Albert Camus once said, ‘’The absurd is born of confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world…’ The reality? That the world is only ‘silent’ to those who choose not to listen…
Nihilism VS Absurdism is like Agnosticism VS Atheism, not disbelieving in the prospect of there being more to existence than we see on the surface, but not claiming to know what constitutes that ‘more-ness/not claiming to have an explanation for existence…
This- not claiming to know all the answers- is the most sensible stance to have, in my opinion… Because, try as we might, we can’t possibly begin to understand the absurdities of the universe, for, so far beyond human comprehension do they lie.
Despite what the ego has us believe, we know embarrassingly little… about anything.
We can understand things only in human terms, so our attempt to understand the metaphysical is ultimately futile, with organised religions being, at best, founded on nothing more than metaphors to make us feel better about all the things/all the absurdities, that we simply cannot understand…
The difference between religions which shy away from our lack of understanding and absurdism is that absurdism encourages us to embrace it [our lack of understanding], finding our own meaning and purpose in the present moment as we do so.
As in Albert Camus’ most famous work, ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, Sisyphus is condemned for all eternity to push a boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll to the bottom again and again. He fully recognises the futility and pointlessness of his task, but still continues to willingly push the boulder up the mountain every time it rolls back down anyway. Why? Because he recognises the human need for purpose, however futile, in an inherently purposeless world.
Interesting stance but…
While I appreciate the perspective held by absurdist’s, the importance for us to find our own meaning in life, I disagree with their belief that there is no overarching meaning. I believe in the concept of both- our need to find our own meaning as individual humans, but also the existence of a collective meaning given to us as humans by God, (not ‘big man in the sky’ God, but ‘consciousness’ God, ‘energy force’ God, ‘we are one’ God)…
I respect theories rooted in atheism, but I can’t get behind them…
If there is no meaning in life, if you don’t believe in the concept of a higher power, if you believe that life truly is meaningless-
‘existence precedes essence’-
that there is no greater purpose behind us being here, that we simply live for a while and then die, that this is all ‘random’, with everything we do being for nothing, then how do you explain us being here, when the odds of our existence sit at 1 in 400 trillion?
Take away any talk of ‘purpose’, when the fact that we are simply alive is so unlikely, surely there must be something behind us being here? Surely it can’t just be random? Why us, out of the trillions of other people who could’ve been born?
It can’t be random.
There has to be more.
So, if not meaningless, what is the purpose of life then?
The purpose of life, from my perspective, can be split into two ‘categories’…
- The collective purpose, i.e., what we are all alive for
- the individual purpose, i.e., what we choose to do with our lives/how we strive to make our own purpose.
The collective purpose of life is, in my opinion, simply to embody consciousness. We are all one, all made of the same energy, from the same source, with our bodies simply being a vessel for that energy, a vehicle that allows us to live out the universe through human form.
Whilst the overarching purpose of existence is to simply be- to live out the metaphysical in the physical, to let the universe experience itself materially as we embody consciousness- as human beings with free will who are constantly driven for more, our ego unfulfilled by just ‘being’, we also want to be ‘doing.’ And so, we strive for a greater purpose, ignoring the fact that the collective purpose is as big as it’s going to get. But still, we go in search of our own purpose, striving for money and ‘success’ over everything…
In doing this, in letting our ego ‘run the show’, a societal problem constructed by capitalism which profits from our constant quest for ‘more’, not a spiritual problem (spiritually we are all souls with no ego), we lose sight of our true nature.
We lose sight of the fact that we are all one, with this being the answer I give when people ask me, ‘But how do you explain suffering if you believe that life has a purpose?’
Putting our individual quest for purpose, as governed by our free will, aside, ultimately, we all have the same purpose deep down-
to just ‘be.’
To just be consciousness in human form,
an embodiment of the divine-
for which, one day, upon returning home, back to the source, it will all make sense.
~ one day ~
The human soul has no gender.
As Justin Welby himself, the Archbishop of Canterbury said back in 2018,
‘He’, or rather ‘it’, transcends gender…
Is God non-binary?
Being so far beyond human comprehension, our understanding of God, of ‘divinity’ and spirituality, is nothing short of superficial when we solely look through the lens of human experience to perceive reality. Why? Because, existing outside of our reality, the concept of God as we know ‘him’ today is a metaphor, words being wholly inadequate to describe the author of life, but words being all that we have…
The fact is though that God, the metaphysical creator of the universe and all its contents, is not a human being. God is omniscient and omnipotent, and cannot be limited by human categories, and certainly not by something as societally constructed as gender…
Pure consciousness, existing not in form but in energy, to assign a gender to God is like assigning a gender to the stars,
or the moon,
or your phone–
it makes no sense…
For, God is not a person,
God does not exist in a binary of male or female,
black or white.
God is everything and everyone,
Only when we break free of the conditioned mind, only when we realise that, God did not make us in ‘his’ image, but we made God in our image, will we be capable of enjoying the wonder of life in its fullest expression, accepting that there are simply things for which we will never understand, for, so far away from human comprehension do they exist, but that, ultimately;
And so, governed by a higher power looking over us, our only purpose is to just enjoy the wild,
but wholly beautiful journey
of this weird ol’ thing we call life.
