The D-word.

Time for some real talk.

I don’t like to get super vulnerable on this blog because I prefer writing about other stuff,

but I also write about what’s on my mind, and lately, it’s been the D-word.

Depression.

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I loathe depression. I’m one of those people who grew up with a constantly depressed parent, and even my other parent never seemed happy to me.

I struggled with depression for a few years while living in fear, then it was gone for a while, it came back whenever I went through a dark place where I was fearful or stressed a lot.

I always just put it down to the stress.

I have never been one to wake up with a dark cloud over my life every single day. I do not have mood swings. I don’t like to sleep a lot.

So far, I’ve never thought about it being a medical issue, and I still think that is unlikely.

But, I got to see Depression modeled for me by my father. It made for a very stressful last 8-9 years of my life.

My father would tell us, when business got bad, that he had considered ending his life so we could get the insurance. That he would get really low, and think about it. Unlike me, who has always been horrified at the idea of taking my own life (even though I have been plagued with thoughts of it at various times throughout my life) he seemed to feel it was a viable option.

It put a lot of anxiety on me and my sisters, and my mom. We wondered if he meant it.

I now think that my dad wanted attention, from us, from God, and turned to desperate methods to get it. And I have now experienced he same temptation when people disappoint me, to do the same thing.

The extreme selfishness of saying things like that just to make a point has long been apparent to me also.

I have spent years trying to get the horror of those moments out of my system, it’s still a work in progress.

Somehow we kept on, and we didn’t talk about it. Ever. I learned to keep my fears to myself, as well as my fury at how he tormented us.

Now, I’ve been paying the price for all that repression by having a lot of stress that seems to just come from nowhere. And I get depressed.

I think that the idea of depression scares me more than the feeling itself. For me, sadness tends to be a short feeling, but to come repeatedly throughout the day or week or month. I will shake it off, but then something triggers me to worry again, and with that comes the Depression.

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)

Every time in my life I have ever felt depressed, it was because I had anxiety, and it was persistent. Then the Depression would make me more anxious, and I would start to have a panicky feeling, I think it’s called Extreme Anxiety or something.

The Bible also says, “There is no Fear in Love, but Perfect Love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18)

I was not loved well as a child, or as the young woman that I am now. Since last year, I have only realized just how much I was neglected and abused, and that I still am.

Frankly, God is the only reason I did not end up a Basket Case, but I am still a Hot Mess.

On top of that, I am an Empath, and I feel the suffering of other people very keenly. So, growing up in an emotionally negative house really was stressful for me.

I am also the one who tends to try to hold myself and my family together in a crisis, and this last 8 months has felt like one continuous crisis.

Recognising Depression and Fighting it Off ! - Conceive ...

The Depression showed up 3-4 months ago, probably because the stress continued for so long unabated. At first, I did not feel this way, but the constancy of the situation, and how little it changes it beating me like the ocean beats a stone.

Yeah.. now that I write it out, it kind of seems obvious to me why I feel this way.

Not to mention now we have a National Crisis too, always helpful.

Somehow, I am hanging on to my sanity by prayer, worship, and being able to still laugh at things with my sisters, but it gets tough a lot.

I’m sure I am speaking some of you’s language. Right?

I can’t say for sure why I find it so terrifying to have negative feelings. I remember a lot of times my mom and dad would tell me not to have it, refuse to come and comfort me after a nightmare, and force me to go places that terrified me to go to. With zero reassurance along the way.

I had to tough it out, deal with it myself, and if that ever became too much… well, they might help, but my dad had a way of saying the worst possible thing, and my mom has a way of saying she just doesn’t know how to help.

That led to me feeling my problems are either just too big and complicated to be understood and I shouldn’t be so much to handle…or they are actually way worse than I thought.

So, I tried to solve them myself, or to pray through them.

I was lucky to have a few friends for brief periods of my life that showed me my problems did not have to be overwhelming. But it did not last. I was so hungry to be listened to and not shamed, I quickly got needy, and that lesson has now made me very hesitant to ever open up to people.

That and a few other bad experiences after trying it.

Yep…you know, I’d expect this to be surprising, but I don’t think it is. Anyone whoa voids talking about heir weaknesses as much as I do on this blog is bound to be uncomfortable with it.

I’m not afraid of people judging me, if they did, I’ll laugh it off, I don’t take that very seriously.

