sometimes I’d realize that they appear with people. So yes my aversion to people might be contributed to the things that are haunting me.

Most of the time I would and could just ignore them, because denial is the name of the game for survival, and I would go on my merry way while pretending there is nothing whispering in my ears that I don’t deserve anything, don’t deserve to live, that the world is practically better off without me existing, that I’m too much of a burden, do something about it.

I can convince them into keeping quiet by praying. Other times, I also have a baseball bat ready, because I beat up the metaphorical ghosts to shut them up because I can’t think. It’s crowding my mind, hush I’ll handle you after all these things. Which is maybe why it irks me when an outsider tries to correct me, even though I know they only have good intentions, and even if it is for my own good, because it’s harder to convince them, and I can’t beat them until they shut up unlike the ghosts always staying beside me, residing in me. It takes too much energy when you’re already fighting something inside, so I’ll just nod blankly and say yes, yes I know. The voice inside my head already told me so, please tell me something I don’t know.

So when I was given a chance to chase after another dream, the ghost I aptly called accounting (I confess to killing that dream because I couldn’t, wouldn’t let anyone take it away from me, only I can take it. Bwahahaha. No. Seriously. I did kill it voluntarily). It almost fooled me into killing another one. But I told myself no, no more ghosts, no more dream killing. Stop bothering me.

Unfortunately when I decided to chase after the new dream, a new ghost appeared and started whispering things like I am such a burden to everyone around me, how weak I am that I had to ask help from other people to get what I want, how stupid I was to not prepare beforehand when I already knew what I needed, what should have been done, how useless that I don’t have my own income to support myself, questioning me whether it’s all worth it, whether I am worth it.

With my trusty bat and skills in denial, such ghosts will have to be ignored until they go away and/or are exorcised. So pardon me if I seem spaced out or loopy, it would be just one of my ghosts bothering me.

I’m fine even if I’m kinda not fine inside. I’ll be fine as always. Nobody can see what’s inside anyway, except maybe for those who have x-ray vision.

Before anyone calls an exorcist or a psychologist out of concern for my well-being, please don’t worry. God already has me. There is no power nor might except Allah. 🙂

 

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Of Arrogance and Confidence, and Everything in Between

What is confidence?

Is it believing that you can do it? Is it something you can eat? Is it something innate? Is it just a concept, a justification of one’s ability?

People keep on saying that it’s just believing. Believing and not faltering. Being absolute in that trust of whatever it is.

Can you learn it? Can you buy it somewhere? Because if so, please show the way. I clearly don’t know how to be, or I might not have it at all.

For some convoluted and twisted reasons, I cannot clearly delineate between arrogance and confidence.

Arrogance is defined by Webster as: “an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people”.

And of course, being arrogant is simply not acceptable to me, and yet sometimes (maybe more often than I notice) I come off as being arrogant instead of confident (either in my head or in actual conversations and actions).

It’s a block. It’s a frustrating block of mine that I can’t seem to get rid of. That block which is explaining myself to others.

They ask me to describe myself, to market myself, to convince them why I should be the one for whatever position/school/thing/what have you. And I can’t answer them properly. I usually can’t unless they ask a direct question of: “what are your likes, where do you live, what do you do.”

I can’t even take a proper compliment without feeling embarrassed.

I keep on asking myself why? Why the hell do I act that way? Why is it that I’m rarely content, rarely confident, rarely appreciative of what I have?

I can think of many reasons. Most probably due to neurotic tendencies and complexities, there’s also the factor of living in a damn ivory tower (and here I thought I was finally free) and the factor of being arrogant in the sense that I have don’t have to explain myself because actions speak louder than words. There is also the fact that I’m just naturally a vague and shy person.

Neurotic tendencies.

Now that is one big can of worms. I can’t accept a simple compliment because I have always believed that I could have done more, could have achieved better. I have standards, standards which I thought I have lowered but hello denial and subconsciousness. This is so frustrating and embarrassing. I could blame it on the fact that I’m surrounded by overachievers and they usually belittle what I have whether it is just in my mind or they say it outright.

Not that it’s totally their fault. I can’t feel inferior without acknowledging that they are superior and somehow they are. I let myself believe that I’m such an inferior human being. It’s quite insensitive of me to think that way because there are those who are less capable than me, what of them then?

And here comes Desiderata by Max Ehrmann: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” There will always be someone better than you, and there will always be someone who is worse than you.

Living in an ivory tower.