Communicating being alive,
connecting to a universal feeling,
This is the purpose of art
in which the beauty lies in the creating.
‘I had an idea,
I made it.
We made it.’
Idea turned into fruition.
The purpose of art
is that there doesn’t need to be a purpose.
The purpose of art
is that there is
This is the purpose of art,
(the lack of purpose-
in which the beauty lies in the creating.
On Saturday the 11th February 2023, Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl from Warrington, Cheshire, was stabbed 28 times in the head, neck, back and chest in in North West England’s Culcheth Linear Park.
A boy and a girl, who were both aged 15 at the time, (now 16 but, because of their age they can’t be named, and are just being referred to as ‘Girl X’ and ‘Boy Y’), were charged with Brianna’s murder, and went on trial at Manchester Crown Court on Monday 27th November.
Girl X was intrigued by Brianna months before her death… In text messages recovered from her phone sent to Boy Y in December 2022, (2 months before Brianna’s murder), she wrote of how she was “obsessed over someone called Brianna.”
“I’m obsessed over someone I know but don’t have feelings for them … She’s called Brianna … I don’t know how to explain. Also she has a d — — lol.”
X told Y that Brianna was “trans” and that she “sounded just like a girl and looked really pretty”.
Boy Y replied that they had “different tastes” and asked: “Tell me what you feel when you interact with it?”
Girl X said she ‘got nervous and stuff but her heart felt normal.’
The court heard that Y responded: “I don’t think you’re necessarily in love but I think you’re more curious and intrigued by its unnatural nature.”
X agreed that she found Brianna “fascinating”, adding, “She’s really different”.
Despite the discriminatory language used by Boy Y towards Brianna, referring to her as ‘it’ and talking of her ‘unnatural nature’, there is no indication that Brianna’s murder was a hate crime committed on the sole basis of her being trans.
The discovery of a ‘hit list’ of four other targets who they were planning to kill, as well as text messages recovered from the defendants phones, and notes about serial killers found by police in Girl X’s bedroom, suggests that their obsession with death, violence and torture was a greater obsession than that of Brianna Ghey’s gender identity.
Not a transphobic hate crime necessarily then, the fact of the matter is that Girl X and Boy Y simply wanted to kill*, with Girl X’s preoccupation with Brianna seeing Brianna being the one to fall victim to their horrendous plans. It could’ve, though, been very different, had their initial plans not fallen through…
When their first intended target blocked Instagram messages from Girl X, the pair are said to have turned their attention to Brianna.
Boy Y replied saying: “Yeah, it’ll be easier and I want to see if it will scream like a man or a girl.”
It’s not an ‘excuse.’
It doesn’t warrant them ‘diminished responsibility.’
They did not kill Brianna because they’re autistic, they killed her because they’re psychopathic).
The day after Brianna’s murder, Girl X sent a text message to Brianna which read, ‘Girl, is everything okay? Some teenage girl got killed in Linear Park it’s on news everywhere. And why did you ditch us for some random man from Manchester. Like wtf. That is so f***** up’ (an obvious attempt to set up a false defence).
Girl X then posted a tribute to Brianna on Snapchat, describing her as an “amazing friend” and that it was “so f****** sickening” what had happened.
Despite attempts to cover up their involvement, both defendants were arrested at their homes on the 12th February, just one day after Brianna was fatally attacked.
Following their arrest, police searching Girl X’s bedroom found a number of handwritten notes, including the plan to kill Brianna-
‘Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey. I say code word to Boy Y. He stabs her in the back as I stab her in the stomach. Boy Y drags the body into the area. We both cover up the area with logs etc’,
and another plan to kill which said:
“Give them alcohol with sleeping pills, slit throat, dismember body, place pieces in bin bags.”
What Happens Next?
In Monday’s trial, which is expected to go on for two weeks, both Girl X and Boy Y denied inflicting any injuries and participating in Brianna’s killing in any way, pleading not guilt, despite the overwhelmingly incriminating evidence being to the contrary.
They are blaming each other for Brianna’s murder.
But, whatever the motive for the attack, whether it is ruled as being the result of transphobia- a hate crime- or ‘just’ cold blooded murder, whoever delivered the fatal blow, one thing remains unwaveringly true:
A light went out in the world far too prematurely on that day in February 2023, and we need justice for that.
My heart is with all those who knew and loved Brianna.
May justice be sought, and may Brianna rest in peace.
On the oversimplification of zodiac signs:
Because, something so big- the universe- cannot possibly be quantified based on our tiny experience of humanity…
*(Note: I will be using the terms zodiac signs and star signs interchangably).
Whether you’re a sceptic, dismissing star signs as ‘woo woo’, a once a week, back of the TV magazine horoscope reader, or an avid astrologist, one thing’s for certain;
We’ve all heard of star signs.
My star sign is Leo (by far the most extroverted sign).
What star sign are you?
Because I am a Leo, according to astrology, I should therefore be ‘vivacious, theatrical, and passionate’, with a desire to ‘bask in the spotlight’ and ‘celebrate myself.’
