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!
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