Tag Archives: be yourself

Inked commitments

I see a lot of ink in my job, in fact sometimes I recognize somebody’s face, but I don’t really remember who they are until they get on the table and I see their ink. This week one of my irregular clients was in. I’ve seen her 2 or 3 times over the last year and half, so I didn’t immediately remember her. She has a tattoo that reads: “I am my own before I am anyone else’s”. That helped me remember and in prior sessions she was fairly quiet.

Her tattoo, however, made me think about commitments in a big way. Not just the commitment of ink, but in the message it, and she, conveyed.

She spoke of having a fiancee, someone she cared about and was committed to, but then she also spoke about not getting married ever. She referenced all the problems that happen in regards to marriage. She spoke mainly of financial concerns based on a book she had read encouraging people to navigate the system in beneficial ways. They were all thoughts that had crossed my mind early in mine and Nathan’s relationship. She’s right, there are lots of reasons to not want to get married. I have experienced some of them in my own marriage and in watching my parents marriage. Financial concerns, strife and arguments being the biggest factors that I’ve noticed in mine and my parents marriages.

I admired her commitment to herself, and genuinely hope that it works out for her. For me I see the compromise that we make just living life, and acknowledge that myself comes first in most ways, all which I’m able, but it’s still life. My goal is to live my best life and take care of myself as best as possible, but in some cases that means extra challenges. It is that which leaves me acknowledging there are also lots of reasons to do the commitment of marriage. That is why many of the old masculine paradigm are still drawn to it.

Even the government acknowledges that once you’ve lived together, shared finances for so long, and had children, you’re essentially already married. And let’s face it if you’re that entwined, augments are inevitable to some degree. Most states acknowledge this with “common law” marriage rules. And let’s be honest if you’re having children, either you’re living together and sharing everything anyway, or you’re separated and one parent is automatically the non-custodial parent. Said parent has limited visitation and limited rights and required financial commitments (child support). States do frequently pursue child support from non-custodial parents even when marriage was never addressed, and often when there were supposedly amicable agreements. On the other hand, if you’re living together you share all the rights and all the responsibilities, and it’s still up to both of you, as to how that is handled. The choice of getting married or staying unmarried doesn’t do anything to solve the puzzle of having children. There are pros and cons to both sides of that fence, and if you want to be an active participant in your childrens’ lives then common law or traditional marriage are your only real options. Otherwise you get the short end of the stick in most ways, and still have to pay for them.

In mine and Nathan’s marriage it has meant a big factor was making certain that his daughter would be cared for should anything happen to him. Right now due to legalities he is solely responsible for education and medical concerns for her, and has been since her mom died. However because her mom is already deceased, if anything happened to Nathan, all I would have to do is present both death certificates to proper governing bodies and assuming there were no other petitions for custody, I would be granted legal guardianship. It has been a huge relief factor considering Nathan’s health concerns beginning early in our relationship, starting 6 months after we decided to marry. There have been other concerns over children as well, since I’ve now produced two more of them.

Yet we are polyamorous.

Polyamory struggles with this conundrum because in most of the United States only one marriage is legal. So, you play the dance of trying to decide: 1-do I marry one person and call everyone else my significant other, or 2- do I marry none legally and just have a bunch of significant others, or 3- do I marry no one legally and hand-fast my partners to have multiple non-legal spouses.

It creates hierarchical structure concerns, and then when children get involved, it creates further custody and responsibility concerns for every adult in the family. United States law simply has not addressed polyamory in any way to date. So, most polyamorous families end up attempting to solve the problem with legal guidance, and legal documentation, to sometimes still have biological grandparents/aunts/uncles throw kinks into postmortem processes. There have been more than a few polyamorous families, and many polygamist families, end up in long legal battles after one adult passed away.

That is why Nathan and I drug our heals at making the commitment. We both acknowledged that marriage was a huge risk by itself, and being poly from the onset of our relationship made it an even larger risk as a commitment. We discussed it for hours on end, many times over 4 years, before finally sealing the deal. We weighed pros and cons and all the risks of both sides.

