Friday, April 29, 2016

Bitter thought of sadness

Love. If it's meant to happen, it will. If it isn't meant to happen, it won't. If everyone fucks up, it'll die before it gets a chance to happen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Personal Pep-talk

As of right now, there are 7.4 billion people on planet earth. If you believe every living creature is created out of good,  then there is no reason you should ever fear being alone.
By living in goodness and gentleness, love reciprocates. Even when you don't seek it, love will find you.
Jesus was the example of this. The proof; that even when there are those who curse you, you can still bless them and even when those hurt you, you can still love them. Love can and does always prevail.  That is what it is born to do. Succeed. Do not be afraid. You will never be alone. You will never be without love. You are born of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Period of Relief

Never before have I been so enthused about having my period. My deep inner desire to shed my uterine lining and bleed out all of my pains, sorrows and feelings is representative of my entire, pure, and gorgeous woman-being and my life in its current state.
Like my thick blood, I shed out all of the attachments,  feelings,  guilt,  responsibility and passion for my past lovers and renew my single being. I am ready.

True Beauty

I  have discovered that there is little so attractive to me as a handsome young man with a prayer rope wrapped around his wrist.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I am an Orthodox Christian

What if I said, being gay, masturbating, having sex, or drinking alcohol were an insignificant smidgen of our concerns.

We learn to know that sins are more complicated than just that. It is not black and white. Labeling one sin as being worst over the other is stupid.  Our sins are something of which only God knows the truth of their nature. But through meditation and mindfulness, we can learn the truth about ourselves too.
Your sins are not our problem (or at least they shouldn't be). Our problem and our focus is on ourselves. If you are conscious and clear, you know we can't really help anyone until you first help yourself. We can't help anyone until we learn first how to love ourselves or how to truly live a life in love out of love and with love.

All the great saints and people of the church have an inner clarity. A focus and a calm.
We have a mutual understanding that we are all sinners. Being a sinner is part of being human and the way you label a specific sin should always be of little consequence to another human. The only one who can truly know the state of your soul are God, and with prayer and meditation,  yourself. Even then, we may never see all our own sins, nor perhaps should we. We can not handle that burden. Only God has the power to know all evil and still forgive. But do not despair, God forgives all who come to him with a pure heart and good intention.
I believe that most people in the world have good intention. It does not matter who you are or where you come from. Good intention is built into our nature as humans.

But this evil and sin stuff is why we have confession in our church. A self-emptying ritual to God alone,  that we may always ask for his forgiveness and love in strength to do what is good for our soul. This is significant, not only in releasing your burdens and turmoils of your heart, but by being honest about your mistakes and feelings of guilt, and believing that someone will always love you anyway is an incredibly healing experience which the Orthodox Church gives.

Another note: It is of utmost importance to us that we pray (unceasingly) to God that he forgive our sins because without him, we can not learn to truly forgive ourselves or truly receive healing. We are only human and humans make mistakes. It's how we are; but it is a mystical, gentle kind of love to be able to see an imperfect being and to love them in every way for every thing that they are. I believe in a God who is like this; one who is constantly reaching out to each and every one of us in our own lives and own ways.

Perhaps, all we need to do is learn the humility to listen. As a christian, it is pride to think that we will ever be worthy or that we will ever be sinless. For in the moment which we confess our sins, a moment later, we will sin again. It is in our nature, but God knows this and he loves us anyway. This is why I believe in God. I believe in love; a love so powerful, no human could ever learn enough humility or gratitude to to fully comprehend it's wisdom, but Jesus was sent down to Earth to show and teach us that a love that gentle and powerful is possible for each and every one of us.
So, while we live with our religious tradition, you should never hear an Orthodox Christian condemn gays or sexuality. We have our tradition,  of which marriage is meant for a man and a women, but love is always of the utmost importance. People may not realize, but sexuality without unconditional love is the only sexual sin; a sin like any other sin of passion (exe gluttony).

I believe that sexuality was a gift given to us as a means to bond man and women (or two partners) for life and in unity, to unite and strengthen their bond of love and devotion and their journey to God together. There is no true love without God and there is no God without true love (agape).

