To not see this reminder again
A particular behavior I hated in my father is that he used to leave a conversation in the middle of it with no notice; but this time, to my surprise, I caught myself reacting quite similarly; not a conversation with others, but a self-conversation. Perhaps it would be better to tell you the background of the story, so you can understand the joke:
In the search for an answer to a specific question in places I usually don't go near them, I stumbled upon a booklet, reading the lines (Stosny):
We never lose the ability to create value, but we often lose touch with it, especially when we’re hurt, bored, or distracted. The first step in getting in touch with core value is to decide:
What is the most important thing about me as a person?
And it goes without saying, the first time my eyes went over this sentence I read it like this "what is the most important thing to me as a person?" and not "about me". I would not have noticed it if the following lines weren't there:
There are various methods of deciding the most important thing about you, but this may be the quickest way. Imagine that you have grown children. How would you want them to feel about you?
And this isn't the kind of question I can pass by so easily, these days. Because of the word "children". Since a while ago as I promised to "not going to deprive my Self of Its actualization rather give it all of me ..." and then the out-of-the-blue wish in my heart to have a child– the impossible unreasonable wish– I am a bit more vigilant when it comes to things about having a child, being a father and stuff like these.
I would have passed that question and that sentence if the notion about children wasn't there. Not being able to answer "How would you want your children to feel about you" seemed like a challenge, a barrier of a sort, that could prove whether I'm mature and ready to be a father or not.
Reading that sentence my immediate response was: "oh, that's really the question I have to answer? ... you know what, I'm fine with suicide, let's skip the idea of developing core value and everything and go for suicide ..."
I don't know exactly what causes such strong disdain for presenting myself the way I want to be, even after all the texts I've written about how important it is to follow your noble cause and not what the society, friends, and family dictate, prescribe or suggest to you; not only this, I also didn't neglect the other side of the equation: childhood. In that regard too, I openly discussed how it felt like to me as if having no air to breathe if I ever attempted to live out my real self. While every single one of these texts and all the personal development that goes behind the scene to be capable of writing them seemed absolutely unimaginable, impossible milestones before surpassing them –thank the God–, still all these insights have not been enough to break free of living a life that doesn't feel like mine, or as Mary Jacobsen labels it "false self".
But "a vow is a vow" and if that's not enough then because I wish to prove I was and am sincere with my words to S----, and the impact of her presence on me, I don't like to give way to disassociation, and neglecting to look at who I am and what I value and what I strive for, only because I don't know how to handle all the emotions about how terribly lonely I feel and the inherited fear that by standing for who I am and speaking out my truth, even fewer people would dare to get close to me, or otherwise I will be ridiculed and on occasions when it's not a fear of others preventing me from taking any action, it is me, the adult, who has never having learned what to do with all the feelings invoked by the situation where:
and I stand in awe
how tell the account of a story that You let me know
belongs to someone else since the very first chapter
how to ask You of your stores
when the mistaken angel made me rewrite
what I expected to be footsteps of beloved
So, there we go. Here is a little note about my answer to that question.
There is a lot that I can talk about each point if it would be a theoretical discussion, but when it comes to myself and talking about my own self and what is important to me, it is so hard to do so, that even here, even if it is only writing on the paper and nobody is seeing me, looking at me, or going to react to me immediately with his her nonverbal communication signs, I still have a hard time to write few sentences about each value.
Like a few other important internal turning points in my life, there was something from Jennette McCurdy that triggered my search to answer this question. To be honest, not exactly this question, specially as back then I was really not aware that I don't have that much sense of self, I sincerely assumed that these questions are just for stupid self-help books that promise get-rich-quick tricks, and all my childhood I thought with myself that if these get-rich-quick tricks can be told in few sentences in a self-help book, probably the middle-class should have done better. So since childhood, I had a strong tendency to dismiss these questions and think of them as valueless ...
