How To Stop Taking Things So Personal?

That’s the question I’m asking. I think the only logical answer is repetition. As a former people pleaser (well I’m working on it) this task can be extremely difficult to overcome. When you’ve built your world around it overcoming it just takes time. Tonight I found myself in a similar situation, where I was starting to take something personal. Boundaries are really important for a sexual abuse survivor and sometimes when you put them up not everyone will respect them. Especially if there a person who doesn’t have any or few boundaries. So when you face someone like that it can be a fight or flight situation. Most the times for me it’s been a flight situation. I hide in the rabbit hole where it’s safe and I wait for that person to leave.

Lately I’ve been doing the opposite. The person I use to be would not only take it personal but take it period. Those days are over. If someone treats me poorly I’m going to stand up and say something. No is a powerful word to a survivor and sometimes you have to continue to use it until the person gets the hint. After a situation put me through that I started to feel bad. Like why did this person treat me this way? Before it was what did I do wrong. Quickly I changed my thought from I’m worthless to I’m strong as steel. Even after you’ve confronted the situation the personalization can still seep in. If will find the smallest of crack and find it’s way into your brain.

If it finds the way in it will light up all the other wires in your brain that relate to that. Every single hurt, every single word it will stir up. So you not only have to fight the current battle but all the battles before it. I’m stronger than ever and I refuse to give into that beast. I won’t let it take me down that road anymore. I deserve more.

I don’t deal with confrontation and I never have. I stay as far away from it as possible. If you’ve been victimized enough it becomes a way to keep stay safe. You learn to surround yourself with people like you. I think that’s only natural. Sure some people will argue that people need to venture out into other circles where people have different viewpoints but for someone struggling just to stay alive you do what you need to do to survive. I’ve lived many years living in an environment where it was brainwashed into my brain that I was different and I was ostracized for my views and beliefs. I was an outcast and you go where all the other misfits go. Maybe one day I can surround myself with other kind of people but today I need to do whatever I can to survive. Peace is very important to me and so is stability.

I’ve surrounded myself with bad people most of my life and I’m working on changing that. I can’t play fast and loose with my life anymore. I can’t take any chances in terms of my healing. I have too much to lose. Plus I really don’t want to be around people who don’t care about the things I do. Like for example, republican gun loving extremists. I’m a hardcore liberal but even I don’t constantly post political stuff. Why would I want to be friends with someone who was constantly feeling the need to boast his views and his way of life.

I’ve finally got to the point in my life where I can accept differences and not feel the need to convince others of mine. I’ve been at the end of that with my Father and his religious beliefs. I don’t want to be like that person nor do I want to have someone like that in my life, at least full time. I guess for me it’s your approach. There’s a neighbor lady of mine who loves Trump and one day she was going on and on about him but she wasn’t trying to get us to love him… nor was she trying to convince us that she was right and we were wrong. Though no one was really engaging her. I know I certainly wasn’t. I’ve done the whole debate thing and the only thing you get from them are headaches.

The person I use to be would  have totally written her off. She’s just like my family. I now see her for the person she is underneath. Now if she starts to disrespect my boundaries that’s a different story. She’s always been so nice to me and I enjoy having her in my life in that way. Now will we become best friends, probably not but it’s nice see her out with the other neighbors.

You get to a point in your life where you want peace and you do whatever you can to keep that. Some people won’t understand that and love to argue but they’re not me. They haven’t lived my life. I’ve had to cut certain people out of my life and I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it can be quite healthy to weed out toxic people.

It’s a fine line of balance. I can see why people feel so passionate about the matters that affect our lives. It’s not always been easy for me to separate the beliefs from the person. Like for example, a person who loves Trump. Here they are willing to vote in a President that will most likely take away my rights, that being marriage equality. How do you go about being okay with that? Many of my family are like that. Not only do they support Trump but they don’t believe gay people should have any rights. Why should I have to sift through the dirt to find out if a person is homophobic? Sometimes it’s easier to not put myself in the same room as that person. It’s like a gay person going into a straight sports bar. I wouldn’t feel comfortable going into one not because I don’t like sports because I know it could put me in harms way or at the very least I would feel like I couldn’t be myself or would watch how I acted. No one should ever have to hide who they are out of fear but that’s the reality we live in.