What I don’t like it the idea that people might think it’s all I want to talk about, that I live here, that I have no life outside of my issues, and I am very against that.

Part of how I cope, in time where I cannot completely overcome, is by remembering I have interests outside of the areas that trouble me. There’s a world out there, I am a part of it. I enjoy things still. That’s my therapy a lot of the time.

I just can’t stand people who make their problems a badge of honor. To me, they are just problems, if I’m in a good place, I’ve stopped thinking of them as a mark of shame, but I won’t parade them. I hate that.

It was always important to me to be normal, and the realization that my childhood and teenager years were not, in fact, normal, has been a shock. I’m still fighting it, that I could be that jacked up from all that.

50 Fighting Depression Quotes : Battling Depression Quotes

I may not be crazy, or hell bent on destroying my life, but I do have issues.

If Depression is one of them, that’s probably normal.

It’s important to be to choose differently than my dad. He let his Depression and Anxiety push him around, he didn’t try to stop it, he left it up to us to drag him out of the pit, and we couldn’t do it.

I have anger too. I have found that Fear leads to Anger. Anger is like a drug.download (4)

It could have been so much worse, the gladness I still have, even now, is all due to God preserving me. Sometimes (a lot lately) I wish He’d work faster to heal me, and I doubt that He will. Yet, little by little, I am also learning to not give into those thoughts.

Today I have felt pretty bad, but there’s been less intrusive thoughts and less doubt than there was two months ago. One thing the Enemy cannot do, and that is, last forever. There is always an end to it. Every dark time in my life, I came out of into a better grasp of happiness and joy.

This will be one of them, even if it takes a year. (Though, please God, make it shorter than that.)

I am not a quitter, that is the main reason I made it this far, and now I am trying to get counseling. I didn’t want to, but God has sort of impressed on me that it is not right to go through this alone, and I should not have to, I always had to in the past.

World Mental Health Day: 16 famous quotes on fighting depression ...

I guess it’s a change I need to accept, I cannot be a loner anymore. I never wanted to be one anyway. (Hence blogging about it.)

Hey, if you read this far, thanks for your interest in my life. I do like how people are always ready to hear personal stories, it gives me hope social media has not ruined us for understanding each other.

More posts about anime, and life, and whatever else I think of coming soon–stay warm and healthy–Natasha.

 

Britney Spears's mom posts encouraging Instagram message

 

What it’s like to be an Empath.

I looked at my Home Page post today, I hadn’t updated it in ages, boy, it was rough. Now that I’m used to blogging, I feel it was too rigid.

But it’s a great reminder how I didn’t know what I was doing 5 years ago, almost, and now I do–sort of.

In many ways I’m still an amateur who doesn’t know how to market themselves, but I have a blast writing this anyway. And thank you for reading it.

Between shifting family dynamics and shifting cool perceptions, this past year has not gone as I expected.

You know what I have discovered? A lot of people don’t put in effort to understanding each other.

Shocking, I know.

Seriously, though, I am that semi-rare individual who studies people around me constantly and I have done it for as long as I can remember. My mom even confirmed that I did it as a toddler. It’s in the genes, I guess.

Not sure whose, neither of my parents are like that.

I realized I am something called an Empath.

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“An empath is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves. Empaths see the world differently than other people; they’re keenly aware of others, their pain points, and what they need emotionally.

But it’s not just emotions. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, empaths can feel physical pain, too — and can often sense someone’s intentions or where they’re coming from. In other words, empaths seem to pick up on many of the lived experience of those around them.” (Andre Solo. 13 Signs that you’re an Empath. Link here: https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/empath-signs/)

1. You take on other peoples’ emotions as your own

Turns out the feeling I get when other people come in a room, like I am feeling their energy and emotions, is something empaths tend to feel. That’s number one on this list.

6. Tragic or violent events on TV can completely incapacitate you

So, it’s also why I hate scary and tragic stories, it’s never just a story for me.

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Poor baby.😢

 

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Freaking why?!!!😠😣 (Not the ship, the afterward.)

(I love both shows, by the way.)

Also, apparently, I can tell when people are lying (No#10.).

Being an empath is also the reason why I am an introvert. I don’t need alone time because conversation and activity drains me, people drain me because I pick up on all their energy and emotions(No#2 and 3).

It is as natural as breathing to me to do this, it blows my mind that other people do not walk around constantly noticing this stuff.

