I've decided that generosity is a learned behavior that can be acquired if you choose to do so. Children who experience generosity, mercy and forgiveness from their parents are often generous even at an early age. But to learn the trait requires a forgiving heart and a willingness to perform random acts where there is no return and often no gratitude.
Why must you have those things? Why can't you just be generous to those whom you love, or who are generous to you?
Because that's not generosity; that's love in the first case, and retribution in the second.
I have an uncle who was hurt many years ago when his first son was born with brain damage that has caused him to be severely handicapped. He had two children after that who are quite wonderful. But because of that first hurt and subsequent hurts in his life, he is not capable of forgiveness. His lack of forgiveness has driven a wedge between him and his only daughter which breaks her heart to this day. Forgiveness is an awesome aspect of generosity for it requires you to be generous with your patience and kindness instead of with material objects or affection.
The best way I've found to become generous is to practice patience (which does indeed require practice) give people a wide berth and benefit of doubt in traffic, and consider very carefully what I allow to make me angry. Is it going to matter in ten minutes, ten months or ten years? Probably not. This was hard at first, but learning to do the traffic thing allowed me to learn most of the other things more easily. And talk about calmness! I have become so much more calm since I learned to let people in front of me. You know - most people in your daily life who piss you off are barely aware that you exist. Even if you are quite aware of the people around you, you don't know their mental or emotional state. It's often impossible to know how your actions affect strangers. And when you remember that you're a stranger to most people you encounter, it kinda puts perspective on their inconsiderate actions.
Brent often comments on my generosity to him. What he doesn't seem to realize is I'm generous to most everyone, and that's why it's been so easy to be generous to him even during those months when he was an asswipe to me. He is now quite generous to me as well. it's endearing but I've noticed sometimes it wanes, and that has made me wonder about why. This is where the theory has developed about the requirement of a forgiving heart and random acts. He really needs to calm down and stop taking everything that happens to him as a personal affront. But you can't really TELL someone to do that - it's a decision they must make for themselves and work on inside their own mind.
Isn't my journal the weirdest mix of random nonsense, philosophy, sex and whining?
Now, before you get the wrong idea - I hate spiders. Even tiny ones. But I know the difference between a huge fucking one and a tiny one. This is NO EXAGGERATION: the leg span on this spider was at least three full inches, or more. The body was as long and wide as my pinky finger, to the second joint. I could see it's pincers. Brown and stripey. And my skin is still crawling.
Upon killing it I thought "I cannot live here like this. I just can't." But it was already after 12:30 and Brent was already asleep, there was no way he could wake up enough to let me in. I am so mentally fucked by the size of that spider, I can't even begin to express it.
More long talk with Brent last night. Some argument, but I think I planted the seeds of some spiritual awakening for him. I HOPE they take root rather than just lay there. He is so broken and hurting so much, and not just over this stupid ex girlfriend thing. He has no peace inside, and needs it so desperately, but he's having trouble getting past the vanity and misconception that he will have to give up all he holds dear in order to make God happy. I managed to set off a few little explosions inside his head before he went to bed, with some of my theory about why God made sex so good. It's always nice to leave someone with a pleasant thought before they drift off.
Staff meeting today. I hope I don't fall asleep during.
The rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog. Haven't done this for a while so here goes:
1. The table and chairs I use in my dining room originally belonged to my parents, during my mother's FIRST marriage. It's almost as old as I am. It shows no sign of age, but there's paint on the top. I don't mind, I just use a table cloth. My daughter was also conceived in the same bed my mother and father owned during their first marriage.
2. I collect glass eggs. can't resist them, really, have an obsessive need to touch them when I see them in a store. I have eight.
3. I hear baby birds on my doorstep. So do Mitzi & Suzi. I hope they're safely away from my door when I finally leave this afternoon. I'm DYING to peek outside the door. (I peeked. There are four, and they're already fully feathered. OMG!CUTE!)
4. I have a pair of foxes who live in the woods behind my house. Neither is afraid to come out during the day, and the female is remarkably bold. She's come within five feet of me in the field out back.
5. The only reason I really took nude pictures of myself was to figure out if other people thought I was pretty, and to put myself on the market. Now that I'm off the market, I haven't had as much desire to take the pictues. i'm also reluctant to force Brent's hand in taking them, and he doesn't seem that interested in doing so. Which kinda pisses me off. lol
6. I'd rather scrub a toilet than do dishes.
7. Because of the church I was raised in, I never learned to dance. I hate dancing because I feel like an idiot, and that's to be avoided at all costs. I also knew all the words to the entire soundtrack of The Sound of Music before I ever saw the movie - because Disney always showed it on Sunday nights. That was church night, unless my fever was high enough for me to be delirious.
