respect

…And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Being me is an odd place for some values of that word. To say that I have “trust issues” puts it mildly. I compartmentalize people. I am willing to share bits of what I think as the situation demands. I can tell people about the events of my past but, not the “internal” stuff that goes along with them. I guard, with a passion bordering on paranoia, my emotions from the chance of hurt. I will readily push away anyone that I think might cause emotional distress, won’t even think twice about it. Poof, gone. I “run like hell” at the first sign of a chance that I might be coming close to allowing more than superficial trust.

*sigh*

It’s part of being me. Not the best part but, something that exists. Sure, I’m capable of affection and care but, not close enough that affection could be something greater.

So, imagine my surprise, and “distress”, lacking a better word, when earlier this week, someone I sort of knew reached out to me and I replied, just expecting them to vent and be done. I’m a good listener and keep secrets. *editorial, if you ask me not to tell something, I NEVER do* So, she asked if she could “rant” to me. I don’t know why she picked me, not sure she does. We have sort of talked. I knew some of her past. I’ve even blogged about some of it, in a guarded way, in the past when I was talking about how women are treated by men. I digress…

Then the unexpected happened, she started telling me stuff that she really doesn’t tell people. I went from random outsider to, “these are the ugly bits, the private bits, the fears, what cha gonna do with them?”…

And I freaked out. Completely out.Buggy. “Danger Will Robinson”. “RUN AWAY!” out.

I started to. run I mean. I went back into “survival mode”. Was in the process of convincing myself that survival was the best plan. That the old instincts that had served me so well, were the best instincts. That trust is “a fool’s game”. I really wanted to run. I didn’t want to allow the off chance that my fears were correct. I wanted to take the empathy I was feeling and get rid of it. I wanted to not allow the tiniest chance that I might be hurt. I wanted to be ENTIRELY selfish…

So, I didn’t do any of that.

I put some demons to bed by deciding, to consciously allow trust. By deciding to skip the middle bits and go straight to *word for the week* *smile thingie* storge. It’s the Greek word that means ” the love that friends feel for each other… Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.”

What the hell? If I’m going to risk trust and hurt, why not risk everything. Remember those parts a few paragraphs ago about “trust issues”? If that’s hard, why not make the hardest step?…

And I freaked out…again…lather rinse repeat…a couple more times…

And, in the mean time, because of what she has shared, I am, with her permission, writing blogs that are solely about her, these two The Worth of a Soul and Redefining a Person thinking to myself, “what a s**t head you are that you would write to serve a purpose and then run away”. I had accepted her trust, shared my demons in return, and I STILL couldn’t decide to run or stay…and I found myself writing this one Feeding the Demons. In the last one, I made a public statement of commitment. Hard to retract that.

*****

It’s part of my own healing process. I was trying to help her because I am a nice guy…and slammed into my own baggage. That’s the odd thing. I may be helping her but, the reaching out that she started made me face my fears. She didn’t do it intentionally. I think that if she had realized the anguish it was going to cause she wouldn’t have. She can be many things but, cruel is not one. There was no intent to cause stress for me in her. My “public face” is confident and sarcastic. I can be a vocal person. I like to talk. I just don’t like to reveal much. *here doesn’t count. typing at a screen is talking to myself*

She uses the word “test”. We are both being tested in this case. Her’s is, will she decide I’m unneeded and leave when my usefulness is over?

Will she find herself thinking I require too much effort when she has no energy to spare? I wouldn’t blame her if she did.

Mine test  is different. It is,  if she does, how will I react? What if she does walk away? What if she doesn’t need my insecurities while dealing with her own “stuff” and does the smart thing, tell me to “eff off”? Will I say, “yeah, I was right, never trust anyone that hasn’t proven themselves”, “don’t become attached to friends because they ALWAYS let you down”? Or will I try again, knowing the risk?

In the end, only time will tell. Ask me in a year how it went. Ask me in 5 how she’s doing. Check back and see if some demons have finally been put to rest. Yeah, I’m still scared that I made a mistake but, I have to take the chance. I have to try to learn. I think that I have found a person that will not fail the test, I just hope that person is me.

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A Comment Needed a Response and I’m NOT a Troll…

Reading other blogs is a good thing…sometimes…Other times I read the comments under them.

