Surnames, Great-grandfathers, And Why London Doesn't Look The Same Anymore

     It is remarkably easy to feel confused about your enthnoreligious area of belonging in this current era that we partake in. Borders no longer exist and ethnicity is no longer nationality. Religion is no longer ethnic. Spirituality is no longer religion. We currently are partaking in an era wherein the nuts and bolts of a thing are cracked down on and we get to examine the gist of a person and his/her wires, at a level previously unheard of. Some individuals even need therapy to address ethnoreligious identity crises, and that does not even surprise me in the least. Today, one may have blonde hair, blue eyes, and be a Muslim. One may be Pacific Islander and be a British national. One may be Nordic through and through but be Jewish. A person can be African and Protestant.
     Catholicism is a renegade form of Judaism that was created by the Romans, from which Protentantism was formed; the English Bible is a direct translation of the Hebrew Torah; but you surely do not need to be Italian to be Catholic and you surely do not need to know what Hebrew is, to pick up a Bible. In fact, lots of Catholics and Protestants don't even know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and spoke and wrote Hebrew because he was a Jew.
     In 1980, one could expect to show up in Norway or in London and see white people. When I was in Norway and in London not so long ago, every third person I saw was Middle Eastern. Some people in London didn't even speak English!
     The world we live in is different now and it will never go back to being what it once was, it just will not. This is the new paradigm that we now live in.

     Even I have struggled with a small crisis with regards to my ethnoreligious identity. Religion has played an immensely profound role in my life. Immensely profound. It has impacted me deeply. My parents were both Theologians when they met, specializing in the Torah and in the Jewish roots of Christianity. They fell in love while they were both in Israel. My paternal grandmother converted to become a Jew later in her life and she encouraged me to do the same before she passed. I loved her dearly and deeply and immoveably. My mother is currently Jewish-Protestant and I was raised Jewish-Protestant. That means that I was raised in a Protestant church but with a keen awareness of the history and life of Israel and the Israelis, I sang Hebrew songs, I celebrated some of the Jewish holidays.
     My mother's grandfather was a Taoist High Priest in China. The Administrator and Keeper of the Yin and Yang. He was a big deal! The rest of my family does not care for him at all, or care for Taoism at all, as they believe it to be insignificant and inferior to their Protestantism. I, on the other hand, believe this root in my ancestry to be of outstanding worth!
     I am a "roots person". I truly value and truly respect any and all roots that I may have! There is so much magic to be found in the places where my pieces have come from and I appreciate and respect each one of them to the highest possible degree. This is why I gave my son a Hebrew name (his name is entirely Hebrew); because I deeply appreciate the fact that my parents fell in love while they were in Israel. This is why, today, I practice the Jewish holidays, I follow non- orthodox Judaism, because I grew up with a heart close to the songs and the holidays. This is also why, today, I believe in the principles of the Yin and Yang, I believe and respect the many Taoist principles (which are echoed in Judaism very much, by the way).
     I was given a very English name by my parents. And I have probably the most English surname on the planet: "Childs". Literally, this surname was developed in English courts to be given to the young Knights at their knighthood. It doesn't get any more English than that! Since they were Theologians, they initially wanted to name me "Agape" (Greek for "Charity") but then last minute they decided to go with the traditionally very English "Charity", out of respect of my father's Welsh heritage. But then I was born in the USA, so I share the same citizenship with many an immigrant over the hundreds of years.
     I have every right to struggle with ethnoreligious identity. But I honestly know a number of people who have so much more right to battle with this than I do. I know a Malay-Polynesian who is a British National but who is also Muslim by virtue of his grandfather's Nigerian-Muslim heritage. Now that's not easy to wrap your head around. At least with my case, I can easily be categorised as a typical WASP with some religious and ethnic twerks (and that would just sound cute and interesting).
     We have entered into a paradigm wherein our inward struggles have to do with the pieces of us that make us who we are. But then who are we, really? Are we all of these pieces? All of these roots? Or are we just the parts that we pick out and highlight? Or are we responsible for writing our own stories? Are we responsible for refusing to rely on the stories written before us to define us?
     In this new paradigm we are entering into, I hope that we all come to terms with how we want to see and to understand who we really are. I hope this for you and I hope this for me. May self-discovery and self-actualisation take centerstage now. I wish you a Happy New Year and Prosperous New Decade beginning in a few days and with my wishes I send you my warm embrace! Thank you, wonderfuls, for loving me, staying with me, supporting me, and really just never leaving my side! It has been a decade of C. JoyBell C. And look at where we are now! ILY! IRRLY (I Really Really Love You).

