Sticks and Stones

"You care about what people think about you. I know you care," my friend told me. Not said. But told.

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I was making fun of her friend who hates my guts. She seems to have a level of Asperger's syndrome. If you're a fan of The Big Bang Theory, the character Sheldon Cooper suffers from it. He's socially awkward and has a hard time reading people.

I said, "Your friend definitely cares about what people think of her."

"No. She just hates you."

"She told you not to invite me to a networking event. That means she cares."

My friend thought for a moment. "She doesn't want to be associated with you among business people."

Smiling, I nod. "She cares."

Then my friend went on a calm tirade, telling me that I care about what people think about me. She assured me over and over that I did.

No. In general, I don't.

I have an acquaintance at the gym. One day, she was telling me about a guy who was hitting on her. And she shucked him off because she was not interested.

"Don't you feel good when a guy hits on you?" I asked.

She shrugged. "I know I look good." She does. "But I feel safe with you."

"I’m not menacing to you?"

"Well, if you're gay, then I'm safe. You won't hurt me."

I was like…

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"Yea. If you're gay, that's OK. I'm safe."

I wasn't sure why she jumped from feeling good about herself to assuming I was gay. I wanted to get back to my workout and didn't want to put forth the effort to tell her that I wasn't.

Many people initially think I'm a woman because I have long hair. I don't correct them. Their mistaken assumption won't make my penis fall off. At least, that hasn't happened.

And that's the crux of it all. What people think about you changes nothing about you. Taking offense only gives it power.

If I took offense to my gym friend, and berated her, then there's some part of me that feels insecure about my own sexuality. Or that somehow my image doesn't fulfill what I think a manly man should look like. And that's ridiculous because trying to prove to someone else that I'm not gay or that I'm manly doesn't make me any more or less of those things.

What's important is what we think of ourselves.

Let's slow down here. There are moments where I think I'm a loser for whatever reason. Maybe I'm comparing myself to someone, and I feel like crap because I'm not as successful as that person. In that moment that I feel like a loser, I'm not really a loser. It's just a feeling caused by that thought. That's it.

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However, if I continue down that road of thinking I'm a loser, then what may happen is that my actions may change. Maybe I’ll stop going to the gym. Or that I’ll get fired from my job because I don't try as hard. And my perception of reality may change. For example, I'll become angry at people because I think they're treating me like a loser. I may treat others badly as a result. All of this can lead me down the road of being and acting like a loser, which can make me angrier…it's a loop.

The moment I let go of the thought that I'm a loser, my mind will clear itself up, and my emotional state will return to peace.

Letting go is always the difficult part. I used to think that letting go meant stuffing my emotions down. That doesn't work. Imagine a heavy thought that you're carrying around in the physical form of a twenty pound weight. Now, try stuffing that weight down your pants. You might not see that weight, but it’s still weighing you down. Trust me. It ain't easy walking around with twenty pounds in your pants. I'm Asian. I know.

Letting go of a thought is like letting go of that twenty pound weight in that it doesn't weigh you down anymore. You're literally free of it. That doesn't mean you won't pick up it up again. So be aware.

You'll know when you've released yourself of that heavy thought because you don't feel it's affects on you anymore. If you merely stuffed that thought down, then you'll feel it somewhere in the back of your mind.

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We're all masters at letting go of thought because we do this every day. There have been studies that suggest that we have 60,000 thoughts a day. Holding onto each one would crush us, causing a mental breakdown. Most people don't have mental breakdowns because as each thought comes, it goes.

What tends to happen is that we focus on the thoughts that "matter" to us. If I was insecure about my sexuality, and my gym friend comes and suggests that I'm gay, then my mind will go into a whirlpool of thoughts about what she said. But I know what I like, so I have no need to confirm or deny my heterosexuality. I just want to get back to my workout.

Back to my friend who assured me that I care about what people think about me.