A few days ago I read a blog by a Pagan Lady explaining her friendship with a “Jesus Freak”. It was a very well written post talking about her friendship and how the two of them could get along. How they could find common ground and peace between them That they could share the blessings of their separate faiths with each other and not be intimidated or feel fear of the other. She also commented that some Pagans would *paraphrase* say it wasn’t possible and she was a traitor to her faith. Then a commentator proved her to be correct. He said he would accept allies “but”…In my mind, the word “but” in a sentence means “please disregard previous”…

I’m not a violent person. I haven’t physically hit someone since I was a kid on the playground. I wanted to smack the guy. You want allies only on your terms? Ok, here are mine to that guy. A. I don’t want to change you. B. I am an ally based on MY views, not yours. C. I am an ally because I want to be. It is my choice to attempt to help, not you compelling me. Alliances are based on MUTUAL respect and common ground. D. I may be some people’s ally but, *Yeah, that word* if you disrespect my views, I am not YOUR ally. You may feel free to reject the idea of my help and slight my beliefs, by doing that, it’s your loss, not mine…

*sigh*

Here’s the deal. I don’t “troll” comments or posts. If I have something to say, I use my own space to comment. I don’t get the need to disagree or argue with someone on line. I am willing to discuss a differing view but, to completely disparage another’s view, on a post that they wrote particularly when they are talking about a rare supporter of their belief system and an outsider that wants to help them, makes no sense to me.

I’m not “special”. I don’t need my ego stroked. I am also not common. I don’t know the percentage but, experientially there are very few pro-Pagan Christians that I have met…and I’ve looked for more. I need allies of my own faith to help me spread the word. If someone that is Pagan doesn’t want my help, fine, don’t take it. You have that right. Having said that, we, Christians ARE the majority view in this country. No matter how far my heresy goes, I’m still in the “club”. To push back against ANY of us that are willing to reach out or to put down ANY friendship that reaches out is “cutting off your nose to spite your face”…

Ok, the rant and “harsh” is over…*edit, I fibbed. my bad. rant continues toned down a tiny bit*

To more directly answer something I posed up there, “I am an ally because I want to be.” Why do I “want to be”? The short answer is because Aj, my “best friend that is not my wife” is Pagan. The longer answer is more complicated…

I didn’t want to be but, *that word again* I had to be. It would be easier not to be. A different blogger used the  phrase “agnostic Pagan” to describe the possibility that she might be mistaken. I have that same view, only Christian, I’ve been wrong before. It WILL happen again. To believe that my limited perspective and words I’ve read give me a lock on the Divine and morality is foolhardy…

It would be MUCH easier to be simplistic in my beliefs. “Christians good and EVERYONE else bad” is a far less complex world view but, that’s not the way I’m made. I am a person that recognizes my limitations.

*sigh*

There’s an, to borrow something from myself, expression “some of my best friends are (fill in the blank)”. It’s usually used by a racist, homophobe, or some other person to justify why they aren’t prejudiced…and they really are. In my case, some of my best friends are Pagan. No justification, fact. I can be judgmental and not exactly “tolerant” but, that’s based on the individual and not some charistic like faith or being LBGT. There are humans that fit any demographic that are people I love and like…and some that I think are complete a$$es…

Yeah, that guy bugged me and I can’t seem to get it out of my head.

I’m used to being the only Christian in a conversation or the only straight male. It would seem that the people I hang out with don’t care about those things and put up with my silly questions. *editorial, I mean on line. I go to work and come home. My “hang out” is virtual. My job requires much interaction and I like home and quiet* I digress, those people don’t “tolerate” or “accept” me, they are people I like and love and KNOW that is returned by them. They tease me and I tease back. Friends…that happen to not fit my demographic.

*sigh…for the I don’t know how many time*

My path is mine. I was raised Christian. I became “fallen”, if, not quite, atheist. I became, a bunch of years later, Conservative Christian. Over time, I wandered into heresy. It is my path. I don’t evangelize. If you don’t want to use the same path, don’t. It is not an easy one, questioning and doubting. It is mine, though. If you want your trail to parallel mine with a different faith, that’s fine. Keep your beliefs and faith and just walk along side. If you want my help, ask. If I am able and inclined, I will but, if you reject my help or lay conditions on what I do, don’t cry when I don’t. Don’t say that you reject my beliefs as they are as much a part of me as yours are part of you and then complain that you’re not getting the help or respect you think you deserve. It’s a two way street. Period. You get what you give.

