March 23, 2012 1 comment

I’ve noticed, over the past few months, while trying to maintain another blog, that quite a few people still check out this blog. As I flip back through the pages and glance over the articles, I start loving this blog all over again. What started out as a long-term project going into mental health, physical health, and more, I eventually stopped focusing on it. I couldn’t tell you why. I simply stopped, partly for sanity.

I have a hard time keeping up with a schedule, keeping up with tasks and chores, and commitments. The stress of it takes it out on me. I think, as I started my job back in June of 2011, I started focusing on it and I let this blog slide.

It’s unfortunate. Apparently, it got quite a few hits back when I started. A lot of people want to know there are others out there living a similar life of uncertainty. Nobody knows exactly how to live, how to survive. Hell, sometimes we just do. For others, they cannot, may they rest in peace. But I think one thing is for certain:

We have each other.

If I’ve learned one thing these past seven or eight months, I’ve learned we need one another in order to survive. From Occupy movements, to charity work, and beyond, in order to keep everything going and keep faith in humanity, we need to reach out and help one another. I think it’s why people gravitate towards this blog. They want to hear my story. They want to know what I’ve learned during my journey to help themselves.

I cannot guarantee that I will continue this blog. The present interest has inspired me. Plus, the journey I’m taking now might call for maintaining it. As long as you are patient, and you all continue to show interest, I will do my best in continuing to share my answers with each and everyone of you.

Thank you, for bringing me back, for reminding me of why I started this blog in the first place.


Fake It if You Have to

Yesterday was a good day. I accomplished a lot of things by staying positive and in the moment. I focused on tasks at hand instead of worrying about them constantly throughout the day. During homework, I realized I was talented at using Excel, which is good, because we use it a lot at work. Plus, it’s a strong skill to carry with me towards other jobs.

Still, the day before yesterday, I felt the weight of the world crashing down on my shoulders, and I was taking it out on my boyfriend. I got so caught up in stress and worry that he called me and told me to relax. The poor guy stays by my side because he loves me, and at times, I feel bad about the way he gets treated. I try to appreciate everything he does for me. Anyway, with that phone call, I realized it was all okay. I was going to be fine despite my hectic schedule. Unfortunately, I had to trick my brain into understanding this.

You might seem confused by that statement. Wouldn’t my brain already know and understand this? Not necessarily. My mind kept going to the future and worrying about all the projects I needed, and wanted, to accomplish in order to finally settle down and relax. But that was the problem: my brain stayed out of the present moment, and I had to convince it to stay right here, in the now. And in order for me to do that, I had to fake it and make it seem like everything was okay. Eventually, after a moment’s time, I relaxed, started breathing regularly, and stopped feeling so tense.

There’s a saying “fake it ’til you make it,” and it’s pretty much true. You have to believe everything’s okay even if, by other people’s standards, it isn’t. At some point, your mind will see the forest through the trees, or however the saying goes, and it will relax. You’ll calm down, and things will be alright.

I find it difficult, especially with depression, to see the silver lining and maintain positivity throughout the day. Sometimes, you simply have to fake it to make it through. Eventually, it gets better; it always does.

Here’s a song that I absolutely love because it talks about depression, and it makes you realize how powerful you can be in situations that seem dire:

Staying on Track

In the past few weeks, I’ve concentrated on my new job and maintaining relationships. I’ve found that I am not all that happy, and I believe I’m going through a bout of depression. There are various reasons, but I am looking into therapy and possibly getting on medication to help. It’s becoming increasingly hard to concentrate on positivity in my life, and I’d like to get a sense of security.

While medication might seem like I’m giving up to some, please know that medication helps and works in many cases. A few years back, I was on prozac and I was able to focus more on positive change in my life than negative habits. After six months, I stopped taking the prescription and I was able to live a happy life.

I am not going to force the doctor into medication, but I will definitely let him know that I am open to taking something and see what he or she has to offer. I hope to maintain the blog more often since I did it more for me than anyone else, though I hope it’s helped someone out there.

I am working towards getting my life settled in so many areas: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. It will take time, patience, and resolve. Thanks for anyone reading.

