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My First Blog Post

This is actually not my first blog post.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Dang man, I can’t beat that. Let me find a quote that actually pertains to my personality. I’m like a lot of other people and have so many thoughts and feelings that I decided to do what other people do (the blog). I don’t think there would be anything to advertise on here, so from a business perspective this is pointless. Still, feel free to send me money. (No, it will not be used to support deviant decision making or fallacy of fanatical force.)

This used to be my favorite quote. It still is, but after years of distorted and delusional thinking, I realized that the life I imagined had once been placed in box, somewhat similar to Pandora’s box. When I broke out of my bubble (the place I grew up) and started “really living” in Austin, TX, my way of being was out of the box to say the least. The life I kept imagining started warping into a sunshine daydream, a graveyard full of bass and neon, a pool of marbled rainbows and jam bands, then a circus, a dark void, etc. After being thrown for a loop a few times, rockin’ til the wheels fell off, I got my mind right. Keep in mind, getting it right is a daily task that I take on ‘One Day at a Time’.

Here are some more relevant quotes from one of my favorite author’s that better convey my life today:

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Be not simply good, be good for something.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

This guy is good. Reading these quotes again, I considered redesigning the blog and making it all about him. Then he threw me this one…

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Also Thoreau. Similar to Henry, I also prefer my own pumpkin. Though I tend to reference a lot of book’s I’ve read, legends (people) I respect, and thoughts I’ve heard in songs, poems, and rhymes. I’m not always perfect at sighting my work. Keep in my this is not a clinical record, it’s a blog. It’s more like a thought log.

I hope you enjoy it. :):):)

Water it Down

You may have heard the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Dr. Masaru Emoto proved, with science, that words can hurt. I thought it was a hoax (and I still have my doubts), but the concept is super interesting. [Yeah I’ve got pep in my step, don’t hate.]

More details that I don’t want to type out –> thewellnessenterprise.com/emoto/

Seriously, don’t hate. Dr. Emoto proved that when you feel negatively towards something, you can change it on a molecular level, in a bad way. When you tell the water how wonderful and pure it is, it changes to reflect the positive impact. You can change the world! Isn’t 70% of the world covered in water? The heart is around 70% water. The brain is also.

When my dude told me to look it up, I clicked on a video that showed me the different music Emoto exposed water to.

I’m not a science wiz. I can’t explain how the tones, rhythms, pitches, musical notes, etc effect the mathematical symmetry of the crystals. I owned some crystals in college when I was in it to zen (like win lol). I’ve seen hippies freak out over raw chocolate and children fight for climate change. Those things may be unrelated or maybe my mind is chaos

Call me Posty, heat it up, Toasty

What’s cool about chaos is that in my world, God can handle it. I don’t have to be overwhelmed because I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. I don’t need you to accept it or be proud of me for choosing a religion. I’ll take a high five if you’re giving them out though.

The centralized theme here (I’m getting to it) is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I get tunnel vision a lot. What’s funny is that I get there all by myself. It starts when one dark creeps up on me. Soon a few more follow (you know misery loves company). Before I know it, I’m throwing shade too. I read on a site that chaos is mostly a good thing, until humanity tries to mess with it. When we try to own it, it turns on us. ((Let it go)) If we look at all the beauty around us and start wanting it all to ourselves, we start gripping too tight to everything surrounding us. We get tense and high strung. Like ice, we’re hard to get through. We stop flowing because we assume we’re all knowing. Hearts become cold, arrogance takes hold, y’all know how it goes. We go hard because this is America.

Some of us can offer comic relief. Some of try and take on the world like Atlas. [[Speaking of, Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book.]]

Moving on…in the past I’ve seen people acting so on top of everything and then losing it. The whole feeding off chaos [in my Freak(oholic) post] is like the Walking Dead. When Britney Spears shaved her head, I didn’t get it until I wanted to shave my head. (Note that the first time was not out of rage or delusion. I had recently watched V for Vendetta.) Those were different times, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole for now.

There are also people I’ve seen keeping it real, making loud statements. They seem to glorify a life of chaos. In the past I’ve seen people blame crime on the police. Havin’ the authority to kill a minority…

If you’re scared, go to church, right? (It’s an Ice Cube song.) Well I’m down with it. Down with the Wu. Eminem inspired me to be myself. Rap and R&B remind me to stay true even when the world seems fake. They make me move to the beat when I feel stuck, and that happens a lot. I psych myself out on a daily basis. Thank the Lord for good friends and family. When I can’t figure out the game, they remind me that there’s more to life.

Rebels from all kinds of backgrounds, throughout history, have promoted an alternative lifestyle to make their truth known. Music has been one way to send a message. Rock and Roll started getting people to shake their hips in the 1950s. Woodstock was “widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as a defining event for the “counterculture generation“. [Wikipedia] Footloose got us loose in the 80’s. The punks who didn’t want to waste my time in the 90’s taught me how to surrender to the noise. I think of Kurt Cobain everyday, warning me to give up the gun. In college, Mac Miller & Wiz Khalifa gave me willingness to wander without worry. There was something about these people that made them legends. They say what we sometimes can’t. I’ve been told the truth is something we always knew and just forgot.

Maybe it was fear, maybe love. That idea of tough love can be hard to understand. It simply takes some us a little while long to understand how it works. Some of us want to know WHY. Is it simple? Is it complex? Is it both? Albert Einstein — ‘The more I learnthe more I realize how much I don’t know.’

Taking that to heart, I’ve tried to simplify what’s in my mind. Sometimes it’s chaos, and in no way is it organized. It may looks like bubbles or a brainstorm. At the end of the day, I have to remember to be grateful for what I have and what I have been given. It is important to me to continue on and be of service to others (to an extent). If you give too much away, what will you have left? You’re not the sun.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

There’s a song that plays on MTV all the time that has no words. It has a big group of people in it that are moshing and look like they are attack you. It makes me very anxious. One guy has rainbow hair and a lot of piercings (apparently he’s not that original or google could’ve helped me out). It’s been driving me crazy. If I find it, I’ll put it on here.

Anyway…the counter culture is getting ridiculous. Jackass isn’t cool anymore (wtf?) because danger is a daily thing. It’s like fighting chaos with chaos. We’re powerless and we know it, if we’ve got the fire power we’ll show it. Adversity and Diversity no longer define us. If you try and label us, we’ll agree and then disagree. We’ll acknowledge why you’re right, then let you know why you’re not. We could be that, we could be more than that. If you say I’m anxious, I might tell you I’m traumatized. If you tell me I’m depressed, I might go manic on your ass and tell you I’m bipolar, amongst other things. Do I have abandonment issues, was I neglected, or is it both?

Had to do it twice. I have to stand up if I’m called on. Some of us can’t ignore what’s in us and have to let it out. I used to ignore the alarm ringing, but when it echos inside of you, there’s no going quietly. Keep in mind that the kids sitting out aren’t always reflecting on “why they’re in time out.”

There’s become a level of transparency in our culture that may help it but could also start to hurt it if we don’t acknowledge it. There’s a lot of explicit content out there and it’s easy to seen on the millions of screens. Parental supervision advised. But who’s taking advice these days…we all know what we’re doing, right?

Catchy

It scares the hell out of me. Take me to Church. Well, at least the kids are practicing their Freedom of Speech. But when does ’tisk tisk’ become too much of risk? When Mac Miller passed, I felt like I had lost a good friend from college. We had lost touch, though he was extremely memorable.

In an interview with Fader, Mac told us, “I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged-out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool. You don’t go down history bc you overdose. You just die”

This Quote From Mac Miller Makes His Death That Much More Tragic

What’s going on now makes me future trip. We’re sending a message without considering the care it takes to truly make a difference.

There’s a lot out there, but some are dying to make statement, whether it’s by living too fast or dying too hard.

I pray for the generations to come. I hope they can clearly see and process what they reflect, rather than project. It becomes a marbled mess, like a fibonacci sequence spiraling out of control.

We know what’s going on half the time. I hope when we have opportunities to speak our truth, God will speak through us. I pray we will not choose to shy away and sweep it under the rug.

Being the big dog isn’t working in a dog eat dog world. There is always going to be someone bigger or badder. How can our society stop complexing our problems and start simplifying solutions? Let’s get back to it all before we forget about who has fallen in this fight.

RIP

Trust Is a Must

Get to a shrink

Stir the tea and sink

Feelings, thoughts, are scattered, screaming

Distraction comes and I start dreaming

Get your one track mind to circle

Oh did I do that? Steve Urkel

Law and Order, Stop the crime

Keep it goin, spit a rhyme

Doin justice

This ain’t just us

Hell yeah, God’s plan, there’s more to be

We starting trouble to achieve

Especially heinous, investigate

Take what has been to recreate

Find a crowd, become a unit

Play a chord and then fine tune it

We’ve got systems here in place

Yet we’re still fighting over race

Thinkin’ small in a mall with a rat

Still making drama bout this and that

At the end of days, it’s all in all

The faster we run, the further we’ll fall

Middle children, give em attention

Takin the risk, you’ll get suspension

I’m feelin’ it now, I just tighten the tension

Take back the noose, I ain’t part of the lynchin

They’ll hang you up like a fine decoration

They’ll give you a ticket, drop you at the station

The crazy trains a comin

While we in place, runnin

Take it down a notch they say

The boss forgot we gotta play

Work ’em to the death, what’s new

We’ve got complaints, not just a few

They put me in the corner weeping

But they don’t care why I ain’t sleeping

Out of touch and out of line

We just do what’s of our kind

Somethings change, better or worse

It’s a blessing and curse

The wise fool puts on the shows

The quiet one keeps what he knows

The bravest of the few tread on

Despite intention, I’m the con

Leave it to the pro to pass us

Hyper kids, in space like Nasa’s

Shut um up and keep em busy

Stuck in the corner getting dizzy

Don’t be surprised when chaos spills

We live for seeking out the thrills

Freak(oholic)

Maybe 3-4 years ago, I read a book by Steven Levitt called “Freakonomics.”

In this, he discussed ways society had attempted to influence people ‘be better’ (at least that was what I got from it). He sited sources that proved correlation does not always equal causation, and how various ‘incentives’ were able to produce more positive changes within areas of education, criminal science, and public health. 

He called out Teachers, Real Estate Agents, Boards of Directors, and parents for manipulating “the system.” 

Maybe 3-4 years ago, I read a book by Steven Levitt called “Freakonomics.”

In this, he discussed ways society had attempted to influence people ‘be better’ (at least that was what I got from it). He sited sources that proved correlation does not always equal causation, and how various ‘incentives’ were able to produce more positive changes within areas of education, criminal science, and public health. 

He called out Teachers, Real Estate Agents, Boards of Directors, and parents for manipulating “the system.” 

So what has me writing tonight? Why am I thinking about a book I read in Boston?

After my 5th year of teaching, I realized I may not be cut out to be a teacher. Levitt mentions in the chapter about teaching that many educators felt overwhelmed. They were pressured to “teach to the test” as well as pass all of their students. During my first year of teaching in Austin, I experienced similar feelings. Many say first year teachers are “thrown into the fire,” and boy was I burning. I was at a Title I school, second to bottom in district. More than half of my students could barely read (or comprehend) the level of text in our lesson plans. Later, I figured out the kids had no desire to do anything I told them to. They were also 3rd graders with 8th grade attitudes. I seen some defiant students in my day, but never like this.

I was able to observe many educators throughout my college education at The University of Texas, but these people were more than teachers. They were mentors. They showed me how they set up procedures and routines that were flawless. Unfortunately, I lacked (and still lack) the ability to establish structure and maintain structure. It requires consistency and tough love. I was more of the “Let’s sing songs and hold hands” kind of person. I was the type that would run off to Woodstock rather than hold a picket sign outside of a courthouse to make a difference. I was not strict or hard. I was a marsh-mellow and these kiddos were burning me alive. 