Actually writing about this publicly is also in part motivated by Jennette McCurdy, as a few months after that event, she actually started a project on her website asking reader submissions for:
So here it is! My Values Project. I want to hear your top three values that you live by and believe in deeply. I want to know who you are and why they are so important to you
But, even then, I wasn't ready to take this question seriously. So, in an attempt to not have rejected her request, even though it was months later, in a draft I wrote:
I'm not sure why you are asking such things, I can guess where they come from, typical ethno-psychology books or the so-called self-development course, contain such suggestions ... [deleted] ... but dear Jennette McCurdy, I wouldn't give a shit if it wasn't you
But as said, I do have my answer by now. As well in that draft, I continued:
... Yeah, there was a period of time where I was so challenged by the thought whether I should continue my path or give in to the advices of the environment and for that period of time I would answer such questions, but I'm a bit more clear and a bit more clear to not fall for
So, this is how it all started. I know Jennette McCurdy as a typical actress, but a photo changed my knowledge of what is important to her:
There are lots of reasons why seeing that photo and these words were so meaningful to me to actually embark on a journey of asking myself what is it that gives my life purpose and happiness, partly she herself is very important to me, endlessly important to me, partly writing and directing is something I myself aspire to, and partly her words are so strong ...
So here is what resulted from those days of looking for an answer, partly in order to have answered Jennette's open request to question oneself, partly to be able to count myself as someone who has some tiny little thing in common with her: "we both know what gives purpose to our lives and makes us happy".
"Someone who has some tiny little thing in common with" someone else is, to my understanding, what makes two-years-olds to initiate friendships with other two-years-olds, so it's a bit, perhaps more than a bit, revealing of Borderline Personality Disorder that as an adult that's how I navigate my life and emotional attachment, but even though I can fake it and act like a "cool guy", I rather stay honest, even though that honesty may reveal a never loved child.
Even though it is way too late, I still wish to complete the answer to Jennette McCurdy and as well, I hope opening my answer to the public, at least, would be [some] step[s] forward towards walking away from the false self and living by who I'm, by the Lord's leave.
To get all the details right, my list was completed on December 14th of 2016, so while a year and while have passed since, I haven't really been able to live by these values, nor to express myself as someone who has such intentions for himself; So, I guess it takes more than just listing them on the paper. I'll write a short note on what I think could be a possible way out at the end of this text, so if you too have a hard time figuring out why you can't avoid giving up on being yourself and you fall prey to one or the other means of dismissing your identity and sense of self, stay till the end of this text.
§ Growing the best possible
Charlie Rose: One of the hallmarks of reading about you is the idea of learning and growing.
Keira Knightley: Hmm.
Charlie Rose: Hmm.
Keira Knightley: I think expansion and trying to get better and growth is very important.
Charlie Rose: You're in favor of growth and expansion?
Keira Knightley: Yes, it would be a big shame if you just stopped and did the same thing.
Charlie Rose: So how did you grow? By the people you associate with?
Keira Knightley: Absolutely. The experiences you have, I think it's one of the major burdens of my job and a huge privilege to be able to play characters where I get to learn something new, you know? Like -- I mean like "atone." and I got to read about the second world war and immerse myself in that and films at the time and read books I would have never necessarily read if I hadn't been doing that piece. And I've got a film coming out later this year about Freud and Jung and psychoanalysis. And that gave me months of reading about psychoanalysis. So I would never have gotten an opportunity to do that had it not been for that piece of work. So I think --
Charlie Rose: Someone once said to me the great thing about acting beyond the challenge and the art of it all is that you get to go to interesting places, associate with interesting people, and you get to learn about something that has nothing to do with anything you've known the past.
Keira Knightley: It's wonderful. It's nearly the best part of the job, actually, the learning.
§ Realizing the most impossible ideas
Keira Knightley: Well, I mean not knowing what is going to happen in the future I don't know that I can completely say that. But yes, I mean it's definitely the most challenging and probably one of the most rewarding parts I've ever played, yes.
