Unconditional Love and Self-esteem – A Psychological Study of Child Abuse Victims’ Emotional Journey

unconditional. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all need love. This is because that love make us feel connected to others, and this connection eases, or even eliminates our biggest fear: loneliness. Thus love becomes the greatest – sometime the only – reason for us to live.

But, unfortunately, love from others are not entirely secure. It comes and goes without warning and it’s not within our controls. This is because love from others usually is “conditional”, which means it happens only if we possess certain conditions, such as physical beauty, wealth, social status, etc. So without these conditions, we are in danger of losing love. But, if one possesses a type of love that is “unconditional”, he/she would feel the most secure in his/her life, because this love is provided regardless how he/she is, and stays with him/her as long as he/she lives. 

So where does unconditional love come from? I found that they mostly come from two sources: 1, parents; 2, one’s own.

Continue reading “Unconditional Love and Self-esteem – A Psychological Study of Child Abuse Victims’ Emotional Journey”

Childhood and self-esteem

Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey portret
Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey portret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(A re-post, slightly edited)

Agatha Christie said: “One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”

If we take “love” – love in any form: romantic, family and friendship – as a proof of our life existence, love is certainly the most important aspect of life, because only if we appreciate our existence in the first place, are we able to fulfilled it. The more love we receive, the more meaningful and joyful we feel our life is. That’s’ why we all desperately search for love.

Continue reading “Childhood and self-esteem”

Put Art Behind – My New Art Website

Despite that I always know that art is not the best for me as a life time endeavor, and feel that art profession for me is overall like a very unhappy marriage which hindered many other interest of mine, I am still proud of what I’ve done in this field, professional or none professional wise.

Having not being able to focus on reading or writing for a while (due to my physical condition), I decided to re-organize my art works and put some of them into multiple art sale places to try my luck. I don’t hold much hope on this task as I know art sale never is easy, especially, for a “retired” artist like me, who would not likely create many more works. I do this mostly just to put a big period mark to my past. I may paint or draw again sometime, but I am more than happy to move along, spend my rest of my life for something I wanted to do so badly but couldn’t because of “art”.

Goodbye art! No matter how many unhappy – sometime even miserable – moments we had together, I am willing to keep only happy ones in my memory, like how I remember Savannah.

My updated art blog (not completely done yet):

Mei’s Art Works

Holiday Kindness And My Gratitude

English: Hot Pot. Magyar: Hot pot és az alapan...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been complaining about how much misunderstanding a chronic illness sufferer would receive in her/his daily life, which is true, but, still, there are plenty of understanding out there, to which I am not blind. The incidence of last night was one of them.

Yesterday (Christmas Eve) I was invited by a parent of my student to a Christmas dinner party. It was a joined family parties by at least 3 families, which I know them all. I thought I was in good condition so I happily agreed to come. So late afternoon, I went to bought some presents, and arrived their house a little after 5pm.

Continue reading “Holiday Kindness And My Gratitude”

My Absolute Obedience To My Body’s Needs

I consider myself very spiritual. I used to almost completely ignore my physical needs, fatigue, pain, illness, etc., but, after paying a sky-high price for my ignorance, I become almost completely obedient to my physical part of myself, when to eat, sleep, rest, I act like a soldier following orders of general. Of course, this change took many years!

I wonder how many people really know how much we owe to our great physical conditions for our “noble” spirits. Most people take it for granted that we have some superior mental dignity which can exist independently from our physical existence, not aware of, or admit, that without our physical support, our spiritual beings could simply fall apart.

Of course, we saw many cases that one could be physically broken but still hold spirit high, but, based on my personally observation/experience, hardly anyone can sustain long term physical torture, either imposed on them by others human beings, or by illnesses. As matter of fact, I even think, arguably, that our high spirit after all, is nothing more than an “appearance” of something completely physical.

For quite a while, my physical condition has been soaring up, and the spiritual side of myself is also reviving. Though overall I am still a little more than 80% of myself, I know that I am on the right track – at least for myself: no longer hold my spiritual desires above my physical needs. Mind succumb to body, because health is everything, indeed!

Lush Green, Crape Myrtle, Fleas, etc. – My Middle Summer Capriccio

IMG_8108 Crape Myrtle in Full Bloom
IMG_8108 Crape Myrtle in Full Bloom (Photo credit: carlfbagge)

Since I learned words “lush green” (from my dear blogger friend Madilyn – aka “jerseylil’s 2 cents“) early this year, these two words jumped in my mind wherever I went, simply because that’s all I saw during the season. Trees in NC are so dense that I once complained they blocked my view. Now, I learned to love them. They did not block my view, they are the view! Had I lived somewhere with wide open vista, I may lose the sight of all these beautiful plants. As I drive around everyday, I enjoy watching all the dense woods and I realized that I should only appreciate them because in somewhere people have to pay to just see them. I can’t be too greedy!

