“Justice without mercy is tyranny..”

I’m not claiming to be an expert or to even have a solid solution. I understand the anger, I understand the fear.. the feelings of betrayal, feelings of oppression, loss, disbelief, and powerlessness. However, I do not think more brutality is the answer. Never have, never will. There’s nothing that will convince me that we should go and bomb other countries and possibly take more innocent lives in order to stop one group of terrorists. We need to find a new strategy. I feel that the ones in charge who say we must stop ISIS by showing them we are stronger through force and violence feel pressured to take such actions, and maybe they don’t realize the absurdity of this idea.

Many people are angry right now about the attacks in Paris. Believe me, I am too. I am angry about all of the animosity and anguish that continues to happen in every country.. Benghazi, Lebanon, Syria, etc. However, I do not believe we send the message of “strength” when we retaliate with even more violence than the original attacks. One may say it will only get worse if we don’t go to extremes and take them out by killing them. I would argue that maybe we should try another approach. They’ve apparently already figured out the mastermind behind the terrorism, so bring him and his team to justice the way any murderer is brought to justice. Leave innocent civilians alone. Don’t bomb their home. Don’t make them live in fear. Do not take more lives that should not be taken and do not put more people in misery.

Yes, the victims deserve justice. But do you think more bloodshed and disorder is what they want? Think about it. Do you think that during the madness that went on November 13th, the victims were thinking about how much hate they had for the barbarians that were responsible? I can’t say for certain but I do not think that is so. They were afraid that they’re life was over, and this story of one survivor from the attacks in Paris leads me to believe their thoughts were shifted toward love:

“you never think it will happen to you. It was just a friday night at a rock show. the atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. and then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naiively believed it was all part of the show. It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant. Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are suppose to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circuling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticoulsy aimed at shot people around the standing area i was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn’t feel real. i expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare. But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy i loved was dead, to the injured man who i had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so i wouldnt have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better. to never let this happen again. but most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didnt get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through. I am so sorry. There’s nothing that will fix the pain. I feel priviledged to be there for their last breaths. And truly beliving that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved. As i lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those i love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep belieivng in the good in people. to not let those men win. Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. to live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten.” -Isobel B.

I cannot say all the victims felt this way, but if you look back at other tragedies, like the recent riots in Ferguson for example.. what did the parents of Michael Brown want? They wanted justice, yes.. but they were also calling for peace. They did not want the violence. They were hurting over their loss, but they did not partake in rioting, they wanted peace and calm.

It should be alarming that people are so quick to make the decision to take another person’s life. Without batting an eye they say that we need to worry about ourselves and kill anyone who threatens our territory. Killing is not the answer, it never will be. Too many people are using this tragedy as a justification and solidification of their violent tendencies. It’s selfish, and that’s all there is to it.

When you’re about to die, do you really believe you’re going to start thinking of all the things you hate, or about everything you could have done differently? Or will you think about your loved ones, and reflect on the life you were fortunate to have. People are known to be irrational thinkers when they’re angry or afraid. If you stop and think about our very being, you will understand there is more good than bad. Given the option, most would choose love over hate, as love transcends and hate does not. We are going nowhere if we choose to continue the cycle of hate. But we can move mountains if we could just learn to love.

This may seem weak, this belief that love can overpower hate. But look at all the accomplishments that have been made when we decided to look past our differences, and to give the alternative a try. We’ve come so far through love but we will only continue the deadly, terror cycle that dominates this planet if we choose to react the way we always have. It’s time to raise awareness, in a positive way. It’s time to let go of the past and think about which path leads to a brighter future. It’s time to wake up.

Now you may be thinking that all sounds fine and dandy but it’s not realistic. It is, and here’s how you can help. Donate to charities that respond to such traumatic events, and natural disasters. Show your support but don’t be selfish. A simple facebook status or profile picture is most likely not going to change anything, it’s merely there to display your ‘awareness’ of what’s going on, and that you are doing what feels right when tragedy strikes. Spread love through simple acts of kindness. Be there for someone. Hug your loved ones extra tight so they know how much they are loved and appreciated. Go out of your way to make someone’s day a little better. You have the power to change the world, all you have to do is start.

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Irony

In the midst of scrolling through news feeds, checking the actual news, and turning on the TV.. it has just now come to my attention that America has problems (sarcasm). Problems that date back so long ago, it’s astounding that they still have yet to be resolved. Activists everywhere pour their heart and soul into the issues they feel most passionate about. They get satisfying feedback- positive and negative.. but who are they targeting, and is anyone actually listening?

