Comparing apples to oranges

applestooranges

(This post is from my Instagram account @taishka_lefler)

We seem to always be comparing ourselves to someone. We women compare ourselves to other women. Men compare themselves to other men.

But it’s truly comparing apples to oranges. These comparisons are shallow. Purely on the surface. We can never truly compare one person against another.
There’s a Carl Sagan joke: if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, first you have to create the universe.
Someone can only be compared to me if they have lived my life. Every second of it. But no one has. Not one out of 7.5 billion people has lived a life exactly like mine.

Looks are a culmination of DNA from 2 sources. But those 2 sources are a culmination of DNA from thousands of ancestors. What is the point in comparing looks unless we’re willing to compare ancestors? Just as skin colour is a direct correlation to sun exposure our ancestors experienced, features are a direct correlation to the elements.

We compare strength knowing nothing of the tools provided, or lacking, in that person’s upbringing or in their life.
We judge financial wealth, assuming others care about money the same way that we do.
We judge the looks of someone’s partner, assuming that person looks for the same things we do, knowing nothing of the character, sense of humour or compassion of that partner that drew the person in in the first place.
We compare clothes, accessories, cars…
Brand name clothes are still just clothes. A Gucci handbag is still just a handbag. A Lamborghini is still just a car. And money is merely a tool, only one of many that can usually get the job done.

You are not your things & neither am I. We are all so much more.
We bring so much to the table. We shouldn’t short change ourselves. We shouldn’t make baseless comparisons.
We can really only compare ourselves to… ourselves.

 

Advertisements

Love ❤

Happy couple

When we think of love this is what we think of, this picture above. In English speaking culture the word “love” is first applied to romantic love, then secondly applied to platonic love. But mostly we delegate love as meaning romance.

This limited thinking creates many barriers. We go through life hesitant to express the platonic love we have for people because it’s just not done. As I get older I notice more and more how old customs and ways of doing things are damaging society and holding humanity back.

abstract-circle-design

We see barriers everywhere that do not exist. We limit friendship to people we already know. We’re slow to let new people in once we have a circle of friends. And we’ll only work on building that circle of friends while we feel we still need friends. Then once we’re content with our circle we just stop.  We just stop. I’ve seen this many times in my years of attending college and university.

A circle can look a bit like a round fence. Keeping people in and keeping others out. And we may have various circles due to our jobs, groups we belong to and relationships we’re in. And each person in our individual circles has their own set of circles, circles we’re not allowed into unless invited. So we can have an intricate pattern of circles, our own and ones we’ve been invited into. Yet each circle has its fence, keeping some people in and everyone else out.

Love, platonic love, is present in these circles but withheld from anyone not in these circles. Being in a circle is like being a member of a private club. Being a member is great! Being invited to events, having access to this whole network of people and their contacts, and basking in the friendship and platonic love that comes with membership. But all of this is only available to members.

We are willing to love people in our various circles but not those outside of our circles. This seems to defy logic. How does someone you know automatically become deserving of love while a stranger, merely for the sake of being a stranger, become undeserving of our love?

We decide they must earn our love by doing something to become our friend; likely by doing something nice for us. Possibly repeatedly. So to do something for them, to love them, they must first do something for us.

This circle is a fence that keeps love in but also keeps love out.

Love has absolutely no limit. We will never run out of love. Yet we get stingy with our love. We treat it like a precious commodity. Even though we expect others to be free and easy with their love towards us.

big_thumb_6ccf2ac7ab0f4350b9715cd8ff9a131d

Love cannot be fenced in. It cannot be withheld from people, merely because we do not yet know them. It cannot be treated as a reward for positive behaviour. It cannot be stifled. If love is not given room to grow it will wither and die.

After oxygen, water, food and shelter love is the next absolute necessity for survival. We use love to handle all of life’s hurdles. We use love to build confidence to do what we have to do in life and to make the decisions we have to make. We use love to rebuild our lives after we’ve suffered tragedies. We use love to empathize with others who are going through tragedy, to take action to help end that tragedy.

And we use love to say a few kinds words to someone that, unbeknownst to us, kept them from going home and committing suicide as they had planned.

As a fetus, before we have a brain we have a heart.

Love surpasses geography and time. Love is magical and everlasting. And there has yet to be a weapon designed that can conquer it.

Inspiration, Motivation and Laughter

Because I love you guys here’s a 2nd post for today. These 2 videos I found very inspiring; talks given by 2 very well-known men. Please share the links with anyone you know who could benefit from hearing these words.

No matter who we are we all have tough times and find ourselves in need of encouragement from time to time. We all just want to be loved.