I tried to get others to appreciate my strengths, being optimism and agreeability. This group didn’t have time for that. They were used to being corrected to often to care about doing the right thing. They fed off of my inability to keep order and any inch of slack I cut them was reeled out of me. I was spun. By the end of the year, I was so overpowered that they had cut my class down to the ten most misbehaved boys and one unlucky girl, in hopes of getting the better of the lot a fighting chance. Looking back, I think most of them still failed the standardized test that year, despite the school’s efforts to give them to better teachers. 

That year, no days were better than others. It always got worse. The only thing that lifted my spirits was a social worker at our school who might have been an angel. The principal told me to my face one day that I was the one responsible for letting these children fail (even though they shouldn’t of passed 2nd grade). One baby couldn’t even read at a 1st Grade level. If you look at the progression of “Reading Level Standards” (it resembles the alphabet) given to us by the State of Texas, a third grader should be reading at an “N”. This boy was on “C” til the end of the year, despite being pulled out often for intervention. Another child I attempted to teach was emotionally disturbed (literally, he was diagnosed with it), so he wasn’t with me for long once it became a safety hazard. I’m not sure that was wise to put him in my class…with a bunch of boys ready to aggravate him. A different child ripped apart my little class library in a rage. 

On the last day of school, one of the boys stole a huge chocolate bar (a gift) from my desk. The Assistant Principal had little sympathy for me…she asked if I had proof. Was the candy bar being half eaten in the boy’s desk enough? No…”anyone could’ve put it there.” Hm.

They moved me to Pre-K the next year and when I moved back to Houston, I taught 1st Grade for 3 years. Every year I barely made it by when it came to the administration’s “standards”. The only thing that kept me afloat was the ability to use my strengths to lighten up the weight of my weaknesses. The fact was, I was unorganized and inconsistent. But, I was also creative and energetic. The problem wasn’t getting along with the kids. It more so came from the issues with the co-workers that arose from cutting corners. I was constantly figuring out new ways to take the attention off of my errors. 

I enjoyed being with the kids. I loved Reading books to them. The feeling of looking at a kids work after they’ve added more words and color is hard to describe. Each student had their own special way of making our class what it was. We missed anyone who was absent. 

I strongly disliked quizzing, grading, and documenting. The kids knew that. I probably complained the most when I found a stack of standardized practice tests sitting on my desk in the morning. In retrospect, I wasn’t always the adult they needed. I loved giving the kids the floor, having class discussions, especially enjoying the bouts of laughter and genuine interest in the subjects we explored. Unfortunately, they needed someone who would stick to the plans, keep them on topic, and never fail to document the progression of their First Grade academic career. 

It breaks my heart to think that I did them a disservice. People tell me that I was probably a great teacher. Sadly, it’s been revealed to me that I’m not a natural when it comes to maintaining order and following directions. Were the past 5 years been a waste? Hell no. I learned tricks of the trade and would say I definitely toughened up (a little, don’t fight me). Sadly, putting on face at work didn’t mean I wasn’t falling apart at home. Darkness does not discriminate. For many years, I had held a good reputation for being a sweet gal from a nice town. I had manipulated my image with manners and charm. What I lacked in wisdom, I made up for in wit. My cynical side was covered up with whimsical wonder. 

Onto brighter things…I didn’t start blabbing to make this all about me. Of course it comes back to me…and maybe you too. I’d like all this to be about more than just us. In many ways, this world is always at war between us and them. When were we failed by the system? Why did they succeed and we didn’t? I didn’t grow up without money. My parents are still together to this day. All of my siblings are alive, happy, and healthy. No childhood trauma whatsoever. No socioeconomic issues here. So did I misuse the system or did the system misuse me?

I honestly hate the blame game. No one wins. All I’d like to do is what I can to help. I almost said “anything I can do,” then realized a second later I have been told many times to do “anything” and fallen short. It’s odd to think that the poor could be “entitled.” That was always a word I used for the Kardashians and Frat Boys. To “entitle: is “to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying claims.” The media gave the Kardashians their fame. Another group of people, most commonly known for drinking, partying, and having a good amount of money, have personally treated me like a lesser member of society. I was about to say I have no resentments towards both groups of people, but I do. I don’t think causation = correlation, or that I am projecting my emotions onto them, but let’s see where this goes.

The whole O.J. Simpson thing was the first thing that threw me off. Kris Jenner sits there acting like it’s cool that her husband is defending another entitled celebrity (I’m not even getting into that today so don’t start that). That’s like Hillary Clinton sitting next to Bill and not leaving his ass after he obviously did some sketchy stuff. Those two things just offend me as a woman. As a human being, it’s odd how the standard of good/bad ‘reputations’ has changed. Morally, make a sex tape (Kim K) is not regarded as a victory. Kissing ass in Hollywood got her far and using the bad press to her advantage has been seen by some (E! and MTV) as “marketing genius”. Gaining attention, even the bad kind, eventually got her name around. It was like people loved swimming her shit. Sorry to be a nasty woman but geez, am I wrong? Gossiping and overdramatizing her family’s life ironically cursed them in way. They all had to start caring about their appearance because everyone kept looking at them. The media outlets gave them a title whether they earned it or not. Oddly, those people got as much attention as, if not more then, the royal family. The only difference being that people regard royalty as being respectable. The Kardashians, not so much.

Here is where “entitled” and “enabled” start meshing. When I looked up the definition of entitled, there was nothing connecting the word having to do with resources or riches. It was just a title, given by others. That prefix “en-” means that it was not taken. We authorize, warrant, and permit “entitled” people to get credit (money, attention, status) even if they don’t deserve it. We did it. How did I get back into the Blame Game?? Shoot.

I was sitting in a meeting once and a dude was venting about people commonly act entitled and expect better treatment. He talked about how wild it was that people were ordering fast food (that we used to have to go get ourselves) and treating the delivery person rudely, as if hearing the ring of the doorbell disturbed them. “What are you interrupting my Netflix binge for? Did you have to get here so quickly? Is the food cold? Did they get my order right?” That poor delivery person. I know not everyone is a bowl of puppies and rainbows but what gives people the right to treat other people disrespectfully. When I think of respect, I think of people who deserve it. Doctors, Leaders, Bosses. One definition of respect has to do with a “sense of worth,” a “personal quality or ability,” and “proper acceptance.”

Respect comes from the latin word respicere, meaning to care for or consider. It literally means “look”. [https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-meaning-of/latin-word-4d17e801c49cfcde4934012ba2d2caa63a0bb116.html]

Respect – respicere – related to the Venetian word specio meaning “mirror”. It sounds a lot like species, special, spectrum, etc.

We stop respecting people when we enable them. I read somewhere that respecting someone means letting them figure it out for themselves. Of course, children need to be taught manners and shown how to treat others with kindness. Growing up gives us opportunities to practice settling down, self-regulating, and problem solving in many ways.

I don’t believe ADHD is a disability. If anything, it’s an ability to do things differently than others. Still, it is considered as weakness in our school system. ADHD students are being given accommodations. I don’t feel that is the wrong thing to do. I think it’s fantastic they’re finally taking off the dunce hats and recognizing that shutting off a child’s brain to keep them in their seat isn’t right. But, I have to ask, at what point are we enabling (dare I say, entitling) this group [10-15%] of kids? We we label people to be disabled, does that mean we are allowing them to possibly take advantage of resources?

When I began researching Substance Use Disorder, I came across a 2015 study that claimed about 25% of people with SUD also had ADHD.

Many people with SUD have “co-occurring disorders” such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. Has our inability to acknowledge and value people who “oppose order” caused our society to become senseless? Some people believe that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder means that people are bizarre. It’s assume that if they don’t close a door 20 times or do everything perfectly, they will have a tantrum or go into a state of shock. Bipolar people are made out to be maniacs. People even relate social anxiety to being psychotic. To keep the peace, we have been taught in certain situations to assume the worst. To protect ourselves and our loved ones, we are ready to fight as soon as we threatened. As cavemen, we evolved (maybe not all of us.) We learned we could form thoughts and emotions to avoid killing each other out of instinct. We starting becoming more conscious and aware, using knowledge to empower ourselves.

I’m sure I’m not the first to say this because it seems obvious. Overthinking and arrogance threatens our people and generations to come.

When people enter into medical treatment for SUD, they may go through medical detox to get the substances out of their system. They must be monitored in case the withdrawals become physically threatening. After a few days of sobering up, they’re usually handed a Big Book. [https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous] On pg. 64, the author writes that there are people suffer from a spiritual disease. “For we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome we straighten out mentally and physically.” There are countless resources supporting that AA and The 12 Steps have saved lives. Many people do not wake up one morning and say, “I want to try crack today!” There are infinite paths that lead to complete desperation. There is no rock bottom or deepest depth of Hell. People who battle with SUD are physically and mentally ill, but just going through medical detox alone is rarely enough.

Origin of the word sad: before 1000; Middle English; Old English sæd grave, heavy, weary, orig. sated, full; cognate with German satt, Gothic saths full, satisfied; akin to Latin satis enough, satur sated, Greek hádēn enough.

I threw that in there because before the Big Book was written, doctors could find no cure for Alcoholism. People were thrown in mental hospitals or prison or left to die. To medical doctors, there was nothing more that could be done after physical treatment. It would take will power. Psychologists started to treat the mental aspect of the illness. It took two men, time, and “the word” to treat a disease that had been taking lives for centuries. I also believe it could not be done without a belief in God or some kind of higher power. People always say, “I’ve done enough. I’ve done all I can do.” Well that’s sad. But it’s true. We alone are sad. We might be enough by ourselves, but there’s more out there. There is freedom and joy and love. We don’t have to be inside, sad, and alone. It usually doesn’t end that way from what I’ve heard.

I was pretty religious up until puberty. Once I started getting overly emotional in my teens, my mental state was like a tornado. I went into survival mode and my ego took center stage. When I realized my emotional turmoil was toxic, I started keeping more to myself and holding everything in. I didn’t let anything go. If anything, I acted like I didn’t care, and paid for it later. That poison inside me kicked my ass later in life. It was like working for the mafia and then finding out your boss had a hit put out on you. You reap what you sow.

Great men are not born great

Of course, it doesn’t end there. When I eventually looked at myself in the mirror with a new perspective, admitted my faults, and decided to start praying again, I made a conscious decision to work on bettering my health (mentally, physically, emotionally). I believe God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. The other day, he made me think hard about handouts (hence the creation of this never ending post).

Recently I had a roommate ask for a ride, seeing as she was without car. I was lucky enough to still have a car and a license, so I happily obliged. Over the next few weeks, she started asking for rides all of the time. I didn’t always have something else to do, so I would help her out. Soon it neared the end of the month and I was getting low on funds due to some doctor’s bills (and maybe some things at a vintage store I couldn’t not get.) Back to not blaming anyone…(no I’m not a hoarder or addicted to shopping) she calls me one day while I’m out getting [a very cheap] lunch and goes on to say she has to get a ride to hospital because her doctor is telling her she MUST go TODAY. At this point I had been sheepishly responding to her requests with “I can’t.” She never had means to throw me gas money, so my optimistic self figured she would get to it when she was able to get a job, when she got her license back. I figured out that was not going to be anytime soon and I could no longer commute to picking her up at boyfriend’s. So I’m on the line feeling like a jerk, she’s upset that she has to go to the hospital, I’m feeling like a horrible member of society. 

I’m broke, she’s broke. I start to understand the phrase “if your cup is empty, you can’t fill up other people’s cups.” I’m also confused at this point. On my way home from my lovely outing, I’m trying to help her find another ride to hospital. What if traffic was bad and I ran out of gas? How was I going to drive around until payday? Did she have anyone else who could take her? She responds with, “Oh, Medicare can drive me to the house.” ??? Now I’m thinking, well why can’t they just drive her there too…I get to the house. Another roommate is there and I let her know what’s going on. The roommate needing the ride comes in and says, “Oh I think it’s in Bellaire. I have to stay there for 3-5 days.” We look up the place and it’s about an hour drive across town. There’s no way I could’ve taken her there. She finds another friend to give her and ride, leaving me in a baffled state. Who’s paying for the doctor? Who’s paying for the hospital stay? Who’s giving this other friend gas money for giving this girl a lift?

Well of course, there are acts of kindness, ones for which we ask for nothing in return. Yet, after all this, I had to ask myself: When do the handouts stop helping? 

Of course we have laws in place to keep people from using and abusing the system. We have incentives for people to motivate them. When does the ‘incentive’ insinuate that we are willing to do “anything to help.” In our desperation to empower our people, we fall short. Some sell their souls to Satan. I’m not willing to do that. I have seen too many people get bedazzled, then bedeviled. Don’t believe the hype.

Fun story…when the “We Can Do It!” poster came out during WWII, to boost female worker morale. It later reappeared in the 1980’s to educate people on feminism and women’s right. Oddly enough, “the image was strictly internal to Westinghouse, displayed only during February 1943, and was not for recruitment but to exhort already-hired women to work harder. People have seized upon the uplifting attitude and apparent message to remake the image into many different forms, including self empowerment, campaign promotion, advertising, and parodies.” [Wikipedia]

People have been coerced by the media (and other dark forces) to manipulate and take advantage of the system, other people, to gain power. Thank goodness I decided I was powerless a while ago. People claim to be powerless and mix it up with helplessness. They become desperate enough to stray from their morals to maintain their status.

My boyfriend’s high school principal let the students skip class and still passed them. The football team skipped so much of school they all started failing. Pretty soon, the principal attempted to change all of their grades. She got caught and fired, then sent to preschool. Did she feel entitled to change those grades because she had worked so hard to become a principal? It was on the news, the students loved the media attention. What came of it? Well my guy a profit from selling t-shirts with principal’s face on it. He sold out in 5 minutes. People (teenagers especially) are drawn to drama. They are hypnotized by hysteria. We are programmed to protect our egos and now it has manifested into pop culture.

In college, my guy started a Twitter account that produced millions of followers. He helped grow it into a million dollar advertising platform, then was ganged up on and taken out by other company. After getting so high and falling so far, I would say he paid his dues. He later told me that he doesn’t regret any of it. Now he’s seen how people can be. It’s given him somewhat of an ability to sense when people genuinely care. ‘Fake it til you make’ it doesn’t really fly with the ones who have learned first hand how it works. When you have it all and people want a part of it, that’s normal. When you have nothing to offer, you find out what it truly means to care.

Many of us are convinced that we have to lie, cheat, steal, or manipulate in order to be successful. I’m sure his co-workers were. Though his buddy who started the company with him eventually came back and apologized for not believing his side of the story, ultimately the Twitter page got sold to some other company because of some other factors. Once you take out the foundation of something, everything else will come crashing down.

Keeping our kids safe and our elderly cared for is cliche, but it’s true. I don’t want to be force fed xanex in a nursing home or have my kid neglected in school because he’s “hyper-active.” Growing up, I felt pressured to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. I played it cool, I graduated from school, but that didn’t guarantee my success. I did not hold myself accountable. I blamed my problems on the world, on other people, and on myself. When I isolated, I stayed away from everything outside of me as much as possible. What had been kept inside of me took control of everything that was unmanageable in my life. Over time, I lost my strength. The life within me was being dissolved in a solution that had no spirit. I only made it back to God because I let him take control of what I could not handle. They say he doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

God gave us free will to make a choice in times of trouble. We can ask for him to show us a way out of madness. It may not feel instant like a shot or a pill, but he promises to provide peace if we are willing. To me, it means if I am willing to own up to anything I have been keeping hidden, he can cure the sickness of my secrets. If I am willing to accept consequences for my thoughts and actions, I will learn how to better carry out his will. If I am willing to do what it takes to maintain a standard of living that holds me accountable, I will respect others who do the same. I may not expect everyone to live how I live, but I will not judge their way of life or compare it to my own. I will not condemn any man to death because he is a sinner. “Thy will be done.”

Yeah I know, I’m cheesy

There’s also the popular line from Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true.”

Knowing the “true self” is a popular philosophical topic. It is said that they worst thing a person can do is turn away from who they are truly meant to be. The “False Self functions to defend against injury and puts up an armor its attempt to try and achieve a sense of perceived security.”

[https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/theory-knowledge/201902/the-true-self-and-the-philosophy-one-divide]

[http://theconversation.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-true-self-81817]

I used to think getting angry was a sin. I realized later God got angry a lot (Noah’s Ark, hello…) and he expected us to be perfect.

People under the influence are like zombies. I was watching live PD today and the officer had to shoot a guy running toward him with a knife. He kept yelling at the guy to get on the ground. The only reason he got on the ground was because the officer shot him in the stomach. Struggling to crawl toward the officer, he yelled, “Kill me Motherfucker.”

Twisting what we have been given — free will, ability, understanding — to take people down and convince them that they want to die…that is fear. There are people so sick that they don’t even think about death. They’re like the living dead. They go on day to day slowly killing themselves with substances, sometimes taking life from others to survive.

Extra Fun 🙂

I went to find a Shakespeare line to go with all this and ended up finding a few.

“All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts” -As You Like It

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” -As You Like It

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue falls” -Measure by Measure


“The miserable have no other medicine but only hope”.”Some rise by sin, and some by virtue falls.” -Measure by Measure

 

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”. -Twelfth Night

“Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better” –Twelfth Night

Hell is empty And all the devils are here.” -The Tempest

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” -Hamlet

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” -Hamlet


Purgatory

That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of ScriptureGod indeed brought man out of his first disobedience and gave him power to govern all things (Wisdom 10:2), but still condemned him “to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow” until he returned unto dust. God forgave the incredulity of Moses and Aaron, but in punishment kept them from the “land of promise” (Numbers 20:12). The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God’s enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (2 Samuel 12:13-14). In the New Testament as well as in the Oldalmsgiving and fasting, and in general penitential acts are the real fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8Luke 17:33:3). The whole penitential system of the Church testifies that the voluntary assumption of penitential works has always been part of true repentance and the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, can. xi) reminds the faithful that God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction, and will punish sin, and this doctrine involves as its necessary consequence a belief that the sinner failing to do penance in this life may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God. [www.newadvent.org/cathen]

That’s a mouthful.

They go on to say that “all sins are not equal before God.” I find that interesting because I was told that “All sins are equal in God’s sight.” I later read that Jesus told us in the future (during the second coming) some would be beaten with “many blows” and some with “few blows” [Luke 12:47-48].

Y’all bout to get ya asses whooped

I looked for more sources on “sin” because as a sinner, I’d like to know what specifically I should be looking forward to.

When once asked, ‘What is the definition of sin?’ Billy Graham gave the following answer: A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God’s will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of His perfection is sin. -billygraham.org

So is purgatory Hell on Earth? Is it condemnation for the many sins we commit? Are we all going to Hell if we haven’t already walked through it ourselves? Is it another Hoax to get us to donate more money to “the church”? Let’s take notes.

First we must try to visualize 3 places:

Hell (circles), Purgatory (terraces), & Heaven (spheres)

Yes I know it is too small to read. It’s also in another language.

Dante (the poet) comprehended it as “Divine Love.”

Dante (the pilgrim) apprehended it as a “journey.”

I’ve included a number of ways ‘Dante’s Inferno’ is depicted. What is Dante’s Inferno? It is one of the great classics of Western literature, where Dante’s journey (or experience of divine love) is depicted through the nine circles of Hell.

It has even been made into a lovely coloring book. It has even been made into a lovely coloring book.

If you’re like me, you want to go straight to Amazon and find this bad boy. Unfortunately, I have work to do. No time for fun…(maybe later).

Let’s get back to simple stuff. There are 9 Circles of Hell.

  1. Limbo
  2. Lust 
  3. Gluttony
  4. Greed
  5. Anger
  6. Heresy
  7. Violence
  8. Fraud
  9. Treachery

Who resides in these places? Everyone knows on a journey, you’re bound to run into others.

Limbo: non-christians & unbaptized pagans (Homer, Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Hippocrates, and Julius Caesar to name a few.) They are banished to live in eternity in a place that’s basically an inferior form of Heaven. *see bottom for more on “Limbo”

Lust: These people (Cleopatra, Tristan, Helen of Troy) are punished with violent winds. In the winds, they can never find rest or find peace.

Gluttony: People here sit in “vile slush” of “never-ending icy rain” and are guarded by a worm-monster named Cerberus. Who knows who’s here because while in the mush, no one can see anyone else around them.

Greed: This circle is divided in two. One group hoards their riches and one group spends it. No one talks to Dante here because they’re all too busy “jousting”.

Anger: Dante travels by boat in this level of purgatory. Everyone is drowning in rage on the surface of Styx or down below. (Keep all hands inside the boat at all times.)

Heresy: 6, 6, 6…after hitting land, Dante discovers these are where the heretics lie in flaming tombs. (You’ve made your bed…*see more at bottom) There are some familiar faces here. Greek philosophers, Roman emperors, Popes, etc.

Violence: Lucky number 7. Odd. This place has 3 ‘rings’. The Outer ring is for those who messed with people and property, (I guess they’re both misdemeanors in Hell?) The Middle ring is for suicides. These people take the form of trees and bushes. They are “fed upon by **harpies”.

**a “harpy” is a rapacious monster described as having a woman’s head and body and a bird’s wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman’s face. Hm…

Fraud: This places houses “the fraudulent,” (think I could’ve guessed that). Like fraud isn’t complicated enough, there are 10 tiers connected by bridges. These are referred to as “Bolgias,” which is Italian for ditches.

Bolgia 1: panderers (people that please for ulterior motives) & seducers

Bolgia 2: flatterers

Bolgia 3: those guilty of simony (those who sell church offices or sacred things)

Bolgia 4: sorcerers and false prophets

Bolgia 5: corrupt politicians

Bolgia 6: hypocrites

Bolgia 7: more hypocrites & thieves (?)

Bolgia 8: evil counselors & advisers

Bolgia 9: “divisive individuals”

Bolgia 10: various falsifiers (alchemists, perjurers, & counterfeits  

doreflamingspirits
https://eclecticlight.co/2019/05/06/the-divine-comedy-inferno-12-the-fraudulent/

Last but not least (maybe the worst?) …

Treachery: Everyone here is frozen in an icy lake. The worse you are, the deeper you go. There are 4 Rounds here named after the worst of the worst.

Round 1: Caina (Cain & Abel)

Round 2: Antenora (of Troy)

Round 3: Ptolomaea (son of Abubus)

Round 4: Judecca (Judas)

I’d agree Judas did the worst thing you can do. Some people say suicide is only unforgivable sin, but I guess he did that too. I didn’t know who Ptolemy was, so I looked it up. He was an ancient astrologer who came up with the idea that the Earth was the center of the universe. We now know that the Sun is the center of our universe. I thought I was the center of the universe once but that’s another topic for another day…

Most of what I typed above came from https://historylists.org/art/9-circles-of-hell-dantes-inferno.html . Blessings on blessings on blessings.

So where do we go from here? Come back down to Earth. Let’s review the 7 Deadly Sins: Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Wrath

I’d replace Yelp with Door Dash or Favor…maybe put under Wrath (you might know what I mean if you’ve seen the “You’re not Yelping” episode of South Park).

So purgatory has a place for all of us apparently.

I noticed in some depictions of Dante’s Inferno, there is Purgatory and Ante-Purgatory. Ante-Purgatory (in Canto 9 of the book of Dante) is where those who “lack the grace of confession” exist after death. It also includes neglectful rulers, the unabsolved, and the indolent (those wanting to avoid activity, or the medical definition being “slow to develop, progress, or heal”).

Here’s some good news. There are also 7 Heavenly Virtues for each Sin.

Pride –> Humility

Envy –> Kindness

Wrath –> Patience

Sloth –> Diligence

Greed –> Temperance

Gluttony –> Abstinence

Lust –> Chastity

VS

Image result for purgatory circle 8

PHEW! Just practice a few of those and maybe you won’t have to be swimming in slush too long or fighting off harpies with your tree branch arms.

There are also 9 Nobel Virtues, according to ethical guidelines derived from Odinism, or disambiguation. In other words Heathenry, also termed Heathenism, contemporary Germanic Paganism, or Germanic Neopaganism (a modern Pagan religion) [Wikipedia]

NNV or 9NV: Courage, Discipline, Fidelity, Honor, Hospitality, Industriousness, Perseverance, Self Reliance, and Truth.

A man in 1989 named Stephen Edred Flowers used these guidelines to come up with his “Six Fold Goal.” He was a “proponent of occultism, Odianism, esoteric runosophy, Germanic mysticismAsatru, and Mazdaism, being instrumental in the early establishment of the Germanic Neopagan movement in North America” and was also “very active in Left-Hand Path occult organizations. He has over three dozen published books and hundreds of published papers and translations on a disparate range of subjects. Flowers advocates ‘Esoteric Runology and runosophy‘ and ‘Odianism‘ (occultist aspects of Germanic Neopaganism).” [Wikipedia]

He’s also a UT Longhorn. Hook ’em!

Six Fold Goals: Right, Wisdom, Might, Harvest, Frith (Peace & Freedom) and Love

I found the definition of Frith on Urban Dictionary. Dictionary.com said it was “firth”, aka a long, narrow indentation of the seacoast.

I have to go to bed. Every time I get into all this religious mumbo jumbo I can never finish.

Here’s more pictures I found on my journey. Maybe I can add more to this later or never think about it again…til next time y’all.

Oh one more thing. I was telling one of my amazing roommates about how horrible this all was. She agreed it was a lot and said something along the lines of “pride being the fall.” Then she showed me this. It’s awesome.

Genius.

As the kid’s say, it’s lit.

*Some people believe Limbo is where people who died before Christ’s coming stay, as well as unbaptized infants. I also found that, “the Limbo of doctrine was introduced by philosopher Augustine, who claimed that children who are not baptized are consigned to hell.” –http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-limbo-and-purgatory

**Make your bed and lie in it: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/healing-trauma-s-wounds/201701/there-s-no-such-thing-you-made-your-bed-now-lie-in-it

More Fun Reading about Purgatory:

slife.org/purgatory

https://purgatorysouls.blogspot.com/p/heaven-hell-purgatory-limbo.html

Even more fun stuff: https://www.flickr.com/photos/esaruoho/albums/72157604222958040/with/2357267927/

But yeah I can’t get into all that, I got stuff to do… 😉

Past the Future

When I met him, my meaning came from moments of approval. For a long time, I longed for approval from others. Deep down, I wanted it from myself. I didn’t know that at the time. I knew I was not happy with myself. When other people were happy or pleased by what I did or said, I learned to do more of what it was they wanted or liked. When I could not please everyone, I chose easier targets and more attainable goals. Ever since then, I have lied to myself about what I truly value. My values became less virtuous over time. When the guy showed me approval, I stopped caring about everyone else because his approval was all that mattered. I started to investigate his wants and set out to be everything he needed. In my heart, what I felt in him was the same in me. Loving him wasn’t hard. Being loyal, listening to his thoughts, hopes, and dreams…continuing to learn about him gave me purpose. Because I was so willing to see things from his perspective, I would let go of some of my own morals. He seemed to admire that about me—my agreeable nature. It made me unique, seeing as everyone around him seemed to be so judgmental and condescending. When I told him how I had let go of my emotions in the past and my inability to care about what I used to, he could relate. He too had lost a lot of hope after going through his own highs and lows. It was as if all we ever wanted was to be understood, even if it was in a way that wasn’t seen as insane.

We became each other’s source of confidence. It was as if our Egos had manifested into reality. Or magnetized and found one another in desperation of healing. Our delusion of how life should be made us more doubtful of how life actually went. If we wanted it, we should’ve been able to get it. If there’s a will there’s a way. If it’s my will, it should go my way, because the ability to control the outside world had been somewhat manageable (delusionally). So to me, I figured if we could manage more, we would gain more happiness. That was crazy. How I coped in craziness is still questioned to this day. It’s almost as if the pain I felt deep inside me fueled my false hope. I was always hoping things would magically get better without having to change my way of thinking. I expected things to change simply because they were not going my way and that wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Life had always been “manageable”.

Maybe pain that is produced by the ego only provides the ego with hope. Like the toxoplasma gondii that attracts mice to where cats reside, the ego-hope makes us think where we are going is the right place. Something within me (maybe the holy spirit) knew I was wrong knew and knew that I was treading in high water. I was losing myself. I was willing to give it up for the ego, because my ego was what had had learned to depend on in my past. When someone else became all I depended on, I had someone else to blame, further inflating my ego.

I denied many truths for many years. Living in denial distorted my perception like a Funhouse of mirrors. The more I let go of reality, the easier I could deny what was right. The more mirrors I looked into, the less I remembered my true reflection. My point of view had become lost in the maze.

My deepest truths could barely be found and brought to light the further I ventured into the dark. Day to day, I did what I had to do to keep my ego alive which involved lying, manipulating–anything covering up my character defects. I was fueled by my will to survive and stay out of the light. I did not choose to go about honestly, apologetically, with a better understanding of myself. Lie or die. If I did not hide enough of myself, I had to lie more later to convince other people my intentions were pure. I was convinced friends of mine did not truly care for me. I felt they did not love me for who I was. In reality, I was sick and they did not love the disease that had taken over me. When everything real began to fade in my life, I went to my guy for clarity. He gave the world to me. In that world, I was not condemned or criticized. He understood my pain, my pity, my helplessness. We needed the same things from each other. I invited his pain because the longer we stayed within each other, the more time we spent outside of the rest of the world. We became more and more of each other, choosing loyalty over the rest of them. We approved of one another’s complaints about life and felt justified. The lower our standards became, the higher we went. We put our “needs” above our core values. Whatever our reasons were for doing wrong, it was supported. We defended our actions despite what other people wanted or knew to be true of the situation. Being disconnected from friends and family over time only drove us deeper into depression. The approval we once had from others diminished. Knowing despair made us a perfect pair. We helped dig each other’s ditches. We kept each other helpless because any effort to make a change that required true sacrifice was risking too much. We knew true sacrifice would mean admitting the worst, agreeing to do what other people wanted us to, and allowing the weight of the world to separate us. Avoiding the truth of the arguments that came from our dark daze only made us more open-minded to the source of our power. We came to believe we were doing the right thing by being on the same side, regardless of what morals we used to defend. We found the approval we needed to keep on going. We didn’t doubt what was in us, only what was outside of us. Pride was like a gun loaded with ego.

Running from reality made sense when I was lost in a desert and given the hope of an oasis, only to find out later that it was just a mirage. My guy was my reason to stay alive and I would not see him or myself as the source of our own suffering. When I lost him to exhaustion, the foundation I had built on him proved to be hollow and unstable. We collapsed under pressure and were left in ruins. The ego was shaken and cast out of my being. Without it, I felt what I was without him–weak, guilty, full of shame. The sadness of losing friends and family flowed through the empty parts of me that once served a purpose. Now I felt like I was being seen for what I truly was—worthless. I was only another mistake of his. I was lost, crazy, manipulative, the true enemy. All I had done was hold him back, use him for my own gain, and once again made him out to be the fool. All that he had given up to be with me was a waste and I was not worthy of love. I was shown to be a neurotic, alcoholic, codependent, toxic waste of space and time. My doubt and fear of judgment manifested into psychosis. I was hearing direct and cruel criticism of what had been going on for the past year. I had never been told by the family that I was not seen as a nice, supportive companion for him. To hear that I would never be worthy of his love broke me into pieces. Every bit of trust that I had earned was taken away and destroyed word for word in my skewed mental state. I was “sinful”. They were telling my guy we were “living in sin.” That I was “manipulating” I was just some girl from the bar…he had just went and picked me out and he thought it was love? I was desperate for attention and was attached to him. I was dependent on him and it gave him the idea that he couldn’t live without me. I was not worth his time or effort. It was a dark few hours and every voice I heard came from outside the room I was in.

The most common type of auditory hallucinations are voices that sound like people who are familiar. Many are thought to happen from a burnt out brain, causing the prefrontal cortex (where consciousness occurs) and auditory part of the brain to mesh. Obviously what I heard that day rose from terror. To be ripped apart unexpectedly, without any sign or warning that it would happen, was the way I had to be tortured and ultimately taken by darkness. The voices I heard had always been people fighting outside or people in the distance. Radio waves transmitted music in the shower. Moments of disconnectedness had made me come to think my delusional thinking was not confined to my mind anymore. My “growing awareness” was comprehended as an ability to sense more than what was on the surface. The way I could deny what was wrong and twist it into what seemed righteous to me. My ways of thinking had “transcended” those around me. The energy I put towards staying up and solving the mystery of my survival made my heart cold. I was frozen in time until the alarms kept going off. In my head, it was only my fate. It was my burden to bear. Being unaccustomed to the reality of other people’s opinions, I became intrigued with the drama and detailed demise of confidence. The demons had caught me in an isolated, confused state. I had started disconnecting further, I had started doubting the man I loved. It’s almost as if my ego was a fire that no longer kept me alive. It consumed me and was starting to light up everything around me. When my guy became a witness to this, he stopped trying to control it. My safety was compromised. I felt abandoned and the trust I had in him was taken in those moments of terror. When he used to defend me, I had felt hope. When he came to me after giving up trying to save me, he said there was nothing to defend. The old fears that had once drowned him in sorrow had resurfaced. There was no faith, no walking on water. He was no longer my savior. There was no peace to calm the fury of our faults and failures.

We were separated and lost the ability to communicate. The ways we had made, the thinking that kept our minds set on escape, were now diverging paths leading us both to the same, dark hell resulting from death. It was as if wilted fields where we had once laid were barren and desolated. It was once a beautiful place where no one could find us and nothing threatened our happiness. The space was whatever we wanted it to be. The flowers that had once bloomed were no longer colorful, only burnt, grey and wilted. The sky we had stared into when infinitely searching for bliss was dark. We had never demanded specific signs from the universe or a purpose beyond our understanding. Without hope or faith in a true higher power, our nature had been poisoned and starved of genuine life. It was all decomposing. It was polluted so heavily, there was no air to breath. The fire was still in sight. Chemicals that had been dumped into the sea by the coast of false hope had tainted our stream of consciousness. It had soaked into the ground, mutating the roots that gripped deeply into the place where we once found peace. There was no shepherd nor sheep. No life was to be left behind. Nothing was there but despair. Dull aches of dying dreams was all the feeling we had left after the disaster. It had destroyed us.

We had loved that place where nothing mattered and no one but ourselves had cared to stay. Once the fire consuming me had come in contact with the chemicals around me, everything that once was seemed to exist had been destroyed. We felt that our nature could never be restored.

But of course, nature would not be without God. The way it can be maintained is only by its dependence on God’s miraculous power and glorified grace. Without it, we were doomed from the start. We did not know that we were so unqualified to manage and maintain that sort of peace. If anything, it had been made to seem perfect so that we would be there when it spoiled. When the way to escape was taken, we were given a reminder of what omnipotence really was. God’s mercy showed us the way out.

When I had to leave my guy for a while, I didn’t know if he was still there. All I did was wonder how badly he was hurting. I imagined him sitting where we had found shade under an age-old tree and shared stories. Fruits of knowledge once hung from the tree’s branches. All that surrounds him now is infested, rotting, fallen. The hunger and thirst are so dire that the dead fruit starts to look appetizing. Though he knows it only makes him sicker, the false hope twists and turns his insides. Still he crawls towards it and eventually collapses, after calling out for help and hearing no response. What he hears, I cannot say. There are explosions nearby. It is no longer a worsening nightmare, but a pure feeling of pain. He knows that seeing the ruin around him. The waves of unbearable heat still burn him, hotter than the hell he lies within already. He digs through the dirt, chemicals soaking into his skin, tearing off his flesh. Digging down into the earth, using it as a shield to save himself. The agony of loneliness, abandonment, and loss is the last of his being. It may turn to ashes or become what is around it. Destruction and death.

Deconstruction of devotion made the delusion dark and daunting. How could I ever find peace again after seeing it all at its worst? What would be a good enough reason to renew this place where we were once free from pain. It would be an attempt to rebuild on top of an unholy grave. What was left of my guy was a forever dying spirit that would never cease to haunt me. The beaches and streams formerly filled with life had dried up. The landscape of my memories only deteriorated my being. Castles made of sand and mountains constructed of unstable stones would crush anything below them trying to cultivate life. With no source of life, no God to make it habitual, it would only be a place where I would be frantically searching for the past. I would never surrender my efforts to figure out how to create life out of death.

God does what we cannot do for ourselves, just as only he alone can cast away demons and illuminate the dark with his light. The only way anything can be reborn is by the power of God. No amount of my will, my thoughts, my feelings would make a difference without trusting him. He is the purpose of all life, death, and infinite continuation. The universe does not give me power, knowledge, or life. It is God that gives the universe power, knowledge, and life. Through nature, I may accept what he has been, is, and will continue to be. I am reminded that he loves me despite my past doubts and denials of his promises. Forgetting him did not make him incapable of forgiving me. He continued to carry me. Woven into the words of the bible, everywhere within and without me, was life beyond the borders of my own understanding. To conceive him as a mere idea or imaginative idol would only be confining myself. Belief in humanity’s capability to become the image of him, living to glorify and make known his purpose, is only possible because of him. To transcend into the light and become holy beings, the spirit of all that is, would be the matter of life itself. It makes everything matter and gives all of the inconceivable, unexplained nature meaning.

To solve every mystery of life on our own would be to know all the stars by name, never feeling the wanting that comes from not knowing or wonder. The innocence one has early in life may be our moments when we are closest to him. Early in life, we have no defiance or discomfort in lacking control or certainty. We live in our discovery and thrive when learning and connecting to everything that is inside and outside of us. The loss of our faith comes from moments of submission to suffering. We are corrupted by overthinking and fear.

The denial of God’s power to protect, strengthen, save us, and the delusion that death is certain. It is fixed, definite, and defined. There is no doubt we will all die and it is undeniable. You will be born and you will die. The moment we die is loss of light and disconnection from the physical world. The freedom of finding love and being a being of light is a way to keep us from being trapped in the deafening, disconnected state darkness. When we are beside a person that dying, in their last moments of life, is it possible that telling them to go to the light is our way of encouraging one to live again? If we were given the choice to continue infinitely, would new life be like a light that illuminates a white space, a clean slate, pure potential, undefined and open to fill with beauty? That would make the decision of death to unchanging, confined to what is known, eliminating the potential or ability to change, grow, or develop into anything. To choose a black void would be a loss of consciousness and connection to God. Without God, we do not bear burdens or believe in being or have any free will. We give our soul to meaninglessness. We are told that this is the ultimate destination. We can gain all the power and all the control we desire and ultimately cease the desire for more, or the insanity of believe we can live by self-made law and be satisfied. You choose to lose your senses, awareness, interest, perception, and knowledge of God in exchange for escape. 

The (Re)use of FORCE

I overdid it there with all caps, but how else do you show forceful typing? (Maybe all the grammatical mistakes and sloppy wording..)

When I start to get sick, there becomes an urgency to get better. Kind of like grieving the loss of my health, I go through denial (I’m healthy, I swear!) Shock (The world won’t survive without me!) Anger (GAR) Depression (I am soooo sick) and then maybe acceptance once I realize time is passing. Some of us simply accept our fate, cancel all of our plans, and retreat to bed. They’ve been sick many times, so they calmly wait it out. It’s not that complicated, it’s just a cold.

So as much as I love to keep things simple, my mind starts to race and I recall times when other illnesses threatened my body and mind. When I start to lose control past what (I feel) I can handle, I start to lose my mind. Will it get worse? Will it get better? What do I do? What do I not do? How black and white is my thinking?

Let me welcome you to the grey area. I like to think of the grey area (which always seems to have a silver lining) as a raincloud where my brainstorming happens. It’s not a sunny place. Very foggy to many viewing it from the outside (you can onluy see so far in the inside too). Sometimes there’s logic, sometimes there’s lightning. If you get struck, I’m sorry in advance. Don’t wallow in the puddles there. My critical thinking oddly gets soaks into some planted seeds. Other times it’s like a flood taking out the foundation of what I once knew. Spare me the imagery…

I digress. Why are we chatting about the weather when there are real issues going on around us? In my world, any injustice against me is one that is or could be happening to you or your mother or son or whoever.

I loved watching Trailer Park Boys in college. It gave me a different perspective on life. An injustice to you might not be one to me. Here comes the politics…

Unfortunately I can’t. I don’t know anything about politics. And “Thank the Lord,” I am getting the point (hopefully). People seem to love to talk about what they don’t know. So what do I know about force?

I know I have felt forced to do things for good reason. I know other things I have been forced to do because of the misuse of authority (disguising superiority). I know I don’t always understand the reasons and some things I must do because they are suggested. There are things I can do simply without the use of force. There are others things I feel compelled to do and I have no idea if it comes from the light or dark force.

I was watching Star Wars with a friend once and we started making connections to our everyday life. Obi Wan may be someone who guides you in life, while at the same time being someone you don’t always want to listen, even though you should (because you know they’re right.)

Hans Solo is that cool friend that always seems to get himself in trouble. Chewbacca’s that badass friend who loves to rage and always has your back. He also knows when you’re being ((insert negative characteristic here)). R2D2 is your genius friend. C3PO is the friend that’s always paranoid about getting into trouble. Princess Leia is that girl you think is cute and then one day you find out y’all are related. No wonder she was so cool…

Hopefully one day you’ll meet your Yoda and he will teach you how to use the force for good. Sadly many people are tempted by the dark side because it’s “more powerful.” By the end of the movie you’re burning alive telling Obi Wan that he’s the one with issues and before you know it you’re getting fresh robotic body armor to keep you “alive”.

Unfortunately some of the greatest people have been taken by the dark side. Some are lucky enough to realize it before it’s too late. To deny is to lie. Maybe I’m overgeneralizing, but how many times have you seen someone denying something they definitely did. The increasing panic shows the progressing problem. Being found out is the worst, especially when you had no intention of ever admitting what you did. (For all the purely honest people out there, come on, you were 5 once.) Problems we planned on taking to the grave seem to persist when we resist recognizing them.

I have heard of grown adults harboring shame from childhood, later acting out, then completely denying that the issue could somehow be connected to their past. How could someone’s faults from the past be manifesting in someone else’s future? I’ll leave that one to the therapists and shrinks out there. I wouldn’t want to give away any revelations or reflections that you could come up with yourself.

At the end of the day, the use of force can be tricky. *Below is short story I read in High School. Sometimes I tend to feel like the doctor, other times the parent, most of the time the child.

When it comes to childish behaviors, I’ve dealt with many. Managing the behaviors can be challenging, especially when you’re the one misbehaving. To start a chain reaction of wrong-doing can be hard to break. There would be times as an educator I would set down a book, tend to something else, forget where the book was, come up with something else to do, then start seeing random acts of mischief result out of the sense of “something is off”. Struggling with organization has diabolically disrupted my days in innumerable ways. Especially when someone else is able to step back and tell me how the chaos ensued…it’s upsetting. I feel shame for being lazy (or inept) and guilt for causing something to happen that I didn’t even know was going to happen. When I mess up, at least there’s that moment of awe where I can realize I can right my wrong by apologizing or making up for it. It’s awesome to comprehend and practice forgiveness and redemption.

What’s horrible is when you are doing something harmful and you don’t even feel hurt from it.

It’s a real thing. If you read that and you’re like, “well that’s not me and that will never be me,” then good for you. Sounds like you’re Gandhi or have been ingesting too much toxoplasma gondaii (a parasite that makes mice attracted to cat piss). I’m not saying you’re unaware of your own emotions and reactions, but I will throw out there that many of us do not want to admit when we are attracted to the wrong things (like the sweet smell of cat piss to a mouse).

Let’s go with this little anecdote. A child hits another child. The other child cries. The oldest sibling starts yelling at the others to stop making so much noise. Mom cancels the trip to MacDonalds. No Happy Meals today. Who is in the wrong here?

Some people would say all of them, some would say no one is to blame for all the stress. Does the first child know that hitting is harmful? Was it on purpose or was it an accident? Was the child that got hurt instigating? Is he crying because he feels neglected or unprotected? The oldest child tries to instill fear in the younger ones to get them to stop. That’s where I get stuck. Does the oldest know the yelling is exacerbating the situation? By trying to stop it so forcefully, will the result even last? Does it come from confusion or anger or just not knowing? Maybe she never learned how to soothe upset children. Maybe her mom used to yell and that’s why she yells. By kid number 3, she stopped caring about the crying and craziness. Maybe mom stopped yelling when Dad got disconnected. Maybe the kids remember the violent fights from the past and saw Dad push mom.

People have developed this awful ability to cover up their true pain and replace it with something “normal”. That doesn’t mean I’d like everyone to start ripping each other apart when they witness wrong doing. Please do not ask a homeless person why they are homeless (I mean, do whatever you want, but I advise against it). Please don’t ask someone cutting you in line at the grocery store what is wrong with them. There are some questions we just can’t answer at the time of conflict. Keep that in mind, especially when you’re ready to fight.

If someone says something about your mama, that’s a different story. Again, I digress. Drama, drama, drama. I could go on forever. Therein lies the problem. Stop the drama! But wait, there’s more. The use of force. It’s a lie, it’s the truth, no…it’s an excuse!

I always liked to the think that force was an excuse to cover up something else. A really good teacher doesn’t force kids to sit on the carpet or make kids listen. Sure they had the kids practice over and over again doing everything nicely. They learn how to line up, how to walk in the halls, how to turn in work, how to take turns, etc. It was amazing to me how much “common sense” the students didn’t have coming into class. Yet, when they were taught the rules repeatedly, they knew them better than I did. Even the kid who had trouble sitting next to all of the other kids wanted to stay with the group because he knew it was a safe place. He knew he would get his turn to contribute. He would be rewarded for his good choices. Did I force that kid to stop bugging others? Did I yell at him to quit taking things that weren’t his? Did I cry when he made a bad grade? No…I had to keep myself together. I had to show him the consequences of his actions. I had to spell out a + b = c to him. Even that wasn’t 100% effective because I was the one telling him. For me to be sure he was really getting it, he had to be able to explain it to me. When he told me he wanted to make friends, I truly believed him. Despite the many times I lost that little boys trust, I knew that he knew truth. Every child knows the truth, no matter how skewed their schema is of the world around them.

