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What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

You Deserve Some Credit: How I Liberated my Spiritual Understanding to Free my Humaneness

When I was in college I majored in writing and rhetoric and religion.  What made double majoring in these subjects most interesting is the challenges I faced when ideas resonated but also conflicted with what I thought was my religious identification.  Growing up in a conservative sect of Christianity was not always easy as I felt it amplifying my anxiety and deepening my depression.  Confused at the contrast of religion doing the opposite of what I thought it would do allowed me the freedom (in college) to grapple with the reasons why religion was negatively effecting my mental health. While I had many victory moments where I connected and realized how some teachings negatively affected how I viewed myself, I ultimately realized that some “church rhetoric,” deep in my unconscious mind and negative self-talk, was the core reasons why my mental health was being beaten.  First there are phrases like “I’m nothing, but God is everything,” or some other phrases such as “I am not worthy of this life that God has given me,” or “God keeps blessing me even when I don’t deserve it,” and such jargon as that that has flipped my self-image into chaos depicting me as someone who is not worthy or deserving of the things that I have or the life that I live.  Other such talk of being a “sinner” and unable to escape the evil doings of myself, my “flesh,” and my mind also kept me in shame and misery as I always felt I was doing God an injustice by struggling with my mental health.  Not only did I feel shame and guilt all the time, but I was always trying to be perfect in all I was doing.  My perfectionism, a product of my anxiety now that I realize, made trying to become this “holy” perfect Christian girl all the more burdensome and tiring.

It only took but some readings in one of my psychology and religion courses to blow my mind and help me see the reality of such instances where religion can negatively effect ones self-perception in a way that back fires against their mental health. One reading was that of Fromm and his analysis of the humanistic religion vs. that of authoritarian religion.

**Side note: I include and validate women and women’s experiences in the statements below as the rhetoric is heavy on the masculine pronouns.**

Psychoanalysis and Religion By Erich Fromm

“The essential element in authoritarian religion and in the authoritarian religious experience is the surrender to a power transcending man. The main virtue of this type of religion is obedience, its cardinal sin is disobedience. Just as the deity is conceived as omnipotent or omniscient, man is conceived as being powerless and insignificant. Only as he can gain grace or help from the deity by complete surrender can he feel strength. Submission to a powerful authority is one of the avenues by which man escapes from his feeling of aloneness and limitation. In the act of surrender he loses his independence and integrity as an individual but he gains the feeling of being protected by an awe-inspiring power of which, as it were, he becomes a part. (35)”

vs.

Humanistic religion, on the contrary, is centered around man and his strength. Man must develop his power of reason in order to understand himself, his relationship to his fellow men and his position in the universe. He must recognize the truth, both with regard to his limitations and his potentialities. He must develop his powers of love for others as well as for himself and experience the solidarity of all living beings. He must have principles and norms to guide him in this aim. Religious experience in this kind of religion is the experience of oneness with the All, based on one’s relatedness to the world as it is grasped with thought and with love. Man’s aim in humanistic religion is to achieve the greatest strength, not the greatest powerlessness; virtue is self-realization, not obedience. Faith is certainty of conviction based on one’s experience of thought and feeling, not assent to propositions on credit of the proposer. The prevailing mood is that of joy, while the prevailing mood in authoritarian religion is that of sorrow and of guilt. (37)”

What I understood of Fromm’s comparison of both perceptions is the separation between oneself with the world, themselves, and God in the authoritarian religion and the union in humanistic religion.  I became alienated from an identity, from something that revealed in me that I was a life that was worth living and shouldn’t be ashamed of myself.  Me, as a person, as a woman, as a body, should be proud of my life and all that I have accomplished.   My powerlessness and my guilt soon faded with my once limited, skewed, perception of life.

As my understanding became clear, I became less ashamed of who I was, but I also wanted to create a more wholesome version of myself as well.  I started to ask questions such as who am I? and why am I?  I drifted from the jargon that made me feel distant and unappreciative of my identity and my accomplishments, and all that I’ve done to get my mind free, and I began to create for myself a more liberating spirituality.  God is not separated from the world or from the liberation of my self-acceptance, God is not a man in the sky dictating and limiting access to my confidence or to my belief that I have power and I’m worthy and proud to embrace my humaneness.  Instead, I began to believe that everything is intertwined into a cosmic masterpiece that allows us, as people, to self-realize and love and find strength in ourselves.  God is something in us already that gets amplified and blossoms as we do.  That we have to love ourselves in order to love God, that we have to think we are worthy and powerful in order to reveal God in ourselves otherwise we are limiting our abilities and potentialities.

And as I continue to self-realize and change everyday, I’m learning that my anxiety and my depression is something that motivates me to create and build ideas. That, although my tireless mind is always in a shamble, I always find that I am free and able.  My mental state is something of purpose and I don’t have to be ashamed because I do feel better.  Without the anxiety and depression, I wouldn’t know what it felt like to be a prisoner of my own mind.  Now that I have control over myself, with my experience I can build on love, compassion, and empathy.  It took some time to get to this place, but now that I’m refined I can work and I can build on what makes me who I am.  As I grow I can be happy because I did it for myself, I became free for me.

