The withering sun

withering

Dried and shriveled are exact verbs that describe the decomposed state in which I find myself today.  There is no music that can make me want to dance, laugh, or see the sky.  I finally understand why I have always believed that the stars never existed.  I can see why the stars are (‘are’–this is a fact to me) just bright things that we can only perceive from far away.  Fool’s gold.  Mermaid tales.

Today, as with many other days, I attempted to touch the sun.  I saw the rays shining outside of my window.  I dared and thought that perhaps today I could.  I rolled down the window of my wondering mind, and reached my hand towards the ocean.  I could not touch the ocean, I knew this, but if I could only feel the sun on my hands as I tried to reach it–it would mean the world.  To touch the sun.  Its warmth, the promise of life.  But there was nothing out there for me.  Because when I reached my hands out, it was cold.  Similar to the hug from my father that I imagined, but never came.  Like that one night that I dared to imagine this embrace so vividly that I felt it.  But he was like the stars.  Warm up in the sky.  Beautiful and bright.  Unreachable.  Unreal.

The sun; the sun was gone.  The sun was there, but not for me.  Hands like these never get to touch the sun.  At least not for a long time.  Just for a bit, so that I can treasure the memory deep inside my very hidden and secretive heart.

Yet, I reached for the sun.  There were shadows, and these shadows were not caused by the small presence of a light source somewhere.  The shadows were caused by the same imagination that causes the stars to be seen from down here.  Warm up in the sky.  Beautiful and bright.  Unreachable Unreal.

And I screamed at the sun, and I reached my hands out.  I screamed at the sun, because if it is such a powerful force…why couldn’t I also feel it?  To feel the warmth, to burn in it.  To die in it.  But I could not bare that I could not feel the sun.  I could not see the rays, I could not feel the breeze.  Because it was over, and my spirit was dying.  Because I caged my spirit away, in an effort to protect it from the rays that would never come.  From the waves that my soul would never see.  From the clouds that would laugh at me because they would always be all I could see.

Yet, I tried to dance.  In the darkness.  I raised my arms high above my head.  I moved to the nothingness of the empty stars.  Warm up in the sky.  Beautiful and bright.  Unreachable.  Unreal.

And I lived!  I lived one more time!  At least for another night.

 

I lived because tomorrow the sun would come.  And perhaps tomorrow, I would reach towards the sun instead of the waves.  I would go searching for my fool’s gold.

I danced.  I felt ridiculous…but I danced.

I did not dry.  I was not shriveled.

I was the sun.  I was the warmth.  I was the ray of light.

Mighty Eagles

When the other yo* takes over things become unpredictable.  She cries, smiles, and gets angry all at the same time.  The faces of post traumatic disorder can be confused with those of depression.  This is potentially why the depressed, the suicidal, the traumatized tend to speak similar languages.  They try to encourage each other by getting angry at each other.  Ever seen a suicidal person encourage another to live?  I think this is because they are looking in the mirror.  The image in the mirror is not as pretty, but if you put another face on your image then it can be easier to backlash.

This is why I am not afraid to share the rants that consume my soul.  Because if this energy is not let out, something else may emerge.  But yesterday…I was great yesterday.  

Opposé à formidable

Getting back is not the cure.  It is not the cure because I always come back.  There are times when I wonder if I will ever make it.  Those days when my faith is predictably strong.  Those are the same days when I question if my faith is as strong as it should be.  My steps in the Christian life have been methodical; I have detected how to prove and disprove things.  Perhaps not the most intelligent way, but the way that has kept me sane and present.

I blame the machine.  The machine?  This dangerous machine that has been given to all of us:  the brain.  

How do you control it?  It is constantly running, pumping, spitting out information, shitting out dreams.  I know…that last one sounded pretty gross.  I just couldn’t find another way to describe it that would hit the target where you’d understand.  Sometimes the painting of graphic pictures is what it takes to get attention.

Attention…the thing that introverts hate yet have to get used to.  It doesn’t matter at all…we are all still eagles

mighty eagle

*yo:  Spanish for “me”

Faith can be a shitty place

There is a point when you really have to look at yourself and accept that having faith that things will get better may be the thing of fantasy books.  Child’s play.  Not real.  Fairy tales.

