I have a Paradise Betta; his name is Avatar Blue. I got him at Petco for about $20. As soon as I saw him, I knew I just had to have him. I didn't have much of a home for him besides a tall glass vase. This last week, he was beginning to show signs of poor health, so I decided to invest in a better home for him. After extensive research, I got him a Fluval Spec 5 gallon tank, a sponge for his filter output (to help his swimming), some Seachem Prime water conditioner, Indian almond leaves, a heater, and some Hikari Betta Bio Gold food. He's so much more active and colorful now. He looks better than when I got him! I love this little guy, and he's enjoying his new home to the fullest.
I put down some natural substrate for now. I plan to decorate his tank with live plants and add some Siamese algae eater fish for tankmates. The best change I have seen so far is his activity and color brightness since adding the Indian almond leaves. Those things make a significant difference. He's so shiny! I'm hoping to add some spider wood or driftwood with some java moss as well, but that will have to wait until next week. I already paid $150 for everything to upgrade Avatar's home. So worth it though. I enjoy watching him swim around and explore. Sometimes he even flares up and makes a show like a peacock. My daily routine is to feed him 4-5 pellets in the morning and then the same in the evening. I replace whatever water has evaporated as well. Every week, I'll be doing a 30% water change with my new water pump (makes water changes a breeze), add more Prime, and replace his almond leaves. What's so great about this specific aquarium is that it has an exceptional filter system that keeps his water crystal clear, and has enough space to hide away the heater and almond leaves out of sight. This is an awesome addition to my desktop, right next to my computer monitor.
I got a Cannondale Quick 6 bicycle for $500 and invested $50 more into an excellent lock and chain. I've had it for a few months now, but just started bicycling to work this past month. I refill the tires with air at least once a week because I ride so aggressively and do 18 miles each day, three times a week. It's a very efficient hybrid, and I absolutely love how smooth it rides. I manage to get to work in about an hour on this beauty.
I got an Echo Dot a few months ago as well to entertain Lily with it. It didn't hold her interest for long. So now I use Alexa to help me keep timers when I'm preparing dishes and to help me calculate math and play music. I know Alexa has tons of skills, but the hassle of setting up some of the cooler ones is too much for me to bother with right now. I'm keeping it pretty basic.
I am still busy in the kitchen. Made some cheesy tortellini pasta with red sauce, and then experimented with a new mandolin to make a random salad with organic sirloin steak. This was my first time trying 100% grass fed beef. It has an interesting flavor, but I don't think I will be repurchasing it. We have a fig tree that is blossoming with tons of figs this year. So I harvested a bunch and ate them. I'm saving most in the freezer for smoothies and other things.
Since I'm getting into aquariums and gardening, I decided to do a trial of a planted aquarium. I did this for my Pothos plant clipping. I sifted potting soil and put it on the bottom. Then I layered gravel on top of that - enough to keep the dirt from shifting. Then I filled it with water and planted the clipping in it. The nutrients from the soil are supposed to feed the plant, and the plant is meant to clean the water. I think it's pretty low maintenance. So I'm preparing some other unusual vases for this method as well.
This is a shot of the fire pit we did a few weeks back. I just have a fascination with fire.
This week I decided to redecorate my room. I live with family, and my room is a conversion from a dining room/den. I have tweaked things here and there until I finally got it down to look like this. I'm not completely satisfied with how everything is oriented yet, but my space has come a long way from how disorganized it used to be. I have a color scheme of gray and white throughout the room with a few wood features and more pops of black in my desk area to ground the space. My room is only 8.5x13, but keeping most of the colors neutral has opened up the space to look larger. I previously wanted to put up shelves on the walls, but now I just want to put random photos and artwork up. I like my work space, but it will be changing after I add my Betta's aquarium. I'm upgrading him to a 5-gallon tank that will sit on my desk so I can keep an eye on him.
This first photo shows the West side of my room. The second photo is the other end of the room, where you can tell that I used curtains to cover the opening to the living room and more curtains for the doorway to the kitchen. I'm going for a sort of eclectic look in my room, a little bit of everything, mainly because I share my room with my daughter. It's a small space to have most of our possessions, but we make it work. My space is continuously evolving as I add new decorations, so I don't think it will ever have a finished look. That's part of the fun for me.
After those photos got taken, I added a crystal feature under my desk for when I want to burn incense. Sometimes I set this out on top of my desk when I want to sit down and journal. The crystals are meant for healing. It has been a really long time since I have had crystals like this. It feels great to have them around again.
