An online journal created to seek meaning and purpose, to feel,

to dream, to discover, to spread joy and light, to love all of creation,

to glorify and magnify the Creator.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm Itchy

Rummaging through abandoned lots with fearless sisters!!

Summer Set In Motion

Before I start packing for tomorrow's trip, I guess I'll write a short blurb about yesterday's shenanigans. After a whole semester of being one whole campus apart from Paula, we were finally able to meet up and catch up. The day consisted of hopping onto random busses, stumbling upon a bike rental shack, mean Vancouverites, biking around the seawall, loitering at school, celebrity shots, starving ourselves, Pasta Tuesday with Natedawg and Kuya Mike, laughing/crying and candy made from sugar + water. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happiness Is Not The Goal

Ironically stumbled upon this post today after my little ramble last night about not wishing happiness upon people. Here for future reference!

As a young adult, being happy seemed to be the only alternative to being depressed.
Later, happiness became like a true north in leaving a logic-based life for a more heart-felt approach. And though I’ve not always been aware of my preoccupation with the pursuit of happiness, it’s deeply entrenched in me. It’s the filter with which I make decisions, big or small.
The pursuit of happiness has become a guide to a post-modern society.
It’s why many of us get married…”Happily ever after.” It’s also why many marrieds get divorced…”I deserve to be happy.”
It makes some of us quit the rat race to pursue a passion. It keeps others of us trapped in the rate race to acquire the next home, boat, or retirement.
It inspires addictions to pain killers, or to pornography, or to petrĂ³n and drives others to stay away from such vices.
The pursuit is everywhere. We hear it in our songs and see it in the lives of our celebrities. It’s the filter we make decisions through – no longer between good and bad, but “which choice will make us happiest?”
All this is well and good. Except that happiness happens to be a lousy guide.
I, like many, have learned this the hard way. But as our modern observations of happiness evolve, there are more than a couple reasons to elect a new guide.

The Pursuit of Happiness Makes You Unhappy

Not long ago, sociologists manufactured a situation with a moderate amount of stress and invited two sets of people in to it. The first set, when interviewed, valued being happy above most things in life. The second group didn’t cite being driven by happiness in any way. Group one, those that made happiness a goal, reported 50 percent less frequent positive emotions, 35 percent less satisfaction about life and 75 percent more depressive symptoms.
This experiment is one of many sources that suggest the higher importance we put on being happy, the less likely it is that we become happy.

Happiness is Fickle

According to science, what we feel when we feel happy is actually the release of two hormones, Dopamine and Oxytocin. And though this rush is a beautiful gift to us, it’s also proven to not stick around for very long. Not only are our bodies unable to handle this chemical reaction consistently over long seasons of time, but we eventually fall victim to what scientists have called “Hedonic Adaptation.” In other words, the things that most thrill us in one particular season tend to be short-lived and do little for us in the next.

Happiness Is a Byproduct

Viktor Frankl was a good friend and professional counterpart of Sigmund Freud. He also happened to be the only one to refute Freud’s conclusions about the validity of a direct pursuit of happiness. After years of experimentation, he infamously concluded, "It is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'"
In other words, if you want to be happy, don’t directly pursue it.
The key to finding happiness is to not let it guide you. It’s electing a better, more meaningful guide in life that will create a reason to be happy.
Of course, this felt need for a guide is nothing new. Yes, we’ve currently filled the role with happiness, but we, as humans, have always looked for a guide. As kids, we look to parents or coaches. As adults, we look to leaders or a system of what’s accepted or a plethora of 10 step success formulas.
The red flag that this happiness paradox raises, however, is not about our need to be guided, but rather who, or what, we designate as our guide.
An emotion? Tradition? Your father’s expectations? Barack Obama? Hollywood? Seth Godin? Self-actualization? A combination of them all?
Certainly, we’ve all tried to find our true north in many of these at one time or another. And I’d assume that, in most attempts, the compass inevitably seems to be broken.
But then there are those realities that seem to transcend an ideal or a government or a leader and offer a very real alternative to be guided by fading emotions or non-personal guidelines in life.
Yes, happiness is a lousy guide, but it was never intended to be a guide in the first place. Our guide—our “true north”—is not fleeting at all.
In fact, He’s been with us the whole time.


Soul Vacation

I've decided to refrain from posting useless rants and cries for attention on Twitter. It's no serious epiphany of any sort.
I just feel the need to to discipline myself more.
For starters, I guess I could improve upon patience, slightly decreasing my impulsiveness and turning to the Lord for comfort, rather than sending negative vibes to everyone over social media.
I think fasting from Twitter will help me understand myself more and the underlying reasons behind why I want to post the things I post. This way, I can take useless, toxic thoughts and dispose of them. At the same time, I can take the more constructive thoughts, write them in a notebook for future use, and maybe develop them into writing prompts. I haven't written in a while anyways.

Here's a few thoughts:
  • I haven't prayed a nightly prayer out loud in a long time. But tonight I did. Speaking prayers out loud tends to be a lot more spontaneous than saying them in my head because sometimes I say things that weren't filtered through my head before they're said. Today I prayed that everyone would come to know Your Love, rather than praying for everyone's happiness. The thought has never previously come to me, until I listened to myself say it. But I really do wish that for everyone over happiness. I think our purpose is to seek You and draw closer to You. Not to be happy. Heck, what do we know about what would make us happy anyways? We fail relentlessly. Plus, Your Son came into Earth to do Your will, and in that he endured utmost suffering. I will continue to pray that everyone will come to know Your Love. And that You will strengthen me to bring them towards you.
  • Discipline is a spiked ball and many of its faces have been thrown at me in the past six months of so. I always overlooked its value because even though I have always been an anxious wreck when it came to thoughts about the future, when it came to present situations the greater goodness of the future didn't seem to bother me one bit. I would always choose instant gratification so I can be "happy" right here and right now. "I'll just deal with future consequences when that time comes". So dumb, I know. And I still struggle with this heavily, but acknowledgment is the first step to fixing problems right? This is the reason my exam/assignment pressure mode switch has been switching on closer and closer to the exam date/deadline. Because "I'll deal with it when it comes". Or the reason I never prepare beforehand for interviews. Or the reason I'm constantly broke. "Because I'll deal with no money when that time comes. But right now I still have some, so I'm not going to worry about it." Or the reason I make such extreme decisions and throw curveballs at everyone. Because I can't stand present-time obstacles and run from them without even thinking about the direction I'm running. I think it's an after effect of extreme anxiety. I just don't want to worry anymore. But there's a difference between worrying too much about situations you cannot change and deciding not to worry at all about something that you can positively change for the sake of the future. Discipline and moderation, Camille. You can do it.
  • The concept of your purpose aligning with the deeply rooted desires that have been embedded in your heart is fascinating. 
  • I have significantly gotten closer with every member of my family. 
  • I really enjoy school.
  • Every single time I have made a full blown plan for myself, it got destroyed hahaha. Must stop doing that. 
  • Sleeping with a mouthguard, clothing that is uncomfortable (everything), after taking naps, when you're hungry, is hard.
But I'm going to try now. Goodnight! 

I need a post with a title

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist #np