New Spin on Forgiveness and Love: Victim Shaming

“Love cannot exist without the dimension of justice.”

– Unknown

 

Forgiveness is an interesting topic to me.

Much of my life, forgiveness has been a patsy for negative, addicted, controlling, and manipulative people.

It made everything a person could ever do, okay.

And now, I read articles, hear people talk about, and see media portray, forgiveness in the same way.

And it pisses me off.

 

rose on the book

 

Forgiveness, according to a majority of the media, is thusly:

Forgive everyone for harming you in any way, then love them enough to allow them back into your life. Forgive and forget, wiping your brain of the memory of what they did. Remain naïve, trust them. Allow them to harm you again. Forgive them – rinse and repeat.

 

*ahem*

 

No. That is not what forgiveness is. And not only does this change the healing of “forgiveness” into something insidious and disgusting, but it also drags love in there.

Along this line of reasoning, love is defined thusly:

If you love someone, it doesn’t matter what they do or say, cause, or believe. You love them. That means anything goes and if you ever feel an emotion of misgiving, shove it.

 

Again, no.

 

People are turning “love” and “forgiveness” into a form of Victim Shaming.

Once again making everything negative, abusive, or harmful in any way – the victim’s fault. And they should just take it and be quiet.

Or they’re a bad person. Or a bad Christian. Or a bad mother, bad lover, bad father, bad human being.

Of course this is all done with extreme subtly and manipulation, leaving the person clueless to how badly those around them are stripping the term forgiveness of any real substance. But once you take a good look, it’s all saying the same thing.

“I should be able to do whatever I want, however often I want, and you should keep letting me do it, while smiling and loving me.”

 

Bollocks!

 

stockvault-high-key-rose133106

 

Forgiveness is not a patsy for the abusive.

Forgiveness is letting go. Taking all the gunk of anger, resentment, and bitterness and getting rid of it. Not allowing it to hold you down any longer. Forgiving someone for something they’ve done wrong to you in the past.

 

Forgiving someone does not mean that what they did is okay. It is not okay. But let it go. Learn the lesson, let go of the anger, and move forward.

Forgive but do not forget.

Forgive but protect yourself. Make your boundaries.

Let the past go, but remember that it is your responsibility to make good decisions and see to it that you don’t allow others to hurt you in the future.

You are not alive to be used.

You are worthy of love, respect, and happiness.

 

Again:

“Love cannot exist without the dimension of justice.”

– Unknown

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Filed under Health, Personal/Opinion

Because the Chiropractor Said So

I am in agony.

Okay, not really, but my upper back, neck, head, lower back, hips, and legs are killing me.

Okay not that either. No killing. They’re just burning.

FIIIIIIIRE!!!

 

So, nope. No fire either.

But my body is bloody screaming bloody murder at me! With a megaphone.

I think some pygmies found me in the middle of the night and took an ax to me, chopping me up into itty bitty little pieces, then super glued me back together.

Because they got bored.

Whatever the reality – my chiropractor tells me the Chair from Hell I’ve been sitting in for about 2 years now is wreaking havoc with me bones.

fire big bang on black

credit: 2happy

 

 

This is getting weirder.

Whatever. I got adjusted, felt all light and weightless like I could fly (not really, I’d fall to the ground and SPLAT like an uncoordinated dodo bird). Then I went home and sat in my chair (from Hell – seriously, Satan threw it out his window and a dead guy down the street sold it to me for a pigeon that I didn’t have) and my body instantaneously FLIPPED ME OFF. There may or may not have been brass knuckles included.

One day later, I limped into Wal-Mart like a zombie on downers and grabbed the cheapest comfy desk chair I could find. Chiropractor’s orders.

Maybe I won’t get so many headaches now. That would be FABULOUS. Oh and my back and neck won’t feel like a cement truck ran me over. That would also make me non-homicidal.

And you know, my bones would stay in their proper place. I’m pretty sure that’s good for your health.

But that will happen after my body gets used to sitting with proper posture again.

 

Until then?

AGONY! Mini pick axes with a vengeance wielded by shades on PCP (because somehow PCP effects the dead now)!!!

In reality?

I’m just complaining because my body hates me at the moment. But it’s for its own good. Kind of like how I don’t feed my dog chocolate even though he REALLY wants some. Except I’m not furry, or – you know, a dog.

..

.

So I’ll just be over here ON FIRE, while kicking it in my new chair (which is NOT from Hell).

Yep.

True story.

It’s kind of awesome by the way.

 

credit: massagenerd

credit: massagenerd

Now I just need to find the freaking pygmies.

 

As a writer, did you have to find the right chair or die from back/neck/head pain?

Or any other kind of person who sits in a chair a lot?

Speak pygmies, er- posture, to me.

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Filed under Personal/Opinion

Walking In Circles

I have no idea what to blog on this week.

I don’t even know what’s going on inside my own head.

Do you ever get that way?

Kind of blank inside….

I think maybe I’m just on overload, if that makes any sense.

 

So what’s on my mind?

…..

..

.

Yeah…. this is going nowhere.

 

stockvault-sepia-grunge-sign---stay-on-trail144056

 

Do you ever feel stuck? Like you’re walking around in circles, retracing the same steps that led you nowhere in particular?

Ugh.

That’s me right now.

I could use some divine intervention.

 

And even once you realize you’re walking in circles, you then have to figure out WHAT it is that you’re doing wrong, WHAT it is that you need to do to change, and HOW you’re going to accomplish that.

I think right now I’m in between those two. The circle walking and the planning/changing.

I’m in the exhausted category. Sitting there, blinking at everything going on, and wondering why the kitchen is so far away from my chair.

 

Humans are so strange. Why does it take us forever to realize something isn’t right? I mean, how many times do you have to club yourself over the head before you realize you’re holding a club???

Anywho – I’m a zombie.

Except I don’t have the energy to eat brains. Or even chase my food in the first place.

So I’m going to die of starvation.

Maybe I’m a vegetarian zombie – just apply chocolate.

 

Do you ever realize you’re walking in circles? Figure out the needed change and simultaneously feel like you got run over?

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Filed under Health, Personal/Opinion

Real Vampire Graves

When I was a kid, I entertained the idea of being an archaeologist.

That lasted about a year.

I like the idea of having my own place to go back to every day MORE and I’m not big on the idea of spending my time in a different country that might hate me.

But anywho – archaeology is still interesting to me.

And as you already know, all kinds of monsters and creatures interest me. I wake up from nightmares going, “YES!” and scramble to write them down so I don’t forget.

So vampire graves are pure awesome (I need to find better describing words. What kind of author says uber, awesome, and amazing all the time?)

Check out some crazy stuff going on with corpses…

 

"The Vampire" by Philip Burne-Jones

“The Vampire” by Philip Burne-Jones

 

Vampire Graves have Been Found In

  • Bulgaria (more than 100 vampire burial sites have been uncovered, especially in a 7000 year old city, Thracian)
  • Europe (The famous Twins of Sozopol were found in Poland)
  • US (Mercy Brown most notably was exhumed, her heart cut out, burned, and mixed with water for the brother to drink)
  • Romania

 

Reasons People were Given Vamp Burials

  • missing a finger
  • disfigured appearance
  • talk to themselves
  • committed suicide
  • having nightmares
  • exhaustion
  • anemia
  • sleeplessness
  • weight loss
  • aversion to garlic
  • having no appetite
  • being murdered violently
  • practiced witchcraft
  • died before they were baptized
  • lived a long life
  • died of an odd ailment, like tuberculosis
  • violated society’s laws
  • had the plague
  • corpse was unearthed and it looked too fresh
  • corpse was unearthed and had blood on it
  • killed a lot of people
  • cat jumped over the corpse
  • strange marks found on bodies – often times people thought birthmarks and moles were signs of evil

So, basically, if you didn’t brush your teeth, have perfect health, eat all your dinner, and donate your liver to the grandma down the street, you were going to get jumped by evil spirits and reanimate, doomed to kick it in a coffin during the day and cannibalize your family, friends, and random strangers by night.

0.o

But in all seriousness, vampires were a real threat back then. People believed that the likelihood of returning from your grave to suck the life from your loved ones was good.

One of the reasons for this was the plagues and diseases that swept through villages. A few people would crop up with it and when their families got sick with the “mystery illness” – it must be their dead loved one possessed by evil spirits, trying to kill them.

It was also used for scapegoating. Humans are humans after all, and a lot of them just aren’t nice.

I should note that some countries still hold these beliefs, to a lesser extent.

 

Skelett aus dem Vampir-Grab von Sozopol, ausgestellt im Nationalen Historischen Museum in Sofia; Oktober 2012" by Bin im Garten

“Skelett aus dem Vampir-Grab von Sozopol, ausgestellt im Nationalen Historischen Museum in Sofia; Oktober 2012″ by Bin im Garten

 

So what would people do to your corpse if they thought you were already a vampire? Or feared you might rise from the grave as one?

Different kinds of vampire burials:

  • Shove a stake through your heart. (A Bulgarian corpse was found with a 2-pound iron rod shoved in his chest.)
  • The same Bulgarian man was found with half of his leg removed and laid beside his body.
  • Cover your grave in huge, heavy stones.
  • Pin your corpse down in your grave with metal rings.
  • Bind your hands.
  • Sever your head and put it between your legs (this is really popular).
  • Shove a brick in your mouth (that’s just hilarious to even type).
  • Weight your neck down with stones.
  • Place coins in your mouth to keep evil spirits from entering you.
  • The Twin Sozopol vampires were pinned to their graves through the chest by the metal end of a plough.

 

And just to be POSITIVE you weren’t coming back and sucking anyone’s blood – they’d dig you up a short while after you were buried. Shove a stake through your heart (bodies are still fresh then) or do any number of the things listed above. If they hadn’t already.

These days, there are rumors that a few countries dig suspect corpses up after three or four years to check them for vampirism. Don’t quote me on that though.

 

Vampire Body Weirdness

Part of the decomposition process bloats the human body, which sometimes causes blood to seep from the mouth.

When a person dies, human skin dries out and shrinks, causing the hair and nails to appear longer, as if they’re growing.

So it wasn’t actually strange for these things to happen – they just didn’t know that back then.

 

There are A LOT of strange beliefs surrounding vampires and what causes them. Which, you know, is awesome (that’s the same freaking descriptive word!!!).

If I ever get into my archeological urges, hopefully I’ll find a vampire grave. Unbury it, remove the stake, and have a living, non-breathing vampire in my good graces.

Because who wouldn’t want a vampire in their debt? Or to befriend, question, and stalk. Right?

 

"Blackrose" by Nenesita1

“Blackrose” by Nenesita1

 


 

Sources:

Bulgaria’s Vampire Graveyards

“Vampire Grave” in Bulgaria

‘Vampire’ Graves Shed Light

‘Vampire’ Graves Uncovered in Poland

‘Vampire’ Graves Unearthed Near Black Sea

Unearthed: The Medieval ‘Vampire’ Skeleton

Pictured: ‘Vampire’ Graves in Poland

 

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Filed under Research

#WANAfitMOTIVATION February Challenge

Do you have fitness goals of some type? Aspirations? Do you want to?

 

Are you a writer?

Musically gifted?

Actress, actor?

A creative type of some kind?

In short – are you an artist? Professional or amateur?

 

Even if you’re not artsy but you want fitness motivation, keep reading.

(Wow, that sounded really infomercialy. *cringe*)

 

1024px-Hand_weights

Aasimovic

 

 

What is fitness?

Fitness is a combination of physical exercise, eating healthy foods, and having a positive mindset.

How to get there?

That’s the part that gets me. I’ll get motivated, excited, and all geared up for a few weeks. Then WHAM…. Not so motivated any longer.

