“I’m bad at love!”

Time for a confession: I’m bad at love.

I’m the blogger who’s always like “love, love, love” “The secret to life” “the truth about love…” etc.

But I suck at it.

I don’t know if anyone is actually good at love, though.

Is there a single person out there who prioritizes love as their goal in life who thinks they are doing it right?

Show me someone who does, and I’ll show you someone who’s not really as unselfish as they think they are.

It’s true that some people achieve a form of contentment with how they love. And that’s not a bad thing to an extent, feeling satisfied with the relationships in your life, but often that means you’re only focusing on a certain few relationships.

Like maybe you love your wife, but you don’t love your parents the right way.

It’s so rare that an human can perfectly balance all their relationships and ways of loving.

Some of us are good with loving our kids, but not our spouse. Some of us are good with friends but not as lovers.

Much more often though, we’re just good at certain parts of love. When we need to be firm, we’re good at it, or when we need to be soft, we’re good at that, but not good at switching gears. And in all love, you have to be both.

I speculate that even if we could be a perfect, romance novel type of person who never gets mad at their SO even if the do terrible, stupid things…we’d still think we could do better.

But to be honest, even that’s a are person.

Most of us are where I often find myself: Complacent. We think we’re pulling enough of our own weight to excuse any indulgences of selfishness.

I’m embarrassed to admit that even recently I’ve fallen into thinking “Well, I do all this, and I’m trying. And they (insert whoever I’m mad at right then) are not, so it’s okay if I feel disappointed and bitter, but they should try harder.”

And only after months of this does it finally occur to me, by some move of the Spirit maybe, that…” hey, maybe if I’m thinking this, it’s a sign I’ve started to drift away from love as my focal point.”

I mean, I think about love all the time–as something I want.

And, okay, I’m not the worst woman in the world. I do try. Even when I’m in a selfish rut, I will make an effort to show care to others because that is my standard. I believe I should.

And absolutely, in moment when we all get in that mindset, it’s important to have a standard we’ll hold ourselves to anyway, even if we’re doing it with a self pitying attitude, because it’s not okay to just lash out at and hurt others because you feel neglected. I used to do that.

A lot, actually, but since my Dad moved out, I’ve noticed how much like him that behavior is, and tried to stop.

I remember Hannah Hurnard’s brutally honest observations in “Hinds Feet on High Places” when she noted that most of our love, as fearful people, is “longing to be loved.” C. S. Lewis noticed the same thing in “The Great Divorce” and “Till We Have Faces.”

I think all people are afraid they won’t be loved. Sometimes even if you have really good parents, you fear it all the more, because you think you could do something to them they really don’t deserve, and lose their love. What else is the story of the prodigal son about?

If you’re like me, and you will never get love from them, no matter how much you try, then you feel you were doomed from the start.

And it hit me in the last week, that the real reason I find it hard to forgive and let go of resentment is Fear.

I think that’s the reason we all do, actually.

Fear motivates spitefulness and hatred and bitterness. (All things that plague Much Afraid in Hurnard’s book, interestingly enough)

I think it’s becuae as long as we fear someone who hurt us, we think they can keep urting us, and that maks us angry, and that angeyr make it impsosible to forgive them.

When I don’t feel afraid of my dad, I don’t feel like I hate him. But any time I ruminate on what he did and wants to do to be still, I get angry, because I fear it. I fear he can still hurt me, and that I will never heal.

And whether that is at all based on the truth or not, I don’t know. I doubt it. I think that time is passed. but, there it is.

I notice often bad dreams trigger me to start thinking of this again, I know that happens to a lot of people with trauma. We have to deal with them quickly. If I don’t the fear comes back. Even if I wasn’t scared in the dream, my mind ends up on those things.

I know my dad had nightmares of his messed up past even to the time he move out probably (which as of last month is now officially 2 years ago, whoo hooo!) and he never got over it, he wouldn’t face them.

My dad, in fact, lives in deep terror, whether he admits it or not, but he won’t confront that fear enough to move on. It’s easier to live in lies and self pity than it is to face your fear, and grow into love.

And really, I sympathize with him in my more clear headed moments, because I know I face those same temptations. And nothing makes me a better person that him.

I would have mistreated people just the way he did, in fact, I have, in the past And while I can write off some of it as I was a child and too young to know better if I wasn’t taught, there are people who never grow out of it (such as my dad…)

And so easily, even now, I an start thinking like him. The whole world is against me, no one likes me, I always get put down…I am lonely.

But I’ve begun to notice, after 2 years, that I am not open to people always the way I think I am.

I just never learned how to act normal around them. I’ve made some friends who are kind enough to overlook that, but I know sometimes I make them uncomfortable. I only realize it after I’ve done it, though, my foresight is not great.

I know how to react to people, that’s what I’m used to, but how to communicate the right way when I have to start it…I always feel like I’m too intense. All the confrontations I saw growing up were one person bullying another.

And sometimes it was my mom, not my dad, who was aggressive and violent, that was weird to realize. My dad was worse, but she could be savage too, not in a good way.

I thought it was normal. My default in confrontation is to jump wright into the crux of the issue without much of a warning, because that’s what I saw. I know in my head that in can be better to ease into it, but I neither know how to do that, nor know how to be patient if someone else tries it. I just want them to get to the point.

I’m used to being accused, so I wait for them to accuse me, and then I either decide to take the blame, or to fight it.

But while sometimes you have to be in that position, it’s not a good default mode to have. I know that now.

This is how I’m bad at love. I can know that, but I can’t act on it of my own volition.

I’ve spent two years now trying to learn how to actually love in the absence of my dad’s domineering presence, I thought it would happen without that toxic black hole in my life.

And some things did get better, but it’s not magic. It’s still work.

Trust is like a pond of murky water
Too dark to see, mysteriously undercover
I can’t jump off the high dive even though I really want to
My toes are hanging off the ledge

Trust is a tree that towers fifty feet above us
Grown over time through many seasons
Believing in something more than just the surface
I trust that this is worth it
But my toes are hanging off the ledge

Lord, help me, there’s a thorn in my side
I feel the tension and the fear in truth
I carry life in between the divide
But all the wrestling has left me bruised.

