The #1 Valentine You CAN’T Forget!

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE!!! ❤️

What does today’s holiday mean to you?

💓 A time to share love with the people in your life?!

💘 A day to spend time with your significant other?!

💔 A holiday to remind you of the fact you’re “still single” and really need to be in a relationship?!

If your answer is #3, this message is especially for you. But this message is also for everyone! For all my single friends out there, me being a single man myself: I encourage you today not to fret! 😁

What if I told you, at age 28, I’ve NEVER been in a relationship…😱?!

“BLASPHEMY!!!” ❌

But when I was in high school, I was DESPERATELY searching for one! 🔎

And not just in school; I was on ALL the dating sites and apps: Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tinder, etc. Trust me, I had them ALL covered! 😎

🗣️ “Why did you want a relationship so bad, Donald?!” 🗣️

At the time I didn’t really know, nor did it even cross my mind to ask myself why. All I knew was I just simply “wanted” to be in a relationship. I wanted to find that special someone who would make me happier. 🤷‍♂️

🌟 But therein laid the problem of my predicament: the expectation I held in my mind that a relationship would somehow “make me happier”. 🌟

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE!!! ❤️

Often we’re taught, especially in lots of romantic stories, that if we’re in a relationship, that somehow finding that “special someone”, will open up the heavens and you’ll have found the end of the rainbow. 😊

It’s quite romantic…but it’s not reflective of reality! 😅

It’s understandable we keep believing this idea: We tend to only see the POSITIVE moments in a couple’s relationship, on display in our social lives for all to see. 🖼️

We typically won’t hear about the negative or challenging moments that happen in relationships, what can go on behind-the-scenes. Who wants to hear about that, right?! 👍

So me, as a naive teenager, WHY WOULDN’T I want to be in a relationship? Things seem to be nothing but smooth sailing! It looks like fun! 😍

But it was around 3 years ago I actually made a big decision in my perspective regarding relationships. In fact, those dates sites I mentioned earlier, I UNINSTALLED and DELETED ALL my accounts off them! 😲

🗣️ “Why?!” 🗣️

Of all the countless hours I spent on those apps, I had finally become drained of my willingness to keep searching for a significant other. If I could take the ratio of time I spent browsing these apps to the amount of time I actually spent talking with someone, it would be like 500 to 1! 👎

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE!!! ❤️

Ultimately, my excessive searching was a time-waster! And the funniest part of it all: I made myself feel worse every time I logged off the app when I had no luck, blaming MYSELF for it! 😥

⚠️ I developed this bad habit, and I unintentionally reinforced to myself: “No one wants to talk to me! I feel even lonelier than I did before!” ⚠️

…And then holidays like Valentine’s Day came around each year. They would only FURTHER reinforce my self-pity that I wasn’t in a relationship. It SUCKED! 😫

So you may be asking: what was the “final straw” for you to make such a drastic change?

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE!!! ❤️

I had come to greater realizations about why I was “wanting” to be in a relationship:

⚠️ I believed being in a relationship was the answer to making me happier. ⚠️

⚠️ I believed that by being in a relationship, I could seek recognition and validation from others. ⚠️

⚠️ I believed that if I was in a relationship, someone would fill the void I felt inside myself. ⚠️

As awful as it sounds, I saw a relationship as a form of property, the other person merely being a poor substitute for a toy I thought would make me feel better. 🧸

But people aren’t objects! 💯 And owning material goods don’t make you fulfilled in the long-term! 💯

🚨 I realized my intentions for wanting to be in a relationship were far more SELFISH than SELFLESS. My intention was less about “WE” and more about “ME”. 🚨

How many of us get into a relationship primarily for selfish reasons? We need to seriously think about this! 💯

So in sharing my story with you all, I hope you see that sometimes what we’re actually looking for is not a relationship at all, but something much closer to home. 🏠

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE!!! ❤️

🌟 Don’t forget to develop a relationship with Yourself. 🌟

So for all my single friends out there, do not fret! Let me remind you:

❤️ Relationships are not all sunshine and rainbows. We often don’t see what goes on behind-the-scenes, the ongoing commitment that’s required, or the negative moments that can happen in one.