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Oh, yeah, right, that’s why.

Every little change of expression and voice come across to me.

Another sign mentioned in the post is being able to feel pain and even sickness(No#8).

I’ve talked about this before, but all the way up to my tweens, I would feel sick after reading about sickness, or feel pain after reading about an injury. Hypochondria, in other words.

It used to scare me, it no longer does, but there are times when I still feel it, even if I don’t think I have it.

Now imagine this, having a confrontation with someone, only you can feel their anger, sadness, and frustration as well as your own, the entire  time…

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“I can feel your anger…” (Not an empath, just to be clear.)

Some of you who have a hard enough time dealing with your own want to curl up into a ball at the mere thought of that.

That’s my life. I’m Natasha, Nice to meet you.

And yeah, if anyone is every BS-ing me, I can tell pretty quickly.

I never used to believe my impressions of people, I thought I was just mistrusting…and I can be. But I am very often on point to a degree that amazes my family.

This even works with fiction. I can predict show plot points very easily. I pick up on patterns of characters. and the author, based on what they feel and how they act when they feel that way.

You may have see reviews that over analyzed every detail of something, that’s me.

However, though I have experienced all 13 of the signs of being an empath at some time in my life, I do not deal with all of them all the time, anymore.

I realized I could not take that pressure. It’s easy for me to compulsively take care of people, but I still have feelings of my own that I have to divide from everyone else’s.

The reason I want to share that with you here is that all of us, obviously, have a personality type.

But you are not limited to your type.

I am an empath, I will always pick up on what people feel, but I have grown much stronger at rejecting negative feelings when they are not my own, and positive ones, when they are false. I will feel their pain but I do not have to carry it.

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Suck it, Pain. You think you’ve got it bad.

It could be easy for me to be a sucker. What’s an annoying sob story or pep talk to you becomes a barrage of emotions flung at me, and if the person believes it, I can tell.

And if they are wrong, I have to consciously choose to reject what they said.

If you wonder how this can be dangerous, then  think bout this, I come form a background of having an Emotionally Abusive Parent.

The delusions of emotionally abusive people is that they often think they are right. Emotions are tricky like that.

Even when my dad knew he was wrong, he used my  emotions against him. He could tell when I was weakening, and he’d latch onto it.

This man liked to tell me, when I came to apologize for some stupid fight that he usually started, that he was going to give up on trying with me.

I would feel his pain, yet, I also would feel his intention to make me feel bad, and get furious.

It was not fully fake but it was never honest.

Take that, multiply it by dozens of incidents over the years that I’ve lost count of, and you have a really bad set up.

You might think as an empath that I am easily offended…

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…but as this blog and the book it was talking about point out, not all empaths are HSP (highly sensitive people).

I was once, but I am no longer very easy to offend.

In fact, instead of being weaker emotionally, I am actually stronger emotionally than many people. My ability to process other people’s emotions and my own at the same time has made me stronger, because I have to hold both.

And I had to learn to let stuff go, otherwise it would always weigh me down.

I have evidence that the empath ability starts at birth, as even as a baby I reacted poorly to people who were stressed or angry.

Empaths aren’t really easy to explain with science. Unless you believe in mind reading (and you’d be surprised at the evidence that mind reading is actually somewhat possible, though not like in sci-fi, where it’s conscious concrete thoughts) how will you  explain that we can actually feel feelings and read people so accurately.

But there is, as always, a biblical; explanation where science has not yet reached(though it’s getting close.)

In the bible there is a gift of the spirit known as Discernment.

Someone with this gift can tell truth from lies, and one emotion from another, and make sense of it.

Discernment is dangerous without wisdom.

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I can attest that empaths who do not have wisdom can end up very unhappy and make the people around them miserable. Also, we tend to get asked for advice, and if our priorities are not straight, we aren’t going to give it well.

Discernment is gift from God, but you can have it without knowing God, just like with other talents. People who do can end up in a world of hurt.

But walking with God and letting him refine and hone my gift, I have enjoyed it a lot for the most part.

God helps me avoid pitfalls, as I can’t always be right. Where my gift comes short, He will provide an answer.

Being an empath enables me to be interested in a lot of people, and to always have new things to notice about them.

If you were to ask me, after all this, what the hardest part about being an empath for me (as it is like a job in many ways, to monitor all the people around you without even wanting to) is, I would say this:

Trusting yourself.