How sweet, the taste of certainty
That gift you gave is safe with me

Hold to this, significance
Lean into the process
Rest and know, the love you hold
Won’t be taken back, no

How sweet, the taste of certainty
That gift you gave is safe with me
Na, na, na, na, na

Trust is like the middle of the ocean
Can’t see the bottom but I’m floating here, supported
I know that it can take me even deeper if I let it
But my limbs are trying to swim away

Hold to this, significance
Lean into the process
Rest and know, the love you hold
Won’t be taken back, no

How sweet, the taste of certainty
(Releasing hope to carry me)
How sweet, the taste, never let it go, no
(Na, na, na, na, na)I see the walls that are torn and bent
The tug of war in the now, not yet
Holding back what they can contain
Can you tell me why I feel this way?

I have faith that the world I’m in
Will be redeemed to its place again
But there’s a weight that I can’t explain
So tell me why I feel this way.”

Like Paul said, “I don’t do what I want to do.” (Romans)

And like Shakespeare said, “I can easier teach 20 what it were good to be done, than be one of the 20 to follow mine own instruction.” (Portia, The Merchant of Venice.)

But, the answer came to me, as it always does, before I even knew I needed it. Before I had all this hit me in that last couple weeks, I reread “The Hiding Place” with my young cousin.

At the end of that book, Corrie Ten Boom says that when she had trouble loving one of the Nazi Prison Guards from the camp she was at, she told Jesus “I cannot forgive this man, give me your forgiveness.” And she felt a rush of love run down her arm for the guard.

She then writes “When He (God) tells us to love our enemies, he gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches, abide in me.”

And you see, my mistake, I now realize, has been I was trying become more loving on my own.

It’s laughable really. I wanted to prove I was no like my dad, (and thought I know from Todoroki that its not going to work if i do that, I still forget), and so I tried, but I didn’t’ pray to God for help when I should have, and I let myself try too hard on my own, for too long. Till I feel like I hate everyone around me.

And even if that didn’t turn me into a prick like Endeavor, it won’t make me more loving.

It’s like I think I can be exempt from the rule, that I’m not as bad as everyone else. What am I on, right?

But I’m also realistic enough to know I’m not more delusion that the average person…just no less delusional either.

But at least I can snap out of it. I know I’m lucky. God puts things in my path to set me back on track.

I had a thought last night too, I can see God’s hand in my life from start to finish. But why do other people not see that.

And my thought is this: Perhaps it takes opening yourself up to God to begin with to be given the insight to see your life the right way at all.

Maybe until you let God in, you will never see how your whole life has led you to Him, even the sin. Many people who come to God later come to think that their sin itself is what pushed them to Him, even as they were trying to get away from him by doing it.

I remember running from God when I was 11 to 13, and the harder I tried to get away, the more it haunted me. The more I knew it was just God I was afraid of. I could never lie to myself enough to think I just didn’t believe in Him. I wonder if anyone really does, deep down, think that.

But when I ran from God, I also knew He was the only cure for the disease I had. I was just too afraid of it. When I came back to God, it as because I accepted finally it would be worse to die of the sin disease than to embrace the pain of being cured from it.

And in typical fashion, God then made the curing of it far less painful for me than suffering from it was. I’ve had bad moments in my Christian walk, but even at its lowest, I can’t compare it to the horror of before.

And even if I felt as bad at times as a christian, it is always when I doubt the most that I am one. When I am secure in who I am, the suffering is not what matters most to me.

Another thing that occurred to me during all this, was how I know that all this is not just in my head.

I actually have a rather strange way to know that.

I’m the kind of person who dwells half her waking life in imaginary worlds. I write a lot, my sister and I reenact stuff in order to brainstorm, I act. I know what’s imaginary more than I know what’s real, most of the time.

Basically, I’m the type of person who always imaging talking to people who are not real. But I know they aren’t real. It’s fun, but it’s not like talking to a person. There’s no give and take.

And I know many anime weebs do what I do, and do it even to a perverted extent. If you’re in the fandom, you know…if your’e not, it’s probably better I don’t explain it here. Look it up if you care, but I don’t recommend that.

Suffice it to say human corruption runs even to the most innocent of shows. Sadly enough.

But many weebs are very lonely individuals, and loneliness leads to perversion faster than anything else does.

But the thing is, they are still lonely. Fantasy lives of the kind they have don’t fill them.

If you hang around fans, you’ll notice the frantic, almost rabid energy they have toward their favorite character, and their unfettered need to hate their lest favorites. It seems excessive.

But fans try to milk everything for the most enjoyment they can (which is fine).

Now, walking with God, I as a fan have used that energy as motivation to thank God for the stories I like that I think I learn from. My fan side turned back into devotion, though I do struggle with the balance, like anyone else would. But God wins out every time.

And oddly, it is exactly because I dwell in fantasy so much that I know God is not a fantasy in my head.

I know what it’s like to talk to people who are not real. What it feels like. You can be emotionally invested in them. All writers are. But they aren’t real. You now that. You know it’s one sided.

And a fan knows ultimately that either love is fake and one-sided, the character will never be real–no matter how violent you get when someone makes that completely obvious point. (If I was on YouTube right now and commented that under a video, people would jump on me, even though it’s just a statement of fact.)

Talking To God is not like that. I think most religious people would back me up on this. You feel like your are talking to a person. There’s a response. Even in Silence, there’s a response.

I mean, would you get mad at an anime character for not answering you when you call? Or do you get mad at your brother for doing that? Or you child, or your parent.

You can’t really be upset with someone who is not real. You can feel a dislike for them, but you know it’s all for fun, really.

We can even dehumanize real people to the point we treat them like the are imaginary…but it doesn’t go the other way around, does it? You can make something less real to you, but it is hard to make it more real to you.

Ever had someone ruin a movie or show for you by telling you the special effects they use to make that awesome scene? And it was fake the whole time?

As a kid, we all had that, right?

Did you ever feel the same watching it? No. Because it could be made less real to you, but it cannot go backwards. It can’t be more real to you.