❤️ Inner happiness and fulfillment has to come from YOU first. Fill up your cup so you can easily share the rest with a future lover. If you can’t love yourself first, you can’t expect it to come from others. You’ll be waiting forever…

❤️ Self-love is one of the greatest gifts you can give. The only person you’re with 100% of your life…is Yourself. Learn to be comfortable in your own company.

❤️ Today is an opportunity for you to change your perspective about how you see relationships. They are not a means to an end, and not being in one DOES NOT mean you aren’t loved.

Make today a day for you to give love in whatever way you know best! For me, writing this post to share with you all is one of them! 😁

❤️ YOUR MOST IMPORTANT VALENTINE STARTS WITH YOURSELF!!! ❤️

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SHARE with someone who needs to hear this this Valentine’s Day! ❤️

Social Media: Why It’s OKAY to Not Be Okay! ❤️

❤️ IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY!!! ❤️

…Except on social media where you must be flawless and show only your successes to gain social capital with your online peers! 😉

📢 “SIGNIFICANCE, GET YOUR SIGNIFICANCE HERE 🎯!

ONLY COSTS:

– 1 AESTHETICALLY PLEASING MODELING PHOTO 🖼️

– 1 ARBITRARY MOTIVATIONAL CAPTION 🔠

– 5,000 FACEBOOK FRIENDS YOU’VE NEVER MET 🤷‍♂️

– AND LOTS AND LOTS OF EMOJIS 😅❤️💯📚😱🤖🐈🤪!” 📢

Okay, but serious talk now! ✋

I’m guilty of doing this too! Who DOESN’T want to feel appreciated and validated in their lives? 🤗

Even for the individual who claims they don’t want Significance, to some extent no matter how small they still do. 👍 They may even be getting their Significance need by ACTING like they don’t need Significance! 😅

I’m reminded of the words of William James: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” 👤

So yes, we all need Significance! The only difference is in how we prioritize this need in our lives. ⚖️

If Significance is at the top of our list, we’ll make it a mental priority to find ways to be in the spotlight. 🥇 Regardless of what we say or do, whether we play the Victim or Victor Card, our primary motivations are to be at the center of attention! 📸

(ENTER SOCIAL MEDIA TO HELP US WITH THIS!) 😉

However, if our Significance need is near the bottom of our list, we won’t mind remaining in the background. Our primary motivation is not about “being seen”. It may still feel nice, but it’s not very important. 🤷‍♂️

(You may also be very likely NOT on social media! 🤣)

❤️ IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY!!! ❤️

Alas, I have fallen into the same traps online I openly critique 🙋‍♂️. I DO like to focus on sharing the positives on my profile. I DO like to display more of my successes than my failures. 👍

I think it’s quite easy for us all to do this on a platform where we’re 100% in control of what we want to share with others. 💯

On a platform which can provide Significance to us on a global scale, why would anyone be inclined to share their common humanity, not the least of which includes the not-too-sexy details of our lives? There’s a safe bet it wouldn’t benefit us, right? 👎

So in this respect, we’ve all created artificial versions of ourselves online, some more honest than others, and some not even real at all! 🤖

Think of the social media profile where you can’t distinguish whether the person you’re messaging with is genuine or a person who’s only developing rapport with you because you are their next potential business customer. 🤑

Unfortunately, we are limited to the online realities with which each person presents us with 💻.

🚘 It doesn’t matter if a person is actually rich; they can pose next to a sports car and give us the impression they are.

🙌 It doesn’t matter if a person is actually generous; they can take a photo at a charity event and give us lip service that they are.

👤 It doesn’t matter if a person is actually the person they claim to be; they can present you with limited segments of their life that reinforce their claims.