For me it boiled down to love. I knew I loved Nathan and his daughter enough to take every last one of the scary risks we had acknowledged, especially after his miserable divorce completed. I was willing to walk through fire if it meant they knew I loved them and wanted the best that I could manage for them.

I also knew that my own health battle meant I regularly fought both inside and outside of myself. My brain was frequently intent on making me see the worst in everything and it would often cause a strong desire for either death, suicide, or escape, no matter the circumstances. I knew that for me the commitment had to be extra hard to get out of, mostly to make certain I would fight hard enough to win the war waged in my brain and emotions. I wanted to make sure that my inner me, who loved them truly and deeply, had a trigger in my mental sphere to encourage the fight for good. I didn’t want the negative ninny in my brain to win simply because it was easy to escape. Marriage ultimately became my insurance to fight for my own life and to keep reaching for the love I knew was there.

I knew my love for Nathan and his daughter was worth fighting for. Every good moment felt amazing. Every time my brain was in a good space, there wasn’t a shred of doubt that I loved them. It was a deeply felt knowing, that when my brain was clear, was easy access. I wanted to preserve that even when my brain malfunctioned, and being married with divorce as a consequence enabled me to win against my brain over and over again.

To this day I still acknowledge that divorce really would do me no good. It won’t solve the role of finances and could make it even worse. It won’t solve my brain’s function. It won’t make taking care of myself any easier. It won’t be helpful for children, and could potentially traumatize all of us. Divorce simply won’t fix anything that is broken, and could lead to even greater damages. So it is still my safety net to continue to fight the good fight for love. May it always work and love overcome all.

I hope that one day there will be another that feels as I do, and we can commit through all of those legal hoops, to make a solid attempt at protecting a poly family. Anyone willing to go through that definitely has love and all of our best interests at heart.

May you always know how to put yourself first and care for yourself as fully as life allows. May you know that occasionally legal commitment is the route to enable that. May you know that not all commitments must be legal to be truly valid, that a commitment is really demonstrated in many ways on a daily basis, sometimes as simply as surviving the rough parts. May you know that everything has a reason and a purpose, and that our goal here on Earth is to find ways to improve upon everything as best as we are able. May you see that improvement in yourself and know that you win a war every time that your brain would prefer you don’t. Regardless of your decisions may you see that everything works out just as you need. Above all my you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Non-institutional Faith

Préface :

What I’m about to write about is a generalization. As all such cases, it applies to many but not all of the people that fall under said umbrellas. There are always exceptions. This is merely an explanation of some of the reasons that I follow the path that I do.

I found I was drawn to writing about this topic because of working through yet more energetic junk. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, merely putting words to explain my choices. I’m validating my own decisions for myself because I know that these observations and decisions have helped me grow and be a better person. Whether you agree with me entirely, or not, I feel there is always something that someone might find benefit in, and utilize for their own growth and development, even if my words only stir a desire within you to examine your own choices a little more closely.

So, since I’m busy blasting holes in concepts to pave the way for solutions, I thought that this is a perfect time to include one more. And that brings me to the main event!

Faith for me became an internal dialogue at an early age because of environmental concerns and awareness, and my own direct experiences.

I have written before about traumas I suffered by other kids, older than I, and how at least one of them was connected to a family that attended my father’s church. They straight up denied that their child would do such a thing because they were such a devout family. I remember distinctly the mom telling another parent that I was a liar because her child would never do something like that. It hurt immensely because he did. I was horribly embarrassed by what he did to me on the playground, and very hurt by hearing his mother call me a liar. It was a double trauma, and made me hate the two-faced people I frequently ran into at church, be it my father’s, mother’s or friend’s churches. Sadly the Mormon churches seemed to be the most wrought with hypocrisy.

As a result, by the time I was in highschool, I was already exploring religions and beliefs. I found a brutal awareness of atrocities levied upon people in the name of God and that began to shape my choices.

See, my father is Mormon and my mother is Catholic. By the time I was starting highschool I was very aware of how both religions and several others had covered up horrible mis-deeds in an effort to save face and ultimately caused even more atrocities and traumas worldwide.

