Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Last Night's Dreams

Last night, I had a dream that someone in my family bought be birds. At first I thought there was just one bird. And it was a colorful bird and it was flying around the house and singing. I befriended this bird and it followed me around and spent time with me. It became a close friend almost like a spirit animal and understood me in a way that most other people couldn't. Then the day came to an end and I needed to bring him back to his cage.. So we went back to his cage and I opened the door and let him in.
With joy I stayed by the cage a while longer; I remember it was a tall thin cylindrical/hexagonal/something cage and there were strange things in it. Like a portal or something, it felt weird and gave off a weird energy. At first I looked for my bird that I had just released to his "habitat" and I couldn't see him. I remember craning my neck to look around the cage from different sides as if I needed to look around obstacles to find the bird. At first I couldn't find him, but then I did.
All of a sudden another bird flew from one side to another (as if it was a large enough cage--it wasn't but somehow it did) past my view in a cage, and as my eyes followed him, another bird came out and was flying around. Colors and colors and feathers. Suddenly, birds popped out of everywhere and there were so many of them. All colorful. The cage was crowded. There was no way they could all fit there. Where did they all come from? They were different sizes and different shapes, and I remember then feeling deeply sad.
There was no room for them to fly or live. This was no life. But they were "pet" birds, and couldn't be released into the wild where I was, so I thought. I must find homes for each of these birds. They deserve a real life and not one trapped in an over-crowded cage. My mind was going through lists of friends or people who I could gift a bird, but none of it seemed to fit. Nothing was okay. Suddenly I was overwhelmed by the emotions of helping all these birds to live a satisfying and fulfilling, good, free life. I felt deeply sad and it was injust.

Before that, same night, I had a dream that I was rock climbing at the gym. But this time, I was going with a new friend who had never gone before. I was upset because my normal climbing buddy (Tony) was not able to be there for whatever reason. He had more important things to do like ski or climb mountains or something with someone else who was not me. I remember demonstrating a route to a friend. We were going to go top-roping, but she wasn't belay certified like I was, so she couldn't belay me. I climbed up onto the wall just to test out the route she was going to do and show her what she could try or how it might work. All of a sudden, I found myself at the top of the wall and I was stuck. They holds I had climbed onto were small and difficult to maneuver. I looked behind me, expecting a belay down and that's when I realized that I wasn't attached to a rope or harness because my climbing partner Tony wasn't there for me anymore. So, carefully, with my life on the line, I focused my willpower and found myself steadying on some challenging holds in order to safely down-climb to the bottom. I remember losing balance momentarily in one of my limbs and having to swing with all my strength on some of the others instead. I was high up enough to break my back and legs and have serious problems. But I steadied myself and climbed down successfully. I remember feeling betrayed, and sad. That this wouldn't have happened if my friend wasn't there, and I felt impatient with the whole situation in trying to teach a friend something that to me you just learn automatically by trying and doing it. Impatient.

A third dream, one that I recall was near the bird one, involved me running into the mother of one of my ex boyfriends. This was the last dream I had last night. I went upstairs to a floral shop. One of the birds was up there flying. Perhaps the original first bird that was my friend. He was like a fairy.
Anyway, I remember seeing her, and saying. Hello. I was happy to see her. Despite how fucked up she made her life and how toxic her family was, she was someone I once knew and I didn't really care about all that shit. I care about people deep inside themselves. So, I said, "I thought I should come say hi." And I don't remember anything else much. Just the bird, and some floral decorations and glass pots with perfumey stuff in them. It was like her shop or something and she was tidying up. Despite my kindness, I felt the same unease that I always felt around her in real life. Like she was lying to herself and everyone and how could you trust someone like that. It was all about how things appeared on the outside and not how they actually were on the inside to her. Then, I thought about my ex. I have a sinking feeling in my stomach as I recall this. I wonder how he is doing now in life. What he is doing. I imagined him having tattoos now for some reason. Who knows where he is. But it's probably much less exciting. I left him as a boy who didn't have his license, lived at home and walked to the local community college. Last I heard he was fucking an older woman. I remember thinking, he always loved fucking more than people themselves. Remembering him makes me sad. Not because I miss him or anything about my past, God forbid, but because there was so much hurt, and trash and garbage that I always felt within him and his family. Sure they did it to themselves, and they never chose to get out of it. but it felt disgusting to even be around. It felt sad and horrible. I don't know why or how, but I have always been so sensitive to bad things. Negative energy perhaps. I hope things are better than they seem and that they are getting better for them. They cut me completely out of my life when I broke up with him, but that was for my benefit and their loss.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Who am I? The Return..

