Reflection

Posted: December 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Feeling thankful –

From the ages of 12-35, my church family, my music, my belief was EVERYTHING. It encompassed friends, a support system, I was a desired musician and music director, and on and on.

But of all that sticks out the most in my life, was my very first pastor, Rev. William V. Thompson of the UPC church of Bristol, CT. He was like a father to me, taking me under his wings of leadership and really, just BELIEVING IN ME. I had been told by others in the very same church, that I would never be anything, I would amount to nothing. Hurtful, yes…but it only made me stronger. I went to Bible College on my own, paying/working my way through school, and becoming the first Pentecostal ‘salaried’ Music Director in Maryland. My wife, family and I traveled, teaching choir clinics, leading youth and family camp choirs, and also went with our host minister on invites, to assist with the music.

It was an interesting and fulfilling life at the time, all the while, I was dealing with my sexual orientation, and my gender dysphoria…a nameless feeling/experience I can remember from around 9-10 years of age.

I am a survivor. My psyche has been blessed with a layer of ‘feathers’, where the waters of hatred, hurtful words and deeds of others…seem to only last for a short time, rolling off me like water off a ducks back. I am able to get up and resume my growth, my evolution.

I am VERY human. I hurt, feel pain, weep, and wonder how humanity can be SO ‘evil’ at times, with absolutely no regard for others. But I also know the joy, the love, the friendship, the recovery, the peace, the tranquil moments I appreciate so much…that assures me of the reality, the beauty, the wonder that this life avails.

So ‘thank you’ to those who supported, loved, and believed in me. And thank you to those who meant me harm, for it only made me a stronger person today.

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tradition

Humans reach for the unreal, all the time. They are sold a bill of goods and it is passed down generation to generation. They enjoy the message of charlatans, as the lies ‘feel good’, and can make sense on a very base, childlike level.

Fables, legend, and characters, created and placed on the stage of life, but they never cast a shadow. Stories taught, humanistic examples of how to live via the injection of imaginary characters…heroes, traitors and the enemy alike. Traditions held and defended with human lives and human blood. Tradition.

Billions have a ‘faith’ they were indoctrinated into. Their ‘traditions’, those stories of legend and lore over time, have become actual history, and actual truths to them…no matter how impossible.

I believe it had reached epidemic proportions long ago…and is held to heart today.

Humanistic teachings are part of every society. Things that have nothing to do with the supernatural, but history and experience. Thousands of teachings that have been adopted by writers of heroes in fabrications within various religions…so, nothing new there.

Every experience within religion is experienced outside of it as well. Every day, people experience feelings, see things with no words that can justifiably describe it…feelings that transcend the average human experience, and all of that without appending imaginary beings to it, or giving credit to an imagined deity passed onto us via programming.

I’m not knocking your feelings or experiences…but know this:

There is NO need for religion or imagined personalities within lore, to be moral, good, or fulfilled. The concoction of ‘sin’ and an ‘afterlife’ steal from us, the unlimited essence of learning and living.

Anti Marriage Equality churches are now attacking LGBT friendly churches.

They’re assumed ‘Apostates’, so now they deserve no respect or freedom of belief?

This type of divisive exercise has been perfected within the practice of religion. These attacks are continued stains of hypocrisy and fundamentalist poison, and of course, they feel that their god is on their side biblically…which is the ULTIMATE threat to a civilized/progressive country. Emblazoned ignorance!

We have not seen the last of this insanity. Lives can and probably will be lost over the freedom of a marginalized minority in our country. We ALL should be celebrating…but that is far from the truth.

This type of belief system brings division of family, friends, companions, towns, cities, culture and the advancement of humanistic diversity and freedoms.

As a country, we have come through much, and not only survived, but have thrived. Fundamentalist churches are mere cults of human insanity, and we must free ourselves from it’s talons of hate and bigotry. False in the basic meaning of the word ‘Christian’, using their political prowess to infiltrate, claim and pollute our Constitution and our most esteemed attribute…freedom for all.

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We All Matter

Posted: June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

There are millions who think that transgender people are mentally ill. Marginalized people who are hookers, addicts, harmful, and irresponsible people, to be removed from the general population.

To those who ‘go there’ in their mind when hear transgender or transsexual, please realize these truths:

1. We are human, with feelings, dreams, and desires of love and a life of prosperity.
2. Many of us have spouses, and jobs.
3. We are tax-paying citizens.
4. We are educated.
5. We are in every type of employment and profession.
6. We have families.
7. We can be found in every religion.
8. We are found in every social and economic strata.
9. We are your family, acquaintances, parishioners, fellow soldiers, coworkers, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse and lover.
10. We are here. We have ALWAYS been here.

