Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trust issues, and the best of the best!

By human standards it would be reasonable to expect me to doubt the world around me.

I suppose I have to talk about my life a bit here. The one person in my family I was closest to died a little over 5 years ago (my mother) and many of the people I've been closest to since then have been more than a little misleading...many of them romantic interests which I've come to realize that it was a blessing things didn't work out.

Regardless, I find it hard to trust God sometimes, even when he's working wonderful things into my life. Sometimes, especially where friendships are concerned, I find it easy to panic just because of a small thing. The tiniest change in behavior for the worst in someone, even something so little as being a tad quieter than normal, can make me nervous. Even one little text message that doesn't receive a response can set me on edge. Did I say something wrong? Did they read it? Did I bother them? I've let the people who have been untrustworthy in my life ruin my trust for God, which is not acceptable...and I think now that I've realized it, I can end it. That's a promise, God!

We all have some growing up to do. I hope it doesn't sound judgmental for me to say some people have a little more growing up to do than others. I'm really bothered by the actions of people around me sometimes. There is a particular person I know who I once had a great deal of admiration for who I no longer have almost any at all. This person has/had the potential to become a beautiful person but now treats me, at least, with a great deal of disrespect. I will always love this particular person, but I no longer like them, and probably never will again.

On a nice note, though, I think the reason I have such low tolerance for their new attitude is because I have met, only a few weeks ago, a group of people whom I have quickly grown to love and admire. They are, quite simply, some of the best people I've ever met! I'm not exactly sure why things have happened the way they have, but I'm glad. So glad. This is all God's doing...everything good is, but in this case it's remarkably apparent. I have no words for how much I love them!

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that trust given was trust kept.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why, God...WHY??

Why are you so good to me? :)

To think that only a few weeks ago I was practically wishing for death, and now everything is turning around. And I really don't deserve much. In fact, if you, the reader, knew everything about me, you might say that God has very good reasons to punish me.

But that's not the way God works. Consistently throughout my life, He has worked to bring me back towards Him. He has, time and time again, turned my blunders into blessings. I'm completely in awe at how everything has worked out.

I guess that's really all I have to say today. :)

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that all could see the wonderful mercy and love of God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am fascinated by silence.

Most of my day today has been filled with silence. My social plans fell through, and so I ended up spending a lot of time alone with a book...I went on a long walk. I even went into church and hung out with Jesus for a while (I intended to go to mass, but it turns out they had adoration and moved it to 7).

Silence often speaks louder than noise, and gets the point across better. When you don't have the distraction of things on the outside whistling for your attention, you can better hear your voice on the inside. You can more easily reflect, stop and think. God finds it easier to talk to you, too.

I'm even more fascinated by silence when it comes to the way people interact. The things we are unwilling to say to one another...the one "secret" that everyone knows but will not discuss. Silence really does speak loudly.

I found out today that most people are oblivious to the observations I make of other people. Sometimes I can tell how people feel about me, or other people, just in the way they walk, the way they look at what's around them, the way they position themselves, their expressions, what they say and how they say it. Sometimes I'll move people like chess pieces into entering a situation or conversation where they will unconsciously reveal something they're thinking, all without them ever knowing it. It's not an exact science, but it works most of the time. Am I manipulative or just clever? Or perhaps you think I'm bullshitting you. I'm not out to convince anyone of anything, so make your choice any way you like!

This sort of thing has come into play in my life recently. I have a group of friends who I am sure all know what I know, but none of us are willing to say anything about it. It truly is for the best, since it just wouldn't be prudent to talk about it at this point, but it still fascinates me how we all hint to each other our knowledge but never quite openly speak about it. It makes me literally giggle sometimes!

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that silence was given its proper respect.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A life of irony.

Everything seems so far away in the middle of the night.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about staying up late with friends or something like that. I'm talking about times like last night, where I got up in the middle of the night to do my scheduled holy hour. My church does a 23-hour adoration where people can sign up to take slots so that there are always at least two people with Jesus. Silly me, I signed up for the 3 AM slot. But there's something about it that's so strange. It's like a waking dream, where it's just you and your thoughts, and everything else...anxieties, plans, the future, the past...they all seem so far away. Then when you go back to sleep and wake up in the morning, everything is back to normal. Even though you were awake only a few hours before for a whole hour, it seems like it was ages a dream you had last week.

It's times like those, where everything is just like a dream, that I can really reflect. My reflections lately have come to the conclusion that my life is a giant string of ironies.