Hey there. It's been a while. Life has done a lot of shifting around, and I think I am finally back on my two feet again emotionally, for the most part. This year, and my time at college really, has been an enormous amount of growth and struggle, emotionally to let myself really be brave and grow and stretch and trust myself. Over the last few days, I have begun to realize that my crazy mixed up childhood wasn't my fault (many of us have those crazy childhood stories). I am realizing for the first time, that I have been holding on to a lot of burden and baggage from my family that isn't mine to bear, and it has been weighing me down, impossibly into the ground and creating underlying and debilitating anxiety and stress for me. I have a lot of fears, in addition to all this, that I have to overcome if I am going to make the most out of my time here on Earth, in life, and grow, become, and experience life the way that will be the most fulfilling, nourishing, healing and happy for me.

Among my many burdens, fear of strangers, perfectionism, and a lack of faith in myself or that things in life will work out in the end, I have managed for the first time to feel that I have started to find my footing. In some ways, I got sick of being afraid of things, and when I got a taste of freedom, loving myself and experiencing life as a big web of possibilities and experiences and memories to be had, I decided that focusing on that possibility made me feel so much stronger, more powerful and mostly, happy. I changed my major to Environmental Science, and right now I am beginning a year of catching up on Prerequisites for that major so that by next Fall, I should be able to join the major. There's a lot of stuff going on in life, but I have learned that focusing on the present is the only way to really accomplish anything. I would much rather relax and let life do its thing than try to force things, control things, or even worse, worry about all the things that could go wrong if  this or that or the other thing.. It's a nightmare and it leads me down paths of despair and sadness. Not fun. And not worth it if I can help it. So much burden has been lifted from me with this mindset.

One of the main, and challenging things I have had to deal with and figure out is where I stand with my religion.. In many ways, I got sick of how in religion, things have to fit certain traits in order to "work" or "find salvation". I believe very strongly in the spirit and mystery of God, and Christ, but the construct of religion itself, I think is very broken, as people are broken and there are aspects of the church that I find myself disagreeing with, mainly the shaming of sexuality outside of the confines of marriage. I don't know why, but it has been so important for me to understand everything that I believe and agree with it. Cognitive dissonance made me go crazy when I fell in love with a young man who wasn't religious, probably never will be, and has no reason to be. I listen to his story with so much love and understanding, and I let it make me think about my beliefs and how they fit together. I decided that I don't like the idea of a God who is selective about who he sends his grace to. I love this guy. I know he is a beautiful person and I see God in him in many ways even though he doesn't believe in God. I want to believe in a God who would be willing to save him (send him to Heaven) for the good things he has done and does even if he lives his life in a completely non-religous way. His non-religious way, I believe is one of the most loving ways I have ever seen someone chose to believe and act. He doesn't need anything in order to do good for others. He doesn't need the idea that a God will reward him for it. He would rather just do good to do good. He has had so many encounters with religious people which have been negative and not God-like or loving so it is reasonable and understanding why he chooses to not follow a main religion.