I think the only thing that make things feel more real is our own maturity to appreciate them growing. And that process is hard.

C. S. Lewis wrote that children outgrow fairy tales, but adults eventually grow back into them. That’s part of life. Everything you like you must learn to stop liking it for a while, in order to like it in a deeper way later.

Which is why marriage can be tempestuous after so many years, but the couples who stick it out often find a deeper kind of love. Friendship too. Even sibling relationships play this out. and those ten to be the least antagonistic out of family dynamics (there are exceptions).

That applies to love too, doesn’t it? How we love? We have to grow out of it, so we can grow back into it.

If we don’t embrace that process, we won’t be able to really love anyone or anything.

Maybe you need to hear that, huh? It’s okay to let something go, it doesn’t mean you can’t love it…it means you need to give you over time to mature. Don’t try to recreate old feelings if they are just not there…embrace the journey. (I mean that when it’s applicable, of course.)

I don’t mean to give up on a relationship if it no longer feels the same. I mean, if you accept it is not the same, and decide yourself to make it the best of what it is now, you’ll either find you dont need it anymore, or, it will turn into something better, deeper, given enough time.

That’s why if you love something you have to set it free.

Well, I’m little better at love than I was, because I have a good teacher.

I hope this helped someone today, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

P. S. (Thanks to all the people who kept reading this even while I was gone for while, I appreciate that.)

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Weaknesses (READ: Strengths).

As you probably know, I love kids shows.

I mean, you get the same themes as adult shows, without the stupid, needless drama of sex and profanity and angst (not that those are never good, but overused.)

And I’ve talked about the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show before and how much I like it.

Today I thought I’d talk about something this show did well that I don’t see often in any form of writing, books or shows.

The show, for anyone who doesn’t know, relies heavily on the symbolism of the 6 elements of Harmony. The elements are embodied in the Mane 6 (pun intentional) characters. Here’s a run down for the novice to the MLP universe (skip if you already know)

MLP Wallpaper- Elements of Harmony by jhayarr23 on DeviantArt

  1. Magic (Twilight Sparkle, the main, main character.)
  2. Honesty (Apple Jack)
  3. Generosity (Rarity)
  4. Kindness (Fluttershy)
  5. Laughter (Pinkie Pie)
  6. Loyalty (Rainbow Dash)

Elements of Harmony | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Much later we find out all these elements are reflections or expansions of 6 original elements of older ponies. Which were

  1. Sorcery
  2. Strength
  3. Beauty
  4. Healing
  5. Hope
  6. Bravery

I thought this was really cool, they are all similar, but just different enough to make you think about it (take notes Miraculous Ladybug, this is how you do lore).

Overtime the show does a lot with exploring what each element means.

One of the criticisms of the show by some fans is that each of the Mane 6 characters sometimes demonstrate the opposite of their elements, meaning that it seems like it doesn’t really fit them.

The most common complaint is that Apple Jack, the element of Honesty, lies a lot, in fact, I’d say in most of the episodes about her specifically she lies or struggles with honesty and fair play.

Applejack | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Rarity also can be a bit selfish and ungenerous, despite being the element of generosity.

Rarity | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

But I gave it some more thought and I realized it wasn’t just them.

Fluttershy, the Kindest pony has a lot of episodes where she is not kind. She gets a dark side, gets too absorbed in trying to be less shy, to the point where she bullies other ponies.

Fluttershy_Trotting,_Staring_at_You

Pinkie Pie actually gets depressed more easily than any other of the mane 6, and it’s visually shown.

Pinkie Pie | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Rainbow Dash often lets ego get in the way of being loyal to her friends. Or, she goes overboard.

Rainbow Dash My Little Pony Pinkie Pie Applejack, rainbow ...

Twilight, the Magic element, struggles with magic constantly, making mistakes, having to work on control, and meeting other ponies more powerful than her.

Twilight Sparkle | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

(One might wonder what magic represents in the real life application of the show, and I think the best answer is it represents wisdom and understanding of how to use the other elements. Twilight most often figures out the best application of the other elements, and how to make them work together. Magic is mostly knowledge on the show. It’s studies by scholars, so it makes sense.)

Twilight also often lacks understanding of friendship situations, especially when they involve her, and has to learn the hard way.

What’s interesting is that she begins the show by not valuing friendship at all, and then becomes the princess of friendship halfway through. Making her the alleged expert on it.

If her element is understanding, however, that’s a bit ironic isn’t it?

But it’s this aspect of the show that I think gets overlooked by many fans. Twilight’s journey is the same as her friends.

They all begin with some innate talent in understanding their elements, but the show is about how all of them grow into being better examples of those elements.

You could say that becoming the elements at the beginning of the show was like being chosen for their potential, and the show is how they grow into that potential.

In this way, their constant struggles with fulfilling those roles makes perfect sense, and is much more compelling to watch, otherwise we’d be getting what a lot of shows do, having the specified characters just preaching at others constantly. Which is okay, but usually means they’ll be stolen, corrupted, or killed off to create drama because there’s no learning curb, they are already experts.

In another way, it was a smart writing choice, because I know from my own efforts that if you set yourself up as an expert in any field to begin with, you’ll come off as a fool, since we humans are always learning, and writing about something is a great way to learn about it more.

The writers didn’t put the pressure on themselves to fully understand all 6 elements at the beginning of the show, instead they gave one example in the pilot, then built on it season after season till by the end they do have a very in depth take on each, but they didn’t start out that way. Which is fine.

I write about the steps to overcoming abuse, obht in fiction and in nonfiction, and I’m still learning about it. If I tried to sa I already had it down, I’d be ridiculously arrogant, by saying I am still learning, I give myself the freedom to revise and build on it.

But this is something a lot of young writers gt wrong. The Bible actually warns the Church not to let new believers become teachers because they are too green and might become prideful.

It’s very true.

The principle of maturity has nothing to do with talent. It’s entirely possible a brand new christian may have a strong gift of teaching, I always have had that gift myself, and it got even stronger once I committed to Christ, because I had more inspiration and less fear.

And I probably have more of a natural talent than many of the pastors I’ve known, but that has very little to do with being able to actually teach.