I have been practicing with my Polychromos colored pencils. I drew a basic rose and experimented with color combinations and shading. I really love how they blend so beautifully. This piece took me two days to finish. I call it Psychedelic Rose.
My siblings and I have a tradition of going to Sonic's on the weekends when we feel like having some slushies. It is a far drive from our house, so I decided to come up with a way to make the special slushies we like at home instead. I took ice cubes and a handful of jolly rancher hard candies, blended them up until they were slushie consistency, then packed it into a jar before pouring green apple and blue raspberry syrup over it and giving it a good stir. Just as good as going to Sonic's. We love this solution, so we are coming up with other flavors and mix-ins.
This weekend my brother and I decided to do a challenge to see who could make the best chicken and mashed potatoes. He somehow forgot that chicken was included in the challenge. So Lily and my sister only judged the mashed potatoes. It was a tie because each liked one or the other. I used all organic ingredients and special recipes that are highly rated. I didn't win, but I didn't lose either. Ha ha.
We recently got an XBox One S console. So I decided to get a couple of games. I got Child of Light because I love the animated theme and the fantasy aspect of it. I thought Lily would like it as well. It was too much of a challenge to play, so I abandoned it. I got Mortal Kombat X to make up for that and decided I wouldn't buy any more games. I'm more into the two-dimensional games. I don't find the 3-dimensional exploration games with storylines appealing at all. I like to get right down to business and do intense stuff in a game. I grew up on fighting games on just about every console you can imagine. I've been gaming since I was a toddler. I have not gamed in over a decade though, so I'm pretty rusty.
I decided to play Mortal Kombat with Lily and ended up getting served. I thought I was good. I got my butt kicked by my daughter, who just started learning to play! I'm still surprised, but I'll be honing my combination skills in the dojo before I feel confident enough to redeem myself. This is a clip of the last match we had. Those graphics though!! Wow.... just wow.
I purchased a Faber-Castell Polychromos 36 colored pencil set. Worth every penny. It took me a couple of days to finish my first piece; a colorful Zentangle inspired butterfly. I love the bold, vibrant colors, but am struggling to blend them. I am used to black and white values using pencil, charcoal, and pen. Usually, it is harder for me to work with color. I'm starting with basics, and plan to form my technique for shading with these pencils gradually. They are very high quality. I love them so much more than Prismacolor pencils. They are oil based rather than wax based, which makes them sturdier and allows for superior blending. I'm committed to my practice and continue working on more pieces as the inspiration comes. Once I get these pencils down, I'll go ahead and upgrade to the 120 set.
Spending more time at home has encouraged me to get creative in the kitchen again. I have significantly missed creating in the kitchen like I used to. This weekend, I hosted a family gathering. I made kebabs for the first time of chicken, green bell pepper, red onion, and mushrooms. The flavor and texture were amazing. I am definitely going to make these again and add some sirloin steak next time. We also made some macaroni salad. A special family recipe that we love. We enjoyed smores around a fire pit for dessert and chilled with some OG tunes.
I am switching up my breakfast this week with whole wheat toast topped with whipped cream cheese and raspberry preserves. The flavor is bold, and I love that it is not overpoweringly sweet. Just the right amount of crunch combined with some cheesy creaminess and tangy fruit. I think of it as a cheesecake shortcut. Granted, I have officially broken my plan to be vegan, I am feeling better about my food choices. It could be worse, and I'm definitely not eating fast food every single day like I used to.
I made some peach tea popsicles with lemon slices this weekend as well. Perfect for those hot summer days when we feel like we're going to melt into a puddle, they are so refreshing. Also, super fun to make, especially with kids. Ha ha.
I recently got myself a stylish bento box set for taking my lunches to work. I love it so much. My first bento creation was a breakfast of a peanut butter and banana sandwich, banana, blueberries, dried Smyrna figs, and some granola. Random, but delicious.
Then I decided to create a lunch of an acai bowl topped with granola, sliced bananas, and goji berries coupled with a veggie wrap with greens, tomato, mashed avocado, hummus, and cucumber. So refreshing.
I'm not too crazy about going all out with cool combinations or creations to put in my bento boxes. I just love the way food looks in these. No more Tupperware at the office for me. For the most part, I like to keep things simple, but I might come out with some delicious and pretty meals soon as I get acquainted with my new mandolin slicer and mini veggie cutters. Yup, I went there. :)
I love acai bowls. They are pretty amazing for their depth of flavor. I recently tried one at a gourmet fruit smoothie spot near LAX for over $10. I didn't want to pay that every time I wanted one, so I decided to get the best ingredients I could find and create a version of my own. Now I have this acai bowl nearly every morning as an excellent start to the day. All organic and deliciously nutritious.