Generally, I don't. There are times when I do. If I'm on a date with a lady that I really like, then my ego likes to step in front of me and analyze everything that she does and says. That means I'm not listening to and engaging with my date, which likely is putting her off.

My friend is probably projecting her need for peoples' approval onto me. I know her well enough that she does put a lot of value into other people's opinion of her, so it's difficult for her to imagine how I do not.

Everybody projects at some level. If I'm watching a video of someone hiking the trail to Angels Landing, I freak out. I see a picture of a person sitting on the edge of a cliff, I freak out. Me freaking out is irrational because the threat of falling isn't present to me. I'm just watching a video or looking at a picture. But I'm projecting my deep fear of heights.

Hopefully, it's obvious at this point that reality is projected by our minds. That one person can be in misery, while the next person is experiencing orgasmic joy. And that thought is the main ingredient of our experience. This gives us a lot of power. That peace and happiness are not determined by others or by our circumstances. How peaceful we are in our minds determines that.

Men's Intuition

Men’s Intuition. Is that an oxymoron like government intelligence? Trumpcare?

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Once upon a time, I had been a life coach to kids. There were two basic tenets that I followed. One: Listen to them. Whatever they told me, no matter how ridiculous, I would hear them out. The reason was simple. I don't have the ability to read minds. To help them deal with whatever they had been going through, I depended on them to tell me. And because I didn't judge them for what they had told me, they felt free to tell me anything without fear of repercussions.

Two: I used my intuition to try and read in between the lines. Be it through their word choice, body language, and what their parents had communicated to me.

Women have always been the ones credited with having intuition. Studies have shown that to be true. But I think the reasons as to why women can read people better than men is because they were allowed to feel and express their emotions, where men were taught/scolded to hide them.

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Hence, our communication problems between the sexes.

In saying that, all humans have the ability to read each other. Some are better than others, but still.

I went to a party and met this beautiful woman. I was my charming self, of course, which usually meant that people run for the hills because I'm pretty direct. Self-censoring has been an issue. Not for me. For other people. Because I don't censor much. She and I traded numbers. We went out to dinner. Once. Afterward I knew I didn't want to date her. Friends asked me how my interest had fallen so quickly. I didn't know why. Initially, I thought it was because I was afraid to start something up, having just broken off a relationship. I did try to come up with reasons, but they all sounded false to me. She and I hung out. Became friends. And it was through our time together that I figured out why I hadn't pursued anything further than just a friendship.

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Listing out those reasons aren't important here. What's important was that my intuition, this silent voice within me, had pretty much killed my hard on for this woman. I could have taken the blue pill to liven my serpent, but that was not the issue. There had been no issue. And my fear that I didn't want to start anything up so soon after a breakup sounded reasonable, but that wasn't the truth either.

Often times when I'm at the gym, I want to talk to a girl. Sometimes I hesitate, which pisses me off. Women want men to approach them. So when I don't, I feel like a wimp. So I thank my intuition when I see their boyfriend come up and give them a hug or a kiss. Now, I'm not saying that every time I hesitate, the girl has a boyfriend or would be bad for me. But we as humans, especially in a world where intuition isn't relied upon as much, need to trust and cultivate it.

We probably act against this innate wisdom more often than not. The question is how do we know the difference between that truth versus our irrational fear that stops us from living life?

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First, we need to stop beating ourselves up when we don't do what we wanna do, or forget something, or fail. Beating yourself down is one sure way of numbing your intuition. When a parent yells at their child enough times, the child will stop talking/communicating to them. So when we beat ourselves, we'll either stop listening to our intuition, or you'll quiet its silent voice. Sometimes, if not all the time, our hesitations, forgetfulness and failures happen for a reason. Learn from them. See if you can get past them. Failure is the greatest teacher. It tells us that the thing we tried doesn't work. Now we know.