A good teacher needs to be humble, open to learning from their mistakes, and able to not take all criticism seriously, since people will criticize you more for what you do right than what you do wrong, 9 times out of 10.

A young christian has too much enthusiasm and not enough experience, They may believe, they may even have more raw faith than a 10 year old christian who has hit a rough patch in their life, but what they don’t have is experience of temptations and weaknesses to give them empathy and humility.

And a teacher with neither of those qualities is going to do more harm than good.

The Bible is always practical, if you just know human nature.

The same principal applies to any field. Newbs don’t make good instructors. They may be better than the teacher at doing the thing, but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach it.

I once let one of my Sunday school students who knew the lesson already try to teach it for a single minute. Then I encouraged the others to interrupt the same way they do with me, and get distracted. (I didn’t even have to help that much, they did it on their own.) My student gave up before the minute was even over. They realized quickly that getting the class to listen to requires more than a good memory of the lesson.

I had to smile because I had the same experience when I tried teaching for the first time.

So, I think MLP is actually very right to show that an affinity for something is not the same as being an expert. The reason MLP stayed good for 9 seasons is because the progress makes sense. The students become mentors, then eventually teachers, as they learn their own trade better, but they start off making all the mistakes we would all make.

The Bible talks about the principle of turning strength into weakness and weakness into strength. (Joel 3:10, 1 Corinthians 1:25)

One of my favorite books, Hinds Feet on High Places (Hannah Hurnard) explores this principle much more fully, showing how all our weaknesses and flaws become our greatest strengths, because we allow God to help us more in the weakness we can’t deny, then in the ones we think are not so bad, and so those become our strengths.

The good thing is, that all grows with time. My fear was something I knew was a weakness, but later I began to notice problems with being too vindictive and willful. My willfulness is something I see as both a strength and weakness, and I’ve treated it as both over time, and God has brought to light how sometimes I need to strengthen it, and other times I need to bend.

My natural inclination is to be willful, so it’s harder to refine it then to encourage it, yet I need to do both.

I think MLP shows this best with Apple Jack, who can take honesty too far more often than the others misuse their elements, (except maybe Twilight who often gets too caught up in trying to understand magic to actually be a friend,) but Apple Jack’s is easier to recognize.

But Apple Jack also has a hard time telling the hard truth. So sometimes she has to encourage the blunt side of herself. It’s a great way to show the two sides of the same coin.

I think that’s about all for now, in conclusions, MLP is a really good show, and we don’t get many like it anymore.

And weaknesses become strengths. If you want more proof, look up how many great speakers once had speech problems or stage fright, and you’ll start to see how often this is true in real life. Until next time–Natasha.

HappyColor_16479

Free Wheels.

💕Well, it’s that time of year. Happy Blogaversary followers! 😄

I think this makes it 4 years, dang, it’s been a ride. HappyColor_18012

Speaking of rides, I have some exciting news. I now have a car.

I suppose you all probably weren’t aware I’ve been off the road for a year almost, due to insurance expenses, and until I could get a car and get my own insurance, the price just seemed astronomic. The trouble was, it’s hard to get a job when you can only apply to things within a walking distance of your house.

I managed to do it once, but it was seasonal, and no luck since that time.

So, I need a car to get a job, but I need a job to get a car, pretty impossible cycle right?

Of course I had prayed about it, and just last week, I was talking about it to God, (complaining more than anything), that it was so impossible. Yet, I knew for Him it was easy. That He could just give me a car, or any of the other things I need to become independent.

You see, I don’t usually get those big miracles people tell stories about, but since I was a child, I’ve always believed in them, and growing up I heard enough stories of God’s favor to know that what looks hopeless to me is just an illusion.

We see no rational way something is possible unless we follow certain steps. We treat life like an equation.

Education+ good career options = financial success

Love + commitment = good marriage

Structure + affection = good child rearing.

You know the drill, pick any subject in life, and you’ll find a formula for it, from sex to sleep.

And if you’re like me, you’ve also studied enough to know that real life is not formulaic. Formula works in math, and maybe science, but never in anything outside a controlled environment.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say anyone who implements formula with their children or marriage is a fool, let alone anything less important like business.

Yet, when we plan our lives, we think in formula, if I don’t follow steps A, B, and C, then there’s just no way it can work.

HappyColor_16479

And for me, that was the car thing. If I don’t find some way to work from home or close to home, I can’t make enough money to save up for a car, and I can’t get a better job without a car, and… ugh, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

But a part of me knew that for God, this mess was not a mess at all. And I’d had someone at my church pray for me to get a car and say they saw one in my future (not like fortune telling, jsut to clarify, just a feeling that God intended that. It’s like a blessing.)

Well, amen to that, I thought.

This same person is actually the source of my newfound fortune. They needed a new car for a new job, and decided to give away the old one, and they knew I had need of a vehicle.

Well, I was quite blown away.

But it gets better.

As a new driver, I’d only driven one kind of car, my family car. So, I don’t have much experience. I figured a new car would mean learning some new stuff.

And it will, but not nearly as much as it could have because this car has a driving system very similar to our family car. Is almost the same size, and is comfy and spacious, in impeccable condition for a 10 year old car.

It’s also a Honda, so… yeah, it’ll last ages.

For free.

I’d be hard put to find a used car at that kind of deal even for a few thousand dollars.

Icing on the cake is it’s a bluish color, which is what I wanted, though it’s not a color I imagined, but, it’s pretty.

You know, one has to really think God must have us in mind specifically when He gives us stuff. All those others things weren’t necessary, I could have put up with a few dents and quirks for a free car that still runs, I’m not in a position to be picky about color or style…but I get it anyway.

This all happened after my prayer. And to be honest, I didn’t expect Him to take me seriously.

I mean, I knew He could, but I supposed there was some lesson in all this that I needed to learn (we love that explanation, don’t we?)

Well, I did have to wait a while, but now it becomes much easier. I can afford insurance on this car, and my mom was able to put me on her towing/assitance coverage too, since my dad had, unbeknownst to her, gotten his own.

Well, good riddance I say, means I can be on it with no extra cost.