From the Upanishads: “We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream.” 💭

❤️ IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY!!! ❤️

So while in real life we’re limited to how we know others, it’s not at all to the same extent online. Online we’re required to fill in far more holes about other people, compared to talking directly with them face-to-face. 👫

➡️ So no matter how hard we try, we can’t escape the fact that social media doesn’t place an equivalence to the mundanities of real life connections, ones which can be quite messy, ones which take a long time to develop into meaningful relationships, ones which someone’s personality cannot so easily be hidden as behind their social media profile. ⬅️

👏 “DONALD! 👏 SIGNIFICANCE! 👏 SOCIAL MEDIA! 👏 RELATIONSHIPS! 👏 WHAT’S 👏 YOUR 👏 POINT?!” 👏

My point is the quote I’ve repeated 3 times and will now repeat for a 4th time…😅

❤️ IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY!!! ❤️

Once we’ve logged off our social medias, quit out of our videogames, turned off our TVs, closed our books, and awoke from our fantasy worlds, what is left? Our real lives.

📍 We’re faced once again with the reality we’re still fundamentally unhappy.

📍 We’re faced once again with the reality that life still has down moments, no matter how much we wish they didn’t exist.

📍 We’re faced once again with the reality that life can be REALLY HARD at times.

Online it’s easy to see our friends and compare ourselves to them. It was a big problem for me for a while too! I saw where my friends were traveling, I saw how happy they looked, I saw them sharing all the achievements they made…and it made me wonder: “Is there something wrong with me?” 😔

It made me hold myself to a standard of perfection which could never be met!

So before this paradigm negatively affects another person, I write this status to BREAK the paradigm. 💥

🚨 Social Media is NOT real life and it never will be!

🚨 NO ONE will ever be 100% real online (not even me)!

🚨 You rarely will see people share their failures online! But EVERY PERSON still has their share whether they admit it or not (again, me too)!

🚨 Your self-worth NO LONGER has to be dependent comparing yourself to others! We’re all on individual paths; I want you to create your own path and dare to be original!

Last, and most importantly:

❤️ IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY!!! ❤️

I say this because your emotions will ALWAYS be a part of your life. I give you FULL PERMISSION to accept the emotions you’re currently feeling! 💯

If meditation has taught me anything, it’s that acceptance of whatever you feel is the 1st step to effectively working with your emotions. But I’ll save those details for a future post…🧘‍♂️

I at times am conflicted each time I post online. While I aim to keep my social media real, I also acknowledge I may simultaneously be contributing to the very problems I criticize. An eye for an eye! 👀

But if what I post is worth anything, it’s that at least 1 person reads them and says: “I’m glad I read this today!” ❤️

For many of us that use social media mindlessly, what if we collectively starting using it as a Force for Good? ✊

Think of Mr. Fred Rogers, who wasn’t fond of the mindless entertainment kids were getting on TV, so he decided to use the platform to entertain AND teach life lessons. How many of you fondly remember “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”? 🙋‍♂️

No, I’m not saying we all need to be Mr. Rogers for Social Media! 😅 What I’m saying is what if we all started using this platform for something more meaningful, more heartfelt, and a bit less for Significance and Sales? I wonder how much of a difference we could make! 🌎

Even behind a computer screen, we still have the potential to be an example to inspire others to be better people. Mr. Rogers still did behind a television screen. 😉

It all starts with your next post…❤️

And for those less inclined to read this lengthy post, on a platform where visuals and clickbait are primary drivers to grab your attention, here’s just an aesthetically pleasing modeling photo for your eyes to enjoy! 😜

Why Your Shadow’s GOOD!

💬 “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.” ~ Carl Jung 💬

The Shadow consists of the parts we reject within ourselves, the primal emotions we suppress for societal approval or a desire to deny their existence. ❌

You could also refer to the Shadow like “the devil on your shoulder”, the thoughts that come up in your mind you’d never tell anyone else you thought. 👿

Think of the individual you know who is so kind, so loving, and so quiet. But one day you hear about an incident where they lost their temper and you think: “No, that is NOT the person I know! That is NOT who they are!” 🗣️

Or think of the priest who vocally condemns homosexuality in his church but is eventually found to have participated in homosexual acts. 😲

➡️ These are examples of the Shadow at play. ⬅️

When we fail to acknowledge and integrate our Shadow in our life, it comes out in destructive and harmful ways towards ourselves and others. 🔨