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup alkaline water
2 tablespoons acai powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
half a banana
Blend and top with sliced banana, fresh blueberries, fresh sliced strawberry, goji berries, and granola.
I have been having health issues for some time now. I have come to that point in my life where I need to be more vigilant about what I eat and drink. I am at a high risk for diabetes and other major issues related to diet. So I am hoping to reverse my current issues, like my limbs going numb, my vision blurring, and my fatigue. I did extensive research on raw veganism about four years ago when I first started eating that way. That diet didn't last long for me because I wasn't getting the proper nutrition. I was basing my eating habits on caloric intake. This time, I know exactly what I need to eat and how much to get at least 94% of my nutritional needs. Still, it's rather costly to do so.
Instead, I have decided to become vegan without the pressure of eating super clean or being any more particular than avoiding meat and dairy. Otherwise, I know I'll get obsessed with keeping track of what I eat and end up being overwhelmed. I am very picky about some things though. I insist on organic produce and grains where possible. I have simply become so used to eating organic that I notice the distinct difference in non-organic foods. I don't care too much for the health benefits, but the taste. I have to be able to enjoy my food. I make a lot of smoothies, so organic ingredients go a very long way. Organic isn't cheap, but it is so worth it. It makes such a big difference in soups as well. Basically anything with minimal processing, like salads.
I'm already an Amazon Prime member, so I decided to try Amazon Fresh for grocery deliveries. I'm glad I did because now I can buy specialty items for much cheaper than going to Whole Foods. Like acai powder and goji berries. Another service I'm trying is Milk and Eggs, which only services my local area. I like that they deliver free without a membership fee as long as your order is $35 or over. It's the best deal I have found, but unfortunately, it has limited product availability and delivery times. I may be trying the Thrive service soon when I run out of all the food I have already ordered from these two services. Shopping online for groceries is honestly making my transition to Vegan easier.
Right now I'm keeping my meals simple with cereal in the mornings, rice and chili or veggies for lunch, and a smoothie bowl for dinner. I usually snack on fruit and drink water or green juice throughout the day. I'm experiencing withdrawals after eating so much junk. I have headaches and feel pretty fatigued. I'm taking some awesome (and safe) cleanse pills that are helping me recover my energy. I don't feel as weighed down and bloated as I did when I first started transitioning my diet. I'll eventually implement a way to get all of my nutrition from my diet without any supplements, but for now, this is what I'm comfortable with.
I went to therapy yesterday morning and shared my progress since my last session. I spoke at length about key milestones and was able to express where I am emotionally right now compared to how I started therapy last year. My therapist gave me a clear perspective of how I have grown and the direction I'm going as far as my emotional goals. It has taken me this long to get to a position in my life where I have been able to clear away the personal obstacles that have held me back from healing. At least most of the major ones. Now that I'm off of the emotional roller coaster that drove me nuts, I'm able to enjoy some smooth sailing out in the sea of emotional peace.
I am not out of the woods yet though. I was able to identify with my therapist that the next thing I have to work on is journeying through my trauma so that I am less affected by it. I have applied band-aids on my emotional wounds for so long. I was able to see what held me back from actually healing those wounds. They make me uncomfortable to the point of forcing myself to think of something else so that I don't get too deep back into feeling my pain surrounding past events. I feel ready to tackle my trauma now. I know I have to do some pretty intense and profound work though. So my therapist offered to gather up some worksheets for me to help me identify some clear actions as far as that.
I know exactly what I need to do. I am waiting for the right opportunity to start the healing process without short circuiting myself or getting re-traumatized. Otherwise, I know I will get all screwed up. I can't afford that right now. I'm anticipating the intensity that I will experience. I'm ready.