 

I’m back 😊

Wow, I haven’t posted in a very long time! I’ve been giving a lot of love to Twitter @TaishkaLefler and Instagram: taishka_lefler lately, you can check those out for regular doses of happy. Here are some ‘posts’ I wrote for Twitter; my solution to the 140 character limit :p (See? There’s a solution to every problem.)

2016-02-29 11_46_26-Document1 - Word

2016-03-10 16_59_40-Document1 - Word

2016-02-29 14_54_42-Document1 - Word

 

Dis-Connect

One weekend before Halloween there was the Zombie Walk at City Hall in downtown Toronto. I went to Zombie-watch but was able to get free makeup so I joined the fun. It was unclear when the walk was so I did my own Zombie Walk around the block. Most people didn’t know what was going on that day so I had the element of surprise and ghoul on my side :) I had a lot of fun! I was able to scare a lot of people with my sneaky ways :-D What surprised me is when people were either so intent on their phones or talking to the person they were with or looking ahead as they walked that they Didn’t Even Notice Me. This is how I looked.

IMG_20141025_172855[1]

Yes, some people actually paid me no mind.

I sometimes waved instead of trying to eat brains, with this hand.

IMG_20141025_170727[1]

The other side looks just as ‘bloody’. When people looked up from their body attachment…

IMG_20141003_140746

…they either smiled or waved back but didn’t seem to notice the ‘blood’ on my hand. Sometimes my hand is all they saw, or should I say didn’t see as the ‘blood’ didn’t phase them.

Electronic toys are here for good, no matter the form they take. Social media will forever remain a part of our world, no matter how it evolves. But we have the choice of how much it becomes integrated into our lives. Are you able to turn off the TV, turn off the computer or tablet, put your phone down and just go for a walk or even leave the house for the day? Our idea of ‘I need it’ is like a woman’s purse. Our purses keep getting bigger yet are always full of stuff. The bigger the purse the more stuff we put in it. We don’t need most of that stuff. Men get by with wallets (or did before the man bag became a fashion accessory) . Our purses contain wallets as well as so much more. But we feel that we need all of that stuff. Our idea of ‘need’ is becoming skewered.

Toronto is a large, multi-cultural city with a lot of people. Yet many times I see people on their phones, talking or texting, ignoring all the people around them.

When do we decide to be friendly with people and be open to making friends, or even just having a conversation, and other times (the majority) decide we’ll only talk or text with the people we already know. None of us came into this world having friends, we only came into this world having family (or did, if we’re lucky). We actually made friends at some point, we never just had friends. When do we decide that those people are the only friends we’ll make? When do we become resistant to adding to that friend base? The opportunity is always there but it can take things such as a new school, a new job, or a new home to force us to reach out and ‘talk to strangers’. When we talk to enough strangers we make acquaintances and friends. At the very least we improve someone’s day by being friendly.

We have this feeling of separation from other humans. We see differences, real or imagined. There is so much of the Us vs Them mentality. We group people based on skin colour, religious beliefs, ethnicity, even by where they live. When we talk to someone new, even if by accident, what do we notice? We notice similarities. Shared interests, sense of humour, political beliefs, or even travel destinations. We have the same fears. We all cry. We all get hurt. We all want to love and be loved. We all want to be accepted. We all want respect.

We disconnect ourselves from each other, cut ourselves off from each other. We can be surrounded by a sea of people and will either ignore everyone and everything, listening to music and/or playing games, or texting with a few select people that we’ve allowed into our world.

Tamil-funny-pictures-Funny-Headphones

Once I had a conversation with someone who never took their oversized earphones off, I had no idea if the music was still playing or not. It was very distracting, it felt like if I got boring they could turn their music back on and I would never know.

We all want to be loved, appreciated, respected….

mobile-phone-etiquette-278x225

Technology is created to improve our lives and to help us connect. It’s up to each of us whether it hits the mark or not.

Tolerance

As with just about anything on YouTube there are negative comments about this video. Those comments have to do with intolerance. And of course I LOVED this video because, to me, it represented tolerance.

In the North American culture, as with anywhere, the population is exploding. So we have more people. But we also have more sensitive people. Spirituality is coming around and the more spiritual you are the more sensitive you are. The younger generations are just coming into this world more sensitive – THIS IS OUR SAVING GRACE, believe me.

People are being more true to themselves, or trying to, but there are angry, opinionated people who make it hard for them. Who make things hard for all of us. Young people are TORMENTING other young people (bullying leads to suicide on a regular basis). Adults systematically discriminate against other adults all the time, or calling a spade a spade, adults bully other adults. ALL THE TIME. Our police, court systems and morgues are busy with the results of young bullies who have grown up and learned to perfect their craft.

The age of intolerance, say about the last 1000 years, has to end. That is the logic of superstition, of the dark ages, of the horse and buggy, of slavery. We’re better than that. Or at least we should be.