Sometimes I feel like I'm caught in a loop. Things in my life seem to happen over and over again, except slightly different, and sometimes at the same time of year. The funny thing about November is that ever since college started, and perhaps longer, it has been the month that some girl or other burned me. Or broke my heart, if you want to be melodramatic about it. So far though, it hasn't happened this month...well, at least not like it usually happens.

Even more ironic, though, is the fact that this time just a year ago, one of those heartbreaks transformed my life. It was the wake-up call I needed to begin pursuing a God-centered life decide what I want from life, how I'm going to get it, and who is going to come with me. Now, the theme repeats itself. I am deciding almost the very same things right fact, I may have already made my choice. Yet the choices are different...much more exciting. God has a sense of humor, in that the decisions I'm making now are the evolutions of the decisions I made a year ago. Instead of deciding how I'm going to follow Christ, I'm deciding what vocation I could BEST serve Christ in. Instead of deciding how I'm going to cope with the sadness I felt, I'm deciding how I'm going to channel the joy I feel. And instead of deciding what friends I'm going to take with me through my life, I'm deciding...well, I'll keep that a secret for now. :)

It just goes to show God has a sense of humor.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that we could always be open to God's call.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Completely at ease.

"Strange...I should feel terrified. But I feel so calm..."

Allow me to go nerd mode for a moment, but I feel like I can apply something from Dragon Ball Z to this blog post. The previous quote is a paraphrase of something the main protagonist from the show, Goku, says before he faces hand-to-hand combat with the then-most-powerful villain in the universe, Frieza, a being as impossibly powerful as he is impossibly evil and ruthless.

Goku is the Christ-like figure of Dragon Ball Z in that even though he is incredibly strong he is humble and never thinks of himself: even when faced with death many times before in the series, he thinks only of how he can save others.

However, even though Goku is shown to be incredibly courageous, the new villain of the show, Frieza, has even the arrogant and foolishly confident character Vegeta losing his will to fight. The bold Vegeta dies in tears. Obviously the author of the story is trying to make the point that Frieza is an entirely different challenge than has been in the show. So when Goku realizes he is the last hope for his friends, and that he will soon face Frieza in a fight to the death, his usual attitude of brave hope is already established as an unlikely reaction for him, even though it would be in character. At this point, those watching expect Goku to be terrified. Yet Goku, standing in the open air before flying off to face the villain, just calmly feels the wind on his face. He feels at ease.

But why? We, the viewer, do not yet know. Not until later, when Goku is revealed to be a legendary warrior called the Super Saiyan, who, when of a calm and pure nature, is suddenly faced with extreme anger and indignation (in Goku's case, witnessing the cruel death of his best friend) transforms into a being far more powerful than Frieza. It turns out that the strength he needed to overcome his enemy was inside him all along. Subconsciously, somehow, he knew he could defeat Frieza, which explains his inner peace, but outside he felt he should be terrified.

His rational mind did not understand what his heart new all along.

And I thank you for allowing for the long diversion I needed to make my point. This is where I feel like I am at. What is going on in my life right now are things that both excite me and make me terrified...some of them overt, some of them covert, and none that I'm going to mention in this blog post, since anyone can read it. I apologize for the cryptic nature, but it's not necessary for me to mention what's going on to explain my feelings, which is the purpose of this blog anyway.

So, with what I'm going through right now, I think I should be terrified, or at least nervous. But in my heart, I feel completely at ease. Right now I don't know why. But I'm waiting...waiting for when I can find out what the "Super Saiyan transformation" of my life will be...

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that the rational mind would understand what the heart knows.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Empathy, and other tales...

I can tell when someone's upset.

It doesn't have to be very obvious...once you've experienced enough of misery, you know what it looks like. Last night, there were quite a few upset people around me. I wanted to comfort all of them, that's just the way I am, but the most I could do was make one of them smile and laugh a little. It felt really good to do that...I'm still not sure what they were upset about, or if they knew that I knew they were upset (I never gave a reason for my sudden attention) but having that empathy and trying to cheer them up was awesome.

Also, I think my week long happy-spree might be over. That might be the reason I've not posted that much lately...I was just feeling too good to sit down and write properly. But since last night I feel like I've been shifting back into my usual mode of melancholy. But the difference this time is that I'm prepared. :) Now that I've recognized that these mood swings are not rational as I have previously thought, that they are merely an illusion, I can do something about it. I can ignore it...not let it rule me. I can act happy even though I don't really feel all that happy, and who knows? Maybe there will be a fake-it-'til-you-make-it effect: If I just act like I'm happy, eventually I will be!

In that case, I can't wait to be happy again...

