Absence of Virtue

From the time I was a little girl, I was always confused by the behavior of others, whenever I wanted to dress in a way that was cute, feminine, and sometimes, showed a little bit of skin. And when I say that, I don’t mean like really low cut tops, or short skirts. I mean like halter tops, for little girls, back in the day. Some kind of confusing and snarky comment was always being thrown in my direction, because, “I needed to put some clothes on,” which is what I was doing. I was 6 years old, for God’s sake. All I knew was what was comfortable for me to go outside, and play in. I had no concept of anything, beyond that. That was my world. Things only escalated as I got older. I was never told that I was beautiful, nor was I allowed to feel that way. If someone even tried to compliment my appearance or my abilities, they were immediately side-swiped with, “You should see how she acts at home,” in a condescending, snarling tone of voice. For every time, I made an intelligent observation of anything, I was slapped down with some over-simplistic, and utterly pointless and worthless reaction. I was then, either harshly criticized or just flatly laughed at, for saying anything at all. I can’t think of even one time, that I was ever allowed to have a real conversation, that led anywhere that was productive, because there was always an arsenal of default comments, that were used to shame me into silence, almost immediately, regardless of the situation. It literally got to the point, that I was even shamed, for having the most basic human abilities of sight, sound, feeling, and emotional expression. I was consistently taught not to notice what was going on around me, while also being brutally snapped at, when I wasn’t sharply observant of what was expected of me, in any given moment. It was the old, “Do as I say, not as I do,” mentality, that pretty much conveyed the attitude of, “You are only allowed to directly benefit me with what I teach, by example. You are to never learn to use it for your own advantage, ever.” In hindsight, I see what that was all about the whole time. Listen to what people say when they are being unnecessarily critical, and you will hear their personal reality, that is being threatened by the potential they see in you. I was watching one of my favorite movies, last week, and in one of the best scenes, this was said about the “I, Frankenstein,” monster, by the Queen of the Gargoyle Order. “When I looked in your eyes, what I saw was not the presence of soul, but the potential of one.” I have used my “Frankenstein Syndrome” parallel in other posts. And it just keeps evolving into greater understanding of what it really means to be the monster, someone else created, and then discarded for being the monster they created, when it no longer reflected anything, but their own image. Monsters are really nothing more, than the projection of our own self-hatred, when we haven’t forgiven ourselves, for the ways we haven’t loved others enough. Sometimes, our selfishness is what creates ghosts in their hearts and souls, that they will be haunted by, for years to come, even after the season has passed away. And, sometimes, we are the collateral damage of the war someone has created within themselves. As one of my favorite artists once wrote,

“All the tales are told
All the orchids gone
Lost in my own world
Now I care for dead gardens.” (Dead Gardens) (Nightwish)

The context of these lyrics were of a frustrated artist, that had allowed his ego to get bigger than his vision. His use of emotional symbolism is masterful, if you are able to follow, because he reveals more about intimate realities, than anyone ever really understands. Orchids are symbolic of love, beauty, and strength. In ancient Greece, they symbolized virility. So I do wonder if what he was really feeling the ache of a broken heart, because of the loss of relationship. Artists are not really motivated or inspired by their sadness, as people tend to assume. That’s actually their Kryptonite. They have to find something to give them context, to revive their inspiration. Virility and Virtue both come from the same Latin root word, which means, “person of courage, honor, and nobility.” Even though the origin is masculine, the transliterations typically aren’t associated with gender. We now understand virtue to be associated with purity and integrity. This leads me to wonder if what really breathes a lot of passion into our souls, is the fire that we feel inside, when we are being made to feel desirable by others. It also makes me wonder about what really motivates behavior and attitudes, sometimes.  I just recently saw the latest, “Justice League,” movie. I loved it! It was interesting in what it implied, in different ways. The beginning of the movie basically shows what a world without Superman looks like. There is total chaos, and the people are hiding in fear, from the violence that erupts. I really started to think that if the only thing that is holding some back from committing crimes against humanity, is the presence of the virtue of another, that means they lack any kind of personal integrity. It also means that they see very clearly the value of that virtue, which is why they are trying to make it look powerless, in the points of destruction they are creating with their denial.