If You Want A Good Love: Love A Broken Person

     This year, I have seen an alarming number of social media posts and magazine articles, all of which were poised to convince the viewers/readers that good partners are found by investigating their childhoods and making sure they were properly loved as kids. Because, according to these authors, "Broken people break people" and "Loved people love people."
     I must say, that merely typing this, feels like two hands wringing my heart as they would wring a wet rag. The mere fact that someone can even put those sentences into being, is just sinful, really. What is sin? Saying batshit like this is sin. Telling the world that broken people need to be forsaken, or need to be avoided in the first place, is probably the most heartless lie you can attempt to convince the people on this planet. So what are you trying to do? You're trying to say that if people were broken in their childhoods (mere victims of unavoidable circumstance), they should not be loved today? If sin is a thing, this is what it is!
     Before this year fully comes to a close, I want to set the record straight! Broken people are going to love you with every drop of blood in their veins and with every bit of marrow in their bones. They are going to cling onto you, hold onto you, and make you their world. It's the broken people who do that! The unbroken people don't even know how to do that, because it does not even naturally occur to them as something needful to be done!
     Now, I am talking about the truly broken souls. I am not talking about the people who go around acting like they're broken on the inside, just so that they can add a dark and mysterious storyline to their character inside the novel about themselves they've written down in their heads so that they can get laid more often. I am not talking about these bored minds. No. And believe me when I say, there are a lot of those around! Men and women who were raised loved and pampered and babied and then they grow up and go out and they decide they want to have this mysterious and dark, difficult and rebellious image. It helps them have sex more often. In reality, they have no "devil credits" to add lustre to any of their claims! They are just not broken. No. They'll break your heart and blame it on their "badness", when in fact, they grew up treated like babies until they were 22. Don't believe this type of facade.
     What I'm talking about, are the people who experienced real pain and real loss at an early age. People who have been through things. They have that deeper look in the eyes, they will look you straight in the eyes, straight into your soul, and you'll feel naked. That's the depths dug out by real pain. Pain digs depths into a person that they can show you when they look into your eyes. Pain digs valleys. In valleys there are shadows, there are yearnings for togetherness, for love, for connection. Valleys will give you what mountaintops never can. But don't think that these people don't have mountaintops, because, there is no valley without mountaintops! They are the mountaintops with the valleys. They're not just the tops past the clouds. They go all the way down to the ground! With all of those shadows cast, including all of those aromas one would smell while walking through a valley in between mountains.
     Broken people are not just worth loving, but broken people are the ones who are going to love you in ways you only thought happened in the movies. They're going to love you like it's the only thing that matters in life. And it's going to be either that, or absolutely nothing at all! Don't think you can "friendzone" a broken person! Because LIFE is just too REAL to fake that kind of pretense! Either everything or nothing at all. Because valleys know depths, not shallows.
     If you find a person who was unloved as a child, broken into over and over again, don't you dare toss that person away as a lost cause. You could be missing out on the greatest experience of your life. And honestly, if you do choose to do that, you're the one who's not worth loving, you've saved them a waste of their time!

C. JoyBell C. Conclave

In lieu of my vanishing FB Page, as promised, I have put up a FB Group in its place. Together, we can rebuild what has been lost. 18,900 organically grown followers lost overnight; but we can grow that to an even greater number! You and me together! Please go look up C. JoyBell C. Conclave in FB Groups and rejoin our home! Then invite your friends and share the posts that matter. Interact, make friends, share, bring people home with you. Please get the word out! And thank you. ❤


This Is Why You Can't Find Me on Facebook Anymore

     On Tuesday morning, I received a casual notification on Facebook, there it was amongst the normal notifications (comment alerts, friend requests, somebody liked my photo, etc.) But it was the equivalent of finding a decapitated human head in the grocery aisle on a seemingly normal afternoon: "Your page, "C. JoyBell C. - Writer, has been unpublished". Oh my god. I read it again to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. But it still said the same thing the second time I read it, and the third time, and the fourth time, and the fifth time... then I realised that my worst nightmare was actually materializing in front of my eyes and I began to panic. I sent in an appeal to FB so they'd reconsider what they'd done and take a look back into it. Then I stormed chat rooms and help sections of every blog, everywhere, in hopes of finding a magical cure for this black plague that had found its way at my doorstep!


