Time doesn’t heal anything. It just festers into an abscess that is buried under layers of callous. On the surface, it just becomes an insensitive place that lacks feeling. Underneath, it is a constant, never-ending pain that is so far detached from consciousness, we just learn to live with it. We are so used to it, it doesn’t even trigger red flags to us anymore. There’s no sense, no peace, no freedom, or healing. It just is. And there appears to be no way out. Any attempts to find what would give us relief, identity, and even comfort, are quickly condemned through the backlash we get from trying to heal ourselves.
I have wondered my whole life why trying to relate to others and find context to own my own experience was always violently reacted to. It seems to me that when we learn how to respond, there is no room for reactions. I would say that annoyance is an emotional reaction. And it is my quickest and most common reaction to things. I was invited to lunch one day with a friend who told me to find a table. I wanted to sit outside because the weather was nice. So our stone-tablet table had one of those fiberglass umbrellas over it. I like to have a good conversation over food. I noticed that there was an echo around me whenever I would talk but I didn’t know where it was coming from. It was very annoying to hear my words coming back to me. And it was kind of messing with my head. So I started looking around when I would talk. The umbrella was a solid concave shape that sound was bouncing off of. It made me think of that quote that says, “What you do in this life, echoes in eternity.” Since our souls are eternal, it makes me also wonder how much of what we say bounces off of others that hear us but don’t have the context to understand the evidence of truth yet. An echo is a result of sound hitting a hard surface, which is the case sometimes when we are trying to communicate with others. They aren’t receptive and it makes us feel empty and alone. Reverberation is an interesting concept to me because it is the repetition of sound once the source has gone silent. It is the perception of the brain as a continuous sound. This is a good parallel of how psychological character damage is caused by the verbal and emotional abuse we endured when we were younger. We continue to hear those words long after they have stopped being said because they are bouncing around in our hearts, minds, and souls. And since those words were spoken over us before we had a fully developed ego, it became an abomination to us and robbed us of a stable identity. We had knowledge of things but not the context to understand their purpose. This is where we feel lost in those echoes.
Mercy is not a weak virtue that lets things slide because it wants peace. It is a savage response to what has brought the sting of death into our relationships. I started asking questions the year I started blogging that no one wanted me to touch. I finished that race this year by finding all of the answers that God had been preparing me for. A new life becomes possible when we are willing to lay down what we thought was life and become open to what real life will bring us into the awareness of. Sometimes, what we have been taught to be controlled by the fear and pain of was always a false pretense.
I saw a Tweet yesterday that said, “We need to stop apologizing for God, and start apologizing to Him for the ways we have been embarrassed by how He chooses to reveal Himself.”
Being someone that is spiritually gifted, I understand this. If we are taught that intimacy is purely sexual, we have been put at a personal disadvantage from the beginning. It’s like fighting with one arm tied behind your back. You will spend the rest of your life on the defensive when people aren’t “playing by the rules” that you were taught to guard in shame. You will keep your distance and stand in harsh judgment of their attitudes and behaviors while marking yourself as the morally superior one.
Some next level spiritual reality has been occurring in my life for the last 3 years. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God released me from marriage in the Summer of 2016. He gave me a vision of things that aren’t just manifesting in my world right now but are exploding and lighting up my universe. He told me that He was about to give me a hope that wouldn’t disappoint. Within 3 months, things started to accelerate in ways I had never seen before. I thought that He was going to restore my marriage back to me. Instead, He revealed to me the true intimate nature of connection between souls. Within a year, I was writing my visions down and I wasn’t just trying to make sense of them, I was giving insight into what they meant to me. This approach definitely rattled the chains of others in ways that I didn’t know how to process for a while.
Contrary to what cultural Christians will lead you to believe, we are born with spiritual gifts that are irrevocable. To be told that you will lose the advantage of something inherent if you don’t use it is just that ego talking over the quiet voice of the soul. You have to find your gifts and develop them. You will know when you have because it will be directly attached to what you are truly passionate about. I was recently told by one of my followers that there are a lot of bloggers that write about truth, but few that actually have profound insight into that truth. That was one of the most sincere compliments I had ever gotten. I know this person on an intimate level and their main spiritual gifts are encouragement and teaching. Their writing style is much like mine. They use a lot of allegory and symbolism to tell their stories. It didn’t hit me until I started really taking my own writing seriously that there are people that believe in me for a reason.