Have you ever had that situation when you felt that you were getting somewhere; that things were working out.  That feeling that things were finally coming together?  You sort of get the feeling, but you are very careful with the notion.  You guard your heart, your mind, your soul because very deep inside, somewhere in there you know that disappointment is just about to hit you.  It’s a matter of time.  Sometimes disappointment will stick around, like a thief in the night and wait until all the lights in your house are completely out.  Disappointment will sneak up onto your house, and it will listen in to see if you are smiling.  Any signs of happiness would be FANTASTIC because that is how you crush someone.  You crush them hard when they are at their best.

The fall is so much sweeter.

Here’s where it is a true bitch:  uncontrollable circumstances.  This is what I’m referring to:  at least when someone is evil with you, you can seriously point it out.  You can put your finger on it because it is tangible.  But what happens when you can’t really put your finger on it?  What happens when the evil comes from the very good that you are trying to achieve.  You dig yourself out of the damn pit, you tell yourself that things are going to be better this time.  You tell yourself that you will not allow anything to take you down!  Why?  Because you are a lion, you are a leader, you have what it takes….no, no, no !  You don’t have what it takes, but you are working towards it.  ‘Cause this world can be forgiving of those of us that at least keep on trying.

But no.  That’s not how it works.  Deep in your mind, you know that it is BAD to lose your faith.  What sane Christian would go there?  Isn’t doubt bringing dishonor to God?  What about the cross?  What about Jesus?  He died for you…and you pay back this way?  ‘Cause you are supposed to wait faithfully.  Why?  Because what’s behind the curtain is so much sweeter, so much better, so much stronger, so much…

But you don’t know that.  You wonder about tomorrow, yet…will tomorrow ever happen?  How could you know?  You are directed to wait faithfully.  I mean, isn’t that what the Bible says???

Lamentations 3:25 “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;”

Hmmm…so, what’s going on here?  If Jesus is your Savior, the Lord of your heart, the One that makes all things new!  If that is so, what is happening to you?  Why aren’t you new?  Why is your faith so shifty?  Are you as dirty as Judas?  Is it true that, perhaps, you will not go to the kingdom?  Because, after all, your faith is simply not there.

We operate under this notion that God will respond to our requests.  Again, the Bible tells us that

Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Who are you going to blame?  DO LIKE ME, BLAME THE DEVIL!

It sounds funny, stupid, delirious, yet somehow fun.  Fun because it is a dislocated thought.  Who blames the devil?  Shitty Christians…count me in.

This is not criticism.  I told you this blog can either make you, or upset you.  I feel that part of what keeps me sane and alive is the fact that I can speak my mind this way.  I feel safe.  I feel strong.  And I get to be a shitty Christian that speaks her mind.

BLAME THE DEVIL.  He is already wicked (Yeah…I still think the devil is a he).

 

I promise you…I’m not an asshole

Life is comprised of a series of experiences that gives us feelings.  Those feelings are truly important because we use these as a lens by which we perceive life.  As I always say, perspective is key.  The way that you respond to a specific experience depends tremendously on how you are feeling at that very moment.  There’s been times when I knew that something was truly not that serious and I ended up responding like a true asshole.  But I tell you right now…

I’m not an asshole.  And I am inclined to say that you are not either.  But then, why do we do it?  Why do we respond so rudely?  Are we suffering from bipolar disease, are we out of touch with reality, are we bullies?  Are we assholes?

Nope.  There’s a little thing that we all suffer from:  human nature.  Mind you, this is not an excuse to act out and hurt people’s feelings.  Absolutely not.  Some people have managed to regulate feelings in a way that we cannot tell what they are truly feeling at that moment.  It is not about being fake, hiding, or becoming unauthentic.  It is about self-regulation.  Think of it this way:  if you allow others to see exactly the things that bother you the most…you are left open.  This has never been about becoming a plastic person.  Self-regulation helps you better explore yourself and understand reasons for your reactions.

I think that performing a count down from 10 or 5 may help.  Nevertheless, if you are hot headed like yours truly…then this is not going to work.  You simply need to get a true sense of the things that make you go nuts.  It takes nothing but seconds to go from 0 to a million.

Self-regulate; otherwise, you may be mistaken for a complete asshole.