What many see and what movies and law enforcement portray, are girls that have been thrown out of their homes, fired from their jobs, estranged from the very family and friends who loved them dearly BEFORE hearing the truth of their battle and experience. Forced to live in shelters and prostituting their bodies JUST TO SURVIVE.

So, before you think ill of someone, or feel justified in laughing or heckling at a fellow human that is struggling with this reality…STOP, THINK, and make a difference for the good of ALL.

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Reach for Reality

diversity 

I am one of 8 siblings from the loins of two beautiful people.  My parents were as loving and supportive as they knew how to be.  Times were different in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s America…much more than today.  My elementary school, rural area (24-30 thousand pop.), was made up of a dying ‘Leave it to Beaver’ mentality that was quickly and forcibly experiencing social change.  We moved to a larger city, in which I attended Jr. High, and High School.  This was an upsetting awakening to the status quo.  The influx of lives of so many different, wonderful souls…made up of different ethnicities, colors, and culture.  The green grass of our known culture was being flooded with beautiful color…forever to change the landscape of our single cultural and social existence. 

The Family Scruples

My oldest sister had started dating a handsome man, a talented man, involved in the sports…

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Ally’s Wager

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

I had gone to bed last night, and this thought, or my understanding of this thought, kept me awake until I could express it:

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Equation breakdown:

RE (Reality) – Reality in the instance is referenced as a ‘constant’ across human experience.   Life, death, Earth, gravity, evolution, various life forms, elements, effects of nature, our solar system, galaxies and universe are al constants in the fact that they exist via our senses, science and experimentation.

FA (Fantasy) – The opposite of reality. Imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream or hallucination.

IM (Imagination) – Creative expression of thought, the faculty of imagining or forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.

EM (Emotions) – An effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like is experienced as distinguished from the cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

IN (Intellect) – Capacity for thinking and acquiring knowledge, especially of a high or complex order; mental capacity.  Minds collectively, as a number of persons or the persons themselves.

YR (Your Reality) – A compilation of the above ‘elements’.

1 (One) – “One, is the loneliest number you will ever do.”  Lol!  No, One in this aspect is represented by the Individual, which is a distinct indivisible entity; a single organism capable of independent existence.

 

This equation was derived from my life experience and insight thereof.  I’ve often wondered (and still do), what makes someone think the way they do?  Is it upbringing, life experience, our reaction to situations and societies expectations or demands?  What makes a person find comfort in things that are not in RE (reality), but find solace in thing that are derived from FA (fantasy) or IM (imagination)?  Let’s discuss these terms.

Reality – Reality in it raw form is beautiful and wondrous all by itself.  Just look around…nature in all it’s splendor, from it’s babbling brooks, to it’s rich plains, to it’s mountain peaks to it’s mighty oceans, our planet and all it’s acquired life, is AMAZING!  Early humanity was not only fragile, but finite, inquisitive, and superstitious from it’s conception.  To fill the gaps of the unknown, mankind in it’s superstition, conceded and conceived the idea of a higher power that was in control…something that leads us to the next ‘element’ in the equation.

Fantasy – Early man it it’s ignorance, didn’t understand the natural movements of our planet, it’s volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, flooding, and called on a fantasy…something or someone derived from ignorance, to span the gap of knowledge.  Man is extremely talented and imaginative, leading to our next element.

Imagination – Imagination is the offspring of Fantasy.  It’s a beautiful, artistic, musical way that the mind contrives both the beautiful and the most hideous creatures and imagined experiences…from gods and angels, to demons and hell; from fairies to unicorns, to gremlins and vampires.  Imagination is the beautiful creative expression of our mammalian experience.  Without our imaginations, dreams do not exist, all art forms stifled, hope seems empty, and aspirations quelled.   Imagination makes the seeming inanimate ‘come to life’.  It allows us to feel the sunshine on a rainy day, or the affections of the heart appear eminent.  To our knowledge, it is unique to humanity alone…which brings us to our next element.

Emotions – I cannot even imagine humanity without emotions.  Emotions are prompted by experiences. Reading, observing, assimilating, or just be subjected to them.  Sometimes we wish we couldn’t feel, when experiencing displeasing, destructive, or saddening situations; but during the good times we reap the reward of the positive emotions of love, elation, joy, laughter, contentment or achievement.  Although we cannot avoid emotions, we govern how we express them.  Our emotions dance with many partners, both in reality and fantasy, but to keep our feet on the ground intellectually, leads us to our next element.