North Carolina is a natural huge plantation. Here I see the most trees in my life. Not only “green”, other colors joined landscape as well since spring. Pink, purple, red, white, all different kinds, show up here and there, made the view even “lusher”. Among all these colorful plants, I found crape myrtle the most showy. They have all qualities of different plants: trees and flowers, deciduous or evergreen. You would mistake them as small bushes when they are young, but some of them in fact grow into 30 feet high. They are as elegant as roses or rhododendrons, as upright as maples or pines. I absolutely fall in love with them and very pleased to see we have many of them in the area. I even decide to plant several of them around my house.Oh I love plants. So much more than I love animals. As matter of fact, I am not sure if I love animals – include humans – any more. Let’s face it, what plants contribute to the earth? Oxygen, beautiful views, nutrition, cure remedy, you name it, all good thing, right? What do they take for survive? Light and air, which is almost nothing! For what I know plants make their own “foods” out of air and light. What animals take? Other lives. And what do they do to the world? Jeopardize each others life! Life of humans and animals is completely rely upon other lives, both animals and plants. We humans could not live independently like plants. We have to kill other lives in order to survive our own.

I have to wonder, if there were a designer, is this (living by killing each others) really a good design?

A few days ago while I was driving, I suddenly wondered, if I look at earth from sky, and imagine the earth as a cute little pet, such as a dog, plants – trees or flowers – must be the dog’s hairs, beautiful and soft, nice to be touched, yet they protect the dog from harsh environment. Then what are we humans like? Fleas. Yes, we, together with all other kinds of animals, are fleas, or parasites, live on the body of this beautiful dog, bring her/him only trouble, while he/she doesn’t need us at all.

I understand I am being cynic again. I better give more credit to humans or animals, since their (our) being here is not their choice. I have made decision, in my next life if I cannot choose to be an eagle – which is a selfish choice, as I just mentioned animals’ lives depend on other life forms, I would be a tree, absorb light and air, quietly be part of this selfless and unconscious beauty of the Earth.

Right now it’s middle of Summer. Humidity has been giving me trouble, but the beautiful view makes it worth it. And while I enjoy this lush view, I patiently wait for the autumn, another highlight of the year.

Do I Deserve Help? My Pride And My disappointment

Help me!
(Photo credit: mariateresa toledo)

During my relapse I am extremely debilitated so I often need help. But, I am living alone, also I happened to be a person who never learned how to ask help. What’s worse, I am a person who doesn’t look like need help. My relatively strong body build, my absolutely decisive countenance, my firm stride as long as my health permit me to be vertical, all these qualities make girls want to depend on me, guys want to leave me alone. This, also is why I better live alone during my chronic condition.

I have been in major relapse since June, and just started recovering since recent several days. This morning I feel almost perfect so I wanted to move several gardening stones (small size like football!) back to my backyard. Trust me, this is far less than a piece of cake for anyone in normal health condition, but for me, it is a serious task, so serious that I planned to do but have not touched it for days due to the fact that it might trigger another crash, which also could cause the cancellation of my weekend classes, on which my current income depends. Anyhow this morning I felt I could do it, at least I could do part of it. I also had my strategy, first to put several stones in my small dolly and push them to backyard. Plus, the fresh morning air was tempting, so I put myself in action.

Right after I put about 5 stones into my dolly, I realized that I was again overestimated my strength. Half way to my backyard there is a small slope, and I realized that if I “pushed” myself to pull the dolly up, I might have big trouble following up, and my weekend classes will be again jeopardized . So I decided to stop right there no matter what. But my dolly was right in the middle of lawn, between my house and my neighbor’s. Just as I was wondering what to do, I saw a guy was knocking my neighbor’s door, so I asked him if he could help me because I had heart problem. Since I was already breathless, my voice was extremely weak. He looked at me and said: I too have heart problem. And he lifted his shirt to show the scar on his front chest. So I immediately said never mind.

What happened the rest was that I struggled to move the stones one by one to my “territory”, which is only a couple yards away from the dolly, then I took the dolly back to my backyard, and after that I immediately went back and lied down for a little while, let my heart back to normal function. So far, I don’t feel big trouble but, I already could not cook lunch as I planned. I decide to boil some dumplings instead, because it costs almost no energy at all.

Thing is, I believe that guy could help me. Though he does have scar on his chest, but from his attitude, his loud voice, his brisk stride, I can hardly believe that he could not handle what I asked. Why didn’t he offer me help? I don’t know exactly, but based on my past experience, I have reason to believe it was because I did not convince him that I needed help. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I happen to have a relatively big build, don’t look fragile, so I generally give people an impression that I am a strong person. During my past years, I just cannot count how many times I had to handle things I was actually not able to handle, and caused my crashes sometime relapse for days or weeks, and these disasters could be avoided only if people knew how serious my health trouble was so they could give me a hand. But I am very proud person, I would rather die than having people pity me, or misjudge me. Thinking that people would take my weakness and my asking for help as “mentally weak” would simple kill me. Truth is, this character of mine certainly contribute its huge share on worsening my health problems.