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that joy would be more contagious...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The true nature of depression...

I have decided to treat sadness as an illusion on the other side of happiness.

Regardless of whether or not I'm bipolar as I think I may very well be, it was very easy for me to learn that the main difference between myself when I'm happy and myself when I'm sad is perspective.

When I was sad, I could only see the negative in my life. I totally ignored the things that made me happy, or could make me happy. However, without any aspect of my life changing at all, I can become very happy by simply focusing on even the smallest sources of happiness in my day. It's not easy, but it's possible! I prove it to myself every time I have a mood swing.

So, if my mood is merely a reflection of whatever is on my mind, I can control my mood by intentionally blinding myself to my problems. I can break the illusion of sadness by adjusting the mirrors, so to speak!

A note of importance: This is easier said than done. I'm not yet sure whether I will be able to do this with any sure success...but it's definitely worth trying. I will probably mention this again someday.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that the illusion of sadness would be broken for good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bipolar? And other questions...

So, I think I'm bipolar.

I have proof. How many people do you know go from in tears all day one day and the next, feel completely fine? Every time I go through these phases of depression and happiness I notice something: I can't understand why I was in the other state.

When I'm depressed, I am completely convince that I have no reason to be happy. My mind is completely focused on misery, and I can't feel happy. When people are nice to me, I don't know how to respond. I can't motivate myself to do anything. I am convinced I'm worthless.

When I'm happy, like I am now, I can't understand why I was ever down. The problems I was upset about seem a dream, or like it was long ago, or happening to someone else. I love everyone. I find joy in the tiniest of things...I have a good self-esteem, I feel invincible.

It's like I'm two separate people. I don't get it.

I also think I might be done discerning the priesthood. I'm not 100% sure yet, but for a while I've been rolling the question around in my head...since last summer, actually. What is God calling me to? Marriage or Priesthood? Or something else? Well, the original reason for discerning wasn't a really good one, in my opinion. The sheer multitude of rejections by women I liked made me feel like it could be a clear message that I'm not supposed to be married - since there are really no coincidences.

Now I feel different. I have felt for a long time a great desire to give of myself to a woman, for life. That's not really a priest thing...and it's not going away, even in the face of prayers about being a priest and the continued "bad luck" with women. I think the whole women issue might be a nice post for another time, though.

The other question I'm faced with (throughout the day, in prayer, etc.) is what I'm doing after I graduate from college. I'm an English major with a Journalism minor. There is a possibility I can get a job, but I feel called to stay where I am. Work for my church as a minister. Since I wasted so much of my college life on stupid things, I feel like it would be poetic justice for me to stay here for the same amount of time I wasted: doing it right this time. But that's also a long story for another entry.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that there could be balance and certainty.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Nobody said it was easy..."

"Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry, you don't know how lovely you are..."

I think God made all people equally beautiful, but some people he made it more easy to see...There is nothing that makes me want to love myself more than when I see someone else needs my love, especially when I know how beautiful and special that person is.

Last weekend it was easy to love myself because I was loving a friend of mine. I've only met this person twice now, but we've kept up a nice phone/internet/mail correspondence for a long time now. My friend is a beautiful and amazing person, and I'm so lucky to know her, but sometimes she doesn't see what I see. Hope seems hard for her to hold onto because of how others have treated her. Between having fun doing things like shopping (cool shopping, like books and petting dogs and cats at Petsmart, not lame shopping like going to try on clothes) and watching movies, I told her how I saw her and her place in the world. It made me cry at one point because I don't think she believed me when I told her how she was destined for happiness.

During my drive back home today, I was touched by the song "The Scientist" by Coldplay. It put into words a lot of the feelings I was re-experiencing because of last weekend. I find so many people, especially women, who don't seem to understand how beautiful they are. Their beauty isn't a physical thing, it shines out from the inside, from their goodness, what makes them unique in the tapestry of life. But it's usually not prudent for me to share my feelings with the women I know. They would take it as a come I'm forced to just paste the song here and hope they find it:

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are

I had to find you

Tell you I need you
Tell you I've set you apart

Tell me your secrets

And ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start

Running in circles

Coming up tails
Heads on the science apart

Nobody said it was easy

It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Oh take me back to the start

I was just guessing

At numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart

Questions of science

Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Oh tell me you love me

Come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start

Running in circles

Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy

Oh, it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start...

 There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that you knew how lovely you are.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The torture of humility...

