Who’s Your Boogyman?

When I was a child, I was steeped in the philosophies of conspiracy theorists. I’m not complaining about that – not at all. My various parental figures – all of whom I still love dearly – instilled in me the seeds for healthy criticism, skepticism, and distrust. That is a plant that can quickly become overgrown and dangerous, but when cultivated well, it makes for a very useful herb.

However, at some point in my adulthood, I began to ask a question, “Who, exactly, are ‘they?'” And its sister question, “How?” Once I tried looking for specifics, I realized that I was sorely at a loss*. I’ll take “the media” as an example. We blame “the media” for so much (and I think it deserves it – sort of) but if the media has an agenda, what is it? An agenda would imply an intelligent design, which would mean that there would have to be a specific mind behind it – whose mind? Who owns what? Who took whom into their confidence (because an agenda would require collaboration between bosses [and who are those bosses] – unless it was all owned and operated by ONE person)? And for what (just what is the agenda)? You see, it’s easy to pin something on “the media” until you start to ask specific questions. Finding the answers to those questions requires gaining a better – and even intimate – understanding of just exactly how the media works, who owns what, and how each and every role is played. Once you start doing that, you start to realize just how complex “the media” is, and therefore just how many people would have to be “in on it” when pushing some kind of specific agenda. In the end, I think “the media’s” agenda is to make money through entertainment. What I was so concerned about was a vague, vaporous concept, an idea, a notion. It wasn’t a person, or even a specific group of persons. It was a boogyman. When you try to give the boogyman a name more specific than “the media,” “the government,” or even “the elite” you may find your task a bit more difficult than you expected. Try giving your boogyman a face, and you may watch him disappear altogether. Government, religious institutions, education, media – all of these things tend to have boogymen attached to them. These are things that tend to come with a lot of fears, angers, notions of injustice or conspiracy, and many other sentiments attached to them.

Who is your boogyman? I challenge you to study it, to give it exact dates, exact names and faces, and figure out exactly how and why you think it affects you. It may disappear. It may morph into something else. At the very least, you’ll understand it better and have a better ability to share what you know with others.

 

*I do still believe in those conspiracies to some small degree, but not in the same way that I used to. I still believe in government corruption, but I don’t know what that looks like, and I no longer care. This post is not actually about politics or conspiracies, but about thought processes and understanding.

A Dream About A Constellation, A Woman On A Train, and White Bats

In real life, Michael and I like to drive along route 20 for as long as we can before we have to turn around to go back home. Sometimes, we’ll make little stops along the way. You have to pay attention to signage in some places on route 20, because sometimes it turns (appearing to be a street turning OFF of 20) and if you fail to turn with it, you may find yourself on an unknown street. Route 20 also frequently crosses and runs parallel to railroad tracks.

About two(ish) years ago, I had this dream:

Michael and I had been cruising along route 20, just like we sometimes do. We managed to get ever so slightly lost, due to some strange turn that we missed (just a little lost – no big deal. Route 20 is always easy to find again.) and landed ourselves in a small town. We decided to get out and take a look around.

As we were walking around in this small town, night fell very suddenly (which was immediately alarming because it was the middle of the day; even in the dream, it was not normal) and a constellation moved across the sky. The constellation was of a snake with a mouse in its mouth. Michael told me with a matter of fact, yet mildly interested tone that the snake is wearing leather armor. When the constellation finished moving across the sky, daylight returned in the same sudden manner as night had come. I was afraid because constellations do not move and night/day do not fall quickly; for God to make such a clear point of it, the message must be important and likely bad news. Yet, I didn’t know what it meant; that scared me too. But oh well. We decided to head back to the car.

We got into the car and began to move in a direction that we thought would get us back to route 20. We came upon a very large construction site on the side of the road, with many workers. We stopped and asked one of the workers for directions back to 20. He tells us to “keep going, we’ll run parallel to some RRx, curve through a tunnel, and come to an intersection. Turn right, and (we’ll) start seeing signs for route 20 from there.” OK, got it. “Oh, but one more thing,” he added, “When you get to the tunnel, please turn your headlights OFF for the sake of the workers in there.” Odd request. We wondered if we should trust it. I no longer recall if we did. Following his directions (and still not past the construction site yet), we did indeed find ourselves alongside railroad tracks and nearing a tunnel. As we approach, we saw workers coming out of the tunnel. It looked like they’d been in there for years – extremely pale, the light blinding, burning, and hurting them. “No wonder,” we thought, “No wonder we were asked to turn our lights off!”