When you know what everyone feels, deciding what you feel is right, is hard. Sometimes they can be so passionate, and yet over the wrong thing, that it’s hard to say no.

You doubt whether you made the right choice, because you can sense their disappointment or anger.

But if you keep giving yourself enough credit for when you are right, it gets easier.

I am at the point now where I can stick to my guns even if I know someone is getting upset with me. I just have to choose to think that what is right is more important that if they get upset.

And that’s an interesting thought. Because many people now say that what people feel is more important than what’s right, empaths might be more likely to buy into that, yet here I am, saying I don’t.

Which is why I say, your type does not control you. You are still a person with free will. Whatever your natural inclination are, you can choose better, if you know that there is a better.

Learn to make your type work for you, don’t let it drag you by your hair, if you have hair.

And that is all for this post, stay honest–Natasha.

 

 

An odd Thanksgiving Post.

Being homeschooled is the best, you completely miss big controversies till weeks after they happened.

I heard about this Kanye West thing, but didn’t know what it was about till today.

And, taking my cue from BlimeyCow, one of my favorite YouTubers, I don’t really see it as imperative that I comment on Kanye West’s personal life.

I might listen to the album though, I like rap and Gospel both, so who knows, maybe I’d like them together. (Roll your eyes all you want people over 30.)

But, I couldn’t help noticing some things popping up that I notice a lot with controversy and identity politics and stuff, and since Kanye West’s reception is simply a microcosm of it, I think I can comment on that using this as an example.

This whole thing has brought out the best and worst in the Black Christian Culture, from what I can see, and the White…and anyone who cares.

I read of one person criticizing West’s political standpoints by saying their blackness and their religion (Christianity) were tied too closely together, and he disrespected that. (By supporting Trump, I suppose.)

All political opinions aside…what…?

In the New Testament, Paul declares that there is no race, no gender, no slave nor free, in Christ. ( Galatians 3:28)

That passage does not mean that race, gender, and freedom do not matter at all, it means that when it comes to God, there is no favoritism. Whatever you are, you inherit the same thing in Christ. all of us pray, all of us receive help from God, all of us are called to the same mission, that supersedes all the other differences.

Of course, if someone discriminates based on race, gender, or freedom, then do something about it, Christianity is the best basis for equal rights. Anyone is able to be a Christian, and Christians do not focus just on the free and respected people.

Ours is a religion of going to remote tribes, prisons, jails, ghettos, gangs, slaves, junkies, hospitals, mental institutions, new civilizations, old civilizations, anywhere and everywhere we go.

Christians stand before kings and culprits alike, and do not care. It’s historical as well as doctrinal.

For this very reason, if someone is tying religion to their race, history, or gender, I already have to wonder about what they believe. Certainly, it’s not the Bible.

Now, there are plenty of religions that allow for the superiority of one race…but Christianity is not one of them.

Though it has been used that way but that was when it was mixed with other ideas and what was actually in the Bible was ignored.

Look, I’m not trying to insult anyone, but is Jesus only the savior of black people? Or is He the Savior of white, Latino, Asian, and every other race under the sun. Heck, if a race of people lived underground their whole lives, He’d be their Savior too.

When white people regrettably brought slaves to my country, it wasn’t right (though, it also wasn’t just the white people, the Africans sold each other too.)

But oddly enough, even as cruel as we were, we shared the most important thing of all with the slaves: Our faith.

Strangely enough, this things that matters most, that is the key to life, is the one thing we weren’t holding back from them.

It’s not really a thing to brag about, because strangely, this is a common theme in history. People can be cruel to each other, but, somehow, a lot of the more organized empires have always stressed sharing religion as the most important thing.

To share truth, and God, is rather strange, because God may take pity on the people you’ve conquered, and decide to help them…so why tell them who to ask?

Yet, it’s all over. From Rome to Babylon. I won’t say the religions were always good ones, but the fact that humans are so adamant about sharing what they think is the real God with each other it really rather a strange phenomenon, we’re so selfish about most things.

Religion was used against black people, but it ultimately was the main reason they were freed and makes the best case for Civil Rights. Also, many slave holders, contrary to what you might hear, treated their slaves better when they believed the most in the Bible. Because it says to treat slaves well, not all masters were terrible people.