Second, when (irrational) fear doesn't involve death, maybe we let go of the break and stomp on the gas pedal and don't run over anyone. If you're dating someone, and it doesn't work out, then take the time to learn from the experience. If you want to start your own business, and it doesn't work out, try and figure out why. What you'll find is the experience that you've accumulated while trying something out will help guide you in your next adventure, be it love or business. And that's the great thing about life. The experiences. People get on rollercoasters because of the ups and downs and the twists and turns. Not to reach the end of the ride. People watch scary movies because they want to be frightened. Not to reach the rolling credits. What makes life memorable is the craziness. But if we let our irrational fear stop us from doing anything worth while, then is life worth living?

IT

I saw the remake of IT. And something interesting happened afterward. I wasn't traumatized. Let me explain. I'm not a fan of horror. But I've watched a lot of it. Curiosity killed the cat. Nightmare on Elm Street freaked me out because Freddy attacked during our most vulnerable moment, in our sleep. Poltergeist, the original, scared the crap out of me because of the imagery and because the logic seemed right on. Build over a burial ground, piss off the the buried. Duh! One of my favorite movies, Alien, messed me up. I saw this when I was in grade school. Every lump I felt in my chest, every stomach ache I had meant that I was impregnated. Luckily for me I never gave birth to a chestburster. That would not feel good.

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Then the horror movie that fucked me up the most was Seven. After watching the film, I dreaded the coming night for three weeks. The dark made me relive my fear I felt in the theater. The funny thing was that the imagery of the murders weren't godawful disturbing, especially compared to what we see today. What was disturbing were the images created in my mind. All of the murders except for the last one happened off screen. All we saw were the results, the dead bodies and the mechanisms of death involved. Our minds couldn't help but fill in what had taken place, what had transpired into the resulting crime scene. I still shiver thinking about it.

During those weeks of fear I couldn't close my eyes when I washed my face in the shower. If Kevin Spacey was gonna get me, he'd have to get me with me looking. Ok. That's weird.

However, after watching IT, I was able to take a shower and wash my face with my eyes closed. Yay, me. I realized that I wasn't horrified. Or traumatized. I slept like a baby. Probably because my maturity level isn't too far above a child's.

Being a storyteller, I naturally wondered what was wrong with me. Why was I not scared?

I feel the film tried too hard when it came to the scary images. The clown was weird, the scariest thing in the movie. What worked was the contrast of IT's smile to IT's eyes that were highly focused, as if hunting IT's prey, as IT's lips dripped with drool. But when the other characters saw IT, their version of their fear manifested in different ways. And here is where the filmmaker seemed to have tried too hard to make what we saw scary.

One of the kids avoided looking at a painting of a misshapen women in his father's office. And when that woman came to life, as expected, the real life version looked like the painting. Maybe more menacing, but not scarier. In a way the monster was revealed before revealing the monster. What was scary was the anticipation of when these horrific things would appear. But once on screen, any fear that I had vanished. However, the audience I attended the movie consisted of mainly teenagers, and they gasped and screamed with pleasure. Maybe I am growing up.

A friend of mine had read a novel. I don't know the name, and I wish I did. But there was a scene where the serial killer had offed the whole family. Only the daughter was still hiding under her(?) bed. The serial killer slowly entered the room. He circled the bed and stopped at the foot of it. His shoes stood inches from her face. Blood from his knife dripped, tapping the carpet. We're left wondering if the killer knew she was under the bed. She must have been going mad. Who's blood was that? Her mom's? We knew the girl had no option except to force herself to keep calm and quiet and hope that he leaves. The blood stain grew with each drip. She heard the rustling of his clothes. He was kneeling. And he gazed under the bed and dragged her out by her hair. Her fate was sealed.

The horror in that scene starts from the beginning and goes well beyond the end. We don't need to see the girl getting sliced up. Our minds does the heavy lifting. The author has to show the dead body, of course, so there's no ambiguity. But that's an intense scene because we're imagining ourselves going through that. For me I'd shit my pants. So wearing clean underwear wouldn't be beneficial.