I always inspired to become a scientist-inventor, if you could consider a child's aspiration serious indicator for his future. While my years, specially since I turned eighteen and had to decide a field to study at the university and a university itself too, have been full of wrong decisions and constant failures and even on occasions when I believed to be escaping from one failure, it turned out that I'm getting myself trapped into a bigger one, the inception of "Lost Ideas Lab" provided a tiny bit of sanctuary to keep this aspiration alive, even though most higher education environments are so focused on enabling one to navigate a strictly defined professional life within a strictly defined profession and skill set, instead of empowering you to fly openly with only the sky being your limit, not to mention for our generation, even the sky is no more the limit. Alas, the education system sucks.
"Lost Ideas Lab", in fact, was a revival of my personal website, after realizing that I can't get myself into a well-established corporation by just presenting my ideas through a website, perhaps I have to do them myself.
The term "entrepreneur" due to a horrible event in my past actually become one of those things that went into a black box in my subconscious to protect me from being aware of what I had gone through, until I was 21 and was surprised that I have rediscovered that word in another language even though I remember having had read it in my mother tongue when I was a child. So by no mean I'm not trying to go with the hype around Silicon Valley and neither to call myself "entrepreneur" to date women, perhaps "freelancer" would be a better term to describe my possible professional status, or maybe "unemployable" would be a better fit.
At some point in life, I realized the job title is far less important than realizing the ideas I believe to be beneficial to the humanity or, at least, fundamentally improve one or few individuals' lives, and a few of the ideas are also, in a sense, in part a continuation of ideas left without anyone pursuing them ...
I was taking part a college lecture, and it occurred to me, that I can probably attend this university and pass the exams and get a job and ... but what about all the things that I think is wrong about the world, in our environment, all the things I believe need to be changed, I have an idea for seeing an improvement about the -----, and I'm going to get old and watch from outside and keep looking for someone who would come and get on realizing the ideas that are in my mind, but I never put any time to pursue them.
On occasions when I tried to live according to others' advice implying to give up on my passions, sooner or later I have ended up with the emotional conviction that suicide is a better option than living a life that feels like imprisonment to you yourself, despite how successful it seems to an outsider. "Imprisonment" because you can't use your time and energy on things that matter to you, while to outsiders you seem like an averagely successful individual ...
Sure, some of the decisions I've made in my life have suffered from my inability to think long-term and to seek balance and acquiesce too soon or too late, but I really never learned such skills. My father would say the education system has failed me, but the truth is, I was never even encouraged to talk about what mattered to me, not to mention attempting to pursue my interest and in such path making mistakes and learning invaluable life lessons. So, it isn't odd that these past years I have been zigzagging between the two extremes: submitting to my parents' and the environment's prescriptions or not doing anything unless it is related to my passions.
The term "impossible" isn't because my self-efficacy, believing myself to be a super-hero and capable of things nobody else can, but as a reminder that I'm living with people, most of who aren't going to provide me with feedbacks any different than those already in my life. I was so fed up with the feedbacks and reactions I used to receive and still receive from most of people whom I introduced my vision(s) and tried to explain the reasons behind them, that I decided to actually put the term "impossible" there as an acknowledgment that I understand what I'm doing is risky and in the eyes of many not likely to result in any level of success. Perhaps those reactions are mostly due to lack of knowledge, but even those who based on their situations are supposed to be able to understand what I'm working on and should have enough experience in the field to provide meaningful feedback, often guess: I should stop, because I won't be successful. Few of those individuals even did believe such efforts are necessary but didn't believe them any likely to become the reality today. For example, I sort of picked Ilya's project, Diaspora, and he himself was stopped by others who pushed him towards suicide. Sure, that is not a "successful" ending in the eyes of most people, but I believe every worthwhile endeavor have had pioneers, pioneers who maybe did not live as long to see their visions getting any step closer to realization.
