What do you do in the face of Anger?

I can hear my heartbeat pounding in my eardrums. Literally. Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom.

My face is completely heated. I can feel steam coming out of my palms. I have a massive impulse to get revenge. To make her hurt. To fight back with all the secrets of hers that I hold. To expose to the world what a complete hypocrite she is. To show everyone the truth and retrieve back my dignity. To tell everyone how much of a fool she looked like, trying to gain pity from others. I wished she would experience all that I did, all that she made me feel, and then laugh in the face of her pain.

Has it only been a minute? It feels like hours have gone by. I’m barely breathing, my eyes can’t focus on anything. All I see in my mind……is rage. All I feel in my body is terrible terrible anger.

I used to fear feeling like this because I didn’t like the way I felt when anger attacked.

I didn’t like feeling angry. And I would beat myself up about it. I would feel completely horrible for having bad thoughts of other people. The guilt of wanting to hurt them would engulf my anger and render me even more ashamed. I wasn’t this person, so why was I feeling that way???

How could I ever have those thoughts? I’m not a vengeful person. I’ve never been this angry, enough to have such thoughts. Growing up, I’ve never cared about what others said about me. I’ve had people do worse things to me and still I never felt this angry towards them. I’m not even this angry towards my own ex- who was the one who actually did the stuff to hurt me. Why am I so angry towards this person? Someone I don’t even know?

Why? I wanted to seek out the meaning behind my anger towards this particular person.

Twice when the triggers attacked and I experienced tremendous rage, I started hitting myself. I would bang my head against any hard surface, scratch my skin until it bled, pull at my hair, I would hit myself in the head continuously until Marco calms me down. And every time after I calm down, I would start crying immediately because of all the emotions I felt. I felt like the Hulk. I kept repeating to myself “I’m not the hulk. I’m not an angry person.”

Because of such traumatic experiences with Anger, I got afraid of it. So many times when the anger resurfaced, I would push it away. I would reject it, avoid it and completely deny it.

But Anger didn’t want to leave. It found ways to sneak back into my heart, small and big ways. A flashback, a memory, a song, a word, a type of food. It became so exhausting avoiding Anger, it felt like she was waiting around every bend, lurking around every corner.

So, one day. I finally had enough. I summoned up all the courage I had, marched up to her and said “What can I do for you so you will leave me alone????”

It was then, when Anger approached me calmly and placed a single finger on my stomach. The heat that suddenly coursed through my body felt so familiar, so haunting and yet……it wasn’t setting me on fire. I took a leap of faith and embraced the intense heat. Instead of harming me, it was trying to burst energy into me so I could feel my body better. I was….suddenly aware of knots that were in my body. Knots that seemed to pulsate to the drums of my Anger. I couldn’t feel them before because all of the heat used to concentrate around my mind, stopping me from being aware of my body.

I quickly learned that Anger……….was just trying to be helpful. Anger was just trying to tell me something. About who? Not about what we think of the person trying to hurt us, or people trying to get a reaction out of us. Anger doesn’t care about them. Anger doesn’t know them. Anger doesn’t want anything to do with them.

Anger wanted to reveal the cause of my pain and sorrow.

“I want you…to feel where it hurts when you pinpoint where the anger comes from,” My life coach, Rella, told me.

I went through the list of things my perpetrator said about me. One by one. I said those things to myself and I asked myself where the words caused a reaction.

Some surfaced in my lower back, some in my throat, most of them in my stomach and some of them in my chest.

“For all the feelings you’re experiencing now, as you’re replaying the hurtful things that were said to or about you, when was the last time you remember feeling like this before?” Rella very calmly and gently asked me.

At first, it wasn’t so clear to figure out where the source of my feelings came from. I had long ago detached from those memories. I had long ago put away the incidents that hurt me. With Rella‘s help and patience, she helped me navigate through my past and gave me actual solutions to my problems.

Slowly….and when I mean slowly…..I mean that it’s taking months and months, I’m managing to unearth so many things that happened in my past, things that hurt me deeply. I’m going back in time to remember what happened to toddler Jane, child Jane, teenage Jane, young adult Jane and I’m putting faces to many of the triggers I have.

For every precious skull of memory I collect, I place them gently into individual jars and from time to time, I now hold them close to me, with a sole intention to heal these wounds.

I hold closely, each skull that contains a memory of past Janes, and I let the ghosts of them cry out to me. I let them demonstrate what it felt like when those things happened. I allowed them to remind me how lonely, abandoned, hurt, betrayed, and dismissed I once felt.

I used to see such a thick layer of fog. A fog that covered up the meaning behind my anger. Why was I angry? Especially if I knew her intentions to accuse me were only in reaction to her own inability to cope with her feelings?

The minute I started realizing that her anger was not just directed towards me, but more towards her own self, the minute I also realized my own anger wasn’t just in reaction to her actions. They were in reaction to my own past actions.

I put her aside and I focused on my own actions.

I stopped feeling bad about things I’d done before. I started understanding why and letting go of the past. I stopped feeling guilt towards the past because I now knew that the reason I made all of my “mistakes” or “regrets” were because I had past wounds that were buried alive. Buried while they were still pounding alive, wanting to be healed, to be acknowledged, to be heard. My thoughts and actions were driven by the ghosts of my past, all rising to the surface whenever a trigger occurs, all demanding that their grievances were dealt with.

Soon….The fog started clearing and I could see so clearly. There was so much clarity.

I even started looking at my bully differently. She wasn’t my enemy. Although she intended to hurt me, it mirrored the amount of hurt she herself was feeling. However hard she was on me, it reflected how much more brutal she is towards herself. I was never her enemy. She had her own battles to fight. It was easier for her to direct anger towards me, than face Anger herself.

There was no forgiving needed. From either party. I just had to see her. To really see her. And just let her be. Not to change her actions towards me, or wonder why she had so much hatred towards me, but to accept that whatever she does or says is out of my control, and that I can decide to disengage and let go.

“Tell me who you are,” Anger once asked me to write down attributes that would describe me.

As I wrote down each word, I waited for a rejection from my body. If there was, I would re-examine the word and ask myself what the truth was. Is it a word that accurately describes who I am? Or it a word that describes the ghosts of my past? At the end of the session, I looked at all the words that described the person I am and I felt……..accepted. I was finally acknowledging who I am, all of it – even the parts that I felt ashamed of.

Then, I also wrote down words that described who I wanted to be, and I set an intention.

An intention to release myself from the actions of my past, be it good, bad, ugly, or sad.

An intention to allow inner parts of me that were once suppressed and denied, to express and be accepted.

Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but transferred.

And after the calamities that happen in our lives, it is up to us to recuperate and heal, and then seek to grow from within.

And this is how I know, that every single one of us, is capable of building ourselves back up. From the ashes of our calamity, we nurture our self-worth and allow nature to tend to our healing.