We didn’t quite enter the tunnel, when we saw a train coming opposite us on the train track. Riding atop the engine were a man and a woman, looking extremely strong, beautiful, and evil. They appeared to be the very embodiment of power and arrogance. I cannot express enough how powerful they were. They both rode the train and were strong, but she was clearly the stronger and more powerful; he basically cowtowed to her, trusted her absolutely, and was along for the ride (and to gain power for himself) so to speak. Following on the tops of each of the cars behind them were many wild animals – beasts and predatory birds of many kinds. Each car held a different kind of animal, all behaving wildly.

When the train approached the town (or I suppose I should say “city,” since the dream itself called it that, even though it felt more like a town), the woman released the first carload of animals to attack it. They furiously attacked the city with all their might. I got the idea that they caused great devastation to the lives and properties of those outside the city; although I could not see it, I felt its weight and was heavy with grief. But to the city against which they were sent, they could do nothing. They struck it with all of their strength, but they could not damage it; they were not given permission. So they returned to the woman fruitless. Angry, she then released the next car. They too returned fruitless. Over and over again, car after car, it was the same, with each carload more fearsome than the last – they go, they furiously attack, they return void, she becomes more enraged. Finally, the last carload was sent – the most terrifying and dangerous. It was a carload of white bats. Although they were terrifying and the most powerful, they too failed. In a blinding rage, the woman began to move to attack the city herself. It was then that God came in the form of a strong wind, driving away the woman, the man, the animals, and even the train.

All was then still and at peace.

I Support Donald Trump

We have successfully elected Donald Trump as our new president!  I didn’t vote for Trump, but I do support him. He is our president-elect. And when he is sworn in, I’ll call him “Mr. President” or “President Trump.” I’ll pray for him, his family, and his leadership, just as I prayed for President Obama’s. I hope he is very successful, indeed. I hope he successfully maintains peace, upholds law, and brings about new levels of reform to protect and care for all Americans.

After all, very few people really want a president to run them into the ground. Well, there are always those that want it for the sake of being proven right, but even most of those people don’t actually want that, but simply like to stroke themselves with the idea of it, which is not at all the same thing.

At any rate, now it isn’t about Trump, for that’s already done; it’s about US. It’s about what we each, and what we all choose to do from here on out.

A lot of people fail to realize that the fear of so many isn’t about Trump, but about the message he sends into the hearts of so much of America. What many people are afraid of is not Trump, but what they’ve now seen in the hearts of their fellow man. The well has been tapped, and much rotting sludge has been spewing. The mask is off, and it turns out that the face of America is hideously ugly.

I personally know a number of specific individuals who have been experiencing increasing (in both number and severity) threats. One friend was screamed at to go back to her country (even though she was born and raised here), and another has taken to messaging me daily to let me know that she’s made it safely to/from work because of threats to her life made by her neighbors. Heck, I’ve even been getting heat for nothing more than learning and teaching my children Spanish. And then, of course, there’s what you see on social media – the protests of “liberal Millennials”, the racial slurs of “Trumpkins”. This is reality; it isn’t just something you read about, it’s in your front yard.

Please understand that these “whiny Millennials” are not crying because they lost; they’re crying for their lives. People aren’t afraid of Trump, they’re afraid for their friends, families, loved ones. In some cases, they’re afraid OF their friends, families, and loved ones.

So where do we go from here?

What am I going to do about it? I’m going to dedicate myself to following the teachings of Christ: to love the Lord with all my heart, and to love my neighbor as myself. I’m going to make friends with my neighbors and help them when I see a need. If I see someone being harassed, or even hurt, I’m going to stand up for that victim. I may call the police, or use something like this technique:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/someone-made-a-guide-for-what-to-do-when-you-see-islamophobi?utm_term=.vaPpvmGlN&ref=mobile_share#.lrORj9A0X

I’m going to wear a safety pin to let people know that, “Hey don’t worry about me; I’m not going to beat you up or call you names.”

Trump will do his best to make America great, but this isn’t about Trump right now; it’s about US. It’s about what WE can do to make America great. What are you going to do?

A Frustrated Rant About Left/Right Issues

It bothers me to no end that for every single political issue, there’s a “left” or “right,” “liberal” or “conservative” stigma attached to it. Sometimes, the stigmas make sense, but not always. I don’t know the truth behind the origins of the terms “liberal” and “conservative,” but I assume – based on the words themselves – that they refer to the liberal (or conservative) application of government force and/or finances. If that’s the case, then I can see why public schooling or affirmative action would be considered liberal issues, while freedom of gun ownership would be a conservative issue. But then, if that’s the case, why would the military/war be put in the “conservative” bag? And why are there those same stigmas applied to every non-governmental issue as well – such as sexuality (not referring to marriage or employment rights, but sexuality in general), art, racism, or even just plain asking questions (a friend of mine said, “You don’t even have to draw any conclusions. The minute you start asking questions, everyone thinks you’re super liberal. It isn’t a term you choose, either – it’s placed on you by how others see you.” I’m finding that all to be true.)?