I’ll take what help I can find. No matter if it’s from a Crone or a Saint. I’ll listen to words and, if there’s wisdom, gladly absorb what I am able. I’ll wish “Merry Christmas” or “Blessed Yule” depending on the person and not think twice. My nose doesn’t get out of joint at the idea that different beliefs are merely different, not wrong. I’ll respond to kindness and love with the same…

I’ve said it before, “I’m not your ally”. I might be a voice, if you’ll let me. I may not understand or share your views but, I’ll respect and defend your right to them and the practice of them. All I ask in return is the same I’m offering you…*editorial, I reserve the right to have self-contradictory views. I’m human*

Oh yeah, “mutual benefit”. What do I gain from helping you? Nothing but…some of the people I love and want the best for fit “your demographic” and what helps the people I love, helps me. If my words and thoughts make your life better and, as a result, theirs I’ve gained. To change their world for the better, I have to change yours, too.

Some Not Really Connected Thoughts…

Still thinking…

When we decide that we are “sitting in judgement” are we really doing what is right? We have an obligation to decide what is criminal, meaning causing harm to others, but, what about other actions? What about someone’s beliefs? Someday, I’ll stand before my maker and have to talk about MY life, not yours.

When we presume to judge the condition of someone’s soul, we are taking from God, that power and responsibility. We, as Christians, are warned against that. We are told, specifically, that the same standard we use will be used on us. If we judge based on our perceptions of “flawed” are we so very sure that His perception of “flawed” will not include some aspect of us? Are ANY of us so perfect that every bit of us can stand the scrutiny that we apply to others?

I KNOW I could not pass that test…

*****

Divination scares me. Rituals scare me. So, I don’t practice them. Makes you wonder why I am so protective of Witches? Because Witches don’t scare me. I know too many. I just don’t ask them about the ritual aspects.

*****

“With great power comes great responsibility”

We, each of us, has the power of life and death. We believe that our own view is the most important. We know that we, ourselves only,  are unique.

So, what do we do with that? Do we use our “power”, meaning our innate sense of self and value, to condemn, in our view, others for being “not us” and not “unique” or do we recognize that other people are just as individual?

That’s the question…and the power. We may recognize that people have the same rights of self and individuality that we so strongly claim or we may remove them from humanity, and life, by piling them into a group that we think are less than us and giving them “death”.

To trivialize someone for their belief is to take away from our own. To claim significance for ourselves and say that our view stands above the rest minimizes our beliefs just as we do to them. Being the biggest algae in the pond is no accomplishment. I’d rather stand among peers of strong faith and belief…even if I do not share them…than be just another green slime claiming to be king…

*****

These were just some stuff that bounced around. My life, out here, was busy for a couple of weeks because of work. Feel free to ask me stuff. I’ll answer. We might disagree. I might become defensive because I do “cherry pick” the Bible. I believe that we all do. We take the parts we want and “disregard the rest” to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkle…

I’ll leave you with this, my views are valid…for me…I’ll defend your right to your perspective, even if I don’t share it.

Respect and Dignity…

*sigh*
I’ve been writing FOR Pagans lately. My posts seem, to me, to be harshly critical of “my faith”…or could be perceived that way. I need to clarify. I AM Christian. I love Christianity and the “words in red”, meaning HIS words. My disputes and disagreements aren’t with the Faith, it’s with the way SOME, not all, Christians practice and express it…

My own life and path have not been perfect, far from it…

I have been Christian, then atheist and addict, then “Fundie” Christian, and now Heretic Christian. I’ve wandered around trying to figure out where it all went together…and still do. My Faith is a big part of my life and world view. It is something that I spend a large portion of my mental time, when the stuff that involves work, life, and wife, allow me to think. Last thing before I sleep I’m thinking about it and first when I wake up. Quiet moments in my day and driving are filled with thinking about it…and where I fit into it…

*sigh*

Instinctively I seek the middle ground. My life as an addict was not one of “moderation”. Now it is. I am distrustful of strong emotionalism. I am suspicious of faith that is based on ecstasy. I also distrust faith that says, “if you’re not one of us, you MUST be against us”. Again, that does not make me anti-Christian but anti-extremist. I become concerned with harsh judgmentalism and wonder if those that carry that belief are not more self-centered than faithful…and I know that I am guilty of that, too. I AM self-centered, petty, jealous, rude, mean-spirited, and harsh. I am fully capable of all the things I try to write against, no matter how hard I try to keep from being them.