With any true love, it important to remember that forgivness, flexibility and understanding are always present. I don't believe in a God that is going to punish someone for having more than one partner in life. I think that God will always know a person's heart and how it is fair to judge them. It is never something a human can say for anyone else or any group of people. This is only something that you and God can know together. This is why I dislike and find so much fault in mass christian ideas which are imposing on others. The bottom line is always love. The continuities are between an individual and God. Friends or family (in Christ) are there to be supportive, to listen, to grow and learn together, but not to impose or judge. This is not to say that the Christian church doesn't have guidelines. Of course we do. But one thing that I love so much about the Orthodox church is the fluidity and understanding that every individual thinks and feels this world differently and the only way to truly be one with God is also to be yourself. This is something I think that many protestant religions (Western Christianity) doesn't make room for. I see too many elements of group mentality and conformity which I believe to be unhealthy and dangerous in almost all forms.

Back to preaching :
Once you learn what true love is, (something I believe God has ingrained deep into each of our spirits and beings) and you find peace and forgiveness and humility, then you will find God. It is and always will be that simple. And yet, this is a journey which is always ongoing! Always a challenge and a battle for each and every one of us in our own ways. Being mindful will save your heart and soul and carry you back into the arms of your true self, who you were intended to be (and that is one with God).
Never curse yourself! You are and always will be God's beloved and it is never too late to find love, within yourself, for yourself and for others. This peace and happiness and everything on Earth was a gift from God,  your creator, to you. Treat it with a kindness and gentleness of heart. The way a loving mother treats a child and the way everyone and everything was meant to be treated.
For those of you who are spiritual,  but not religious, let me define "sin".  A sin is an action,  attitude,  feeling or desire which distances you from inner harmony, peace, balance. Anger (wrath) , jealousy, lust, envy, pride, greed, gluttony..  Are among the many,  complex ways in which we experience sin (or a lack of unity) with our true-selves or (Communion with God/peace)
But I want to be clear, feelings and desires are a part what make us who we are. They have a place. But that place is to not rule us. A "sin"  is a "sin",  but that doesn't make you inherently evil. When you self-reflect, you must always judge the spirit of things; the intent. Not the label.  Labels mean nothing.  Labels are something made by us (imperfect, sinful humans) which we use in order communicate with each other and nothing more.

If you genuinely go through and read the bible,  you will see this is what Jesus does. This is how he judges and this is how God judges in the old testament too. God judges the spirit of things and only God can truly know what's in your heart.
So if you find yourself living for passions and sins, doing harm to others and enjoying it, feel fear. Feel fear because God sees this in your heart. Pray that you never fall so far as this and that you can learn to be mindful so that you make good progress rather than negative; And this progress is a progress to happiness, to balance and to unity with your essence and your being.
May the force be with you and may God bless you and keep you from evil. Amen

Sunday, April 3, 2016

My Story of Spiritual Enlightenment and Personal Evolution

Changed names to protect privacy. 

"Do not despair." These words, seemingly simple, have grown to mean a lot to me. Not only is despair from the devil, from a falling away from God's love and truth,  but despair is a lack of gratefulness. We all go through hard times in life. For me, these last few months have been a Rollercoaster. I  met a young man here at college who completely changed my life. He grabbed me out of a large pit I had dug myself through my past mistakes and self-pity and he basically said (in my translation), "Get off your ass.You are better than this. Look at you. You are wonderful. Why are you still holding yourself back from being the person God made you to be?"
Partially through example and partially through our sincere intellectual conversations, he reminded me of the person who I am, the person I want to be and the I had become. None of which were quite the same.
So let me tell you this story. Although it is still in play, this is the story of how I found myself, or rather, how I began to find myself again. It all started with a change. A change of scenery to be exact.  I  moved away from home to college. I moved to a beautiful town which I now call home. 