Now, as an introvert, the definition of ‘Leo’ couldn’t be further from my personality! This being reason number one of me being a sceptic of astrology…
I understand that when we talk of our star signs we’re actually talking of just one element of the zodiac, our sun sign but, when our sun sign is said to be the sign that most prominently influences us, revealing our most pronounced personality traits and even, to some degree, defining who we are and how we perceive the world, when it is so inaccurate, when it is literally the opposite of who I am, it’s hard to believe the validity of any of it.
The Math Isn’t Mathing…
The bigger reason for me being a sceptic of star signs though, is because of the nature of what they [star signs] are trying to quantify-
I just can’t help but get the impression that astrology seeks to over simplify the universe, much like religion, attempting to make sense of something that exists so far beyond human comprehension, for which we can never truly understand…
Someone who is ‘all for’ spirituality, preaching the oneness of everything, yet someone who is a sceptic of star signs?
Yes, that is me.
Not a contradiction, from my perspective, but common sense.
For, in the context of an infinite universe, to think that we can quantify it [the universe], in human terms based on our lived experience, (for which, in relation to the age of the universe, is nothing more than a drop in the ocean of our collective consciousness), it is a prime example of the ego ruling over the soul. And, when spirituality, again, this just being from my perspective, is all about escaping the ego and embracing the soul, when in spirituality there is no binary, no sense of things being in black and white as zodiac signs try to get us to prescribe to, when in spirituality everything is fluid, everything is one, I struggle to get behind the concept of star signs that, to me, seems to be the polar opposite of this…
I would love to be proven wrong, which is why I say I’m a ‘sceptic’, not a ‘disbeliever.’ As in the difference between someone who defines themselves as ‘agnostic’ (a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God), VS someone who defines themselves as ‘atheist’ (a person who disbelieves in the existence of God), it’s not that I don’t believe in astrology, it’s that we lack any evidence to either confirm or deny its validity, owing to our inability to comprehend something so big…
Do Calls To Eradicate Fatphobia ‘Promote Obesity?’
Last week, I posted an article about ‘fatphobia’, linked here, and how we (wrongfully) attach morals to food, deeming food to be either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and how we need that to change, because food is NOT a moral consideration, despite society convincing us in our masses that it is…
The reason behind me writing the post was to serve as a reminder to people as to what the pursuit of trying to look a certain way can do to your health, yet it seemed to offend some people.
How ironic, when the post was centred around people being offended by things that don’t effect them at all (i.e., other peoples bodies), yet they were offended by the post itself…
‘But Food Is Moral…’
I had quite a few comments from people in response to my article, claiming that food is, and should remain, a ‘moral consideration.’
There’s a lot to unpack there, and so I thought I’d dedicate this post to posing a counter-argument against all the morality (food) police…
One Comment I received…
‘Normalising fat in people’ said like we shouldn’t be normalising fat in people, despite the average woman’s body (for whom attitudes towards bodies disproportionately effect), being made up of 21-32% fat…
We Need Fat To Live
Without fat, the body is forced to break down muscle for energy, making you weaker, not healthier. With this, bone density decreases, something which can lead to osteoporosis. Furthermore, without fat, women can’t menstruate, their bodies natural process stopped by the pursuit of an unnatural body, something which I have experienced, first-hand…
When I had Anorexia, my body fat was at 1%. I wasn’t menstruating, blood tests showed that my bone marrow was failing, and bone density scans showed that I had osteopenia (the onset of osteoporosis).
I was 17.
17 with the bones of an 80 year old.
And so yes, where fat is necessary for our survival, when we need fat to be able to function as humans- physically, neurologically, psychologically- we should be normalising fat in people.
Having fat is normal.
(And so is enjoying food, despite what the comment below suggests)…
Firstly, I’d argue that we don’t just eat to live, food is so much more than that. If it was just a survival thing, then there would be no restaurants, everyone would be eating the cheapest things. But, there is (restaurants, and lots of them!) because it isn’t (just about survival)…
And secondly, ‘If you weigh more than you did at 20 you’re overweight’, okay, so what about people with Anorexia who gained weight to stay alive? Are they overweight?
As for ‘people who can’t put the fork down’, such people need help, not shaming, because compulsive eating is, in and of itself, an eating disorder…
Being Underweight Is Just As Unhealthy As Being Overweight
When to overeat is just as unhealthy as to undereat- both constituting eating disorders but in different forms (Binge eating vs Anorexia), I am not promoting obesity. What I am promoting is that we shouldn’t be denying ourselves of food, simply because
(and I say ‘simply’, but it feels like the hardest thing in the world when you’re in the grips of an eating disorder)
we’re scared of gaining weight…
And so, this is what I am promoting, the fact that health is not synonymous with weight, i.e.…
The Way We Look Isn’t The ‘Be All & End All.’
Trying to look a certain way to meet societies expectations of what a woman ‘should’ look like almost killed me. I don’t want anyone else to go through the same.
We Form Our Opinion On Whether Someone Is ‘Healthy Enough’ Based On Their Size.