Respect is earned by being given. It is a truth of life that we get what we give. Kindness begets kindness. Respect for someone’s faith gains respect for our own. Treating people with dignity returns that to us…

There HAS to be a middle way. I am not, and will never be, Pagan but, there are parts of that path that I understand. I do not know the rituals and magics. I don’t want to know, not my business. I do know that the traditions of herbalism and lore were also an accepted part of Christianity. I know that we, Christians, also seek insight into the mind of God through prayer. There is no direct Pagan analog but, there is seeking understanding of the supernatural. We claim that their faith is “made up” or “fiction” yet, theirs predates ours.

*sigh*

I know a bunch of Pagans. That was an accident. I didn’t seek to know ANY. They are just people. They are just as imperfect as anyone…Of course, I accidentally know a bunch of Christians and we are an imperfect set, too…

Why do we think, as a general question, that our specific beliefs give an exclusive lock on morality? What makes us so presumptuous as to believe that our way is the ONLY way and every other one is wrong? Again, middle ground, I have been mistaken. I do NOT know everything and have no particular insight into the minds of others and no way of knowing the inner workings of the mind of God…”but, Miller, the Bible says…” Yes, it does, and we don’t speak the language it was written in, some words do not directly translate, and are we sure that the translators did not have their own agenda? Not to mention that I am SURE that Jesus spoke more words than were written down. Who knows what else He said?

I’m looking for a modus vivendi, a way of living that includes rather than excludes. I want faith to be respected. Yes, specifically, Christians and Pagans finding mutual respect and peace are the end goals.

I write these to both Pagans and Christians…

*sigh*

…even though it seems that few Christians read these. I had to learn because I was faced with a human that isn’t Christian and, yet, she  is someone I love and respect. It is my hope that we can find a way to interact that allows both paths to flourish. I want MY beliefs to be treated, by Pagans, the same way I want theirs to be respected by us…

They are not a bunch of “damned heathen Pagans with their silly made-up, comic book, magick, and divinations”. They are Witches. We are Christians. They do practice magic and divination. We pray. They are not “damned” any more than we are. They are merely different…and that adds color to our world.

*****

My reasons ARE selfish. I want respect for my beliefs. I want respect for my best friend’s. More importantly than the respect, I am proud and protective of her. I want for her to not have to hide or be cautious. Just as I am able to say, “I’m Christian” and not expect any repercussions, I want her to be able to say “I’m a Witch” and not worry about her job or safety. I have found that HER community is more accepting of my belief than mine is of hers. I see the wrongness in that because her’s are the older set and we are the upstart.

Changing the World isn’t easy. It happens one person at a time…7 billion times. I do not expect to finish the task in my life…nor do I have any reason to suspect it’ll ever be done…I do have to try, though. I have my words. I have my prayers. I have a friend that walks along side that gave me hope that change could happen, it did in me.

Respect and dignity are not too much to ask…

 

Aj Is Going Back to Hell…

I love writing about Aj. I’ve sent her to Hell…and said why I don’t think she’s going. I’ve talked of her life and how it intersects with mine. I’ve painted a picture of a Mother, a Teacher, and a Friend. I’ve expressed a desire for her to have all the good things this World may offer… It’s all part of the plan. I’m going to teach people to see people. I’m going to let you get attached to her and then…snatch her away…

*grins*

…not really…I wouldn’t take Aj away if I could. I’m going to teach you to learn to love Aj and then I’m going to ask you why you hold it against her that she doesn’t conform to your specific set of beliefs…well…maybe I will take her away…

Look at it from my perspective. The Lady *editorial, yes I use the word as a title* holds a special place in my life and heart. She is the other one I count on having “there”. Some days, just knowing she exists gives me reasons to have hope for the world. Why, then, would I want to expose her to people that only see the part that doesn’t conform to their limited perspective? To further make her subject to the “slings and arrows” that people would use on her? Why not let her stay in the circle that loves and protects her, me included?

What if I decided that you aren’t worth HER? What if I told you that, from my tiny perspective, that the second most important non-blood related woman in my life *editorial, my Mom sometimes reads this and she gave birth to me. That’s important. :)* is more important than all the rest of you combined?

I wonder what I should do? Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.Should I send her to Hell again? Would that get your attention? Should I leave her alone and hope you do the same? I’ve tried both.