I also find is rather ironic to say that your blackness is tied to your religion, and its history, when the Bible doesn’t actually condemn slavery…

Nor does it say it’s exactly right. But that’s another story.

Now, I’m not just picking on black people here, this happens all over the place. This incident highlights one place is all. Identity-based religion and politics always ends up compromising some of the religion or politics itself, just for the sake of affirming one’s identity.

Gratitude:

I want to be thankful to the many people who refuse to be stereotyped or to use their race or gender as leverage.

I’d personally give Kanye West credit for at least not being intimidated about it, if nothing else.

I”m grateful for the readers who don’t give me hate comments for stating these opinions, I’m aware I would be ripped to shreds on many other blogs just for daring to say that black people can mishandle these issues at all.

Also, I spent 6 years of my life going to an almost all-black church, the pastor like to say there was no such thing as a black or white church.

I can say the style is different, and often the doctrine is different too. I didn’t like it overmuch but it’s not like I never have issues with white churches either.

Really, I think it has more to do with the faith of the people and not what color they are. There are black people at my mostly white and Hispanic church, so clearly, it’s not a race-based difference.

I could spend a whole post comparing the pros and cons of each, but does it really matter?

Anyway, I guess my main point was, if we’re going to criticize people, it needs to be for a real reason. And more importantly, Christians should never ever act like they own their religion, like they have the only right way of expressing it, and like they have more of a right to God because of their history.

In the history of human suffering every race has its share of hard periods, but I think the Jews have the worst of it overall. They don’t even get to be left alone in their own country. (And I am part Jewish.)

I do not say this to minimize anything, but to give the proper respect to all people. We all have it bad, we all have it good. We all suffer, yet God takes care of all of us.

And God himself suffers.

So, today, I’m just grateful to worship a God who won’t turn away anyone who seeks Him for help.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving, –Natasha.

Those who make them are like them.

I have another post about abuse today.

It won’t be especially sad though. Today I have more of a thought “Why does abuse happen?”

There are many, many reasons, I couldn’t possibly address them all.

But for a christian family like mine, I believe there is one reason that can be common. It’s not the only reason, but it’s an important one to understand if there’s ever going to be  road to healing.

That reason is Idolatry.

Idolatry is a fancy sounding word for one of the most common sins to man, that of worshiping something other than the One True God.

Even if you are not a Christian, it’s probably no strength for you to agree that there are things worth devoting your life to, and that many people do not devote their lives to the right thing, so if the religious term throws your off, just think of it like that.

Idolatry is just easier to use for me, since it’s one word, but in Church we usually call it False Images, False gods, or just Idols themselves.

In my family the False Image was My Family itself.

My dad has long been obsessed with being a better person, but his version of better was rather vague and unrealistic. It usually involved ridding himself of his faults as a parent and husband.

But his biggest faults in that regard was simply focusing on the flaws. He didn’t prioritize us ourselves, but this idea of what our family should look like.

Our family should have its own ministry (one he approved of)

Our family should make music

Our family should be more hospitable

Our family should all go tot he same church.

Our family should be a witness to the extended family.

He never took into consideration that maybe it was not his job to decide how we should serve God.

I am aware of  the Bible’s teaching about a whole household serving God. However, it never says everyone in the house should do the exact same thing. In the New Testament the control of family is a little lesser, since may early Christians did not have their whole family’s support.

It didn’t stop with Church stuff anyway. That was just what annoyed me the most.

Maybe you’ve had the same experience with your relatives.

My dad would also say repeatedly that our family was the most important thing to him and he got his happiness from us.

Which bugged me, I thought “We get our happiness form God, not each other.”

Not to misunderstand me, people can greatly increase our happiness, but it does not spring from them. If it does it’s fleeting, people die, they move, they move on, they ditch us, not all of them, but human based happiness is just not permanent.

It sounds like a Christian Cliche to say We Get our Happiness from God.

Oh, we’re so spiritual, right?

I know, but it really is true. It can be misused sure, to hide real problems, but so can most things.

It’s not that God makes me feel happy all the time, it’s that when Id o feel happy, it’s in God. I know it is from Him, and it is a gift.

By the way, there’s been a teaching in the Church that says the Bible never says “God wants you Happy”

Let me set you free if you’ve heard this: That is bull-crap.

No, you won’t find the exact words “God wants you happy” in scripture, the Bible prefers the words “Joy” “Rejoicing” “Praising” “Thankful” “Peaceful” “Exalted” and “Satisfying the desires of your heart.”