Of course, after lessons and lessons, I have learned that I need to take it easy on how people think of me. It doesn’t matter. I also should learn to be responsible to my body, my health. It’s the only thing my life rely on. If I need help, I may should just ask. As one of my blogger friends said, asking help is being responsible to yourself.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel so disappointed about some of our fellow human beings. The selfishness, the distrusting each other, and many more negative aspects of human nature, just darken my view on life. And sometime, I just cannot help to have such a strong sense about myself, that this earth is not for me, simply because I am too good to be here.

Call me cynic!

Love = Courage? My Thought On Valentine’s Day

D. H. Lawrence, world famed author (1906)
D. H. Lawrence, world famed author (1906) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Snow stopped, road cleared, my new “valentine” – newspaper came finally (Two days delayed though). A small article caught my attention: What is love? And the quote of D.H. Lawrence provoke the thought below:

D.H. Lawrence said that love is “having courage of your tenderness.” How? How this tenderest act of humans can be interpreted as “courage”? In a cultural tradition that was built upon the absence of love, namely Chinese, love is one of the most coward traits of humans. Coldness, even cruelty are the showcase of “courage”. Oh, I feel so sorry for this culture!

But still, why showing our tenderness is a courageous thing to do? Because, tenderness, represents a fully acceptance of another individual, an individual with consciousness, with a whole inner world that could be totally different from our own, yet so identical in a way. It is not another “person” we are afraid, it is another universe, an unknown entity that we are afraid of. It seems, that since human developed consciousness, nothing has been more frightening than “unknown”. Death is frightening because it is “unknown”, another culture can be frightening, because of unknown. And individual, the most complicated entity, with a whole different “soul”, no doubt can be the most frightening subject. Thus, showing our tenderness to another person, to embrace this another “universe” unreservedly, is indeed a courageous act.

Yes, I have to agree with D.H.Lawrence on this, that the true heroes are those who dare to LOVE!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Some Friends Failed In A Crisis”

Friendship Village
Friendship Village (Photo credit: NYC-MetroCard)

The newspaper I received daily is “News & Observer“, a local publication, in which there is a column called “Tell me about it“, where people ask a therapist Carolyn Hax for help with their personal affairs. The one I read yesterday was called “Some friends failed in a crisis“. The person who asks for help was in cancer treatment during which she/he found that suddenly most of her/his “best friends” failed to show up to offer support, which she/he certainly expected. Carolyn’s response is wonderful. First she congratulates the person for her/his not holding grudge, then she suggests that she/he better to express her feeling openly, in case she/he is with those friends again. This is the beginning paragraph of Carolyn’s response:

Welcome to the weirdness of crisis, where your besties can vanish while casual pals surprise and sustain you.

This case certainly rings a bell to me. During the past several years (5 or 6), when my physical condition stayed desperate and chronic, when my financial situation and other aspects of my life seemed to collapse, I found I was left alone by almost all my several friends who had been hitherto keeping close relation with me. They all estranged away by different reasons. It was one of the hardest things in my life for me to ponder. However, after carefully “examining” those friendships, I believe I found answers, at least for my case.

I was an extremely popular personal during my teenage years and my 20s. I never intentionally chose friends because I was always surrounded by “friends”. I think the reason for this was that I was an extremely agreeable person, and always put others’ needs before my own. I was also a person who was fun to be with. I made people laugh all the time. It’s a good thing, I suppose. But now I realized the negative side of it, that is, I was very passive in “choosing” my own friends. I simply let people choose me. I trusted everyone, I believe they treated me kindly, so they must be my friends. Upon the time I was ready to come abroad, there were a few people who made me their best friend. The consequence of this situation is, that after all these years, gradually, as our personalities and intelligence develop, I found I did not have much in common with most of my “besties”. No doubt, as time went by, there was less and less for us to share. Plus my extremely health condition, which was hard for anybody to comprehend. So eventually, they chose to drop me off.

Humans are conscious animals. We better do things with consciousness, or so called “conscious choice”. If we let others decide for us, we give others the power to judge us, to control us, or, to “trash” us. Of course, we should not judge others (By writing this post, I also do not mean to judge my old friends. As contrary, I respect their choice), but we do have right, and we should, make conscious choice to who we would remain contact with, or stay close. So this is the lesson I learned.  I will certainly try to do better in future.

(I also have thoughts on why I was such a passive person in terms of relationship, but that would be another day’s work.)

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