I could say that say that her life and faith are none of your business but, it seems that we think we have a right to judge EVERYONES life. *editorial, the fact that I keep hammering away at this topic points out my own guilt, too*

I’ll be honest, as if I were not already, this blog, the entirety of it minus the autobiographical bits, is an attempt to manipulate your view point. It is designed to use guilt because logic doesn’t seem to work by making people see the humans they repress, disparage, or persecute as worthy of love. The tools are specific individuals that I know and love. The method is to form attraction between you and them and, then, ask you why you would diminish someone that you would like, and possibly, learn to love. The end goal, is for you to come to love them, even if only from a distance, and realize that you can not claim love and keep them in the chains of disdain that you think are your right to own…

I really don’t want to point any of this out. I’d rather just “say nice things” and hope it works. I would prefer to be able to encourage her and forget about the people that don’t. I’d love to not share her at all and keep her attention for myself. Wouldn’t that be great, keeping the love of my wife and that of my best friend selfishly locked away for my own and never to share?…Nope, what good is having someone to love and not sharing? Why be that selfish?

So…let’s send Aj to Hell. Let’s make that Hell Earth. Let’s keep telling her that she is worthless. Let’s keep our own moral high ground by diminishing the ground other’s stand on ’till there’s NO ground and they drown in their own worthlessness while admiring our own worth. Yeah, let’s feel good about ourselves at the expense of someone…anyone…so that we don’t have to face our own fears and weaknesses…

Look, I’m not trying to gain pity or sympathy for her. She needs neither. She is a strong, resilient, caring, and loving person. If any person needs both sympathy and pity, it’s they who feel no emotions but scorn, contempt, and haughty pride in their own infallibility, those who would look down their ever so long nose at her and fail to see their own warts.

Don’t feel sorry for Aj. She doesn’t want it or need it. Just give her the same room to live that you would demand yourself. That’s not too much to ask…and if you think she’s going to Hell, please do. Just don’t bother to tell me or her, we don’t care if you do…

Ask yourself this, too. Why would a Christian who has zero intention of ever becoming Pagan so determinedly and vigorously defend a Pagan? Why would he publicly claim her as “loved” and “best friend that is not my wife” if he feared her or the condition of her soul? She IS NOT a tool of the devil. She merely is herself and claims no master.

You may think Hell is her lot. I would disagree. She may be a bit banged up on the outside but, her soul is as shiny and clean as it was the day it was made…and that soul will never wind up in Hell…

*****

We all want to think we’re a “special snowflake”. We aren’t. At the very bottom of things, we all want to find our place. Aj is no different than any Christian. She, like us, want’s to interact with the Divine, live in peace, and love as she feels is best. She’s not special or different…and neither are you. The ONLY difference is, she does not pretend that her truths are universal. She does not feel like she has a right to compel anyone to conform to her view and she KNOWS that repressing someone for different beliefs is not her right.

If you want the things you expect yourself, religious freedom, respect, and love give them or admit hypocrisy. Show, by your actions, that you have earned the rights you demand…that or admit that while you send her to Hell, you are also commenting on the condition of your own soul, too…

How In the H**l Did That Happen?

I didn’t set out to find a friend…much less a teacher. I was being a smart alec and rude. It was a stupid PvP game. How was I to know that, years later, the game would be gone and the friend remain? I wasn’t really looking for anything except for a foil to my inner smarta$$.

As much as I want, I can not wrap her in tissue paper and protect her like a china doll, nor would she want me to.

She puts up with my “antics”, fears, frustrations, missteps, poor phrasing, overthinking, rambles, and “scruffy” mind. She chides, cajoles, and forces me to think. Sometimes she tells me to go away…and that’s cool, too. I don’t even begin to know why. *She’s trying to teach me not to ask and I’m trying to learn that* I do know this, though, she loves me and that’s enough.

Sometimes, mostly, there aren’t really formal lessons. This isn’t school where its Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. It’s more, I find out something by accident that I need to learn and she nudges me in the right direction…usually without me realizing it.