     I have since tried every quack doctor's recommendation, as well as all of my friends' recommendations, as well as all of Facebook's half assed recommendations, to get my page back. Afterall, I have been there for TEN YEARS, replying to messages daily, FOR A DECADE NOW, building a digital structure where people can freely read what I have to say and receive food for their souls and guidance in real time, FOR A DECADE ALREADY. And I never paid for an add. All 18,900 followers were organically collected. And I know that's not a lot, but, it's a lot when it is entirely built from word-of-mouth.


     Countless souls have told me, through my page, that being there daily had literally saved their lives. Countless souls, countless people. All the time. Now it's gone. It's gone as casually as a nicely poisoned cup of coffee in the morning and you drop dead unexpectedly. The vilest sort of evil.
     The question on everyone's minds has been, "Why? What did you do to deserve it?" Well, the answer to that seems to be the last message I saw sent to me through my page: a message from a guy seeking advice on publishing his own book. I had already replied to him with words of encouragement, but I could no longer reply to him acting like Google. Hey, when I was starting out writing and publishing my own books, I would spend up to eight hours a day on Google, just researching HOW to do what I needed to do. I didn't ask for anyone to sit down and tell me what to do. I researched it. Because other people have lives, that's why. But it's not even that I didn't want to help this person; it's just that it was not physically possible to do so. I don't just have "a life", I have a very occupied life, wherein I have many things to do! I have so many emails to answer! Many of them are critical, I NEED to answer them! So I stopped replying to this person and then he started sending messages asking "where is the real C. JoyBell C." then a few days later-- BAM -- my page has evaporated into thin air! The only direction that Facebook is now pointing me into, is the direction of "WE DO NOT ALLOW IMPOSTOR PAGES ON FACEBOOK." So apparently I am suspect of being an impostor of myself. Great. Now FB wants to give me impostor syndrome just in time for World Mental Health Awareness Day! And right after my provocative post regarding depression, too!


     Ten years and it took one guy accusing me of not being me, who apparently reported me to "the authorities" and all my work is gone, my connections are gone, I can't even let the 18,900 people know what's going on, what happened... are you guys looking for me right now, wondering why you can't message my anymore? Wondering where I've gone? I HAVE NOT ABANDONED YOU! And I AM SO, SO SORRY! I am still in shock, to be honest with you. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, that this has actually really happened!
     I plan to wait a few more days for the results of the appeal I put in, but if the results are negative, I am going to restart our community, over again, in the form of a FACEBOOK GROUP. I believe a group will be healthier for everyone involved. Healthier for myself (I don't need to feel pressure for the count of followers to climb higher, I don't need to feel inadequate for not being given "the verified blue checkmark" beside my name, and etc.); a FB Group would be a round table, a gathering place, people feel they have been invited to dinner rather than been invited to be a spectator. And I believe this feeling of hearth an warmness will greatly reduce the likelihood of people fucking around with me and my work in the future! Hopefully. Dammit, hopefully!
     Dear wonderfuls, we have been through so much over the past TEN YEARS, please do not let go of me now! I really need you right now, as this event has really shaken me more than I know what to do with. I can only hope that this turn of events is something that we, together, will be able to turn into a curb that leads to a better path going forward. Better for C. JoyBell C., better for me as a person, and better for each one of you! Together, our journey moves forward. Hold my hands.