A few days ago, I was picking up my daughter from her dad's when I decided to talk to him about where we stand. He had previously stated that for us to move forward, we needed to start marriage counseling. I asked him if he had found someone to do marriage counseling with yet. It had been about two weeks. He said he didn't. So I dug a little deeper into why he felt the need to be passive about this issue. After several attempts at getting to the truth, I finally saw the evidence of his true intentions. I realized that he sought to gain back the power that I took from him in our relationship. The power he used to put me down and make me feel inferior to him for over a decade. I asked him why he loved me. He didn't have an answer. I asked him why he wanted to be with me. He said he didn't know. I realized that any other outcome besides him regaining a domineering power over me was unacceptable to him. I used to allow such instances like this to trigger me and get under my skin. I have since learned to embrace my pain and sorrow over realizing how insignificant I actually am to him as a partner. I didn't have to convince myself that I didn't deserve his mistreatment of me, I only discovered it. I have since seen his narcissistic tendencies and insincere heart that I no longer entertain.
I have learned to defeat uncomfortable situations in my life by allowing emotional pain to process within me appropriately. It is the only way for me to get over anything. To sit with the sadness, sorrow, and frustration, feel it fully and acknowledge its presence and influence, let it overcome me for a moment with its harsh sting, and then let it dissipate and leave my heart and mind. That is the deep work of overcoming emotional pain. I don't want to carry around someone else's negative burdens. It only perpetuates the vicious cycle of narcissism versus empathy, and thus, allowing anyone's power over me subconsciously. That is what a narcissist ultimately wants, to create this codependency. I have learned to do good and better than I did in my past relationships because it is simply the right thing to do. That is how I was able to come to terms with accepting my life as a loner. I don't choose to be single and alone to please anyone else. I refuse to live my life on someone else's terms. I just decide to be free from the emotional pain and complications that come with the territory of being more social. I experience way less stress when all I have to do is check in with myself and be accountable for myself being on track with my goals of healing. I am happier this way.
My horoscope today states:
You may be receiving much-needed guidance from another dimension now, even if you don't believe in spirit communication. Call it your intuition if you must, but acknowledge the fact that you somehow know things today without being able to explain how. It's pointless to waste energy fighting against an invisible ally. Remember, positive thinking creates a doorway through which angels love to walk.
Yeah, I think that's just about right. Considering the incoming energy of people who align with my intentions and the outgoing energy of people with bad intentions. I read my horoscope and was rather surprised that it expressed my sentiments about my current attitude - which is mostly of recovery.
I was seeing my therapist once a week up until a month ago. I had to change my session frequency so that my appointment wouldn't interfere with the time I have to pick up my daughter from school. Doing that changed my dates so that I only see my therapist every two weeks, at least until we can schedule something better. For now, this works. I see my clinic case manager once a month. Usually on the same day that I see my therapist. I see my nurse practitioner for medication in August for an update on how I'm doing on 125 mg of Depakote per day. I'm taking a generic for Depakote, but it seems to be fine for now. If things stay stable, I may not need to raise the dose.
I'm focused on my recovery by spending more time alone - writing in my journal, reading books about healing and personal development, listening to music, and keeping my mind engaged in things that boost my mood. I forgot how much I enjoyed being alone. The sting of the pain caused from being so social in my recent past doesn't feel so bad as it did. Especially after coming across some cool people that are very supportive of my healing process. I'm not like most other people, and so my healing process is entirely different. I have gotten suggestions to be more outgoing and take chances to try to connect with new people or just be around others in general. That just doesn't work for me anymore. I recover best in solitude. In a space where I can trust that my healing process won't get short-circuited by distractions that don't serve me.
As each day passes, I become more and more my true self in private and in public. I remember how weird and quirky and silly I am. I am embracing the truth of my flaws as well as the things that make me amazing, whether others notice or not. I don't care about anyone noticing anymore either. I do things for me now, just to show myself that I am fully capable of so much more than I once thought. I don't need other people's approval. I especially don't welcome their judgments. I have finally created an inner space that protects me from whatever threatens my emotional stability, and I have created an outer space that reflects how I am blossoming. I feel free. That is priceless. I have identified that humility is the biggest factor in getting me back to where I want to be with my whole heart. Without it, pride will be my destruction.
Back in September of 2015, I was having such a hard time at home. I decided to take my daughter to stay with her dad. He was working at the time, and I wasn't. I didn't return home. Instead, I decided to stay with a friend at the gym I was helping manage at the time for three months to recover from the incredible stress that I experienced at home. I moved back home in January, but because my oldest brother was still staying with us, my daughter continued to stay with her dad. I felt it was not safe for her to live with me yet. By then, her father had quit his job and was struggling to take care of our daughter. I got my job in December and did my best to help support her, but I remained very distracted by other people in my life. My oldest brother finally moved out in the summer of last year. I didn't want my daughter to stay with me while he was living there, but by the time he left home, my family situation got so much worse. In September of last year, my daughter got taken into foster care. Her school reported her father for an incident on campus. By the time I found out what was actually going on as I struggled to figure things out on my own, it was too late. She was already in someone else's care. There was a lot of deception involved, but my hands were tied, and I began my journey fighting the system to regain custody of my daughter.