It burns me up that even the very term “rape culture” is considered a “liberal” issue that only “feminazis” talk about. The issue of consent (and therefore, the breaching of it) has been extremely important to me since I was old enough to know what it was. As a teenager (and even still) I was nervous about the idea of having kids because I’m concerned that someone somewhere could abuse them – or that they themselves could abuse others. I’m baffled that my prioritization on teaching my sons that touching someone who does not want to be touched is NOT OK makes me a liberal. Why would anyone want to teach them otherwise, let alone a political affiliation that claims to prioritize family?! Don’t believe me that it’s a liberal thing? I see it all the time in political small talk and online forums, but just check out what Rush Limbaugh said:

“You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police.”

Ah, well…YEAH! Of course! And tell me again why it’s “the left” that cares? Shouldn’t everybody?! Apparently not.

It seems to me that if you ask questions or care about how people feel and are treated, you must be a liberal. None of this labeling really means anything, and it’s part of the nature of mankind, but it drives me nuts, nonetheless.

I’m not a liberal, myself – I’m extremely pro life, pro big business, and think that heavily taxing the rich is wrong. But then again, I also strongly prioritize education, am anti war, desire to raise awareness of racism and sexual assault, and think that we should be taking better care of the environment (regardless of global warming). I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact that I’m not a conservative, either. Do I really have to pick? I don’t see why I should.

The World of Feelings in the World of an ESTJ

TeSiNeFi

^ That’s the cognitive function stack of an ESTJ. What does that mean, exactly? It means that Fi (Internal Feeling) is our weakest function. This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel emotions; it means that emotions are especially exhausting for us and exceptionally difficult to understand – even (maybe especially) our own.

When trying to explain it to a friend, I said, “We often need time to even figure out WHAT we’re feeling, let alone why we’re feeling it.
Occasionally, I feel a bit like a clueless soldier. *BANG*
‘GAAAAH, THAT HURTS! WHYYYY?!’ And then you try to reason your way out of it, but that’s like trying to talk the wound into not bleeding. Sometimes we need to assess the wound, THEN dress it. I do feel like a soldier and feelings are like bullets. Raining all around us, hitting our friends, so we mostly duck and dodge them, get grazed by them, watch them hit our friends, and address the wounds of those struck.”

There I was, sitting there with Michael on our couch, tears streaming down my face and into my hands. With a feeling of awe – and a small amount of horror – I looked up at him and said, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” With barely so much as a blink, he matter of factly pointed out the obvious: “You’re under a lot of stress. Your grandma fell and may be hurt, you’ve just had a big fight with your dad, and your friend’s business is closing.” Gee. I guess it really should have been that obvious to me too. But then again, I thought about each of those things, and not a one of them felt like they carried that much weight. None of those things hurt. I had dealt with my dad already, my grandma was OK (albeit in a lot of pain), and the closure of my friend’s business was a good thing, a transitional thing. Yet, those are undoubtedly all stressful things. Had I truly given them the time they needed to be properly processed and felt out? No. I had dismissed them.

BANG! 

And there it was. The weight and pain of it all suddenly and unexpectedly striking, piercing through me, leaving me in an invisible pool of blood. It should be so obvious. But it isn’t, necessarily. Emotions are hard.

Thinking and Wondering About Future Thinking and Wondering

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This is my view when lying in our hammock. A few days ago, I was lying here, looking at this tree, wondering how old it is. It won’t be here forever. I wonder how much longer it will be here.

Our mortgage is set for thirty years. Thirty years from now, will this tree still be here? Will I be lying in a hammock – hung on a hook, or attached to a younger tree – thinking about the tree that once was? Or will it still be the same comfortable, familiar view? What will I be thinking about then? My grandchildren? My mother? Will I be missing her, remembering her? I wonder who I’ll be then, what I’ll be thinking about, and what the view will be like…

My Favorite Dreams

It’s no secret that I have dreams – lots of dreams. I have scary dreams, imaginative dreams, beautiful dreams, adventurous dreams, funny dreams. Last night, I dreamed that I was a pirate exploring a deep crag, while a few nights ago, the government performed a social experiment in which they staged an alien invasion (based on the real life incident of Orson Welles’ original release of War of the Worlds). And if you’re a friend of mine reading this, I’ve almost certainly dreamed about you at least once.

I like my dreams. I like having all those places to explore and adventures to have. But my favorite dreams are about my best friend (I have a couple of “best friends,” but right now, I’m just taking about this one.). Nothing in particular happens, and there really isn’t much to tell – which is a true reflection of real life. It isn’t memories, exactly, but a simple adaptation of my current reality. It’s very simply that I get to be with her. Those dreams are the BEST.