And you know what?

After 2 years of grieving, pain, anger, shame, and sorrow, I’ve come to accept all of it. Not to change them, not to wish them away. But simply to accept them.

Someone once told me that acceptance is a mutually beneficial agreement.

If you go to a shop to buy something, and they name you a price, you get what you want only by accepting an agreeable price. However much you haggle with the seller, both of you have to agree on a set price.

And once that price is agreed upon, there are no more hard feelings towards each other. Both parties simply accept and move on.

Accepting our past, accepting the people around us, accepting ourselves.

It all goes into helping us move past temporary disagreements. Not to judge, blame, or hold accountable for anything more. Just to say “look we once disagreed on something, but it doesn’t mean anything else. Let’s move on.”

If we can constantly do this with our “enemies” whether they are people who’ve hurt us, or even ourselves, we will do better in our goals of becoming more evolved versions of ourselves.

How does it feel now?

Lighter and happier.

It’s been easier to distinct between the voices of my past and my own voice now. Even when triggers come, they swiftly go and I’ve learnt to be patient with myself.

Stuck emotions no longer last longer than a day, and my dreams are no longer plagued with what “could have been” or “should have been”

After the calamity, there is Peace.

And Peace……is a treasured luxury. Peace is a gift. I’m grateful for Peace.


The different beds

When we got married, D and I went shopping for a bed for our new home. For 30 minutes we were choosing between a queen sized or a king sized bed. “we should get a good bed since we’re going to be sleeping in it every night and also for at least 15 years” – our rationale for eventually splurging a good amount on a king sized bed, with an extra layer of bamboo-something, making the bed so high I often had to tip toe to climb onto it.

It was a really comfortable bed. But I probably only enjoyed good sleep on it for 6 months before I started losing sleep. It wasn’t the bed of course. It was the myriad of problems we were avoiding thinking and talking about that stole sleep from me. Very often, on the bedside table on my side of our bed, would be a glass of whiskey or gin, filled almost to the brim, just so I could drink myself to get rest, on this expensive hotel-grade bed.

I remember my childhood bed, a mattress I had slept on for at least 15 years and hugged my body just the right way. In it, I spent many nights worrying about the next day’s exam, fighting giggles while talking to friends past bedtime, crying my eyes out over puppy-love breakups. This bed was where my dog would jump up onto, to cuddle with me, where I would bend over to throw up when I got really sick, and what I eventually felt I was growing out of, once i started wanting to move out of my parents’ house. This bed was where I spent three years sleeping in the dark, after my uncle had drowned in the sea, and after I had dreamt of him sleeping beside me, cold and wet. I think and wonder how I wasn’t more afraid back then. But beds are beds, and I still needed to sleep in mine no matter.

On my brother’s bed where I woke up, the day after our marriage fell apart, I remember the pain soar up to my throat, to my head, into my fingers, my legs, but finally in my heart. My eyes burned up immediately with tears, and I stumbled into my parents’ bed, dragging myself into the space in between them. My parents, half awake, put their arms around me, like they used to when I woke up from a nightmare as a child. There, I cried a deep cry, thinking I would never recover from a pain like this. In their arms, they held me while they soothed my cries, unable to do anything else to help their darling daughter. Beyond my pain, I felt theirs. I felt their helplessness, and their hearts break ten times more than mine. There, in their bed, I was once more their little girl. I remember the pain but I no longer feel it anymore. All I want now, is for my parents to know that their little girl is doing much better now. I try to show them I’m doing well, but I fear they will take much longer to heal their own wounds.

The eventuality of beds is such that we find rest in them no matter how the day went. I thought about this alot as I slept on a rickety rackety sofa bed for a month, back when I was in Oxford doing a workaway for a single mum. It was slanted to one side and so my body was almost always slanted through the night. I would wake up with bad neck aches and still, I was much happier than I was on my King sized luxurious bed. I was free.

In Mexico, where I made my bed changed alot. A mattress on a floor with my two friends sleeping in the same room. A bed in an attic with a huge painting of an old man staring at me. A bed in a hostel where everyone felt immediately like friends. A bed on an island where I got bitten by the most vicious bugs, but where I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

I would wake up one day, feeling sad from a nightmare, haunting me from the past, and another day, feeling refreshed and excited for the future to come.

In the last 8 days, I slept in a rental van, on a thin mattress borrowed from a dear friend. Driving around the North of Scotland, this mattress saw some great sunsets. From the side of a lake, to a cliff overlooking the sea, this bed took me all around the NC 500 route. Laying between me and the cold hard floor of the van, this bed gave me some of the best rest I’ve ever had. I’ve slept better here, than in some hotel rooms.

It’s interesting that I feel more at ease on a stranger’s bed. I feel more rested in a bed I will only spend a night in, than one I can call my own. I think it is the mornings that feel different. On the road, while traveling, the day is always full of mystery. I never know what will happen, who I will meet and what new things I will learn. It’s the adrenaline of new sights and sounds that make every bed I sleep in now, more well used, for I fall into such deep sleeps and fascinating dreams.

“There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.” – Carl Jung

From: https://scottjeffrey.com/shadow-work/

A while ago, I had to stand in court for a crime I didn’t do. Someone who was really pissed off with me wanted to sue me for harassment. Having no justification and no proper claims or evidence for it, she was asked to withdraw her case and not to waste taxpayers’ money. The entire court session was actually really good for me because I learned so much about myself during the entire process. I wanted to focus on my own actions, how I could pick out the bits of what I didn’t like of myself so I could regenerate and improve as a person.

My bully was a person with many insecurities. But she also played very dirty, with little conscience on her hands. Amongst many accusations she made about me in court, she took one of my blogposts and submitted it to the court as evidence that i have a “violent nature”. In that post, I was describing about the one time my triggers were on high alert, and I flung a glass against a wall while acting out infront of Marco and our friends. I also shared that after the incident, I broke down crying because I knew I had reacted in a manner that wasn’t reflective of my best self. As I was crying, Marco asked if I had scared myself. It was in that moment, that I felt he understood me. He could see my anger being played out because I had so much repressed anger, anger I should have displayed when I was being bullied in the first place. Anger from my childhood, teenage years that I didn’t work through.

I wanted to share that incident to show people that anger is a part of the grieving process and the more we suppress it, the more it comes out unexpectedly, especially when our emotions are on a high and we aren’t able to control ourselves. I wanted to show people that it’s necessary to understand our “dark side” and befriend it, so we can dispel it and move through it, instead of being afraid of it.

Now that I’ve been studying psychology and philosophy for a while, I also know this to be called Shadow work.

What is the Shadow?

The shadow is the “dark side” of our personality because it consists chiefly of primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power.