So… I was thinking, since Kristen Lamb created WANA (We Are Not Alone) partly to get us to motivate each other’s creativity, why not have us do the same thing with our fitness goals?

We could all use a little motivation. A little prodding. Someone on the other end, hand on their hip, eyebrow raised, asking, “Did you get your butt out of the chair and exercise this week?”

And then to throw cookies at us when we succeed.

Plus – we need to have fun!

I will not yell at you to get on the ground and give me 50 pushups, expect you to report in like a probee, or throw barbells at your head if you don’t reach your goal.

 

If You Are a WANA

You have options.

There is a discussion on the MyWana website each month (link below).

We can use the #WANAfitMOTIVATION hashtag on Twitter (Kristen Lamb approved).

And you can blog on it and comment on my fitMotivation posts (like this one).

 

If You Are NOT a WANA

You have less options. But I still love you!

I’ll blog on fitness goals once a month and you can post yours in the comments.

You can post your goals and check in on your own blog and post the link here.

Also, if there are a good amount of people who want to participate that aren’t WANA, we can make our own hashtag.

 

I WILL NOT do this to you. I eat both of those. Daily.

I WILL NOT do this to you. I eat both of those. Daily.

 

(make sure you read that caption)

What to Do

Each month, post your goals.

Goals include being more positive about body and self-image, exercise goals, weight goals, food goals, positive association with exercise, etc.

You can also post new exercises or routines, things you’re struggling with, ask questions, or anything else that effects your fitness. New recipes you want to share, your motivation issues, your challenges that keep you from exercise.

Whatever you feel comfortable with posting and working on.

This includes all types of exercise – from yoga to weight lifting. You don’t need to include anything about weight if you don’t want to. If you have a goal to lose ten pounds in half a year, you don’t need to check in with your progress on future posts if you don’t want to. You don’t have to tell us what you eat or even include that.

No judgments, no competition.

I know I have my days where all I do is stretch for fifteen minutes and then eat a brownie the size of my fist. Trust me – no judging here.

And keep in mind we’re all going to make mistakes and fail to meet our goals at times. Its natural, human, and a part of moving forward.

We’ll be here to throw barbells-er-cookies at each others’ faces when it happens.

This is supposed to be fun and helpful for each of us personally. No stress.

 

We’d also use this to cheer each other on.

You know… the “motivation” part…

Tweet, comment, blog, etc, whatever – keep each other excited or at the very least, motivated, to keep on with our fitness goals.


 

WANAfitMOTIVATION February Challenge page here.

WANA hashtag: #WANAfitMOTIVATION

Blog posts will be here once a month.

Hashtag for non WANA users optional, depending on participants.

 

Joel Nilsson "Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana, One leg upward bow, Yoga asana"

Joel Nilsson “Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana, One leg upward bow, Yoga asana”

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Filed under Health

Looking Back (Honestly)

At the beginning of 2015, Jeff Goins wrote up a post I really liked.

It was “Looking Back (Honestly) at the Past Year.

 

He talked about how we often portray ourselves in an unrealistic way on social media.

I only make happy, humorous, or successful tweets. I only blog on positive things.

 

But do we portray ourselves realistically?

I think we portray parts of ourselves realistically.

 

I mean, this cat has more sides to it than just demon. She might really enjoy knitting or catching butterflies for all I know..... Never mind about the butterflies...

I mean, this cat has more sides to it than just demon. She might really enjoy knitting or catching butterflies for all I know….. Never mind about the butterflies…

 

“We are curating memories and moments as if they were pieces of art to be hung on the walls while the rest gets stuffed in the basement.

Why do we do this?”

  • Jeff Goins

 

Good question. But we do it. We all know it, too.

Goins went on to give his explanation. That we’re afraid people wouldn’t like us if they see all of us.

I tend to agree.

 

It’s all a messy balance of “what do I want people to see of me that is honest, true, and three-dimensional – without over-sharing, complaining, or being self centered, negative or depressing”.

But that’s life.

And it’s what I’ve recently discovered about myself. I like how messy life is.

