We often measure our progress by others’ appraisal. We perceive by their elation or low tabulation of likes what works. Thus, we add to life a distress of our own making by placing our sense of well-being in others’ hands.

The following is one of my favorite stories. It shows how even a remarkable figure can be overlooked. One day a young man drew near to a mighty prophet in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?” And the mighty prophet answered the young man and said, “I am the seer.”

The way this story unfolds flies counter-intuitively to what anyone would expect. The prophet displays no striking aura or impressive Hollywood attributes to impress the young man. The seer could have been a gardener or a lowly shepherd. A commoner. Unlike the TV evangelist of today, there was technical wizardry to distinguish him from the rest of humanity. Nevertheless, the prophet was a monumental Biblical figure named Samuel who left an undeniable legacy like few men in history.

Edith Nesbit, a British children book author, expressed how little we count for in the world. However, she places one disclaimer — the exception being those who love us. To paraphrase her words, the consideration we receive as adults is no longer the same as the consideration of childhood, free, ungrudging and invariable, but rather conditioned by the services we render and the extent to which we are pleasant or useful.

Unfortunately, this utilitarian mindset shapes how we see ourselves. Approval is measured out not by merit, but external attributes. We try to reach an unattainable celebrity status, by dressing in certain ways, following the self-help gurus of the day, getting plastic surgery or bodybuilding. These strategies, however do nothing to alleviate our sense of love and belonging.

In other times, people had to write out their thoughts in private notebooks with no immediate responses. They relied upon the inner motivation that came from attaining personal development. There was never any concern for how many likes or comments each entry might gain.

For this reason, creativity is and has been a redeeming kind of therapy. We need to express ourselves even when no one is out there to cheer us on. It allows us to look at ordinary life through the extraordinary lens of love, truth and beauty. It starts off with a rough draft. We go back to it until new insights appear while learning to express ourselves in more engaging ways. All this allows us to transcend the daily demands and pettiness through the higher self.

As long as we inhabit this common body, people will overlook our innermost qualities. It is up to us to believe in those extraordinary qualities no matter how often they are overlooked. Those qualities are like invisible friends. Few have the ability to see or appreciate them.

~ vincenzo ©

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I found my first years of blogging frustrating. It took me years before I detected why. So long as my words fell under the banner of “authentic”, I never noticed how much poison they unleashed. ~ vincenzo ©

How do you come to terms with the way it was — the way you wished it had been?

Some losses are beyond recovery, because you seek qualities in another he or she never possessed. You hold on tightly maybe for years, only to discover it brings you instability, desolation and untold stress until you can no longer hold on any more.

Grief appears and reappears when you least expect it. Wherever you go, it is a subject too foreign for the general public. Reading about it online only magnifies the pain as most websites approach it through a generic, scientific lens. It looks nothing like the dark forebodings gripping your heart.

Although writing helps to clarify thoughts, you often collide against your own perceptions, unable to trust your senses. No matter how you arrange the words, they look back at you with trifling glances. The deeper you excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. ~ vincenzo ©

The ruling majority is rationally driven. It ignores emotions as if they didn’t exist. This makes life challenging for artistic temperaments who filter thoughts through their feelings. ~ vincenzo ©

Never settle for a partner who confuses résumés for poetry. ~ vincenzo ©

“…her words were always like ready-made clothes, and never fitted individual thoughts. Anybody might have used them, and with a change of proper names, they might have served to describe any subject.” – Elizabeth Gaskell

The quote above may seem a small annoyance to some, but it portrays one of my greatest sources of distress. The beauty of an imaginative soul is the power to visualize vitality even when reality is insipid and cold. I shun doing anything in a run-of-the-mill way. It is not only what I express, but how I express it that matters. Whenever I give expression to something, I am compelled to give it full flight.

Creativity is a kind of viewfinder you carry with you wherever you go. Your artistic leanings cannot help but shape your outlook. Although muted, art has its own language, principles and codes. Therefore, if someone clothes an idea or belief in conventional/prosaic language, it may collide with your heightened sensitivity. It causes you to resist certain phraseologies and truisms that create cognitive dissonance not only to your readers or viewers, but inside yourself as well. Therefore for the artist, there are not only differences of content to consider, but expressions /styles as well. This diversity requires heavy doses of humility and self-examination.

~ vincenzo ©

We rely upon mirrors to see ourselves. Without them we cannot even see our face. Neither do we see our inner selves without a nurturing mirror.

I stumbled onto some old notes from a post that is no longer available so I don’t even know the author. I also don’t know how these notes got neglected as they mirror my personal struggles so minutely. The subject is about people that battle with a “fixing” addiction, so if you can relate to it please read on.
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Before I share the notes below I want to say I have a history to being overly responsible in my interactions. This hyper-vigilant sense of duty is the product of years of social conditioning. I call it the nice-guy default mode. Others instinctively sense this drive to feel needed and take advantage of it.

Important notes worth considering:

1. Individuals that develop this form of codependency run the risk of becoming caretakers with no one to give them healthy emotional support. They tend to get stuck into a “fixer” role permanently, never being able to enjoy healthy give-and-receive relationships with anyone.

2. Since they are the ones that do all the work in a relationship, once they stop the work, the relationship usually dies.

3. The saddest part is that they so successfully divert their attention, they rarely affect changes upon themselves and thus become emotionally stunted in their personal growth. This decreases their self-esteem as they forever lose themselves.

If anyone can identify the title and author of these thoughts please let me know so I can give him or her credit.

~ vincenzo ©