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

That's the first line of the Litany of Humility, which I've begun to pray daily. It's basically a list of desires and fears that you pray Jesus takes from you to help you be humble. It's torture. Every time I pray it I realize how much I want and fear all of those things, especially these three:
  1. "From the desire of being loved, deliver me Jesus.
  2. "From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me Jesus.
  3. "That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
The reason I've begun to pray this prayer is because my pride has gotten to the point where it hurts me emotionally, constantly. It hurts a lot to always wish people loved me, or loved me as much as they say they do. It hurts to be left out and forgotten. It hurts that others are loved more than I am. If I was just humble, I would almost always be happy. I'm sure of it.

Every time I get on Facebook I see exactly what I fear the most every time. Because of my feelings of isolation, I am addicted to feeling the connection I get over Facebook, but at the same time Facebook feeds my isolation by forcing me to see pictures of friends hanging out together without me, and sending messages to each other about how much they miss each other and want to hang out, while I'm simply forgotten.

If I were only humble, none of this would bother me. So even though it hurts, I HAVE to try. I've never felt the need for God's help so strongly.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that I would never be bothered by pride.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On love and honesty.

Have you told someone you love them today?

I love to tell people that I love them. Especially because it's true. I love a lot of people, and I'm not afraid to say it to their face. Often times though, the response I get is a look of confusion and words that basically mean "This is awkward, where did this come from?" And then I feel pressured to agree and pretend it was said in humor.

This, I believe, is a tragedy. Why? Allow me to answer with a story. I believe my mother died without truly knowing how much I love her. I allowed this to happen because saying "I love you" regularly and in such ways as to truly express how much I meant it never crossed my mind. This is a frequent source of guilt for me. Don't let it happen to you! People you know today may very well be gone tomorrow. I knew my Mom was dying for months and I didn't do anything. Don't make my mistake.

How many people do you know and love who have no idea or might need reminding from time to time how much you care that they are in your life? Don't be afraid to say so. It might mean more to them hearing it, than it means for you to say it.

Being a college student living with college students, I'm prone to hearing a lot of excuses. I am not innocent of this, but I feel as though I'm more aware of it than others. People say that they don't have time to do or say something that might take them less than a minute and have a great impact beyond themselves. Such as telling someone they love them, even if they have been too busy to spend time with them. Don't just pass by a friend's door if you have been very busy...maybe they'd like to know the reason you don't talk to them anymore is because you're busy, and not because you don't care about them anymore. To some this might seem like a silly assumption but it's a reality...people can feel that way.

That being said, make sure that you mean the things you say to people. If you tell someone you trust them and feel like you both could talk about anything, don't stop talking to them for no reason. You will have made yourself a liar. If you tell someone you like spending time with them, don't stop spending time with them for no reason. You will have hyped up your relationship with them, only to disappoint them.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that we were all open and honest about our feelings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On determination, and November.

Boy, when I actually feel good, I feel it.

Through a complicated series of events, I've been launched into this strange state I find myself in from time to time where I have neither solved, nor forgotten my problems and anxieties, but found the strength to overlook them temporarily.

I'd rather not bog down my writing with the details, but suffice it to say it's the stuff that usually makes me feel good: spending time talking and laughing with fun and loving people, sharing things, and feeling truly welcome. Granted, most of it was due to circumstances that were forced upon us all, but I'm trying to ignore that minor detail.

So, whenever I feel good like I do now, I am always filled with a sense of determination that it should continue that way, and that I have the chance to make my life better. Things don't seem so hopeless: I feel fun and attractive to women, rather than a "bottom of the barrel" sort of guy I usually feel like...Rather than feeling like people have lost touch with me because they don't care about me anymore, I feel like "it's their loss." My sense of humor improves, my self-control improves, my work ethic improves, and my mood improves most of all. It's an all-around welcome change.

However, I'm worried that this might wear off again soon. It usually does, sometimes very quickly. And it always makes those disappointments seem so much worse. After all, when you expect disappointment and failure it hurts a lot less than when you are so sure things are taking a turn for the better and you turn out completely wrong.

Now that it is November, I feel especially susceptible to this sort of thing. Most of the biggest hurts in my life have happened to me in November. I'm not entirely sure why, and I don't mean to be superstitious, but I see a clear pattern. I hate being so cynical, but that I am feeling alright, if I'm not careful I'll start asking myself "So, I feel good, which usually means something awful is about to happen. It's also November, the month where the worst things always happen. What's it going to be this time?"

But this determination...I don't even know what to do with it. It makes me want to go run outside and save the world. But the things that bother me in life are all the things out of my control. Determination has little to do with it all. I'll just have to enjoy the feeling while it's here.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that determination would always bring results.