Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bits and Pieces From My Mind

"Just give it to a thrift shop, they don't care if their water tastes like burnt."

I know he doesn't mean anything by it but my hackles rise a little anyway. But I don't know him that well so I say nothing.

I don't think he's ever had to face a reality of poverty. Where everything he owns comes from a thrift shop. A charity. Where if it wasn't for someone giving him something he'd have nothing.

If he has, he's sure as hell forgotten it already.

I can speak from experience - if I don't like the taste of burnt water, nobody else will either.

No matter how poor they are.


But we don't live by our emotions, do we?

This is still bothering me, weeks after reading it on an acquaintance's Facebook page. This acquaintance said she felt like her world was crashing down around her and she had nothing to hold onto. So what does one of her adult Christian friends - I'm assuming she's some kind of mentor - say to her? We don't live by our emotions. What you feel is invalid. Push it away, and hang onto God.

Why does this bother me?

I stop myself from commenting on this post over and over because I don't know what to say.

The assumption that we shouldn't take our emotions seriously - that we shouldn't listen to them - that we shouldn't live our lives by what we feel - it makes me feel uneasy.

Something I should ignore according to Christian Mentor there. Just stuff it away. God will take care of you. If you feel negatively, you just don't have enough faith. Trust God! God, God, God!

Look at all that projection. She didn't actively say any of that. Obviously I have some issues of my own to deal with.

But I would like to know why Christians think that emotions are unnecessary. Why are we told that we shouldn't live by them? And what the fuck should we live by then? Our minds?

(Spoken as a true Blue.)

But I would like an answer. I don't think living solely by our minds is any better. I don't know about everyone else out there, but God doesn't usually use my brain to communicate with me, not right off the bat. First He grabs my attention by tweaking my heart in one way or another - through my emotions.

Because I listen to them.

Maybe it's just because I'm an actor and I have a bit more, oh I don't know what to call it. Emotional training? Positive experience with heightened emotional states? It's closer to training, how to open yourself up to that overwhelming experience, and then how to get yourself down without breaking or destroying yourself...maybe that, combined with my personality, makes emotions less scary for me than they are for the average person. Because emotions are scary, but that is a fear to be embraced. They serve a purpose. They are there to serve you as much as your brain is, your heart, your intelligence. It's all there because God put it there, and it pisses me off to see something so close to myself written off as an unnecessary appendix to life.

Because there needs to be a balance, and I think as Christians we all too often lose sight of that, and instead we push away the frightening aspect in favour of the one that makes more sense. The one that can't be manipulated by the Devil, after all, it's in the Bible. It's there in black and red.

As if knowledge is immune to the twisting of Darkness.

All of this just because I want to tell this acquaintance, this girl, that how she feels is okay. It's something to accept, to learn from, and to grow because of.

Ignoring emotions isn't going to build anything up except walls, and walls don't help any relationship. Not with people. Not with yourself. Not with God.


It just occurred to me that if I were to ask one of these two people what we were supposed to live by, they might say Faith.

Complete trust or confidence. Strong belief.

Those evoke emotional responses in me but maybe that's not how it is for everyone.

I don't really know what it means to live by faith. I have a bipolar faith - I either trust God completely or I don't trust Him at all.

I know when I'm struggling to trust when I get an anxious spring, a tightening in my chest that tells me everything is going to shit and no-one will be there to catch me.

I understand I should trust when I look back at the path behind me and see that I haven't been homeless or behind in any payments - even if I've been broke - and that I have been provided for. With friends, money, shelter, love...needs and desires.

And when I feel the trust there I am afraid of nothing. Perfect love casts out all fear.


It's telling to me that in Harry Potter, the Avada Kadavra spell, death by pure terror, isn't shattered by peace. It's broken by love.

It hits us on the most primitive level. Where everything is survival and instinct and reaction time. Love opposes fear, not hatred. Although I think a lot of hatred has fear at it's root.

I feel like a very fearful person sometimes, although I don't think I really am. I'm not afraid of bugs, or dead things or rodents; I have my fair share of rational fears but nothing that overwhelms me and keeps me from living a normal life. I'd hate to find an intruder in my home, for example, but the fear of it doesn't make me sneak around my home with a butcher knife.

My one irrational fear is a fear of the dark. It's something I've worked against since I was a kid. I learned quick that if you have a flashlight outside at night it just makes the darkness darker and inhibits your ability to see outside your little sphere, which I think makes you vulnerable to attack from all the crazies waiting in the shadows. I'd go out to check the animals at night and leave the light off until I needed to see details. Of course, when I slept I'd tuck the edges of the blankets underneath me so the dark creepy things couldn't sneak underneath the blankies with me. Even now I fight the impulse to jump from the light switch to the bed, so that I can prove to myself that nothing is lying in wait underneath my bed. And then I lay in bed and see shadows gathering in the corners and they appear to get thicker and darker and I tremble and shut my eyes and pray for the fear to be gone. Or I snuggle into S. because he's warm and alive and he'll protect me even when he's sleeping.

Love. It's pretty powerful.

I had a lot of dreams last night where I needed a flashlight to survive. Lots of battling the darkness with what little lights I had. It's probably just the combination of a few books I read - Brother Odd and Forever Odd by Dean Koontz - and the latest XBox game to grace our console, Alan Wake. Alan Wake has to fight Darkness personified with any light source he can get his hands on in order to save his wife. It's a pretty cool concept, actually. I haven't played it yet because just watching S. play makes me jump off the couch.

But these were just dreams, because I didn't wake up, skin crawling, sweaty, heart pounding with fear.


I finally figured out why two of my pots of sweet peas are dying. The cold at night is only bothering them, and it confused me no end until I realized they were the only two pots in front of the sliding patio door. The glass doesn't hold enough heat to keep them through the night. I moved them the day before yesterday, after they almost had it, and I think they're coming back already. Hurrah! Except now the middle of the balcony will be naked.

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