Sometimes, we are telling stories that “we aren’t allowed to tell.” That’s why we use symbolism to express what only the soul will truly understand in silence. This is where I found that I am not alone and that there are people that have inhabited the same spaces with me. We just didn’t see each other because of how we were originally trained to self-destruct in the presence of carnal knowledge. Most people will only see that as sexual because that’s what we are taught. It is basically the spiritually intimate knowledge of good and evil. That’s why purity isn’t about sexuality, either. It is simple truth that is shared between souls that know each other. We just make things legalistic because of the advantage it gives our egos. Our souls can be released in ways that legalism will only keep us bound to a personal agenda that never leads to spiritual intimacy.
One of the reasons I started doing word studies for my blogs is because I realized that people don’t really know the true meanings of words. They have only been trained to emotionally react to what they have been made an offense to. The whole point of punishing people with truth is to keep them from focusing on the reality of that truth. I asked someone today if they actually know what an abomination is. I am doing a parallel with that word because of a connection I made between Dune and Black Panther. If something is worthy of hatred, it is probably because someone misused it in intimate places. They stole that power in covert ways. My grandmother used to say, “Be sure that your sins will find you out.” She meant it in a condemning way. Conviction is when we are reminded of what is right, fair, and true in ways that reveal virtue in identity. It is the virtuous woman that has the strength to stand up to the man who has been robbed of his own convictions through injustice. Conviction brings value back into identity instead of just marking us guilty as charged. What we call toxicity is really just the awareness of being caught between life and death, and not being allowed to live or die, just kind of existing in quiet desperation for what we can see the power of in others, but not in ourselves. Resurrection does not necessarily bring us back to life, just back to what we knew before. What we need is to be released into a new life that doesn’t smell like the death we’ve known. Fear of loss manifests itself in so many ways that we just get lost in the irony of it all. A virtuous woman brings value to the lives of others. She doesn’t feed off of the life that she creates. As a mother of sons, I have tried to be mindful of this. Our culture normalizes far too much toxicity that spiritually neuters our men. A testimony is not what we say as much as it is the quiet ability to reproduce an influence in our generations.
I love to watch science fiction, fantasy, and superhero movies. There are so many philosophical parallels that you would have to be in full denial not to make those connections. When I use my passion for subculture and pop culture, I am deflected with the usual default reactions. People tend to be immediately offended that I have, not only sympathized with the actions of the villain but that I have drawn some kind of personal insight from their interactions with the heroes. I have heard it for years from self-righteous souls that have already decided that they are right simply they are being “good.” “But he’s the bad guy,” they say, when I have actually made a valid point that they just want to be entertained by. And your point is…? No one ever knows how to respond to that because all they needed was an emotional reaction to what was already being dismissed and invalidated for being unacceptable and even evil. They don’t even know why they feel the way they do, sometimes. And it’s because they were just trained to avoid the appearance of what would bring judgment. It leaves everything so unfulfilled because that kind of flawed logic makes all arguments invalid by making them one-sided. Ironically, the things they feel compelled to do to be deemed acceptable are the very things that would bring the most judgment. To teach morality in the absence of a saving knowledge and understanding of the original purpose of grace is to produce an outflow of condemnation. It is a vicious and exhausting cycle that they just get dizzy and drunk from instead of finding peace and rest in the process of developing the strength of character that leads to wholeness. I believe this is the main reason people don’t learn empathy. They are too busy feeling so sorry for themselves that they only understand the pain that common knowledge and experiences bring. They believe it is wrong to ever cross that line and to enter into someone else’s pain. This is where the real tragedy occurs. I have found that abuse and heartbreak are recoverable. The lack of moral support is what kills the heart and soul. And this is the point from which all trauma flows.