My daughter went into foster care at the same time that I did. I was utterly traumatized when I learned that she was gone. Her father's issues have to do with substance abuse and alcohol. Mine have to do with mental illness. We have both gone above and beyond to recover custody. She returned home in May of this year, but because our case remains open, we have until November to continue proving ourselves and keep custody. Her dad and I became way more separated as a result of this situation. I just can't resolve within myself to accept or be understanding of the circumstances that got us all here in the first place. Neither can my family. Especially because her father maintains an attitude of carelessness regarding everything that happened up to her getting removed from the home. I know that if I were more informed or had the correct understanding of how things were working and promptly, she would have never experienced this fiasco. I got sabotaged; therefore, she was too. That is what my family and I cannot overlook.
Since having my daughter back home, I have struggled through mediation with her dad over how much time she spends with each of us. He is my neighbor and lives just one driveway over. He has insisted on equally dividing our time with her by alternating weeks. One week she stays with me, the next with him, and so on. Despite my opposition to that, I have to comply because he legally has full rights to demand that. This arrangement is the easiest we have settled on for now. I feel that he wishes to have this arrangement because he wants to avoid paying child support for the order I have in place. He is going to school full time, and I am working part time. He finally got off of parole for a case that took him eight years to end because he kept going in and out of prison. I began my therapy treatment in October of last year and started medication for depression in April. I have always maintained my confidence in regaining custody of my daughter. No one has looked out for like I have. Court orders are court orders, but I refuse to let the system win.
Eleven years ago, on this date, I was just a few days into starting my very first blog when I decided to write this post:
Rudy and I brought home a cat and a kitten yesterday. They are so gorgeous. I'm going to keep the adult female. She would get along better with Shadow. I am naming her Willow. I've started my own address book, finally after so long. It's about time I made a place to keep everyone's info. My mom has told me that she wants Rudy and I to take her to The Getty Museum, I hope that's spelled right. I found my USB drive I used to wear around my neck, although there wasn't so much of the lost documents I was hoping to find. I lost an SD card Rudy got me for my camera and when I left once I stored everything I had on his laptop onto the card. Once I got to my mom's house, the card got lost. That damn thing is so small, I should have kept it in the camera, I forgot why I took it out. I seriously have to find that card. There's a lot of valuable documents from my childhood and even from before I lost the card on there. I guess I should have backed everything up online. I've learned my lesson though, now everything I have is online where it can never be deleted or lost. Recently Jose got in touch with me. He let me know that he was trying for months to get a hold of me but since he reached me and we talked now he says he forgot why he wanted to get a hold of me. I don't understand that but I'm not trying to play any stupid games. My mom was talking to me yesterday about what to do in the situation of Carlos and Diane getting into an argument and wanting my opinion on what they should do or say. She said that if it should happen I should just stay out of it and not say anything. I told her that I'm not like that, Carlos is my brother and Diane is Rudy's cousin, we're family. It's not like they are some roommates that we don't personally know. I told her how Rudy and I went over to their apartment because we were having a dispute and needed someone to talk to about it. I also told her how I know that Carlos would never mind me wanting him to be involved like that and how there should never be any cause for tension like that. She seemed to understand, so I guess she didn't quite see how serious everyone is about the issue. My mom taught me well in not butting in to people's business when it's not called for, but if someone needs my help how can I not heed? Thing are looking up as far as our moving situation, I can't wait to start the progress once we're there.
I have come a long way since then. Particularly regarding maturity. I still write about my day to day life, but mostly in the privacy of my journals. Lately, I have been feeling stifled though. I have this need to share and express, but over the past couple of years, I have struggled to figure out just what held me back from being able to be as open as I once was about my identity and what I hope to represent. I realized that my stumbling block was my fear of embracing my truth. The things about me and my life that I have kept hidden or secret, mostly to suit others. What I was experiencing was a block in my mind because I felt like I was not authentic. I'm ready to step back into authenticity. I'm not afraid anymore. So I'll share some of the things that have tripped me up the most and kept me from being my real self up until now. Doing this serves as a release for me, a statement of freedom from fear, an account of bravery despite anyone's judgments of me, and of confidence in who I am - because at the end of the day - I am simply human, just like anyone else.