I read or heard something along the lines of the truth being what you already know but just forgot. Some of us learn to rationalize, justify, and intellectualize to survive. Some people say that the more you are, the more tormented you can become.

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We practice coping skills (healthy or not) as we get older. We try to gain knowledge to gain understanding. For some of us, knowledge is power. Other people come to believe they are powerless.

With that, one can reflect on the forces that be. When does an urgency to do better become a feeble act of force? When can we start to process our weaknesses and protect ourselves from the misuse of our strengths?

All I know is that I know nothing. – Socrates

If I knew how to manipulate the forces that be, I’d make the world a better place for you and me. Funny I used to say that without “you”. What good is all of this without others to share it with? Sure, we have to do the next right thing. Just me? (That’s for my BFF). NO not just you. Not just you and me. But we’re working our way up. I can barely take care of myself, so I have to start small. My college told me, “What starts here changes the world.” Well, I started a lot of “new” things in college and it definitely changed the world. I developed a true, deep fear of others. I retreated inward and avoided conflict with the outside world. I also did that by staying outside the lines. Why would I try and conform socially when I already had to do that all day at school/work? I lived on the outside, tried to stay different, ironically falling into an alternative group of people that are not so uncommon. God works in mysterious ways. It’s a love/hate thing. Experiences in this world can be the best/worst.

Can anyone force me to make good choices? No, though they can force me into a cop car if I put myself and others in danger. Can anyone force me to stay in Houston forever? No, but if my family lives here forever then I probably will too. Can I force myself to be harder, better, faster, stronger (or less of a kook)?

I’m powerless and I can’t change unless I want to. I believe God has always wanted me to be good. I convinced myself I was “doing my best” many times, when I was plotting, scheming, and lying to get my way. Getting my way is oddly not God’s will most of the time…(I know, right?) The force of God is omnipotent. Sometime it’s as loud as thunder, other times it’s like the buzzing of cell phone. When I know danger is near, I have to let go of fear. So it brings me back to the most important question…how did Luke really become a Jedi?

This link has some good insight — https://www.dontforgetatowel.com/movies/how-did-luke-skywalker-become-a-jedi-knight/

The author quotes Yoda during his quest for the truth. Yoda says, “…for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us and binds us…you must feel the Force around you.”

This blogger also stated his explanation beautifully.

He wrote:

“There is nothing more powerful and humbling than showing compassion through forgiveness. The Dark side has always been the quick and easy path because it is fueled by hate. It is easy to hate. Anger is easy. Rage is easy. So in the exact opposite, the Light side is fueled by love. Love is hard. Compassion is hard. Forgiveness is hard.

Luke did complete his training. Luke is a Jedi Knight. He needed to empathize with the tortured soul that was Darth Vader. He was able to forgive and love his father for who he was, not who he became.”

Well done, Rocco.

As for me, I better stop here. I’ve got things to do.

*William Carlos Williams – The Use of Force

They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor, we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.The child was fully dressed and sitting on her father’s lap near the kitchen table. He tried to get up, but I motioned for him not to bother, took off my overcoat and started to look things over. I could see that they were all very nervous, eyeing me up and down distrustfully. As often, in such cases, they weren’t telling me more than they had to, it was up to me to tell them; that’s why they were spending three dollars on me.The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes, and no expression to her face whatever. She did not move and seemed, inwardly, quiet; an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance. But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture children often reproduced in advertising leaflets and the photogravure sections of the Sunday papers.She’s had a fever for three days, began the father and we don’t know what it comes from. My wife has given her things, you know, like people do, but it don’t do no good. And there’s been a lot of sickness around. So we tho’t you’d better look her over and tell us what is the matter.As doctors often do I took a trial shot at it as a point of departure. Has she had a sore throat?Both parents answered me together, No . . . No, she says her throat don’t hurt her.Does your throat hurt you? added the mother to the child. But the little girl’s expression didn’t change nor did she move her eyes from my face.Have you looked?I tried to, said the mother, but I couldn’t see.As it happens we had been having a number of cases of diphtheria in the school to which this child went during that month and we were all, quite apparently, thinking of that, though no one had as yet spoken of the thing.Well, I said, suppose we take a look at the throat first. I smiled in my best professional manner and asking for the child’s first name I said, come on, Mathilda, open your mouth and let’s take a look at your throat.Nothing doing.Aw, come on, I coaxed, just open your mouth wide and let me take a look. Look, I said opening both hands wide, I haven’t anything in my hands. Just open up and let me see.Such a nice man, put in the mother. Look how kind he is to you. Come on, do what he tells you to. He won’t hurt you.At that I ground my teeth in disgust. If only they wouldn’t use the word “hurt” I might be able to get somewhere. But I did not allow myself to be hurried or disturbed but speaking quietly and slowly I approached the child again.As I moved my chair a little nearer suddenly with one catlike movement both her hands clawed instinctively for my eyes and she almost reached them too. In fact she knocked my glasses flying and they fell, though unbroken, several feet away from me on the kitchen floor.Both the mother and father almost turned themselves inside out in embarrassment and apology. You bad girl, said the mother, taking her and shaking her by one arm. Look what you’ve done. The nice man . . .For heaven’s sake, I broke in. Don’t call me a nice man to her. I’m here to look at her throat on the chance that she might have diphtheria and possibly die of it. But that’s nothing to her. Look here, I said to the child, we’re going to look at your throat. You’re old enough to understand what I’m saying. Will you open it now by yourself or shall we have to open it for you?Not a move. Even her expression hadn’t changed. Her breaths however were coming faster and faster. Then the battle began. I had to do it. I had to have a throat culture for her own protection. But first I told the parents that it was entirely up to them. I explained the danger but said that I would not insist on a throat examination so long as they would take the responsibility.If you don’t do what the doctor says you’ll have to go to the hospital, the mother admonished her severely.Oh yeah? I had to smile to myself. After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were contemptible to me. In the ensuing struggle they grew more and more abject, crushed, exhausted while she surely rose to magnificent heights of insane fury of effort bred of her terror of me.The father tried his best, and he was a big man but the fact that she was his daughter, his shame at her behavior and his dread of hurting her made him release her just at the critical times when I had almost achieved success, till I wanted to kill him. But his dread also that she might have diphtheria made him tell me to go on, go on though he himself was almost fainting, while the mother moved back and forth behind us raising and lowering her hands in an agony of apprehension.Put her in front of you on your lap, I ordered, and hold both her wrists.But as soon as he did the child let out a scream. Don’t, you’re hurting me. Let go of my hands. Let them go I tell you. Then she shrieked terrifyingly, hysterically. Stop it! Stop it! You’re killing me!Do you think she can stand it, doctor! said the mother.You get out, said the husband to his wife. Do you want her to die of diphtheria?Come on now, hold her, I said.Then I grasped the child’s head with my left hand and tried to get the wooden tongue depressor between her teeth. She fought, with clenched teeth, desperately! But now I also had grown furious–at a child. I tried to hold myself down but I couldn’t. I know how to expose a throat for inspection. And I did my best. When finally I got the wooden spatula behind the last teeth and just the point of it into the mouth cavity, she opened up for an instant but before I could see anything she came down again and gripping the wooden blade between her molars she reduced it to splinters before I could get it out again.Aren’t you ashamed, the mother yelled at her. Aren’t you ashamed to act like that in front of the doctor?Get me a smooth-handled spoon of some sort, I told the mother. We’re going through with this. The child’s mouth was already bleeding. Her tongue was cut and she was screaming in wild hysterical shrieks. Perhaps I should have desisted and come back in an hour or more. No doubt it would have been better. But I have seen at least two children lying dead in bed of neglect in such cases, and feeling that I must get a diagnosis now or never I went at it again. But the worst of it was that I too had got beyond reason. I could have torn the child apart in my own fury and enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to attack her. My face was burning with it.The damned little brat must be protected against her own idiocy, one says to one’s self at such times. Others must be protected against her. It is a social necessity. And all these things are true. But a blind fury, a feeling of adult shame, bred of a longing for muscular release are the operatives. One goes on to the end.In a final unreasoning assault I overpowered the child’s neck and jaws. I forced the heavy silver spoon back of her teeth and down her throat till she gagged. And there it was–both tonsils covered with membrane. She had fought valiantly to keep me from knowing her secret. She had been hiding that sore throat for three days at least and lying to her parents in order to escape just such an outcome as this.Now truly she was furious. She had been on the defensive before but now she attacked. Tried to get off her father’s lap and fly at me while tears of defeat blinded her eyes.

Search for Serenity

So I didn’t even buy this book…I found it in a seat that a man was sitting in the day before. He had on an LSU hat and had one of the greatest shares I’ve ever heard.

Surprisingly it’s been one of the greatest books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’m not done with it yet. The notes below are what I’ve gotten from it so far. Some of it I knew, and some it I felt like I knew but hadn’t thought about for a while.

-It is not uncommon for a person to have a confused personality

-No one is truly prepared to face life until he is ready for death

-Embracing Life vs Clinging to it Desperately

-Struggle & Tension (War) vs Peace

-Compromises are necessary in certain situations.

-Distinguish those points where compromise threatens principle.

-Emotional growth comes first.

-We wait for a miracle to take on our fear that we cannot face.

-Building a new life means pulling up old roots.

-Life is a constant struggle to avoid all disapproval and criticism.

-Fear of rejection will continue to obsess those who fail to understand the basis for their social anxieties.

-“If you do not approve of the things I do, I must be wrong about a lot of things.”

-Be aware of ‘Gaslighting’

-Failure to fit into the group –> affliction –> rebellion –> Center of attention

-With that grows a desire to understand the world. We may even get fixated on it, creating our own world of our own understanding

-Willing to give up childish illusions with the equanimity of a true adult

-Proper love: boundaries, willing to suffer and be inconvenienced, giving for nothing in return

-Achievement: To know one’s self, the others

-Can we seek to understand the nature of loving and the motivation to put it into action?

-Respect derives from safety

-If we become upset and disturbed by others actions, the tension is within ourselves.

-Invasion of someone else’s mind is only a method for building ego.

-Mental Discipline

-Stopping worry with the “present”

-Blessed are the debonair — take work seriously….yourself, not so much.

-Understanding how another person feels helps us get out of our own heads

-Learn to Listen

-Lessening the moralistic and intolerant

-Do what takes you out of yourself — In that you may find yourself

-Seeking approval will lead to getting disapproval

-Myths of Perfection, Evil, Strength, Possession, Love, and Effort

-Attraction to an idea or dream cannot dissolve problems

-More to come!

Innumerable Notes

In God we Trust

Ephesians 1:16-20, 3:14-19 *

Ephesians 6:12 – We wrestle with darkness

Salvation belongs to the sinner. Sinners are reconciled because of Christ.

Corinthians 5:19

God Gave us the word to tell us what is ours.

It is just as much yours when you know and when you don’t.

John 8:32 – The Truth sets you free

Hosea 4:6 – We are destroyed by lack of knowledge

Our authority rests on the power of the authority behind it.

First Peter 5 – Be sober, Be vigilant

Be Strong in the Lord – First John 4:4

When there is harm, there is a need for Authority.

Luke 10:19

Wrong Person vs Wrong Spirit

Spirits are “ideas” [minds] — people are “beings” [hearts]

Christ is the head, people are the body

If God directs our thinking, we can carry out actions being aware of his will vs our will

Mark 16:15-18

James 4:7

1 Peter 5:8 – The same affliction in your brothers

We cannot be forever dependent. We must practice acceptance and find strength on our own.

