Tag Archives: Emotion

Nothing Between Us

I’ve always had different feelings when it comes to my epilepsy. When I was a kid it scared that crap out of me. It was unnatural. Something evil was in my head. What was happening? Why me? When I got medicine, it was like I had died and gone to heaven. My life had been changed. For many years it didn’t bother me at all. I never had seizures, and never even had any symptoms. Then in my Sophomore year of college–three years ago–it came back. I would have actual seizures, though not terrible ones (whatever that means). I sometimes lost control of my body. I was tired and angry, particularly angry at God. For a while, until we got it mostly under control, I was just scared.

These days my feelings are different. I have symptoms rather often, so it doesn’t scare me anymore. Being angry doesn’t really do anything either. I’ve asked God to heal me and to make it go away, and he hasn’t. I remember reading that Paul asked God to get rid of a thorn in his side. God said “no,” because it reminded Paul that he needed God. I think of my epilepsy kind of like that. I can often tell when I’m going to have issues, so these days I just think: “Okay. Whatever. It’ll only last a bit.” While I’m having issues I just try to pray, about anything, and often, I’m able to sort of “muscle” my way through it. Sometimes, if it’s bad enough that I can’t process language, I just try to focus on God in some way and wait.

I had a few minutes where I just had to wait earlier today, and I realized, that those are the only times when I just sit still. I’m not playing music. I’m not writing. I’m not listening to anyone or anything. I’m not even thinking about anything. Oddly enough, it’s the only time where there is literally nothing on my mind. It’s the only time where there is nothing between me and God: no weird thoughts; no distractions; nothing I have to do; no words.

I am someone who will prove that someone with Muscular Dystrophy can do X, Y, or Z. I absolutely love it when people assume I can’t do something because I love proving them wrong. I’m also kind of an impatient person. I wonder if God allowed me to have epilepsy as a way of saying, “Woh… slow down, kiddo. Don’t forget that I’m the one who made all this possible. Don’t let your ego get ahead of you. Don’t forget about me.”

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time in my head. As a result, thoughts about God sometimes take a back seat. Sometimes thoughts about spiritual things get confusing or complicated, so I just think “screw it,” and move on to the next thing. Sometimes God doesn’t make a whole lot of noise. He lets me mess up like a parent lets their kid mess up so they’ll learn. Honestly, I don’t know if any of this really has anything to do with my epilepsy, but I have to make it make sense somehow. It annoys me when things don’t make sense.

God can’t physically show up and bang on my door and say “Hey! I need you to listen to me for a minute!” I have to take the initiative. I be responsible and slow down. I have to take the time to read and figure out what God is trying to say. Sometimes I think he just wants me to stop and spend a little time with him, even if he doesn’t have anything to say. It’s easy to forget that God is a person, and it’s easy to forget that sometimes he just wants to be with his peeps.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Solutions

I am happy, and I want to tell you why. It’s not the kind of happy that you feel when you get some free time after a busy day or week or year. It’s not the kind of happy you feel after getting a really nice gift. It’s not the kind of happy you feel when you accomplish something great. It’s not the kind of happy you feel when you’re with your best friend. I know I just covered a whole bunch of different kinds of happy. The happy I’m talking about is the kind that lasts. It’s the kind of happy that can get you through the worst times; the worst situations in life. It might be more accurate to describe it as peace. I am peaceful.

People are angry, lately, for various reasons. They’re sick of hypocrisy in religion, or a seemingly stagnant economy, or corruption in the government, or discrimination that we just can’t seem to get past. I get it. The trouble is that anger and decisions made because of that anger don’t solve these problems. They perpetuate the problems. The solution is a lot simpler than people might think, and it has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It’s comprised of several parts, and it isn’t exactly easy, but I’m convinced it will work.

Anger feeds anger. Forgive everything, and make sure to forgive yourself.

Be helpful in any way you can. Indifference perpetuates injustice.

Be kind to those who don’t expect or don’t deserve it.

Be positive. Emotions generally dictate actions and decisions. Don’t let anger, fear, or sadness control you.

The solution starts here. Politicians and institutions will inevitably fail to live up to what we expect from them. People are innovative and creative and smart. If we work from the bottom up in small ways and in love we can fix the problems we face. It will force the people and institutions that create these problems to take a second look at us. They will see that we are happy and forgiving in ways that don’t make sense, and it will force them to change. It will make you happy and keep you happy, and it will do the same to them.

I am happy; I am peaceful and I know these things because it worked on me. I have experienced relentless love and forgiveness that was inevitably contagious. I was angry and fearful until I learned how to simply feel differently. I learned that I was loved, and I had to love back. More importantly, I had to spread that love to people who didn’t know it. Love is ultimately the solution to every problem imaginable. It is the strongest force in the universe, and in love, we the people will succeed.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

I Get It!

Over the past year I’ve been working on reading the Bible cover to cover. Right now I’m in the book of Jeremiah, and man, that is not a happy thing to read. It’s all about how God is going to punish his people for betraying him and not adhering to his laws and teachings. He’s angry, and he speaks of his anger through the prophet Jeremiah. There’s not a lot of hope to be found there at first glance, especially if you don’t know where this story is ultimately going, and it’s literally scary to read. What I’ve found, though, is that God’s anger is relatable. There are little moments in what he says where one finds genuine hurt. In these moments he’s really saying: “I love you, and I just want you to love me back. I love you so much, but I don’t know what else to do. You’ve abandoned me, and the only thing left for me to do is to show you what that feels like.”

