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We would at least hope that the price of all these painful experiences is that we become wiser.  Sometimes, we just become more broken and not necessarily wiser.  However, I believe that all pain that we experience should at least serve the purpose of causing us to become wiser, because it would teach us to want to avoid repeating the same painful experience at all costs.

This would lead us to examine everything that has happened–all the decisions and all the consequences of those decisions.  And through this self-examination, we will be able to determine which actions or thought patterns have lead us to make bad decisions which have lead us to this painful point.  Because, even if we are not at fault in an active manner, the mere fact that we are in pain means that we have made some error in judgement or some mistake that has lead us to think.

We have trusted the wrong people and allowed people to take our right of self-determination away from us.  And that is an error of judgement as well as a mistake that we ought to not repeat again, lest we have another repeat experience.  If we have made mistakes, we must take care not to repeat the same mistakes resulting from our faulty decision-making and erroneous notions with different people.

We must become vigilant about the patterns of interactions which are not healthy and we must be wary of toxic people and their behaviors.  There are always red flags and we always realize them in hindsight.  And if we don’t learn the lessons from these, then all our efforts will have just gone to waste, because we will find that history will repeat itself.

(c) Niconica 2020

Sometimes, even when we think that we have had closure, it is simply not the case.  We only know this when we come to another milestone and think again that we have closure.  I’m not sure whether we really do come to grips with disappointments and heartbreaks–ever.  At some point, I think we just detach from it, and let time do its thing to separate us from the event.

However, when we recall what has been done to us and what has happened, sometimes, the experiences are too painful to even wrap our minds around, and we would once again, want to seek closure because we cannot accept that the events have occurred as they have because all we have done is just to treat people well from the bottom of our hearts and we have wanted to keep a good relationship.

Things do go awry for some reason, sometimes.  People have a tendency to get emotionally greedy in relationships and they want to take more and more from us to the point that things just get off-kilter and off the relationships tumbles down like a house of cards, at which point they would want to demand forgiveness and even expect things to return to the way they were before, but that is simply impossible.

The best we can try to get from any situation is closure, but closure is something that is elusive–and we keep chasing it.  Perhaps, just perhaps, it would happen when we least expect it.

(c) Niconica 2020

There must come a point in our lives when enough is enough, when we should stop trying to be “good” people and allowing people to trample upon our patience, our kindness, and self-respect.  Even if there is or there is not some greater entity that is watching us and passing judgement on what is good and evil and right and wrong, we must remember to exercise the right to protect ourselves and defend ourselves from less than stellar intentions.

Usually, no one harbors a negative intention just for the sake of harming others.  Usually, people harbor purely selfish and self-serving intentions which just run contrary to what is good for ourselves.  Usually these manipulative people are just watching out for their best interest and this best interest usually runs opposite to what is good for us.  Usually when they want to take something for themselves–it usually means taking it or reducing it from someone else.

When we avoid conflict and confrontation, we will try to make excuses for their lousy behavior because we are fond of them, or maybe we have some respect of them, or perhaps we fear their authority, even.  And the abuse will continue even when we try to politely steer unwelcome advances away and try to decline in an inoffensive manner.  Eventually though, we hope that it does reach some pathetic threshold and we do declare that enough is enough and walk away–for good.

(c) Niconica 2020

No one likes having toxic interactions or relationships.  No one likes unpleasantness and uncomfortable interactions.  However, most of the times, when toxic people are involved–this is the only way it goes when one eventually gets fed up with the gaslighting and the emotional and verbal abuse.  And, if we know that’s good for us–there should be no looking back.

As people-pleasers we try to accommodate as much crap from people as much as possible in order to keep the peace, in order to keep us in their good graces.  However, ironically these sort of people treat people who treat them like crap better.  When you treat them well, it becomes a signal to them that you are easy pray and they can, and they will, take advantage of your kindness, simply because you allow it.

That’s one of the harsh realities of life that we have to deal with.  People will try to get away with anything and everything if you allow them.  It’s just ridiculous that we are taught so much idealism and theory in school, and as we are growing up.  And that the villains in the fairytales are so obviously evil that no one would want to give them any chances anyway–were it to happen in real life.

The truth is that truly toxic people appear to be good and appear to be the opposite of what a villain is, and that is why we fall prey to their charms, their wit, or their announced good intentions.  After all, they are masters in deception and skilled with manipulation.  If we do find ourselves free of them or even when we have the opportunity to escape their grasp, we must run away without turning back.