Another reason why I have found myself disagreeing with the church is on sexuality. I had a lot of conflict when I was in a relationship with this person because I wanted to do the "right" thing so badly for my religion and in my church, for God, but my heart was telling me that a sexual relationship with this person was completely out of love and respect in a way that I had never experienced. It gave me hope for the world, for my future, and for humanity. It also made me realize that I didn't agree with the rigid ideas of sexuality that the church teaches because it was somehow implying that God (or love) could only  be between people in their sexual relationships in the confines of marriage. Marriage is a flawed idea; has become a flawed thing. The reason is that people idolize marriage when the relationship is the part that matters. The stages between dating and marriage and things like that have too big a line in religion that I think hinders the process and makes it unhealthy. I do believe in sexual compatibility. That's not to say that sexuality can be learned together as a couple. I think that is something that will always be a learning process for any couple. However, being comfortable with your sexuality, I think is something that is important for anyone in order to learn how to truly love yourself and understand how high your standards should be and how deserving of respect you are. Shame or guilt are not things that I believe should be in the realm of sexuality unless people are harming each other with it by cheating, manipulating, harassing or pressuring.  This is an important distinction for what I believe constitutes a loving relationship and a non-loving one. It is also really important to not put sexuality on a pedestal because it is important to be able to focus on other, more important things in life, and other, more important things in your relationship. Sex should never be used to build connection where there isn't one because I believe that is something that can be harmful to your soul, but consensual, healthy sexual relationships, I think are maybe even important in learning what love is and how to love in life, especially when it involves masturbation. Religious differences, aside, I love this person very much. He has been a shining light in my life and has taught me so so much about love and how to grow up, love myself, be positive and shed the weight of the past and the burdens of others. It breaks my heart that his father passed away last March. I can not fathom what he is going through. The world is an unkind place, seemingly ruled by selfish, evil people, and those who don't deserve life remain living while those who gave their life for others in many of the most self-less ways die.

He and I have been just friends for the last few months. The longer the months go by, the more I feel like I am growing up and realizing just how much I care about and appreciate this young man for everything he is. We do have our differences, and sometimes it feels like there's no way we could be truly happy or maybe, complete if we ever got back together and had a long-term relationship again because those differences feel so vast, and yet, we keep each other around, we take care of each other. We are companions in the truest sense that I have ever felt before. We are friends. And friendship is the strongest, truest kind of love.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dear Love

Calm always seems to find you when you let yourself time for contemplative prayer. I know you feel like an outsider when it comes to church communities. You are a special snowflake, but the truth is, everyone is, especially those who are true to themselves, and you don't have to be any different than your true self to fit into a church community or find yourself truly an Orthodox Christian.

You are taking on some really huge life hurdles and tasks right now, but you are doing them out of love. You are brave and strong. I believe in you. Remember to not doubt your abilities and your worthiness to find true love. You have found a beautiful gift of a treasure in your life right now. Do what you can to make it blossom but if it is time for it's petals to fall, do not despair. Turn to God because he has a plan for you.

I know you live in a world full of people who are of different faiths and religions. It can be confusing and hard to find your way, but don't turn to others to find yourself and what you believe. Look inward, instead. Your new goals are so huge, they feel impossible, but you have love on your side. You may learn something huge and new about yourself, and you may grow so immensely with your partner.

Take the time to breathe. Take in each moment. Remember that you are enough, that your breath is enough, and you have enough. God has given you enough and he will continue to give you enough as long as you put your trust and hope in Him.

When you are feeling skeptical, desperate, impatient or sad, turn to the Lord and ask for his help. He wants us to turn to Him because he wants to give us the peace we seek. He will work things out and help to soften your heart. The way to peace is to let go of control and fear and let it find its way to you.

When you feel that hope for the future is feeble and impossible, pray and call upon St. Xenia to pray for you. She will ask God to intercede for you and your future that you will have your needs of a partner provided to you.

Be patient, love, because God has true love and peace planned for you. When your faith dwindles, let yourself sit and meditate on the Holy Spirit and the reason you always continue to believe, even when you aren't sure of life or yourself. Let that reason ground you and grow.

Christ is Risen!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Once Upon a Time I offended an older generation woman by talking about my menstrual cycle publicly on Facebook

Today my menstrual is cup was one million times easier, cleaner, more sustainable and comfortable than any other collection method. I want to shout it out to all the world!
# advocate

Now, about my title;
I understand that some people come from older generations and have different, more conservative views about things like menstrual cycles, however talking about my menstrual cycle is not the same as talking about my sex life. A menstrual cycle is something that 50% of the human population in the world biologically experience as a normal part of everyday life (not to mention the females of other species).
However, a sex life is very personal, intimate and special across many cultures.

I understand if someone was offended or uncomfortable because I spoke out about my sex life. Speaking out about menstruation, however, I don't believe is done enough.