I have promoted the idea that we should be real with ourselves and with others. So, this is my reality. Back in January 2014, I became romantically involved with a man I'll call "the coach." It was supposed to be on my terms of a one-time thing, but his insistence on keeping me involved in his life was hard to decline. So I chose to embrace him. We grew close, but all the while I dealt with his terms of keeping his romantic involvement with me a secret. He was separated from his wife and estranged from his older children. His kids eventually came around, but his wife eventually divorced him. I put up with a lot of confusion while I was involved with him. When I met him, I still considered myself married, but my husband was in prison. I was cheating on him with 'the coach.' I was confused because although I accepted my place as a kind of secret mistress to 'the coach,' I couldn't set aside my strong feelings for him. Then I came to learn about other women with whom he became involved. So I got involved with other men. He didn't hold me back, so my promiscuity increased. He became distant, and then I withdrew more. Then we tried to save our friendship at the very least. Things were good for a while until our lives became so different that I felt like I couldn't connect with him anymore. That became brutally apparent when I decided to revive my involvement in his gym business managing the back office operations. I decided to tell him that I no longer wanted to be romantically involved with him in any way. He didn't like that. Not too long after that, I found myself being berated and disrespected by him at a coffee shop because he felt threatened by my ideas to promote his kid's class student of the month. He had never talked to me so disrespectfully, and I had never seen such pride and anger in him. So I shut down and let him yell all he wanted. I knew the real reason he treated me that way was because he felt that I discarded him. I started something with him years ago that he had taken over throughout the years. I decided to end it. I had little contact with him after that fiasco because I felt the need to fulfill my obligations to the students, but once they got completed, I never turned back again. That was a month ago. It took me over three years and a traumatizing verbal assault to finally let go of 'the coach.' My husband knew of my involvement with him, but we already got separated in our marriage by the time he was released from prison and found out. It wasn't a surprise to him when I told him about it. I have no intentions of returning to being involved with 'the coach.' At all. I don't despise him, or feel animosity towards him. I mostly feel sorry for him because he's worse off in his life than he was when I met him and he decided to get involved with prostitutes out of desperation. Ew. I eventually let him know about my grief over seeing how much he has changed for the worse, and what my true feelings for him were. It didn't seem to make a difference. So I moved on.
I remain involved with a few particular men whom I regard as my pillars. They treat me better than most and have survived things with me that I didn't expect them to. Although, I keep in mind that their regard for me will always be lesser than my own for them. I have to be realistic about that so that I don't get ahead of myself and assume I will ever be an exception.
I recently stopped being involved with 'the mechanic.' I knew him for over a decade, and he became romantically involved with me a little over a year ago. He was on a break from his relationship. Things got complicated for us when that break threatened to end. Since then, I struggled through a rollercoaster of events and emotions that eventually led to me figuring out the key to my sanity. Realizing what a narcissist he is. I am an empath who unfortunately got sucked into his charm. I refuse to entertain narcissism anymore. I realized that I welcomed that in 'the coach' as well. Which convinced me more than ever to move on from 'the mechanic.' It was the key to regaining my freedom and stability. Although things were great with him at first, I eventually caught on to his tactics to keep me around, despite any of my efforts to break free from his drama. It was a huge wake-up call.
I am still legally married to my husband. He is aware of my faults. We are separated, although it is unclear whether we will eventually work things out or just divorce. Mostly for other factors that are in play. I'll get into that another time.
These are the things that have lurked within me and weighed heavy on my heart. That have kept me up at night, torn my family apart, and threatened to distance me even more from God. I have feared to express these truths of mine because I remain so connected to the Christian community. I accept my sins of committing adultery. I have yet to repent though; it is one of my greatest struggles. I hope this serves as a form of accountability because I sincerely do not wish to be damned for my deceptions. I also hope that these examples of promiscuity, adultery, and issues in relationships serve as lessons for those struggling with their partners, married or not. I understand the delicate nature of these revelations, and therefore, accept judgment for them.
I was reading the book of Genesis when it dawned on me that the tree of knowledge was what possibly began our sense of time. I will do my best to explain how I see this.
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. - Genesis 2:15-17
As soon as we are born, we begin to age, decay. Eventually, our physical bodies die. The tree of knowledge gave an awareness of right and wrong. I believe that means knowing the difference between the two.