We will project our Shadows onto other people and proclaim “They are the immoral ones!” so we can deny the immorality laying within ourselves. 🎭

It’s why there’s so many people with emotional issues, immature adults who never had the opportunity to be in touch with themselves, instead having to settle for cultural expectations of possessing certain personality traits while suppressing others. ↕️

Jung also said: “What you resist not only persists but grows larger in size.” It’s why we should not resist our Shadow. We instead need to be aware of it so we can work with it. 💯

In some circles like self-help and spirituality, I’ve seen the idea of the Shadow being frowned upon. “Let go of the things which don’t serve you.” “If you focus on it, the more energy you give to it.” 👎

I understand those perspectives, however I take Jung’s perspective: “I’d rather be whole than good.” I’d rather accept every part of me, the good and the bad, the gentle and the aggressive, than suppress them. 👤

🤔 So how does one integrate their Shadow? 🤔

The first step is our acknowledgment of its existence, these “dark” part of ourselves we keep rejecting. It doesn’t mean we need to express our Shadows or identify with them, but rather we’re brutally honest about seeing every part of ourselves. 💯

📍 The gentle man acknowledges his capacity for aggression.

📍 The innocent woman acknowledges her capacity for manipulation.

📍 The homophobic priest acknowledges his capacity for homosexual desires.

📍 The Dr. Jekyll acknowledges his capacity for Mr. Hyde.

We acknowledge our capacity for evil while simultaneously choosing to be good. 🎭

With this acknowledgement and acceptance of ourselves, we can now take action! Rather than letting our Shadows control us, we now can take control over them! 💪

🤔 “I consider myself a kind, gentle, and compassionate person. But I acknowledge there’s an aggressively angry part of me that surfaces and comes out when people take advantage of my kindness. How can I integrate this Shadow part of me in a way that won’t hurt others?” 🤔

What are some ways you can use your Shadow energy of anger and aggression in you for more constructive means?

You could take up a competitive sport. You could use this energy in your workouts. You could use it to get your work done faster. You could use it for situations that legitimately call these energies to be used. 😁

👊 The difference now is YOU ARE IN CONTROL. You are using your Shadow rather than letting your Shadow use you! 👊

It’s what I mean when I tell people “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. 👶

Integrating our Shadow can be useful, but we always have to be sure we’re in control and using it in healthy ways. Will you possess your Shadow, or will you allow it to possess you? 😈

Why You’re NOT Special! 😱

YOU’RE NOT SPECIAL!!! 👎

😡 “Whoa, way to kill my self-esteem, Donald!” 😡

…at least you’re not as special as you think you are! And me neither!👎

😡 “That doesn’t help, Donald!” 😡

Okay, hear me out.

We all in our own ways strive to be different. Unique. Special. Significant in the eyes of others. We all want to feel like we are understood and appreciated. We all want to feel like we are loved. ❤️

And that last paragraph proves my point.

No doubt, we each have unique traits that separate us from each other. ↔️

Not everyone will be an artist 🎨, and not everyone will be a mathematician 🔢. .

Not everyone will be an Olympic athlete 🥇, and not everyone will be a Chess master ♟.

But as much as we all are different, let’s not forget the opposite. ↩️

🌟 We’re all human beings. 🌟

What we all have in common is our humanity. 👥 We all carry a similar psychology (like I said earlier). We each carry similar hopes, fears, beliefs, values, and motivations for why we do what we do. 🧠

Internally, we’re very much alike. It’s just very easy to forget that more connects us than separates us. 🔁

It’s so easy to forget that when we live in a culture that encourages us to focus on the outside than the inside. 🏞️

It’s why I believe one of the worst lies we can tell ourselves is that we’re alone, that our problems are exclusive to ourselves, that no one could ever understand us. 😔

❌ I can assure you that’s a bunch of BS! ❌

You’re not special! You’re a human being just like me with 7 billion other people on this planet! 🌎 And I say this not to be a dick, but to let you know you’re not alone here. ❤️

While you may not be as special as you thought you were, now you know: we’re not too far apart from each other. Now you know you can easily talk to me and many other people. 👥

Because yes, ALL of us are also trying to be special like you too! 😅