It leaves room for change, for difference, for improvement, mistakes, lessons to learn, room to grow, etc. Too much to explain or surmise in a pretty package of sentences and paragraphs. Life is unexplainable. It is moving art or death scraping along inside a sack of flesh and bone. It’s your choice.

It’s a mess. But it’s gorgeous.

At least, it has the potential to be.

 

2014

So – looking at all of me, at the real me, what is there to look back at for the year of 2014?

In Goins’ post, he asks if we measured the wrong things.

 

I think I did. I measured this:

How much I worked every day.

How many days I stayed awake all day long.

How many days I worked out.

How often I wrote every week and how long each day. How close to finishing I was. How many times I’d failed and how many people were shaking their heads at me.

Basically: How often I was on the ball. With everything. No room for breathing, no room for a break, no room for mistakes.

 

I didn’t pay attention to me.

Was I having fun?

Did I enjoy what I was doing?

Did I care about what I was doing?

Was I overworking myself and consequently, making my “work” suffer?

Did I know what I felt, thought, wanted, needed?

 

I could go on and on. The answer would still be “no”.

That’s not a good thing to say no to.

 

I mean – I do realize the definition of “living” is to “live” right?

 

It’s hard to care about what I do on a daily basis if all I’m doing is forcing myself to get stuff done.

Check this off, finish that, be perfect with that.

Kind of pointless, don’t ya think?

 

stockvault-view-at-valley-green-2014-calendar143403

 

PERFECTION VS. MISTAKES

I allowed no mistakes.

This is – ironically – a failure.

How?

If you don’t make mistakes, then you’re treading water. You aren’t moving forward. You are NOT improving.

Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t hate yourselves over them.

Learn from them. Work on being better. A better you. The ‘you’ you want to be.

Mistakes are how you reach success.

 

GET THINGS DONE VS. ENJOYING THE THINGS YOU DO

Did I really accomplish all that much?

Okay, yeah I did a pretty good job in the year of 2014.

But did I enjoy it? Did I really care?

No.

I just pushed myself to get stuff done. While not even paying attention to what I was doing. I didn’t have fun, I didn’t enjoy it. Every day was a checklist – NOT a day to have a life and live it.

I’m a writer. Writing is my passion. It’s who I am. I’ve said this before, yet it doesn’t seem to sink into my brain.

I haven’t enjoyed writing in a long time. Why? Because I’m a brain-dead moron stuck on autopilot. STILL.

I love Kristen Lamb. She continually gives us reasons on why we need to have fun. How it isn’t wrong and we shouldn’t feel guilty for having fun doing our craft.

Notice something? I just said ‘craft’, not ‘work’.

Yeah, I’m a writer. It’s my job. It’s work.

But not really. Not to me. Because when I pay attention, writing is the joy of life.  It’s a release, an escape, a way to create, to change, to grow. To have fun.

I need to stop holding myself back from having fun, just “because”.

 

EXISTING VS. LIVING – a.k.a. THE POINT

Enjoy what you do.

Stop working and breathe.

Take time each day for yourself. End of story. No excuses, no “reasons”.

You are not a bad person for taking time for yourself.

It’s a popular issue people face with society’s definitions and whatnot sticking in their psyches.

This fable that we should feel bad for caring about our wants and needs.

WRONG!

If you don’t care about yourself, eventually, you’re going to stop caring about everyone else and everything else as well. I don’t care how good you are at hiding it or lying to yourself.

You’ll be miserable.

Everyone has a life. Don’t waste yours by ignoring your hopes and dreams to take care of someone else – who, *ahem* should be taking care of themselves. Everyone’s first responsibility is to take care of themselves, then to help others. Not to ignore themselves.

 

You don’t have to be a mindless robot who gets things done and helps everyone all the time with all their problems and responsibilities.

YOU. HAVE. YOUR.  OWN. LIFE.

You are a person.

You exist.

You have the option to live. To really enjoy your life.

That doesn’t mean become self-centered and care only for yourself. But stop being the opposite; caring only for others.