*Being overtaken by darkness (ideas, ways of thinking) can be related to Toxoplasma Gondaii. https://www.livescience.com/56529-strange-facts-about-toxoplasma-gondii-parasite.html

We should not put spirit before the word (truth)

Revelation 1:18 – They keys of hell & death

Ephesians 10:18 – The Armor of God

The Devil is not all-knowing the way God is.

Dark spirits can possess anyone — religious spirit, deceiving spirit, lying spirit, devination, etc.

As long as you want it to be some way, that’s the way it’s going to be. God cannot help us unless we truly want him to.

2 Timothy 1:7

Matthew 12

People believe what they see.

1 Peter 5:9

*Healing Revival 1947-58

Foundation of Faith vs Evil Spirit

A preacher can be like a doctor. It is wise to take their advice.

The more you know, the more that is required of you.

*Similar to Spiderman — With great power, comes great responsibility

Matt 16:23 – doubt, unbelief, unconsciously yielding to the enemy

God gives us the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.

Doubt and Fear will leave you. This too shall pass.

Some things we must leave alone if we don’t know much about them.

James 4:7

Matthew 18:18

Bullet Points

-Struggled with academics in High School. I slept through classes and played sports. I graduated in the 48th percentile of my class (2010). I tried to take on Pre-AP Precalculus and was not successful. I could not handle the workload. I was able to pass Duel-Credit English, AP Art History, and AP Psychology.

-Accepted by The University of Texas in Austin. I was not able to manage my time well enough to participate fully in any clubs. I joined groups (Students Making an Impact through Love and Empathy, Texas Wake(boarding), but dropped out after being unable to commit. I managed to pass classes with medication & good friends to party with.

-I was diagnosed with ADD. I was prescribed medication. I never took more than prescribed. I had another habit I was supporting. I also had so much energy, I didn’t feel the need to abuse the medication. Using other substances medicinally lasted til senior year. It was then I decided I was going to manage life by myself.

-I graduated in May 2014 with a degree in Applied Learning and Development. I failed one course during my time at UT, but was still able to keep myself on track. I was able to get an interview with the help of my mentor.

-I was given a teaching job. I (attempted) teaching 3rd grade (all subjects) at one of the lowest schools in the district. I learned a lot that year about socioeconomics, education policies, and people.

-After a year of being written up (for professional difficulties), administration moved me to Pre-K. I loved it. Unfortunately, the population change determined I was to change schools. My lease was up, so I took it as a sign from God that it was time to move back to Houston. My SUD was getting worse, though I was undiagnosed.

-I moved back Houston and started teaching 1st grade. I was on a team with 7 other women. The younger group was very cliquey. The two older women had lives out side of work. I felt like an outsider. I started to realize that state of mind was not unfamiliar. I found a “doctor” to help me self-medicate. My SUD hadn’t gotten me in too much trouble for a while. I saved money living with my parents. I tried getting back in touch with old friends with little success. Everyone was busy living.

-After a year, my SUD was getting progressively worse. I was doing my best to “balance”and hide it. After my dad had a heart attack, I ran off to Downtown Houston. The guilt and shame was starting to hit me, I knew I had to get out. To maintain my image, I had to disappear. My new roommate loved to go out and party. I started going to work sleep deprived.

-My bosses started noticing a decline in my peppy personality. They sent me to professional developments, they tried to help me organize my classroom. I was a lost cause. They questioned my “passion for teaching” and asked if I was motivated to get better. They eventually told me leaving the job was my best option. I finished out the year and committed fully to supporting my bad habits.

-I worked as a waitress all summer. After doing that for a few months, I realized I wasn’t going to change careers on my own. In early October, I landed a teaching job. A school in Katy needed another 1st grade teacher because of population changes.

-In December, after staying out all night (doing a 12 hour power-washing job) I proceeded to stay up for the rest of the day. I experienced my first acute episode of psychosis. I swore I heard people arguing for hours. I drove to my parents, distraught. They found the medicine I had at the time and realized I had been hiding a lot from them for a while.

-My parents paid for a counselor. The counselor suggested going to IOP at the PaRC. I went to see the place and one of the nurses gave me a tour. I told her I didn’t need one but she insisted. A few months later I went back to start the program. I didn’t qualify. I had failed the drug test and to do IOP, one had to be 3 weeks sober. I did qualify for their residential level of care. I left and told myself that their policies were silly. I’d handle my issues on my own when I had to.

-I started once again struggling at work. I couldn’t handle the stress of a job I had been trying to do for five years. I began losing hope. I enjoyed teaching but couldn’t see myself ever being able to handle the paperwork. I had no idea how to reach out for help. After skipping lunches and becoming more noticeably anxious, my coworkers became distant. Someone came to me with “complaints”. It was not okay to put my head on my desk while the kids were gone. It was not normal to be attentive one moment and distracted the next. I couldn’t get off of the medicine without going through withdrawal.

-I was bitter and burnt out by the end of the year, but had made it through without getting fired. I told my boss I would talk to someone about my anxiety. I would try harder to become more organized. I would get better. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t come back to teach.

-A few days into summer, I snapped. I had been driving my guy up the wall. He went off on me and I had to leave. I was extremely upset and was not afraid to show it. He was good at giving me space that I did not want but really needed. We worried our parents and tried breaking up. We couldn’t be apart and kept testing our limits. The amount of money wasted, the energy we spent trying to save our relationship, all dissipated. We checked into separate treatment centers. I was diagnosed with ADHD and given new (non-stimulant) medication.

-After 30 days of not talking, we tried to follow directions we were given to stay away from each other. I still loved the guy. I never stopped loving him. I still love him today. Unfortunately, I hadn’t stopped craving my old ways of coping. Neither had he. We the more we saw each other, the more we realized we weren’t ready to let go. I started lying again, he started hurting, we started isolating, and I developed a nasty cold. I had gone back to work and realized I was still an outsider, sober or not. A few weeks later I was back in treatment after draining my bank account and admitting I hadn’t gotten better.

-I stayed for two weeks. I was kicked out of process groups. I had two mental breakdowns. I fought on the phone with my guy because deep down I was still conflicted. He reminded me that I had to learn to forgive myself. There would still be dark times ahead, but now we had the mindset and the tools to avoid another breakdown.

-I discharged the day before my birthday. When I turned 28 the next day, I felt more free than I ever had before. Even though I had a tendency to start future tripping, the panic was nothing to dwell on. I had faced my biggest fears. Everything I was most scared of was no longer taking control of me. I felt God’s presence, I asked him for help, and I believed his will was greater than my own. Since then, I have been seeing signs, getting little reminders of his love. His will allows me to live in truth and light. It gives me the strength to face my fears and live honestly.

-I have a lot to learn. For now, I try to listen to others without thinking too much. I am working on the job, as well as opening my mind to new ideas. I’ve been paying more attention to what goes on outside of myself. It’s still progress, not perfection, when it comes to taking suggestions and following directions. Though, now I better notice when I start rationalizing or justifying thoughts. I try to make amends whenever possible. I read and write more often than I used to. I pray and love honestly. It’s a daily thing for now. “All I know is that I don’t know.”

Trust, Stay, Fear, Pray

It’s a lot.

3/23/19

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. -Aristotle

Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not able to tell the difference. -Mark Twain

Any fool can know. The point is to understand. –Albert Einstein

You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down. –Charlie Chaplin

Distance yourself from negative people.

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them. –Ben F.

If light is in your heart, you will find your way home. –Rumi

Sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring out the best change.

Turn “why me” into “try me”

If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.

What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

Givers need to set limits, because takers rarely do.

If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.

Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.

Fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.

There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on. –Zayn Malik

To heal a wound, you need to stop touching it. 

Pain today is strength tomorrow.

We cannot rush things that take time to grow.

May every sunrise bring you hope and every sunset bring you peace.

It takes sadness to know happiness, and absence to value presence.

Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument. 

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot heal in the same environment where you got sick.

One day at a time.

Do not focus on fighting the old, but building the new.

A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it’s built for. –Albert E.

There can be no positive result through negative attitude.  –Albert E

A bird trusts its wings, not the branch.

Have a heart that never hardens, a tempter that never tires, and a touch that never hurts. –Charles Dickens

A pickle can never be a cucumber again.

Look inside yourself, you are more tan what you have become. -Mufasa

Loving someone is not holding their hand while they drink themselves to death

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. –buddha

If you see the lions teeth, do not mistake that for a smile.

Work while they rest, learn while they play, save while they spend, make your reality something they have only imagined.

The deadliest storms can be to clear a path.

Ego says: once everything falls into place, I’ll be at peace. Spirit says: once you are at peace, everything will fall into place.

Do not argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level then beat you with experience. –Mark Twain

Choose to speak up before people start filling in your silence with their own interpretation of what you are feeling or thinking.

Letting your ego take over is the best way to kill your self-esteem.

If you avoid emotion, you lose your passions, good and bad. You will forever be walking the same way everyday and you will not change.

People who love you do not resent you. They see your brokenness as a chance to be whole again. They see your guilt and see a chance to remember your innocence. They see your confusion and long to help you find your purpose again. They see you are in darkness and see a place to shine a light of hope.

Find the magic in all the little things. Be grateful for God’s incomprehensibility. 

Do not just prepare yourself for change. Start investing your time and effort into accepting the change.

Stop justifying your will against God’s will.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Focus less on “doing” the right thing. “Being” the right version of yourself is more important. 

Open minded people don’t care about wrong or right. They care to understand. The answer is what makes both people better.

One day or day one. It’s up to you.

Never give up because of time. Time will be passing anyway.

If you hate someone, you are focusing on them. You give energy to what you focus on.

Forward is forward. If you go steady like the tortoise, it is better than stopping and napping like the hare.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. –Albert Einstein 

You were once a child with hopes and dreams. You can still make that child proud of you. You can still be the best version of yourself.

Hating someone or something doesn’t solve problems, it makes problems.

Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned. 

You may not be where you want to be, but you are not where you used to be.

Be fearless and rigorous with your thoughts when you are alone, be careful and cautious with them around others.

Do not let someone else’s war disrupt your peace.

Disciple is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. –Honest Abe

Don’t pick things apart. You can see lie in believe, over in lover, end in friends, us in trust, and if in life.

It is easier to learn from a mistake if you are not denying it.

The fears we do not face become our limits.

There is nothing outside of you that can make you better. It is what is inside of you (belief in God) that makes you better.

Give, but don’t be used. Love, but don’t be abused.

If you get, give. If you learn, teach.

When you stop letting the wrong rule your life, the right starts to happen.

The truth, like a lion, does not need to be defended.

You can’t win if you are losing yourself.

Starve distractions and feed focus.

Think about what truly helps make a difference – it is not our words, or even actions. It is God’s will and our trust in him to make us different.

To be better, you must think better. To think in a new way, you have to get rid of the old way. You must trust that it will be better.

Some people plant flowers in places where no one will water them.

Telling yourself what to believe makes you more willing to believe what you tell yourself.

There are those who wait and those who work.

When you recognize your flaws, other people can not use them against you.

A good relationship should make things simple and joyful, not complicated and full of worry.

Someday the pain you feel will be used for something greater.

When you want to fall back in fear, think about the change that is an outcome of courage.

Settling for less will leave you always seeking something to replace the passion that passed away.

People who get angry at the truth may only be used to living a lie.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

One tree makes a million matches. Only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees.

It’s not about how badly you want it, it’s about how willing you are to get it.

If you have no destination, you will take any road to get there.

We all have the same ways of being. Some of us have been being some ways more than others. But everyone can be forgiven and understood. Just because some know more right now, does not mean others will not soon know the same in the future.

Kindness is love with work boots on.

When your ego can no longer stand, fall to your knees.

We may live to make life. Giving up is sure death.

Putting salt in a wound burns for a moment, but helps it heal stronger.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

There is a difference between giving into something and giving up on it.

When we really heal, we are no longer in danger of being infected and losing more in our denial of the wound.