Have the Courage to Just Be…Be Still

I’m pretty certain that we’ve had those times when we simply didn’t know how to fix a problem, conflict, a screw up.  The human struggle.  Yet, it is a bigger struggle to those that we know as “fixers.”  These are the folks that we look up to; they always seem to have an answer to the problem.  It doesn’t matter if their solution is right or wrong…they have an answer.  The problem with a fixer is that sometimes they may end up playing the role of the savior, the Jesus.  In all honesty, we were meant to care, but we were not meant to take on all the pains of the world.  This sounds drastic, but if you know a fixer…if you are a fixer…then you will know exactly what I am speaking of.

It is as if somehow you were assigned the task to make things alright.  You just want everybody to get along, to be civil, to be happy.  But what happens when those that you seem to be helping start clashing with each other?  Your world is turned upside down, you don’t know how to start fixing stuff because it’s just NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!!!!!!

Have the courage to just be.  Breathe, and be.  This may become truly stressful for you.  Fixers are supposed to be fully employed at all times.  You are not supposed to rest, what?  Rest?  Nah.  NO.

Then again:  YES.  You are not here to fix all issues.  You are not a savior, you can’t fix everything, and I have a little secret.  Come closer….you will never fix the majority of things.  Sssshhh.  Just be.  Have the courage to be.

Be still, buddy.  You’ll get through this.  For what its worth, I am a Christian and find comfort in many things (not a lot of them, but some).  Biblical verses help me get through a lot of things.  I’m not sure what help others, but this works for me.  I find it comforting to read about stillness.  I have so much noise in my mind, heaviness in my heart.  It gets loud inside.  It is comforting when a Biblical verse is encouraging.  Yet surprisingly, I find strength not in the precise words but in their ability to Sssshhhh my internal loudness.

Exodus 14:4 “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Your best day + shittiest day = eternity

Ever feel like you are having a fantastic day, yet you sense that something is about to happen.  It is not a bad feeling, not a good feeling either…just a feeling.  A “thing.”  It gets to the point that you become afraid of enjoying the good moment.  Not so much in a paranoid way, but in a watchful way.  It’s like expecting an email that isn’t coming, then suddenly realizing that maybe the message ended up in your bulk mail.

I have news for you:  this doesn’t make you paranoid.  I bring this up because it is the one answer that you are most likely to get if you share this experience with someone else.  This is especially true of you are a Christian (not sure about other religions).  Usually, these struggles will come out during a Bible study.  Once the “prayer requests” portion of the study begin, people start to open up with their current struggles.  The Christian in me directs me to listen to the whole prayer request—so that I can pray.  The PhD researcher in me directs me to listen to how the person ends the prayer request.  If the individual is going through one of those situations that seem unending, the individual will close out their prayer request with:  “trying to see God’s will.”  It is as if the concept of “worry” was sinful in itself.  Nevertheless, this thought process does not recognize the Christian principle that explains how emotions were given to us by God Himself.  Yes, self-control is a very important factor in regulating oneself.  Let’s not all be messy and go out there parading every single one of our emotions!  (Little nerdy giggles and snickers).

The bottom line is that worry does not make you sinful, evil, negative, or wrong.  It makes you authentic and real.  There is nothing that can make your body feel more alive than a true struggle.  Am I right?  The peaceful times that you’ve had in your life are truly unrecognizable, unless they were experienced after a great challenge or struggle.  However, if you look at the times that you had a large struggle….you remember exactly what it was.  You may even remember all of the emotions that you experienced in the process of remembering that particular experience.  This is because we were meant to experience these types of emotions.

On the flip side of this, there are struggles that should take place to perfect us.  I would like to give you the ‘churchy’ part about this message:  take your troubles to God.  I know that it sounds trivial, and I know for a fact that I am not in your shoes.  But, what do you have to lose.  The world is owned by the ones that try, not by the ones that succeeded.

Your best day can be your shittiest.  But your shittiest day, can bring eternal living.   I know that I use some language here:  I’m giving you the real me.  I’m not cleaning this up; I’m not filtering this information.  I think that we would all be better if we dared to be authentic.

Perspective.  Perspective.  Perspective.

 

I’m sorry…or am I?