Seeing appearance as an overall indicator of someone’s health is incredibly dangerous. Someone who is slim, who you look at and consider to be the ‘epitome of health’, might not have eaten for two days, for they are so fraught with anxiety, in the grips of a life threatening eating disorder. Someone who is big, who you look at and consider to be ‘greedy’, they might be struggling with an illness in which weight gain is a side effect…
It’s so sad that we have come to a place where we praise people for losing weight, even if that weight loss is caused by a literal illness…
We Form Our Opinion On Whether Someone Is ‘Worthy Enough’/ ‘Moral Enough’, On The Basis Of What They Eat.
People should be free to eat whatever they want to eat without being shamed for it.
People shouldn’t feel that by eating something our society deems ‘bad’, they are a ‘bad’ person themselves by virtue.
While yes, moral is attached to food, my argument is that it shouldn’t be. Why? Because the reality is that, if you attach morals to food, then you can’t say that you have a healthy relationship with food, for, the fact is that no food is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, when it is all just energy.
Some food is higher in fat, sugar etc than other food, granted but, unless you’re consuming said food in large volumes every single day, then eating such food isn’t ‘bad’ for you, anymore than wearing the colour pink is bad for you (that is to say, it’s not ‘bad’ at all).
‘If You Restrict Your Diet, You Need To Eat More.’
‘If You Eat What You Want, You Need To Eat Less.’
Eating what you want, listening to when your body wants to eat and responding by feeding it, is the only healthy way to be around food. It sounds so simple, and it should be so simple-
when you feel hungry, eat,
when you feel full, stop eating,
but in a society which places so much weight (pun unintended) on food and our bodies, it is arguably the hardest thing to do because, as my article on ‘fatphobia’ proved- there will always be someone who seemingly gets great joy out of telling you that what you’re doing (/eating) is ‘wrong.’
People Always Have Something To Say About Things, Even When Those Things Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Them/Even When, Even More So When, In Fact, Those Things Have No Impact On Their Own Lives In The Slightest…
( ^ ) A question to discredit me, yet a question which proves the point that I was making in my article precisely- there is no difference. It is our choice, so why does society judge us so harshly for doing things which have absolutely no effect on their lives?
To be so deeply offended by things which are so deeply irrelevant to us, it makes zero sense…
Despite the few negative comments I received, there were actually far more positive comments, restoring my hope in a brighter tomorrow, a tomorrow in which fatphobia is well and truly a ‘thing of the past…’
As the comment above points to, the culture is slowly starting to change. We need to remember, however, that we shouldn’t be commenting on anyone’s body, at any size, for any reason. We need to be careful that, in moving away from condemning people in larger bodies, we do not ‘go the other way’ and start demonising people in smaller bodies.
To put it in its simplest terms, we just need to
STOP COMMODIFYING BODIES!!
When, in the past, ‘does my bum look big in this’ was a woman’s way of saying, ‘do I look too fat?’, anything other than an enthusiastic ‘no’ being enough to send them into a meltdown, these days, if we ask, ‘does my bum look big in this?’ we want the answer to be ‘yes’, because bums are ‘in.’ How ridiculous that our bodies are seen as a trend, something to be ogled at and seen as ‘beautiful’, or not, based on someone else’s, usually extremely close-minded, opinions…
The fact is though that;
The Human Body Is Not A ‘Trend.’
Our bodies are not the ‘final destination’/the ‘be all and end all.’ I’d argue that our bodies are in fact the least interesting thing about us…
Just think about all the great people who have left a legacy on the world…
Frida Kahlo- what did she weigh?
Florence Nightingale- was her body the ‘right’ shape?
No one asks these questions, because what these two incredible women achieved in their lifetime is what is remembered, not what they looked like, evidence that, in the grand scheme of things, the way we look is completely irrelevant to who we are.
I Am Not My Body, My Body Is Simply A Vehicle For Me To Experience Life Through, A ‘Vessel For My Consciousness.’
How our bodies look then, it pales in insignificance compared to what they allow us to do and experience…
A Final Comment I Received To Sum It All Up…
Are your personalities ‘incompatible’, or are you just unwilling to compromise?
Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
MBTI: Developed in the 1950s by Isabel Myers (BA in political science), and her mother, Katherine Briggs, based on their shared interest in Carl Jung’s theory of personality types (and Briggs’ interest in Myers’ husbands ‘different way of seeing the world’), the Myers Briggs personality test is one of the world’s most widely used theories today.
The goal of the MBTI is to allow respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility* with other people.
*(Come on Tinder, when are you going to give us an MBTI selector option)?
Consisting of eight preferences, organised into four pairs of opposites (as listed below), our MBTI personality type represents our natural preferences. While we use all of them to some degree, most people favour one side over the other, thus accounting for the natural personality differences between people…
1) Extraversion (E) — Introversion (I)
How people respond and interact with the world around them.
Extroverts are “outward-turning” and tend to be action-oriented, enjoy more frequent social interaction, and feel energised after spending time with other people, whereas introverts are “inward-turning”, and tend to be thought-oriented, enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions, and feel recharged after spending time alone.
2) Sensing (S) — Intuition (N)
How people gather information from the world around them.