(However, we cut ourselves off from many of our best qualities too. I cover the “positive shadow” in a separate guide on psychological projection.)

All we deny in ourselves—whatever we perceive as inferior, evil, or unacceptable—become part of the shadow.

Anything incompatible with our chosen conscious attitude about ourselves relegates to this dark side.

The personal shadow is the disowned self. This shadow self represents the parts of us we no longer claim to be our own, including inherent positive qualities.

These unexamined or disowned parts of our personality don’t go anywhere. Although we deny them in our attempt to cast them out, we don’t get rid of them.

We repress them; they are part of our unconscious. Think of the unconscious as everything we are not conscious of.

We can’t eliminate the shadow. It stays with us as our dark brother or sister. Trouble arises when we fail to see it. For then, to be sure, it is standing right behind us.

Shadow work for me, was a game changer.

To actively seek out your shadow takes courage, and I hope to sow in you courage by proving to you that when you get past your fear of confront your shadow, you really do get a better idea of you are.

And knowing who you are…..is a superpower. Knowing exactly who you are – for all the things you think you should be ashamed of….things you are proud of….things you want to be grateful for…..is an ability we can ALL cultivate. Because it’s when we know ourselves, that we lose the idea that we need to be spectacular. We lose the concept of needing validation. We lost the fear of not being loved or wanted.

And of course, we are able to genuinely love ourselves.

We treat others the way we treat ourselves. When we don’t have love for ourselves, we won’t know how to project love for others. Love that they really desire and deserve.

What Happens When You Repress Your Shadow

So what happens to all the parts of ourselves we sweep out of view?

Whatever qualities we deny in ourselves, we see in others.

In psychology, this is called projection. We project onto others anything we bury within us.

If, for example, you get irritated when someone is rude to you, it’s a good bet you haven’t owned your own rudeness.

This doesn’t mean the person isn’t being rude to you. However, if rudeness wasn’t in your shadow self, someone else’s rudeness wouldn’t bother you so much.

This process doesn’t happen consciously. We aren’t aware of our projections.

Our egos use this mechanism to defend itself—to defend how it perceives itself. Our false identities of being “good” keep us from connecting to our shadow.

These psychological projections distort reality, creating a thick boundary between how we view ourselves and how we behave in reality.

Integrating our shadow into the concepts of ourselves is imperative if we want to fully grow into who we can be.

Understanding our Shadow is Understanding our Strength

You know what true strength is?

True strength is when you know you have the power to impact someone in a huge way, like the way you have power over a child……but you use it wisely. You control your own emotions by not letting them project unto them.

And how can you stop your projections from happening if you’re not in control of your emotions? Being in control means having a strong relationship with your body (the body often responds before your mind does) and being able to feel the wrath….feel all of that fire in your body, but snuffing it out so you don’t light someone else on fire.

That takes true courage, something that your bullies don’t have, which is why they hide in the dark, they fear people’s judgment of them.

Next time you’re being bullied, stand up for yourself with courage, and give them exactly what they deserve. Nothing more, nothing less. Show them the consequence of their actions, but pardon them the rest of your fury. Leave them be……and work on conquering your own Shadow.

feeling okay enough to feel bored

many things to pen down.

oof i haven’t done this in a while. and just yesterday, while writing the scooter home, i thought about the many times i wrote about my anger. and told myself to pen down my feelings of boredom too.

for what felt like an agonizingly long amount of time, i remember feeling so angry, hurt and depressed.

i remember feeling that heavy block of burden slowly lifting too. i penned down that moment of transition.

i’ve always wanted to show you the raw, un-edited parts of my journey. my journey towards healing inner child wounds, healing from a toxic divorce , healing from generations of anxiety/depression/oppression. i’ve always wanted you to see me as a part of you, and feel supported by my progress.

so it’s only right that i show you what boredom now feels like.

i don’t know of which stage this is – but boredom feels very much like indifference.

it’s like when you open your high school/secondary school year book and you remember the people you crossed paths with then. bestfriends you had. the kind of hair styles you wore, clothing you dressed yourself in, and attitudes/perspectives you picked up as a result of peer pressure. you remember the You that lived through that, you even remember how stressed you were while preparing for exams, how heartbroken you were when you first got betrayed, how vulnerable you felt when you first got bullied. but you feel indifferent to it now, because you know you’re not the same person anymore. you’re not the you…..some 15 years ago.

i’m at that stage now.

able to look back at the last few years and heartily laugh at the funny things, able to appreciate how hard it was for me to drag myself through the healing process and succeed, able to view myself and all of my past mistakes/regrets with compassion and say “you’ve learned from them, they don’t define who you are”

sure, i am still grieving for some things, grieving for a few friendships i’ve lost. grieving for some of the people whose feelings i absorbed and carry with me. but i’ve come to realize that having this heightened sense of empathy is a part of who i am. it feels very much like if i had a past life – that i was a village leader, or a healer, or a nurturer of some sorts. coming to care for people regardless of what they’ve done comes really natural to me that i feel it’s almost impossible for me to shut my empathy off. i see people and even without them speaking, i sense their pain, whatever the cause of it. it’s so natural for me to pick up the cues, their body language, the way certain words hang off their lips, the way their eyes dart to a zone of denial – as if they’re trying to shove that memory into oblivion.

i’ve come to accept that like every one else, i have a set of gifts that i have denied exploring. a set of gifts i didn’t feel was so special, because i never felt special.

the point is – no singular person is special. none of us really are – but if you look at us as a species or an individual. collectively, we can do wondrous things, and collectively as energy, we’ve made amazing things happen – all to experience life better.

the realization that i am not more or less special than the next person gave me some comfort. and so now i’m free to focus on how my gifts can be of help to someone else, just as their gifts are helpful towards me.

you know what i like about the idea of helping?

when done with true intention, it’s a beautiful act that comes from a “conscious” decision. the act of it reminds us that truly, we are just made up of energy, all equal perhaps just divided into seemingly unequal bodies to host the same source of spirit.

i used to think i was crazy for feeling like that but our 20th century world gifted us Carl Gustav Jung, who has shaken us with his views of the human mind that are in perfect agreement with the discoveries of Quantum Physics. and now i don’t think i’m alone in my way of feeling any more.

when we lead with thoughts, we’re limited by the knowledge we’ve accumulated (painfully lame and limited) but when we lead each step with how we FEEL (connected with our knowing, that feeling in your gut, that awareness of how it makes you feel at peace)…things are different. the veil is slowly lifted bit by bit

so anyway, the difference between being depressed and being bored is great. for one, i don’t have thoughts of un-aliving myself any more. i’m aware that my existence is what it is. no pressure to figure out “the point of existence”. the realization that the identities we give ourselves are up to us to accept. we don’t need to be any one we don’t feel comfortable being. we don’t have to give ourselves any labels that don’t appropriately describe us. we get to choose….who we want to be and to whom we want to matter.

it feels like i’m on a train….or am playing a game/simulation, and i’m not quite sure where the end goal is. and then i look across the space and see people enjoying themselves, doing fun things, and i say “hey that looks fun! i wanna try that”

it feels like that now. chasing what’s beautiful and joyful in life. chasing what can help me grow inwards. chasing no “right” path just whichever path i’m more curious about, more interested in. like when you’re picking a netflix show, and your choice is dependent on how your day went, how tired you are, who you’re with, and whether you even want to watch something or just have background noise.

life feels like that now.

this world is cray

i read the other day, a good way to deal with worry.

and if we just ask ourselves 2 questions, we’ll find ourselves immediately less worried.