“I’m sorry.”  One of the most overused phrases you can encounter.  What to they mean?  I am not sure, because they seem to always be said as a filler.  There are no emotions behind the phrase, it is hard to tell what is meant versus what is just used to be said.  Ultimately, the point of using the phrase is to achieve something.  That something is usually forgiveness.  

Forgiveness is a human need.  This is my personal opinion.  It is as needed as air, food, water, and other things.  To me, knowing how to forgive and ask for forgiveness are two things that keep people alive.  The baggage that comes from lack of forgiveness in any life is synonym of sickness and mess.  I speak from personal experience.  I have been offended before, yet I have offended back.  There have been times when I have offended just to be “nasty.”  In all of those times when I did offend, I noticed that I could not start thinking about it.

When you offend someone, they run around your mind endlessly.  Your mind tries to justify why you were right, where they were wrong, and there are times when you’ll even go as far as thinking of additional ways in which you could’ve offended further.  The problem is that:  this is not about being right.  Who cares if you were right or wrong?  Let’s simplify this:  if you were so right, then why are you still thinking about it?

I think that you continue to think about it because you wish things would have turned out different.  It’s like the child that begs for a toy over and over.  The parent does not respond, so the child throws a temper tantrum.  Finally, the parent gives in annoyingly.  The kid gets the toy, but nobody’s celebrating the toy.  I bet you that toy tastes like shit.

My point here is not to make you feel like a fart, and I am certainly not stating that you should allow others to run you over.  The purpose of this essay is to encourage you to study yourself a bit closer.  Are you sorry for something?  Or are you seeking out true forgiveness.  Ultimately, you are looking to have peace in your heart that, eventually, things will work out.

Cheer up.

So far, far away

Is it possible to feel so far that I have gone away?  It’s this strange feeling of feeling detached from the things that I thought I knew.  Did I truly know these things?  Are my mood swings betraying me to where I sense that I no longer know what I actually knew?  The mind is such a complicated place.  No:  it is a box full of tricks.  How can I explain this to you?

Ever feel like you knew things, yet had all of these unanswered questions about them?  Then again, you never asked the questions because they were either irrelevant or you simply didn’t care at all.  I’d like to call this perception.  Perceptions are an aspect of the personality that people feel they can trust; yet, what if I told you to be really careful?  Here’s the reason:  perceptions are influenced by your feelings and moods.  I still sense that it doesn’t matter how far I go in becoming increasingly real and authentic:  there will always be that little person in the back of my mind reminding me that I am not in charge.

Can I be so far, far away that I am complete gone?

Standing at the edge

I was standing at the edge of my life.  Feeling every sorrowful feeling that could overcome my body.  I was overcome.  I was exhausted, depleted from energy, dehydrated.  I was dying.  The sky had disappeared; the sun must’ve been an illusion.  The night was darker than ever; there was no moon to reflect the night.  The moon must’ve been an illusion.

Hope is for those with a vivid imagination.  The ones that received the gift of overcoming.

It was as if someone had been holding me for a very long time; I was hanging by a thread.  The grip stopped doing its work.  It had stopped gripping the one that was hanging on.  Me.

One day, the hold was gone.  Completely gone.  I could not find it.  The wind was weak, but I could feel some of it still.  I tried to take deep breathes of the thing that the hopefuls breathe, but found nothing there.  The hopefuls had taken all the air, and all that was left was the empty.  The empty, the waves, the nothingness.  The hold; the grip:  gone.  The supportive hold of my imagination had left me.  I should’ve known it would happen.  I had heard of the chosen ones; they were the few.  I was not part of the few.  My few were the most.  Yes; I was part of the most.  By the most I mean the majority.

With them went the supportive hold that kept me together.  I had to breathe on my own, but it was painful.  It was the darkness, coming again to consume me.  Not even the sun could bring light to my existence.  I was drowning.  I was dying.  Nobody, not even God, would help me.  Because nobody likes a “giver upper.”  They corrode you, make you bitter.  Yes, they drag you down ad show you the darkness.  It is scary because…well, nobody should see the darkness unless they belong to it.

I am not a godless person.  I am no atheist or unbeliever.  My problem is actually very simple.  I have simply experienced the loss of the spiritual connection that once held me to Christ.  I know of the sacrifice, the pain, the guilt, the unfairness.  I know about the judgment that did not belong.  Yes; the misplaced judgment.  I know of the tortured body; it should’ve been my own.  But perhaps I get to pay the wrongdoing right here; right at my seat.  This is payback for what I did to the Son.