People who prefer sensing tend to pay a great deal of attention to reality, particularly to what they can learn from their own senses. They tend to focus on facts and details and enjoy getting hands-on experience. Those who prefer intuition, however, pay more attention to things like patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities, imagining the future, and considering abstract theories.
3) Thinking (T) — Feeling (F)
How people make decisions according to the information gathered from their sensing or intuition functions.
People who prefer thinking place a greater emphasis on facts and objective data. They tend to be consistent, logical, and impersonal when weighing a decision. In contrast, those who prefer feeling are more likely to consider people and emotions when arriving at a conclusion.
4) Judging (J) — Perceiving (P)
How people tend to deal with the outside world.
People who lean toward judging prefer structure and firm decisions, whereas people who lean toward perceiving are more open, flexible, and adaptable.
Where you sit on the preference scale, as described above, determines your personality type, a four-letter code based on whether you’re more introverted (I), or extroverted (E), sensing (S), or intuitive (N), a thinker (T), or a feeler (F), and whether you’re more likely to judge (J), or perceive (P)…
My Personality Type
As someone who is introverted and intuitive, leaning towards thinking and judging, my ‘code’ is INTJ- the ‘architect’, the third least common personality type- only 2.1% of the population are INTJs, with INTJ women being rarer still, making up less than 1% of the earth’s population.
Despite the ‘rarity’ of my personality type though, my dad is also an INTJ…
Personality: Nature VS Nurture?
50% of our DNA comes from each of our parents, and this inherited genetic makeup influences our personality…
The fact that both me and my Dad are INTJs suggests that, as in the long held debate over ‘nature vs nurture’, personality is rooted in nature/in our genes.
As American psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, author of ‘Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are’ states;
A breakdown of my results, as given via the 16 personalities test website:
– 98% introverted
Preferring fewer, yet deeper and more meaningful social interactions. Often drawn to calmer environments.
– 74% intuitive
Imaginative, open-minded, and curious. Valuing originality and preferring to focus on hidden meanings and distant possibilities.
– 61% thinking
Focusing on objectivity and rationality, taking the stance of ‘head over heart.’
– 97% judging
Decisive, thorough, and highly organised. Valuing clarity and predictability. Preferring structure and planning to spontaneity.
– 75% turbulent
Self-conscious and sensitive to stress. Feeling a sense of urgency in emotions. A tendency to be success-driven, perfectionistic, and eager to improve.
The Full List Of Personality Types:
– ISTJ — The Inspector
Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable, ISTJs tend to be orderly and traditional, working steadily towards goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.
– ISTP — The Crafter
Highly independent, they enjoy new experiences that provide first-hand learning. Certainly not risk averse, ISTPs tend to live ‘in the moment.’
– ISFJ — The Protector
Warm-hearted and dedicated to serving others, ISFJs are always ready to protect the people they care about, usually putting the needs of others above their own. Extremely perceptive of other’s feelings.
– ISFP — The Artist
Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind, they tend to be easy-going and flexible, reserved and artistic.
– INFJ — The Advocate
Creative and analytical, they are considered one of the rarest Myers-Briggs types. With a tendency to strictly adhere to their well-developed value systems, INFJs are respected for their perserverance in doing the right thing. They are more likely to be individualistic, rather than leading or following.
– INFP — The Mediator
Idealistic with high values, INFPs are interested in serving humanity as they strive to make the world a better place. Usually talented writers, they tend to be mentally quick, and able to see possibilities, with an interest in understanding and helping people.
– INTJ — The Architect
Highly logical, they are both very creative and analytical, with original minds and a great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals (when committed, they will organise a job and carry it through). Fiercely independent, they tend to have have high standards of competence and performance — both for themselves and others.
– INTP — The Thinker
Quiet and introverted, they are known for having a rich inner world with a tendency to become very excited about theories and ideas. Placing high value on knowledge, competence and logic, INTPs are exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings.
– ESTP — The Persuader
Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented, ESTPs are ‘doers’ who are focused on immediate results, living in the here-and-now, taking risks, and living fast-paced lifestyles.
– ESTJ — The Director
Assertive and rule-oriented with clear visions of the way things ‘should be’, they have high principles and a tendency to take charge.
– ESFP — The Performer
Outgoing, spontaneous, and very much ‘living for the moment’, ESFPs love new experiences and they enjoy taking centre stage.
– ESFJ — The Caregiver
Soft-hearted and outgoing, they tend to believe the best about other people and will put the needs of others over their own needs. With a strong sense of responsibility and duty, ESFJs like to serve others.
– ENFP — The Champion
Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative, ENFPs enjoy situations where they can put their creativity to work. Possessing an ability to do almost anything that interests them (for which there are usually many things- they tend to have a broad range of interests), ENFPs are excited by new ideas but bored with details.
– ENFJ — The Giver
Loyal and sensitive, they are known for being understanding and generous, with real concern for how others think and feel. Seeing everything from the human angle, ENFJs are very effective at leading group discussions, and usually dislike being alone. They probably place the needs of others over their own needs as they are interested in serving others.