(c) Niconica 2020

No one is estranged for no reason.  When we are estranged from people, it is always for a reason.  I don’t think that it can ever be walked back to the same way that it was before, and why should it?  It is always a bad idea to go back to something that has gotten to the point of estrangement, because people are always the way they are, and whatever happened would still happen by virtue of the basic nature of the people involved.

This is not to say that forgiveness is not possible nor recommended.  It’s just that forgiveness does not mean that we, once again, resume contact with the person who has caused us harm or hurt to the point that we have become estranged with them.  Forgiveness can occur without resuming contact with the person, because forgiveness is a one-sided thing.  It does not require the consent of the opposing party.

And that is exactly what this is… When someone is estranged from you, they are the opposing party, but not in a direct manner where there is an outright confrontation.  It is still marked by conflict or dispute, but handled in a more passive manner, which is not a bad thing, because maturity will dictate that conflict and/or confrontation or direct discussion with these sorts of people would just get ugly and unproductive.

It’s nice to think that there is some happy outcome for estranged relationships, but most of the time, the healthiest outcome is the one that has been established by having clear boundaries–and wide boundaries.  It’s not always a good idea to tell people to kiss and make up because sometimes, there are really such things as irreconcilable differences between friends or family members–it is not only reserved for a partner or a spouse.

When something does not work and the unpleasantness and the series of interactions have lead to estrangement, we must not force upon these people whatever idealistic image is in our minds of rebuilding rapport or friendship or peace between the two parties, because most of the time, it has gotten to the point estrangement for a reason.  And the reason is big enough, when it gets to that point.

There is usually a reason behind what has happened, and now amount of mental narrative in our heads should suffice for us to meddle and ask people to reverse the estrangement, simply because we are uncomfortable with the situation, or that we dislike the idea of estrangement.  Fact is that no one likes the idea of estrangement or being estranged from people–sometimes, it’s just simply necessary.

(c) Niconica 2020

It has been quite a bumpy past few years.  And it’s harder to think of people in an ideal manner anymore.  It seems that everyone operates with their own ulterior motives and that is the lens that will color every single interaction with others–even supposedly spiritual and holy leaders who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, by virtue of their position or the institution which they lead.

They are just but human, but this is something that every single cult leader who has manage to deceive many a lost soul and lead them astray for their own selfish intentions.  It seems that being in a position of power leads even the best of us astray, what more these normal human beings who are not immune to the natural human inclinations of abusing the weak and the vulnerable.

I wish I had realized this sooner, but I was busy getting lost in the idealism of spirituality and the ideology of goodness being touted in society by spiritual groups and spiritual marketing.  How things are actually and how they are being portrayed to be by the people who actually have the power to make a difference are totally different.

The walk and talk are completely opposite and they often make conflicting statements, because even the most skillful at deception eventually are unmasked.   As long as you are the one forking out your hard-earned money to donate or give to a so-called spiritual leader or organization, you are in essence their client, and they are selling something to do, whether it is something as abstract as assurance and peace of mind or as solid as prayers and officiation of ceremonies.

No one is immune to the temptation of money and the ulterior motives often boil down to money, sex, and power–the basic factors which have brought civilizations to its knees and great leaders down from pedestals.  Every single wrongdoing committed can be summed up into these three basic motivations.  Every single ulterior motive when stripped raw will fall under one of these three basic factors.

I have said before, seek your own counsel, lest your own sense and good judgment be taken from you and your freedom to protect yourself be so gracefully and skillfully stripped you without you even knowing it.  Every single time that you ask for counsel or advise from someone else, you have to be careful that they are not taking your power from you because in taking their counsel, your power to decided for yourself is being stripped from you.

As you become more dependent on their advice and their decisions for you, you heed less of your own.  Eventually, you will be fully pray to their ulterior motives because really, it’s much too expect that people will be doing things out of the goodness of their own heart–most likely, they are just doing things out of their own ulterior motives, disguised as good intentions.  Everything has a price.

(c) Niconica 2020

Many, if not most, people will have suggestions as to what we should do with our lives.  They usually do not make suggestions for themselves because they perceive themselves to be perfect–unlike us, mere mortals.  And theses suggestions will always reflect their level of ignorance and arrogance.  As discussed in previous blogs, their suggestions will always be self-serving whether it would be to benefit them directly or to benefit them by making sure that you do not get to where you want to go.