The Weapon of Love

People across the country are furious with our current state of affairs and how our government handles certain issues. Particularly for me, although I’m concerned with a number of things, I concentrate on equal rights for the GLBT community. It affects me deeply being a gay man in today’s society, and certain government officials are making it hard to feel like an equal citizen of the United States.

Recently, comedian Tracy Morgan performed an act in which he said he would stab his son if he ever told his dad he was gay. Immediately, the gay community took to the Internet and blasted Morgan for his outrageous comment, as they should. Tracy came back a few days later explaining he messed up and wanted to make it right by protesting with the gays at rallies and functions to promote equal rights.

Personally, I will believe it when I see it, but I am open to letting Morgan attend rallies to show support. Part of me understands he is a celebrity on a hit show whose ratings could rapidly decrease because of his obscene comment. However, I am optimistic in believing Tracy had a rude awakening and he isn’t wanting to simply “save face”, but he’s actually wanting to make it right.

My life has been riddled with mistakes I wish I could take back, but I learned from them. I learned to become a better person by realizing I am not always right in what I say and do. So, why can’t Tracy be given the same chance?

A recent advocate for GetEqual, a year old group doing tons of great work towards the fight for GLBT equality, claimed he was done with Tracy Morgan completely. The man made a horrible comment and the advocate wasn’t willing to forgive Tracy.

If we continue to push aside the people willing to learn and grow and become better people, the fight for equal rights will be hindered. Even if we win, we will not become better people by throwing these people aside. I grew up not being given a chance by the majority because they said I wasn’t equal. I will not do the same to someone wanting to change and grow and learn from their mistakes. I’d rather be the accepting, loving person I know that I am.

Of course, this brings me to a well-known saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” However, if we use love as our weapon and shield, we will show compassion and understanding towards those opposed to us. We will not become like them. We will be better and feel better about ourselves without feeling hurt by their actions. After all, haven’t any of us been there before: making mistakes and wanting to fix them?

Below, I am sharing a video of former KKK clan leader Johnny Lee Clary and his story about how one black man changed Johnny’s view simply by showing love. If he can change the heart of the KKK clan leader, who says we can’t do the same with those against us?

Born This Way

Today, in the Mandala, it spoke about the limitations religion and education place on our minds as children. Through our lives, starting with our parents, we learn to believe “we are not sufficient as we are” and we are not “whole”. Education and religion continue these falsehoods by generalizing the way children need to learn and grow in school and community.

We’re already born with the innate ability to create and learn and understand. Instead of nourishing this yearning for discovery, the outside world crushes it in schools and churches because that’s the way it was taught to previous generations. It crushes creativity and self-expression. Even when we have spiritual experiences, we do not recognize the potential we have within ourselves which has created the experience. We, instead, credit outside forces such as God, Buddha, or Muhammad.

To me, this is fascinating because I found myself doing a lot of the things the Mandala already suggested I do, such as following the moral compass within me instead of the religious morality we’re taught in churches or at home. If I learned morality from anywhere, it was based upon experiences I went through as a child being teased and bashed by other people for being “not good enough”. Immediately, I knew I never wanted anyone else to feel the way I did as a child, and I tried staying open and accepting towards others.

Education standards are set by the government. I understand that it’s hard for a teacher to create an entire lesson plan around each individual child. However, we’ve learned in various ways this is how it has to be done. For example, we talk about being visual or audial learners and what works best for each person. Eventually, we have to mold to the way material is presented for us to understand. Unfortunately, we’re not taught this until we grow older. This one-size-fits-all attitude towards education cripples our innate being’s growth.

As for religion, I can’t help reverting back to when Christianity first came to existence. Was religion really used as a way to keep people from realizing the true power within ourselves? If you look at the definition of Satanism, it isn’t the belief of Satan or worshipping Satan. Satanism also means “a form of worship which includes blasphemous or obscene parodies of Christian prayers, etc.” Blasphemy can be anything from “I don’t believe in God” to “I am God”. To believe we have the power to change our life and live it the way we want can be seen as blasphemous to Christian followers. After all, throughout history, we’re taught to follow the standards in the Bible in order for God to love us and allow us into Heaven. So, what happens when you decide to follow the moral compass instilled within you instead of the one planned out in the Bible?

