My Personal Ideology: My Way of Living (1)

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“The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.” – Søren Kierkegaard.

To know who you are is important as who you are shapes your life. Existence precedes essence, and that it’s up to us to make do with what we have and form our essence based on that. We exist, and then we create, but what we create is different because no two people are the same.

Everyone has their own unique perspective – we witness the same events but we remember and recall through our perspective which may differ from the perspective of others who were also witnesses. In writing, there are multiple points of view. On the basic level, there is: first, second, and third point of view. There’s also omniscient and limited point of views which you’ll use depending on which person point of view that you’re using. All of this goes back to that there’s a lot that everyone can offer because we view things differently from one another. There’s a truth that’s true for you, and that can be used to find the ideology that you feel strongly about.

My constantly shaping ideology that I live by is: taking personal responsibility for myself, continue towards self-improvement, there’s always something to be learned, and doing my best to not consciously harm another person for whatever reason besides to defend myself. Treat thy neighbor as thou would treat thyself. My religious values play a large part in my philosophy – I believe in a benevolent God who through Jesus Christ forgave us for our sins and through belief in our lord savior, we will be saved. Treating others well, or at least being cordial to them even if I don’t feel warmly towards them, is a goal of mine that I try to implement as best as possible. I seek to live a life that’s dedicated to keeping my promises and being a good servant to my Lord Father which includes spreading love and kindness to others. People have been using God to spread their evil and hatred when Jesus tells us to love all. “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’” (Matthew 22:37-40, NRSV w/A). These two commandments were emphasized by Jesus and both speak of love.

In addition, Jean-Paul Sartre has it right when he states: “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” We must take personal responsibility for ourselves because we are free. We are free to choose who we get to be. Even with my mental illnesses, I chose to seek help and be medicated when I desperately needed to be who I wanted to be and not what my mental illnesses wanted me to be. It’s up to me to give my life meaning, and through my hobbies, passions, and surrounding myself with people who help me think critically about my ideas, I find myself developing my philosophy that’s ever changing but solid in its foundation of: personal choice and freedom. In a sense, I do identify with being a Christian Existentialist.

I still have a problem with not letting my illnesses shape everything in my life, but it’s hard when my life is significantly impacted with how limiting my physical capabilities are now. However, I am moving on with getting my tests done including MRIs of my brain and cervical spine to see if there’s any lesions in my brain as my neurologist also thinks multiple sclerosis is a possibility, so we’re going to be thorough to be sure. It’s relieving how fast things are moving now to figure out what’s going on with me. I’m tired of feeling ill all day while being in a good amount of pain without knowing what’s causing all of it. Hopefully once we figure out the diagnosis, it’ll be something that’s curable. I need to keep the faith otherwise I’ll be lost in this pain, and I refuse to let pain be everything about me. I still have my hobbies. I still have a great relationship. I have a lot to be grateful for, and gratitude is an important way of looking at life as it’s just that wonderful to be grateful for things.

Discipline Over Motivation

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“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” – Mortimer J. Adler, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

How reliant are you on motivation? Do you practice discipline more than motivation or vice versa?

When it comes to most things, discipline typically is much better than waiting on motivation to strike. You build upon yourself with discipline as you force yourself on even the tougher days to continue your projects and assignments rather than procrastinating and hoping that motivation will happen and you’ll find your mojo to do your thing.

Per dictionary.com, discipline can be defined as an: “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.” Discipline becomes a habit over time. It’s important to make discipline a habit because its primary use is to train yourself in a skill. Discipline is a part of self-improvement. To self-improve, it takes a lot of hard work. That work will include times when there’s nothing more you want to do is quit, but you won’t because you want to be better. Discipline helps push you through, and it’ll be because of you and not some in the moment motivation that suddenly inspired you. No, it’ll be because you put in the time and effort to create hard work through your habit of utilizing discipline to attain true freedom by improving or developing whatever you focused your discipline on.

These past few weeks, I’ve come to realize how much I depend on motivation, especially in regards to how I feel emotionally. When I’m too stressed, I can’t function. I cannot think. I need a break. But one of the hardest things to do is to communicate that I need a break without lashing out. Emotionally, I am now practicing to feel my anger, but never let it overtake me as much as possible. Anger is draining, and it definitely hasn’t added to my life these past few weeks.