People are not all born good, everyone is usually just average–average and reactive in the sense that they will always act according to their own biases and for their own best interest.  However, it will always be camouflaged as well-meaning suggestions and they will always claim again that they have the best intentions.  They will also say that their way is the only way or make it seem to be so.  And they would make it seem as if good results are guaranteed.

Of course, the minute that following their suggestion yields negative consequences, they will exercise selective amnesia and disown their suggestions faster that a heartbeat and they will wash their hands off whatever consequences has occurred.  They would even be the first to condemn you for going down that path of action which they have suggested or persuaded you to do in the first place and all your protests will just seem like you are defensive and that you are trying to make excuses for the mess or the failure which has occurred.

The results of the consequences will be borne solely by you, so you have to take responsibility for it, especially when it goes south.  Of course, when it goes well, everyone else, even your enemy who tried to create obstacles for you will try to take credit for it.  However, when things do not go well, no one will be standing on your corner so therefore, make sure that every decision is fully yours.  If they will not stand in your corner for the consequences, they do not have a right to decide the causes.

So, when people make suggestions, we must always be wary and exercise not only due caution, but extraordinary caution since it would be too much to ask that they learn to mind their own business and not meddle in the affair of others.

(c) Niconica 2020

I would like to indulge in a review of the decade that was for me and the successes and failures which have occurred.  It cannot be said too often that time really does fly and that despite every minute feeling like eternity at times, the years do feel like seconds and in the blink of an eye, we are a decade older.

Allow me to begin by saying that I am grateful for being able to see this new decade, because some of our friends and loved ones have not had the good fortune of still being here to enjoy this with us.  It has been an imaginable roller coaster of a ride and one would never imagine all the events which have occurred.

In saying this, it would be safe to say that we don’t know what’s coming up next or where we will be or if we will still be here a decade from now.  All I can say is that–the best laid plans and all have gone to the crappers and all we can do is try to hold on to our hats and survive all the unexpected events which have occurred.

I do not like confrontation and I do not like forcing things that are meant to happen, this is probably because a lot of experiences–bad ones–have taught me that we cannot really force anything or anyone to do anything out of our sheer will.  Just simply because we want something to happen does not mean that will happen and no one owes us anything, nor are we getting any explanations.

What is certain is that all the youthful ideals that I have once had as been systematically destroyed.  Whatever belief in the goodness of humanity has been put to the test simply because one realizes that what and who appear to be evil–are usually evil, as they say they are, but are merely using reverse psychology to get our guards down and get the better of us.  And what is worse is that those who claim goodness are merely putting up a false front to disarm us and take advantage of our kindness.

The truly good–if ever it does exist–are silent and discreet, so much so that they generally do not go around inflicting harm and taking advantage of people that we rarely would come across them.  There are some good deeds and actions, I concur, but it does not mean that the person is a good person automatically.  It doesn’t make them evil as well though–but more often than not, all good deeds are wont to be self-serving, whether it is intended to or not.

Even for the simple matter of making the do-gooder feel good about themselves, it can also be considered self-serving.  And the logic of doing good so that good things would happen to us, that is also self-serving, but of course, it sort of helps promulgate a more civilized society pegged on the matter-of-fact acknowledgement that everyone is inherently selfish and has their own needs and wants and would prioritize that above all else.

What differs is just the skill of masking their self-serving intentions in a more palatable format–such as what many dictators have used in the past–for the greater good. This is the tried and tested mantle of ‘good intentions’ which has been used for decades if not for centuries.  And since it is something that has worked for many in the past… If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Another lesson is that all is well when things are going well, but when someone needs to be thrown under the bus, our so-called friends, family, or loved ones will not hesitate to make sure that the weakest will be thrown under the bus and not themselves.  So, try not to take all the professions of love and kinship during good times, when it is convenient to profess loyalty and kindness, so seriously because when push comes to shove… It is every man for themselves.

What has become apparent also is that people lie and the stories they will relay to others will misrepresent facts, and it will be biased towards making themselves look like the hero or the victim, so if they are chattier and noisier… You will become the villain and the perpetrator and it will be a fool’s errand to even bother rectifying it because it will be a no-win situation.  If you are able to justify yourself to people who have believed that you were wrong in the first place, is it even worth it?