Yes. I’ve been stamped as a person living in an ivory tower separate from reality (because reality sucks, throw it down the window, we don’t need it, and it doesn’t need us). But see here, comparing yourself with others can go so wrong. This is why I just benchmark myself with my own standards. I compare myself with what I believe I can do, and what I actually do, but I come off as selfish and arrogant to myself which I really try to avoid.

So hello again ivory tower which I thought I’ve finally exited. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

Being vague because I’m arrogant like that.

I can be specific, but most of the time I’m just vague because I expect people to understand or at least try to understand. I’m vague when I feel that things are obvious and I don’t really have to explain anything at all. I’m vague when I’m unsure of myself. I’m vague when I myself don’t know what to say. I’m vague because I don’t want to be understood, and yet I want to be understood by those who I feel deserve to know me (hello again arrogance).

But the reality is, not all people are mind readers. Not all of them will make the effort to understand you, the world would be a better place if everybody is understanding and respectful. But they’re not. And people why wonder why the world is at war. I’m getting off topic. My wandering mind is so hard to control.

So here I am, still meandering between confidence and arrogance. I’m making progress, I think.

I should hope so. I get the believing part. It’s just that I botch things up once in awhile (scratch that, maybe often) but I’m still trying.

Oh how I hate making excuses.

Yeah. Here we go again.

While I’m having debates with myself for lack of confidence and being arrogant, or maybe for just being so contradicting, there’s this thing called having faith in God.

Because really, losing faith in yourself is one thing, but losing faith in God is just plain horrifying.

Confidence in God is always better than having confidence with yourself.

Believing

What does it take to trust?

How do you believe in someone who has fallen down a lot of times, and failed to get up?

How do you believe in yourself? When you don’t, you can’t, and you’ve seen your worst more than anybody else.

Second chances rarely matter, contrary to popular belief.

You fall, and then you fall again.

But the failure lies not in the fact that you have fallen down, it’s the fact that you failed to get up.

Reasons, excuses, rationalizing whatever that happened.

You apologize to others for failing them, but it’s yourself who you have to apologize to the most.

Because you know you have more potential than what you show.

There is no such thing as fear of failure, there’s only fear of not doing your best.

Yes. It would hurt if you think you’ve done your best, but it just wasn’t enough.

But the what-ifs, the agony of thinking what should have been done, the suffering you’ll go through thinking of different paths that could have been, aren’t these more painful?

These are the things that slowly poison your faith in yourself, the dark thoughts that filter through your mind.

Isn’t that much more painful and all the more vicious because of the wounds that slowly heal from time?

And not only that, time wouldn’t be enough to heal it. Time is insufficient for that trust to come back.

Passively waiting for it to return, it’s just asking for another heart break, another wound to heal from. Such is the vicious cycle of failing and waiting.

You don’t trust yourself, so others don’t trust you. Others do not trust you, so you don’t trust yourself.

See where I’m going?

To be able to break that chain of suffering, that painful paradox, one must be willing to get out of it.

You must be willing to make effort; you must be willing to push through your limits.

You don’t get the results right away. It may take months, even years to see it blossom. Patience is a virtue they say.

Fixing something broken does not take a short time. It needs effort and consistency.

It requires not only removing the limits that you have unconsciously placed upon yourself, but also getting rid of the pressure you have unknowingly felt all along.

It’s a never ending battle against yourself.

And in order to win, no matter how many times you fall, no matter how many times you stumble down, no matter how many times that you feel you can’t take it anymore;

You must never, ever, give up on yourself. Other people can and may give up on you, your friends, your family but you must never willingly give up on yourself.

Doing so will make you fall into the bottom of the deep ocean of despair that is harder to get out from. You will be drowning in darkness, fighting desperately to breathe. The waves of the ocean will to prevent you from ever reaching the land..

The only way to swim out of it to reach for the life line that only God can give.

Because when you can’t trust yourself and gave up on everything, God is there.

Trust in God because He believes in you, hence your continued existence.

You can rest and take a deep breathe in order to regain your strength and fight back again.

Taking a breather is not giving up.

Giving up is when you stop trying.

So don’t stop trying. Most of the time, fear and anxiety will stop you. But don’t believe in them; even if it seems true don’t let them stop you.

You were the one who gave voice to those fears. And you can take it away by listening to the voice of hope inside you just waiting to be heard. The voice that tells you, you can do it, you will do it, just believe.

God gave us the light of hope inside of ourselves; we just keep on searching for it in the wrong places.