Putting other people's forecasts aside, I rather hold a viewpoint closer to that of Keira Knightley's: not that I wish to aim for what is "realistically not feasible", but that the outcome is not known.
§ Loving the most selfless
To love and be cherished is really something I can't live without; not only that, I don't think a life without it is worth living either; That has been my view whether in public or private:
If you liked me, I guess, it was a waste of life to not spent time with you, when you are there. Life in absence of love & friendship is not life.
– From a text message to a beloved
Actually during some self-conversations as I was resisting the urge towards suicide, the last reason I could accept from my self to not choose myself for death instead of life has been "show me one person who loves me." Perhaps very few adults can relate to such attitudes, but I don't think I'm the only one (Maddox):
although we have a way to go before what we are learning about how to best care for children who have survived childhood maltreatment is clearly understood and communicated to all those working with children. For Mirena, the vital thing is still “that there’s somebody they know cares about them. Just one person, it can make all the difference.”
And so, the very least, it is double hard, or if not impossibly harder to intellectually and emotionally value love as one of the highest priorities in your life or, better said, the reason to not be dead as you are experiencing so much pain, while never having felt being loved. By "never having felt being loved," I mean the childhood portion of my life, I rather avoid going into the details of my adulthood, as romance-related interactions have been just worse than in my childhood, so far.
The notion "selfless" is my self-defense mechanism to put an end to the internal conflict regarding being affectionate about someone, and feeling something for someone while not having the reassurance whether she feels the same about me, or more often than not, whether she feels anything about me at all. Because with all other dysfunctional aspects of my life, I wouldn't be able to bear to even deprive myself of giving expression to any attachment-related feelings when I'm endlessly needful for it; However, as the "social exchange theory" would suggest –even though I don't feel comfortable with others referring to romantic interests as "game"– the reasonableness of one's conduct becomes questionable if the other person doesn't even bother herself about you, not to mention recognizing your efforts. So, the "selflessness" part is my excuse to maintain some fantasy/hope of attachment in my life alive; Basically, a tool to silence the critical voice in my brain that suggests I'm wasting my time and energy thinking or doing something aspired by my feelings for a particular individual.
§ Leading the most undiscovered talents
Yep, I really do believe there are individuals who are unaware of their own talents, and whose talents were never recognized, nor encouraged by their environment if not discourage, condemned or forbidden.
Of course, I'm not intending to be a worldwide charity, but about some of the individuals that our paths have or will cross each other and I feel like they belong to this "undiscovered talents", I hope, I'll be the mentor/leader and the ideas/visions I work on to be the most suitable environment(s) which are necessary for those individuals to blossom their talents, if the Lord will;
§ Praying only to Allah
Without going into retelling anecdotes from my life about individuals who on first interactions treated me so as if they understand that I believe, and only later on when we grew closer they anticipated they would discover another face beneath the religious mask I put on display only to experience disappointment and confusion, to me it seems like barely anybody believes in the Lord ... so much so that the best reaction I can imagine in our times is this scene from "Ned Rifle," which [so far] hasn't happened in my life:
Sometimes experiencing mistrust in each other is so emotionally costly to me, that I rather avoid doing or saying things that I know people are going to mistrust me for them, because I simply wish to have this or that individual as a friend, instead of losing them as a friend, because I knew they won't apologize for not trusting my honesty. So, as said, with my experiences about allowing others to know I hope to be a follower of the God's guidance, I rather not have published something about it, to spare myself losing more people as friends. The courage to act otherwise also can be traced back to Jennette McCurdy, as once she was telling something about how she felt as if some particular event in her life was arranged by God, or perhaps as one example out of many ...
Talking about "doing the impossible", "leading", "selfless" and all other points on the list of my core values would have been pure arrogance, if I believed it is me who achieves them. I rather believe, if ever I put any step forward in any of these aspects it must have been the Lord's mercy.