You know… a little part of me is a bit smug about this. Which isn’t very Christian, but… well let me explain.

Driving was one thing my Dad used to control me with. And I only drove for a year while he was living here, yet he managed to make it a big point of contention constantly.

I made some errors, nothing huge, but one did cost money, and though I paid for it myself, my Dad always expressed doubt over my abilities. He would also make my nervous while he was in the car, and say things like “you could have gotten us into an accident.” If I made a mistake. Idiots do worse things on purpose than I did by accident, but hey, my dad is not logical nor one to cut you some slack.

My dad also tried to make me run errands for him and grounded me from using the car as leverage, though it only made more work for my mom (of course he wouldn’t pick up the slack on driving me around unless he absolutely had to).

And finally he refused to keep me on the insurance because I hadn’t gotten a job, despite my efforts to do so. My dad makes good money too, at least for a single job person.

It was always one thing or another with the car, I got so frustrated that I hated the idea of succeeding just to suit him more than not driving, so I gave up.

Of course, I am not adverse to earning things.

But… if we face facts, no one is born able to earn their keep. We have to be taught, and some people are not able to ever, they get paralyzed, they have mental disabilities. They experience a series of misfortunes.

Or some are driven out of their homes by evil people with a vendetta.

It’s not their fault, they just aren’t as lucky as the rest of us.

While I believe you need to work in life, I recognize that even the ability to work is a gift. And the tools to work are usually also gifts, initially. We call it investing.

But the principal of investing, even from a company, is having faith in a person that they can pull off success. Parents give their children benefits because they hope they will use them wisely.

My dad’s approach was a bit like tossing me in a row boat and removing the paddle. How am I supposed to get anywhere? The boat is a gift (think of it like life) but the tools to make it work are also gifts, at least at first.

It might be “fair” but…does it work?

I don’t know, for some people it might.

But if my Heavenly Father has taken a different approach, I cannot complain.

God’s way is always to give us the tools to succeed, and in the perfect timing to do it in. There is no ability in us to repay God, or to prove ourselves to Him. He knows we can’t do anything for ourselves, not even make our own heart beat (try to stop it for a second, see how well you do.)

Anyway, that’s a wrap for today, until next time, stay honest–Natasha

 

 

 

Intersex: An essay about an unusual topic.

I don’t know if I’ll publish this, but I did some digging about a weird topic today.

A lot of people don’t know what Intersex is, but with rising Transgender movements, it’s bound to be talked about.

Intersex is a general term for a set of genetic mutations that cause either a malformation in male or female reproductive organs, or the producing of both, or sexual problems later in life like too low hormones or other dysfunctions.

Intersex people are actually mostly straight, with a small amount saying they are gay or trans or other.

A lot of them have surgery done to fix their problem, which is now controversial in practice, but many choose to keep the gender their parents chose, or that is predominant.

The LGBT community is of course using this as evidence that being trans is scientifically normal, and proven.

In America, LGBT just got included under the Civil Rights act, I am surprised more that it hadn’t happened already, I thought it was already included since people get sued all the time over not hiring someone.

With corporations, it makes more sense to insist on standards in each branch, but private businesses should have it left up to them…and quite frankly, the government is never going to be able to control them all that effectively anyway, it’s a stupid law that is likely to cause more trouble for the corporation who already hire those people than for the private businesses that don’t. Unless you can prove that was the reason, which you can’t unless they say so.

It just gives people the chance to make allegations that they cannot back up with evidence, and cause trouble for businesses. It doesn’t help the LGBT pride cause either, anyone can claim discrimination, but without evidence, the issue will not be clear, people will have their own opinions about it. That’s all there is to it.

Personally, I don’t really care that much, except to find it ridiculous that they think this solves anything.

Anyway, I found the term intersex online and decided to look into the scientific evidence for it supporting a Transgender lifestyle.

Scientifically, what is being Intersex?

I always take it with a grain of salt when people who have the LGBT agenda say these things, because obviously they want science to back up their lifestyle.

But science is a bad measure for your lifestyle for a couple reasons, unless you know some parameters for the evidence.

The first reason is if you look at science as just facts, you will neglect the cause of those facts.

Fact: Cancer cells are in your body every day, but your immune system fights them too fast to make you sick, usually.

Cause?

The causes of cancer cells are malfunctions in healthy cells, and its heightened by a lack of certain nutrients, I am not a doctor so I don’t know that much about it, but it’s not a Natural phenomenon, in the way we mean natural, that is, the way it is supposed to be for you to function healthily.

Without the cause, you may misunderstand what Cancer is, but the effects of cancer are so obviously negative that most people will not question it’s unnatural.

Another case in point, puberty is a natural thing, but early puberty can be caused by poor nutrition and hormones that should not be in your body in that amount, it can come from food, environment, genetics, etc.

Early puberty is a problem because your mind doesn’t mature as fast as your body, I believe other health problems can follow it, but the emotional problems can certainly be an issue, if you are not around a good community.

So, natural and unnatural are tricky words when we are talking about DNA. If natural means what’s in DNA, then Down Syndrome and other similar syndromes are “natural” because an extra chromosome is produced. But at this time, no one considers it the optimal state to be in, and the downsides are obvious, reduced maturity, and often a heart condition that can cause a lot of problems.

Dwarfism is the same way. Even being over 7 feet tall is bad for you because your body cannot get enough oxygen for your lungs and heart from the air. (Look it up, I can’t go into the whole process here.)

Once I read that Intersex can be caused by extra X chromosomes; I wondered if it was like Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is more likely to occur in older women who get pregnant; my mom was actually warned about it with my sister. But she’s fine, she did develop reading abilities much slower than me and my other sibling, but she’s perfectly able to function, it just took longer. Some kids are like that. Talking was never a problem for her.

Intersex people can be what we would consider regular, in physical terms, but have a hormone problem that causes their reproductive parts to either not develop, or not work. The reason this is not a good argument for gender fluidity is that this hormone insensitivity problem can also cause cancer or make it more likely.

That’s in the case of men usually but also women can have it. Women have testosterone, just less of it.

In other cases, the reproductive organs either don’t form or don’t finish forming or form in a weird shape that can effect fertility.