I’m a firm believer that an “issue” only becomes an “issue” because someone created the “issue.” Take racism for example, I know this is a conflicting subject that everyone at least has an opinion on, if not strong feelings toward. The word itself gets some people fired up right away. Everyone knows the history on the roots of racism. It’s obvious that we still see racism today, just maybe not as apparent as it used to be. The world has come a long way in working together to make life a little more peaceful for all.

I will say that some people really do not give a flying fuck what your skin color is. At least the way I see it, you can be black, brown, yellow, orange, purple, or white.. I do not care. If you are a decent, genuine person.. you have my full support in anything you try to accomplish. If you are an asshole to me, I usually just turn the other cheek and forget about it.. because in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Every now and then you may catch me on a bad day and I’ll have an attitude back. Everyone has bad days. Everyone.

Now days we have people who LOVE to play games. The blame game… The “he said/she said…” Apparently anything that is taken offensively is racist if it is a discrepancy between opposite skin tones. There are people who say things like “boo hoo, there’s no historical pattern of your race being discriminated against, get over it” or “that was so long ago that our ancestors abused your basic human rights, get over it.. we’re different.” You can say “history repeats itself” but you know what.. why aren’t people saying “we have the opportunity to create history??” POSITIVE history at that. Why is it always twisting statements around and putting words into other people’s mouths in order to suit your own spiteful agenda? Will we ever be able to have a civil conversation on what can be done to change the current issue, or will we always just conform to segregation and discrimination based on “history?”

Like I said, there’s not an issue until one is created. I honestly believe social media.. or media in general, just contributes to the problem in this scenario. If anything, the media is an instigator. An article is put out for everyone to read. However, half the people are not reading the article, they are only reading the comments. They are then fired up and fueled with rage based on one comment they read and disagreed with. They pick that comment out all of them to reply, and the cycle of hate and discrimination continues. That’s why I ask.. can racism ever really be ‘solved?’ Right now, in all honesty I think it comes down to “the majority” are sick of being called racists and their questionable actions being judged and characterized as “racist or non-racist,” and I think “minorities” are sick of constantly feeling victimized, and like they are not being heard, so they speak louder. Many have good intentions, but when they come together, we put our guards up, pull out our weapons, and resolve nothing. Racism is not the only issue we face, this is obvious. So tell me, what should our main focus be right now?

Feel free to share your opinions. Tell me where I’m wrong, or where I’m right. Enlighten me on what needs to be understood, or forgotten. I want to hear what you have to say, but my challenge to you is to keep it civil, speak from love.. not hatred.

Desire runs deep, betrayal runs deeper.

“When we seek the gaze of another it isn’t always our partner that we are turning away from, but the person we have become. It isn’t so much that we are looking for another person as much as we are looking for another self.” -Esther Perel: Rethinking infidelity… a talk for anyone who has ever loved (Ted Talks, download the app if you don’t already have it)!!

WOW! My mind has been a complete tangled up mess the past couple of months. I have a few posts saved in my drafts that I never actually published because they were very personal, and too depressing. So much has happened I just needed a place to put my thoughts so I wouldn’t go insane. Things are starting to sort themselves out, now that there are no more secrets.

All I have to say is.. infidelity is one area you never want to find yourself in. It’s like a run-down neighborhood. It just looks sketchy from the outside, but once you put yourself in that town.. it all goes downhill from there. Luckily, there is an exit sign nearby and you just have to run as fast as you can to get to it. Although it may seem like you are running as fast as you can and you are getting absolutely nowhere, soon enough you will be so far from that town, and you will never have to look back.

Infidelity is a very controversial topic. Now days, people have so much pride that they convince themselves they don’t have to be part of that relationship once the going gets tough. They don’t have to feel the emotional pain of being hurt. This is the era where we feel that we deserve to be happy, which can be a problem on both sides of that deceptive looking fence.

For the deceiver (aka the cheater), most people assume they had some evil agenda and that they don’t give a shit about hurting the other person. But, contrary to what you may believe.. that is hardly the case. At least not in this situation, and I now believe that is not the case in many situations. There are many reasons people stray- and that reason mostly comes down to desire. It could be they are seeking desire for attention, affection, to bring back a feeling that they thought was no longer there.. that they thought they’d never feel again, to feel important, desire for mystery, novelty, excitement.. the list goes on.

I’m not saying these “reasons” make it okay to cheat. I’m saying, before you go and completely cut someone out of your life, maybe you should try to understand why they did it.. and then decide whether you want to go on hating them, or perhaps turn a crisis into an opportunity.