It is extremely important not to lose sight of who is actually behind all events in the world and to whom really all the worlds belong to, and from whom one should request gifts and mercy. Being a human being and as helpless and imperfect as we are and as unjust and unethical our interactions and societies are, it is so easy to believe this person, or that organization or etc. are the cause of success, and to fall prey for the belief that without their support and approval, you would not get what you want, or you won't have access to an environment that could enable you to achieve what you wish on your own. Sometimes these people, organizations or objects replace the God in our opinion, and we pray to them instead of praying to the God; Therefore this reminder that in all of this world:
Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous. [2:255]
There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower. [2:256]
Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. [2:257]
How I've lived ever since
It is impossible to express adequate gratefulness to the God for developing a sense of what I value, but this is not even remotely the last chapter of the story. The story of developing the flimsy self-sense to a degree appropriate to my biological age.
Maybe for ordinary individuals, especially emotionally healthy individuals such milestones are the hardest barrier towards living the life they wished to live, but for someone like me, who is internally so shattered that he has no self-sense, this is not enough, not even remotely enough.
I don't wish to puzzle you about why knowing what is it that you wish to strive for may not help you be able to put any step in that direction, even though you are not really "imprisoned", or said differently, why the line "when the intention is clear, the path will appear" may not really apply to me. So, here is some little explanation:
Note on attachment
Of course, becoming consciously articulate about one's core values is not as necessary as having a sense of self in order to be able to live by those values.
Regardless of endless bullshit in the mass media and sometimes even professional publications and academia: the ability to consider what one consciously discovers as the answer to what gives his or her life purpose & happiness is impossible without attachment.
Or to express this in a more elaborate language:
Value is co-created in the exchange of doing things that manifest your inherent value, these are recognized by a lover, and that recognition itself is recognized.
My backgrounds, my upbringings, people I used to spent time with and circles I frequented, and works and arts and literature I used to consume, all and all made it harder and harder to ever consider attachment as so fundamental even in early years of adulthood. But life makes it impossible for one to dismiss one's need for the presence of such individual in one's life and all the interactions which belong to healthy emotional attachment relationship ...
An intimate note
Quite often some of those around the individual I wished to express my affection about, have strongly argued to her that my statements and actions can't be honest; maybe because my feelings have been beyond their comprehension, maybe because of envy of their friends/relative being the recipient of something they wished in their own life, maybe because if me and that individual would be together some of their self-interest would have been compromised, or whatever else.
Despite the fortunate accident of hearing Keira Knightley reiterating some sentiments close to my core values, I wanted to avoid being accused of trying to convince, or in the words of those [asshole] friends, family members, or advisors, that I'm manipulating someone into believing I hope us to be lovers beyond our lifetime, while in reality I just wish to get away with taking my pleasure from her with the minimal reciprocation possible. But for someone as devastated as me, it impossible to be able to live without love, at least the hope of love, and by "love" I don't mean I made her make noises in bed unlike all other her ex-romantic-partners, I mean, not only feeling excessive attraction to each other's body, but feeling extreme passion about what constitutes the noble cause of your beloved, not by choice but by your nature. So, Keira Knightley was my rescue to not break-down writing this piece without trying to make some claim that this individual or that individual is the woman whom I hoped, or seemed, or there was a sing that we might have a mutual aspiration towards this or the other aspect of an aspiration, of a noble cause.
And as much as I wished my integrity to be encouraged by someone I felt passionate about, at the same time, I don't wish to prove my [future] beloved that her friends, family, siblings or etc. aren't the right choice to defer her doubts, questions, worries, and decisions about romantic life to. I really think it is fucked up to consider all that I wish for is access to someone's body and in order to have that, I come up with writing these really novel sounding sentences without really meaning them. Keira Knightley because I don't like to be accused that all that I want is a sight of an individual's breasts, while what I'm asking for is her sincere devotion for [more than] a lifetime. Even with all the erotic destruction inside me, at least because of the contribution of Islam, a woman showing her breast to a man is a meaningful gesture to me; Therefore Keira Knightley because I wished to demonstrate it is not the breast size of a woman or whether she would show them to me or not that encourages me to care about whether we have enough similarity in our aspirations and where we deviate we still do find those differences honorable, admirable;
But trying to expose the benightedness/manipulation of those advisor's suggestion about the honesty of my love-expressions by referencing Keira Knightley's whoops-decision aside, the other reason I felt confident to use her as an exemplary placeholder is her relationship status [at the time of write down the first outline of this piece].