*****

I’ve been writing this over a period of a few days because I really feel like having something for tomorrow and I don’t really have a clue. A wise woman told me that writing says, paraphrase, more about the writer than the subject. I agree. Sometimes *grins* I hope that writing in first-person isn’t saying “I’m a narcissist” *grins again* or “I’m just a big bag of neurotic wrapped in a nice old guy” *grins 3rd time*

*****

Oh yeah, the title. Oops, almost forgot it. *editorial, I usually have a title before a post. It substitutes for an outline* It’s sort of rhetorical. I know how it happened. It happened because I did something I rarely do. I listened and found wisdom. I had an old mentor teach me that when wisdom appeared, don’t question your notions of the source, just accept it. Funny thing, I don’t think he, a “fundie” Christian, was talking about a Pagan woman a few years younger than me. *grins* I LOVE irony. *grins again* He’d flip if he knew that I was allowing myself to be taught by a woman…much less an un-believer…

So, here’s an other thought…Even though I call her “teacher”, and that is true, she’s really my best friend…and happens to teach me stuff. *editorial, sometimes that’s “sit down and shut up* She really just lives her life and answers my questions. Sometimes even when I drive her to distraction…

*****

Some other thinking, I KNOW she doesn’t want “married” again. What I want for her is for someone, besides her children, to let her be the most important person in their world. I want, for her, hugs, security, comfort, sex, passion, and words like “I love you. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. You are the most beautiful woman in the world”. *editorial, in my view, the most beautiful woman in the world is the one you look at and see “forever”. I married mine* Those things are not too much to want for your best friend.

*****

*grins*

So, how did this happen? How did an uptight “fundie” come to think a Pagan wasn’t going to Hell? How did a smarta$$ wind up being best friends with a “target”? How did that morph into “teacher” all the while remaining best friend?

*grins again*

What I do know is this. All those silly “why” questions don’t matter. They’re a waste of energy. I’ll keep what I’ve got and enjoy it. I am a lucky guy. I have a best friend that is my wife…and I have a best friend that is not…and they both want the best for me.

Life is good…y’all have a nice day and I hope you have the same luck…

Different

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a long couple of weeks. There’s a thought rolling around in here. I’ll try to get it to germinate and come out the way I want it to…

We don’t have to do something to support it or the people behind it. Where this is going may start with this example. A friend, Shelby, loves Halloween. I don’t. I REALLY don’t. Among other things, it makes my nightmares worse. What I do support is Shelby. She takes a huge amount of pleasure from that holiday. As another Pagan friend told me, it’s like Christmas. As a result, I have been collecting and posting a Halloween Album on FB for her. *editorial, FB is a weakness of mine. go figure* I am enjoying watching her reaction to the daily update and seeing the pictures she likes. She realizes that I am doing it for her and appreciates it. I hope this makes sense. My enjoyment is coming from the person behind something I don’t enjoy…and is giving me a reason to enjoy the holiday myself…

We are conditioned to believe that we must be in opposition to difference. “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.”

I am not gay, yet Z is. Not only do I not oppose her, I encourage her. I want her to find companionship and love. I hope she does kiss girls. I’ll always support her and her life. I also am not Pagan. I’ve been taught that because I’m Christian, I MUST oppose my Pagan friends. The thing is, I don’t. Why should I be against the faith of some of the people that are dearest to me in the world? I want Aj, Kelly and Shelby, and the rest to enjoy and find meaning from their faith.

I watch and talk to and trust those Ladies. They, and their lives, are parts of what I count on for support in mine. I find that I need them as examples of faith and love. I see that they are unashamedly themselves. They are open with their beliefs and their lives. Those things are worth respect. Those things, the specifics, are also not my path. So what?

That’s the point I’m trying to make. Don’t look at the differences, look at the person. Don’t judge them as wrong because they do things that you do not. Look at the character and the life, see the Human living it. Different doesn’t equal wrong. It merely equals a perspective that is not your own.

I’m going to cheat, here. I’ll quote a FB status I wrote the other day and end…

“I have friends that are gay. I love and treasure them. I have friends that are Pagan. I love and treasure them. I am neither and, yet, they love and treasure me. Getting along with people that are “differently normal” lets us find people we love and treasure. Who doesn’t need more of both?”

She’s a Slut, B***h, Dyke, or a Whore?

“She has to be one of them, right? I mean, any guy could see that. She’ll sleep with ANYONE”…except for me …”Maybe she’s a Dyke?”…or it could be that she isn’t…

We have a huge double standard that has been given tacit approval by most of the guys I know. We, the reasonable guys, keep our mouths shut.

I’m no one’s excuse for a Feminist. I don’t need to be. The women I know and love are more than capable of competing with any guy in any arena that doesn’t involve brute strength. They don’t need me to say “she is Woman, hear her roar…”

So…here’s my take, for what it’s worth…

Let’s get the easiest out of the way first…She might be gay. In that case, deal with it. There’s nothing wrong with either of you…

Second, she might have just gotten out of a relationship, either good or bad, and isn’t dating/sleeping with anyone…again, no reflection on either of you…

Third, she might not be dating because she’s going to school or working on a career and doesn’t have time in her life…

Fourth, you might be an a$$hole or stink or any of a million other reasons like you’re a moron. In which case, the problem is YOU.

