The Happy Heart School

Living lifelong human care, development, education, learning and service for all.



I really love to write. For the longest time I had to give myself a reason for writing, a meaning for its existence. I had been so conditioned in functionality, in seeing everything as its usefulness or worth, that in the last two years of contemplative solitude, I have come to see and realise that who we each individually are and who we are as a human race, has got nothing to do with definitions nor identity.

These are words and concepts. And abstractions of what life is.

Life, for me, is simply, life. Every day the world turns, night and day, day and night. At every moment, we encounter the environment, and other people, in some circumstance. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes not. As we ourselves feel less able to cope, or are unwell, or feel overwhelmed, or have become burnout, our perception of every moment would be the same. The world, and life, starts to increasingly become more and more difficult. And our worldview starts to shift from being friendly to defensive.

The source of this shift is inside.

It is a form of self-protection.

However, if we do not recognise this, it would just get so bad that our relationships with others and also the environment, would begin to deteriorate, sometimes beyond repair. Because the hurt and the mutual hurt that has been inflicted has gone beyond the ability of any human person to bear.

How do we come through this challenge?

It’s a question so many are asking, and are trying to figure out. And it is valid. The question is very valid and very important. In fact, it is critical as so many people are in some kind of fatigue and resulting deep suffering.

My own way out is from a place of honesty. I don’t have a quick fix, but I can share that once the awareness is clear, the healing is remarkable. And what you thought was previously unrecoverable, does become alive again.

Self-care is paramount to getting one’s life back in order again. Giving ourselves permission to do things we love just simply for loving it and not requiring any justifications. Don’t even call it a hobby. The labels that we draw around our lives where we compartmentalise our lives like a portfolio or a CV have to be dropped. Because once you start doing that, you start getting caught in the cycle of achievement or outcome orientation as a basis for living.

Living has no basis.

It is just living.

We inform an interpretation to life, our life story. But actually, life is lived everyday, every moment, and largely, we are able to be a part of this silent permitting rhythm. Unless the mental or societal perceptions start to convince us otherwise. Then we begin to be convinced we are less-than. Less-than the ideals which we have personally or collectively projected upon each other.

And that is a real tragedy, because perfections or even striving for these abstracted perfections, don’t make us. They don’t make us human. They don’t make us better. They don’t make us valid. They don’t inform who we are. They have just abstracted an ideal expectation for us to keep striving after, but always feeling left out, behind, not good enough, poor, failing. It is a cycle of false expectations right from the start.

Expectations are not boundaries. Boundaries are safety and consequence gates. These are natural. If you do this, this happens. It happens anyway regardless of how you think about it. We teach this to our children for their safety. However, when we clutter all the messaging with the social expectations and norms of a perceived goodness, I believe children and ourselves get confused.

So where does a happy life begin? Life happens. Enjoy it. When you are overwhelmed, recognise it, and seek help. When you are able to give to others, gift generously. When you are unsure, be brave to say you are unsure. When you are sure, say it with full conviction. When you have crossed the threshold, where life is perceived as failing, across to where life is loving and gifting to you every moment, celebrate! Because, that’s a happy heart life well investigated and lived!

And then relook at that process and see that one end goal and another end goal is really the same. The journey of conversion from sadness to happiness is actually the same journey. Both are celebratory. Both are courageous. Both are one. It is one continuous continuum of your own life and your participation in the greater life.

That’s the boundary I have found for my life. That my life is valid as a personal person and I am part of others also learning, adjusting and living as persons in dignity. And that I am not helpless. That my ability is not determined by what I am. That I am who I am. Without words, without definitions, without even trying to pinpoint to reduce the expression to a core point.

Because a human life cannot be reduced.

A human life is precious, and sacred.

Yes, a human life is simply, sacred.

That is the closest word I am able to utter without messing up this beautiful, already self-existing insight that I behold within me.

Peng-Ean Khoo
March 26, 2016







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This entry was posted on March 26, 2016 by .
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