I look at my life, and there is no room for a woman to join me and start a family from today, there are too much destruction, too many neglected issues and problems, but I don't wish to be blind, or subconsciously close my eyes to the fact that I need that such fundamental attachment is a necessary aspect of the environment I can feel safe in to change course and re-initiate this long abandoned development of self-sense. May the Lord help me to one day be someone who wouldn't need words to prove the truthfulness of his hopes but his life manifesting it, but till then, I rather not deprive myself of, at least, talking about what I ...:
Dear Jennette McCurdy, you're the best woman whom I never met in person, yet if I were to handpick a soulmate whom we shared a life living out such values, it would have been you, for many reasons, not last but not least, because of how much you have inspired me through the years –by the Lord's leave.
Dear S----, you seemed like the best woman between the individuals I have met in person; or maybe the lesser I know about you, the easier it has been not to spot if you pretend you share some of my underlying convictions and traits or not; but in any case, you made me feel like this intuition would not be invalidated even if I get to know you more. If I found watching Jennette McCurdy at work and experiencing her works of art, conversations, or even silly requests like these inspiring, I have lived long enough, and we don't have many interactions, and you aren't a prominent artist [yet], however your presence, not only whenever it seemed like I can be the man you might one day decide to love for the rest of your life, but also your ordinary conversations and interactions, and the questions you asked, and the questions you answered in the class, I found them a motivation, encouragement to be myself, to try to become myself ... so, in a way, similarly a source of inspiration and aspiration to me.
Regardless of how outlandish Tesla's perspective about women's presence in the business world, and whether such aspirations resonate to you or not, I can't regret it enough, not having lived my life such that the day you knew about my existence his sentence was a perfect description for your reaction: "[...] being able to achieve something that would compel and hold a woman's devotion [...]" May the Lord help me one day be there as if ...
I tend to lose my care about setting boundaries regarding expressing that I need someone or that someone is important to me, and etc. so just a reminder:
He is Allah, than Whom there is no other Allah, the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible. He is the Beneficent, Merciful. [59:22] He is Allah, than Whom there is no other Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him). [59:23] He is Allah, the Creator, the Shaper out of naught, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifieth Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. [59:24]
Appendices & References
Keira Nightly's interviews
Maddox, Lucy. “‘I Saw Things Children Shouldn't See’ – Surviving a Troubled Childhood.” Mosaic, 20 June 2016, mosaicscience.com/story/surviving-troubled-childhood-resilience-neglect-adversity/.
Stosny, S. (2015). Core Value Workbook. Darnestown: CompassionPower.
McCurdy, Jennette., 2017. My Values Project [WWW Document]. Going Mental. URL https://jennettemccurdy.com/my-values-projects/ (accessed 4.10.18).
Jennette McCurdy's Instagram Page. (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BOINmJyhoDB/ [Accessed 10 Apr. 2018].[Accessed 10 Apr. 2018].
Knightley, Keira, and Patrick Demarchelier. “Patrick Demarchelier by Keira Knightley.” Interview Magazine, 23 Aug. 2014, www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/keira-knightley-by-patrick-demarchelier.
“Mr. Tesla Explains Why He Will Never Marry.” Edited by Nanette South Clark, An Engineer's Aspect, 18 July 2011, anengineersaspect.blogspot.com/2011/07/nikola-tesla-mr-tesla-explains-why-he.html.