The point is to create the horror within the mind through storytelling, not rely solely on the images. Doing so removes the work our minds are keen on doing anyway.

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There's a saying: We fear the unknown.

That's why the dark can be menacing. Things can be hidden beyond our sight. Things that can follow us. Haunt us. Devour us.

That was one of the most intriguing things about Alien. When the astronauts entered the ship, they found an alien pilot that seemed to be fused to the pilot's chair. An odd sight. A small hole on the alien's abdomen looked like something exploded from the inside, a frightening clue. But to what? Then one of the astronauts, Kane, goes down a level and was surrounded by a field of massive egg-shaped things. Shining a light on one awakened it. The lips opened to reveal what looked like chicken breast. Again, the audience did not know what it was nor were there any trailers to spoil that fateful moment. Kane leaned over the opening, and a spider-like creature leaped out...the facehugger.

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But when we see Kane again, we're left wondering why his helmet was filled with a substance that resembled poached egg? Even when the crew cut the helmet off, all they revealed was the facehugger in full view. The only reasonable question was what the fuck was that thing doing? Every step of the way, a question was answered only to reveal another and more sinister question.

But with Alien Covenant, the unknown was known. What we wanted to explore was why the engineers created the xenomorphs, and why they wanted to kill the humans on Earth. Those were the questions asked at the end of the film Promethius, the precursor to Covenant. There was mystery there. Everyone in the blogosphere was talking about it. But with one fell swoop, Ridley Scott avoided delving into that mystery with a one-minute flashback. Then he ruins the xenomorph further by revealing who created them, which throws logic out of the window by ignoring the mythology already created by the prior Alien films.

Okay. I sorta went off track.

Point is, we fear the unknown. By going overboard on the CGI, the filmmaker missed the mark, not by a horrific amount. And when a horror flick resorts to sudden blasts of sound and music to shock the audience, then I'm pretty much taken out of the story. Again, we fear the unknown.

Choice and Fear

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Here's a simple math problem. If I were to flip a coin, what are the chances of heads turning up?

A. 50%

B. 50%

I didn't say it was a hard math problem. Let's say the coin lands and gives us heads. Now if I flip the coin a second time, what are the chances of me getting heads again?

A. 25%

B. 50%

C. 75%

Ooh. Three choices! The answer is B. Let's say the coin turned up heads again. Flipping the coin once more, what are the chances we get heads again?

Believe it or not, the chances are still 50%. Each coin flip is completely unrelated to each other. They're separate events in time. I hope it's easy to see this truth.

Living as humans, we're constantly haunted by our past. Maybe it's evolution's way to help protect us from making the same possible fatal mistake. But when this fear of the past seeps into other parts of our lives that may not have the benefit of killing us, then issues may arise.

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I have a friend who has had a devastating past with men. In general, men have not treated her kindly. In many cases violently. Her current beau is a strange bird, a conspiracist, or a believer of such non-scientifically proven things as the earth is flat and the moon landing was faked and...well...to go on would be a waste of space.

Short story long, they've broken up numerous times, citing mental abuse, specifically him wanting her to believe in the crazy. After breaking up for the last time, she's told me she would never go back to him again, using the words, "Read my lips...no new taxes." OK. That was George. But we all know how that turned out. So, too, did my friend go back on her own word. But it's her life, and she can do whatever she wants with it.

I bring her up for a specific reason. When they had ended it for the nth time, she feared that she would not find anyone better than her ex, citing her past. So I gave her the coin flip math problem, which she answered correctly, and I said that her past does not determine who she dates in the future. She wasn't sure, but she put up a strong front on Facebook, posting happy pictures.

Several months later, I hear through the grapevine that she went back to her ex, well her non-ex now. I guess my coin flip analogy failed to imbue her with the courage to seek a new man. Hey. Who knows? They may work it out.

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So how do you know when to "get back on the horse" or when to move on?