When that happens the causes can range from the mother having a tumor that produced too much of a hormone that changed the baby’s development, taking male hormones during pregnancy, a deficiency in an enzyme, or a condition that causes the limiting of reproductive hormones and can be life threatening.

Not a lot of people know this (at least from memory), but testosterone is a part of keeping more than just your reproductive organs functioning: it helps your body keep other organs going, and I believe the heart is one of them. A deficiency in it is serious.

It makes sense men have more as they do more hard labor, at least historically, but women have it too, and some have more of it–it can make them have a higher sex drive, but other than that I think it’s harmless, though there’s probably a condition of having too much. I didn’t look that up, obviously it would cause the opposite problem.

The rare case of having both male and female organs has unknown causes, but some evidence has linked it exposure to pesticides. In the past when it occurred, it’s likely people were exposed to toxic metals or plants, since all throughout history humans have used things that were toxic, like lead, in unhealthy ways, and not known it.

And yes, Inter-sexuality has been around for thousands of years. People have looked at it in many different ways, linking it to higher spirituality in some cultures, witchcraft in others (African, notably), and the Catholic church took rather a common sense approach, considering how Christians tend to treat differences, and just said to identify the person with what was predominant and called them “congenital eunuchs” probably because often they cannot reproduce.

Based on all this, I think it’s common sense to draw the conclusion that this condition is not normal, in the same sense that cancer, down syndrome, and other mutations are not normal.

That does not make anyone who has it not human, nor does it make them some kind of monster. That would be foolish.

In most of these cases, it would be simple to figure out which sex the baby was by tracing what causes the mutation, since it is different in males and females. Which is why the parents choosing the gender isn’t so far fetched; it’s sounds entirely plausible to me. Just look at what genes it started from and assume the divergence is a mutation. Saying it changes their gender is more of a philosophical question than a scientific one.

A lot of people with this condition can still live as fully functioning, sexually active people and may not even know they have it. In that case, making an issue of it seems silly.

Intersex people themselves can resent the suggestion that this makes them trans. Though it’s easy to see where the mistake comes from.

My point is, based on how this occurs, it’s a mutation. A mutation cannot prove a lifestyle is morally acceptable.

This mutation is said to be about as common as red hair. Scientifically, that makes using it to justify a moral stance about akin to the “gingers have no soul” internet meme.

It does not happen naturally, but because of outside factors that lead to a deficiency, or an excess of hormones, that cause other problems that are decidedly “not good.”

Like all mutations, it’s not beneficial in the long run. Even if it can be good in one way, it means a loss or confusion of genetic information which will lower your resistance to other problems.

There will be people who say I am saying this just to justify looking at this through the lens of my religion, and they’d be right in that I might not care if I was not a Christian, but as a Christian,  have an interest in knowing if Science truly does contradict the Bible.

And according to the research, it doesn’t.

Let me explain:

What would the Bible say about being Intersex?

The Bible teaches the in the Beginning, He made them male and female.

The Bible teaches also that the reason God did this was so that the humans would fill the earth with their offspring; in most of nature you need a male and female to reproduce, even in species with male and female sex organs, you need two of them, they can’t reproduce with themselves (ew).

The Bible says man and woman together comprise the image of God, meaning that each of us has characteristics that are more like God than the other, and fitting them together is the complete picture.

The Bible also records genetic mutations, as in the case of Giants, and having 6 toes and such, so it is not ignorant of those thing occurring.

It make no mention of Intersex that I know of, but it doesn’t really need to because the question is already answered.

In the beginning, male and female.

And intersex person at conception is male or female; the mutation occurs at some point in the development. The Bible does not teach that human genetics cannot be altered by unnatural conditions, it actually teaches the opposite. The giants were caused by that.

Just as genetics can be altered by chemicals, radiation, toxins, and any number of bad life decisions on our part.

The scary thing about human DNA is that it is human: we have the ability to effect our children with our choices, and other people can effect them also. It’s part of living around each other and having the free will to use things we shouldn’t.

Drugs alter your cells too, doesn’t make it good, and it can be handed down genetically. The good news is, until you activate it, the genes for addiction are dormant.

Another Reason to Talk About this:

I think that some people, if they find out they are Intersex, may wonder if that conflicts with their Christian beliefs, and if God has not really made them male or female.

It looks to me like the evidence is against that. I don’t believe Gender is really a choice, either biologically or spiritually, but lifestyle is. Doesn’t make it right.

People confuse choice with Good. Choice is a fact: you can choose. It doesn’t make what you choose good just because you chose it. Which is obvious when applied to any crime everyone agrees is bad, like rape, but when it’s something people want very much to justify, they pretend it doesn’t matter.

No one would be crazy enough (I hope) to say rape is okay because it was the rapist’s choice to abuse someone else’s body for their own convenience, but they will say it’s okay to abort a baby for the same reason.

There is no difference between these two things, except that one is popular to think is wrong, and the other popular to think is okay…well, that and a baby can neither defend itself nor cry for help…audibly.

I am just hitting all those nerves aren’t I?

Well, as always, I am not hating on anyone who lives a way I don’t agree with, anymore than I will hate on anyone who’s had an abortion. We are all sinners. But I do not have to pretend I think it’s okay, and I do not have to support it.

The point of this was that science still does not disprove the Bible.

Incidentally, The Bible makes clear what God’s design was, but never says it has not been altered by men, and that nature is not corruptible. It actually says that nature is affected by man and the sins we commit against it.

I am not teaching that being Intersex is caused by sinning, either by parents or children. Jesus warned us not to assume that. I think it can be caused by too many different things to conclude that.

The truth is that sin caused the production of chemicals, toxins, and abnormal amounts of hormones due to diseases related to those things, that then causes mutations. It may be no fault of the parent, just their environment that they could not control.

Unless they did that on purpose, and then, yeah, that’s wrong… sorry, just is. You shouldn’t risk messing with your kid’s DNA while you are pregnant.

Well, this was an unusual topic for me. Obviously all this is a layman’s opinion, not  pastor’s, but I am well read and in college, so my knowledge of science and theology is fairly good for being a layman.

