Vanity & Pride

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

— Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Being proud is acceptable as long as it does not go to the point where one is full of oneself. Celebrate achievements and milestones in a person’s life – no harm in this. Just do not be vain.

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First Love

“I trust the red sun setting,
the leafless November trees.
On Monday morning I look forward
fearlessly to Friday’s eve.
But humans are not as reliable
as nature, as trees.
I wonder if you’ll come back;
I trust only that you leave.”

― Ellen Wittlinger, Book: Hard Love

Picture from http://goodmenproject.com/

Coping With Loss – Quote

“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.”
— Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)

Read here for previous published post on Coping With Loss ….

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Coping With Loss

In the last few months, there have been many deaths of people I know and some famous people. I think death is something real and we have to learn to accept death as part of life. I do still struggle when dealing with death even when dealing with someone who is not close to me. I grew up without a mom, lost my dad when I was 13 and then lost my Grandfather and Grandmother in my 30’s. Every time there is death, I go into this mental processing mode on facts, feelings and spiritual healing.

I believe there is no right way or wrong way to personally deal with death. Individually we do our best to equip ourselves with possibility of any loss. The most important thing is to accept the differences and give a lot of understanding. The one thing not to do is to deny it will happen at any time. At some point, you have to start thinking about the preparation.

I do not know how I would cope with a loss the next time around. It could possibly be someone close. Although I feel I am always prepared, I think I would probably be in some deep sadness period. I pray I will pass that period gradually but fast. There are so many ways to learn on how to cope with a loss. I am certainly not an expert. I do feel at this point of my life, writing down the best way I handle loss is a way to share and reminds me when the time comes again. Below are what I prepare to face any loss…

  • Acknowledge how I feel.
    I think it is important to acknowledge how I feel. It is not how I should feel but what I am truly feeling. I do not want others to tell me what I should feel or how to feel. I must figure out what I am feeling on my own. By doing this, I concentrate on my own feelings and me. In the end, it is simpler. For as I heal, I help the people around me heal together.
  • Stay Healthy
    You can be sad and mad but stay healthy. There are cases where society plays an important role in this. How can she eat during this period? What other people think is no important. I know from experience that when I am not healthy I do not function well, miserable, unable to communicate or think clearly. When I am unhealthy, I am mentally unhealthy and will not be able to heal properly.
  • Good Support System
    This usually falls back to the closest people around me. Emotionally I do depend a lot on my friends as I only have one sibling. This is the part I worry the most, as I do not have a large support system. I hope they will be there to listen when I need them and encourage me to physically and emotionally heal (or smack me when I lost all hope!!). I think it is important to converse about loss with family members. I do ask myself some questions like how many aging people who are close to me and tell myself this is part of life. You love them but they will not live forever.
  • Faith
    For me, finding comfort and solace can only come from my faith. In every faith, there are methods one can learn to cope with a loss. I find that that being spiritually strong helps in the search of ways to mentally deal with all thoughts. Prayers and zikr can help to reduce stress. Sometimes it is good to talk with our religious teachers. Being closer to my Creator makes me calmer and able to think clearer.
  • Understand that healing takes time
    I find some time that people try to move on with their life too soon. They put aside their feelings, physical health and project a “strong” front. Discussion on the loss is required, if not it will possibly lead to depression. I do not want to be strong when all I feel is grief and sadness. All I want to do is deal with the grief and sadness. Cry if I want to. Take leave and be alone if that is what I feel to do. There is no target date to heal but remember the target is to cope with the loss and finally moving on.

Many experts talk about many stages of coping with loss. Usually it is the 5 stages:
a. Denial
b. Anger
c. Bargaining
d. Depression
e. Acceptance

The stage that I am afraid the most is the depression stage but those stages are not something that a person has to go through. It just varies from one person to another.

When we lose someone we love, we are face with many unexplained feelings, thoughts, questions, blame, anger, sadness and so much more. Although we say we cannot prepare for death, we have to accept death as part of life. We have to remember that it is more painful for those left behind; therefore, a little preparation will ease the loss.
Will it ever be enough? I do not know. I do the best I can with the knowledge I have.


Picture from: http://galleryhip.com/growth.html

The Stonehenge Experience

During my trip to England, one of the places we did not plan to stop was Stonehenge. As we head home from Bath, we thought we will just pass by it to take some photographs. Stonehenge closes at 4pm hence we could not enter.

It turns out to be a blessing as I had the most wonderful experience of witnessing the most beautiful sunset. I stand by the fence and shoot photos through the holes of the fence netting. Stonehenge looks even more majestic in that setting, with a background of multicolored sunset sky. There were some campers on the other side of the plains making it more picturesque.

Although I was unable to see the Stonehenge up-close, the view from the fence was breathtakingly beautiful. I would not have been able to see it if we came earlier during the day. It is such a mysterious place with so many questions remains unanswered. As the sun sets, it became interestingly eerie. If I had another chance, I would return just before closing time, to witness the majestic stones and the beautiful sunset again. If.

And the drive from Bath to Amesbury was an experience itself. That would be for another blog update.

Here are some of the pictures I took at Stonehenge. Enjoy!!
(for details on Stonehenge, just go to Wikipedia)

When we arrive, everyone has left the Stonehenge compound, hence the place looks abandoned. It is actually very nice to take a photo without anyone walking or blocking the important object.
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As it gets darker, the sky started to change in colour.
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The sunset is slightly to the right of Stonehenge so I took some photos of the sun setting. There are some campers on the plains – that is the square silhouette on the right of the photo.
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Just breathtakingly beautiful.
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A closeup picture of one of the Stonehenge rock with 2 birds resting on it. I took so many pictures, only a few turns out well. So this was quite a challenge for me as I was quite new in photography.
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Do visit my my flickr with more pictures of my visit to Stonehenge.

The Other “F” Word

JK Rowling on the other F-word — “Fat”:

‘Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
— J.K. Rowling

I am guilty of this sometimes. I am so used to saying someone looks great first then comments about other matters. I try not to mention about a person weight..I do when they comment. Some people expects a compliment that they have lost a lot of weight (or a little). I have to do better…

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