Both the Mormon faith and the Catholic faith see women as childbearers and home makers. A woman’s place is to do her duty and stay quiet. Neither faith makes any significant effort to protect it’s women or children, and frequently levied doctrine intended to keep women and children down in their place.

The Mormon faith was  saturated with arranged polygamist marriages, where fathers would sell their daughters to the highest bidder. Often the highest bidder would say they were going to protect said girl, but all too frequently the bidder was 45+ years old and the daughters were 16 to 20 (sometimes as young as 9) and consent was never sought from the girl, only the father. Once a sale was complete the owning “husband” did whatever he wanted regardless of age. Frequently the age discrepancy and polygamy eventually caught up the the old creeps and landed them in jail, but their atrocities we’re usually fairly extreme by the time law was involved.

Beyond the sale of girls and rape of child ‘spouses’, the elders of both variants of the Mormon church have regularly been scrutinized for tax evasion and other questionable business dealings. That was knowledge of my father’s faith I gleaned by the time I was in highschool.

Shortly thereafter the Catholic priests were being taken to court for their abuses of alter boys and the resulting cover-ups. In the process of learning about those atrocities I also learned of financial and political dealings of the Catholic church and how they had hoarded artwork and other precious gems/jewelry items for centuries. During World War II it did manage to protect many items that would otherwise have been lost, but now they sit in deep storage, kept from the rest of society. I was not surprised by any of that knowledge.

Women are not allowed to be leaders of either faith. The newer sect of Mormonism has allowed women to be in lower leadership roles, but never in the uppermost echelon. The Catholic faith will only allow women to become nuns, and none of the nuns make major decisions for the faith, create doctrine, or interface with the outside world beyond charitable works.

I continued my learning.

Judaism and Islam having their “Holy War” of over 2000 years, and the multiplicity of atrocities in connection with that. Islam enforcing women to stay covered blaming them for men being unable to control their dicks. The middle east being wrought with acid attacks and rape, all being levied against women. Even worse it is then blamed on them because they “asked for it by showing too much skin”.

Chinese practices prevented women from being anything other than laypersons for any of their faiths. They encouraged foot binding as a ‘sign’ of social status, and sold poor women and children into a variety of slavery including the sex-trade.

Japanese also forced women into the sex trade, and even idealized it for many women creating a vetting process for a woman to become a Gaisha. If you weren’t beautiful enough or from an esteemed family then you were sold for any number of unmentionable abuses.

Africans of a variety, forced teen girls to endure unsanitary, unsterile and hazardous female circumcision for hundreds of years. Even to this day, with modern medicine, female circumcision is still frequently carried out in homes. It leaves women unable to be a woman without significant pain and great hazards throughout their lives, often disfiguring them for life. In Africa acid torture is used on anyone they suspected of whatever they deemed deserving of such torture. When AIDS broke out they would rape babies because of a superstitious belief that it would heal them. Yet it only traumatized and infected the infant, should the infant survive.

All across the globe for centuries men have levied great atrocities on other men, women, and children. All too frequently their actions are justified by faith, their God’s word, or some doctrine intended to keep elder males in their position of power.

Because of all of this I simply could not belong to any church. All of them had blemishes on their records and none were making any great strides to rectify damages done or right wrongs. I simply could not live with myself if I chose one of them. I knew I could not contribute in any way to any of the faiths that I had learned about.

My solution was to follow the path of paganism. It is the one faith without centralized institutions and doctrine. It is the one faith that places responsibility fully on the practitioner’s shoulders. It is the one faith that to this day turns in it’s own people for misdeeds and wrong-doings. My own local awareness of camp and groups in the metro here in KC has verified that a dozen times over, everything from theft to rape and molestation. If a pagan catches another pagan doing wrong, you better bet they’re going to jail. If only we had that fortitude with charitable works.

But beyond the lack of centralized institutions and doctrine, and the efforts to hold each other accountable, paganism offers flexibility in practice.

I don’t sit in a stuffy church listening to a boring sermon every week to go home and do my best to apply what was said. No, I learned my ethics from the get-go. I learned my beliefs early.