I Really, Really Want To Talk To You About Depression

     I recently had a depressive suicidal episode, during which time, I reached out to my IG followers. It lasted a day and now I want to talk about it because I feel that I have reaped lessons about depression which could help other people reading this.
     I can count on my one hand the episodes of suicidal depression I have experienced in my lifetime thus far. I have always had anxiety, I remember having it as a child. I was a very serene and glowingly peaceful child, but that didn't mean that I was not living alongside anxiety. I wrote the passage: "I must be a creature, for I have two hearts: one is always broken, other is always whole" and these words of mine allude to this fact about me.  I believe that anxiety as a permanent mental condition is something that haunts people who feel and sense a lot more than what the general population of people feel and sense. If you see and understand deeply the conditions surrounding you, it is simply impossible not to develop anxiety, because there are so many people hurting in this world, there is so much uncertainty in our existence, in our futures, so on and so forth. Anxiety is something I lived with even back when I was too short to ride the gigantic swinging contraption at the county fair back in Florida. I was serene, I was constantly peaceful, but then there would be this sinking feeling in my stomach, it would make me throw up.


     But anxiety does not always lead to depression, in my life. It rarely does, and like I said, I can count on one hand the suicidal episodes I have had in my life. The most startling thing about this, is that, they were all during significantly different times in my life that are so unrelated to each other. I had one of these when I was in Florence, Italy. The beautiful Florence in Italy! I was having the time of my life, I was free, I was loaded, I had a luggage dedicated just for me to carry around my shoes! I had expensive perfume, my hair was down to my waist... I was at an all-time high! And then-- BOOM! I wanted to die! A stranger who was staying in the same hotel as myself noticed this and asked if I was okay, and sat there while I cried, she talked me into believing in staying alive (thank you, stranger!)
     Another time I had one of these was when I was thirteen years old and everything just hurt all over. I prayed to the Angel of Death to take me in my sleep. Instead, as I slept, a beautiful Angel came to me on top of a cathedral tower and gave me a gift in a wooden box.
     I've had these when I was supposedly in a steady marriage with a man who took care of my every whim. I saw no hope for life and the inside of me was an "open empty". The kind of horrible open empty that echoes back to you when you say something in the dark.


     I have had suicidal bouts of depression at times so unique in themselves and so different and set apart one from another, which drives home the realization that what we feel on the inside is not always brought about by what is going on around us, on the outside. Sure, there is a trigger point at which we break, but that tipping point is only the top of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is a collection of battle scars and artillery we have taken into our wars. We fight for a long, long time. We demand for our right to exist, for our right to be loved, for our right to wake up the next morning. Then one day we ask ourselves, "Is my right to exist worth fighting for? Isn't it simply a waste of everyone else's time?" And then "it" happens. We err on the side of not being around anymore, of no longer existing. In our minds, we give up that right. People can ask, "What started it", but that's just not the question to ask. It starts months ago, years ago. It's a war, it's a world war. It's a war between your inner nations.


     Something very significant which I have learned from this most recent experience, which I hope psychotherapists will take serious notice of, is that depression is at its worst when your outer world appears to be at its most peaceful. Read that again. And again. You see a person walking into a room with a sad face, a depressed look, tired skin... the depression is at the surface. Compare that to a person who walks into the room serene, glowing, joyful-- that kind of depression has sunken so deep inside that it can no longer be detected at the surface level! That's the deep level whereat illustrious personalities we so love and admire suddenly take their own lives to the shock of every one of us! They are filming a cooking show one minute, and peacefully committing suicide in their trailer the next minute. They are joyfully slipping from this life into the afterlife! No crying episodes, no outbursts... the depression has sunken into a level so deep in the middle of the chest, that it is no longer expressible, no longer detectable. This is the part where you need to get scared.
     I work with people who are depressed, suicidal, anxious, addicted to drugs, and etc. I know when to get scared. And because I am self-aware, I knew that I needed to get scared at this point. The signs were showing (at least to me), I was becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin but at the same time I was having more and more sinking feelings in my stomach. I couldn't even look at my own cat because I felt like I wasn't good enough for him. "My cat is too good for me, he needs someone so much better than me who can give him so much more than I can." And this was not just a passing feeling nor a passing thought; it was so real that I actually considered hiding from him when I'd see him! That's when I caught myself and said to myself, "Hey, this is not normal."