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. - Genesis 3:3-12
Not only were they not supposed to eat of the tree, but they also couldn't even touch it, or they would die. Adam and Eve wouldn't instantly die because I believe, they were not yet under the rule of time. Satan rules time and space - this third dimension in a sense and all time does is make things decay and rot. Eating of the tree then made them enter the third dimension, making them aware of their sin as well as their shame. The tree was desired to make one wise. Wisdom is a higher knowledge that has the potential to be used as an advantage, which the serpent described to have the ability to make them like gods. Up to that point, Adam and Eve only knew good, which is fully of God. After eating the fruit, they became acutely aware of their nakedness. They didn't have shame about it before because there was no knowledge of it. They were like children. They covered themselves instinctively, and they hid from God. Why would they hide from God? I think it is because they felt guilt and shame. They were exposed to those feelings and began to experience worry and fear after they became aware. Anxiety and fear are associated with the past and the future. You either feel guilty about something in the past, or you fear something in the future. They were no longer with a childlike sense of constantly being in the present moment. They now learned the concept of the past and of the future which brought them those feelings of guilt and fear. God asked where Adam was because he was no longer in the same consciousness as before. Something was different. God sensed that. He asked who had told him that he was naked, in other words, who made you aware of your evil? And then God suspected and insinuated that he had eaten from the tree that He told him not even to touch.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. - Genesis 3:17-19
As a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, God cursed the ground. Before this, no work needed to be done to sustain their world. Now that time was a factor in their reality; they were forced to work hard to stay alive. Things became cursed as a result of their doing something that was related to the rebellion that Satan had exemplified. The world, this 3-dimensional reality, belongs to Satan. He dominates it. Time exists only in this reality. Man was created from the ground, and because of their sin, they would return to dust in the earth because time decays and makes things die. If they had not eaten, they would have remained beings that would probably never experience a physical death or even decay of their bodies.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. - Genesis 3:22-24
They had not eaten of the tree of life, only the tree of knowledge. God wanted to prevent them from having the opportunity to live forever with the knowledge and awareness they now had. He kicked them out of the garden of Eden, which was probably existing in another dimension, and then set up guards to keep the way of the tree of life. Keyword: way. The tree of life was probably a way of being that emulated the highest good. Like Jesus Christ, since He is the way, the truth, and the life.
From this, I have concluded that Adam and Eve were once very childlike, having no sense of resentments, transgressions, and were always living in the present moment. Their awareness was limited to the now. The tree of knowledge gave them access to full knowledge of the past and knowledge of malice. Eating from the tree of knowledge opened Adam and Eve's eyes to their shame. They became aware of their sin and experienced the first feelings of guilt because they hid from God. They were in the now, but after eating the fruit, they became aware of the past and were then bound by time, which can be defined by making points of reference. In their case, their past sin. My mind is still in the process of making these concepts more understandable. I just keep seeing how things connect through the Bible, and they make sense to me. I could still be totally wrong since these are original ideas and theories I have from what I read, but my hope is that I'm a little right about something or at least going in the right direction.
I wrote to someone regarding how I came to forgive them, move on, and grow from my experiences with them. An excerpt:
Whenever I recall something in the past that makes me feel bad, I separate the emotions from the memory or experience. That's what helps me move on and forgive. For instance, with you, I still acknowledge that you have hurt me, done things I didn't like, or just made me feel sad. What's done is done, I can only control the emotions associated with past experiences and memories. I can't look to you to make things right, justify my feelings, or give me closure. You probably never will, but that's okay because you're not supposed to. No one is supposed to. Rather than me holding onto a sense of pain and disappointment from seeing you walk away from arguments in the past, I instead shifted my perspective to believing that you walking away didn't have to automatically mean that you deliberately wanted to make me feel abandoned or rejected. Otherwise, you would have gotten fed up and never tried to reconcile. Instead, I speculate that maybe that was just your (or anyone else's) natural reaction to feeling so overwhelmed at the moment. In a situation like that, what else can you do right?
After speculating that was a possible reason you would react that way sometimes, I thought about why those actions were reasonable. For instance - all you did was walk away, leave, or simply disappear. In situations like that, you needed to use your survival instinct to flee because staying would have meant destruction. So rather than take some of your actions personally, I put my emotions and ego aside and tried to understand your motives. So then, you walking away from an argument or demanding situation doesn't become an experience of you hurting me. It is an indication of how overwhelmed you feel and how you deal with that. I'm just using one example of the past to clarify how I have come to forgive so much of what I used to hold against you and feel resentful. Still, I acknowledge that some of your actions are just expressions of your nature. Some can get changed; others can't. You're the only one that can change anything about yourself. For me to continue holding things against you means I'm admitting the power that they hold over me. It means accepting that those resentments are superior to me, which is not in my best interest.