Throughout high school, I dated a boy, (for about 3 years) who I was very drawn to. It didn't take long before I cared deeply about him (for me this is no surprise). Unfortunately, I was young and didn't understand certain things as truly as I do now, but truly caring about someone + chemistry (sexual attraction) does not equal love. It took me until I moved away to college to realize that what I had was bad for me. Very bad for me. I was giving and giving and giving, but what I really needed in order to be happy, I was not getting. I was not getting what I needed from myself and I was not getting what I needed for my mental health, my spiritual health, my sexual health or my intellectual health. A snippet of that story is this: I was constantly trying to show him the beauty of the world and my religion; how I viewed the world. But, he wasn't religious in any sense. Although he said that he was "christian", he had no real concept of religion. On top of that, his family, the only family he had, have toxic relationship and personal habits and attitudes, and as he was growing older, he was not setting up boundaries between him and his family which I could see that he needed in order to truly grow and let his pure colors shine. I was absolutely taking all of his problems and making them my own. I lost my identity in that relationship with him, and I was very unhappy.

So I arrived at college, (here's where stuff starts to get interesting/dramatic/exhausting) and the first thing I realize is how happy I am; how free I am from all of the burdens of the past. There was something extremely renewing and refreshing about stepping away from my family and boyfriend and boyfriend's family and creating my own nest just for myself. For the first time in years, their problems were not my problems. That physical distance was life-altering. I went weeks and weeks (maybe months) without going home to visit and I was invigorated. 
However, on the side with my boyfriend, things started to get messy. I didn't look forward to talking to him anymore. I just didn't text him unless I felt like I needed to in order to be a good girlfriend. At first, I was all gushy and sweet (like I had always been to him; even after hard times; where I had even almost broken up with him many times in the past) and I remember I still wasted my money on him. This was something I did to somehow make me feel better about how our relationship was going; or something, I don't know, but it was unhealthy. Then, I met Sam. It wasn't until I realized how happy I was just being Sam's friend that I realized how much I dreaded talking to my boyfriend. Dreaded. Genuinely. Just the thought of having to text him stirred up anxiety and tension for me.
My healing process had begun. 
I met Sam at my first church service at the local orthodox church in my college's town. The first thing that happened was he asked if I knew <name>, someone I knew who happened to be his roommate; totally not related to being orthodox. I was like.. "yeaah?" And he said, "He's my roommate. How do you know him?" I explained that that person had been my TA at a summer Game Design class that I took. "Oh, do you play games?" "Yes! I am a gamer." "So am I". This is how we first met. An orthodox person. Another orthodox person, my age, whom I had not previously met, who was also a gamer. That fact, right there, alone, was too good to be true. And on that day, not even thinking about dating anyone other than the boyfriend whom I was still with at the time, I felt an immense wave of joy and feeling of fate. I knew that this new person, Sam, was put into my life for a reason. I was beyond overjoyed and beyond excited. This was something I had never experienced before and always only ever dreamed about. Seriously. *sigh* Can't. Even. *sigh*
So, of course, I... just.. opened up to him. Almost instantly, and texted him, and tried to remain calm and normal? but, I am pretty sure that didn't happen. We started to hang out more in person and get to know each other better. Ugh. It's hard to tell this story because I have so many regrets about how I handled this. I did not tread softly or carefully, I jumped into it and of course, it couldn't hold my weight and it broke beneath me and as I thought I was totally growing wings and flying, I was actually falling to my death... or, well, my near death with sharp rocks and rushing water and somehow with the help of.. anyone and anything and a lot of myself, I made it out alive. And then I grew a big layer of tough skin and gained a couple of levels and a shitton of xp. Okay, moving on..
One of the things that stuck out the most about Sam to me at first was how be genuinely made me laugh. A lot. Like, his sense of humor just got me right in the place that detects and enjoys humor.
Anyway, stuff happened, I got a crush on Sam (no surprises) and I broke up with my high school boyfriend (something that needed to happen for a long time now).