Intellect – Our intellect should attempt to balance our thoughts and reactions which lends to the way we learn.  We all strive to make sense of situations and experiences in our lives.  Could I have avoided such-and-such, or ‘that worked’, and repeat the successful thought processes to bring a conscious reality to our lives.  Education and tutoring through friendships, institutions, media and social venues, help to hew out that footing we all desire within our inquisitive minds.  This is an area that is crucial when compiling the other parts to this equation.  Many do not entertain enough, this essential part of the equation, making the YR (your reality) a ‘less than’, more than an ‘equal to’.  The intellect part of the equation is a variable of many platforms.  To only utilize a friend’s word, or the words of one book or work, is to water down the experience of ‘your reality’.

I feel we must guard our minds.  Our thoughts are what really give life and meaning to our existence.  Do not find yourself cutting out parts of the equation, or you find yourself with a facade of human experience, having traded the real for fantasy…when our lives are a celebration of BOTH. 

Enjoy a more complete, enriched life experience!   It’s in your power.

nothing worth having

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In the Middle Ages, various kings would cloak their own will with the supposed ‘will of God’.  Those who would not obey the King, Christian or otherwise, would be to commit treasonous sin.  The judgment could be imprisonment, banishment, or even death.  With this ‘divine right’, Kings could rule as they pleased, as they claimed they were appointed by God, and answered to God alone.  This kind of flawed, supervised rule goes on still today…but wrapped in other titles.  Priests, Rabbis, pastors, Popes, shamans, prophets, Ayatollahs, reverends and various supposed ‘holy men’ that claim to actually ‘hear’ from God, are still poisoned with the same human weakness today.  The ability to mold and shape groups of churches, temples, mosques and other holy places, affecting millions of individuals around the globe, shaping ideals that can be helpful or disastrous.

This type of leadership and dominance has been part of humanity since civilizations began.  It was a way to rule, a way to control the masses.  It gave indelible power to the ones that learned to wield it.  They could rule, sway, and bring judgment down on the innocent free-thinkers who would challenge their decisions…after all, the ‘Almighty’ of the times, was on his side.  Soon, the ‘sheeple’ would line up as commanded…this was surely NOT a democracy.

Today in our democracy, there are those voices ‘crying in the wilderness’ that would draw the people in, using the ‘authority of God and his Word’ to manipulate and tarnish the very freedoms and evolution of our society.  The ‘Will of God’ and the ‘Fear of God’ is used on a regular basis to ensure compliance, or as in the Middle Ages, banishment, apostasy, death and separation from this supposed God, the whole time wielding the ‘will of God’ through their own interpretation and misuse of humankind.  They have moved into government, where they can influence this democracy and once again, set up a system by which they will rule…all in the name of ‘God’.  A theocracy, wrapped in an American flag and worshipped as ‘freedom’, only to destroy the true freedoms we of every creed, race, and culture have enjoyed of late.

We have been very fortunate to be born here in the U.S.A., where free-thinking and diversity is not only encouraged, but celebrated.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of Church and State are paramount for our democracy.  Let’s not fall back into the rule of a Divine Authority mentality.

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Humor is to provoke laughter, providing amusement.  ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, a phrase we all have heard.   It rings true in the face of almost every human experience.  It breaks the tension between quarreling people; it interrupts the hurting, hate-filled nonsense we sometimes experience.  It’s manifested in smiles, bursting into joy…sending soothing chemicals from the brain, igniting a pleasant release of stress.  It’s been a mainstay for many relationships, both personal and professional.  It works!  It works for ALL of us, no matter what we are going through or suffer from.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the types of humor.  After all, we all enjoy humor, but certain humor causes our laughter to commence.  Some like raunchy humor, full of cursing and sexual innuendos.   Some like the clean, family type humor.  Some like the silly type humor, the dummying down type.  Some enjoy the intelligent/witty type of humor.  And of course the most enjoyable, laughing at ourselves.  Most of us like a combination of them, that work to loosen the burgeoning chuckle or hardy laugh that we all enjoy and need.  There is a long list of the types of humor that are experienced by millions during their life experience, although different in taste, the outcome is the same…laughter.