All that is stronger than happiness as a chemically induced fleeting feeling, though that too, because God also wants you healthy, and a healthy person will produce that physical feeling of happiness too.

I digress.

My dad used our family as a false god. Like all idols, it had to be removed from him for him to turn back to the real God.

And we had also to give up serving my dad’s happiness, instead of serving God’s. We wanted our dad to be happy, sure, but we could not keep trying to fill the void of God in his heart.

And we could not let him punish us with emotional abuse for inevitably failing to do the impossible.

It struck me what the Bible is talking about when it warns about idols.

You are what you adore, what you trust in, you become.

If you trust in a lie, you become a liar, and eventually, if you fall in with C. S. Lewis’s point of view in The Great Divorce, you become a lie itself.

If you trust in money, you become a miser.

If you trust in drugs, you become an addict.

All these states of being are merging you with the thing you worship. In the case of drugs it literally will get worked into you bloodstream, your DNA, and your brain engineering, and passed on to your kids.

“Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
 They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
 Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.” Psalms 115:4-6

“They have mouths but they do not speak; eyes they have but they do not see; they have ears but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.” Psalms 135:16-18

That’s why we are all sinners, by the way. Adam became a sinner, and in a way, he became sin, and so we carry that in our DNA now. We are born in sin, as the Word puts it.

Jesus became sin for us, the Word also says, in order to finally get Sin out of us. He killed sin by becoming it, and then dying.

The Bible also teaches that the Spirit of God is able to divide soul and spirit, and that is how we are saved from sin. God can separate the sinner form the sin.

We ourselves cannot do that, except by loving the sinner. We cannot transform them. But loving people will help them choose to be transformed.

In summary, I think almost all abuse happens due to idols

Many abusers are addicts, after all. All of them put power above God, certainly. Abuse is all about feeling powerful.

It’s important to keep in mind that focusing too much on being abused also can be a form of idolatry. God wants us to be healthy, and if we focus on him, we’ll start to heal. If we are letting Him help us.

But don’t wear your sorrow like a badge of honor, Paul boasted of his weakness because God was glorified in it, not because weakness all on its own is a glory.

One last thought

All of us are meant to be at rest, and to rejoice. Abusers and abused alike. However you handle your past, whatever you went through, even if you were the abuser in some ways, don’t think it mean you cannot ever be happy,

Happiness is not what we deserve, desert does not come into it at all. It’s the natural state of things. You can’t earn it because you were created for it, it’s just like putting a key into a lock. No question of deserving it, it would be stupid to ask that.

So, it’s okay to move on. Really.

And that’s all I got for you today. Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Answer to what someone said.

Taking a break from my anime series in order to write a post that I felt inspired to write after reading something that popped up in my recommendations.

I don’t want to name the blog because I think it would be unfair to criticize them by name when I have not asked them, and I don’t want to be one of those people who ends up bringing down a hate storm on another social media person just because I disagree with them, publicly.

That being said, what grabbed me about this post was how strangely vague it was. It’s really a perfect example of a modern 20-30 year old’s viewpoint, as is commonly expressed in media. And, I meet college students who talk like this.

The post was discussing someone’s search for meaning, and going through school, not really taking philosophy, then studying mythology and wondering why the gods punished people for stuff they were fated to do, and how he went on to become a Marxist, and later a Romantic, that is, someone who denies that God, love, justice, beauty, are real.

He denies being a cynic, saying he appreciates them more because they are not real. And thinks that Jesus, when he was dying and felt forsaken by God, is a remarkable idea.

In the end, he almost laughs at himself for wanting to be real, when he’s made of wood. That he cannot dream himself into being human.

The last sentence of the post  declares himself Alone, and Meaningless in a dark, empty world.

(Any more and I’ll be directly quoting him.)

In all fairness, I can’t repeat it word for word, so you’re taking my summary of it as accurate, but the blogger himself admitted to basically finding meaning in nothing.

He reflects at one point about a Christian girl who once told him that God has put it into everyone’s hearts to want to know him.

He laughed it off then, but admits that it’s basically what he’s describing, but, he knows God is a lie.

After I finished reading this, I had one question: How does he know God is a lie?

This guy pretty clearly suffers from depression, I believe it’s even in other posts on his blog, so his thoughts may have a morbid tenancy anyway.