It’s hard for me to write this without feeling like I’m bashing my friends and family, firm believers of the Bible and God. I’m not, honestly. Still, I’ve learned in my life that God hasn’t granted anything upon me. I’m the one who has given myself all the things I have, and I’m not going to knock that up to “God’s work” because it’s been a long, hard journey, as it should be for me to grow and learn. And if there is a God, I think he or she would want us to realize the potential and power we have within ourselves to control our lives and be happy.

The thing we need to do, the only way to be who it is we already are, is realizing we’re “born this way”. It isn’t something to be taught or learned. It simply has to be realized within ourselves.

Who am I?

Who am I?

This question burns in all of us constantly, practically on an everyday basis. As seniors graduating, we go off to college to go find ourselves. During emotional events, we take time out to do some soul-searching. I believe firmly on self-reflection because it allows us to look at ourselves in the present moment. However, I have to ask “What are we looking for?”

In the Mandala, you learn to live in the present moment. As a part of the learning process, people realize they are not who they believed themselves to be. For example, I am not simply a homosexual writer. I am a being, a person with life. With each moment, depending on the situation, I am something else. People might look at me and say I’m laidback. During most moments, I may be laidback. I do lose my temper, however, especially during times of duress. Can I be considered laidback then? No.

Emotions are fluid, like water, and they can be calm and gentle depending on the environment. However, place them in a hectic environment and you’ll get a typhoon of feelings. Everything feels up when it’s down, black when it’s white, so forth and so on.

We use emotions to reflect back on a moment in time, which is why it’s important to understand how they’re fluid. If we see ourselves as independent successful people but something happens to disprove this, we become threatened and broken down by the event. We lose our sense of purpose and reasoning. However, if we saw ourselves as beings full of possibilities and expectations, we wouldn’t become disgruntled by threats to our egos.

In writing this passage, I feel I may not explain it correctly. I highly suggest you look into the Mandala of Being by Dr. Richard Moss. It’s helped me become better in touch with myself this past year. I am ever-learning and growing, and I am okay with never being the same person all the time.

The Appreciation for the Mandala

I’ve started rereading the Mandala of Being today. Simply, in the introduction alone, I am bombarded with rich pieces of information needed to stay in the present moment. Thanks to understanding the principle behind the Mandala, I was able to see things in the text I hadn’t before during my first round of reading.

As children, we live constantly in the present, which is why experiences and feelings are powerful to us. At the time, we were inept at confronting pain and suffering or negative occurrences without positive influences on how to show us. Instead of staying in the moment, we allowed our minds to remove ourselves from the negative experiences, and we displaced ourselves from the present. The survival technique became engraved in our mindset, and we’ve lived this way ever since.

Do you feel unhappy with your life? Have you ever thought back to moments as a child and said to yourself “Why can’t I live like I did then?” You can, but you have to undo the processes set up by your brain to allow yourself to stay in the present moment. Unfortunately, this means the end to your self as you know it.

The Mandala threatens the very essence of people’s identities, especially those wanting to be successful. We have to ask ourselves “What is my definition of success?” Is it fortune or fame? For myself, I will be successful by simply doing what I love: writing. Thanks to the Internet, I publish my work onto a website or via Kindle for exposure. My voice can be heard by millions by popularizing it through social media and marketing. However, I’m concentrating on the feelings of wholeness I have after finishing a project, or maintaining one such as this blog. I stay in the present, and I let go of the future. I’m positive and I have dreams, but I don’t allow my mind to be consumed in these thoughts on events that may or may not come true.

This principle can be used for all avenues of life besides success: relationships, careers, education, health, and so on. It isn’t easy coming out of the fog, as I like to put it, and seeing life with new eyes. It can be scary and unnerving. It’s been so long since we’ve seen or experienced the world so vividly. However, I think it’s time to confront our fear and become a more complete person.