Like padiwackI don't want to tag anyone. It's a free for all, I hope you'll participate!
While I do get premonitions when something bad is coming, it's almost never in regard to a certain person or situation. It's usually just a general feeling of unease that often builds in tension until the event. Sometimes there's a feeling of anticipation afterward that lets me know there's more to come. I can't do much with this feeling, except warn someone before I hand them the phone, if I hear a bad vibe from the person who's calling. I've done this more than once.
I've never had a feeling that anyone was going to die, either specified or unspecified. I can however, tell when the phone rings what the call is about, especially when it's death on the other end. This has been going on since the days of the rotary phone, so it's not caller i.d.-related.
I do have intuition regarding life expectancy for most the people in my immediate family. And most of them are going to die old. There was a time when I expected my stepbrother to kill my father, but they got past that, and it didn't happen. I still believe the intuition was fairly on target, and my brother just surpressed the urge until he got out of the house. I have no specific intuition regarding Scarlett's life expectancy but I do have an unreasonable amount of confidence regarding her general physical safety and well-being. I don't fret much over my child being hurt or seriously ill. I'd say it's just because I'm not a worrier, but that's not really true. I worry plenty, just not about that.
I do think that my own love for certain people seems to help them or shield them, or perhaps it just adds strength to their karma or something. I came to this realization just today - thus the post. Brent's so doom-n-gloom, and while I see his point about his genetic predisposition for poor health and even a heart attack or stroke at an early age, I also have the strong belief that these things will not happen to him. I acknowledge that I might be wrong, especially if he doesn't quit abusing himself. But it dawned on me today that it feels like my spirit watches over him somehow. He fights a lot of mental demons at night, and doesn't sleep well without liquor. But I feel him within my circle of protection all the same. It doesn't keep people from suffering, it just supports them.
- Stop telling me
Jesus wants me
to forward this email
To prove I love Him.
No he doesn't.
He told me so.
You see I talk to Him every day.
All day long, in fact.
I don't kneel and pray in the morning
Jesus and I have a conversation
that has run through my head
Since about 1981.
In fact, He told me
that if you don't stop sending those emails
He's going to SMITE you.
He said nothing of the sort.
But when I get one of those emails
He DOES tell me
"Love her. She's filled with
enthusiasm - and she loves you.
This is her way of showing it.
So love her back."
And I ask Him
"Is it okay if I love her back in my way?"
And he says "Sure. As if you need to ask."
See? That's why I love Him.
Well, that and the whole redemption business.
Had dinner with my guy last night. We had a good evening. i've done a bit of laundry today, and slept. Ate some vegetables for dinner, have been a slug.
Am going to mom's church tomorrow morning, then to mother's house for the annual blessed Easter ham. I wonder what sort of theology I'll come up with sitting through Pastor Seth's sermon this year. I have to admit with some humor that I've come up withsome doozies in the last couple years. Look, I love God. I love the idea, I love the presence I feel, I love being loved. (when I feel it, which isn't always you know) But I don't love church so much any more. I did once. I had friends there, it was the highlight of my social life during my pregnancy and after Scarlett was born. But things got stressed at that church, I felt uncomfortable and left, then my parents left. I've not really found another church since we moved to Charleston, but I haven't looked, because I don't want to. I
Thus I've had a quiet weekend. my hair's a mess, and I'm headed into PMS, cause I've got the fucking munchies. I need hot fudge. lol
- Why does man love rules?
Why does mankind crave structure?
From time out of mind man has fought
the confinement imposed
by another man.
When will we heed
the rebels in our midst?
Why can't we just
And let be?
Love is the lesson
this earth is given.
Practice with me.
blue_leaf I've been reading your Yahoo 360 blog, and enjoying it very much. Why can't people understand that Brahma is Yahweh and Allah? So many Christian teachings put fear inside a person, fear that if you say one name instead of another you'll burn with eternal damnation. There is a holy mystery within Christianity - more accurately within God-knowledge - The Creator loves the whole world, and wants the whole world to know Him. Yet there have been millions upon millions of persons who have never heard the Western Word of God. Was God willing to create those beautiful peoples and sacrifice them to their own ignorance? How can that be love? Wouldn't love give them God-knowledge in a way that they could comprehend? I want to believe that my God would.
