Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Belated Happy Labor Day to all. Colors are changing around us, a sign that summer is over and fall is here to stay for a while.  My 13 year old daughter and my 5 year old son are very much excited that school will soon start.  We have to make sure that our children are safe [...]

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Love Yourself

By Erwin D. Maramat

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

—Dr Seuss

Cruelty cannot be appeased with garbled metaphor. The truth is I cannot be anybody else except for myself. I am certain that I was not the only kid who went through this. Perhaps, like myself, some children were not crafted in perfection. The minute we stepped out of the womb; the world has not been so accommodating. There were spectrums that my parents, uncles and aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers, teachers and guidance counselors are enamoured in defining—brazen and indelicate in putting me down. We did not exactly belong to the class of celestially awesome. There was a boy in my class who lived in the same neighbor as I, a shining example of certain success.

‘Why can’t you be more like Zan?’ I has been devastated by this debasing question when I was a child. Zan was handsome. Zan was an excellent student. Zan, is a good son. Zan this; Zan that, and I will never be as good as Zan. Everyone, I included, is guilty of believing that and for the same demented reason I hated everyone—Zan the most.

I have long pursued something in myself with zeal. When I was a child, I would stare at myself in the mirror followed by a resounding heavy thud of a sigh. I remember how I would cringe at my reflection. Flat nose. Wiry wavy strands of hair. Caramel skin. Unkempt, unbranded cheap shirt. WTF? I dubbed myself thesaurus of hideousness. But it was merely an echo of what everyone thought of me. Not only was I being compared to Zan, but with my family, whom I trusted and loved, also equated me to some of the most distasteful characters they come across on TV.

All my life, all wanted I was to be like Zan. In the process I was hoping that by being him, I will earn the approval and respect of my parents. That held true for many years until the unthinkable happened—Zan got busted for dealing drugs. My dad, a lawyer, got him out of jail. I wanted to give out an earthshaking maniacal laughter. I wanted to ask the million-dollar question; do you still want me to be like him? But deep inside I just felt sorry for the guy.

The very things I hated about myself began to speak to me. My epiphany came when I got married and when I landed a teaching job. It was the turning point of my life. For the first time, I was appreciated for my passion and though that line of profession lay distant where I am now, it has changed my perspective in life.

We virtually hand ourselves a ground-breaking road map to possibilities just by trusting who we are. We find ourselves on the road of least resistance by rooting for the person driving our bodies. We are Ken Miles speeding in Elon Musk’s hyperloop in a DeLorean time machine.

Love yourself for a million reason. But here are eleven reasons why:

1. God invested potential in you so know no limits—people would often tell you to confine yourself in a bubble as they did for themselves. It is when you trust yourself that you reach an escape velocity that propels you out of their orbit. Fortune favors the bold but will most likely not earn the approval of the pack. As I have mentioned before, people are always in love with the result and not the process and to witness you navigate the treacherous route of the process leaves them to doubt. But who cares? Do what you have to do. When treading through an invisible path heading to an inconceivable destination for others, understand that the well-worn path was once conquered by bold souls who followed their instincts and not the critics.

2. You are unique, and you do not have always be popular to be the best and being the best does not always guarantee success—comparison is roused through this. Sure, let the best inspire you, but look into yourself to see the best of what you can become. Have you ever heard of Langley? Of course not! The Wright Brothers will undoubtedly ring a bell with you though. Advantage favoured Langley when building the plane, but the Wright Brothers’ definitive purpose lead them to becoming successful. Adam Lambert was a runner up in the eighth season of American Idol, but three million albums sold later, he is clear-cut winner. Enzo Ferrari thought that his car was far superior to those of American companies until Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles disproved as they drove their way to victory in 1966 twenty-four hours of Le Mans.

3.  You have the power to shape yourself according to your belief—Do you always heed unsolicited advice given to you? If the answer is no, then why heed to negative if it does not do you any good?

4. You were meant to be special and all you need is time. Start with why—if you have not already, read the book by Simon Sinek. Rather than inundate you with morass of detail, the book focuses on identifying the principles we have and why we are doing what we are doing. The bottom line is that it just so happens that we are with the wrong people and by being aware of what you stand for makes it easier to connect with people who will support you because you were cut from the same cloth.

5. You are beautiful. Here is the thing; the skin we wear is nothing but packaging. Real beauty is inside of you. If we were simply just characters without the colorful trinkets of flesh and fabric that we are, who are we as souls? If you have beautiful soul, which you do, your soul will look the same as it were twenty years ago.

6. You are a limited edition—it has been defined to pursue mastery of anything you have to render ten thousand hours for worthy causes. Let me take that into negative context: people use up their ten thousand hours to mastering mediocrity; giving unsolicited comments and criticism constructed with deplorable grammar and syntax, dabbling in the arts of cliché and of course the ever famous becoming creatively unoriginal. Expect to be misunderstood and disliked for being truthful and for channeling your energy to something you love. Remember this: there is nothing wrong with you, you are different.

7. You are a proud owner of your future—the past has already expired as if it were milk and it will just taste sour regardless whether it is in the fridge or not. So why hold on to it? Unless you are into yogurt. There are people in our lives that are mainstays or recurring characters, but all-in-all, many are seasonal so learn to let go. To say that tomorrow is certain is ridiculous because we can only live it one day at a time, but the course of action we take now may bring about a better outcome.

8. You are meant to shine—while it is necessary to be gregarious to build networks, it is best to end some relationships that are way too toxic. Do not get me wrong, checking in at a Hans Brinker of a relationship is sometimes necessary to build your immune system. However, holding onto people who stunt your growth as a person is likewise unhealthy for you. On the basis of an analogy, it is like having your own Museum of Broken Relationships, but Croatia has already beaten you to the punch.

9. You are someone’s universe. If you genuinely believe in what you do, chances are someone will believe in you and that someone will come to be inspired. Loving one’s self precipitates a domino effect. A slight shift in the paradigm causes a chain reaction of positivity. By appreciating yourself, you would come to realize that those who care for you will also begin to look at themselves in the same manner.

10. There will be good days and bad days—It is quite common for us to feel helpless sometimes, but that is life. There are things that are beyond our control and no matter how much you plan or prepare there will always be dark days that we have to go through. But that is life. We all know that winter comes every year and when it does we still grovel and mumble under our breaths. It is something that we must embrace and just either find joy in it or learn to live with it.

11. You owe it to yourself to be happy. Let us face it; life is too damn short to feel bad all the time. It is understandable that we cannot be always be positive because that is just ridiculous and attempting to monitor ourselves will not only burn us out but will also drive us crazy, but we also have to hold ourselves accountable for thinking the way we do. Gratitude for the life we have is best reason to be happy. You work so hard. You study so hard. You owe it to yourself to be happy in that same level.

Today I am me,

Hopping from one multiverse to another, and transient eternity.

Look not at another for there is nothing to see,

I am but one, no meer than me.

So, I be me, you be you,

Now let us stop this before we get sued by Dr. Seuss

­­­—Dr. Widauht A. Degree or Erwin


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