While I enjoy this neighbor and love seeing her, in the back of my head I wonder about the other stuff. Usually most of Trump supporters have something in common with each other. I mean Trump is pretty anti on a lot of different matters. Rejection is no fun and part of the reason I look for others like me. You learn to gravitate towards people with the same way of living life. Maybe one day I will be strong enough that I will be able to be good friends with a Republican but I’m not promising anything. Everyone has their right to believe in what they want to but it’s when you’re beliefs start to infringe on my rights that’s when it’s a different story. It’s also why sometimes I struggle to separate the two.

Sure my first thought was to try to get her to see why Trump is bad but I realized there was going to be nothing I could say to make her see things differently. It would just be wasted energy. So I just sit back and let her go on and on about him. It’s tough to live in a world where people are so blinded by their fears and discomfort that they’ll put others lives in jeopardy. It goes deeper than taking things personal. Though I do have the foresight now to realize that these people are the ones with the issues, not me.

My Aunt and Father are very much like this. You should see their facebook page. It’s anti-Hillary this, anti-dems this… and not just them but gays as well. They don’t even see how much hate they’re spewing, it’s rather toxic. I look at people like that and I just feel bad for them. They’re so radical in their beliefs that they cause harm to other people and are proud to do it. My Aunt is so blinded by her faith and discomfort she doesn’t realize who she is hurting and people like her are very willing to vote our rights away. They can’t see outside of their tunnel vision. The sad reality there are millions of people like that in this country and I think that’s why Trump scares so many of us. He just doesn’t care about other people and people just love that about him. You can take the whole not caring what people think too far, to the point it turns into narcissism.

I still struggle with letting go of the personalizations, especially with my family. My Aunt is nice to my face but then is posting all this hurtful stuff. How does one not get hurt by that? That’s why I just stay away from people like that. It’s not that I don’t agree with her beliefs, which I do, but that she’s so willing to vote away my rights. Marriage equality gives so many LGBTQ people so many rights and it boils down to safety and security. Taking away the right to marry will harm other gay people. Yet people like my Aunt don’t see it this way. They’re so insecure about their faith that they have to prove to the world their way is the only way and they’ll vote for things that prove just that. I love my Aunt and I know underneath she’s a good person but I can’t have that in my life. It’s too painful. So I stay away. It’s just better that way.

I’ve come a long ways and I have further to grow. One day at a time. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading! Huggs

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How to Become Un-Broken

This is something that I’ve been thinking about lately. How to fix what’s already broken. I’m not talking about a vase or mirror. I’m talking about the human spirit. Now some would argue that a human’s spirit can’t be broken but when you’re at that low point it’s hard to see outside in.

Life is full of ups and downs. You get knocked down and you get back up. Each time you’re knocked down afterwards it becomes more difficult to get back up. It starts off as a pebble and before you know it you’ve got a gigantic boulder. A boulder so heavy that it feels impossible to get back up.

After my Mom died (almost four years ago) I was kicked to the ground. It was the first time in my life that I’ve gone so long before getting back up. Losing my Mom wasn’t the first time I was knocked to the ground but it was a KO punch that’s kept me at the bottom. Most of my life I’ve felt broken but I’ve always mended the wound. I guess I’ve only patched the break but this time there was no denying I felt broken.

For me, the key will be not expecting to be put back together the way before the event because that will only set myself up for failure. There are just some things in life that can’t be fixed like my Mother’s death and the whole that was punched through my heart. No amount of therapy and growth will ever completely fill that hole. It’s a gaping hole that I need to cope with. Like having diabetes I have to manage the symptoms.

So rather than trying to fix what’s broken I guess I just need to start building a new model of myself. Start from scratch and build the life I want to. That’s not easy as I’ve got a lot of digging to do. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t see a clear path to happiness and freedom. I have an idea of who I want to become and what I want to do but nothing confirmed. Like I know I want to do something artistically related where I can give back to others.