This week I've seen analyses of the Protestant belief system that has put disappointment in my heart. Christianity has hurt so many people. Other belief systems have hurt untold millions as well. But because we live in a country that is primarily Protestant, that was the belief system which hurt this person. What are my countrymen doing? Why are they so passionate about war and hatred? Where have these "norms" come from?
They aren't learning love. And I still believe that is what we are hear to learn.
Today I had a conversation with a very dear friend by email. She and I grew up in the same church, I've known her since she was a little girl. Dated her older brother, best friends with her older sister, her parents love me, that sorta thing. She made an offhand comment that sent me on a spiel which resonated within me. Thus I decided to post it here, and add it to my God memories. Maybe someday I'll have a decent collection to document what I believe. I think Scarlett will appreciate having written down some of this stuff I'm telling her.
I'm editing this to make the quote correct from The Forest House text - I had paraphrased for Stephanie because I didn't have the book handy.
Your friend has a very cool name ... in my next life, I'm going to have a cool name.
Eh, why wait? Make up one now!
I think God has this tremendous sense of humor - and I really believe They sometimes do things just for laughs. Can't quite bring myself to say "shits and giggles" but more like "Life Is Funny. The End."
Oh well. I have much worse things on my mind.
Apparently my parents Baptist pastor has gone on the offensive regarding The DaVinci Code, passing out books that tell all the ways that it's wrong and sinful. My daughter told me this morning that her grandfather (my stepdad) had a 'talk' with her this week. Told her that believing Jesus was married meant she believed He wasn't holy. (and I'm hearing in my head "Because after all, sex is a dirty sin!") I asked her if he told her that I was going to hell, and she said no. But she then proceeded to tell me that he DID tell her that she would be 'left behind' during the rapture, and have to stay here with all those people who didn't believe, instead of going to heaven.
I explained to her that she and I still believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and rose again three days later, and ascended into Heaven. And that because we believed that, Jesus said we were going to Heaven. That believing Jesus was married didn't make Him a sinner, because sex isn't sinful. After all, God created sex, not just for reproduction, but to provide bonding between a man and a woman, and to provide a hint of what His Love for us was like.
I'm not sure how much of it got through. But I'll bring it up again this weekend, probably more than once.
The thing that gripes my ass most about this is it means I'm going to have to sit both my parents down and have a serious talk with them. They're pulling down my authority, and putting their own in it's place. And i won't stand for it, dammit. I WON'T! They're destroying her peace of mind, much as my own was destroyed by movies like A Thief In The Night and a couple others I saw as a child. Yes, my mother and stepdad made me watch this movie in a darkened church with the rest of our congregation, when I was about eight or nine. I had nightmares into my twenties, so they served their purpose, I guess.
This is a great description of the effect of the movie: http://www.jesus21.com/content/movies/
God. I have a headache.
I had a great time with Myria and Harv this evening. We went witchy-store shopping, hit a couple of antique malls, where the magnitude of my spending overwhelmed me and I became almost catatonic with overwhelmedness. I bought very cool things, including feng shui bells (Yay Teena!) and a runes tarot deck. It told me I was headed into some serious stagnation if I didn't shape up and stop daydreaming. Point taken, tarot.
In celebration of the approaching Ressurection Day, I am pointing you to this, http://sapphirescarlet.livejournal.com/
Happy Eostre, ya'll.
I don't work magic to defy Him. I do it when I can no longer resist, when the compulsion to light candles and gaze into their flames is so strong that I barely know it's happening. There have been times in the past that events have occurred which have frightened me - things happen that I wish to happen, or I see something with a remarkable clarity before the forces even completely align to cause the event. I will never be able to deny the power of passion-red candles lit with sexual intent; the power of feeling someone's thoughts from a thousand miles away; the power of certainty regarding my child and her well-being; or the prophecy and wisdom that often fall from my fingers or lips unbidden and almost unrecognized.
But I still have no control over this strange electricity within me. I've allowed it to lie dormant since the argument with Brent on February 14, the one that ended things between us. I've repeatedly used magic in a willful and rebellious way to draw him to me, almost despite his will to the contrary. The idea of a spell, or even a solitary candle, was so tied to him that I couldn't bear to look at my bookshelf/altar.
When I first moved here, I was uncomfortable with my altar, and I moved it twice. I felt most comfortable facing south, and performed at least two spells that direction before I stopped altogether. I realized Saturday that if I stand before the bookshelf (where I was at first uncomfortable) I am actually facing East, which is important. I also had the energy to move some furniture around so that I felt more comfortable walking to the bookshelf, and standing before it.