     It's a culmination of months or weeks or years of battle scars, but the episodes usually last just a day for me (I am a lucky one, or, maybe I am just more equipped than many others, thankfully). Coming out of this one, I am alive (and thank you, thank you), and I feel like the soil of my soul has been tilled and ready for good seeds to be planted. I do not want to romanticize depression; nevertheless, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I feel like when it serves its purpose, it can help you to form yourself into a more evolved person. It whacks at the dry dirt of your soul and leaves behind moistly tilled, garden-ready soil. There is a new depth, a new understanding, a renewed calm. Personally, I even go so far as to say that when I'm entering a suicidal depressive state, it is because I am just about to disrupt my state of existence with a new paradigm, I am about to tear through the fabric of spacetime and become something so much better than I ever was before; the depressive episode is a chemical result of that upcoming disruption that, on a quantum level, sends ripples all throughout the quantum plain of my existence. I really believe this. You don't have to, but I do.


     You can get so closed down inside of yourself, while fighting your inner world wars, that you get cut off! You can't feel, you can't touch... it's like your sense for life energy just shuts down. The movement of warm blood through your veins just freezes in the pangs of your struggles to grasp for, and hold onto, your right to exist. And what do these struggles look like? It looks like swearing (I keep myself alive and well through swearing), it looks like sarcasm, it looks like hitting the gym seven times a week to numb out the silence in your head (or the noise in your mind). It looks like hooking up for comfort, it looks like bursts of anger, it looks like begging to be taken seriously, to be given affection, to be seen, heard, loved. It looks like so many things for so many different people. But we all are asking for the same thing: we are all asking that you please stop and be still for once and stop trying to protect yourself, for once, for just as long a time it would take for you to recognize what's going on, and say, "Hey, do you want to sit with me right now?" Or, "I got nothing to do, wanna go for a walk?"
     But you can become so frozen from your struggles and your fights, that the suicidal depressive episode acts as a restart button, giving you a newborn chance at life (if you make it to the other side, of course). It's kinda like how the Earth has reset herself so many times before in the history of our planet, which was always "the end of the world" but simultaneously was "the beginning of a new one".


     A suicidal depressive mode is like your continents shifting poles and moving all around and the inner planet that is you just crumbles, rearranges, nothing is held together! Your mind is all over the place! But if you make it to the other side (please do), you'll have a new world with new air and a new sky and new trees and mountains and flowers. I can't promise this, but, this is what happens to me. Maybe it's what happens to you, too, if you just stop to take notice of it.
     Please don't try to remind a suicidal person of all the great things he/she has got going for them. We already know the amazing, fantastic things we've got going on in our lives. But that's the very same thing as saying to a not-so-fabulous individual: "You shouldn't be happy right now because you don't have a job, you're ugly, you're unhealthy, and you basically don't have anything going for you. Why are you still smiling?" Depression does not come about as a result of the lack of awareness of good things going on. Or good things happening. That's why Kate Spade killed herself. That's why Anthony Bourdain killed himself. These people knew what they had going for them; they didn't think they were losers. Knowing good things about yourself doesn't fix yourself on the inside.
     I want you to know that you can talk to me, because I understand. I want psychotherapists and healers to take note of this (everything I have written here), because I believe it will prove very helpful. I want to thank you all, for writing love letters to me over the years, because those are the words that knock at the walls of my mind when I cannot even hear the sound of my own existence, and they remind me (you remind me) that maybe I should stick around. I have so much love in my heart for all of you, thank you.

The Actual Evil

The issue here is that we tend to believe that darkness is the enemy in this world. It's not. The enemy in this world is that extremely blinding light that says, "You are flawed, you have dark patches on your face, you have cuts on your fingers, you have scars on your feet, and look, everyone can see all of that here in this light! There's nowhere to hide any of that here! Everyone can see it! You don't belong here!" A blinding light where there is no place for people to hide. That's the great evil in this world. A useless light, one that does not know that light is only useful when it is placed in the darkness! It's not darkness that is the enemy. We have vilified people's scars, people's wounds, and people's hiding places and we have told them that they don't belong "out here like that." Instead of going in there where they are, lighting a candle, and saying, "thanks for letting me inside".