Today I was reminded (again) of my impact on this world. Often times I’ve wondered how in the world can I help other people when I feel so broken? I’ve since realized that there is no time but then to share yourself. We live in a world full of hurdles, mountains to climb. I know that I’m not the only person struggling in life. So I guess I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and have faith that things will work out for me.

Having faith hasn’t always been my strongest quality. I struggle with it daily. I’ve failed a lot of times and it’s never easy. I’m tired of being disappointed. I recently watched a video of Oprah (who I love) and in the video she talks about failure. She says, failure is just there to point you in a different direction. It really opened my eyes about the failures in my life. I’ve always been a strong believer in good things can come from bad things. That doesn’t make it easier but there is some relief to know that the disappointment and rejection will propel you towards what you deserve and need.

After I came back from my art show in NYC last August I expected my life to change but instead I came home to a lot of emptiness both physically (as I gave away something very deep and precious to me) and mentally. In many ways life became more complicated afterwards, not easier like I thought. Each hurdle I jump I ask myself when will life get any easier. In my mind the experience of creating the tree and traveling to NYC for the show would propel me towards a life where I created full time. When that didn’t happen (yet) it became a reminder of my failures. That’s the difficult part when you’ve failed a lot, is not allowing past failures to add to the weight. I’ve struggled with overcoming it and it’s not a skill that I’ve quite mastered but I’m not giving up.

Each failure will lead you closer to what you need. I have to remind myself of this. If I didn’t get something is that it wasn’t meant for me to go down that road. There is something better out there for me. That’s where having faith comes in handy. It’s facing failure and knowing that it’s only a detour to get you back on track. I also think it’s important to remember that no many times you fail there’s never a point where you stop succeeding. You just need to keep putting yourself out there. Wave your arms about like a crazy person if you need to. Scream to the universe that you’re ready for whatever is out there.

So I guess that’s where I’m at today. I don’t quite feel as broken as I use to be but I still don’t feel I’ve moved much ground. I’m still unsure and uneasy. I don’t know if I will ever be 100% again but I have to keep trying. I won’t lie I’m beat. I’m worn out. I might be moving slowly but I still am moving. Even if it’s a snail pace, as a dear friend once told me, you’re still in motion.

Some days are harder than the other but I refuse to give up. It’s just not who I am. I’m tired of the rejection but I won’t let that stop me from living my dream. I just hope it happens sooner than later. I deserve to be happy and whole again, as we all do.

Losing My Religion

I grew up in fire and brimstone. I was groomed to face life in fear. As an adult I have struggled to put out all those flames. While most I kept to a smolder I still fight against the few that are resistance. For so many years I’ve allowed them to ravage my soul. Those flames have left me with a blackened out forest.

Now it’s time to use those remaining flames to fuel me. I think the key to unlocking my happiness is to stop searching for answers from the outside world. I don’t need to find something, that I already have inside of me. I’m worthy of that love, as is everyone.

Things may seem bleak but they won’t stay that way. I guess sometimes in order to find yourself you need to get lost.

Hello From the Other Side

Just like everyone else I fell in love with Adele’s new song Hello but it wasn’t until today that it took on a deep meaning for me. It’s often easy to get caught up in your pain and that’s all you can see. The grief/pain takes a hold of you and it won’t let go. After my Mom died I didn’t think I was going to make it. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to.

Today I realized that I’m on the other side of the grief and pain. I’m no longer in those bad places. While I’m not sure of the future my feet are firmly planted into the ground. My foundation is no longer shaky as I’ve swept it away. Now the task is to rebuild a much stronger and stable foundation so that when life hits me again I won’t fall, or at least as hard and long.

I’ve been on the other side for way to long. I’ve purposely locked myself in that place because I didn’t think I deserved anything better nor did I think I could get anything better. So I tolerated the pain because that was how I survived.