Take it for what it’s worth, and I hope you walk away at least with the confidence that there are counterpoints to be made to the propaganda we hear and to always watch what someone with an agenda is saying about scientific evidence.

I do have an agenda, but I acknowledge their points. People would say someone like me would never admit to those extra chromosomes (in fact, some were saying that when I found this thread of info) and have an answer for it.

But I can and do, and if my God was so pathetic as to be destroyed by a few mutations, my theology couldn’t have been very good to begin with. Christian Theology leaves plenty of room for science, contrary to popular opinion, and many of the Great Scientists were and still are Christians.

If this blog ever gets taken down for expressing these views, then I won’t really be surprised. I figure it’s a matter of time before the internet limits free speech to that extent, but deleting my site doesn’t delete Me.

And even if it did, it wouldn’t make me wrong. This isn’t about me. It’s about the Truth.

Which people who don’t want to will never accept, and I don’t expect them to do so. But I don’t apologize for my beliefs.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

The Shocking Truth! (most controversial post about history)

Hmm, I just found out something pretty shocking…

You know how I’m taking a history class right now?

Well, this anti-European history class covered slavery in America last month, and no mention was made of this very strange fact:

(I mentioned it to my professor who denied any knowledge of it. But I remembered it being in a movie that came out 5 or 6 years ago I think, about America.)

Did you know that there were black slave owners in the U. S.?

It’s true. It’s documented on census’es taken from the 1800s, in fact, a black man was one of the first people to legally win ownership of another black man in court

“It depends on how you parse the timeline. Anthony Johnson, the black ex–indentured servant whose bio opened the first episode of our podcast, did sue to hold John Casor for life in 1653, and the resulting civil court decision remanding Casor to Johnson’s ownership was (as historian R. Halliburton Jr. writes) “one of the first known legal sanctions of slavery” in the colonies.” (Slavery Myths, click link for full article https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2015/09/slavery-myths-seven-lies-half-truths-and-irrelevancies-people-trot-out-about-slavery-debunked.html)

There’s a book about it actually, called “Black Slaveowners Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860” See link below:

(https://www.worldcat.org/title/black-slaveowners-free-black-slave-masters-in-south-carolina-1790-1860/oclc/1124410642)

So, now you know I’m not making this up, but why am I bringing it up?

Because in a college history class, this is not mentioned. I have never seen it mentioned in any history book I’ve ever read, especially not ones about slavery. They grudgingly mention that slavery existed in Africa, taking great pains to tell us that it was “different from Western Slavery” and “Europeans made it worse” and oh, we had slaves at a time when slavery was a social norm and no one would have thought much of it.

It wasn’t, from the accounts we have of the slaves who came from Africa, the idea of slavery that they objected to, it was the nature of slavery of Europe was different, and they didn’t like it. That’s fair, but is it fair to make it seem like it was mostly the Europeans fault?

Usually, in politics, we blame the preexisting system for the fact that outside forces can take advantage of it. Like, do we blame China for the fact that we outsource our businesses to them because its cheaper that way for us, even though it’s an inefficient system that hurts the people actually making the products?

Is it China’s fault? Or ours, for building our economy on that?

No one is going to say China, here, guys.

Yet, it was somehow Europe’s fault for doing the same thing, when slavery preexisted in Africa and we could only take advantage of it because of that, in Europe, after the Empires died away, slavery was not a thing.

But, they will say, Slavery is a clear evil, and Europeans should have known better.

Well, firstly, slavery is not denounced as evil in almost every major world religion, though it is given parameters, at least in the Bible, for fair treatment, and the ability of slaves to be freed after a certain length of time.

Slavery is a historically acceptable thing, up until the last 200 years, in fact.

So, why should the Europeans have known better? Do human beings innately question things like that? We’re told it’s wrong now from preschool to adulthood, to the point where no one can have an intelligent conversation about why it happened at all, just that it was wrong.

I am no fan of it myself, I live in free country, I like freedom. I am not interested in enslaving anyone.

But I am also not interested in presenting a view of history that is completely skewed one direction, not by logic, not by virtue, but by the wish to inflate the crimes of 1/3 of the world, and ignore the crimes of the other 2/3.

I call it facing facts. The fact is, everyone sucks. No matter what country you’re from, unless its Greenland, because they never do anything that I’ve heard of (but if you go back far enough, who knows? Vikings right?)

Does it not strike anyone else as irresponsible to leave out of history books about the Slavery movement, that black people owned slaves?

I mean, doesn’t it suggest a certain… bias?

Even that one of them maybe was part of normalizing it to begin with?

That’s not something anyone wants to hear, is it?

There’s a lot of white people who get a kick out of shaming their ancestors over slavery, and it’s fair enough to say it was evil… but it’s not fair to say white people are to blame.

The terms “White Supremacist” “White Misogynist” get thrown around a lot.

And if a white person has the audacity to stand up for this country, or any aspect of European history, well, prepare for battle (I should know, I get this in my history class if I ever try to bring up counterpoints.)

Now, I am not blaming black people. (Which is a blanket term anyway, because if I said African, I’d actually exclude a lot of the countries slaves were taken from.) I think all of use are responsible. There were other races involved too. Eastern peoples.

Slavery was a Global problem, it looked different in different nations, but it was Global.

History books now slide a certain way, against White people.

Never mind that Irish, Scottish, and any number of other ethnicity in Europe could be almost as oppressed as slaves, and rarely if ever owned enough property to own slaves. And I am more those ethnicities than I am any that would have had slaves. So, as someone with a very small claim to fame in that part of history, I feel even more annoyed at the marginalization.

Profiling is only profiling if you’re not white.

I wish I was kidding, but I just watched a movie last week, a good movie, that has a couple of lines in it that are just… so, so hypocritical.

The worst is a black woman in the movie makes this joking comment “I never get tired of watching white people fight.”

It’s laughed off, and truthfully, I am not really offended by the idea of it being funny to see white people fight. I think it’s funny too. BUT

Can you imagine the same line, spoken by white person, of a black couple?

Picture it “I never get tired of watching (insert any other race) people fight”

I am pretty sure the Racist Comment Police would be all over this in two minutes.