To cope emotionally, one of the things I’m working on is to become better disciplined in that even when I’m not feeling entirely good, I’ll still take the time to do my studying. It’s a work in progress, and there’s much improvement to be done, but I’m getting there. As yesterday has showed me, studying helped to take the pressure of stress off for a little while because it was something productive being done at the same time. Despite the stress, I managed to do something else, and that’s a good start compared to how I obsessively would think on the stress and completely overwhelm myself with thoughts alone. Sometimes taking things slowly one at a time is what you need rather than charging straight ahead and doing everything at once.

Remembering God and my faith is important as well. God is great, and continues to be great. He has helped me more than I feel I deserve, so through discipline I seek to become a better servant of the Lord. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Both now and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Sources: “Discipline”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 4 Jun. 2017. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/discipline>.

Bible Study: Romans 9 (NRSV)

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I spent time last night listening to a recording of the book of Romans in the New Testament and completed it. I followed the audio by silently reading the text at the same time. It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything remotely like that, but it felt kind of nice. This was the first time that I read entirety of the Book of Romans (I’ve read parts of it before), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Taking the time to soak it in what I read and reflect is something that I want to do more. At the end, I found myself mulling over Chapter Nine especially.

God, as creator of all, is the one to choose what to do with you as he wishes. Verses 14-18 go:

What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.”

God will have mercy for whoever He wishes to have mercy for, and same with compassion. There is no injustice because it is His will, and He is acting upon a divine level that’s not depending on human will or exertion. Moreover, Paul recalls God’s hardening of the Pharaoh’s heart as Moses goes to the Pharaoh to gain the release of his people to show the greatness of God. God has a plan for His people and beloved, and if He has the will to make it so, it will happen.

Later, Paul follows this up in verses 20, 22, and 23:

But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God…? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

Echoing through my mind after I read this was: Who are we to thoughtlessly judge our creator?

Ultimately, these verses made me think of suffering and why God would allow it to happen. To know one extreme is to reveal the other. On a personal level, being constantly ill, and having been that way since I was young, I wondered why I was so sick, why I was in so much pain while I was so young, why I couldn’t be as healthy as my friends or even as healthy as my siblings. Even on a grander scale like how could God ever allow something like the World Wars and other terrorist attacks to happen. But Paul reminds me to look underneath the underneath. God has endured the flaws of humanity with occasional shows of enforcing His wrath to prepare us for His ultimate goal:” To make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.” With the life that I have now, I must make the best of it even with the obstacles placed before me.

The ending of the chapter speaks out to me the most of relying on faith. I am a Gentile. The inclusion of God accepting us as His people and of being His beloved speaks to me. Through my faith, I pray that God continues to guide my loved ones and I through life. The belief that God has a plan for us that surpasses the suffering is one I believe in.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praying During Emotionally Trying Times

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This past week has been awful emotionally. There’s been moments when I just want to give up on everything, but I know that’s not me. With that in mind,  I searched out ways to muster strength to continue on as I slowly lost hope little by little. Eventually, I took out the rosary my grandmother gave me a while back, and I prayed. I prayed with all the desperation that I felt. I prayed to God for strength. I prayed to God for stability. I prayed my Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers through my tears, and slowly as I concentrated by praying aloud and focusing on the prayers themselves, I felt a calm wash over me, slowly, each time, and found the will to get back up and face my mistakes with the notion to take responsibility and to become better. The power of prayer and the belief in Our Father’s love helped push me on. It’s a terrible battle of fighting off the dark thoughts that swirl in my mind due to depression and anxiety, but through Christianity, I am finding my solace for God is good.

Every day is a new day, and I would like to treat it as a new start. I would like to take my past in consideration but not have it consume me that it stops me from making today and the rest of my days a better life for my loved ones and I. It’s a battle every day, but I must carry on.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, and now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen!