Of course, since the original premise is men complaining about women not having sex with them, the odds are greatly in favor of option four…

Here’s the deal. We have NO right to the use of another person’s body. There is no right to sex. Period. We have no right to demean or degrade another person just to feed our ego. That some guys think that they do is just so much horses**t. *editorial, to write bits of this, I had to look into the Men’s Rights nonsense. I wish I hadn’t*

I freely admit my bias. My closest friends are women. I have siblings, cousins, and a Mom that are all women. I don’t really think I have a “feminine side” but, I enjoy the company of women, most of the time, more than men. *editorial, I don’t “get” fashion but, that doesn’t matter one way or the other* As a result, I tend to side with them more than I do with a bunch of b***hy whiner guys that are really egotistic misogynist twerps.

Look guys, deal with it. Put your ego on hold…or don’t…either way, realize that SHE has just as much right to dignity as you do. Figure out that, if you continue to be a jerk, you’ll never be in a relationship because you’ll chase away any person you might stand a chance with. Take some time and step back. Examine yourself and stop blaming others. Get over yourself…

*editorial, most men are reasonable, so this is not a blanket indictment of men. Please don’t take it that way*

 

Some Boxes in the Attic

I’m gonna clean out the attic. There are some boxes up there that need to be poked into. Maybe there are treasures, maybe junk. Let’s see which and we can both decide…

*****

I was thinking about something I said and Z called me on. I used the phrase “predisposed to like girls that like girls”. It sounds like, in retrospect that my preference is for Lesbian friends or female friends. Z even pointed that out. It bugged me and stuck in my head. I have a tendency to waaaaaay over think things. It is possible that it is the truth, even if its not a conscious thought. I really didn’t set out to have my closest friends be women. It has struck me as odd that it worked out that way. Who knows? I mean, it isn’t part of some interview process. “Would you like to become someone I talk to and some years down the road trust? Oh yeah, are you a Lesbian?”

I don’t love Z because she’s a “girl that likes girls”. I love her because she’s Z. We don’t need a list of things that make her who she is, I would still miss stuff. It’s enough to say that she, as a person, is a Treasure. I’m not gonna think it any further through than that. I will give it this, though, if she weren’t gay, this blog wouldn’t exist in the form that it does. I HAVE to have a person to write for and about. It’s part of me. I am good with specific people, not so much a “demographic”. The numbers are just too big…

*****

Yesterday, I wrote about my addiction and it sounded like I was down on myself or putting down what I’ve done. I’m really not. Like I told someone, some days are almost easy, some are hard as Hell. It’s been almost ten years and it isn’t a walk in the park. I still have nightmares. I wake up yelling…like last night. My wife is patient, she just wakes me up and then goes back to sleep.

Anyway, not to make light of things, I’m a Meth Survivor. I know that’s a rare thing. I know I have a bunch of baggage, read “boxes in the attic”. I merely have this perspective, pardon me quoting something I said to someone else, “What I beat was done BY me. What y’all beat was done TO you. Just as you think I overcame something seemingly insurmountable, from here, it seems the same to me about you. I can not imagine how hard it was. Y’all are my heroes, too.” Does that make sense? I made my bed. I wasn’t an addict when I was born. I had a chance to stop every time I started…and didn’t. I suppose that’s why I don’t think it’s that big a deal. That and I really don’t know how to handle compliments or praise. I just don’t have the tools…

Back to my point, though. My past shaped my now. Expecting nothing from life has taught gratitude. Not being able to trust anyone has given me an appreciation for the people I trust…and a fear of trust because my mind still expects betrayal. Knowing what it’s like to beat something that usually wins means I tend to root for the underdog. Not loving myself means I am scared of it, love, now but…I am enjoying the learning process, even if it confuses and scares me. For what it’s worth, I have some people that are teaching me and I don’t know quite how to take that. I always expect conditions even while not imposing them on others. *editorial, my mind is an oddly shaped place*…

One last before this goes away. I got a second chance. I grabbed it and ran. I was given a gift beyond price. I was given Life. I will always appreciate that. If you are given a gift like that, never turn it down.

