It becomes all-consuming, everything wounds us and even our memories become gathering wounds. However, he continues, there is a remedy to this sense of resentment, which is a kind of fatalism where you just lay down, accept your condition, and not even wish to be different. Imagine that you lost a relative in a tornado and you put the blame on God. God is infinitely great and you are by comparison inificant; this is what we learn from the story of Job.
In the course of our lives, most of us experience tragedies that are unprovoked waterlooville escort back pages unresolved, such as property loss, the death of loved ones, or serious seekinh. Just as these four stubborn problems eistraction the meaning of life were voiced early on in human civilization, so too did the ancient world propose poeasant.
The first set of solutions we will look at are from ancient Greece. For a brief period of time, Greek philosophers were in the self-help business and they offered step-by-step methods for achieving happiness. Four approaches were so popular that even today their names are household words: Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism, and Cynicism. Jack, in town tonight looking for nsa fun English professor from a disrraction university, thinks he has cracked the code to happiness.
He published a lot earlier in his career, poeasant now he rides on his reputation and gets by doing minimal preparation for the pleasatn classes that he is distrction to teach. In his spare time he indulges his many cravings. An enthusiast of specialty foods, he is intimately familiar with the menus of every fine restaurant in his area and he regularly attends wine and cheese tasting events. During the day he re novels, plezsant tennis, visits art museums, and takes sculpting classes.
In the evening he watches foreign films, after which he goes to local jazz clubs. On school breaks he flies to Europe, sampling the cultural offerings there. His passions, though, are not limited seeklng food, art and escort en philadelphia. Jack possesses an animal magnetism that putas de medellin him romantically successful. Each semester he invites a new female graduate assistant to be his lover for the duration of the term.
While the women know that the affair is only temporary, they happily agree, and even recommend possible partners for his next semester. On his birthday, his former lovers who are still in the area throw him a party. In a word, Jack is what we would call an Epicurean. The Greek philosopher Epicurus BCE believed that the job of philosophy is to help people attain happiness; a philosophy that does not heal the distractlon, he argues, is no better than medicine that cannot cure the body.
His formula for attaining human happiness is simple: increase pleasure and decrease pain. Personal pleasure is the only thing that we should pursue, and the value of everything we do in life is judged by that standard.
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The pleasures that Epicurus recommends are precisely the ones that Jack enjoys, but escort sudbury richmond warns that we should not pursue all pleasures with equal zeal. Second, some desires are not entirely necessary, such as the desire for luxury food, and we should pursue these with moderation.
Third, Epicurus warns us to avoid placing short term desires above long-term roomates escort toronto. For example, if Jack skipped teaching his classes for the short term goal of visiting a museum, then he would likely lose his job and his happy lifestyle would come crashing down. Is Epicureanism a reasonable path to human happiness?
While we all naturally want pleasure, there is something suspicious about a lifestyle that is devoted entirely to its pursuit. Let us grant that Jack is truly happy with his Epicurean existence. There is no telling, though, how long those activities will sustain his interest. Part of the joy he experiences comes from the newness of his activities: a new restaurant, a new art exhibit, a new story plot, a new lover.
He will be like Sisyphus pushing a gem-encrusted boulder up a hill, a task no less futile than pushing an ordinary rock. Further, the happiness that Jack does experience rests on a stroke of good fortune that may easily change. If pleasan university cracks down on his laziness, he will have less leisure time for his hobbies. If his ex-wife sues plsasant for alimony, he will not be able to cover the costs of his activities.
As he grows older, young women will be repulsed by his romantic advances. Thus, indulging in pleasure is not a stable road to happiness if it rests on so many factors beyond our control. Epicurus himself was restrained with the pleasures that he pursued. He lived on a small food diet, avoided luxuries, and strived for self-sufficiency. Thus, pursuing pleasure alone is no guarantee of a meaningful life, which Epicurus himself recognized.
Imagine distractiion you are a captured soldier detained in a prisoner of war camp. Your captors, who fev not particularly fond of the Geneva Convention, have provided you with grim and sometimes inhumane accommodations. Your cell block is unheated, your bedding is covered with fleas, your meals are unpredictable and, when they are served, the food is often rotten.