The deceived- the truth is, no matter what your (ex) lover tells you, you will not believe a word they say. You want to think the worst, you want to hate them because they threatened your entire sense of trust, they threatened your emotional security. Nothing they say will make it better because you absolutely cannot fathom how someone could do this to someone they love. It is simply unforgivable, and often it is left at that.

But this does no good- for either party. Because the truth is, the “deceiver” may not have had the intention of cheating. They may not have even been looking. But for some reason, the predator and prey come face to face. From there, things go the way neither of them had planned. This leaves the unfaithful one with immense feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, confusion, apathy, and worst of all- fear.

On the other side of the fence is their loved one. They find out what happens and immediately they are crushed. They react with anger, hostility, hatred, and also with fear. They lash out, they think they must hurt the other person so that the other person can feel what they are feeling, so that they know the pain they have caused. But all they are doing is opening up old wounds, while inflicting more pain on themselves.

Both people suffer. It is a death by a thousand cuts. The deceiver swears they will never make this mistake again. Because they never want to feel, or for anyone else to feel this pain. This one incident will now haunt them for the rest of their lives. For the deceiver- they will feel they can never love again, because they simply don’t deserve to be loved. They deserve every bad thing that comes their way. They feel they deserve no respect or even have to right to demand respect. If they ever did love again, how would this one mistake affect their future relationship? The past will now always interfere.

On the bright side, for the one who was deceived.. they will be able to learn, and grow. They will be able to love again. It may be hard at first but it is possible. Their past won’t interfere with their future in such a negative way. Yes, they may have trust issues.. but they won’t have to feel the burden of being the one who ripped the trust away in the first place.

The unfaithful one, they were unfaithful once.. that doesn’t mean they are going to do it again. They crossed a line that they never intended to cross, and they feel completely and utterly sorry. They feel terrible all on their own without the help of outsiders making sure they feel terrible. They know what they did was wrong. They know that it was the worst mistake they could’ve ever made, but it happened.. and as much as they want to take it back, they can’t.

To the deceiver: The most important thing about it all is that you learned from it. That you make a commitment to yourself to never let it happen again. Because now you no, no matter how right it may feel at the time, it is not worth it. Not at all. Now it is time to accept that the damage has been done, and now you must do everything you possibly can to fix it.

You must realize, it’s not too late for you. You can make a change. You can remind yourself of your morals and values once more.. and tell yourself, this time you are not going to break them, you can only strengthen them. Not for your significant other, not for your family, or their family, or any of your friends.. but for yourself.

Step away from the people who are constantly trying to bring you down because you made one mistake that you know you are sorry for. You are feeling low enough, you don’t need that extra negativity to bring you down further. Surround yourself with those who continue to support you in this confusing, awful time.. those who give you unconditional love. It’s okay for them to admit what you did was wrong, and you didn’t make a good decision, but it’s important that they remember who you always have been, and always will be regardless of that rough patch in your life.

Most importantly, remember that you are capable of resiliency. You’ve gone through so much in your life, what’s one more obstacle? You’ve made achievements, you’ve been successful at some point in life. You are capable of loving again. We are all capable of love. We all deserve a fresh start.. “A world without love is a deadly place” – Helen Fisher.

One last quote:

“The hardest task one can have is to continue to love one’s fellows despite all reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is to so continue. For the one who can achieve this, there is abundant hope. For those who cannot, there is only sorrow, hatred and despair. And these are not the things of which greatness, or sanity or happiness are made. A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate…

When cruelty in the name of discipline dominates a race, that race has been taught to hate. And that race is doomed. The real lesson is to learn to love” – L. Hubbard

A note to the one who was deceived: You should know, your project hasn’t failed. You have changed the life of another without even realizing how much of an impact you hold on them. They will never forget you. The lessons you taught were a blessing. The most important one was looking past the external pressures of society and finding the beauty within each and every thing. Your drive, intelligence, and understanding are your most admirable traits, and anyone would be lucky to have you.

Finding happiness in the deep sea of adversity

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The problem with being open and honest with friends is that things change. One minute you’re pouring your heart out about a situation, and the next that situation has done a complete 360 with every degree being different. My problem is, I’m a people pleaser. I like to fill my friends in, because it helps to talk about life. However, when things change, you may look like a walking contradiction. I really don’t like when people contradict themselves. Therefore, when I feel I have contradicted something, I feel I must explain myself.. and it’s exhausting.