*****

I think I want to revisit the “Z thing” again… I didn’t really set out to spend as much time writing about LBGT Rights as I have. I was going to write about Religious Freedom, random stuff, Drug Addiction, love and, yeah, LBGT Rights. It just kind of turned out that The Muse needs a voice. We, she and I, use her as the example and the inspiration for these words. *editorial, “use” is not a word I like, in the future I’m gonna say “share” because she’s not a tool to be used. She’s a human* My point being, LBGT Rights have covered all the rest. If we learn that Humans deserve respect, then we learn to respect their values, even if we don’t do things the same way. When we see Z, not as a part of a group but, as the Treasure she is, then we may learn to see other people in the same way. She’s not an (insert pejorative). She’s one of the very most valuable people in my world. She’s a Treasure and a Lady. Period. She’s a cherished part of her family. She is a space in my heart that I didn’t know existed ’till she filled it.

Thing is, everyone someone denigrates is a Z to someone else. No matter what you might think of them, when you put down that person, you are deciding that you have the right to assign and diminish value. You do not. I don’t care what your reason is. Just because someone doesn’t fit what you want takes nothing away from them, it just makes you blind and it makes you smaller…

I honestly don’t care what you do with your treasures. I’m proud of mine. I’m proud of her courage and willingness to let me share her with the World.

*****

Different box…I use the word Lady with a capital because I use it as if it were a title. Same with the word Treasure…or any other random use of caps. It’s a part of me and them…*grins* I didn’t assign the titles, they earned them.

*****

It seems there are lots of boxes today…

I admit this is a bit hypocritical but, meaning I’m going ahead anyway, why are people so concerned with what other people do? Why such great concern with someone else’s life? Why not worry about your own? Yeah, I ask those while trying to persuade people to change. My point being, if you are a something and someone else is a different something, why does that make you want them to be the same something as you? Why not just treat them as a person and go on? Wouldn’t it be simpler? Maybe a tad less stressful? A whole lot less complicated than saying, “you don’t fit my box so I gotta tear down your box and rebuild it before we can interact”? It seems that way to me. I like having different perspectives in my life…even if I disagree with some. *grins* Maybe I missed something. Maybe people like their tiny boxes and feel safer in them. I like exploring my big box. It’s got a bunch of interesting stuff in it…

*****

Sometimes I wonder…other times I’m sure…I digress…*grins* I think the whole of what was stashed in the boxes was an attempt to get us, you and me, to lighten up. Life is short and can be difficult. There are principals to stand on. Loyalty, trust, honesty, and love come to mind. Why complicate things by being concerned with the details of someone else’s life when we have enough in our own that could use a bit of polish?

*****

*grins* The Muse is fishing. The Surrogate Muse is doing whatever Surrogate Muses do when they’re not around to surrogate. *grins again* So, they left me alone to see what was in some boxes…Look, I found my old blankie…Y’all have a good day. Maybe some of this made some sense? *sweeps dust off of the floor and wanders off…*

 

‘Differently Normal”

Terry Pratchett coined a phrase, “differently normal”. Has a phrase ever gotten stuck in your mind and resonated? This one did for me. I like the way it works. It changes the way I look at things. *grins*

I was talking to Aj and some of her friends last night. In that crowd, I’m the one that is different. They are all Pagans and I’m the token Christian. My normal and theirs are different.

I have some gay friends. To them, I’m the one who’s normal is different.

Most of my friends are women. Being female is normal for them. *grins* Being male is different.

Aj and Z are differently normal than I am.

I enjoy their differences. Not only do I not want them to be like me, I’d rather have friends that see things and do things differently. Being the “token Christian” in a group of Pagans is fun. They don’t hold my difference against me and I do not hold their’s against them. *editorial, I like teasing and being teased. When you are thick skinned and have a sense of humor about yourself, those folks can give as good as they get. grins*

I don’t care if your normal is loving the same gender or the opposite. Your normal doesn’t have to be the same as mine. It’s what’s normal for you that matters.

That’s kind of what my mind has been rolling around. It’s the idea that I don’t get to impose my normal on you. We are ALL differently normal. Each of us is unique. We have genetic and environmental differences that have shaped our thoughts and actions. That means that there are no carbon copy people. Difference is normal.

You can pick your friends from whatever groups you want. I want mine to be differently normal because similarly normal is boring and un-fun. All I ask is that they have a sense of humor and honor. I think those are the only normal I care that we share.