ENJOY YOUR FREAKING DAYS. They will run out.

Will you have wasted them?

 

Are you paying attention people? FOCUS!

Are you paying attention people? FOCUS!

 

How do you measure your years? Your days? Your successes?

Take a look at how you portray yourself on social media, to your friends, in public, to your family, to yourself. Are you happy with it? Have you struck that balance?

Regardless, take a look at your past year – and really look at it. Don’t hold the mask up for yourself. Denial will get you nowhere. Are you happy with your 2014?

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Filed under Personal/Opinion

Work then Reward

People make goals.

People try to keep to their goals.

People yell at themselves, threaten themselves, bribe themselves with fantastical things that will only happen on planet Unicorn, and hire a yeti talk show host to smack them with a wilder-beast baby every time they look at a donut or sleep in for .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds past the alarm.

*ahem*

PEOPLE ARE DOING IT WRONG.

Just so you know.

Don’t worry. You can breathe now.

 

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

 

build a house of brick of wood project and architect tools

Do the work.

 

 

But first – an example.

Let’s say you’re trying to lose ten pounds.

So you set a goal. To lose ten pounds.

But you keep not exercising.

You’re tired, there’s no donuts involved, it’s too hot, your child tries to eat the stroller, the billy-goat down the street always tries to steal your shoes when you run, yada, yada, yada.

Not going to make that goal, now are you?

Now, let’s say, again, you’re trying to lose ten pounds.

You set a goal to find an exercise routine you’ll enjoy (or at the very least doesn’t make you want to throw chocolate bar wrappers at the aerobics chick on the tv) and work out three to four days a week for twenty to thirty minutes. Your goal is to do this for three months and then to see how you’re liking it, maybe add ten minutes to the routine.

You’re MUCH more likely to reach this second goal.

Why?

You’re not throwing bricks at your head, angry at yourself because you’re a human.

Now for that secret.

 

brick wall close up background

Don’t throw these at your head.

 

 

SECRETIVE STUFF RIGHT HERE

Make a goal.

Check.

Make it a positive goal of what to do.

Check.

Decide on a rough time limit.

Check.

……

At the end of that time limit…

GIVE YOURSELF A TANGIBLE REWARD.

 

The biggest, THE BIGGEST issue we make for ourselves when trying to make a goal and keep it, is not taking into account human nature. This is not ROBO DUCK TAKES OVER THE SANDBOX.  This is reality and you are a human being. Even if you have a peg leg and four extra toes – you’re still human.

Normally, when you make a goal, you aren’t going to see the results of that goal for a while. Maybe not for years.

We get exhausted. We get discouraged. Tired. Bogged down.

We don’t see any change, we don’t see any success.

So we give up, little bit by little bit.

 

Tada.

Failure.

 

Save this (money not ceramic pigs, they won't buy you much).

Save this (money not ceramic pigs, they won’t buy you much).

 

Decide on a reward. Hold the money out. Give yourself an exact date and the goals you must meet to get that reward on that date.

We’re tricking our brains when we do this.

One – we’re holding our end result in mind. You know, the whole reason for the goal.

Two – we’re also very much focused on that reward coming up. Soon.

Give yourself a reasonable time. 2 months, 3 months. Anything longer and it’ll feel like years away, just like the real reward (the purpose for the goal).

Three – this in turn makes us more excited to keep ourselves motivated to reach our goal.

 

THE REWARD

Make sure it’s something you really want.

And doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, and your third son.

Whatever your taste is. If you’re a shoe fanatic, save money for that pair of shoes. If you’re a donut fanatic, save out money for a box of your favorite donuts from the best shop. If you want your favorite tv show on DVD, save up for that.

Nothing ginormous. We’re not trying to bankrupt you here. But it does need to be something you really want.

And make yourself a promise.

If I make my goal, I get my reward.

If I don’t make my goal, I don’t get my reward.

Hold yourself accountable.

 

Then the reward.

Reward. Yay!

 

It’s pretty motivating. Trust me.

 

How do you keep yourself on the path to your goals?

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