SparklyWarTanks on The Mighty: Why my Dog is my Weapon Against my Anxiety and Depression

 

Read the second story I wrote on The Mighty called Why my Dog is my Weapon Against my Anxiety and Depression. I dedicated the story to my dog Baby who has helped me tremendously through the rough times I had with my anxiety and depression following graduation last year in 2016.  She has lifted me up, along with my other dogs, and has given me a reason to smile, try my best to stay positive, and wake up every morning grateful.

Feel free to always visit me on The Mighty! 

 

Not a Failure, You are not a Failure 

Its been a long night, a night filled with silent and quiet panic attacks, ones that have been revealing and direct.  And as I lay in my bed, glancing at Jane the Virgin, but mostly visualizing my future in my head, I finally targeted the core trigger of the anxiety that’s been crippling my sleep. The trigger is fear of failure. Deep, paralyzing, you are nobody, and no one will ever notice you failure.  Seeing so many glory stories and positive things happening to people around me…nothing is happening for me. This has been what makes me nervous, nauseous and scared. 

But maybe it really is all in my head and I just keep falling back on my perfectionist mindset that I should be someone by now that is feeding this trigger?

I’m not a failure…I’m not a failure…

SparklyWarTanks on The Mighty: When Depression and Anxiety Make Life a Waiting Game

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It’s been three months since I wrote “When Depression and Anxiety Make Life a Waiting Game” and three months has changed me drastically since I decided to publish it on The Mighty. I was ashamed and embarrassed for a long time about this reality and often denied the possibility of mental struggle being real for me. Being vulnerable about this has been unreal, but I finally put myself out there and started to deal with it especially after college. I’m proud of myself for coming to terms with this. I feel much better now than before and still have a long way to go.  SparklyWarTanks has helped me in every way and look forward to managing my The Mighty profile along with SparklWarTanks, continuing the healing and bettering process for myself.

Contine to journey with me.

 

 

 

A Personal Confession

These words came with tears so I hope you can sympathize.  This is depth therapy:

Lately I’ve really been hating my body but through the lens of my mind coming out my eyes.  A portal of perspective.  Hear me out.

This is not one of those “pick your head up because things will get better” but a “this is a real life struggle kid so learn from it” pieces so look at this…

Just one picture can twist the notion of a once fooled concept of self-acceptance because you thought you began to love “the skin your in” but the reality of it is…

the concept is once you begin it can never regress but my regression looks so good it resembled progression like walking backwards I wanted to say “I love you” but instead I said…

I thought I got over the feeling that my thighs are not the size of the American dream or the white picket fence or the its not what it seems, but its the rugged and thick concept of oppression and prejudice, the judgemental reality that not all words are the truth or not all smiles signify happiness but covering up the reality because the sacred is watching you, you want to see the day where the light is so bright that all this will soon fade away into an oblivious sense of brainwashing…

I thought I would wake up and it would be one of those dreams where you were running from a symbol of your subconscious fears but its not because the tears were real and so were those people

The ones that said that they want you and would stay, but that was just you talking to yourself because you have to really learn to mean what you say in your head like I will start that today and I will end that tomorrow but you don’t…

Instead you give excuses and let your self-talk ruin your self-image constantly digging the hole you call home 

But this ends today

The body that was once in ruins under the ashes like pompeii will rise and become the volcano that took you from existence.  You are no longer going extinct or becoming a personal museum for onlookers to talk or to taste but you will climb from your ashes into an unknown place.

You will not be scared to be strange or to not fit in because you are the one who is meant to change the existing archetypal skin, the status quo, and the origins.

Today marks a holiday where you declared your independance and come back from war, where you remembered what was and proclaim that your dead exterior will fall and let your new interior reveal itself.

You are not what you were yesterday and tomorrow you will be better than right now. So if you hate your body now, start the process to make that perception change tomorrow.

If you were looking for your purpose in life stop looking because its to be who you are to the people you encounter.  There’s no other purpose but to continuously labor on yourself even if that means sleepless night and uncomfortable situations.  

Life is not meant to work for others, but to work on yourself in the pursuit to become something that will shatter negativity, punch fear in the face and to help others in that same process.

You have work to do so I suggest you take one day at a time to appreciate all that you are because no one will be ready for the power that will be you in the future.

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The Girl in the Shadow: Introduction

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Here is an introduction to a series of short stories I will write.  The Girl in the Shadow is a part of my creative process to grasp and understand what its like to be an introvert and an empath.  Two new concepts to me.  Also a part of SparklyWarTanks’ Writing to Heal, this writing will be both encouraging, bazaar, fictional, and autobiographical.  She is something new to me.

And I tell the story of the girl in the shadow. She sees and feels everything, from the hurts that you feel to the tears that have dried away. She encourages those who are often forgot about and left to decay in their own sad minds and weary souls. She tells the stories of those left behind and outcast. 