The truth is.. it still won’t do any good. You explain everything and then your friends probably have their own opinion, in which they may not share with you. The trouble here is that, just when you think you have someone figured out, they turn around and do something that violates your opinion. The trouble is, I don’t even know myself.. so I would like to think the people around me don’t believe they have me all figured out. The people I choose to surround myself with are honest, open-minded, and non-judgmental people. They understand that one is no more ‘superior’ than the other, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. That being said, I can only hope they never lose their integrity, and I don’t believe they will.

There is a reason things happen the way they do. But when one thing is said, and the next time you talk things are completely different, try to remember that life goes on. The tables are always turning. It’s impossible to fill someone in on every waking moment of your life and I don’t think anyone even cares to know all that. If anything you just hear the highlights, some issues they may be facing, and maybe some of their thoughts they’ve been having. Just know that it’s not the whole story, and as much as you think you’ve uncovered… well, let’s just say there’s still an ocean waiting to be discovered.

This is why it is important to focus on understanding yourself. Because no one understands you better than yourself, and you are the only one that controls your happiness. Stop trying to please others, because they will never fully understand the battles you face. They only know what you decide to tell them, and even then things are changing. So what do you truly want? No one can answer that but yourself. Friends give great advice, but they can never understand the way you feel. So do what makes you happy.. even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, as long as it makes sense to you that’s all that matters.

What a wonderful world?

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Is it wrong that I felt sick to my stomach when I saw these pictures? Am I the only one?

Not in a demeaning way either. Not in an unappreciative way. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for our soldiers. Every single one of them is a hero.

-You’re heroes because you take the biggest risks in life. You literally sign your lives away, unsure of what your future may hold. Once you sign that contract, your life depends solely on your team, and.. if worse comes to worst- yourself. You think you know what your getting yourselves into, but until you become an active soldier, that’s when reality sets in. That’s when it hits you. You have to live day to day in fear. Fear that today may be your last. Fear of losing someone close to you in combat. Fear of never speaking to your family again. Fear of a situation beyond your control. Yet, despite all the fear, you stand strong and proud, ready to combat any threat to this country. You have been trained not to give up.. and you give it your all in order to keep this country’s freedom and rights that we now have. For that, I am truly grateful.

But I am also sickened when I look at these pictures that represent that reality of America.

This is something that constantly weighs on my mind; perhaps someone can help. Everything I’ve just said are assumptions based on the movies/TV shows we watch, the stories we are told, our history, and the headlines in the media. Is it ignorant for me to pretend I even know what it’s like to be in the military? Probably. It’s probably even more ignorant for me to say that: I don’t understand. Plain and simple.

Continue reading “What a wonderful world?”

Welcome to the puppet show, where fear is the least of our concerns!

Isn’t it scary to think how simply being afraid can drive people to extremes that could ultimately lead to acts of violence? Just as evident it is that fear resides in our country as a main pillar of support, it is also evident that people are in denial of the fact that they are living in fear. Today’s society has paid more homage to fear than ever before. Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Social anxiety, PTSD, and Major Depressive disorder are some of the most prevalent mental illnesses today. This particularly interests me because- whether we are conscious of the damage done or not, it proves that we have little control over the damaging effects of fear.

GAD: “People with the disorder experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worse, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues…… They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants…. People with anxiety disorders are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety.”

Depression: “a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general.”

http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

One minute a person will tell you America is the greatest country in the world and we have nothing to be worried about. The next, America is corrupt and we have everything to worry about. Why is it that these are the two most common thought processes? Well, today we tend to cultivate fear rather than trying to eradicate it, leading to this two sided view of our country.

Years ago, FDR stood in front of his people and said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He built his people up, rather than tearing them down. So why has this dialect Continue reading “Welcome to the puppet show, where fear is the least of our concerns!”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Normally I would bite my tongue and keep my thoughts to myself regarding a classic situation of ‘police brutality’ and ‘racism.’ However, the protests and riots in Ferguson have sparked my interest, not because of the crime itself, but because of the way it is being handled by the citizens. Let me make one thing clear: I remain neutral on the outcome of the indictment because I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened.. and unfortunately never will. There are two sides to every story, and unfortunately we are only being told one. I will point out that the one story we are getting focuses more on the actions of Mike Brown than Officer Darren Wilson, setting up the sense of fear, which justifies the officer’s actions.

What I really want to focus on here, is yes the riots are out of control. No people should not be resorting to violence in order to stop the violence. No people should not be taking the protests to the extremes of destroying their own community and hurting innocent people and businesses. That will not get them the change they are hoping for. Yes I agree with the people taking a stand on what they believe.

I do believe people have lost focus of what they are actually trying to do. Continue reading ““Be the change you wish to see in the world””