I have often wondered why others can just mindlessly watch things like that, and only be entertained by it, while they just complain. I don’t understand not finding enjoyment in your passions. It is my life’s blood, and the air that I breathe. I found something written in my notebook, a few days ago, that may explain it, quite simply. “Distraction prevents reception.” So when we are missing the point, as well as, the message someone’s vision is sending, in their own way, what is it that we are distracting ourselves with? It could be anything, that we have actually set up as a comfort idol in our lives, that has been there for so long, we don’t even realize it, because it has just become part of the decorum. Interestingly, from Latin, decorum means basically the same thing as virtue. I once heard that, in every virtue, lies the seeds of it’s own destruction. I have heard the same thing about evil. So we can’t just label something as evil, simply because of it’s appearance to us, or because we lack the understanding of it. That robs us of our ability to discern correctly. It’s like I have said before. People aren’t blind, when they lack vision. They are disconnected from a greater purpose. That would explain why people do such evil things with knowledge, that become self-destructive, when something meaningful, brings some quality of life back into their consciousness.

I believe that we are born with spiritual gifts, that are irrevocable. They can be used in whatever way we choose. They won’t be taken away as punishment, for not being used for divine purposes. They can only be denied, frustrated, criticized, shamed, judged, and rejected, because their presence is viewed as a threat to those, that want control of those gifts. However, I also believe that the presence of, and operation of these gifts were always intended to bring comfort into situations, where hope has been lost, through the isolation of those that don’t want to understand, for whatever reason. This is basically my theory on why rock stars and other artists, carry so much influence, in the expression of their art. Pretty much everything I have ever written was made possible, by the context of song lyrics. I have had the awareness and the knowledge of some things my whole life. But it wasn’t until some kindred spirit, had the courage to pour out their heart and soul into something, that was cathartic for them, that I saw that I wasn’t alone, and that someone, somewhere understood, what others had pretended not to. The latin root word for context means, “to join together.” And that is what happens when people feel heard. They start to heal the moment they feel connected to what has been brought together, and shared freely, without judgment clouding what is being received.

So I woke up this morning, thinking that maybe some things are more simple than we realize, and that we lose our balance and perspective, when we try to build things up, instead of allowing them to be lifted properly. If there is anything I have learned in the first few months of this year, it is this. When we learn to rise in love, there are many things that will become irrelevant, but that doesn’t mean that they no longer matter. It just means that we will stop getting wounded, when we fall in love. When I was developing the vision for this, I made this into a meme. R.I.S.E = Real Inspiration Sees Everything. That means that when we breath in, we won’t just become puffed up, but will have the ability to see what needs to be exhaled, so that life can be recreated. That led me to also see the purpose of H.O.P.E = He Opens Perceiving Eyes. This is what gives us true vision, the ability to see beyond appearances.

So here’s my point of everything. Maybe instead of keeping ourselves bound to the pain of loss, we should see what can become possible, as a result of a season of separation. Painful endings, can become beautiful beginnings, when we understand the value of something or someone that we once viewed as a thorn in the flesh. It’s really all about perspective, sometimes. The absence of virtue isn’t always about what is causing our pain. Sometimes, it is what can bring purpose to it, which will be what makes us rise above despair, in the things we want more than anything else. My desire is always, ever about connection, friendship, and creating healthy flow in places, that have become so toxic, that people are dying on the vine, instead of being given strength. That’s why I see both sides of this now. We won’t recognize the full value of some things, until we have felt the absence of the value and meaning they have brought to us, in ways we didn’t receive graciously. Basically, when we feel the loss of virtue, because of someone else’s lack of honor, we feel crushed, alone, and lost. But the truth of the matter is, that their world will never be the same, once they have known the reality of that. This is how all things work together for the good of those, called according to His purpose. Sometimes, it takes a painful experience, for us recognize the value of what is actually rare in this world. This is why I always tell my boys, “Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do, will flow from it.” This doesn’t mean to live in avoidance. It means to be prepared, so that you can lead, instead of just reacting to the pain, that doesn’t define you, your purpose, or your future. That is when we will know the joy of virtue, instead of just the absence of it.

 

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