I am a huge fan of the Avengers and I cosplay Black Widow. When I started doing this I was just looking for something to express myself that would be fun and give me some community with others. I had no idea how much personal reality that this would bring me back into the awareness of. Initially, it was all a devastating blow. Even my best attempts to escape from a world of pain was just another doorway into more profound levels of it. From the first time I walked into a cosplay convention, I could see vivid landscapes painted with the emotional evidence of what others were bringing into that atmosphere, as well. I didn’t understand what it was I was seeing until I started to develop new connections with others that could see and feel their own version of my vision. I still remember the day one of my new cosplay friends told me that he could feel pain flowing off of others like a waterfall. I didn’t know what to make of that because no one had ever been willing to be so honest with me. It seems that any time I find someone that understands life on that level, it seems inevitable that things are going to go toxic. It’s a pattern of a lifetime. So of course, the first thing I did was start looking for my place in this. I don’t want to cause more pain unknowingly or unnecessarily. Life, itself, has enough of its own.
So I started praying for guidance on how to proceed in this. I knew that I couldn’t trust my own perception once I got all up in my feels. This has been a crazy ride that most people wouldn’t survive the intensity of. I thought I knew something about empathy until I got into the depths of this journey. What we perceive as empathy is really us feeling our own emotions that we have projected onto others and made them feel personal. This is a form of manipulation that is so covert that not even the person doing it is always consciously aware of it. That’s why projection is such a confusing concept that just frustrates others whenever we are feeling threatened by our own desires. Once I understood this, it was amazing how easy it was to communicate with others in a way that would open their hearts. I had always been socially awkward when it came to knowing how to relate to others in a personal way. Everything would always crash and burn and make me feel even more isolated in my desire for intimate connections.
The most wonderful thing I found in all of this is that it is love that calms an angry heart and brings it back into its own meaning and purpose. Those that teach us the most about love are the ones that never really knew how to love us. As much as people may have cared about us, sometimes what they really set the example of was how to survive trauma. Defense mechanisms become the only rule of the game at that point. Sadly, I was a middle-aged adult before I really understood this. If someone gets defensive whenever you try to address behavior, they are hiding more than answers from you. And it is usually not personal at all. This seems to be the tipping point of being able to reach out to others that are just as scared as we are of the very things we want most. Traditional wisdom just keeps us bound to the games we play to protect ourselves. I needed a break from the moral insanity we are taught to guard the reality of.
A couple of years ago, I decided that I was tired of the usual games people play with things that really should be valued and shared, instead of being abandoned and/or discarded. At the time, I just wanted to redefine what it meant to be virtuous. And it was because of the way I was being viewed by others apart from what I had known my whole life. The one thing I have learned the most is that if we don’t add value to our own lives, no one else is going to increase that value for us. For the most part, they will accept the image we project even if it doesn’t represent what they see in us. I have also found that setting boundaries invite respect even if it feels like we are being hated by those resent any kind of confrontation and/or correction of their attitudes. When you do this, it doesn’t just set a new standard, but you become the standard by which the quality of other things is judged. So here’s the most unexpected part of all of this. I give strength to others that I didn’t know they needed by showing them my inherent value. This started out with me trying to protect the value of what was left of me after a lifetime of spiritual/emotional abuse that others tried to define me with. It ended with me being able to see what others were being reactive to when my light would shine in their eyes. It was the epiphany of a lifetime to know that men were seeing my gentleness as a virtue after being criticized for the same thing by those that were constantly looking for a hook to hang their flawed arguments on. For once, I knew that it wasn’t about winning some kind of favor or perceived trophy. It was about being the kind of woman that gave favor without some kind of hidden agenda attached. The prize to be won became irrelevant. A good woman is a good woman regardless of her relationship status. She gives what she has received graciously, which means that she makes grace under fire look beautiful and badass. Men can’t help but admire such a woman.
We will be saved from so much grief if we truly understand these words. “Beauty is fleeting, and charm is deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” I thought that I had to be beautiful to receive the praise of others. What I found is that true beauty is spiritually abstract. And not everyone is going to accept the value of what they don’t honor within themselves. “It takes virtue to see virtue.” Translation: Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are so much more than what you have been taught to believe about yourself. It really is this simple when you are finally released from the carnal knowledge that others have dumped on you in private. This is where a new life begins, that is set apart from the usual entanglements we have associated with love.