And so, I didn't grieve properly. I was too overjoyed by Sam's new existence in my life to really do the needed growth and grieving as actively as I should have. But in a lot of ways, Sam's role in my life helped me do that. He has helped me all the way up until he broke up with me and beyond. I could argue that he continues to help me even now while he isn't even in my life. This makes me smile because I know it to be true. 
Well, so, because he and I started dating within a few weeks after I broke up with my ex, 2.5 out of 3 months I was with Sam, I had a lot of baggage, a lot of emotional stuff, a lot of thoughts and a lot of bad habits with dealing with things and no good methods in place for how to take care of myself in the ways that needed to be done. Samuel was more than a shoulder; man, he was amazing. He actively listened to me and always gave great advice. He was the first real healthy relationship I had ever had. Not only did he teach me a lot, but he inspired me by being the kind of person he was. He was the first person I had dated who could and did have rich intellectual conversations with me. The chemistry and the respect were all there and his extreme self-control I found to be one of the most attractive things about him. Being with him taught me a lot about the kind of person I wanted to be and the kind of person I wanted to be with in the future. Dating him was my first step to gaining confidence in myself; my true grown-up self. Not only did I feel free, but I felt that I not only could, but was very motivated to grow into the adult I am meant to be as a person. Not motivated enough though, unfortunately, and after I had grown out of my ex-boyfriend baggage, I had adopted the toxic habits that made me unhealthy with my ex-boyfriend. I began to lose myself again and make excuses.  I was sucking up to my fears. Breaking up with me was Samuel's best option.
When he broke up with me, however, there was definitely at least a month of setback because it all came to me as a shock. I felt the most secure with him than I had ever felt with anyone; and for the first time, without clinginess. In fact, I was the happiest, most satisfied I had ever been and he is an extremely independent, self-sufficient person. 
However, after I had mentally come to terms with what happened, and really mostly just got used to him not being in my life. Now, I feel like I am the strongest me I have ever been. I know exactly who I want to be and what I need to do to be that person. It sucks, it is hard as hell sometimes, but I power through anyway. Mostly, my anxiety holds me back. My sadness and missing him is still there, and sometimes it hurts a lot, but I know he would want me to put myself first and grow into this wonderful person I am meant to be; a person without fear; a person who doesn't make excuses and doesn't hold themselves back. I still think that we could grow from a friendship with each other in many ways, but I know that if we do develop a friendship again, that is not something that can be forced or rushed, and I especially want any interest of any kind to come from him first because he is the one who needed to get away from me.
But anyway, on top of all this personal growth that this experience has given me; new perspectives on myself, my relationships with myself and others, and this new inner voice in my head urging me onward, being with him gave me a new inspiration to seek out my religion as something of greater or equal importance in my life to anything else. In high school, my religion got put on the back-burner of my identity, and I have since realized how detrimental this is to my personal health and happiness. This is something I never want to happen again, and so I have a renewed religious energy and motivation; So many new motivations to grow into this person who I want to be, and he helped me rediscover who that is. I wouldn't be here without him.
So, I would like to end this on a note (prayer) of Gratitude. Thank you Lord, for all these experiences you have given me; sad and happy, good and bad, easy and difficult, for they all help me grow in the end, hopefully to become the person you intended me to me; through your Grace, Mercy, Love and thy will be done. Amen.

If I ever date again

Before I begin, I want to give you some context... I have had a rough last 3+ months. Well... technically, I have had a rough time, in general, since.. haha. years. It's been a lot of ups and downs. Lately, especially, a rollercoaster. Not as emotional as in my past. At this point, I feel like a significantly more emotionally stable person than I have been up to this point. No, a rollercoaster in the growing sense. Okay, emotionally too. But anyway. It's complicated. I have intended to write a post about it (started a few) so hopefully I will do that either before I post this, or soon.

If I ever date again, it will be when I have a clean slate. It will be when I am the best me that I can be in that moment on my own as a single person.

Fortunately, I have moved past that guilt stage. What happened in the past was not my fault. Yes, I made a lot of mistakes, but it wasn't just my fault that the relationship didn't work out. He had things he was dealing with and (the) he (of that moment) wasn't ready for someone like (the) me (of that moment). Regardless, I have learned and grown a lot from this experience, so I feel it is in my best interest to document what I have learned; in this case, in the format of what I won't do or will do better in my future of dating.

 If I ever date again, I will go into it with an open mind, a fresh start with no expectations or specific gaps needing to be filled in my life.

When I ever date again, I am going to have a policy of a lack of texting. My relationship needs to be built off a foundation of true inter-personal relations. In-person dates, skype, steam, talking on the phone, but mostly-in person. No mostly-textings. Ever. Again. Ever.