– ENTP — The Debater
Highly inventive, they love being surrounded by ideas and people- ENTPs are stimulating company. With an excellent ability to understand concepts and apply logic to find solutions, they tend to start many projects (but may struggle to finish them).
– ENTJ — The Commander
Assertive, outspoken, and confident, ENTJs are driven to lead. With an excellent ability to understand difficult organisational problems and create solutions, they are therefore great at making plans and organising projects, though they usually have little patience with inefficiency, valuing knowledge and competence.
How accurate is the MBTI?
With an accuracy rating of 90%, it’s easy to see why the Myers Briggs personality test has proven so popular, and continues to be proven popular today. You can take the test yourself here, and get to know yourself more (and your friends and family, encourage them to complete the test too).
Having completed the test myself, my result of INTJ is so accurate at describing my personality, and has really helped in giving me an insight into why I am the way I am.
Something which I think is important to note in any discussion around personalities, is the following:
There’s No Such Thing As An Incompatible Personality, Only An Unwillingness To Compromise.
You don’t need to have the same personality type as someone to have a healthy relationship with them, but you do need to have an understanding of each other…
Using myself as an example, as an INTJ type, I value alone time, very much being ‘in my own head’ most of the time. If I were, for example, to enter into a relationship with an ENTP type then, failing to recognise the differences in our personalities would inevitably lead to conflict arising for, where they might constantly want to be ‘doing’, I am at my most content just ‘being.’ Having the awareness of our differences though would allow us to compromise and work together to promote harmony in the relationship. For, to reiterate again, you don’t need to have the same personality type as someone to make it work/compatibility isn’t about having matching personalities (i.e., you’re not incompatible because you’re ‘too different’, you’re incompatible because you don’t understand each others personalities).
Something to combat this lack of understanding? The Myers Briggs personality test, providing us with the understanding of ourselves, and each other, that we need, as it was originally* designed for.
*(Katherine Briggs could sense that her ability to appreciate her daughters husband was essential to her continued closeness with her daughter, and thus, rather than judging or rejecting her son in law, she set out to understand him instead).
And so, whether or not you’re compatible with someone lies in whether or not you are willing to understand each other, and use that understanding (both your understanding of yourself and your partner), to get the best out of each other.
So, what are you waiting for?
Take the test.
Work on your self-awareness.
Learn to understand. ❤
When we refuse to take medication that we’re prescribed because one of the side effects is ‘weight gain’, coming underneath ‘reduced life expectancy’ in our heads as something to worry about, the prospect of becoming ‘fat’ more terrifying to us than the prospect of dying, we know that something has gone seriously wrong in our society…
We need to confront our societally bred fear of fatness.
Because of the society in which we live, whereby internalised fatphobia (& externalised!) is rampant, there are so many morals tied to weight, both to the weight of ourselves, and to the weight of others, with this being something that can lead us to engage in disordered eating*.
*(Even if you’re not actively engaging in disordered eating behaviours, if you’ve ever referred to food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, if you’ve ever said ‘oh, I shouldn’t’ when offered a piece of chocolate, then you can’t say that you have a fully healthy relationship with food)…
Fuelled by a society which values thinness above all else, seeing slim bodies as the only desirable body type, we attach (wholly incorrect) assumptions that to be ‘plus size’ is to be ‘greedy’, ‘lazy’, and/or ‘lacking discipline’ (all of which are, again, wholly incorrect assumptions). In fact, I would argue that it actually takes more discipline to go against what society is telling us we should be doing, how society is telling us we should look (thin), than it takes to blindly conform…
What someone weighs is not synonymous with how healthy they are.
Seeing someone in a slim body, side-by-side with someone in a larger body, people, if asked, would most likely point to the slimmer body as being the ‘healthier’ body type, even if the person in the smaller body has spent their whole life battling an eating disorder. Why? Because, thinness is what we have been conditioned to believe is the epitome of health, whereas people who are bigger are looked at and perceived as being ‘unhealthy.’ While this might be true in some cases, being bigger in and of itself does not automatically equate to unhealthiness, just as being slimmer in and of itself does not automatically equate to healthiness.
If you have to restrict what you eat in order to maintain a certain body type, if you spend more time obsessively worrying about what you have or haven’t eaten than you do actually living your life, if you’re more terrified of gaining weight than you are of dying, then you’re not healthy, no matter what the number on the scales says, for true health is defined, in equal parts based on, not just our physical health, but our mental health, too…
What makes the fat on our chest or on our bum ‘right’, but the fat on our stomach or on our thighs, ‘wrong?’
When having big boobs and/or a big bum warrants wolf whistles and shouts along the lines of ‘you’re so hot’ from random men on the street, but having fat on our stomach and/or our thighs warrants looks of disgust and ‘you’re so fat’ (intended, not as an observation, but as an insult), we can see just how tied up our perception of beauty is in misogyny… A cultural issue, unrealistic beauty standards rooted in the notion upheld by patriarchy that women are there to look ‘good’ for men.
The fact is though that…
- We do not exist to satisfy the male gaze (or any gaze at all, for that matter).
- Our bodies are not objects, so don’t objectify them.