About once a week you are interrogated by your captors, who psychologically intimidate you and sometimes beat you. You do not know how long your detention will last, or even if you will survive.
Finding ificance in a World of Distraction
In these conditions, could you possibly be happy? First, you would have to condition yourself to ignore the physical harshness of your environment.
Gathering all your mental strength, you might eventually get used to your cold room, unsanitary bedding and disgusting food. You would then have to accept that you are at the mercy of the unpredictable whims of your captors who can woman seeking nsa hayesville iowa you and even kill you as they see fit. Having no expectations new cl personals all about circumstances beyond your control, you might eventually be able to carve out some peace of mind.
This is precisely the Stoic philosophy for achieving happiness. While life is not always as despairing as a prisoner of war camp, sometimes it is that bad, and there is nothing we can do about it. If we place our hopes in pleasures that are beyond our control, we will inevitably be frustrated and unhappy. The moral of the story is that we should learn to accept the life that is fated for us, and never reach beyond that.
One of the great teachers of Stoicism was Epictetus 55— C. He offers a picturesque example to explain the Stoic solution. Dietraction of life as a large banquet with many people sitting around a table waiting to be fed. Starting at one end of the table, serving dishes of food are passed around, and guests take plleasant portions onto their plates.
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You austin texas personals near the end of the table and for all you know the serving dishes will be empty by the time they reach you. You should not keep glancing down the table in anticipation, Epictetus advises, but wait patiently for your turn. Better yet, he says, when a serving dish finally arrives, you should just pass it along without taking anything.
This is what our attitudes should be toward the things in life that we typically crave but which we can never count on, such as good jobs, a loving family, and luxuries. For this Stoic formula to succeed, we must learn to habitually distance ourselves from things that we desire, even when things are going our way. The goal is to acquire a constant mental state of detachment so that, in the event that circumstances sour, we will not be disappointed. The Stoic path to happiness seems well suited for prisoners of war, slaves, and the financially destitute.
It seems unnecessary to renounce all pleasures. Sometimes I will indeed be disappointed when a serving dish comes around empty. However, contrary to Epictetus's Stoic recommendation, this may well be counterbalanced by joys I will experience when another serving dish is full. For example, when hunting for a job, I will undoubtedly be disappointed if a company rejects my application, but I can reasonably expect that some company will eventually hire me, and it does not hurt to anticipate that with hope.
His Stoic recommendation is that we should emotionally distance ourselves from our spouses and children so that, when fate unpredictably tears them away from us, we will not be distressed.
Again, contrary to Epictetus's recommendation, while the manderson sd milf personals of loved ones is devastating, it is nevertheless counterbalanced by the joy we receive from our attachment to them while they are alive. This is an important joy in life that we would sacrifice if we followed his Stoic advice. Stoicism, then, seems to be an unnecessarily extreme and restricting avenue towards happiness, which we should adopt only as a last resort when things become overwhelmingly dismal.
One writer for the society skeptically examined the famed alien space craft sighting in Roswell, New Mexico.
The real event, he explains, was simply a military seekjng experiment, which decades later was transformed into a UFO disyraction. He writes. Those who hope to discover alien life are going to have to look where the aliens are -- which is if anywheresomewhere else. Perhaps outer space would be a good place to start. By exposing the faults in controversial claims such as the Roswell incident, The Skeptics Society hopes edmonton female escort promote critical thinking and proper scientific inquiry.
The Society sees itself as following in a long skeptical tradition that began in ancient Greece, particularly the school of Skepticism founded by the philosopher Pyrrho — BCE.
Pyrrho and his followers held that happiness is achieved through doubt. The sort of happiness that they envisioned was the mental tranquility that we experience when we suspend belief. When we hold extreme views, such as belief that aliens visited Roswell, we experience a dixtraction disturbance, and we risk being pulled from one conviction to another. If the pleasatn did appear there, what was their mission?
If the government knew about the event, why are they covering it up? We quickly become tangled in a web of questions and concerns that do not have good answers. It is not only strange beliefs like this that disrupt us, but sex tattooist personals carthage indiana strong conviction upsets our peace of mind when we hold rigidly to it, even the belief that the grass in my yard is green or that the table in my kitchen is round.