A million little stars lit up my sky today. It’s a great feeling to realize that you’ve moved forward and are now just looking outside looking in. During the grief and pain I held onto dear life to what I now realize was hope. Sometimes that’s all we have to hang onto. It doesn’t matter how big or small that mustard seed of faith is, as long as it’s there you’ll weather the storm.

So if you’re struggling just hang in there. There is another side that we often can’t see. You’re not alone, as I have been there and so many others have/are.

Huggs

 

The Difference a Year Makes

It’s been a while since I have wrote on my blog. I just passed my one year anniversary of my suicide attempt and I have been reflecting on the last year. While I can’t say that I’m happy I can say that I’m in a better place mentally than I was a year ago. While I still struggle with depression it’s not as extreme and when I do have a flair up the episodes don’t last as long.

Someone asked me what changed things? I must admit I struggled with answering it and I still do. I think the biggest difference is taking an antidepressant, as well as therapy. I’m in the process of trying to find work and as scary as that is I’m ready to have purpose again. You can only hide for so long before you go stir crazy and that’s where I’m currently at.

I think the main reason I struggled answering the question of what changed is that I’m still in the process of changing as I haven’t got to the point where I’m happy. I must admit most of the time I’m miserable. I hide in my room a lot and I know that’s not very healthy. I miss having friends that I regularly see and do fun things with. That’s the struggle with living out in the middle of no where there’s nothing to do or see. It also presents a problem when meeting someone as most people don’t want to drive that far. Also not having a car puts a damper in going the distance.

I’ve learned once you get yourself in a deep hole it takes time to dig out of it. I’m learning to work on my patience and having faith. Having a job will be a huge step to my happiness. They say money doesn’t make you happy but not having any can make you miserable. A job will lead to a car and a car will lead to meeting new people…

I won’t lie that I still occasionally think about you know what… but it’s usually a quick passing thought when I’m feeling rather down. I’ve noticed lately having this coping skill of taking deep breaths when I’m feeling panicky or rather down. It’s been occurring rather naturally without thought. I also feel a stronger presence to my Mama. When I take those deep breaths I feel like she’s there with me.

A long time ago I learned to disconnect to cope with trauma. When you repeat a pattern over and over, year after year it becomes apart of you. Changing that pattern isn’t an easy task as it becomes hard wired in the clockworks of your mind. I’ve failed over and over but I never gave up. I made the conscious choice to reach out for help when I had the pills up to my mouth. I desperately needed help and that was the only way I could connect to it.

When you’ve been disconnected for a long period the harder the impact when you plug yourself back into an outlet. I’ve tried over the past nine years to get plugged back in but every time I would get shocked and run back into seclusion. Living a heart-centered life can get you hurt, especially if you don’t have a solid foundation and a toolbox of coping skills. That’s been my greatest flaw. I have tried to build a life on a flimsy foundation and an empty toolbox.

This weekend I took a leap of faith by entering an art competition called ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have always been artistic in some form or another. It’s always been my dream to have a career that I can utilize my creativity but I’ve always shied away from pursuing it because I didn’t feel I deserved it.

I put off registering for ArtPrize for days as I was afraid. Afraid of succeeding, afraid of being seen. Being a survivor of sexual abuse there’s a fine line between being seen and not being seen. I think about when I abused I was a happy child full of life and love. I was vulnerable. I catch myself still feeling like I’m that 10 year old boy still. I must remind myself that not only am I an adult now but that was a long time ago. I no longer have to hide because I can defend myself. All these years I’ve been the first to stand up for others but have rarely stood up for myself. I’ve waited a lifetime for others to stand up for me… when it was me that needed to stand up.

Registering for ArtPrize felt like running through the finish line. I’ve forced myself to not only look fear right in the eyes but to also push right through it. Fear is like a ghost. It’s just an illusion and much smaller than it appears. The further you push it away the bigger it becomes until one day that ghost turns into a monster and takes total control of your life. Whenever you try to change a destructive, negative pattern it will alert an internal warning system. That ghost will do whatever it takes to keep control.