Another apparent fact is that there is no one immune to material needs, and the universal religion in the world is money.  It doesn’t matter what the gender, religion, locality, or race one is… Everyone worships money and that is what they will respect about you and if you do not have much of it, don’t even bother expecting any respect from anyone.  People will treat you according to how rich they think you are, and if you are not… Then it will not matter how good you are and how kind you have been to them, because it will most likely not matter.

There are exceptions to this rule, but one has to really reach to be able to find someone of them and they are few and far between.  It has been a decade where one’s false notions about the world has been destroyed.  So, I’m not sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing to be stripped of one’s idealism.  On one hand, it allows us to deal with the world in a more realistic manner, but on the other hand, it just makes the world that much harsher to navigate.

It does not matter whether one is friend or kin, things can change in the blink of an eye. What has been certain and beneficial is that in being able to see all these toxic people and interactions is learning to simply one’s life and throw out the unnecessary and toxic interactions for one’s own peace of mind and well-being.

(c) Niconica 2020

There has been so many memes on the internet about seeing 20/20 in 2020 and I’d like to discuss that further.  As much as it’s romantic to think that we’re onto the next decade, it just feels like more pressure on one hand, because we have no guarantees that the next decade will be better and defining it so early just feels like too high a bar to reach.

On the other hand, if we ignore all the pomp and pageantry, it’s just been another day as we have stepped into the first day of 2020.  The dishes still needs to be washed, the laundry still needs to be cleaned, and lo and behold, the bills still have to be paid and it doesn’t feel as momentous as it sounds or is supposed to feel.

From what I see, 2020 is just a continuation of what we had yesterday, or the day before.  Every single past action still has consequences and there are a lot of unfinished business which still have to be sorted out.  If we are to be completely honest and see 20/20, we must take stock of all the issues which still need to be sorted out this coming year and yes, we can hope and pray that it would be resolved sooner rather than later–we know how things can drag out.

Stepping into a new decade and all the hullabaloo about a fresh start and a new beginning might apply to children or teenagers… and perhaps young adults in their tweenteens–err–twenties, rather.  At that point here are not as many attachments or mistakes or consequences to bear, and therefore the possibility of being able to start anew is more likely that the rest of us who are a few decades further down the line.

We must know better not to buy into the new beginnings rubbish so much so that we feel that we can use that tagline to escape the consequences of our actions and be able to escape whatever mess we have created for ourselves and others with impunity.  All we are able to say is that, we will try better and get through each day better.

After all, we should know by now that seeing clearly, seeing 20/20 means that we acknowledge all the facts as they are and not try to escape from reality.  If there is something that all the hype about seeing 20/20, now in 2020, got right it is that we must not turn a blind eye to everything that needs to be sorted out, faced, or discarded.

It is only by seeing clearly that we are able to remove all the unnecessary and disposable in our lives, in order to, at the very least, simplify our lives, especially if we are not young enough or old enough to really start anew.

(c) Niconica 2020

Not all things are created equal and this is a harsh reality.  There are people whom we are not bound to get along with and neither should we attempt to bend the laws of reality to be able to do so.  Just like there are chemicals which are combustible and volatile when combined with each other, it is the same way with human interactions.  And my question is, how many times do you have to get burned before you wake up and smell the burnt toast?

Get rid of those rose-colored glasses before its costs you your sanity–and perhaps even your life.  It doesn’t matter whether the person is related to us by blood, by marriage, by race, by religion, or by any creed.  It doesn’t matter who that person it, when you have that intensely uncomfortable feeling about them or when all interactions degenerate to unpleasant and negative interactions, you must save yourself by ensuring that the toxic relationship does not proceed further.

There may be opinions of both sides–all people who are not directly involved in the interaction–about who was right or wrong.  And it doesn’t matter.  As long as the interaction is negative towards you and makes you feel bad about yourself and is increasingly unpleasant, we must learn to stop drinking that poison pill of a relationship.  It doesn’t matter who this person is.

People are not required to have good intentions towards your nor are they required to treat us well.  Everyone will always act in their own best interests, but they just vary in their skills of how they market it and manipulate others to see their way and do their bidding.  We must be aware that everyone will always act in what is best for themselves–through whatever internal compass they may have.

It is then upon us to be discerning about each and every interaction in our lives, so that we can have more pleasant lives and not end up with an emotional or psychological disorder caused by toxic people who will not give even half a fig about our well-being.  It’s time to call a spade a spade–there are people we do not mesh well with–and we don’t have to force it.

(c) Niconica 2020