WHEN, NOT IF.

Settle noun

Settling for second best.

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In life, too many of us settle. We may believe that we aren’t worthy of somebody who is truly is right for us, physically, emotionally and intellectually. We may believe that the ‘right person’ doesn’t exist, or we may believe that it’s too hard. We may believe that we aren’t worthy of love and then desperately clasp at any opportunity. Maybe we weren’t shown love early in our lives, or maybe we were hurt by somebody, or maybe our arduous life has beaten us down at every turn. I’m here to tell you why you are worthy, why you should value yourself and why, if you don’t settle you will find your match.

For so long I didn’t feel like I had value, and I’d grasp at any opportunity of love, attention and praise; I was hooked on it. During my teenage years, I engaged in irresponsible promiscuity in an attempt to validate myself and my worth. This is a common mistake; to base your self-worth on someone else’s opinion is to have self-worth built on unstable foundations. You may feel really good when somebody that you fictiously value as ‘better’ than you takes a liking to you, however, when you are rejected you may feel unlovable and worthless. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to realise that this is a pretty bad deal that you’ve made with yourself. What if you could base your self-worth on something a little more stable, a bit more imperturbable, and you could ride the waves of acceptance and rejection unscathed…wouldn’t that be swell?

If not others views, what?

Your life has value because you are alive. I’ll say that again…your life has value for the pure and simple fact that you are alive. It is for this reason that we find ourselves feeling such sorrow for those who choose to take their own lives…if only someone could have helped them sooner; they suffered but their lives mattered, they had value. Your value is not based on whether you have a job, whether you look a certain way, where you live, how much money you have or what you can or can’t do. Not convinced? Let me ask you this. Do you value the life of a baby? How about a toddler? What about a pre-schooler? How about a primary aged child? Did you say yes to all of these? What about the life of a teenager? What about a skinny teenager? How about a pimply faced teenager? What about an obese teenager? What about a star pupil? Now, what about an adult? What about your mother? What about you? At what point does a life lose value between infancy to maturity? We value the lives of our the young simply because they are alive. To base your self-worth on external things is fleeting, ever-changing and illogical. Why base your self-worth on something that you can’t control? Base your self-worth on the fact that you are alive.

Moving forward

To settle is to sell yourself short, to deny yourself true happiness. One day someone will appreciate every ounce of you for how it is and not how they want you to be or what you could be, however, this is not to say they shouldn’t encourage you to be the best version of yourself. If you choose to settle, to select a partner that you know to not be a perfect fit, ignoring red-flag after red-flag, you are telling yourself that you are not worthy of a partner that is right for you. To accept the second, third, or fourth best is to devalue yourself in the eyes of yourself. We don’t just settle in relationships, we settle in all aspects of our lives. We don’t push ourselves as hard as we could at the gym for the fear of failure, an omnipresent energy living in your mind, of which you believe will strike you down if you don’t succeed when you try. We don’t push for the top position in our line of work because we don’t think it’s possible, we don’t think we’re good enough. You are good enough, you are worthy of love, and you have value because you are alive.

Don’t settle because one day during this up-hill hike to self-actualisation, you will encounter another travelling soul who resonates deep into every ounce of your being and the two of you will be drawn to eachother with such magnetism, and what an incredible feeling that will be.

It’s when, not if.

Am I worth it?

I long to remember what it was like to be filled with a complete sense of self-belief. Every goal, no matter how grandiose, seemed only just out of reach, all I had to do was stretch forward. I miss those days, and I miss believing in myself and I miss my furious drive to do great things.

During my academic ‘glory days’, I studied with relenting persistence to obtain prestigious grades, thinking that this number reflected my self-worth; this was my fatal flaw. When my interest in my area of study wavered, I found that my ability to apply myself and remain disciplined diminished with each coming passing semester and this affected my grades. By basing my self-worth on my grades and how much effort I applied, when my grades and effort decreased so did my self-worth. How can it be that I’ve achieved a great GPA throughout my whole degree and yet I feel like an academic criminal, masquerading as somebody intelligent? This whole time my ego distorted my perception of my own intelligence and now the facade is in decay. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you believe you’re exceptionally unintelligent.

What do I base my self-worth on if not my grades? Can it ever be based on something external, being that externalities can be perturbed?

 

Life is a tightrope.

Everyday I walk a balancing act atop a taught rope suspended between the two chasms of hedonism and self-tyranny. To hold myself to such high standards that eventually I will fail to reach throws me off balance, and I struggle to maintain composure.

It’s hard to stumble and not fall when you walk over a fine line between two destructive beasts, awaiting the chance to envelop you.

Goals = Awareness.

Each day begins with a blank page in our partially filled book, and the direction of our story is dictated by each passing moment. The things on which our awareness rests create a subconscious filter within our brain, sorting through all relevant and non-relevant stimuli. For example, if we value kindness and strength, we are more likely to observe these traits in others. If we value money, career success and accumulating material wealth then we are more likely to find opportunities to strive toward these things in each moment of our life. Moreover, if we do not value ethics and compassion whilst simultaneously valuing wealth and excess, we are more likely to observe opportunities to pursue these ends through unvirtuous means.

