¿Para quién nacemos y para quién vivimos?

Todos los seres humanos, desde la infancia, necesitamos que nuestros padres nos quieran, nos demuestren afecto y nos acepten tal y como somos.

Y digo “necesitamos” porque de lo contrario no podríamos sobrevivir. Si nuestros padres no nos quieren, no nos cuidarán y si no nos cuidan nuestras necesidades básicas no quedarán cubiertas y estaríamos en riesgo de morir por negligencia.

Pero una vez cubiertas nuestras necesidades básicas, tenemos necesidades emocionales que no siempre son cubiertas de la manera más sana para el individuo.

La necesidad de ser aceptado tal y como uno es es más escaza de lo que creemos. Muchos padres tienen expectativas para sus hijos, sus propias agendas profesionales y personales para la vida de sus hijos sin siquiera preguntarles qué quieren ellos para sí mismos y de la vida.

Así, muchos llevamos esta necesidad de aceptación paternal a nuestra vida adulta sin darnos cuenta de que ya no necesitamos a nuestros padres para sobrevivir.

Y aún si somos conscientes de ello, la cultura o la religión nos impiden enfrentar a nuestros padres y atrevernos a contrariar sus expectativas viviendo a nuestra manera.

Y muchos otros que optan por vivir bajo sus propias reglas terminan cortando o limitando la relación con sus padres, no sin llevar con ellos la tristeza inherente de no ser aceptados por quienes deberían amarlos incondicionalmente.

Es entonces donde tenemos que decirnos lo siguiente:

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Suena fuerte, tal vez, pero es así.

Porque tu vida es sólo tuya y desde el momento en que uno nace es un SER en su totalidad.

Aunque necesitemos comida, vestido y cuidados desde el nacimiento, nuestras necesidades no nos convierten en un ser humano individual y único, sino nuestra propia existencia.

Ninguna persona nace para nadie más que para sí mismo!

Y no nace para nada más que para andar SU PROPIO camino, vivir su vida bajo SUS TÉRMINOS y AMAR su existencia con valentía y éxtasis.

Will Japan change you?

Many moving to Japan may think that the very nature of the country will change them.

And in part, they are right. After all, adapting oneself to the different environments one will encounter in life is not only a skill but a necessity.

But we in the West tend to see Japan portrayed as this super technological hub in which robots are everywhere. Far from the truth. For example, you won’t find a single person using Robophone, and if you ask Japanese about it, none or very few will know what you are talking about.

Yes, in modern houses in Japan many things are automatized, and yet, paradoxically, paying with cash is still the norm, and few places accept credit cards.

So, if daily life in Japan is not the super technological place you see on TV and the way of life is also not so different from the West, then how will Japan change you?

After 2.5 years living in Japan, I came to the following conclusion:

Apart from the language, there’s nothing so unusual in Japan that will change you. After all, they have copied many Western ways and, as a foreigner, you can build yourself a type of bubble in which you don’t have to comply to “Japanese ways” (the hierarchy, the submissiveness, etc.)

And you can build yourself this bubble in Japan or any other foreign country, for that matter.

I think Japan per se will not change you, but how different is your home country from the country you are moving in, that is, the degree of differentness, and how you respond to this difference.

If a Chinese or South Korean move to Japan, Japan won’t change her much. But if a European or an American does it, yes, he will probably change more than the Chinese or the South Korean, but not as much as we might think in the West as a result of how Japan is shown to us.

For that matter, I think Mongolia would change anyone from the West much more.

So if you want to experience the necessity of having to change as a result of your environment, unless you are living in a Buddhist temple, please don’t move to Japan.

 

What I learned from horse riding in Mongolia

When talking about going beyond our comfort zones, we often refer to an intellectual way of doing so: to challenge ourselves in ways that require our brains to learn new things.

But in this case, I want to talk about physical comfort.

To go beyond your physical comfort zone is to arrive at a point in which being physically uncomfortable becomes, paradoxically, comfortably enough.

This past July I went for four days to a horse ride in the Mongolian steppe. I spent the night inside a nomad family’s yurt, slept on the floor, didn’t take a shower at all, and ate the same food every day. I was in constant pain from the beginning of my trip.

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And yet, every day was a reminder of how well it felt to spend time in nature and how little we humans need to survive.

Yes, the nomads have a hard life. They don’t get to live many years. But being in Mongolia also made me wonder why in the West do we want to live for so long (I think this should be a choice, but this is another topic).

And why do we want to have so many possessions that require us to have bigger houses when a yurt might be enough?

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Maybe living like the nomads is extreme, but I think living like rich people do it is extreme too.

I’ve always liked having few things (and I still think I have too much), but after being in Mongolia, I am more committed than ever to possess even less.

I’ve learned that is uncomfortable to live like the Mongolian nomads, but now I know that I can do it.

Now I am aware that any other physical discomfort or lack of material things I might experience won’t be comparable to my Mongolian experience.

That if I even got to enjoy that precarity, then I can live with fewer things than with what in the West we tend to think we need.

I learned that I could find comfort in the discomfort.

Even in the discomfort after falling off a horse.

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But this is also another story 😉

Beware of your “friends”

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Why are we in social media?

Is it really to be in touch with our friends?

Or to compare others’ lives with ours and see if we are scoring more than them?

Is it because we want to give our time and attention to our friends?

Or because we want their time and attention without giving anything back?

Are we there for the likes?

Are we there to pretend?

To build a persona that is half true?

Why are we in social media in the first place?

Maybe the answer is that because we are addicted to the likes.

And we are more afraid of losing others’ attention because with social media we can pretend we are not alone. That someone cares.

But if everyone is there to seek others’ attention, then by logic no one is there to give you their attention.

They are in for a deal.

Beware what you sign in for.

Do you think you are helping the environment? Think again!

Some people think they are saving the planet by consuming many things but throwing away none.

But while there’s so much they might need, there is no limit to the excuses they give to buy a new version of the same thing they already have.

We can always come up with reasons why we need a new car, a new pair of shoes, a second house or new furniture.

But the underlying cause it’s our status anxiety. Our need to gain other’s respect through, among some other things, the expensive, trendy, new, things we possess.

But we don’t need all these new stuff.

We have to stop pretending that we are doing the planet a favor by not throwing things away or by selling our “old” stuff, while we are consuming like addicts.

We need to go to the psychologist to solve our lack of self-love.

Instead of buying a newer version of whatever the market puts in front of us, we have to ask ourselves a fundamental question:

What am I looking for to gain through buying this new thing? Is it love? Respect? Admiration? And if so, why?

We would be surprised to know that behind most useless consumption there’s a wounded heart trying to cheer itself up, but often unwilling to actually heal.