So it’s doesn’t surprise me that today has been a rather difficult day. I had the sky is falling moment and my urges were telling to me to abort the mission and run back into hiding. I’ve noticed this determination to not give up. Perseverance to push through the storm. You can only put up with enough misery before you throw your hands up in the air and say that’s enough!!! Well THAT’S ENOUGH!!!

I can have my dreams and live a happy life. I deserve, everyone does. My goal is to live life fueled by my passion and live it through my dreams. I know the pain I’ve endured was not in vain there was purpose for it. I hope to be able to use my art and creativity to inspire and touch those who have been in my shoes. Those who feel lost, down and out…. who feel they’ve been left behind and forgotten.

My biggest challenge will be breaking the pattern that I deserved the pain and the actions that caused it. For too long I believed I was this hideous, unloveable monster. While I can’t say that I don’t see and feel that monster but I’m determined to shed that unwanted skin. I have and will always be a teddy bear. Someone who goes through life with an open heart, not afraid to be a big kid. Sure there are things I need to change in my life and most of it is just shedding away the negativity. There is a lot about me that I don’t need to change and that’s what’s deep within… my heart and soul… Those are gifts, not curses.

I believe the biggest thing that’s changed from last year is that I now I have hope for a better life something I didn’t have before my breakdown. I was drowning in my sorrow, pain and grief. Without hope I had no reason to live as all I could see was darkness. Hope has shined a light back into my life. I must continue to work on letting my own inner light shine.

Light is meant to shine, not hide in a box. Human’s are like flowers as they need sunshine and water to grow, without it they will surely wither away to nothing. I had convinced myself for years that I was a just a weed but now that I’ve brought back water and light into my life I realize that I’m a flower. Now I just need a space to grow and blossom into the rose I was meant to be.

The World is Your Oyster!!!

So in therapy yesterday I had the realization that I am capable of doing anything I want, as in my dreams are a reality. This was a monumental moment for me, as previously my dreams were clouded over by extreme doubt. Anything is possible.

Without dreams your world becomes a very dismal place. Dreams are aspirations, where you want to go.

In the world we live in it is very easy to have your dreams turns into nightmares. If you listen and believe the naysayers you will always live your life in their shadows.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

So shine brightly, even if everyone around you is trying to turn off your light. The harder they try to pull you down, the brighter you need to shine your light. Everyone has that light, some just chose to not use it.

I have been thinking deeply about that, those who choose to let their light shine in a positive matter versus those who hide their light and try to drag others down. Prior to my Mama dying I was the person in the middle, hiding in the shadows. I let other people extinguish my light. I felt broken and useless.

Now I realize I was only scared, hiding from the light. The light will protect me and the darkness only hurts me. Seeing my Mama battle her illness and the bravery she had facing her death, gives me courage to come out of darkness. I want to live my life in honor of her. I want to make her proud.

Last Sunday I watched the Super Bowl. I usually only watch it for the commercials but this time I actually watched the game. When I heard the San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver say that no gay person would be welcome on his team, I instantly wanted the Ravens to win. He went on to make other homophobic comments. Previously some of the players of the 49ers made a “It Get’s Better” video in regards to anti-bullying. Now two of the players who are in the video linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga have denied making the video. Then when they were showed the video with them in it they said they didn’t realize the aim of the production was to fight the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.

This is a perfect example of someone not being lead by their light rather by their fears and hate. Anybody who is in the public eye has a great opportunity to make a difference, especially with children. Those like Culliver are only wasting their opportunities.

Thankfully there are those unlike Culliver who stand up to injustice and embrace their light with courage. Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens Brendon Ayanbadejo is a prime example of someone embracing their light by coming out in support of equality. For someone in the sports world to stand up to the rampant homophobia and fear that exists is a true act of bravery.

Brendon has vowed to use the Super Bowl as a platform for marriage equality and anti-bullying, saying “This isn’t a fight for gay rights, this is a fight for human rights.” Now this a true champ in my eyes.