The stimuli that you consciously feed your brain and the stimuli that are fed to your brain without your consent colour every moment of your existence. You are what you eat, so eat well. Choose carefully what you expose yourself to as these things subconsciously dictate the words that are etched onto each page in the book of your life.

Take back your neurology and program yourself wisely.

Cognitive misdirection.

My world is a war zone and my senses have committed an act of treason. Engaged in an operation, they have coloured my perception with cognitive misdirection. How can I orient myself in the world properly when external stimuli can no longer be trusted? Imagine if when a particular event occurred you believed for certain that you knew the meaning of it, only to later reveal your error in perception. Now multiply this scenario by 365 and you have an accurate representation of my mind. A focus on detail; all senses stuck on magnify, seeing only the letters and failing to observe the sentence.

Context matters.

Now what to do about this? I’ll let you know when I find out…

Why slavery is not only humane but good for the economy.

“Sold” shouts the auctioneer.

As I look my Wife in the eyes, tears running down her face. I’m being taken away, unlikely to see her again. Who am I? I am a commodity, an item, an object.

I was born into slavery, just like my father and his father before him; slavery is all I know.

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Let’s take a trip back to America in the early 1800s. Your family is against slavery as they believe this to be inhumane and wrong, however, your family purchases cotton from your neighbour who owns slaves. These slaves are made to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week; they have no freedom. They were born into slavery, as were their parents and their parents before them; all they know and ever will know is slavery. How do you feel about this? Is this wrong? Why?

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Perhaps you remember the Soviet Gulags? The forced labour camps that ruled with an iron fist in the 20th century. Humans imprisoned by a Communist state, forced to work 14 hours days of hard labour in the inhospitable regions of the Soviet Union. Their lives of no value to the communist state, often dying and replaced by another. Is this wrong? Why?

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Is slavery so wrong? We possess such power of these inferior beings, why shouldn’t we be allowed to exploit them? We are superior. They are cannon fodder, objects, commodities to be traded. If power dictates whether we should do something, then it is logical to think that we can dominate the weak with an iron fist! By leveraging slavery, we can increase our economic productivity and make our lives more convenient. These benefits greatly improve the lives of our species, and something with such a great benefit to society surely cannot be wrong, right? Do you think this ideology is immoral, unethical and wrong? Why? If you answered yes to this question, then I’d like to take you on a journey through your own hypocrisy.

Do you eat the flesh of an animal? Cow? Chicken? Turkey? Sheep? Lamb? Duck? Do you drink milk, eat cheese, milk chocolate or drink Whey protein? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are complicit and actively participating in the systematic enslavement and slaughter of entire species. The Animal enslavement industry (also referred to as ‘Animal Agriculture’) exists only to meet a demand for animal products. This systematic enslavement and slaughter of innocent and unconsenting sentient beings arose out of necessity for sustaining populations in the past. Civilisations required agriculture to survive and some communities still require it today. However, in 21st century Australia claiming necessity could not be further from the truth. We live in a society that does not require animal products to survive, and there is plenty of academia to support the nutritional adequacy of a vegan diet. Research about a vegan diet on your University academia database.

Why is it wrong?

If you answered yes to the question of whether slavery in America or the Soviet Gulags is wrong, then by extension you must agree that all slavery is wrong!

“It’s different when it’s slavery of non-human lives” the carnist cries with bloody conviction.

Tell me, specifically what part of it makes it different? Is it the fact that they possess less power than us? If power is the determining factor then by reason of logic it must be okay to exploit when a power difference exists, no? Perhaps it is acceptable for Men to push themselves onto unwilling Women as asymmetrical power exists? After all, Men are more powerful surely, they can force their will onto the less powerful, no? If you agree that domination based purely on the ability to is wrong, then by extension Men dominating Women because they possess greater power, and Humans enslaving animals based on purely possessing greater power is also wrong!

So, what does this all mean?

Growing up, we were raised on the idea that eating animals and eating things from them is acceptable, normal and ethical, and to question this idea creates defensiveness (from the cognitive dissonance) within us. It is important to delve into the truths of what you are actively participating in economically when you purchase meat, dairy and any animal products. If you can agree that slavery is wrong, immoral and unethical, then by extension of logic you must also agree that the Animal Enslavement industry (Factory Farming/Animal Agriculture) is also wrong, immoral and unethical.

My eyes are now open, what can I do now?

To systematically destroy the Animal Enslavement industry, we must fight back with our voice and our wallet. Stop purchasing any animal products. This means that you will have to read the ingredients of every food item that you purchase. This may sound like a drag; however, your body will love you for it, but that’s another article for another day.

The most freeing experience for an Animal in a factory farm is the moment their throat is slit for our own selfish desires. Thick flowing freedom pumps out through the horizontal death sentence in their throat and spills out onto our conscience, staining so dark we will never wash the blood from our hands.