- Our bodies are not your ‘playthings’, so don’t sexualise them.
- WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY.
‘Women don’t owe you pretty’
Thin or fat, body hair or no body hair, makeup or no makeup, it doesn’t matter. I’m not saying that we should start completely disregarding our appearance, vowing to never look in the mirror ever again, but we should start to credit who we are as being more, far more, about who we are on the inside, as opposed to how we look on the outside…
Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing cool clothes that make me feel good as much as the next person, but, this is the key point here- ‘clothes that make me feel good.’ We need to get to a place where we present ourselves in a way that we want to present ourselves because we like it, not because we feel as though we’re expected to present ourselves in a certain way to please others.
The role of social media on body image
Having, for decades, been considered the worst insult you could give to a woman, ‘fat’, much like ‘queer’, is a word that has been reclaimed by those who were once made to feel oppressed by it, as a source of self-empowerment, almost. With body positive influencers on Instagram proudly declaring themselves to be ‘fat’ in their bio’s, it is proving to be losing value as a derogatory term, as it should. ‘Thin’ isn’t used as an insult, so why is ‘fat?’ Why are we using body types to shame people?
Hopefully then, with the rise in body positive influencers on social media, we will see the trajectory of body positivity going up and up, the concept of embracing who we are becoming less ‘radical’ and more of a ‘given’, until we get to a stage where fatphobia is a ‘thing of the past.’ Where we can all just get on with our lives with appreciation for what our bodies do for us, keeping us alive, no less, as opposed to constantly obsessing over how our bodies look…
If you’re following people online who heavily edit their photos, promoting an unrealistic body image, or people who have to work really hard to maintain a certain body type that is most definitely NOT ‘natural’, nor healthy for them, then you’re likely to feel more dysphoric in your own body, for, based on the people you follow, your body is ‘wrong’, because it doesn’t match theirs…
If, however, you follow a diverse range of people, curating your feed in such a way that you’re regularly seeing people of all different body types, able bodies and disabled bodies, thin bodies and fat bodies, shaved bodies and unshaven bodies, the representation is likely to help you to feel seen and more accepting of your own body. Because, the fact is that most people in the general population will not have a thigh gap. Most people will not have totally flat stomachs or toned abs. Most bodies will look like bodies- beautiful and messy, a reflection of the life which they carry…
When I was 15, I developed Anorexia (which you can read more about here), and 7 years on, now aged 22, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, but, I’m also the happiest. I do sometimes think that people who knew me when I was at my lowest, when my identity was ‘Lisa the runner’ (and Anorexic but, we’ll overlook that because ‘she can run fast’), will look at me now and have the rhetoric of me having ‘let myself go’, at the forefront of their mind, but, as the worry creeps in of, ‘what will people be thinking?’, I remind myself that, yes, I have ‘let go’, but not of myself, of the very thing that was killing me;
- I’ve let go of the need to control every aspect of my life.
- I’ve let go of everything I thought represented beauty and being ‘good.’
- I’ve let go of the identity Anorexia had made for me, a life revolving around food and exercise, and I’ve found my true identity.
- I’ve let go, not of myself, but of all the things that stopped me from finding myself, and now I am free.
Now I am free to look at my body, not with disgust or disdain as I used to, but with marvel and wonder and gratitude, filled with appreciation for all that it does for me;
- When I come on my period, the flowing blood a signifier of my bodies ability to create life, an actual human being.
- When I go hiking, climbing up mountains, my thighs that I used to hate powering me up.
- When I sit and allow myself to rest and feel contentment and not obsessive worry that I am ‘lazy’, having not done enough exercise and/or eaten too much of the ‘wrong’ thing.
- When I acknowledge that my body keeps me alive, no less
When I do all of these ( ^ ) things, I thank god that I chose recovery over relapse,
living over dying,
love over hate,
tomorrow over yesterday…
Finding who I am
Now I don’t restrict my food intake, I don’t overexercise, I don’t punish myself for needing what every human needs to survive- food. I allow myself to eat whatever I want to eat, and I exercise when I feel like it.
And so, with the headspace to think about more than just calories and macros and weight and miles, I am free to think about, and do the things, that light me up inside:
and social justice
Because, now I actually have a life that I want to live, not a life that sees me waking up being filled with a sense of dread, but a life that sees me waking up filled with inspiration and motivation for all the things that I want to write and do and create.
How did I change my mindset?
Fatphobia is so deeply ingrained in our culture, being passed from generation to generation, that it is hard to overcome, but, it can be done (by remembering two things)…
1) Our bodies are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things; My body couldn’t possibly sum up who I am.
When we refer to people as being ‘in’ a bigger or a smaller body, we use the word ‘in’ for a reason… The reason being because we, who we really are, the true nature of our being, is inside of our body, not our body itself. Surely then, being of such insignificance, there’s something of more weight than our bodies (pardon the pun) that can be discussed?
Tell me what you’re passionate about, talk to me about the causes that are closest to your heart, tell me what you believe in, all the things that actually matter. For, when you get to the end of your life and your family are standing around your bedside, no one is going to look back fondly at how you so diligently managed to abstain from eating so as to maintain your figure, or smile as they remember how many miles you would run on an empty stomach each morning before breakfast, because, although it feels like the most important thing in the world when you’re in that mindset, these things are so unimportant.