But I couldn’t help noticing that at no point in his story did he ever say he sought God personally. He asked other people about Him, and pondered the idea of God, as well as other values most people agree are real, and he found them unbelievable, for whatever reason.

But there is no record of Him approaching God face to face and seeking revelation.

Ironically, many times when nonchristians tell me they’ve sought truth, or sought God, it ends up meaning they sought ideas about Him. Perhaps they went to church briefly, they talked to a christian…and failing to be impressed by it, they left.

Well, Christians can be bad at representing our faith, however, part of the problem with nonbelievers is that they expect something of us that we are not able to give them.

God, frankly, never makes sense to anyone who has not tried to meet Him personally.

Not because God can not be explained in a way that makes sense, but because the explanation is not enough to make you know what He is like.

I can give you the best description of my friend, till you almost feel like you know them already…and until you hear them talk, see their face, or even see their handwriting, you will still lack a true impression of their character.

The God of the Bible, distinctly unlike gods of most religions, is not high up in the clouds, or deep down in the heart of the earth, He’s not in the sun, or the planets, or the wind.

God is not in one place, He is in everyplace, one can meet him in a closet, at a beach, on a mountain top, in a bar, in an alleyway, a brothel, a prison, a church, a battlefield…anywhere at all.

It is no use to say you have sought the truth about God, and found nothing in it, unless you have spoken to God directly. From the heart.

Someone might say “If you do not believe in God, then you cannot speak to Him from the Heart.”

If you yearn for meaning, if you feel dissatisfied with how empty life is, then, you can speak to God.

If you can speak to the void, to people who will never meet you, you can speak to God.

This is the one thing no one ever wants to do. In the Bible, in Exodus, when Moses approached God on the mountain of Sinai, the people begged him to talk to God for them, they said if they tried to, they would die.

Moses, in contrast, begged God to let him see His glory.

Was it really so impossible for the people?I wonder.

There is no record in the Bible of anyone ever praying to God sincerely, one on one, and not getting some kind of answer, even it it took awhile.

What there is a record of is God lamenting constantly that people do not seek him. He promises if He is sought, He will be found, if we seek with all our heart.

I will say, God is not found by anyone who is looking for him like one might look for a free show.

People who search for God flippantly, with the attitude that if He is not exactly what they want, they will bail, are unlikely to find anything.

I do not know this blogger well enough to say for certain why He has not found God, he seemed quite close, in some ways.

But, if I went just by what he said, as an idea, then my answer would be this: He did not find God because He did not seek him one on one.

It’s the simplest thing in the world to pray, yet, people are scared to death of it. It feels like such a commitment.

It’s funny too, since, no one else will ever know if you pray alone in your room, even in your head, but it still feels huge.

I may make someone angry by claiming that atheists are just too afraid to seek God, and I do understand that some of them have other reasons besides this…

…but, by and large, the people who hold the belief that all of life is meaningless are cowards. They believe that because they are afraid to believe it has meaning, because the meaning might be something they cannot handle. And if God could direct the meaning for them, they fear He will direct it a way they don’t like.

The meaning I even give to these people themselves is because I believe life has meaning, they ask that I listen to them, that I care, but deny the reason why I should. The honest ones admit that, but fail to see how the fact that they even care would in itself prove life has meaning.

You can’t want something that does not exist, you have a hunger because there is a food for it. You thirst because water exists. You feel pain because nerve endings are real.

You can’t ache inside without there being a balm for it.

This has run long, so I am going to end this post with this:

I don’t think this blogger will read my answer, and, I am not sure it would help him if he did, unless he could face his fears and look at God for himself.

But to me, it’s so beautifully simple. When I struggled with those feelings myself, the solution came when I spoke to God directly and surrendered to him.

That has no meaning to someone who despises that approach, thinks it’s too simple…Well, to that, all I will say for now is I don’t see much happiness in thinking the other way.

Until next time–Natasha.

Jealousy.

I had a crazy last week guys, so I didn’t post.

Fun fact: My out of state friends tell me that you don’t refer to girls or mixed groups as “guys” in some states. Maybe that’s going out now that we share so much media, but apparently it marks me as a West Coast gal.

Now, you’re seriously going to wonder about it the next time you see someone use it, right?

Anyway, I have a myriad of weighty subjects I could write about, and probably will, but I’ve been considering for a while that I should write a post about Jealousy.