I am a fool if I need bitterness and resentment to feel powerful and bigger than I am. So when I recognize myself leaning in the direction of hate rather than love, I examine perspectives. Every moment, experience, and memory are entirely dependent on perspective. Jesus himself was always preaching and reminding people about the best perspectives to have. He shifted the global perspective of salvation and your personal relationship with God. The way you see everything, including yourself, directly affects your emotional reactions and determines the quality of your life. That's why having pure faith is so important to God. It's about how you believe, more so than how much you believe. A mustard seed is pretty tiny. Your faith perspective determines whether God moves for you or not and how He delivers.
I watched the movie The Fourth Kind because I was curious of how it connected alien abduction to demonic possession. It shocked me to be quite honest. Knowing what I know about both worlds, there is no denying that they are one and the same. Especially after discovering more evidence of that speculation. I have yet to have any concrete evidence to support the things I am learning. So far, I believe I'm on the right track to making reliable conclusions. I was previously wondering what unclean spirits were from their mention in the book of Mark. I speculate that they are the Nephilim spirits who are hybrid offspring of the fallen angels and ancient women. They are unclean because they were never supposed to exist. I also think that the purpose of the flood was to cleanse the earth of such species. Water was needed, which is why water baptism is required now as part of salvation. It could also be to make sure that the human being that was getting baptized was, in fact, a human and not a Nephilim since they seem to be traumatized from the flood.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: - 1 Peter 3:18-21
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. - Mark 8:28-32
Fear drove the unclean spirits. They died in the waters because that's what their destiny was supposed to be from the beginning, to perish in the waters - the flood. They were able to possess the swine because that's all they can do is possess things, animals, and people. They need a host because they don't have the ability to manifest themselves physically since they were part man and part angel in the first place. Fallen angels, on the other hand, can display in all kinds of forms, visually or not. Such as shadows, ghosts, reptilians, shapeshifters, etc. The unclean spirit that was talking within these scriptures mentioned being tormented by Jesus before the time. Insinuating that there was a plan involved, perhaps the plan for their spirits to be cast into hell when judgment arrives. They probably saw Jesus and thought it was already the second coming, so they got even more afraid, thinking Jesus was there to judge the world early. They knew it wasn't time yet. I'm just making assumptions, though, as logically as I can to make sense of these things. Again, no real conclusions.
Following your heart is a decision for eternity. As my brother once told me; it is better to make a mistake when you are following your heart than to follow someone else and never have your heart fulfilled. I think this means that you are better off being empowered by the passion you pursue. Against odds and opposing people, because if you do not follow your heart, you'll never be satisfied or happy in your life. An example would be a woman having to choose between moving away with her family and staying to be with the man she loves. Her heart is with the man she loves, so she decides to stay. If she chose not to follow her heart and go with what felt safe, she would have moved with her family and regretted being apart from her love.
One of my greatest passions was once the Air Force. I was barely 17, in high school, and so happy about what I would behold in the future. The Air Force was not much a life dream of mine, but a ticket out of being stuck in life. Before the Air Force, I hated the military. After enlisting and learning more about it, I fell in love with it. I went with my heart, my passion, and was happy about it for a year and a half. Then my heart shifted, and I followed my heart elsewhere. For a long time afterward, nothing else captured my heart quite as much, until I discovered photography.
I used to be confused about what my heart truly wanted in life. Then I figured out the reality of where my heart has guided me, and where else it is trying to take me. The people and things that have remained in my heart are the ones to which my heart belongs. And I mean that in the sense of a lifetime. I have been able to forget about things that were not important to me. I was not that passionate about them. But those that have been unforgettable will never depart from me. I have also come to see how my greatest passions in life remained very hidden. I kept them to myself, and sometimes they remained dormant within me without my knowledge, ready to come out at the right time. The things that my heart led me to were so significantly valuable to me that I guarded them as treasured secrets, for a very long time.
I know where my heart belongs, and I'm finally able to distinguish between the mumbo jumbo that appears to be significant to me and the real beauty to which my eyes light up. I have held myself captive for a long time; by not following my heart, pursuing my passions, and seeking peace. I've taken steps towards freeing myself from captivity, and I'm adamant about following through. It is certainly a complicated process because there is still much I do not understand, although I am confident that God will guide me safely.