No More Silver Linings

There is an untapped beauty which lies just below the surface of the face of the ability to strip oneself of all of the veils that one covers himself/herself in before looking into the mirror. I wrote something many years ago, which has to do with the mermaid speaking to the white witch: "I am a mermaid and I know what I am but you are a white witch draped in silver robes"... it was about how people lie to themselves about who they are. They cover themselves in silver linings, in silver veils, in silver robes, while the cauldron they stir comes from hell! This piece that I wrote has since become exceedingly popular and exaggeratedly quoted. But even when we are mermaids, we still need to stop and look into the mirror and remove the silver lining we outline ourselves in, so that we can see who we really are, practice what we really are, thus becoming authentic through-and-through. Because this is the only way that we can reach our full capacities to enliven what we are capable of becoming and being. We often believe that silver linings are what enables us; nevertheless, silver linings often hold us down. Silver is heavy metal. Imagine all you could be, if you could be YOUR ACTUAL SELF. Who are you without your silver paint and paintbrush? It is a very liberating practice, a practice I am most eager to continue cultivating within me. Who are you without all of the adjectives you add to your existence? How do you move? What is that look in your eyes? Does your heartbeat match the pulses of the Sun? You'll never know until you put down your paintbrush.

A Very Real Question

   
We can learn a lot about ourselves from the reasons that make us feel envious. What makes you feel the emotions of envy? Be real and answer the question because the answers to that question will reveal to you the most about yourself while other people's answers to this question will show you who they truly are. It is also a very liberating question to answer. So, what makes you feel the emotions of envy? I am envious of freedoms and liberties: some have more of these than others. I am envious of those who were born with more liberties of the mind and of the will, than I was born into. And what I strive to cultivate in myself is a mindset of liberty. Not the false kinds of liberties that make people think they're "free"; but the authentic liberties that are not just deceptive new slave masters, enslaving you to your own ego (many are slaves to their egos while believing they are practicing freedoms!) What I envy the most is genuine freedom and authentic liberty. Secondly, I envy the kinds of loves that are not for show: the kinds of loves that they feel in their bones and in their veins. Not love stories. But love beings.  Lots of loves are staring together at their stories; not at their beings. But a few rare ones are inside of each others' bones, swimming in each others' veins. They are love beings. Not love stories. I envy that, though I think I have never really seen that yet. I guess one or two in my lifetime. That's a reason to be, right there. And I envy those who do not need to  strive to free themselves from excessive moral virtues. My moral virtues haunt me. My demons are angels of light; not angels of darkness. Every day I attempt to escape them. Some people don't have to do that and I envy that. And you? What are your answers to this question?