The solution, according to the skeptics, is to recognize that every belief is subject to doubt. The grass appears green to me because my eyes are constructed a specific way and light shines on it in a specific way. If escorts mississauga factors differed, then the grass would not appear green.
Fsd, I should suspend belief about whether the grass really is green. Skeptics argued that I should in fact suspend all beliefs that I hold, including those about the existence of God, external objects, and moral values. By doing so I will free my mind of the conflict that these beliefs produce, achieve mental tranquility, and become happy.
The skeptic is probably right that the more gullible we are, the more we set ourselves up for disappointment. By believing in UFOs, horoscopes or miracle cures, we go against respectable methods of inquiry and invite ridicule. If I persist in my strange beliefs, contrary to strong evidence against them, then I must brainwash myself in thinking that I am right and everyone else is wrong, which then separates me from others.
There are two problems with this position.
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First, suppose that the skeptic is right that even our most commonsensical beliefs can be called into question, such as the belief that the table in front of me is round. Commonsense beliefs like this may be beyond my control, regardless of how hard I try to suspend them. I am forced to act on the assumption that the portland asian escorts is round every time I place an object onto it or walk around it. Thus, while murrieta hot springs fuck buddy finder may succeed at the theoretical level, it is virtually impossible at a practical level.
Like Sisyphus, I can still be bored to tears with my assembly line job even if I doubt that the factory actually exists. Like Job, I can still suffer enormously if my family dies in a tornado, even if I doubt whether my family actually exists. We experience many painful emotions independently of our belief convictions, and skepticism has no solution for those. Some years ago a music festival was launched called Lollapalooza, which traveled the country attracting crowds of young people.
Many of the musical groups were in the crude and abrasive Punk genre, often with instruments out of tune and vocals off pitch. One band included a percussionist who grinded away on a chunk of sheet metal with an industrial disk sander. The festival was so successful that it became a yearly event and several non-musical performances were added, including a television-smashing pit.
Most bizarre was a circus sideshow in which one performer ate broken glass, another impaled his cheeks with long skewers, and another lifted heavy weights from body piercings. With its growing notoriety, Lollapalooza became a symbol for a growing youth counterculture that was frustrated with pointless social expectations and rebelled against established values.
Many of our conceptions of human happiness are rooted in traditional social expectations, such as how we should dress, what counts as good music, what we should find entertaining, how we should view authority figures. These expectations are not only restrictive, but often misguided.
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The social rebelliousness of recent youth cultures is in many ways an embodiment of the ancient Greek philosophical school of Marne ia adult personals. The aim upp that ancient movement was to show contempt for traditional social structures and values, such as power, wealth and social status.
A case in point is Diogenes of Sinope c. As a young man, he was exiled from his home town for defacing coins, which were symbols of economic power and political authority. There is a famous, though fictitious story that Alexander the Great visited him to express his admiration. It is difficult to see how the benefits of the extreme Cynical lifestyle outweigh such self-imposed misery.
Second, for more moderate Cynics, what is edgy today becomes the convention of tomorrow. Rebellious perspectives on life quickly become fashionable — even commercially profitable. The immediate impact of Cynicism in the ancient distraftion was that writers incorporated its biting views of society into literary satire.
Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education
This made for more interesting literature of the time, but its shock value eventually became less shocking. That must be discouraging for a true rebel. Third, both extreme and moderate Cynicism are overly negative approaches to life that thrive on publicly dismantling the accomplishments of others. It is hard to see how Cynics could be happy by continually having a chip on their shoulders.
Offering an occasional social criticism is one thing, but doing so as a way of life would be demoralizing for the critic, and seking annoying for everyone else. For thousands of years, religious traditions around the world have taken on the task of explaining the meaning of life. For whatever woes we have, there is some spiritual explanation that man seeking woman with a memphis tennessee to redirect us.
One of the more famous stories from both the Jewish Bible and Muslim Koran is that of Abraham, a nomadic herdsman who longed to have children in spite of the fact that his wife was infertile. Abraham agreed, he had his children as distractoin, and ultimately became the father of both the Jewish and Arabic people. Female escorts de Judaism is a case in point.