For two nights now I've lit candles in a simple pattern, and prayed for peace in whatever situation I find myself. Tonight my words came in a plain rhythm, with minor rhyme, to request instead of a specific lover, that I be granted contentment and that my ache for love be taken away. I will sacrifice my soul's solitary desire in whatever means necessary to have peace, because I have none at present. If some One sees fit to grant me this, so be it. If not, the current resentment in my heart will not flow away from me, but will remain and continue to eat at me. I would be shed of it, but cannot shed it myself. I've tried too hard for too long, and know I'm not currently capable. It will have to be taken from me.
And no, this doesn't mean I will give up my Sammie-boy. At least not while he's still calling and fawning over me. It does likely mean I will stop saying yes to other married men for a while, and lay back off the swinging for a bit. Again. Maybe I'll start going to bed earlier on a regular basis, instead of lingering over SwingLifeStyle or AdultFriendFinder.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm begging of you please
Don't take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don't take him
Just because you can
Well your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you Jolene
Well he talks about you in his sleep
And there's nothing I can do to keep from crying
When he calls your name Jolene
And I can easily understand
How you can easily take my man
But you don't know what he means to me Jolene
Well now you could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He's the only one for me Jolene
Well I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do Jolene
Alright, so Dolly Parton wrote a song about me. I can live with that, most of the time. Because I know that when it comes down to brass tacks, the men don't leave their cozy warm homes - most of the time. Bad girl? Always have been. But only because I like to give what they like to get, unbridled, uninhibited, impassioned mad fucking. So a good girl in a bad package. I'm not really bad, I'm just drawn that way.
I wasn't really in the mood to cry, today is such a great day! I got a package today that I wasn't expecting - Sacred Sexuality by Georg Feuerstein. I'm SO EXCITED! I can't wait to dig into it, but I've got clothes upstairs waiting to be sorted and packed. Gotta move, gotta do, gotta get my ass in gear! But the book got me thinking about other things Eric and I have talked about, and I had meant to give you all the link to this web-essay earlier this week, the thought just got away from me. It was eerily familiar for me, especially after Eric pointed out the paragraph says in part:
The idea is not so much a salvation from 'original sin', but salvation by restoration to the original blessing, which occurs in the unification of male and female. Accordingly, the bread represents the Logos and the wine represents the Sophia, the male and female aspects of the Christos. Thus the eucharist is a ceremony celebrating their mystical union or sacred marriage ~ the union of the Divine Masculine and Feminine through which all creation transpires, as well as redemption through divine illumination.
Here's the complete essay.
No, I hadn't read this before. I've read DaVinci Code of course, but I'd had hints of the divine union before that time, from The Divine Romance and also other places that I can't put my finger on. Andrew Greeley has had a hand in influencing me, as well. I'm just tickled that I'm not the only person to ever come to this conclusion. I just wish there was some place I could go for some face to face interaction with other people who believe this way.
And on THAT note, I'm going to fix some lunch for my kid. Then maybe shower and pack some more. All this scrambling around in the closet has my nose stuffy and running like mad. bleh Also got Ming creeping around like a stealth missile.
I picked my daughter up after church last night. She walked in front of her pawpaw on the way out of the church, and he tripped and fell over her. BOTH of them hit the pavement. (He's fine.) She was crying when she got in the car, and I hugged her because I knew she was upset and also in physical pain. But she was snuffling and said "But that's not the only reason! We sang this song tonight, that said 'Do you remember the first time you heard about Jesus?' And I DO mom! And it made me cry!"
My first thought? Oh GREAT! The hormones are kicking in. It occurred to me as we drove home, so MANY children experience a spiritual awakening in their pre-teen or early teen years, especially if they're raised in a fundamentalist church. Three times a week and all that rot. It's very emotional and they cry and repent and all that, and oh my god! It's HORMONES! If they're heavily indoctrinated during those first 6-8 years, it's possible they will go through this when they develop the overemotional mess that is teen angst.
I told Scarlett this - after I stopped laughing. Told her that her hormones were kicking in, and she was going to be a lot more emotional (as if THAT were possible!) over the next several years, while her body goes through all these changes she's been hearing about. It might be early to lay this on her, but better to be prepared ahead of time, than have no idea what's happening inside. I don't want her thinking that her deep-seated desire to murder me in my sleep is anything more than a power surge. And man is this ever going to piss off my mother! She'll be very angry with me if she learns that I'm discrediting Scarlett's 'tender heart for God' to a chemical precursor to sexual maturity.
