People are saying that the best way to grow is to love yourself, take care of it and battle with it at the same time while you strive for your potential.
While that is true, I somehow feel that it misses the point.
If you want to know how to love yourself, you should start loving someone, and it starts with having a kid.
Before you shake your heads and spew curses at me or in the air, I would like you to consider the following:
Loving a kid means having to see a part of yourself OUTSIDE of yourself while being mindful that every decision you make has its repercussions.
Come to think of it, how many of us are guilty of still doing the same old dangerous thing even when we know that it is wrong and it will lead us to our peril?
Now notice that with a kid, multiply that issue every day with a living, breathing human being that is also part of you and part someone you love, and you will realize how STUPID you were and how much you needed guidance.
But, people say that you need to be complete first before you love someone?
With this, I quote Scott Adams of Dilbert comics as quoted by James Clear:
“Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.”
Being complete is a goal. However, it also restricts happiness; consider the following by James Clear:
Problem #3: Goals restrict your happiness. – The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy.” The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone.
I’ve slipped into this trap so many times I’ve lost count. For years, happiness was always something for my future self to enjoy. I promised myself that once I gained twenty pounds of muscle or after my business was featured in the New York Times, then I could finally relax. Furthermore, goals create an “either-or” conflict: either you achieve your goal and are successful or fail, and you are disappointed.
You mentally box yourself into a narrow version of happiness. This is misguided. It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the same journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success.
A systems-first mentality provides the antidote. When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to permit yourself to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a system can be successful in many different forms, not just the one you first envision.
A few years back, my wife and I went to a friend’s wedding, and we were waiting in the hotel lobby with some of my batch-mates in college.
The topic of the conversation turned to my wife wanting to have a child and me.
To this, a female batch mate of mine gasped and asked: “Are you sure you want to have a baby?”
We said: “Of course we do,” and then she just laughed.
I would understand her reaction; she had her first child immediately after graduating from college. She also keeps writing her age informs she’s filling up as 21 despite being older than that, which she mentioned that perhaps her unconscious is telling her that her life stopped when she was 21.
She felt that she didn’t reach her full potential, that while her friends were achieving their dreams, she was stuck nursing a baby at home.
To say that there’s trauma (for her) involved in raising a child is an understatement; having two to three babies ultimately compounds the trauma.
However, having a child right now, I understand where she’s coming from.
“The best thing about not having children is that you can go on believing that you’re a good person.” – Fay Weldon.
Raising a child makes you realize many things, and chief of those is that you need other people, but mostly you also need a high level of resolve.
YOU WILL BE FORCED TO HAVE DISCIPLINE, whereas before, it was non-existent.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of marriages buckle and give.
These are some of the most common things you will give up once you have a baby:
You will be forced to give up sleep.
You will be forced to give up social interactions (or be forced to limit them)
You will be forced to give up the activities you enjoy when you don’t have a child.
The list is endless, and often you will find yourself adding more to the list instead of removing some of them.
Another friend of mine said that I would have to put off having an everyday life until the child turns seven. (no problem, I don’t consider myself normal any way, hehe)
A male friend of mine once messaged me on Facebook and said: “It’s hard to have a baby, noh? It’s like torture?”
I just laughed it off, but I can’t help but admit that the feeling is mutual (hahaha) or, to some extent, that it is true.
You see, I always see life as suffering, therefore aside from the occasional existential crises I experience from time to time, I think I can get by with my friend’s observation.
I guess it also comes down to the intention.
My friend that was stuck at 21, didn’t want to have a baby when she had them.
My male friend, well, I am not sure what his plans were when he had his baby, but most of my male friends aren’t married or have no plans whatsoever.
I think I can only count with my right hand the number of male friends I know who willingly choose to get married and have kids.
I heard why they don’t want to get married and have kids spans from the political, economic to the mundane.
It is hard to have kids when you are lacking.
It is hard to have kids when the world only has ten years to exist. (fans of global warming)
it is hard to raise a child in this kind of economy.
I don’t want to destroy my sexy figure.
I still want to enjoy life.
I am not ready.
Life is hard; why would you want your son/daughter to suffer by being born?
The list goes on and on, but what I come to realize is that anyone can come up with any reason as long as they find it personally to be true.
While I respect all of their reasons, I don’t have to agree that all of them are valid.
Human beings are complex like that.
I see their decisions instead as long-term ones.
The harsh reality is that we all grow old, get sick, and then we die.
Regardless of their reasons, some people choose to exit this life with all their genes and former glory.
Perhaps it is too hard to have a baby for them; maybe it’s not worth their time, or maybe it impedes their happiness, I wouldn’t know.
But they are perhaps trying to look at this issue the other way around gives it a more proper perspective.
What if your parents also didn’t choose to have you?
What if they also felt that you were an added baggage for their lives?
What if you also don’t deserve to live and enjoy what you enjoy now because your parents weren’t “ready” to have you?
This is why a baby will force you to grow; whether you like it or not, it will polish you burn you, then polish you again, and like a diamond will make you a better person (if you want to).
And a baby will always be something you’ll love (if you don’t love a baby, then perhaps you have to reconsider your reason for existing because you were once a baby and you were once valued as well)
By writing this, I am not saying that there’s no wisdom in growing as an individual without the hassle of having a baby.
But if you want to take it to a higher level, you need to take higher responsibility.
And learning how to love yourself also starts from learning how to love your kid UNCONDITIONALLY.
I’ve put off writing for some time, even though I included it in my list of things that I needed to do for the week for the sole reason that I can’t seem to find time for myself in the afternoons.
I know it’s not a great excuse, and I never want to have one.
I am not the type to make up excuses, but please hear me out and take note of what I will say.
Life is not the same when you have a baby.
Once you have a baby, you will realize that your time is not yours anymore.
It’s your baby’s time, and it means ALL THE TIME.
Or perhaps that’s what my recent experience calls for.
But before you lose your sanity (and believe me, you will get that close to losing it when you are raising a child), you might need a powerful sense of self-control and will to do the things you want to do.
And just like now, when my body wants to lie down and read a book or watch a Netflix series, I decided to write as I am supposed to do.
And write I will do as I would want to make this exercise a habit.
The problem is, what should I write about?
Well, there’s the first birthday of my favorite son, that’s well and good.
We celebrated it at Max restaurant, Matalino (honestly I wouldn’t recommend the place though, the food is just ok while the venue is crap) I mean they cramped 30 visitors in a small room, it was so small you have to move out of the room to go to the other side of the room.
The service is satisfactory, but not good, and for the price of 24,000, I think it’s not worth it.
I will give the food and the place two out of five stars, definitely not going back there.
Still, it was a great birthday, and my son enjoyed it along with his family.
I blame myself though I should’ve checked the function room thoroughly and yet I forgot about it.
You see, when you’ve lacked sleep for the past year with an ever-changing habit formation comparable to a slot machine, you’ll get my drift.
The Global Magnitsky Act is alive and well, which spells a lot of trouble for people like Duterte and his followers.
It’s a pain in the ass for China and other countries that hates human rights.
I have no qualms about weaponizing human rights; as I see it, the ideology where human rights rests is already a weaponized one since its initial inception.
I mean, everything that requires a clash of ideas is already a source of conflict, albeit I am happy that once and for all, victims of human rights abuses have a way of getting back at their perpetrators.
My main concern, though, is who determines who a human rights violator is?
With this, we need to go back and re-visit the Nuremberg trials after World War Two.
Anyway, I am nursing a nasty case of stiff neck and headache.
Ciao for now.