I’ve mentioned it before, that there’s good and bad jealousy, but I apparently ave never devoted a whole post to it. So here goes…

Guys: You need to get more jealous.

Yeah, I said it.

I’ll cut to the chase, according to the Bible, Jealousy is a godly quality.

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14.)

I saw in some comment section somewhere that this person was talking God down for being described as jealous. God has been criticized for this declaration.

It certainly can be annoying, if you are trying to devote yourself to other things besides God, to have Him always interfering with it. A lot of trouble in life happens because we chase after false gods, and the Lord destroys them, much how H destroys their idols and altars in the Bible.

Jealousy is a consuming fire, as God describes Himself to be. But we should be grateful for that, because int he same way that fire destroys what we love and idolize, it also eats up the things we find ourselves in bondage to.

God will not have us enslaved to fear, doubt, and depression any more than to pleasures. He is just as jealous that the darkness will not have us as He is that false light will not.

There are some movies and shows and books that have beautifully portrayed this with human relationships. Often ones with a bit riskier of a plot. A character had a love interest that had a darkness or flaw that they can’t seem to shake, the character proceeds to love with a fierce kind of love, ready to go to any lengths to deliver them from their darkness.

The infamous Luke and Darth Vader example isn’t the most poignant for jealousy specifically, but it shows a little bit of it.

I really love that type of story.

Often we do not think of that as jealousy.

Jealousy is a fierce hatred for something that steals away your beloved. Anything that takes what you feel is rightfully yours from you.

It gets a bad rap because people are so flawed that they take jealousy to an extreme it shouldn’t be taken to. They want to own more than they should.

In an odd paradox, you really can have someone belong to you completely, yet belong to themselves at the same time. The more free they are, the more yours they are. Good jealousy exists to protect that freedom form outsiders who might try to steal it away be deceit or by force.

Jealousy, in romance, is a sign that the relationship is real, usually. There are petty people who will be jealous over nothing. It’s also not right to be jealous of someone who’s already committed to another person. even if you can’t help the feeling, you shouldn’t act on it.

Yet, I really can’t stand the thought of being with a guy who wouldn’t get at least a little upset if he caught me with another guy, or another guy was hitting on me in front of him.

I’ve liked someone for quite a while, and I got surprised by the amount of jealousy I felt over the thought of him dating someone else. (We’re not together, sadly, but the idea made me mad anyway.)

I am no stranger to jealousy of other types too. My emotionally abusive father liked to make me jealous on purpose. Plenty of parents do it by accident, he would deliberately provoke me.

Oh, yeah, people can be provoked to jealousy.

We all have heard a story about the girlfriend or wife who messes with her husband to get him to prove a point.

I actually don’t think that is always wrong. Don’t set someone up for failure, but to reasonably test their loyalty is sometimes appropriate.

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)

In this verse, a new bride is telling her husband to put her as a seal on his arm, and heart, warning him that love and jealousy are like death, relentless.

Love is relentless trying to do good to the beloved, and if the beloved wanders from that, ceases to receive it or to be around for it, Love will be painful like death. The loss and grief of love is a lot like losing someone to death, as you who have had very painful breakups can attest to.

On top of that, if the beloved goes to another source for what he or she should only get form you, jealousy will seek to remove that source by any means necessary.

And yet, the bride warning her groom is done in a pure and passionate tone that I find very compelling. It is not said in cruelty or bitterness or even in distrust. The Bride simple recognizes that her beloved is precious, and others besides her may want to steal him away.

There’s a desire in women, and I think men too (I’m not one) to protect someone by the sheer act of loving them. AS if all the love we pour into a person could be like a shield to them from evil.

The truth is, it can be. Love will not stop you from suffering, but if you’ve received it and let it sink deeply into your heart and soul, that love can protect you from suffering destroying who you are.

Love is joy even in the worst of circumstances. Peace in the face of trouble. Hope when there is nothing else to hope for.

If anyone can love us, then, there must be something worth living for and waiting for. Love itself proves the existence of better things. Nothing so wonderful could exist if the world was all bad.

And we should protect that with all the jealousy we can muster. It’s why toxic relationships have to be ended. Protect your ability to love and be loved above all else, people.

And if you meet someone who’s as fierce about that as you are, you stick with that one.

Well, that’s all I have to say for now, until next time–Natasha.