  1. Is our worry justified? Is the matter at hand truly happening or are we making conclusions or assumptions based on our anxiety?
  2. If our worry is justified, can we do anything about it? If so, after having done that, is there anything more that we can do?

More often than not, many of us are plagued with worries that are neither truly happening or/and are out of our control. Sometimes, when we do have a legit cause of worry, just do all you can to fight the fire, and then after, practice saying to yourself “the outcome of this event is out of my control”

I know that the anxiety doesn’t just magically poof! go away after saying this, but that knowledge alone should bring some peace. After that, you’ll have to find a list of things to do that can help with your anxiety.

For me, breathwork, meditation, long walks, a chat with my therapist, or doing art, usually works wonders.

Sometimes, people do write to me on Instagram or email, telling me about their marital problems and/or their desire to become a digital nomad.

I find that most people don’t actually want to be nomads, they just want to escape from whatever reality they find themselves in (that’s hard to face at the moment) and nomading feels like the next best thing to do. I know that for me, traveling was definitely a form of finding space to heal and my reasons for nomading have little to do with my healing process.

I had coffee with someone recently. Her marriage is suffering because after 14 years and 2 children, her husband has decided that he doesn’t love her any more. He had recently switched industries and is now constantly surrounded by attractive women, and she suspects that he’s cheating on her, which is why he wanted an out from the marriage.

Another lady I met told me that after 8 years of being in a relationship, she realized she and her boyfriend are just too different, and broke off their engagement before deciding to pursue her dreams of traveling around the world.

I’ve heard so many different stories of heartbreaks and break ups but they share common strands.

The one who’s left behind is usually left with a question of “what did I do to deserve this?”

The one who leaves usually says “i decided i didn’t love them anymore”

But the outcome is usually that the breakup was better for both parties.

The issue is the lack of communication. That’s what many couples lack. It’s not surprising when all of their communication has been leading to misunderstandings, fights, and these things can drain people very fast. It often leads to either party/both parties setting up boundaries against each other, slowly emotionally retreating from the relationship, leading them to wonder why they deserve such emotional distance.

I think any relationship deserves accountability and some sort of closure. But life is unfair, because who decides what fairness is? And for whom can it be fair? If it’s fair for one party, it’s usually unfair to the other. Unless both people can clearly see that a breakup is ultimately a good outcome for everyone. Sometimes we will never find the reason why someone suddenly changed tune or perspective. Did we know 5 years ago, that we would be where we are now?

I know that healing is hard. And the road has many bumps and holes, sometimes even a simple pothole can disrupt your healing process. I know.

I won’t even lie and say it gets easier, because maybe it’s only gonna get tougher.

What I feel nowadays, is that an object, a memory, a person or even our own lives, will only have meaning when we give it meaning. We are the ones who get to attach identities/purpose/meaning to objects, people, and life. Why do we call anyone anything that doesn’t really exist? Our blood relatives aside, any one else is just a person to us. Our boss suddenly doesn’t become our boss anymore when we quit our jobs. Our best friend changes when we shift through phases in life. Our enemies change when we no longer disagree/ are indifferent to each other. Our spouses can become strangers when the marriage is over. Our own identities are all kind of chosen by ourselves. Who we want to be, what we want to do.

If I started yelling at you in a language you don’t understand, you wouldn’t be offended by my words.

If one of us is colour blind and the other is not, they wouldn’t be able to communicate in terms of colour. How one perceives Truth is completely personal and subjective.

You can either see your suffering as a type of pain that is determined to hurt you, or you can see pain as growing pains, meant to elevate you.

*This doesn’t apply to people suffering from mental illnesses.

I know this writing is not structually logical. But nowadays, I don’t see things the same way anymore. Sometimes, everything makes sense. Sometimes, nothing does. That’s the thing isn’t it? Once you realize that so many things are just social constructs, it fucks with your mind. And you have to start from scratch again, to find your own truth in the midst of the crazy messy world.

free to be me

Nowadays, when my triggers are alerted and my trauma-beaten mind is fired up, I remember all the things my ex did to me and all of my pain soars up to the back of my throat again.

I open up my drafts and write and write and write, viciously pinning down detail after detail of what he did to me, letting myself feel all of the rage.

Then when I’m done, I read through it calmly, and I shove it into the drafts folder.

Our mind, when traumatized, brings us back to the crime scene to investigate every single little detail, so we can ultimately solve the big question – who is at fault? who is to blame for this crime?

What healing does, is peel away layers and layers of expectations and hurt until we start finding peace with the way things went. To say, ah well, the starting point was all wrong, the direction was set in the wrong way, and so of course, things had to go south. To realize, every small action leads to a consequence, either big or small, and neither one of us are the ultimate culprits because we are both 100% at fault. When 2 people get together, it’s 200% of our energy/actions/thoughts that we’re responsible of, and when things fall apart, we’re equally responsible for the way things happened.

When my ex and I got married, I wasn’t the person I am now.

I used to be very reactive to things out of my control. Because of childhood trauma, when placed in a situation that happened outside of my parameters, I would quickly get into a fight/flight mode and start solving problems that may or may not have been mine to solve.

The burden of needing to fix everything was inbuilt in me since young and it definitely tore at our marriage. I know there were other better ways I could have handled our arguments. I think deep down, beneath his words and actions, he too feels like he could have handled our separation better.

These days, I don’t feel the rage so strongly like I did before. These days, I find myself in boredom, kind of numb actually.

It feels like I went on a candy tasting spree, tried every flavour from bitter, sour, sweet, vicious, vile, anger, embarrassment, sadness, depression, joy, gratitude, and now my tongue is all numbed out.

I’ve experienced enough to know that they’re all on the same spectrum of feeling something. And now I’m indifferent to literally so many feelings/thoughts. What’s the point any way? There’s nothing to do about anything. Nothing would change the past, even the deep past.

All we can do it look around the bend, flip the page over, and start a new page. Collect new highs and lows. Experience adrenaline. Do stuff. Make stuff. Cry more, feel more….just live.

Not as a new person, but as a me who has spent the last few years dedicated to peeling away layers that weren’t me.

I find myself wanting to empathise more. Not to trauma bond, or to overly depend on people for comfort or positive energy any more, but just really empathise (i remember a younger me always saying i don’t understand how they feel, i can sympathise but not emphatize). In a funny way, going through trauma dropped me to such depths of despair I now recognize pain and so can emphatise.

I find myself practising how to let go of control. Not to wanna control the outcomes of a bad situation, but to hold space for people around me, including myself and realize that people’s actions and thoughts are wholly theirs. We are only responsible for our own.

I find myself excited and curious to learn new things.

I feel like someone who’s been given a new set of eyes, a fresh pair of legs, and a brand new attitude in life. I feel like the caterpillar has emerged out of the coccoon, and now that the growing pains have lessened to a minimum, we can now fly.

Fly through new lands and over seas, fly beneath clouds and over mountains. I’m excited to know what my inner child wants to do, the person she wanted to be. And I’m gonna take her all over the world now that she’s set free.

Free…..to be me.

i’m curious about



hiking long trails


writing stories

uplifting women/children

fresh produce/good food

the power of influence and inspiration

the value of good businesses


breaking upper-limits


these are the things i wanna spend my waking moments doing

The theater of the mind is created by the machinery of the brain

Life to me, is a big theater play.

Social media is easy proof that what is “normal” and “common” is a myth. There are people painting realities of themselves, and then there are people who must give these realities their acknowledgement.

In daily life, people brand each other in words they’re familiar with – banker, mother, cleaner, digital nomad, lawyer, cheat, liar, murderer, boss, the list goes on. And we all play these roles we think we’re given.

But what is real?

Then again, does it matter? Do we need to know?

It sometimes does feel like we’re all playing separate games within the same ecosystem, depending on similiar things to survive but different ones to exist.

I know one thing for now – if I were ever given the red or blue pill, I would pick neither and seek to just exist. Because there is…..in my present reality, no need for big decisions. Just observe. Just watch. Just listen. Just feel. Just……exist.

Enjoy the show. Enjoy the cast. Enjoy the theatrics.

the woman who just wanted love (2)

‘Mar’ was brought up by a strict father. None of them were ever good enough in his eyes – simply because they were daughters and not sons.

She was the middle child, sandwiched between Marissa and Melanie. Marissa, the eldest of the 3, was 3 years older than Marian. From a young age, she learned to play to her father’s tune and did everything he wanted. She studied law, became the top lawyer in a firm and before 35 was made partner. Somehow, she also managed to marry a successful businessman and together, they have two sons.

Melanie is 2 years younger than Marian and chose instead to plunge herself into medicine school. At 33, Melanie is one of the brightest upcoming neurosurgeons in Singapore. Her career achievements has helped distract her father from the odd fact that she has never had a boyfriend – or that she’s not interested in men for the matter.

Marian was always the one who didn’t know what she wanted in life. She did well enough to get into business school and after that hopped around different companies until she joined her current firm where she’s been for the last 6 years. She may have made it into the direction position but she hates her job and stays in it because it’s the only thing her father would ever praise her for.

As a child, she watching movies and wanted to become a film producer. But her father told her that film school was a waste of time. “I didn’t work this hard for you to spend 10 years trying to make something of yourself only to realize Singapore doesn’t do kindly to film producers,” he had said.

So instead of pursuing what she was curious about, even before she could find out if she would be any good at it, Marian buried all of her creativity and ability to be excited to pursue what would make her father happy.

What about her mother?

Mrs Wong married Mr Wong when she was 24, and left her parents’ home straight into her husband’s home. She never made it to university because her parents only wanted to pay for her brother’s education. Instead, they made sure she could sew, clean, cook, and serve her husband well. So Mrs Wong’s duty was always to her husband. After giving birth to 3 daughters and 0 sons however, Mr Wong barely ever looked in Mrs Wong’s direction and she felt for many years she was just tolerated, not loved. What could she do though? Her entire survival depended on her husband’s favour and so she learned to suppress her needs and desires, including turning a blind eye to the extra-marital affairs her husband has never tried to hide over the years.

“My joy in life is the 3 of you,” Marian’s mother would always tell her. And luckily for Marian, her mother’s love has always been more than enough to make up for her father’s coldness towards all of them.

She never knew a man’s love….until she met Him.

10 years ago, while Marian was on holiday with her best friend, they met a boy.

His name was Joshua.

And Joshua was the love of Marian’s life.

the woman who just wanted love

Fictional storyInspired by true ones

Marian is pregnant. She holds the ultrasound in her fingers and paces around the room. “What would he think?”

Adam comes into the room and she quickly sits down on the couch, pretending to flip through Netflix shows. He puts his pilot cap down onto the table, walks over to the mini bar and takes out a can of beer. Then he casually sits down beside Marian, puts his arm around her and sighs tiredly. “Long day – the flight was delayed and so the passengers had to sit in the plane for 40 mins. So many complaints. Sometimes I feel more like a bus driver than a pilot,” Adam confides in her. Marian nods her head up and down in an effort to hide her nervousness. But it doesn’t escape him.

“What’s wrong, baby?” Adam asks while sweeping her baby hairs out of her face, a sweet gesture she had always liked him to do. Now however, it was just making her even more uncomfortable.

She pauses for a minute and internally panics, somehow she has a deep pit of discomfort that’s rising up like bile from her gut to her throat. Still – she has to tell him. She has to tell him so he would finally decide.

“I’m pregnant,” she says out loud and her mind takes a moment to register the words that have escaped her.

“Fuck,” she thinks to herself but reels herself to watch his expression.

“You…you’re what?” He says, in a pitch higher than normal.

“I’m….um. Pregnant?” She hates that she has to repeat herself.

Immediately, Adam stands up and starts taking long strides around the room, one hand on his left hip and the other one massaging his temples. It sure doesn’t look like he’s happy about it.

Marian feels her throat clamping up and swallows once to try and push the dryness out of her throat. Her palms are sweating and she can feel her heartbeat rising. All at once, memories of her father telling her she’s not good enough invade her thoughts. “Not. Now.” She pushes them out of her mind.

“Will you say something?” Marian asks.

“Uh. I’m sorry to ask but before I say anything, I just need to ask – is it…is it mine? Are you sure?” Adam says, with a hopeful look on his face.

“What do you mean? Of course it’s yours. I haven’t been with anyone else since we met.” Marian can’t believe what she’s hearing. How could he even ask her that?

“I’m sorry, I just – I mean – we never said we were exclusive. I mean we never had that conversation. I just thought – but no okay,” Adam flails around with these words.

Adam and Marian met at a sex party. Marian was seeing another guy before, and Adam has a wife – a wife he still hasn’t left even though since 6 months ago, he said he would.

They have never been public about their affair. Adam always said that as a pilot, he couldn’t risk being caught in any scandal. It didn’t matter that Marian herself was a director of a fund management company – their privacy was of utmost importance to Adam because of his career.

“So? What do you think?” Marian asks Adam and she registers somewhere in her mind that this is the third time she’s asking.

“I can’t. I mean. A baby? I just can’t, my wife would be completely devastated.” Adam finally spews out.

“Your wife? Didn’t you say you were going to divorce her? What’s going on, Adam” Marian understands where her anxiety was coming from and feels horrible that it was justified.

“I know, I know. I was going to tell you – but I can’t leave her so easily Mar. I tried. She won’t let me.” He sits down beside Marian and takes her hand in his. “We’re going to go for marriage counseling. I was going to tell you soon. I promise,” he continues.

All of a sudden, Marian’s world starts fading out, Adam’s face is spinning slowly at first….then very quickly and in less than a minute, Marian has passed out.

When she comes around, it’s not Adam she sees but Betty – her best friend. Betty is putting a cold compress to Marian’s forehead while talking to her husband Craig. “I didn’t say MindChamps is definitely better, I’m just saying I think we should consider it. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, just do what I say and sign up for their trial session – I gotta go, just handle it will you?!” Betty hangs up when she sees Marian waking up.

“What happened Mar? And why was Adam’s face so pale when he left?” Betty asks, helping her friend sit up and arranging the cushion to fit behind her back.

“He left? Fucking asshole” Marian said.

“Yeah, when he opened the door and saw me, he mumbled a bunch of things and just left in a hurry, he didn’t even take his cap,” Betty said, gesturing to the prestigious Singapore Airlines pilot’s cap on the table. “I don’t know what you see in these pilots honestly, they’re just atas bus drivers,” Betty is pouring herself a glass of wine from Marian’s fridge.

“How can you say that? Your husband is a pilot,” Marian says as she fingers around her head and finds it – a single bump is forming from where she hit the ground.

Ya, and that’s why I know how useless they are. Can fly a big plane around in the air but cannot complete simple tasks like making an appointment, tsk. Sometimes I really wonder if he’s playing dumb or really dumb,” Betty says in her usual singlish accent.

Marian laughs lightly, and then turns to her friend somberly, saying, “he panicked Bets, he said he’s gonna work on his marriage. I think I fucked up again.”

“what do you AGAIN?” Betty’s eyes widened.

“I may or may not have gotten myself pregnant again…..this time on purpose.” Marian says bashfully.

“WHAT THE FUCK MAR? Wasn’t the last abortion painful enough?! How could you be so stupid to get yourself pregnant AGAIN?!” Betty yells, spilling a little of her wine on the couch.

Marian quickly soaks a cloth with Vanish and starts rubbing the stain off – it’s too late.

“I wasn’t thinking properly. We had just come back from celebrating my promotion, he was being so sweet. And I just thought…maybe if I were to nudge him a little, he would leave his wife and be with me. So, I lied to him and said I was on the tailend of my period and that it was impossible for me to get pregnant. As soon as he came in me, I started to panic but Bets!! I don’t know. Is it crazy that I don’t regret it?”

Betty’s mouth is agape and she’s staring at her crazy-ass bestfriend. “You’re fucking insane,” Betty says. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to get him to choose me. I’m going to tell his wife I’m pregnant.” Marian says with conviction.

“Mar….is this really about Adam? Or is this about….You know.” Betty starts but doesn’t dare finish her sentence.

“Don’t say his name.” Marian closes her eyes in denial to what Betty is suggesting. “Just, don’t”

The slivery memory is from 5 years ago but Marian remembers it like it was yesterday.

They were sitting on the beach, facing the waves when suddenly, he comes up behind her and whispers into her ears, “Mar…I want you so bad.”

The words linger and echo around, his salty lips hovering over her neck…..

“Stop,” Marian snaps her eyes wide open, forcing herself out of the memory, caressing her belly.

“This time, it will be different.” She promises herself. “This time, we will be chosen.”

its easier to give up

my head is pounding. it’s 4.24pm and i’ve been crying for more than an hour now.

i’ve told him i can’t go. i just can’t. i’m not emotionally capable of climbing a temple with god knows how many steps and be around with cheerful people when all i want to do is cry. i actually WANT to cry. because fuck me. this has been long time coming.

i lost her. i lost someone who was meant to love me forever. and i lost her. i’ll never get over it. it’s my mother’s curse all over again. she had a best friend and they broke up in their 20s. it’s been more than 20 years and my mother is still not over losing her best friend. i don’t want that for me. but what the flying fuck.

in the parking lot, my mother cries to me. and i can’t. i just can’t. i’m brought back to when i was 9 or 10, i don’t even remember. and i just feel once again, that i’m responsible for making her feel better. i’m responsible for her emotions and so i have to suppress all of my own. this time, i let it all out. i tell her how it felt as a child, to have an emotionally distant and emotionally unaware mother. i tell her the truth about how i never felt she understood me. i tell her 3 times in different ways until she understands. and i don’t care that it hurts her. because i want my words to sink in. i want my mother to know how much it hurt me as a child.

i’m crying so much my head hurts. it feels incredibly heavy.

after an hour of trying to sleep, i text rella.

she asks me to separate the ego from the self.

i tell her my triggers are on high alert today and i’m having an episode. she tells me to note the triggers and notice the common theme.

“fear of abandonment. feeling like i’m not worth the effort. feeling like they’re going to walk out on me as they always do”

“what does your ego want out of you feeling this way?” rella asks

“my ego wants to feel like it’s right, like all of my reasons for feeling insecure are justified. it wants to tell me I TOLD YOU SO”

“yea, it’s easier to put yourself down, isn’t it?” rella asks and she continues by prodding me “how strong do you feel you need to prove it wrong? how much of a fighter are you? it’s YOU against your Ego”

“i wanna prove it wrong so bad, i wanna fight it” I cry even more as i’m saying this. i want to punch my ego in the balls and beat it to a pulp.

“Notice the EGO is powerless and that YOU ultimately have the power? it’s not your job to make anyone else see you. it’s your job to see yourself first. when you are able to love yourself truly, and not abandon your needs, nobody else can abandon you. the only commitment others can do for you is to be there. ” rella continues

this is it ladies and gentlemen. this is true life.

in the moment where i’m fighting against my ego. because it might be easier to give into my ego and let it defeat me.

but i don’t do easy. so fuck you ego. i’m taking back my power.

You can’t entice a free bird with a Golden cage

Once upon a time, two birds, Beng and Lian met on a palm tree and Beng fell in love with Lian.

To attract her attention, he brought her many gifts. First, he found a shiny piece of aluminium and placed it infront of her. Then he found a few shiny rocks and with immense effort, brought all of them infront of her.

Beng wore black sunglasses and gold on his feathers and feet.

Lian looked at the shiny things he brought but said to Beng “Thank you for your presents but I can’t accept them without knowing who you are. I cannot see your eyes because you’re wearing sunglasses, take them off so I can see your eyes and look into your soul.”

Beng replied, “I can’t take off my sunglasses now because I have a sore eye. Instead, let me show you a photograph of who I am”

He gave her a photograph of himself and Lian said, “you have kind eyes” and accepted his gifts.

After a few months of courtship, Beng brought to Lian the biggest shiny rock she had ever seen in her life.

“What is this for?” Lian asked Beng

“You deserve the best in the world, so I brought you this shiny rock to show you how much I love you” he said.

“But a rock cannot prove your love for me, show me your eyes,” Lian asked Beng again.

“My love, I would love to show you my eyes, but the Sun is too bright today, and when I took down my sunglasses off earlier, the sun rays burned my eyes and now they are even more sore. Instead, I will show you what I’ve been building for us,” Beng took her hands in earnesty and gently told her.

Lian didn’t want her darling Beng to be in pain and so she allowed him to lead her to what he’d been building.

“Look my love, I’ve been building a nest for us. It’s made out of gold! Do you like it?” Beng asked his dearest Lian.

“My love, this is wonderful, but where did you get all this gold?” Lian asked

“I’ve been saving up for many years, waiting for the right person to come along. And when I first met you, I knew you were the one for me, so I started to build this golden nest for us so we can live happily together here forever,” Beng said

“Forever?” Lian asked

“Forever. I give you my word, my dearest Lian, that you are the only one for me. I vow to always protect and honour you; I will never leave or forsake you” Beng said. And with that, he placed a golden necklace over her neck and placed a mirror infront of the both of them.

Lian ruffled her feathers and noticed how heavy the gold necklace weighed while she looked at them both in the mirror. She couldn’t care less about the necklace on her neck, but when she saw the way Beng was smiling at her, her heart filled with joy and she believed that he loved her.

“Then I give you my word as well Beng, that what’s mine is yours, and that my body, heart and soul belong to you. Let’s make a beautiful life together and I shall love you till the end of time”

But soon after they started living in this golden nest, Lian noticed that Beng was hardly around.

Every day, Beng would fly out of the nest in the early hours of the morning and return home late at night. Lian would find breakfast and dinner for her husband, and wait patiently for him to come home so they could spend time together.

Weeks passed and Lian asked Beng. “My love, is everything okay? You’ve been busy spending most of your life outside of this nest, and I’ve hardly been able to get to know more of you.”

Beng replied, “Lian I told you many times that my life outside of this nest is none of your concern and I’m working very hard to make our golden nest bigger. Didn’t you say that’s what you want? More gold and a bigger nest?”

Lian was shocked and immediately felt guilty for something she never said or did.

“I’m sorry love, I see that you’re tired. Maybe it’s because you’ve been carrying around this gold for so long. Why don’t you take the gold off and I’ll give you a nice warm bath, then you can have a good rest.”

Beng said to Lian, “I cannot take the gold off, it’s attached to my feathers, my parents had them sewn into me when I was born to show others that I’m special.”

“Isn’t it tiring to fly around with so much weight all the time? Why don’t you remove them?” Lian asked

“REMOVE THEM? Then I’ll look like any other bird out there, and I won’t be special anymore. Why would you even ask me something like that?” Beng started to get angry with Lian

Lian noticed that she could hardly see any expressions on Beng’s face because he still had his black sunglasses on his face.

But she didn’t want to anger Beng any longer, so she didn’t bring the topic up.

Months passed by and now Beng hardly shows any affection to Lian. He goes about his business every day, and on the weekends he hangs out with Lian but is hardly ever present. He mirrors everything she says and lets her plan all of their dates and holidays, but not once does he ever ask her if she’s okay or if she’s happy.

Lian found herself alone in their golden nest alot, and it started to feel more like a golden cage.

One day while she came from work, a big burly bird came by and said “WHERE IS BENG. HE OWES ME MONEY”

Lian asks this big burly bird “are you sure it’s my Beng who owes you money? We don’t have much at all, only this golden nest.”

“And who do you think helped Beng to build this nest? I took golden strands out of my own nest to give him a chance to be with you because when he first met you, he had nothing to his name”

Lian took off the golden necklace Beng once gave her and said to this big burly bird, “take this gold neclace back and I’ll get you more gold the next time you come”

When Beng came home from work that day, Lian showed him 10,000 golden strands that she borrowed from her friend.

“Beng, I know you borrowed some gold from your friend, and I don’t have much to my name. This is all I have – take it and return him some of the gold we owe him”

Tears started streaming down Beng’s face and he said, “are you not going to leave me because I lied to you? It’s true, I didn’t have much gold with me when we first met. I used to spend gold unwisely and I lost a huge amount of it before we met. I wanted to impress you and so I borrowed gold”

“I never wanted the gold, my love. I just wanted for us to be soul mates and love each other. Please take off the sunglasses so I can look into your soul”

“I would love to take off my sunglasses Lian, but I don’t think you will love me after you look into my eyes. So please, let me keep them on for now. We have a whole eternity together anyway, we will slowly build our life back together” Beng told Lian. He was secretly afraid that Lian wouldn’t like what she sees when he takes off his sunglasses. He had this fear of her leaving him once she finally looks into his soul.

Lian could sense that fear, but she loved Beng anyway so Lian forgave Beng and they made a plan – A plan to leave this nest and have a better chance to pay back the gold Beng borrowed from the big burly bird.

Over the next year, the big stress of paying off the gold weighed heavily on Beng and Lian. Lian took up 2 different jobs in the day, and Beng worked harder at work. The year did not go well for the both of them. And even though they slept in a golden nest, both of them felt no love from each other, only stress.

First, Beng started to sleep on one side of the nest without her, then they stopped ruffling feathers all together. When Lian asked Beng why he wouldn’t touch her anymore, Beng said he wasn’t attracted to her anymore and that he was too stressed with getting more gold.

That news sent Lian into a downward spiral of depression and she began to eat less and less. Every day, she would fly for hundreds of kilometres until she became lighter and lighter, so she could look more beautiful to Beng.

At the same time, Beng was asking himself “why does Lian not love me for who I am? Isn’t what Im giving her enough? I’m working my ass off day and night to provide a nice comfortable nest for us, I’m doing all I can to give us a brighter future. Why can’t she see that? Maybe she doesn’t love me for who I am?”

Beng came home each day more tired and eventually stopped caring or looking at Lian altogether. The stress of needing to get more gold weighed heavily on him and the guilt he had towards her wouldn’t stop gnawing at him.