After winning the Super Bowl XLVII he was interviewed in a video produced for The Respect for Marriage Coalition, where he spoke out in defense of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

“Being the first pioneer publicly accepting same-sex marriage in the three major sports was difficult at first but the more people scrutinized me and ridiculed me, the stronger I became for the issue,” Ayanbadejo told Simmons, who has also been praised by a number of advocacy groups for his own defense of LGBT rights. “It was like lifting weights; the resistance made me stronger, stand taller and speak louder for LGBT rights!”

Brendon urges others, “Join me and the majority of Americans who support marriage equality — it’s the right thing to do.”
Think about how much good he is doing for the gay community but it goes much further than that. His light will travel to many unexpected places, touching those who so desperately need to hear his message. Ayanbadejo’s message isn’t just for gay people but everyone as his message of acceptance is universal. Plus the courage he exhibits by standing up and doing the right thing, even when it brings him heat, is another way that he is making a difference.
Just like in Marianne Williamson’s quote The Deepest Fear, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So I am making a conscious effort to embrace my light fully, even if that means taking heat for it. There are so many people out in this world trapped in the darkness and need that light to help them out of the dark. I am no longer that scared little boy, stuck in the bedroom where the bad things happened. I am a strong, loving adult with the skills to rescue myself when need be. I must constantly remind myself of that.
You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are capable of greatness. You deserve so much in your life. You are lovable. You matter. There are people out there who embrace all of that and more. Those who share their light with others. Not everyone in this world are leeches. If you find yourself surrounded by them venture outside your world. Trust me it isn’t an easy task when you are consumed by darkness but the more you try the better it will get. At first the light will be frightening but the more you embrace the light the more comfort it will give you.
As a good friend of mine pointed out it isn’t about perfection but persistence. Keep at it. If you fall down, get back up and keep getting up even if it takes you a while. Healing is about the journey, not the destination. Keep moving forward even if it is one small step at a time. Taking a step backwards is not the end of the world, just take another step forward. Falling down doesn’t mean defeat, use it to fuel your flame to power you.
Embracing yourself for who you are and the light you possess takes practice, especially if you have hid it for most of your life. I remind myself that I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday… We will get there… Together!!!
The world is our oyster, now it is the time to go out and get it!!!

No Wonder So Many People are Turned off to God!!!

So the whole receipt situation has really got me pretty riled up. I am sure most of you have have seen the picture of the receipt floating around the internet where a Pastor from Atlanta wrote on her bill at Applebee’s, “I give God 10% why do you get 18?” She then crossed out the 18% tip calculated already on the bill. When the Pastor found out that the picture had gone viral on the internet she called Applebee’s to complain saying that her reputation had been ruined and wanted the server responsible fired.

The Pastor got her way and the server who took the picture was fired… After the news that the employee was fired the story went even more viral with many people threatening to boycott Applebee’s. I think many people are angry for a couple different reasons. One of them being the general lack of regards for those who work in the service industry. Many people don’t realize or don’t care that workers make considerably less than minimum wage. Then there is this idea that being a server is easy. If you have ever worked as a server you know how untrue this is. Being a server is tough. You are constantly on your feet moving a million miles a minute while often having to deal with difficult customers. Then there is the times you get stiffed on a tip or left very little.

Secondly people are upset over the whole using God to justify your bad behavior. How often do you see this? If you are gay and live in a religious family you see it fairly often. Look how the gay community is treated all because God says it to be so. Does God really say that behavior is acceptable? I mean where in the bible does it say that it is okay to pay someone less than they are worth.

Sure this is situation isn’t as extreme as some people who are religious but it is just another case where people put God in a very negative light. A friend of mine told me to try not to stereotype pastors because of this situation and my thought was it is hard to not do so when so many you encounter are just like this. I mean look at the Catholic church and how they treat homosexuality. Plus you still have the sexual abuse scandal. Even look at the Boy Scouts of America. I am sure their reasons for not allowing gay people into their organization is fueled by their religious views. They also have had their own sexual abuse cover up scandal.