Whenever people are too loud with their opinions I file it under “He doth protest too much”. When people don’t care they are indifferent. When people are loudly letting you know something bothers them it makes me wonder why, why does it bother them so much?

My first thought goes to jealousy. My second thought goes to anger; anger at the world, at themselves, at their life. Angry people will jump on the bandwagon of whatever is the ‘target of the day’: minorities, religion, women, immigrants, etc. You know, just stupid stuff. This same logic includes someone saying “those immigrants are taking our jobs” meanwhile the immigrants are working in jobs that that person had no intention of doing anyway. Their anger just needs a direction, it doesn’t have to be logical.

Ok so where does that leave us? The adage ‘Hurt people hurt people’ applies here. We can’t meet intolerance with intolerance. The buck has to stop with us. I’ve been in some bad relationships (who hasn’t?) and recently I’ve decided any hurt would stop with me; when someone else hurts me I’m not going to hurt them back.

The cycle of hurt, of intolerance, has to stop with us. No matter what comes our way we should only give back love, tolerance and acceptance. With time Anyone will change if treated with kindness and consideration. People are 3 dimensional, complicated beings; just because someone is angry or mean doesn’t mean they’re an ahole, it means they have issues that need to be addressed. Many ‘skinheads’ aren’t true Nazi’s, they were loners who were targeted. They were made to feel like part of a group (probably for the first time in their life), to be accepted, to be cared for. They didn’t join to collectively hate another group, they joined to improve their own life, to feel better, to feel happier. So easily that same person could have gone down another life path if another ‘group’ had paid them the same attention.

The best way to combat intolerance is to be tolerant ourselves and to decide that LOVE will be the defining factor in our lives, in all that we think, say and do.

love86

Be Selfish :-D

be-selfish-and-love-yourself

Many of us love to help others. We go out of our way even for strangers; if someone needs something, and we can provide it, then we do. But the downside is that we can completely drain ourselves doing this. We can live our lives for others. This may seem very charitable but it’s not. If you don’t keep your own health and happiness in mind then you’re doing a disservice to others and to yourself. If you ‘dry’ yourself up for others, then how can you keep providing help and assistance? You can only truly help other people when your own tank is full. It’s not about just Doing, it’s about showing other people tricks and tools for how to live a great and fulfilling life. Giving your all to others can create resentment, not the outcome you want. Helping should make you feel Good! Once it stops feeling good stop and question why.

[If you want a visual: You are a car. Looking after yourself is the gas station that fills up your tank. When you help others you give them gas from your tank. If you keep just helping and helping then you will eventually run out of gas. With no gas left, not even for yourself, you need to get back to the gas station for a refill. But you gave away all of your gas so you can’t even get back to the gas station. This is when you have health and emotional problems, which will Persist until you figure out How to get back to the gas station.]

I finally decided to make service to others (volunteering) a part of my life last year. But I also decided to do many other things and ended up putting way too much on my plate. It all fell apart. I’ve taken some time off from the regular demands of life – catching up on sleep, only working as much as I have to, only volunteering for 1 organization instead of 2+. I feel guilty about this at times but after spending 9 years at college/university I had to spend some time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life; none of my past programs showed me that.

Passion and interest have to match up with skills and abilities. I took engineering but was never the top of any of my classes so I had to pay attention to that. I’ve always been passionate about space exploration but since my skill doesn’t match my passion that’s not a good direction for me. (Aerospace engineering is math heavy and that’s my worst subject) Thanks to that insanely busy semester (I tried tackling 2 diplomas – my 3rd year in Mechanical and my 2nd in Robotics, was working, volunteering, training for future volunteering, and started a school club) I noticed I quite enjoyed, and was good at, my club activities and endeavours. I at first thought perhaps Event Management was in my future. Upon careful consideration (the next semester I withdrew and started to just enjoy life and relax) I realized it’s the helping of people that I’m both Good at and Greatly enjoy. But to figure that out I had to leave the rat race for a bit and just spend a good amount of time pondering my life. (And yes, 3 years of engineering is a rat race. Every spare moment is supposed to be spent doing homework, studying and working on assignments. You want a life? You can have one when you graduate ;-) )

So thanks to this time of being selfish I have, for the first time ever, realistic goals for my future career. Life Coach. Holistic Practitioner. And Strategic Interventionist (Life Coaching the Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes way. It is Amazing what that man can do! I want to be able to positively affect people’s lives like that :) ) And perhaps be a motivational writer and speaker. And of course continuing and sharing my spiritual growth journey :)

That is still a lot, I’ll have to figure out what I’m best at in those fields or how they can be meshed together. But thanks to my time of self-reflection and being ‘selfish’ (by North American standards) I have started to figure out how I can best be of service to others and myself.