I can hardly wait!
Posted in REVERSE order so that it will appear in PROPER order on your Friends page. How considerate am I??
Now where is my pancake??
This isn't filtered for the book people, because I want to say this out loud, to everybody. I wrote this before my birthday. And the feelings described here intensified until they came to a head on my birthday. "Letting go of the dream" was a subconscious response to this feeling.
My daughter sang at a tiny country church this evening. Of course I attended, because I love my daughter and I support her in her efforts to expand her boundaries and improve herself. Most of all, I want her to be happy with me, as I am happy with her. So I do what I can.
As I expected, the sermon was preached directly at me. How could I expect such, you ask? Oh, that sweet young boy who spoke didn’t know me from Eve. Or perhaps, do you think, I was reading too much into what he said? No, it was plain and simple. I am doing things in my life that go against every single thing I have been taught from the cradle. I have no right to ask the God that I believe in to give me anything. I was put on this earth for his purpose, and I am, according to what I’ve been taught, expected to live according to that purpose to the best of my ability no matter what lot I am given. Be it solitude, crippling pain, depression, mania, single parenthood, no matter the lot, I am not to waver from those basic laws that have been laid down for me. Through this life, I am expected to gain knowledge and spiritual depth by enduring these things, and a multitude of others.
I’ve chosen to attempt, through years of adulthood, to live the way I was expected in order to gain what I thought was my heart’s desire in life. I’ve tried to be what I thought God wanted me to be, tried to live according to the tenets of the church I attended. Every time I’ve tried, I’ve failed. I’m human, I expected no less. But when I would manage to conduct myself as a Christian for any length of time - we’re talking years at a time - I would find myself continuing to fail in the single aspect which mattered to me most. That of being a mate. So instead I have chosen to veer from that path.
I was invited tonight to return again to the fold of Christianity. If I will set aside everything that currently brings me a modicum of satisfaction, comfort, happiness, pleasure, emotional growth, spirituality or even a brief smile to my face, I will at some indefinite point in the endless reaches of timelessness achieve eternal life with my Creator. I am asked to ignore and overcome all those desires that have been embedded in my heart from the beginning. Ignore the desires that I was taught God gave me, as well as the baser ones that are buried within my flesh. At this point in my life, that would mean give up any semblance of sexuality or pleasure. In order to properly do that, I would have to give up the internet, my journals, most of my online friendships, and most of my writing.
I made a conscious decision to refuse to return. I am not currently happy - I won’t pretend that I am. But I have experienced more contentment in the last week than I have known in many years. In the 15 months since I’ve gone off my medication, I have learned volumes about myself, the workings of my mind and heart and body. The life I’m choosing to live flies in the face of my history and upbringing. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. I have had some second thoughts since hearing that sermon. But the contentment is a strong draw to remain as I am.
In other news, a dear friend is going through a rough spot right now. This friend is in the process of having a secret exposed, that could ruin his work and home life. I am aching to talk with him, but I’ve told him that I will not contact him again until he contacts me. Any word from me could cause him to be nervous, for fear of further discovery, so my wants are secondary. But the mental distraction of wishing I could help him has left me restless through the last two days.
A couple of friends have drifted away, and that has saddened me. Brian in the Netherlands has stopped writing. He’s not the only one. I miss my friends, but I’m trying to respect their chosen distance. More mental distraction and restlessness. In turn, I’ve seen myself withdraw somewhat as well. I came across a picture of a handsome man in Wisconsin this weekend, and I was saddened all over again at the loss of that friendship. I still feel that if I hadn’t broken things off when I did, I would have done it at some later point, and we would have hurt one another more in the meantime. It was just too much.
Other friends here on lj, or online, are noticing my distance. To those of you who see this, I apologize. Its not that I don’t love you, or want to talk to you. I’m simply having trouble getting words down right now. I think that’s evidenced by the content and infrequency of my posts of late. This one took two days, and is lacking my usual sparkle.
Disclaimer: This consists of half-formed thoughts during the pastor's sermon. It made me start to cry so I had to stop. I only came home to grab my camera, but I'm so fucking addicted to this machine and this blog that I am compelled to type this out - NOW! -
EDIT: Updated just a wee bit for clarification purposes, April 15, 2006
Ciao. Off to partake of the blessed Easter Ham. LOL