There is no excuse to be ashamed or try to hide things about menstruation. We need education and communication. Not perpetuation of making a natural bodily function taboo. Why was it taboo in the first place? Mis-information, Misunderstandings, and sexism.

Continuing this endless cycle will only make things worse for women across the globe and for nature and our environment and the planet we live in, not better.

That is why I believe it has to be broken by brave young progressive feminists like me, or really, any brave young soul who wants to see positive change for women and respect for their natural state in our society and culture. #advocate for education and female pride in our natural states!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

On The Topic of The Political Climate and Facebook

When somebody says they aren't political or they don't do politics,  I get it,  I understand,  but I also don't.  It is true that you have to pick your battles and some people just don't care to put energy into things like politics.  That's fair.  I appreciate that and even somewhat envy the ability for people to truly pick their battles and allocate their energy well.  However,  there is something to be said about the importance of being able to have discourse.  People are afraid of fighting,  of confrontation, of being wrong,  losing friends,  being singled-out or looking like a fool.  That is very understandable.  To be true,  being honest and open about your beliefs takes a lot of courage and to be fair,  most of us don't have all that much knowledge on all of these topics that people are discussing. I understand the feeling of not wanting to engage in conversation about things that I don't feel well equipped to discuss.  So,  not everyone has good evidence or things to back up their arguments. I still think everyone's opinions are valid and things can and should be discussed with others.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up and speak out about what you believe.  No matter what,  you will never fully understand everything in the world that you want to understand, but having the bravery speak up and speak out for people or things you believe in anyway is something that I think is extremely important.

I am someone who tends to be very opinionated and passionate about things.  I tell people how it is and how I see it.  I don't believe in sugar-coating.  But I also don't hold grudges or hold things personally to myself. I love people.  No matter how messed up they are or where they went wrong or confused,  I genuinely love and care about people and I tend to be someone who gives second and third and fourth chances. I like forgiveness and I value having friends from all different backgrounds with all different beliefs.  I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect person.  I have issues too.  We all have issues with pride and bias. That is an important thing to acknowledge.

I don't feel bad or guilty or the need to censor myself.  If I say something that offends you,  it is not a personal attack.  If I say something you disagree with,  I would like to hear why you disagree.  If I say something rude,  please forgive me,  but don't be afraid to engage in conversation with me. 

Let me repeat.  I don't hold grudges.  It's a waste of my time and energy.

I think people have a problem with making their opinions their identity.  It's not. There's a reason I posted a post on Facebook recently that a women divorced her husband for voting for Trump. The truth is,  that our opinions, and political for example, show something about us and our morals and values.  I appreciated that post because when someone votes for a candidate,  they are making a statement that they can over-look the faults of that person for the greater good.  When someone's faults are raping women and spreading a sexist culture,  I think that's a pretty clear line of something that should not be over-looked. Being a person who can over-look something like that tells you something about their character. Either they aren't really taking it seriously or genuinely thinking about the facts of what kind of person that candidate or political representative is,  or they are thinking that whatever political agenda that candidate has will be worth the occasional rape or spread of rape culture,  or they genuinely don't believe those evil  things that candidate does and says to be true. 
(oh btw,  I am talking about Trump)

I am not going to hate you as a person if you voted for said candidate.  I am not going to judge your soul as some horrible person. Good people do bad things or make bad decisions and vice versa. Clearly something is going on in your head that I am not experiencing,  nor can I fathom.  And that's okay.  I can still live with it and care about you as a person.  Respecting you as a person does not entail me to respect your decisions or beliefs.  If I tell you your beliefs are fucked up,  suck it up.  That's not a personal attack on you,  nor a personal threat.  That is a statement against your beliefs or decisions. 

Please stop perpetuating this idea that it is wrong to speak out about what you believe in.  I personally value people who have the courage and passion to speak out about what they believe in because it means they are willing to get a response and reaction from others and expect that most of them may not be in favor.  That is okay.  I don't care. And don't complain about people who speak out because they aren't threatening you.  They are helping to start conversations that need to be started in order to create growth and change. 

Thank you