Because if my friend works her relationship out, and they both live a life filled with happiness, then it doesn't matter if they broke up and got back together many many times. In contrast, if they fail as a couple, then she may have wasted a lot of time.

Sometimes you act in the face of fear because in reality it's all in our heads.

I remember listening to an interview with Kathryn Stockett, who wrote The Help. She was rejected 60 times before finding her literary agent. So if she had decided to give up at the 60th rejection, she may have not found the success she has today. Emotionally, she has gone through a rollercoaster of a ride trying to get her book published. All writers do. She must have had intense doubt as the rejection letters piled higher and higher. But something in her spoke to her, to continue submitting query letters, despite the fear of rejection. But she did it! If we look at the coin flip analogy, each letter had no effect on the other. She could have possibly received endless rejections because one rejection does not promise that the next won't be. And she could have received an offer letter if she had queried her current agent first.

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An example of real fear is when a grizzly bear is chasing you. As you're running away, you remember a frightening fact. They can run way faster than humans and over greater distances. You look back, and the bear is gaining on you. Fast. Good luck.

Let's get back to my friend and her beau. She decided to start the relationship yet again out of fear, which was that she wouldn't be able to find someone as good as him. We can't say that there is a better match for her because there are no guarantees in life. Save death. But we do know there are plenty of other men out there that she hasn't explored. So her fear that he's the best for her is unfounded.

It would be one thing if their relationship worked, then there'd be no need to look further. From what little I see of them, she's trying to change him, he's trying to change her, and that to leads conflict. In other words, they haven't accepted each other for who they are. Nor have they accepted themselves. Once those things are done, then getting along with each other becomes much easier.

Go Back To China

The New York Times ran an article on the front page in response to racial slurs against one of their journalists, Michael Luo, the author of said response.

A video with #thisis2016 tag soon followed, showing other Asian Americans sharing their own experiences with racism:

I saw the video on Facebook and asked my friend who posted it if he'd experienced this kind of racism. Like me, he said he hadn't, but an acquaintance of ours had. I actually laughed at some of the racist comments, but that's not because I hate my own kind (humans?), I don't. It's because I have a weird and salacious sense of humor, which has cost me some friends. But were they ever my friends in the first place?

There was a part of me that hoped these experiences were due to the regions these offended Asians lived in. However, New York is probably the most diverse city in the world.

I think part of racism is how we view the world. Hear me out. I had gone on a hike in the Bay Area with a friend. He was looking at a map to figure out the trails. Afterward, he started to back up and continue on the hike. A biker sped down the hill and yelled, "Open your eyes!"

My friend thought the biker was being racist, not realizing he may have walked into the biker's way. I don't recall the biker yelling the words slanty eyes, but I don't go around looking for people to hate on me for being Asian. There are plenty of other reasons to hate me. Just ask those would-be-friends of mine.

From my friend's perspective, he'd been wronged by a lot of people who don't like Asians. He even goes so far as to not ask non-Asian women out because he doesn't want to get rejected due to his ethnicity. There are plenty of other reasons for women to reject you, buddy. Yeah, we don't talk anymore. He's one of the would-be-friends. Sometimes our own prejudices color how we interpret people's treatment of us. 

Though, the article stated that a woman had yelled, "Go back to China!" That would be hard to mistake for anything else but racism. In light of all the hate in the world, this is nothing. Let me explain:

I have a friend who is an Asian woman, and she voted for Trump, loved his rhetoric from his campaign, and fully supports it. There's a lot of fear in her. Anger. Hate. And, as a result, she suffers. I've explained that she causes a lot of her own turmoil, that she succumbs to her own thoughts of fear, anger and hatred. If she were to let go, meaning didn't focus on those thoughts, didn't hold on to them, or delved into them, then she would come out of her epic fucking fog.

But she doesn't, said she can't, so she remains in her own suffering. And the only way to express that suffering is to spout out things that reflect it: fear, anger, hate.