I didn’t understand why someone hadn’t changed the way people saw something. Then I realized I was someone who could do something to change it.

Giving it to God means letting it go without continuing to try and hold on. If you keep taking it back, he cannot take it from you.

God’s will is beyond understanding, therefore trusting in him needs no reasoning.

Working to have your own identity is less fulfilling than learning to live to recognize others. We can work to gain respect or work to show others what it is worth.

You do not have the power to control problems outside of yourself. You only have the ability to control what is inside of yourself.

Every flower must grow through dirt.

Be strong and keep moving forward. If you are too weak, stop and ask God for someone else to push you.

An excuse for a mistake takes away some of the effort to fix the mistake.

A temporary emotion should not make a permanent decision.

If you cannot change your own mind to help yourself, you cannot change anything that is keeping you from getting better.

If there was no tomorrow, what would you spend your time doing today?

When we fall apart, we can rebuild ourselves even stronger.

To survive and become a hunter that can provide, be around others who are surviving and able to provide for themselves too, or they may take what you have to stay alive.

Life is like riding a bike. You have to keep moving to prevent falling down.

When life gets too hard to stand, kneel and pray.

If you do not make sacrifices for what you want in life, what you want is sacrificed for an unsatisfying  life.

Firmly hold onto your goal, be flexible to get it.

We should not be afraid of our past mistakes being repeated if we are able to prevent it from happening again.

If you knew everything you wanted was on the other side of what you fear, would you face it with confidence?

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean forgetting what led to the mistake.

Worrying about things that don’t matter wastes your time to focus on things that do.

If you want love, give love. If you want to be understood, seek to understand. If you want to be forgiven, forgive others. Show others mercy if that is what you want others to show you. Show others change if you want others to change too.

Accepting things can be tough. It is tougher when you fight or fly in denial.

Choosing to do what is right is scary. Regretting doing the wrong thing is scarier.

If you are not strong enough now, then when? If now is not the time, it may never be.

Correct a fool and he will despise you. Correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.

Do not take advice from people who have not shown others they are worth trusting.

Some people choose to work 100 hours a week for themselves, rather than 40 hours for someone else.

To win a race, you have to go the right direction. Many people rush around and are going nowhere fast.

When things don’t happen right away, remember a Rolls-Royce takes 6 months to build. A Toyota takes 13 hours.

You control your choices, you do not control the consequences of them.

Finding ways to enjoy life will make life much more enjoyable.

You must first decide you are tired of being where you are if you want to get somewhere else.

People who do you wrong help make you strong.

You may not be the best, but you should always try your best.

Be confident in your ability to choose wisely. When you make wise choices, you gain confidence. 

We go through pain to help us tolerate being hurt, we face fears to gain courage and confidence. We have our hearts broken so we can give God the pieces and find peace in him.

When one is sensitive, it shows they can sense what is wrong in the world. Many people have lost that ability.

Being in dark place helps you understand the darkness within others. Then you know the method for dealing with it.

Some quit after they fail. Others fail until they succeed.

Do not try to be the better teacher…try to be the teacher that gets better each day.

Don’t live a lie so people will like you. Be yourself so the right people will love you.

Wanting more money or stuff so you will have less to worry about does not make sense.

All the people who discourage you are showing you exactly who you do not want to be.

Sometimes choosing peace is better than the fight to prove you are right.

Admitting you know nothing shows others you are intelligent enough to know there is plenty left to learn.

If it costs you peace of mind, it’s not worth it.

People listen to the ones who are informed, not the arrogant or aggressive.

Listening to reply intelligently does not provide the same wisdom as listening to understand.

Some of us our addicted to our afflictions. To recover, we must admit we need help and learn to accept that we can defeat the disease day by day.

People who think deeply eventually become aware of the danger and direct others towards simpler thinking.

Find the time to do what makes you feel alive, or eventually living may not be worth your time.

When you start feeling trapped by your circumstances, remember God is there to help you figure out how to find a way out of helplessness.

If you wait until you are ready, you will never start.

Forgive yourself, you did not know what you know now. Punishing someone for doing only what they could in the past will discourage them from doing what they should in the future.

If something is a little challenging then there is only a little change.

Wisdom begins in wonder. –Socrates 

Do not sacrifice a question to accept an answer that does not satisfy you.

Live simply and being happy won’t be so complicated.

Strive to be the person you needed in the past to push you.

Accepting thoughts that discourage you will keep you from accepting thoughts that disagree with doubt.

Love without condition. Speak with intention. Care for people without expectation.

We either make ourselves stronger or allow ourselves to suffer. Both use up the same amount of energy.

You may be wasting time and energy caring about people that do not care about you.

When you continue giving someone your broken heart and they continue breaking it, it gets harder to repair and reuse.

People who do not think or act like you will not understand why you say and do what you do. They may never understand or be willing to learn. Do not use up your energy trying to understand or tell them why.

Loyalty is a way of life that depends on honesty and integrity.

The limit of your wisdom depends on when you limit your learning.

A ship does not sink unless the sea of water starts getting inside. Do not let the negativity of the world inside you or you will sink too,

One of the bravest decisions people make is to let go of hurt and helplessness. When you are no longer the victim, you start seeking the strength in your soul.

Joy does not make us grateful. Being grateful brings us joy.

The people you have lost have helped you find yourself. If it is God’s will, they will return back to you renewed and ready to support you.

We gain respect by receiving criticism without denying our deficits. When we are willing to work on improving ourselves, other are inspired to do the same.

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.

Feeling stuck and telling yourself nothing will change is not realistic. When you deny change, you deny the opportunity to defeat delusional thinking. If you continue living outside of reality, your dreams will die when you do.

Do not le someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything.

Conforming to others’ ideas is the prison of freedom and enemy of growth.

Repeating something does not transform a lie into a truth.

To argue with someone who has no reasoning is like giving medicine to the dead.

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. –Albert E

Good teachers do not tell students answers to questions, they tell students where to find the answers to questions.

People who are sure they are right about everything have taught themselves to stop wondering and have shown others they lack the intelligence to seek more wisdom.

It is better to be alone than with bad company.

Do not set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.

Defend your truths and preserve your wisdom—read, write, learn, grow.

Many of our mistakes come from not knowing if we have enough tor are missing things we should have rather than knowing that we have enough,

Lessons will be repeated until they are learned.

Dreams do not come true unless you come to accept truth.

Talk with people who help you see things differently.

If you have enemies, that means you have stood up for something.

We should not fear things in life, we should seek to understand them.

Many men can stand adversity. To test a man’s character, give him power. –Honest Abe

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

When someone says you’re overreacting or too sensitive, they don’t want to be held responsible for mistreating you.

Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution. –AE

Words and ideas can change the world. –Robin Williams 

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change. -AE

More knowledge, less ego. –AE

Real tragedy is not death, it is letting die inside us the things that bring us life.

A man who asks a question is a fool for a minute. A man who does not ask, is a fool for life.

In your worst moments, you will see the true colors of the people who say they care for you.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. –Bob Marley

Before you heal someone, ask him if he’s willing to give up the things that made hi sick. –hippocrates

A common defense people use is acting like you hurt them after they know they have hurt you.

Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering. –Roosevelt

The loudest one in the room is usually the weakest one. 

The more rules there are, the more corrupt the leaders are.

Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. – Mr. Rogers

Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. 

Truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Live a noble life, and you will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

If you hate someone, you allow them to belittle your soul.

Stupid people hang out with stupider people in order to feel smart. Smart people hang out with smarter people in order to learn.

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it’s limits. –AE

Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.

One of the most difficult things in life is to know yourself.

I expect nothing and accept everything. –Anthony Hopkins

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity.  –Sir Issac Newton

The man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down. Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood…it must be developed from within.

A secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure. 

If you don’t fight for what you want, don’t cry for what you lose.

Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding that some things are within your control and some things are not.

The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.

Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem. –AE

A discussion is better than an argument. An argument is to find out WHO is right, a discussion is to discover WHAT is right.

It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person. It’s impossible to win against a stupid person.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Every test in life makes us bitter, or better. It breaks us, or makes us. Makes us a victim or victor. 

Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, Earn. Before you pray, Forgive. Before you hurt, feel. Before you hate, love. Before you quit, try. Before you die, Live.

There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.

You will experience the pain or discipline or the pain of regret. The choice is yours.

A mistake which makes you humble is much better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.

They muddy the water to make it seem deep.

Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.

The time is always right to do what is right.-MLK

All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly as it is. –B

Everybody is going to hurt you, you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. –Bob

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Try to be a better person. Make your intentions pure. What and who you are is what you’ll attract and what you’ll maintain. Pain is inevitable and it will always exist, but if you focus on understanding what you feelings and why you are feeling it, you will overcome it.

I would rather be an honest sinner than a lying hypocrite.

Humble yourself or life will do it for you.

There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. –aristotle

The bad times always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.

If people throw stones at you, collect them all and start building.

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. –yoda

Fast is fine but accuracy is final. You must learn to be slow in a hurry.

Why should I fear (death) that which cannot exist when I do?

All cruelty springs from weakness.

Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right friends. –John Lennon

Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event. –Jung

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. –Abe

If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself. –AE

You can’t litter negativity and then wonder why you’ve got a messy life.

Speak boldly and with intellect. Never hush your voice for someone’s comfort. Speak your mind, make people uncomfortable.

I’m for the truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. –Malcolm X

A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall. 

Understand that you own nothing, everything that surrounds you is temporary, and only the love in your heart will last forever.

What the superior man seeks is in himself, What the small man seeks is in others. –Confucius

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

You have one hand for helping yourself and one for helping others.

No amount of guilt can solve the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future.

There are two wolves always fighting inside me. One is filled with anger, hate, jealously, shame, and lies. The other is filled with love, joy, truth, and peace. Which wolf wins? The one you feed.

Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others. Ayn Rand

Children will follow your example more than your advice.

People will come to love their oppression and adore the things that undo their capacities to think

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.

You cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable. 

Anti-social behavior is seen as a trait of intelligence in a world full of conformists.

There’s a way to do it better – find it. –Thomas Edison 

If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm.

In life we figure out when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.

We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. –seneca

Depression is your mind telling you its tired of being the character you’re trying to play.

The most despicable form of cowardice is self-pity.

No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. –Aristotle

Two problems to be aware of: acting without thinking or continuing to think without acting

We must dare to be great and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage – Teddy Roosevelt

Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness wil never end.

If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow.

Evil is what happens without God’s presence.

Big jobs usually go to the men who outgrow the small ones. –Teddy

Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might o the enemy. –Winston Churchhill

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it.

We must support each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike. –Maya A

The thing about smart people is they sound crazy to dumb people –Steve J

Do not ruin an apology with an excuse.

The more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects. –Nikola Tesla

We drink the poison our minds pour for us and wonder why we feel so sick. –atticus

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves, -Abe

First you Learn then remove the L.

Time means a lot to me because you see, I, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. Bruce Lee

God gave us free will, showing us how to give up power willingly, letting our suffering be punishment for our sin

If you force something, it is no longer a real thing

Disease is life for something else

Conflict at one level is health at another

Things start to get so familiar that we stop hearing them

Shame should not be associated with repentance (as seen in Catholicism). Anger is frowned upon, we are still sent to “Purgatory” even after Christ has risen. Our pain should be acknowledged and examined. We can’t go over it, under it. We’ve got to go through it. We should Fear where Suffering comes from, which usually are worldly or egotistic desires. 

Feeling responsible for your pain may cause more blame/shame.

We’ve all been wearing masks. Being vulnerable allows you to see what’s underneath.

Learn to be okay with being wrong and acknowledging your fear, worry, anxiety

Try thinking in terms of “Us & We” vs. “I & Me”


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