So with all this information how can you expect people to come flocking to church when the message you send the world is the opposite of love and acceptance??? I mean come on now, no wonder so many people don’t believe in God. Even in Texas a legislator is trying to pass a law that makes ever Senior recite that they believe in God before they are allowed to graduate High School. When people are forced to believe something, many will run for the hills.

Personally I still struggle with my spirituality. I hear these kind of messages and I instantly cringe and pull away. For years I stopped believing in God. The idea of burning in hell for being gay (something I couldn’t change) was just too much to handle, so it was easier to come up with an alternative where there wasn’t a God. There was also a time where whenever I heard someone say God or Jesus I would start to have a panic attack. I know I am not alone.

Honestly it is rather sad and such a loss that so many people are told they are not worthy of our higher power’s love. That to me is the greatest abomination. These people who use God to spread their hatred, discrimination and disgust towards others are really doing a huge injustice to the world. They are so caught up in their own beliefs they don’t realize what they are doing. They feel the only way they will ever feel safe is if they convince the world of their beliefs. They are so lost, that they don’t see that they are the ones who need to be saved.

While I still struggle with my beliefs and my spirituality, these are some things I have come to realize. God is love. God doesn’t care what you call him/her. Yes, I don’t believe God is a gender, or at the very least God is both essences. Church is not required to get into heaven, nor is reading the bible. Church can be helpful for community and fellowship.  Even Atheists believe in love. Love is universal. God is not just some exterior force, it is deep within us… Everyone is worthy of that love. Being of God is being humble, living a life of love and service and not forcing your views down other peoples throats. It is how you treat people into this world that will have more of an impact than the amount of days you go to church, the number of prayers you say and the times you have read the bible. I am not say that it isn’t helpful for some, it’s just that it is not everyone’s way.

Living a life in fear, is no way to live in this world. Fear breeds hatred.

I do believe not everyone in the faith world is like this pastor and others but that is why we need others to stand up for what is right. That is why I created this blog to show others that their is another way, that you don’t have to accept what others have told you about God. For me the message behind God is love. Even when I thought I didn’t believe I still was spreading the message of love. That is the one thing that will unite us all. Personally I am not religious, I don’t go to church and I don’t read the bible. I am deeply spiritual. I am still learning to unearth my spirituality. I struggle daily, though not as much as before. When the these voices are loud and repeated enough it is very easy to get them into your head. They eventually will seep into your belief systems as well. So it takes a good amount of time to heal but I know that I am worth it.

You are too, we all are. So if you are like me and have been at the hand of someone religious spreading their hate please know that you are not alone. Discover what works for you. Take the time to build your spiritual foundation. As you start to sweep away other peoples cobwebs and dust, you will start to see your own spirit sparkle again. You were meant to shine brightly. If your life is filled with those religious types who spread fear and hate, look elsewhere for your guidance. Your world goes much farther than the confines they try to keep you in. There is a world out there with those you believe in love and acceptance, who aren’t controlled by the terms they use to label it.

If you see someone struggling with finding guidance, reach out to them as a fellow human being. Honestly you can do more good in the world by living your life as an example. My beliefs are if you truly are in the essence of God, anyone will be able to feel it. You don’t even have to bring God, religion or spirituality up. For me it is being a good person, spreading love and helping those around me. That to me was the message Jesus was trying to share with the world. Rather than learn from his example, many have turned his legacy into the opposite. They lost the true meaning and have become the people who crucified him on the cross. All because of indifference, fear and intolerance. When it comes down to it they killed him because of his beliefs and the love he had for God and mankind. Isn’t that the same thing many do to the gay community? Sure they don’t nail us up on the cross but they might as well with the harm their hatred causes.

The world could use a lot more love, care and light. Sadly many people don’t believe they are worthy of that. They have been scared away by damaging, fearful messages. I will say it again it doesn’t matter what you believe in when it comes to spirituality, god and religion, if you believe in love, kindness and taking care of others… we are all the same. Even if you don’t believe in God, you have a place in this world. Love is universal. Love is the key and the lock, and it is deep within us.