Shes in the shadows observing.  Shes an introvert but feels all that is around her, the vibration of the strangers, the betrayal of friends, and struggles of her family.  She’s empathic and can’t help but know the emotions and strains of those around her. An energy she can’t escape.  She’s been running for so long, but now she just sits, watches, and writes.  She writes down the emotions, and hurt, and…Read more 

Excerpt From my “Blood Honesty” Portion of SWT Writing Therapy

 

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So I’m in the process of adding a new portion of SWT writing called “Blood Honesty.” This will be a collection of therapy writing, creative writing pieces and reflections that helps me recall memories that has come up over and over. I relate how these memories have boiled into hurt and how I operate with people. This writing will be in my next book project “Writing to Heal: Power of Written Word.”

This is an excerpt from a Blood Honesty post that I wrote on November 27th:

The concept of love is so underrated, mixed and confused with all emotions felt by people. But love, real love, unconditional love felt by someone that doesn’t have to love you is deep, its true, and its the most genuine of human emotion and character.  When real love happens, when you see it unravel in the ways that it works wholeheartedly is profound, complicated, confusing, and impossibly possible (now you know why people cling to the trope and figure of Jesus Christ). It’s this idea that makes people want to live longer.  It’s this concept of love despite the fear of disappointment and inevitable death that keeps and makes peace and inclusivity possible.  The absence of love causes mental health issues and division, just like the absence of light is darkness and loneliness.  Conditional love (masked emotional confusions and uncertainty ), the love that is so commonly mistaken for unconditional love (genuine love) is what we don’t know how to feel or what to do when we feel it (unless its from a parent or guardian to a child which can still have complication).  How crazy it sounds that this can be felt by us, by people, especially people who are different, is what we need (and what is taught in every central religion essentially) that people don’t understand and cant contemplate. We need this love toward each other, everyone, not just people who are like us or share similar ideological, political, or religious views.  We need love despite what separates us and what makes us distant from one another. We need love.  Unconditional love.

 

Postage from my Memory

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It Runs Deep

You know why its been hard to sleep at night while sleeping all day these past couple days, these past couple months?  I’ve realized myself in depths too deep to describe to people.  I’ve itched to tell someone that my issues run deeper than repression and unconscious feelings.  That I’m trying to balance my empathy with my confusion and self-protection.  That I’m an ultra introvert and feel everything around me.  That I love even when that person doesn’t love me to.  That I care because I understand even when I haven’t gone through it myself.  Situations are different but feelings, feelings come universal.  I know what depression feels like, and anxiety.  I know how betrayal feels and disappointment.  I know too well self-hate and being ashamed.  It wasn’t till Thursday that I realized that I know when someone is lying to me and when someone is being real and authentic.  When things I’ve been trying to hide have been written on my forehead all along.  I realized that I just want to know how it feels for someone to fall in love with me because then I can prove myself wrong, that it is possible.  That I can do what I want without regulation because of shame.  Shame that I haven’t noticed guide how I see my body.  I’ve been ashamed for a long time.

I couldn’t write.  I couldn’t write something, anything in the past couple days, an encouragement, a phrase like I usually do because even in the mist of a good moment I drive myself crazy with thoughts and confusions instead of just letting go.  I wanted to stop writing because no one reads. I’m better off just driving myself insane because no one cares about me or what I have to say anyway. Whats funny is I only known a person a couple of days and I just want to say everything to them. That I want to write again because I got my excitement back just over one conversation.  But the fear came back. I should keep to myself but they made me tell them things I never tell anyone and now I’m so self-aware.  I trace my thoughts back to why I hide in my room and lock the door behind me.  Why I cover my face in shame instead of embracing my flaws and things that make me unique.  Why I convinced myself that I’d never fit in in this world so I hide in the shadows. Why I convinced myself a long time ago that I’m meant to be alone and by myself all the time.  And this person said two words:

It’s okay.

Suddenly these words didn’t have the same weight like when I say it to myself.  It had denser weight and made me believe it in a split second.

Not sure if any of this made sense, but it’s way harder knowing the reasons for the scars that run deep then being oblivious to the pain and feelings you have all the time.  Just to remember the times when you felt useless, or hopeless, or lonely, or ugly brings back the foundations of why you hide things deep in the first place, but its better to know so you can work with yourself.

Its okay to let your scars show sometimes, maybe the person your showing them to will help you deal with them.  Don’t repress those feelings anymore. Work with yourself. One push. One phrase from the right person or even yourself can help the process of healing.  Things may not seem important but they are, you are important and so are you moving on.  Don’t trap yourself.  Don’t drive yourself crazy.  Let something change.  Let someone, something, a moment, a thought, a feeling change how you perceive who you are. Realize yourself.  Be happy.  You deserve to be happy.

You deserve a break from the deep. Things, better things, better moments, better thoughts, better people are waiting for you at the surface.  Let yourself loose.  Let yourself free.

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