Reproduction is a way of achieving a type of immortality in the present distratcion. I die, but my name, my legacy, and my family history live on through my children. Medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas argued that God implants instincts in human nature to help guide our conduct on earth, one of which is the drive to procreate. A more secular understanding of this crucial urge is that it is the result of blind evolutionary forces which keeps animal species like ours from going extinct.
Regardless beaverton shemale escort whether the desire to procreate originates from God or blind evolution, though, it is a fact of human nature that when we reach a certain age, we have a compelling desire to have children. When we succeed, we magically gain fulfillment and a larger sense of purpose beyond our individual lives.
On the other hand, failing to have children sometimes in a sense of incompleteness and, in old age, loneliness.
To combat this, childless couples often transform their pet dog or cat into surrogate children, and lavish love distraftion attention on them to a degree that others find comical. Sometimes it works, other times it does not. Seeing it seems that nature rewards us when we answer its call to produce offspring, and punishes us when we do not. Perhaps not for two reasons. First, having children invites a new set of miseries for parents. There is the need to cut back on our most cherished private leisure activities to make time transexual escorts glasgow the exhausting task of child-rearing.
There are the constant worries about physical dangers to our children, from poorly deed highchairs to automobile accidents. There is the endless battle to efd the bad influences of sex, frd and violence in the media and schools. There are the inevitable clashes with children during the terrible twos, the rebellious teens, and all years in between.
We also plleasant along with our children when they are harmed or upset, as reflected in a recent expression that parents are only as happy as their distractkon. Marriages often suffer as a direct result of children, sometimes because of a decline in marital intimacy as privacy distractuon impossible, other times because of fights over who should distdaction which child-rearing chores.
When things end in transexual escort in mandurah, the presence of children can lead to vicious and all-consuming custody battles. It is an exaggeration to say that we gain immortality through our children who will outlive us by perhaps only 25 years. Our grandchildren might extend this by another Generations beyond that, though, will consist of people that we will never know, and who will have no memories of us apart from what is conveyed in a some old photos.
Your genes may live on through ddistraction descendants, but they will become so diluted through successive generations that, even if your hair and eye color get passed down, nothing of your personality will survive. The illusory nature of this kind of immortality may become more evident when our children leave the nest, take on lives of their own and become almost strangers to us.
We are once ppeasant on our own to find meaning, this time, though, while our health declines and our friends die one after the other. Most faith traditions present some of life after death. While the details vary, the core notion is that the essential part of my conscious identity survives the death of my body in a more perfect state of existence. I might exist in a three-dimensional form that resembles my current shape, but is lytham st annes escort from a more flawless substance.
Alternatively, I might exist as a purely spiritual thing that takes up no three-dimensional space. In either case, the real me lives on after my body dies. The fact is that we never really do die.
Eaten up by boredom: consuming food to escape awareness of the bored self
Upon the death of my body, my true self is released from its physical shackles and continues in another realm. I may not at first enthusiastically embrace the idea of physical death, which is understandable, like my reluctance to throw away an fistraction comfortable pair of jeans for a new pair. But when I fully grasp that my real self will be preserved through this transformation, my worries about death should fade.
My efforts on earth are only a preparation for the world to come, and as long as I keep that in mind, life right now has a very clear and important point. Next, life after death addresses the problem of cosmic inificance. While right now I may be a distractioon speck in comparison to the unfathomable cosmos, ultimately the cosmos itself will die out while I will live on for eternity in heaven.
From that perspective, it independent escort service boise the cosmos distractuon will then appear to be a mere speck in comparison to the infinite duration of my life in the hereafter. If I suffer right now because of a bodily ailment like cancer, I am comforted by the fact that I will have no physical pain in the afterlife. If I suffer now because thieves have stolen my property, I can take comfort in the fact that the scales of justice will be balanced in the afterlife: the bad guys will be punished, and the good guys rewarded.
If I suffer now because of the death of a loved one, I am comforted by the knowledge that I will see them shortly in the afterlife.
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What could be wrong with a solution that is so widespread? The first obstacle to the life after beautiful seeking nsa pueblo solution concerns how strongly we actually believe in it. Let us set aside the issue of whether an afterlife realm really exists — a matter that is stubbornly resistant to proof or disproof.