“When we pay off the gold, things will get better,” he constantly told himself.

“When we pay off the gold, things will get better,” Lian constantly told herself.

A year passes and their chance finally came. “Lian! My boss is sending me to America! America, the land of the brave and the free. There, we will have more money than we need, and I can finally pay off the loan I took!”

Lian was excited and happy as Beng came home with this news, but now she was more concerned about other things.

“Beng, it’s been many moons since we’ve been together, I want you to take off your sunglasses and look at me, so I can look into your soul,” Lian asks

“No. I will not. I don’t need to do what pleases you. I’ve worked so hard over the last many moons, just so I can provide a golden life for you. What more do you want?” Beng said to Lian

“I never wanted the gold Beng, I wanted to see your soul,” Lian replied. But Beng’s anger only grew and grew. He felt like his love for Lian wasn’t enough and started to feel as if his efforts were never going to be acknowledged by Lian. On the other hand, Lian just wanted Beng to be with her, and actually build a life together with her and not FOR her. The two birds keep miscommunicating with each other and soon, even the greatest love they once felt for each other wasn’t enough.

The two of them distanced more and more, physically and emotionally until one day, Lian felt like the golden nest was too lonely for her, and decided to let Beng go.

“Beng I don’t think you are happy with me, and maybe you should find another bird to be with you. I don’t feel loved and I don’t think you feel my love for you too,” she said, with tears in her eyes.

“Lian no, don’t give up on us. As long as we stick together, our life will be for the better. In just one month, we will be in America! Where our dreams will come true and we can live happily together finally!” Beng said to Lian.

But deep down, Beng had already decided for himself – that since Lian had given up on him, he shall find himself a new bird. “That Lian is such a selfish bird. Everything I do, I do for her and still she tells me I’m not enough. Why can’t she see that I love her? Why can’t she accept me for who I am?” he thought to himself

5 days before they were about to fly to America, Lian could sense the big secret Beng was keeping from her so while he was sleeping one night, Lian took off the sunglasses he always wears, and shook Beng up abruptly.

When Beng woke up, he was confronted by a big pair of eyes staring deep into his soul.

All at once, he felt great shame and the light from the sun got too intense and powerful. He was afraid to let Lian see more into his soul so he shut his eyes up tight. “What are you doing Lian! I can’t see!”

“Open your eyes Beng, you’re safe with me. Just open your eyes and let the sun guide you” Lian tried to soothe her husband.

“No!!!! You have destroyed my eyes. You are an infection in my life. How can you rip apart the one thing I asked you not to touch! Give me back my sunglasses!” Beng roared at Lian.

Lian had never seen this side of Beng and terrified, she dropped his sunglasses to the ground and flew away. Away and away Lian flew from the golden nest, until she could no longer see or hear Beng.

Groping around for his sunglasses while keeping his eyes shut, Beng cried and cried in agony. He was in so much pain from the sun’s rays. “Why did she do that? Why did she betray me? I gave her all parts of me and just kept my eyes for myself, why did she not respect my wishes?” Beng cried aloud

“Here, I’ve found your sunglasses,” a sweet voice suddenly rang out. Beng felt a warm touch on his shoulders as he spun around to face the voice.

“Will you hand me my sunglasses please?” He said to the kind stranger.

“Sure,” she said, as she put the glasses on for him.

When he put on his sunglasses and opened his eyes, Beng was surprised. The kind stranger was another beautiful bird, one who looked completely different from Lian.

“Did you see where my wife Lian went?” He asked this beautiful bird

“No. But I don’t think she’s coming back. Why don’t I stay here with you instead? You look like a nice loving bird, and I really like your golden nest” she told him.

“Yes I think that’ll be great,” Beng said, completely mesmerized by this foreign bird’s presence and soothing voice.

Together, this new bird helped Beng to forget – all about his wife Lian who flew away. “She left me anyway, it’s not my fault. I have no guilt to bear, no shame to face” He told himself.

The next day, Beng went to the big burly bird and paid him the money he owed him. “Hows your wife, Beng?” the burly bird asked.

“I have a new wife now, the old one’s dead to me,” Beng replied coldly.

“Here is the necklace your wife once handed to me, she wanted to help you pay off some of the gold you borrowed from me,” Big burly bird said to Beng.

With ice in his heart, and a deep hatred for Lian, Beng brought the gold necklace home and said to his new wife.

“Here darling, I got this gold necklace for you. Let’s start a new life together with your gold necklace in our golden nest. And together, we shall make more gold and be happy.”

“That sounds wonderful darling, this beautiful gold necklace is just what I wanted! How did you know I love gold? I’ve been flying around all over, looking for a golden nest just like yours. I’m so happy your wife left you, so now I can take her place. As long as you vow to love me more than you loved her, I vow to be with you in this life so we can make everything we touch turn into gold and become the richest, happiest birds in town,” the new bird sang to Beng.

“And look darling, I bought you new sunglasses! I know your eyes hurt when your soul gets exposed to the sun, so I got you a few new sunglasses to wear on different occasions. I will never be like Lian who wanted to hurt you, I’ll protect your soul from the sun always,” the new bird continued

“You’re the true bird for me, I will love you forever, you were my soulmate all along” Beng said to the new bird, who felt happiness in her heart, as all she ever wanted was a bird to tell her she was worthy and loved.

And so, Beng and his new wife stayed happily ever after, in their golden nest with their gold necklaces around them. They had a few baby birds and built an even bigger nest. In the end,the nest became a tall and big golden cage, so that Beng and his new wife could keep their baby birds safe and protected. Even though none of them ever left their golden cage, their family was happy. Beng never had to take his sunglasses off and his new wife had all the gold she ever wanted. Even though Beng never confronted his soul to look deep down into who he was, he was happy to live in denial and so was his new wife, who was equally happy to live in denial as long as she was surrounded by gold and felt secured with Beng’s love for her.

Every day, Beng would fly out of their golden cage and fly right back into it to his family. Beng was contented. His new wife was contented. The more gold Beng brought to her, the more she was happy. The more sunglasses she bought for him, the more she was happy. The bigger their cage grew, the more they felt contented – hidden and protected away from the rest of the world, them turning a blind eye to the ills of the world, and the world completely indifferent to this family of birds and the gold they collect.

As for Lian?

She had, for once in her life, flown so far away from home that she discovered mountains and oceans far beyond the horizon. She learned about the existence of new lands! New birds! New cultures and new foods. She discovered more and more of herself and found new ways of flying higher and further. She experienced so much life in these new environments and decided to explore them slowly.

One day, she met another bird, this time with great big eyes. She looked deeply into his soul and saw who this bird was, as he looked into hers. They fell in love, truly and deeply this time, because they met each other’s souls.

Lian vowed to herself, never again, to trade her freedom for a golden cage.