She spat at me, "You're a bleeding-heart liberal," because I voted for Hillary Clinton. Obviously, my friend was just repeating what she's heard because the last thing I am is soft-hearted. She knows this because I don't let her get away with saying stupid shit to me.

When someone hates on you, the issue doesn't lie with those hated upon. It lies within the haters. Because if a person is filled with love, then spouting fear and hatred would be the last thing they'd do with their free time. Unless you have sadistic humor like me.

If people realized the basic truth, that all of this fear is created within their own minds, that it's not real, then so much of the suffering in this world would disappear.

We're not all perfect like you, Jimmy, my ex-girl friend would say. "I know," I often responded.

If being human is perfect, then we all are. Meaning we have moments of happiness. Moments of despair. We can create the most beautiful things the world has ever seen. And can commit the most horrid of acts. Welcome to the human race.

Don't Worry, Be Happy

I was talking to a friend of mine, and we were exploring the idea of what happiness is. And what I found out was that he was linking his happiness to his job. I suspect it was more than just work, that there were other things in his life that he was unsatisfied with, but he didn't reveal it as such.

"What's the point of doing what you love if happiness is not eternal?" he asked. Because he doesn't believe in an afterlife, what's the point of being good and happy if there's no judgement?

That wasn't an interesting question because what he really wanted to know was how does he know he's happy. Then he was confusing happiness and contentment. So this is what I told him:

My opinion in which everyone is obligated to is that real happiness is the same thing as being content. That happiness is like having a healthy body (not talking about the media's idea of fitness). So when you cut yourself your body will naturally heal because that's what our bodies are built to do.

Now you can interrupt that healing process by hurting yourself again. You can make your body unhealthy by drug abuse. You can cover yourself in disease and your body may become diseased. What all those things have in common is an EFFORT on your part to put your body on the road to unhealthiness. But once you stop doing these kinds of things, the body will make a U-turn and head toward health. All on its own.

Like the body, the mind will heal itself. You suffer a loss in life, you'll go through a mourning process, but the mind will naturally bring itself back to a state of health/contentment/happiness. Call it what you will, it's the same thing.

And like the body, you can hold onto things like over thinking, hatred, fear, and cover contentment so you cannot feel it. It's harder to see this concept with the mind because over thinking, hatred, fear isn't as obvious like drug abuse. And sometimes those things feel normal. And sometimes it is. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it's sunny.

When we play a sport our bodies might get injured. That's normal. Afterward the body immediately heals itself: the crusting of blood, the swelling and bruising, the pain to prevent further injury.

So too with the mind. We may hate for a moment. But we will naturally let it go.

Kids are great examples. They may get frustrated and hate their closest friend when something goes wrong. But faced with the choice to continue to be mad or to have a good time, they'll choose the latter. That next moment they're back playing and laughing and joking around as if nothing happened.

Adults have acquired the great skill of holding onto thoughts. Especially those that come from hate, fear, limitation, sadness.

Allowing ourselves to let go brings us back to our childlike selves of moving on. And playing in life.

And yes. The true meaning of life is to play, be happy, to be (whatever that may be). And like all things in the universe nothing is forever, save our souls. (Which is what save our souls may have meant. Not save our souls from the Hellish fires of the Satanic kingdom of the unending dark underworld of pain and suffering and the evils against the great All Mighty).

And then my friend realized something interesting. "I realized something interesting. You have decoupled happiness from things like passion, work, and stuff."

And stuff. Yes. He's an eloquent man.

"Definitely. For years I was writing and not feeling content. And that's because that's not what writing is for."

We build bridges to get somewhere faster, easier. Not to say, Hey check out that bridge. Am I cool or what?

I write to tell a good story. Not to say, Hey I'm a writer. I'm awesome. Ok. I do say that sometimes.