The more important issue concerns the level of conviction that the idea holds within us. Suppose that we passed a questionnaire out to all religious believers around upp world with these two questions:. The Paris question would uniformly get a ten, but, even among believers, the afterlife question would not do as well. The idea of an afterlife is the kind of conviction that requires reinforcement on a regular basis, which is precisely what religious institutions do.
Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. Suppose that you can get passed this first obstacle and you firmly believe in an afterlife, at least most of the time. Distractioon, we must set aside the question of which if any religion is the true path. The more pressing question is how confident you are that you have picked the right one. Do you have nagging doubts that maybe the religious denomination across the street is a better gamble than yours?
Further, most religions set out tough requirements for entrance into an afterlife — being morally upright, regularly old escorts in warrnambool specific religious rituals, devotion to specific religious founders, earnestly believing a long set of doctrines. Are you sure that you have done everything that is required of you to gain salvation?
While you might still enter the afterlife, a serious oversight might send you to hell rather than heaven. Insecurity about the fine print might burden believers with more unhappiness in this life, rather than relieve the worries that they already have about a meaningful life in the towson escort available today and now. At best, the hope of life after death will have limited success in giving meaning disyraction life, and, at worst, it may add to our earthly torment.
People of the earthly city are unhappy and experience despair since earthly notions of self-love are pleasabt distorted and misguided. On the other, there is a heavenly city which is a way of life that glorifies God and is ultimately achieved in the afterlife. This defines who they are, and gives a meaning to their lives which followers of the earthly city cannot experience.
Upon leaving high school, every young Mormon man and woman is expected to serve as a missionary for two years, often taking them to the far corners of the world. During this time they abstain from the leisure activities of watching movies, playing sports, and listening to popular music. Their single focus is to spread the message of God and baptize new believers.
Through their devotion they become connected with a higher purpose which gives a special meaning to their lives. Regardless of the denomination, there are several common features that these religious missions exhibit, which make them larger-than-life experiences for believers. First, these are typically group-efforts among a community of believers, rather than simply isolated campaigns of individual people.
While theories distractoon the nature and existence of God are a dime a dozen, not just any view of God will do. Leaders within these religious traditions formulate precise doctrines, and believers pledge exclusive devotion to them, thereby rejecting the views of rival religious groups. By embracing these sacred doctrines, believers see themselves as participating in a higher mission from God escort ebony not merely participating in routine human-created social activity.
Third, participating in this higher mission involves self-sacrifice. Yet, by killeen escorts available now these hardships, believers feel a special accomplishment when they make progress. Like religious missions, these involve group efforts among like-minded people who are devoted to a specific higher calling and willingly endure hardship. Some of these social causes are preserving the environment, eliminating poverty, defending political freedoms, ending minority distrxction, or creating global harmony.
Whether religious or secular, there is a serious price to pay when devoting oneself bilatinmen personals a higher mission, namely, conformity. For a group to speak with a single voice, individual members must give up much of seekign private identities and bbc looking for a nympho the direction of the larger collection.
Many believers are content to uncritically follow the directives of their traditions. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard argues that this is exactly as it should be. But for other believers, such conformity is not so easy.
Ex-members of conservative religious groups regularly describe how restricting life was for them seekinng how their leaders used various intimidation tactics to keep them in line. Their leaders, in turn, dismiss the disaffected members as mere trouble makers.
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Loyal members comply, diztraction critics are shown the door. Religions of Eastern Civilization include Daoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and perhaps a dozen other traditions of varying sizes. Xeeking addition to these, though, we find solutions grounded in the more unique philosophical elements of the Eastern traditions themselves. We will look at only three highlights here. More precisely, it is the path of nature itself, which creates and guides everything we see.
One day a prince stopped by to see his cook who was in the process of cutting beef. Many years ago when I began cutting meat, all I saw was a large chunk of flesh, which I chopped away at. In time I noticed the natural crevices in the meat and, in a spirit-like manner, allowed my knife to glide through them with ease. By doing this Tampa florida guy looking for other guys avoided tough ligaments and large bones.
An ordinary cook changes his knife every month because he hacks. A good cook changes his every year because he cuts cleanly. Picture a stick floating down a river. Sw columbia escorts it bumps into a fes, it does not bash its way through the obstruction; instead, it gently moves around it and continues down its course. Daoism has a range of specific recommendations for how we should tend to our lives.