What people will remember about you are all the things that have absolutely no association to what you look like at all;
and your selflessness
and the number of lives you enhanced with your presence
(not the number that showed up when you stood on the scales)…
People will remember you, not your body because, again, the two are not one and the same. Our body is the vessel for which we exist within. Like a parcel, the contents- what is important- is on the inside.
2) People who do judge others based on what they weigh are not people I want in my life, and therefore their opinion doesn’t matter to me
Ask yourself if you really want people who are fatphobic in your life.
Do you want people who are so small minded as to see what someone looks like as who they are? As a signifier of their morals? I, for one, do not. For, if someone can say something so hateful towards someone whom they don’t even know because of their weight, then what are they saying about me when I’m not there?…
I do believe that most people who are fatphobic are dealing with their own insecurities, ‘hurt people hurt people’ and all that, but, this still shouldn’t be an excuse. People who choose to stay ignorant, (because, it is a choice!), in the face of overwhelming evidence that weight is so unimportant, are not the type of people I want in my life.
I want to surround myself with people who make me see the good in life, people who restore my faith in humanity.
I want change.
How can you get to this place?
If you want things to change, then be the change you want to see in the world.
Be the person your younger self needed.
Be proof to all the people who are in the dark, that there is light, and that it doesn’t even have to be ‘at the end of the tunnel’, that it’s right there waiting for you, right now, if only you let it in.
So, let it in
– the light ❤
Fashion as a mark of ‘queerness’
Historically, society has had strict gender norms that dictate what is considered ‘appropriate’ for men and women. Having a more androgynous look then, whether that be through the clothes we wear, our hairstyle, tattoos, piercings, whatever it may be, allows us to challenge the binary of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’, thus allowing us to feel more secure in our gender identity. This is something that I relate to.
Having never really ‘fit in’, whereas I once tried to hide this, forcing myself to fit a mould/to be who I was expected to be as a woman, through keeping my hair long and wearing skirts/dresses etc, now I embrace those differences, striving to express my inner self through my outer presentation via hair, tattoos, and fashion- a mark of ‘queerness.’ But, I haven’t always felt able to do this, as I said, I used to hide from it.
When it’s tied up in your identity- the way you feel about yourself- it’s more than ‘just’ hair.
Growing up, I used to hate my hair. Like, really hate it. I would wear it up every day for school, for I hated having it down. I hated having it long, but, I kept it long anyway because I was a girl, and ‘girls have long hair.’
When I was 19, I took the plunge and finally had my hair cut short, ‘baby mullet’ style, and I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it ever since… Dying it (blonde, pink, purple, black, currently I’m back to my natural colour, an auburn-y brown), shaving it ( I shaved the sides which I hated), but, one thing that is a constant- keeping it around the same length, not letting it get to my shoulders.
Every time my hair does start to get longer again, I have an urge to cut it all off. I don’t know how else to describe it other than long hair just makes me feel ‘uncomfortable.’ Although I am a woman, in many respects I don’t feel like a woman, at least, not what society tells us a woman is, and so I prefer to keep my hair in a more ‘androgynous’ style to reflect the way I feel inside. I prefer to embrace gender non-conformity.
It’s also for this reason why I love tattoo’s so much, too, and it’s why the clothes I choose to wear are also more ‘androgynous.’
Although I don’t label myself as non-binary, I definitely recognise that I have, I would say, in equal parts, both feminine and masculine energy. When my gender expression doesn’t show that- when externally I don’t look as fluid as I feel internally, I experience really bad dysmorphia, I just feel wholly uncomfortable in myself, and when I say it can seriously impact upon my mental health, I’m not just saying this out of vanity, but out of it leading me to question,
‘Who am I?’
And so, when it’s taken me 22 years to finally feel okay with who I am inside, I want the way that I present on the outside to reflect that-
a communicative connection between inner and outer expression.
Untamed self-expression is powerful. I know it from first (and second) hand experience.
When I present myself in exactly the way that I want to present myself, solely dressing in the way that makes me feel most… ‘me’, I feel good. And, likewise, when I see other people presenting themselves in exactly the way that they want to present themselves, I also feel good- it’s empowering.
When I see other people with tattoos and piercings, ‘untraditional’ haircuts and clothes that blur the lines between genders, I feel so happy and, I want other people to see me and feel the same. As though we’re all in this community of ‘misfits’ together-
what a lovely sentiment.
For me, being queer is about having a curiosity that exists outside of the norm. When we become curious about our own desires, we want to express those desires in a way that might attract other people that are similarly minded.
It’s about attracting people that have a mindset of curiosity.
Don’t like it? F**k off!
People might not like my tattoo’s, people might think that my hair would look better longer, that I’d look better in more ‘feminine’ clothes, but I dress for me, and when it makes me happy, why would I stop doing that because someone says they don’t like it?
Love it or hate it, (or just don’t care), I’m turning my body into something(/somewhere) that feels like home.