I took what resonated from all the others, the overlapping positives of all faiths, and applied them to my life in as consistent a pattern as I can manage.

My biggest challenge is  overriding the temper I learned from my father. My second biggest challenge is time management and making sure I apply everything I know as often as possible.

I meditate as often as I can aiming for daily (and we’ve been teaching the two youngest how to do so). I do yoga as often as possible as well, but really push myself to manage at least 2 to 3 times a week. I do full &/or new moon rituals when my schedule aligns and everything works out.

The rest of my beliefs are interactive. I do my best to treat everyone with respect consistently. I utilize Reiki in my sessions whether directly requested or not. I pray for those in need and those the reach my awareness of being in some sort of struggle. I give money in a variety of ways, as I am able, from CharityWater to Harvesters to local homeless shelters and even people begging on the street.

No I am not perfect, I fail quite often. Much more often than I would like to admit, but I still try. I do my best always, aiming to accomplish good as often as I can.

I simply do what I can, when I can, and as often as possible because my overarching belief is that we are here to make the world a better place in as many ways as we are able. That isn’t something you can accomplish by going to church once a week and just paying a tithing to some institution.

Besides that, CharityWater was the first institution to make certain that individual contributions actually went directly to charitable works. They were the first, and to my knowledge are still the only organization, to cover operating expenses via generous benefactors. A handful of generous people make sure the chairty runs and their expenses are covered, and everyone else that donates are paying for the supplies and services they fund.

If every church functioned that way, you’d bet they would be less flashy and more functional on charitable works. Mega churches would become mega givers. But that’s just my opinion I suppose.

Regardless of your faith, I hope that you understand the world in a greatest, most consistent, positive impact sort of way.

Regardless of the avenue you choose, may you find your connection to God and find a way to right previous wrongs. May you know you are having a maximum positive impact on this world. May you see every deed, every interaction, every thought, every word, as an opportunity to improve our world. May you know that you are doing your best to make the world a better place. May you find ways to help the world heal our long history of atrocities. May you always reach for better. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

I am Here.

After finishing my drawing and posting it, I attempted to catch up on my reading of other blogs I follow. I had quit reading last fall for several reasons.

I have mixed emotions on other blogs.

Sometimes I get jealous thinking my own work, be it writing, art, or pictures, is sub-par. I have seen many beautiful photographs by many people ranging from a young teenager to old seasoned photographers. I have seen artwork that makes mine look like child’s play. I have read well crafted words of poetry and prose that make my simple dictations of life seem worthless. Sometimes their words tell tales of travel and love like I dream of (sorry Nathan I love you, but could never paint a beautiful picture of love like some bloggers do), it makes me jealous and sad at the same time.

Sometimes I feel down because the other writer is in a struggle or experiencing difficulties in their life where they are, I wish I could fix it for them. I wish I could wave a magic wand and fix the world, but I’m so busy just trying to fix my life it seems hopeless.

Sometimes I get straight up confused, the writing style or message being conveyed seems to bounce off of me. I isn’t that I don’t understand the individual words, it’s that their orientation befuddles me, or I simply can not stand in the writers’ shoes long enough to understand their perspective.

But then there are moments where I think I might have had an impact. The inspirational blogger that has begun adding blessings at the end of her articles like I do. The story tellers that aim their stories towards uplifting humanity and creating a better world. The bookworm that chose to join me in InkTober by drawing images for her book reviews. I have no proof that I impacted them, no one has ever said anything to me. But I see the changes and I am grateful anyway. They are all beautiful people, and they all have an impact on our world beyond what I can accomplish. If my choices and words guided them even a tiny bit, I am grateful. I hope those moments continue.

I would love to know my words matter to others, but I am content just being here, living my life, and attempting to be a better person. My blog has been my voice since day one. It is my moment to be myself and let my voice be heard so to speak. It is my attempt to right the wrongs of my own microcosm, and I am simply grateful that I can let myself voice what needs let out, even if it is just a written segment.