It's Almost The End of the World

     In our world we value strength. Everybody must be strong. You, me, everyone. If someone is not strong, they're the runt of humanity! The tiny little piggy who cried "wee wee wee" all the way home. I have been wondering why we value strength so much, as a human race. Maybe it's because we equate it with health. And health is always attractive and desired (of course). But what about strength of mind? What is it about strength of mind that makes it one of the most valuable attributes of being alive?
     In our times, the most valuable assets are those on the inside of a person: kindness, grace, softness, strength... how can one be both soft and strong? But my real question, which I have been asking myself, is, "Why is it that strength is so very needed in the world that we live in? I wonder, if there are other civilizations on other planets, is strength a desirable trait for them? Is it still needed? Do they need so much to be strong in mind, heart and body, like we do? Or have they transcended this? Or perhaps they never had to go through this?
     Why do we need so much strength of mind, heart and body to live on the planet Earth? Why? Well, because if we don't have it, we lose our minds! And losing our minds leads to rash behaviours, which lead to us being placed at the lower ends of society. And if we don't have strength of heart, how will we get past things like heartbreak, treachery, loneliness, unkindness, rejection? And if we're not strong in our bodies, then how can we fight off sickness and disease? It seems to me like we live in a habitat which is hostile to our species and that with every breath we take, we are learning how to survive it and striving to overcome these hostilities we are born into.
     But is it our planet itself that is hostile? I don't think so... our planet in fact is providing us with remedies to cure all diseases, to nourish our bodies and our minds! It is only us who have stepped back away so far from our Mother Earth, to form societies wherein we fight to survive hostilities of the mind, the heart and the body. Hostilities that we ourselves have created as a species.
     So, we need to be strong, in so many ways, because we have detached ourselves from our planet and its natural beauty and provisions, and because we have detached ourselves from each other, and from our own selves. Our minds do not understand what our hearts feel; our bodies do not understand what our souls want; our souls do not hear the needs of our bodies... we cannot hear our own selves, how can we expect to here and to feel each other? And so we have to be strong, we must be strong, we must survive, we must struggle... almost everything just hurts at some point.
    I don't see myself as a strong person, I don't think about myself that way. In fact, I seem to have the inner constitution of an infant: my voice shakes, I want to be held, I want to hear soft voices, I don't want anybody to fight, I don't want to fight anybody, my skin trembles, my bones tremble... I feel as though every day I have to "overcome myself" in order to survive in the world that I live in. Because I am an infant and everything hurts but I have to get up in the morning and function. It's not easy. I don't think I'm strong, I think I am a frail person who is constantly, consistently put onto the forefront of life and expected to do things that I can't do but I end up doing, anyway. It's like being given a gun and told to shoot it but I don't know how to shoot it! It's like being pushed onto the helm of a ship and being expected to captain it, but I have never been on a helm before! The powers that be, expect so much from me, that is what I know now for certain.
     The ideal existence is to live in a habitat where the need for strength is long forgotten! Because the planet cares for us, because we care for each other, because we care for ourselves, and nothing hurts because we are so much in harmony with ourselves, others and our habitat, that there is nothing that needs to be fought away! Not in our minds, not in our hearts, not in our bodies. A healing that happens even before a wound has occurred; a healing that takes place even before a disease is formed; a healing that flourishes even before pain has taken root: radical healing! Radical healing.
     We need to be strong, we strive to be strong, we struggle to show that we are strong, because we have not mastered healing. Instead of struggling to master healing, we would rather struggle to build walls, we instead struggle to take up arms, we instead struggle to protect ourselves from everything around us including our own selves. But how can we achieve and cultivate radical healing? A healing so radical that it has already begun to work even before we have begun to experience the symptoms of a heartbreak or a disease or a loneliness. How can we plant healing, and cultivate it, in such a way that it banishes the roots of what we need to be strong about?
     In our films we often like to depict alien races so advanced that they don't even have knowledge or memory of what it is like to inflict pain, or to receive it. Alien races so advanced and so pure that they make us look like a bunch of vermin cockroaches. If we are able to put this into our films, this means that somewhere in our collective consciousness there exists a knowledge of it, an awareness of it, an acknowledgement that it is indeed attainable.
     How old were you when you first realised how important it was to be strong? Was it when your parents divorced? Was it when nobody in your classroom wanted to be your friend? Was it when you got really sick and needed to be in the hospital? At what point in your life did you develop the awareness that strength would have to be your best friend in this world? It was probably too early. It was probably before you even had enough time to come into the awareness of how much you were loved, how much you were wanted, how much you were a gift to life itself, just the way you are. It was probably too soon.
     Are any of us truly strong? Or are we all infants who have simply discovered unique ways to cover ourselves beneath protective barriers? Or behind closed doors? Have we all just found, are we all just finding, our own ways to not feel hurt? There are so many people around us... how many do we actually connect with? There are so many places around us... how many actually make us feel safe? There are so many plans, so many things to be bought, so many ideas to be brought to the table... how many of these make us feel like we're home? I want us to look for connection; I want us to look for safety, I want us to look for home.

The Entirety of Everything

It is like this: Some people care deeply but they don't know how to say it; then some people say words to make it seem like they care deeply, but in reality they don't. Some people care deeply only in the moment, like seeds which last in the soil for three days until dying out; and others can't see the moments, but their roots do run deep. Some people can imitate what it looks like to care deeply and they can fabricate that for a while though they never did feel anything on the inside of them; while others are incapable of showing outwardly how they feel on the inside, it is a monster they struggle with, their feelings so strong they cannot even let those beasts out of their cages, they fear their own creatures! Some people care deeply here, and over there, and all over the place, you never really know where they belong because they seem to belong to everyone and to everything; while others don't care about anybody but you can see where they belong, who they belong to, there is always this one person or those two people and small places. Some people belong to themselves only and if you want to be a part of their lives, you'll have to become a part of them and after you do, they will never leave you because you are inside of their bones now; while others don't even know who they are or where they're going and if you belong to someone like that, you could be here today and gone tomorrow! Some people don't care and don't act like they care and we don't believe them until they make us believe them; while others care and they act like they care and we don't believe them until it's too late. We are often wounded and torn, because we never know which kind of a person they are until we are either wounded and torn, or until we have found a home. It's either or, always either or, and neither of these outcomes are easy ones because either one will change your life.
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