Playing the blaming game?  Yes.  You see?  I am a weak soul drowning in uncertainty.  I belong to the place that lacks air, form, depth, and soul.  I cannot, will not, may not see the light.  But do not be fooled; I have my moments.  There are times when I have seen the light, but I see it with care.  The light never stays with me; it comes as it pleases.

But for a day, for a minute, or a second…how I wish it would stay.  I wish I saw this light everyday of my life.  But it doesn’t want me.  I bring it down; and down is not the way of the light.

I do not know.  I hope that I do not die a physical death where I am still feeling this dead.  I have been hoping for a dead place where I experience life?  Yes, I understand.  This makes no sense.  This shifty inside; unstable, unworthy; lacking self-confidence because of my ungrateful way.  I am tired of the waves.  They consume me and drown me.  They drown me, they burn.

Yet, we cannot place blame on the waves.  For the waves kill what must die.  The waves kill what must stay dead.

Need-to-breathe.  Dead.

Need-to-breathe.  Drowned.

Need-to-breathe.  Unmotivated.

Need-to-breathe.  Standing at the edge.

Bad advice that may be good for you: burn the bridge

This is my and my very abstract mind; I will apologize in advance for all the nonsense you may be about to read.

Have you ever stared at the bridge and wanted to burn it to the ground?  Not literally!  Picture the bridge being a relationship with a boss, a friend, a family member, and so forth.  I am almost 100 percent certain that all of you reading this post have been in that very same spot.  You know the bridge is close to falling down, you know that it cannot sustain the weight of this relationship.  Yet, you keep putting off the inevitable.  I wish that we would all be a little less concerned with being politically correct.  If we could, for once in our lives, forget about being so civil and just tell the truth.

Although, I do see the problem with the level of honestly that I am proposing.  It sounds pretty outrageous; but step back for a second and consider this well.  I do not expect you to go out and insult all of the people that may have done you wrong, or to snap at anyone who annoys you.  This post is not about randomly or ceremoniously hurting people’s feelings.  This is about using honesty as a power tool.  You see?  If you are honest, you do not have to hurt anyone’s feelings when you apply authenticity in your communication.

If you were the person receiving the message, how would you best receive the information that is being given to you?  In simple terms:  put yourself in the person’s shoes, but do not stop yourself from giving the message.

There are times when you will simply need to ‘burn the bridge’ of that relationship because it does not do you well.  The same holds true for that other person.  Sometimes we get so consumed by a certain relationship that we truly forget ourselves.  We forget what is important, and we forget our priorities.  Sure, priorities and goals change.  However, bridges may need to be taken down when we stop being ourselves.  When we start resigning to ourselves.  When we stop dreaming, and when we start believing in limitations.  These are things that are not good for anyone.

I have personally burned quite a few bridges in my lifetime.  The difference between the bridges that I burned in my 20s, compared to those that I have burned as I have gotten older is rather simple:  I cared a bit more as I got older.  In my 20s, I was bold and knew that I had a life ahead of me.  I did not have the responsibility of a family, and I only had to take care of myself.  These days I do have a family that depends on my financial stability to thrive in many areas.  Having a high stress level job in a highly specialized area did not help diminish the level of stressed that I faced.  There was a point when I had to take a leadership stance and say “no more!”  Burning certain bridges would guarantee that I never looked back.  Burning those bridges separated me from the negative environment that I encountered on a daily basis.

However, burning a bridge and moving on does not mean that you get to “move on” immediately.  There is a period of time when you should detox yourself and forget the madness.  Do yourself a favor and spend time appreciating yourself.  There may be negative thoughts lurking here and there; however, nothing will prove more valuable than knowing that you are, and never stopped being, a valuable person.

If you feel that messing up certain relationships so that they will simply get out of your life will benefit you, do it.  Join the club.  You will be better off.  I saw somewhere a line that read “if the door does not open for you, it is not your door.”  The same holds true about those wrong paths with the wrong bridges attached to them.

Have faith; your bridge will come.  There is a greater day for you in the horizon.