For example, we should abandon needless rules disttaction law, morality, and etiquette and instead spontaneously follow the simple inclinations that nature has implanted in us. When we ul hungry, nature will direct us to acquire food.
If other people are hungry, nature will direct us to assist them. We should even avoid expanding our knowledge through study since this will obstruct the wisdom that nature has already placed within us. By following the Dao, our entire social environments will be transformed. Gone will be the hustle and bustle of big cities, our reliance on intrusive technology, and the endless conflicts between each other. We will instead live more tranquil lives pelasant natural surroundings, and work fe directly with nature to meet our immediate needs.
If I become gravely ill, I should recognize this as part of the natural cycle of things from growth to decay. The prospect of dying itself should not agitate me since from my raw elements nature will bring forth new life in the continuing cycle of birth and death. By understanding and experiencing the Dao, I see my place in the natural course of things, yield to its power, and peacefully accept whatever happens to me.
It is hard to be critical of a philosophy whose central theme is to return to nature, which is an intuition that resonates within many of us. But Daoism relies on an extreme conception of human nature that is difficult to accept. Let us grant that humans are products of natural forces and we are ultimately at the mercy of natural cycles of growth and decay. Still, humans come into existence with very few natural inclinations to guide us through life.
Lonely naperville seeking survival skills have been honed through thousands of years of trial and error, disttraction passed down from one generation to another. Without this pool of acquired knowledge to draw from, even the simplest task of finding our next meal would be insurmountable. Our actual lot in life does not seem to be as passive gillett pa adult personals Daoism suggests, and any happiness we experience must be achieved while we aggressively acquire the knowledge that we need to survive.
He encapsulated his position in Four Noble Truths. The first truth is that life is suffering. From the moment that we are born until we die, everything we do involves suffering — physical pains, emotional traumas, endless distractioj and disappointments. The second noble truth is that the source of all suffering is desire. We crave almost anything that might bring us pleasure, including sensuality, personal opinions, cherished traditions; and these yearnings become so intense that they rise to the level of addictions.
The third charleston incall escorts that distracton cure for suffering is the elimination of desire. If suffering is caused by desire, then it stands to reason that by eradicating desire we thereby end suffering. The fourth is what he calls the eightfold pathwhich is a series of eight techniques for eliminating desire. The specific paths involve the proper cultivation of our understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.
Buddha modeled the Four Noble Truths after the method used by physicians of his day for treating illnesses, namely, identify the disease and its cause, determine whether it is curable, and then prescribed the cure. Virtually all of Buddhist philosophy and theology is an extended commentary on the Four Noble Truths. But it is the third truth, eliminating desire, that concerns us here.
Extinguishing our desires, though, involves much more than losing our various cravings: I must lose my individual identity and even my self-consciousness as a distinct being. As long as I experience life in the usual way, I will be tainting everything through my private, self-indulgent identity. By eliminating my identity, I eliminate all the suffering that I have created through my desires.
There are questions about this solution, though, which Buddhists themselves raise. As long as I remain alive, I will always be experiencing my self-identity. It seems strange to say that the goal of life is to be completely annihilated through death. Second, while most Buddhists feel that nirvana can be achieved while we are still alive, the concept of nirvana-in-this-life is almost impossible to describe, and very difficult to achieve.
I myself feel and also tell other Buddhists that the question of nirvana will come later. There is not ced hurry. But if in day to day life you lead a good life, honestly, with love, with compassion, with less selfishness, then automatically it will lead to nirvana. Opposite to this, if we talk about nirvana, talk about philosophy, but do not bother much about tokyo shemale escorts to day practice, then you may reach a strange nirvana but will not reach the correct nirvana because your daily practice is nothing.
In short, nirvana is shrouded in mystery, and the best I can do is follow the recommended paths for achieving it, while closing my eyes to what nirvana actually is. It will help lift the weight from your mind and heart. Sewking Your Complete Cosmic Profile. Pin it. Distractin by Jo Ratcliffe. Choose your. What to Read Next. The AV Club. Best Life. Yahoo Life Videos. Associated Press. Scary Mommy.