Let me just say something very plainly, There is a time and a place for texting or IMing, but in the big picture, I hate texting. period. Whenever texting gets too-involved, and large amounts of things get discussed over text, things will be misconstrued. If I am going to date someone, I want them to get to know the me who is me  which is something that can only be done over a lengthy period of time in person.
Yes, it breaks my heart that I got dumped for being someone who wasn't mentally equipped to start a new relationship with anyone; that I got judged based off of my bad habits and my baggage and my issues that I hadn't dealt with or learned to cope with.
It absolutely breaks my heart, knowing that I might not get another chance with that one guy, who to this day, is still my favorite person. 
My ownly method for survival at this point is to forget. Forget, Forget, Forget, because if I don't forget, I will never be able to move forward. It was too peaceful of a place for me; too beautiful of a time. Too many dreams which I have had since childhood started to unfold into reality. It was blissful. Too good to be true and yet it was on so many levels true. The most freeing, real, true relationship I have ever been in.
So anyway, me first. Right now, me first. My body, my mind, my soul, my heart; My relationship with God, and my relationship with myself, and my ability to connect with other people and make friends. This is the only sustainable goal right now to have.

So, that was a ramble..

If I ever date again, it is going to be once I have learned how to censor myself and take care of my mental health.
Oh boy have I said things I wish I hadn't. Probably the worst things I have ever said were to that young man whom I fell deeply for. And sometimes, it's not even the specific things but the extent of things that wears a person down. I have been wearing everyone down in my life. It wasn't just him. 

 But if I ever date again, it will be when I have moved passed the need to think everything aloud. I will always be someone who thinks aloud. But sometimes, what I learned I really need to do is jump on here, and type into my computer and zip my lips because my mind is a whirlwind of thoughts. It just is. And that can be super cool; I am creative. There is a lot of intellectual, passionate, positive energy flowing through this head. But there's also a lot of fear, emotion, anxiety, and lack of confidence. And sometimes, I am just a blubbering fool with no real problems and nothing real to say, but I just talk anyways and people start tuning me out (as they should). 

Maybe what I really need is someone who will see when I am going through this, put their hand on my shoulder and say, "Hey listen, I think maybe you just need to take a step back from your head and breathe." or, "Hey, shh, take a break from thinking. It's going to be okay"

And here's the thing... I know what I want in life. It's cheesy and emotional and sad/lame because I am such a prideful control-freak about it, but what I really want is a husband... (in 5-6 years; but life goals &  childhood life-dreams)
Someday, I want husband who understands me, supports me, is patient with me, and knows when they can help and when to just walk away. Someone who has their own life and their own aspirations but loves to share with me what's going on. We do not have to have everything in common. We just have to get each other, on some level, or be absolutely fascinated by each other. I want a husband who will talk to me and who is so intellectually passionate like I am, but in their own way; that they and I can have real conversations about real things and constantly learn from each other.
I want a husband who will always be supportive of me in front of other people, but not be afraid to pull me aside and tell me the honest truth about how they feel. I want to discuss and learn about how to raise kids with them. I think that it would be a wonderful thing to have a husband with a very different view on certain things because it would teach the kids that you can have differences and still love someone. No only that, but I would love to harness that difference to teach the kids that they should learn to think for themselves; as long as they think out of love.
And of course, dating an orthodox man was the most significant thing for me. There is something about having such a deeply rich, cultural, poetic, loving and guiding religion as orthodox Christianity that begs, demands, that a marital union to be entwined with it. It is beautiful and being with an orthodox man, in many ways, showed me what love truly is; reminded me how I view love and sexuality and how that is so different from how most of the world views it. It reformed into this extremely wholesome and loving and beautiful thing that I knew it always was, but totally forgot on every level. I felt sickened by my past. This relationship was extremely healing to me.

So, I definitely left and went on a tangent, but I think that this sums up my thoughts on the topic, so I shall leave it as that.

PS: A pretty significant thing that I learned which I left out is  that if and when I ever date again,  I will have a true understanding and clarity that they had their own life before me and I had my own life before them and that difference needs to be respected. Any partner I have should never feel pressured by me to meet everyone I have ever met or do everything I have ever enjoyed doing or share every moment with me I ever enjoyed sharing with anyone else. 
This is huge because I know that I have made this mistake in the past. It is a primitive, immature and ineffective way to approach any new relationship. Not to mention toxic. It's a really good way to lose your own identity and make your partner feel that their identity is threatened. Never again will I do this. It is extremely unfair, unreasonable and close-minded.