I know in my core that I am a beautiful goddess that has been hurt, overly burdened, and kept down. I’m doing my level best to heal for my own health and the health of my children. This path has made me blatantly aware of how far I’ve come, but also how far away my goals still seem.

Another blogger recently referenced the matrix having been changed, much like my premonition from a couple of months ago. I know it is contributing to my ill health of late. I feel a strong awareness of my inner health and beauty, and I know it will manifest in time (and even faster than before with the new spiritual shift), but at the same time the already manifested tangibles of my experience are super uncomfortable and it’s affecting my body.

Today I would have called in sick to both jobs, but the old already manifested ‘reality’ dictates that is still impossible. I don’t want to shut the door on changing that, but I’m still having to function when I’d rather be in bed recuperating. My body needs the healing time that other’s get, but I still feel unable. The dichotomy only seems to make my symptoms worse.

I am not alone. I relieved the front desk person an hour early because she too was feeling unwell and had worked all week in that state. We compared notes, similar enough to be creepy, different enough to be our own individual version. That makes the 6th person this week to acknowledge being in a similar state of being.

The shift is tearing us apart because we had to carry everything for everyone, and no one is helping us bridge the gap. I’m genuinely afraid I will loose this one, because my discomfort and necessary functioning is preventing me from living in my imagination more. I’m in so much pain and discomfort while having to be functional for others that it takes every ounce of my energy to get throug my days. I escape into my imagination as much as I can, but the burden is becoming harder to bear. I hope I can clear the chasm in time.

So for now I am going to take a moment to honor myself. I need it even if no one else will give it.

I am strong and intelligent. I am compassionate and caring.

I love deeply and truly, enough that I allow others to still attach to me energetically even though I know it drains vital life force from me. I already knew to give love away, but what do you do when the love given becomes a parasitic vampire ever craving more and more? I turn and love myself. Those vampires may never learn to let go of me, and so I must love myself for having loved.

I see the person I have aimed myself towards and I know she is beautiful, and I look forward to being that person and receiving everything I have earned.

I am more patient than ever and more understanding than ever, but I know I can do better, and there are many things that I am working on improving daily.

My self-improvement can be never ending if I let it, and it has no bearing on knowing that I am enough, I am worthy, and I am deserving. I have kicked ass for a decade and now I need to allow the good to come in.

I am healing and I am changing. Total improvement is headed my way. Yet, above all of that I am HERE. I am sitting in my bed in the most beautiful home I have ever had. I am sipping tea to soothe my sore throat and I have lozenges as a backup. The world is still spinning, the stars are still in the sky. The cycles of both life and death continue every day. I eat much less than I used to and my body is fine with that. My organs are still doing what they do, while the healing process continues. If my organs can do it then so can I. May family is fed and clothed, and I still donate my small but consistent contribution to CharityWater monthly. I have a good vehicle and a questionable backup vehicle, which is more than many can say. Some only have one and many have none. “I can count those I love on my hands, again some only have one and many have none.” (Borrowing the sentiment from PearlJam’s “Just Breathe”)

I am unique. I am me. I am here doing my best to leave this world a better place. If I am helping then God knows it, and I don’t need anyome to tell me. It’d just be a nice bonus to hear it.

Because of all of this, my priorities have shifted. More than anything I need to care for myself and I am working on figuring out what that means. Nathan has promised financial help is on its way, so it may soon include a reduced schedule and more time to show myself much needed care. I just know beyond anything that I have well more than proven myself, I have endured as much as any one human should ever expect to endure, and I am deserving of relief and healing and seeing the good manifest externally. I know my scales are due for balancing and I’m waiting on the divine’s solution to manifest. May it be for mine and my family’s highest good, but also in the easiest and gentlest manner. I feel better with ease and flow.

May you know your value and your worth. May you see good things manifest for you. May your path be easy. May you respect your own journey and love yourself fully. May you show yourself love with ample self-care, and may the vampires move on to more willing victims. May the divine manifest all those solutions and more for you because you are fully loved and supported and experiencing the flow. May you know it’s all okay, no matter what.

Om Shanti