With the birth of well-founded laws protecting minority classes of people, there has developed the need of political correctness.  Being politically correct, or PC, is now written in bylaws of various companies and corporations, slowing the belittling in unhealthy workplace environments.  More of late, PC has flowed into most TV production and personality, evoking reprimands and even termination of those who cross those sensitive boundaries.

Staying in the same vein of being PC, I feel that there are words that we as mature humanity need to leave behind or evolve away from.  We all know the power, history, and representation of various words that evoke memories of pain, whether in the general public or on a personal level.  Words that evolved from the playground, into our adult lives and conversation.  Our species is one of many that developed pecking orders 150,000 years ago, back when tribes ruled.  Intimidation was and is a tool people use to develop these sometimes cruel events, using nicknames and bullying techniques that still work today.  Although most quell those immature events as adults, there are those that carry those same deceitful techniques into adulthood, honing it’s poison into more ‘legal’ level.

This behavior has been deemed an acceptable form of ‘art’, when used by comedians and performers.  It has been woven into cultures for eons.  Since early times of this great nation, using any ‘different’ group or minority were used as the butt of jokes, allowing and celebrating the denigration of peoples for a mere laugh.  Allowing this type of humor leans to a devolving society, especially here in the U.S., where we are the most diverse country on the planet.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” …one of the biggest un-truths ever spoken!  Ignorance on the playground between children is one thing, but to carry that into adulthood is a hurting disservice to us all.  Social evolution is a continued must for a diverse culture and society. 

What I’m saying is this, we all know the words that hurt. Those condescending or maligning words or remarks that we allow ourselves to enjoy at the expense of others as an ‘accepted’ form of entertainment, to permeate our lives without remorse. 

I think it’s time to evolve.  Stop the masked prejudice, and evolve our humor to something more tasteful, not to be cloaked as a recognized ‘art form’.

I’ve posted the meat of the article for you to reference. This is such a complete assessment of our daily drama’s and experiences I’ve seen. Enjoy!! – POST WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

#9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

#11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

#18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

#23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

#24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

#28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

#30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

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Innocence – the freedom from guilt, the lack of knowledge of things that are hurtful in life or of the unknown.  We start this life out with the purest of innocence, completely dependent upon the loving caretakers of our life.  We knew nothing of the planet, it’s inhabitants, it’s wonders or it’s harm, only the sustenance and the warmth of our loving creator(s).

Soon, we begin viewing the world with all it’s vibrant colors, smells, tastes, sounds and touch…our inquisitive nature intact!  Our personalities just beginning to bud, and oh so malleable.  Soon we arrive at conciseness, when we begin to become aware of others and our learning of other reactionary forces that are generated by our choices, as innocent as they may seem.  We begin to relate to others, learning the difference between bad choices and good choices, all the while taking in what we see and hear from our loving caregiver…good or bad.  It’s at this time that the flood of information is processed at lightning speed and our morals are formed;  Respect, friendship, sharing, self-worth or fear, insecurity, feelings of worthlessness, blame or anger are planted and watered.

We start in an education system geared to prepare and make aware the gears of a society and the untapped potential we have in each of us.  The world in ALL of it’s wonders are explosively powerful should we become enlightened.  We become honed through expression, the arts, physical challenges of sports, math/science and friendships that will last a lifetime. But then, the hormones begin to kick in, and what a shock to the system we’ve come to know and find comfort in.  Puberty is a shock and causes unstable emotions within either sex.  It is during this time of the stress of peer pressure and hormonal instincts that the bud of sexuality opens, drawing others to us.  Innocence is a word we are acquainted with by this time, only to be discarded by the sexual urging of reproduction, millions of years in the making.

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There are various experiences of innocence.  One example has been experienced by recent generations.  As we look back at the many things we have lost, we’ve learned to reflect on the utopia of it’s predecessors.  A time when we all seemed to be making a living wage and college was in the future for so many of the middle class.  We championed various types of production of manner in our world, giving hopes and security that we became complacent within our personal lives.  Then one day on Sept. 11, 2001, the proverbial ‘shit hit the fan’.  Terrorism brought our norms to their knees, buckled by fears and animosity.  Our innocence was shattered, leaving us only one choice….to rebuild.

What I mean to convey is this; Innocence, in some form, is attained over and over again within our short life experience.  When you reach that ‘Goldie Lock Zone’ or your comfort level that has once again been rebuilt, do not find yourself in complacency, but love and live your life on a daily basis…as it was your last.  After all, that is all anyone has.  Enjoy!

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