Finding More of Myself in Life

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One thing that I have decided on dedicating my life to is my wanting to commit myself to my personal development for myself and for my family. One of my bigger goals out of that desire is to be a good partner to my SO. Another is to try to be kinder to myself. That’s often one of my hardest goals to accomplish. I often have flashbacks to moments where I’ve screwed up or something bad like having been stalked before, and my paranoia often rears its ugly head before I’m able to get myself under control. My coping skills have been improving in the past year despite my lapse in therapy which I know I need to start again.

My biggest critic is myself, and often, I feel struck deeply by things like politics because I’m individualistic in the sense that I sit down and think and attempt to feel the effect of policies as a human being rather than being a part of any political party. I can get and sound grumpy when talking about politics mainly because many people that I talk to and know insist that one political party should dominate over the other because it gives an advantage to them, personally, while screwing many others over. But they don’t care; they’re benefiting, so it’s ok for them to accept what’s going on. Think positive! I shake my head at people who are willing to throw people under the bus if they benefit from it. Humans overall just aren’t mature enough to realize that for one man is all man. My race is humanity, and I want that to reflect who I am on all levels. I am human. I am an individual. I am a free being having been dealt a hand of cards (as in more than one card and thus more than one path) and now I choose the path that these cards have opened me up to. I believe in a combination of determinism and free will, and I suppose in that sense that’s how I can reconcile being a Christian existentialist. I’ve been getting into Soren Kierkegaard alongside existentialism having read some Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus, but readings in philosophy has been going slow overall and have taken a backseat to focus reading more on productivity especially to help with my ADHD as I’m currently unmedicated. Life is harder in day to day functions when I’m not on my medication for sure.

I consider myself a Christian in that I believe in God the Heavenly Father and do my best to live what I consider a Christian life. I try to not push that everyone should be a Christian, and I’m friends with a lot of atheists and other friends of different religions, so it’s easier for me have an inclusive relationship of humanity with them than sharing a relationship through Christianity. However, I’m starting to realize that I am greatly affected by Christianity such as my desire for a single long lasting life with my partner. It’s my SO that I would like to spend the rest of my life with, and I honestly believe that God has blessed me with him, and my SO and mine’s own desire to be together, of course. Believing in God and praying to him has on some level helped to assay some of my anxiety. It’s hard sometimes when the world is overwhelming, but feeling like I haven’t done enough even though with all my ailments I’m doing much more than I should with little regards to my own health, life can be a struggle. God and thinking about religion and how I’ve come to see it doesn’t always soothe the raging beast that is in me at times, but in times of when I desperately need comfort, my thoughts have turned to God on multiple occasions and with faith, I survived.

I’m a very introverted person so I spend most of my time with my SO, off doing chores, reading, resting, writing, or playing games. I’ve also been exercising a little by doing squats and some other types of stretches. I’m still sporadic about it because of how sick or in pain I feel most days, but I’ve been putting effort into at least not letting myself deteriorate despite how much I want to. I record it in my bullet journal, which has been one of the ways to help motivate me to continue doing the exercises.

My bullet journal is part tracker, some actual journaling, and a scheduler all in one. I think if I continue the path I am now with my current notebook, I might invest in a Leuchtturm1917 for next year. In general, I like to try things out for free or at least cheaply (the supplies I use for my bullet journal still costs less in total than me buying one Leuchtturm11917 A5 notebook and are supplies I can use for other things besides journaling) before fully investing into more expensive things. I didn’t realize how expensive pens could get and the different types of pens there are until I started taking my studying seriously, so it’s like a whole new world is opening up to me in a sense.

I think ribbons combined with nice lettering is pretty. I’ve been trying to draw them for the past few days, and I don’t think it they’ve been turning out ugly. Practice makes perfect, and it’s only been about a week since I started taking hand lettering remotely seriously. I’ve been having fun with drawing and coloring, so I see myself doing this for the foreseeable future. The featured image are some ribbons that I drew yesterday when I settled down for a bit to just draw while SO had a friend over and the two were hanging out and I was off to the side doing my own thing.

However, considering that I’ve been focusing a little more on my art, my studying time has taken a slight hit. I’ve also been trying to finish my first book for the classics challenge that I’m doing. I’m close to finishing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Dead by Tom Stoppard, so be on the lookout for my review of that great play! I’m also planning on releasing a short review of Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner soon once I finish it. I have a rough draft currently, but it needs some touch ups.