The point is, we can be in the middle of a shithouse and be perfectly fine. And that is one of the hardest lessons to internalize. But once you do, then you'll be prepared to deal with life's realities.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

I hate small talk. It's basically two people filling up the quiet, and sometimes I feel when I'm asked small talk questions, the other person doesn't really wanna know who I am. Which is fine, just go away. So I tend to ask revealing and hard questions like 'Wassup?' and 'How you doin?''.

Fig. 1: Does it look like I appreciate sarcasm?

Fig. 1: Does it look like I appreciate sarcasm?

I was talking to a friend and threw out a question. "You seein' anyone?"

She smiled and ducked her head into her shoulders, then nodded.

"How long have you two been together?"

She shrugged and said, "I'm not sure we're 'together'."

"So…why don't you ask?"

She looked away and then shrugged. "I don't want to scare him away."

"And what if you do? If he runs away because you asked whether you're his girlfriend or not, then he's not the guy for you."

She hemmed and hawed and shuffled her feet around and adjusted her breasts (see Fig. 1), then promised herself to ask him.

It's been over six months, and she has yet to confirm their relationship, which is coming up to a year now. But her fear of confronting him about this stems from a deep level of insecurity. A part of it comes from whether she thinks she's worthy of a man, her attractiveness to men, and thinking that this is her last chance, given her age.

In other words, all this fear/insecurity was created in her mind, from her thinking. And it's sad because I've seen men approach her, but she doesn't open up because she's in this limbo with this guy that nobody in our circle of friends have ever met. We don't even know his name. We've never even seen a picture!

Now, if she didn't care about their label/status and just enjoys doing the horizontal mamba, then I wouldn't bug her about it. But she told me that it bothers her a lot, and many times she's tried to gather the courage to ask him about their…uh…you know…um…thang…not thang as in junk…but their thingybob. But she couldn't bring herself to do it.

I understand that fear. It's fake. But I get it.

I get into my head too much as well. It happens to all of us. And trying to change your thinking, like looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself you're worth this much, doesn't always help.

A better way of approaching life is to realize that happiness doesn't come from a person, from a relationship, from buying a new car, from having the most lavish home in the world. We as humans are just that. We are content. We are at peace. We are healthy.

If we look at the human body, we are born into a thing that is already healthy, that is self-healing. Sure, there are cases where someone is born blind, without a body part, allergic to certain things. Even then, our bodies naturally grow, eats when it needs sustenance, shits when it needs to get rid of crap, heals when it gets injured, all without our intervention.

So it is with our mental health. If your mind is curious about something, then it'll find out. Like my friend. She wants to know if she's in a relationship. She wants a family, so time is of the essence. But her fear/insecurity gets in the way.

What she doesn't need to do is cover it up with daily affirmations.

If I get a cut, I don't need to look myself in the mirror and say, "Good Lawd. Let mah bawdy heal. Please Lawd Geezus Kryst." Then smack my forehead with my own palm and yell, "I am healed!"

You'd think I was crazy if you saw me do that.

But this is what a lot of people do. They look at themselves in the mirror and affirm that they are confident, worthy, and good enough, blah, blah blah...

The only thing you need to do is get out of your own way. How the hell do I do that, you may ask? Try not holding onto thoughts so much. Everyone gets insecure. That's just part of being human. What gets us in trouble is when we believe in those thoughts, then we try to counter that thought with another thought, which only invites more thoughts, then we try to counter those thoughts with even more thoughts, and suddenly we're in a whirlpool of a million thoughts.

Instead, think of a thought as a bubble in a stream. As it merrily comes, you watch it pass you and see it go. Another bubble will come, and you do the same. It's nothing. It's temporary. It doesn't belong to you, nor does it own you. It's just a bubble. Maybe even a dream.

And much like my friend's fear that this guy is her last chance is fake. It's a fear of a situation that doesn't exist. At least, not yet, if it ever will. If she were to drop this guy, who's to say another better man won't come along?