Today I found this: “I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers. You will worship me with all your heart, and I will be with you and accept your worship.” Jeremiah 29:11-14. God repeats over and over in this book that he will punish his people, but he makes sure to promise over and over that he won’t punish them forever. Even in his anger, God’s love shines through. He likens Israel and Judah to an unfaithful wife. I don’t know a whole lot about infidelity, but I have witnessed it from a distance, and I’ve seen how it hurts people. Forgiveness in that situation is hard.

Still, God wants, more than anything, for his people to love him back. He refuses to give up on them. He makes this very clear when he goes so far as to sacrifice himself and suffer real, physical betrayal and pain. Jesus took God’s judgment on himself. Said differently, he took on our betrayal. We can never pay that back. I don’t think it has ever hit me quite this hard. It is a love that cannot be reciprocated. I found myself actually thinking, “That isn’t fair…”

I guess that’s the point. No one will ever love God the way he loves us, no matter how hard we try; no matter what we do; no matter how nice we are; no matter how much we scripture-spam our Facebook friends; no matter how much we talk about God’s love, we can never come close to what he’s done for us. That’s just not fair, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a little hard to process. It’s unthinkable. There are no words to describe it. I can’t even say “Thank you,” because that would be inadequate. The only thing I can offer is genuine worship, and I think I understand a little better now what that is. I’m not sure I can put it into words yet.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

 

The Infection

I read a short blog post earlier suggesting that the key to world peace is inner peace in those who fight for it. The argument was that emotions are infectious. If you are content, it will make those around you more at ease and more content themselves. If you find inner peace, it will make others curious about how you achieved it. I suspect that’s probably true. The question is; what exactly is inner peace? Finding peace with yourself is often harder than it sounds. I think it depends a lot on whether your like yourself or not. It also depends on whether or not you are content with your life. Contentment is different than happiness. Happiness, I think is somewhere between satisfaction and ecstasy. It also generally doesn’t last over long, extended periods of time. Contentment on the other hand is less of an emotion than a state of being. It is what is achieved when most aspects of one’s life are good, or at least satisfactory.

I’ve read several lists about what leads to true happiness, which I took to mean contentment, and none of them seem to completely agree. While I don’t think it’s possible to ever be 100% content 100% of the time, I do think that there are things that can help you get there. They’ve helped me anyway. Here’s my list:

1) Keep busy. Do what you love and what you’re good at. Don’t do things just for the sake of doing something and don’t be idle. Get a hobby. If you can turn that hobby into a career, even better. If you can’t, make sure you can fund that hobby doing something else.

2) Find things you can do alone and with other people. Make time for both.

3) Talk to strangers. Most of the time this won’t turn into a relationship, but it can pass time and amuse you both. It will usually make you feel much happier than if you don’t talk to each other.

4) Find your center. You don’t have to believe in God or a higher power to be spiritual. Prayer or meditation can help calm you and keep you focused. I don’t know much about meditation, but I’m sure it’s easy to find information about it.

5) Learn to accept people for who they are. If you harbor no bad feelings toward anyone else, you will feel better within and about yourself.

6) Learn to let it go. You don’t have to be right all the time.

7) Be emotional. Emotions are part of the human experience and being emotional doesn’t mean you’re weak; it means you are a passionate  person who can relate to others.

8) Allow small things to delight and entertain you.

9) Don’t worry. Most things aren’t worth the headache that worrying causes. Just don’t do it.

10) Be optimistic. Convince yourself that everything will work out. Do whatever it takes to convince yourself of this.

I think it’s probably true that world peace depends on inner peace within individual lives. I think people who are at peace with themselves are less likely to be violent or spiteful. They will probably find it easier to connect with other people and will therefore be ready and willing to help others find inner peace. In that sense, I think it is infectious.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Almost The Weekend: Celebrate With Music!

Well guys, It’s almost Friday! I thought I’d post a few music videos that were happy and Friday-ish. Music is universal and heals all wounds.

Check out this fantastic display of musical joy!

I also thought I’d share this song because I found it pretty helpful when I was feeling down, and maybe somebody whose week is dragging will find it helpful too.

Finally, I thought I’d just share one of my all time favorite songs because it makes me happy!

Don’t Be Mad

Don’t be mad. It’s not worth it. You can walk around with your head down and stew about whatever, but it won’t make the situation better, and it won’t make you feel better. Ask yourself “why am I really mad?” What is the true reason? Chances are that if you’ve been angry long enough you’ve lost the reason you were mad in the first place.

People stay mad for various reasons. They justify grudges with moral reasoning. Perhaps it makes them feel powerful or more in control. Perhaps it’s just an act and they feel obligated to feel “angry” about something. Regardless, anger is never something that should be allowed to last. In the words of Yoda, “anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

The problem with anger is that it is often misdirected, and it is usually not the correct emotional response. It is easier to be mad at a specific person or group of people than about an actual problem. On the same token, anger is the easier emotion to jump to when a better response is empathy or at least sympathy and optimism in regard to one’s own problems. There is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel. It could always be worse, and a little optimism makes everything better.

Treat life like a challenge that can be overcome. Don’t pity yourself or bring yourself down and don’t display your suffering for the whole world to see. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk about your problems, but don’t make a show of them either. It doesn’t get you any closer to solving them and it probably won’t make you too many friends.

If something needs to be fixed, fix it. If it can’t be fixed, so be it. That’s life. Look up at the sky and say “what a nice color blue.” Listen to the street performers play their music and say “what a nice tune.” Take or make time to read or write stories. Sing your favorite songs while you walk to work or to your next class. Life is short, so we ought to make the best of it.

As always, I write these kinds of posts for myself as much as anyone else. Nobody’s perfect, but everyone Is capable of joy and love.

Have a nice day, peeps! ❤