And this movie is not supposed to be social commentary, it didn’t see any problem with saying that.

Because no one would have a problem with it, on any given TV show, because it’s okay for black people to make fun of white people because we can’t dance, can’t rap, and fight differently  (supposedly) but it’s not okay for white people to say even a good thing about black people, if we say it’s because they are black. At least not without feeling like we’re taking our interracial social life into our hands.

I know some people at my church who don’t care if I say “black” because they know I am not trying to be disrespectful, it’s just easier than trying to remember where they are from. Cause guess what? My church has had black people from the UK there, so I can’t very well just assume everyone is African American, can I? (See why that term is so stupid as a blanket term? It’s more exclusive than black is because it makes it sound like there are only African Americans, and my French Professor was black too, she was form France.)

To be fair, usually it’s other white or Hispanic people who make the jokes that we can’t say “black” no black person has ever told me they don’t like it. (If you don’t, sorry, no offense intended).

Anyway, Political Correctness is dependent upon being technically incorrect, a lot of the time, as I think the above examples illustrate.

If I suggested that black people were partially responsible for slavery on any social media platform, I would get flame warred to death.

Even if, I could historically prove I was right. It wouldn’t matter.

The reason I think I have to talk about this is because my blog is literally about finding truth, protecting the truth, and understanding the value of it.

If the truth doesn’t fit any political agenda, that’s a shame, but it doesn’t make it not true.

Well, I think this is the most controversial post I’ve written all year, I wonder if it’ll get comments.

Though, why it is so bad to just give historical facts and suggest that they should be in history books, I’ll never know. 😐😤

Until next time, stay honest and stay healthy–Natasha

Outbreaks–a Christian’s perspective

Well, this is quite a time to be a blogger.

On the one hand, everything being closed means more people are going to be bored out of their minds and surfing the web, on the other hand, people are terrified.

In case someone reads this post in the next few years and has no idea what I’m talking about, we are currently in the middle of the COVID virus epidemic.

I have not been following the virus closely, as I don’t believe news reports to be the most reliable sources for realistic looks at any situation, let alone one causing panic. I just keep getting updated on what’s closing, and how many people can be in a room.

Right now we’re down to 10, hopefully it stays there, even that’s way too few to be practical.

If we hadn’t had such a run on supplies, this maybe could have been handled differently, like making any large group of people all wear masks and gloves before mingling. Only for crucial stuff though, of course who decides what’s crucial? I don’t envy the people trying to sort this out.

I’m just sad that my church services and Sunday school are shut down, and now my college is taking a break from classes to deal with it. I hope they don’t just stop, I don’t want to retake these classes.

Even without looking it up, I  know there’s people on both sides of the extremist spectrum who think that this is a plague from God, or a science experiment to weed out the elderly and infirm in our population.

As a Christian who reads her bible, I can’t rule out an act of God, but it’d be weirdly inefficient as a plague if it only targets those who are already old and ill. God is no respecter of persons.

If I was going to be a conspiracy theorist, I’d say man made, because a lot of sick people think that we need to decrease the population, and have no regard for the elderly.

However, even so this virus is pretty pathetic in terms of strength, for an epidemic. They say that kids may not even know they’re sick because their symptoms could be so light.

I did  not even take this seriously till it started effecting my life, and even  now, I am not that concerned, my family is generally pretty healthy, we rarely even get a regular flu. being homeschooled and genetically having strong immune systems has its perks.

I guess like most humans, until it’s bothering me, I don’t care about a lot of problems. I don’t see a point to worrying about something I cannot stop.

People ask around times like these why God allows such things to happen.

In the Bible, the first mention of disease is pretty late in, I don’t think it’s mentioned at all until Exodus, and if it is, it’s not with the principle characters. We know that God made the world perfect, and set up a diet for Adam that would keep him healthy  (see Genesis 1-3), Proverbs also says that following God’s word will bring heath to your bones.

God sends pestilence on Egypt and warns the Israelites the same will happen to them if they disobey him. Jesus and the prophets heal the sick. Jesus promises heath to those who serve him (though we know it is not exclusive health, just enough for us to keep serving him.) Paul says if we lay hands on the sick they will recover.

In modern day times, science suggests that most of our health problems are caused by bad environment, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise, or too much, for some people. Also insufficient clothing, in many countries.

If we human beings took better care of ourselves, and each other, God would have a lot less to do about it.

But even so, we really should be worse off than we are, some people’s good health just can’t be explained by their life choices, and I’ve known many health-focused Mormons who still get sick all the time.

The Bible would teach that Disease is the result of living in a sinful world. Like sin, disease effects multiple people. When someone sins they inflict pain on someone else, just like someone can spread a disease to an otherwise healthy person. You can’t blame the victim. Sickness can be a judgement, but as the book of Job warns us, only God can know when it’s a judgement, and when someone has been the victim of someone’s else wrong, or if it’s a test.

My dad would usually jump right on the Judgment train for any terrible thing that happened. While I could not prove he was wrong, it’s foolhardy to assume every evil is a judgement.

God says that He sends good times and bad times (Isaiah), but we know the Satan also causes disaster (Job 1-2), that human beings have agency and can cause ourselves problems, and that this fallen world has certain weather patterns and genetic flaws that cause problems periodically.

Sin is behind all of it, but the direct cause is not a thing anyone can know without special revelation. I don’t claim to be that much of a prophet. Hindsight is usually how we can judge the effects of something.

The point I’m trying to make is, we can try to make sense of this, but in the long run, it’s less frustrating to just trust God with it. To do the best we can to help each other and not give our leaders trouble by disobeying them over little things, and not to panic.

Whether you’re a tinfoil that kind of guy, or just trying to get through this with your sanity intact, keep in mind that everything passes away. No disaster can last forever, and epidemics usually don’t last long in each location. It’s almost come full circle as it is. A few months, and hopefully this will be a memory for most of us.

Also, my condolences to anyone who has lost anyone to this disease. Death happens, but it’s never expected or normal feeling.

We all should be praying for those who have to work still, or who are old enough to be in danger.

Until next time, stay healthy–Natasha.

Healer: