Lately I’ve been seeing and hearing an influx of various opinions regarding showing weakness and struggling with life. Comments such as “stop placing blame, look at your own issues and deal with them”, “don’t be weak, push forward no matter how hard it gets and move on”, “don’t whine, people have it much harder than you”, have been filling my newsfeeds, reminding me of how little people want to deal with other people’s shit. Sure, there are people out there that simply don’t take responsibility for their own actions/decisions and never will (I used to be married to one). But the majority of people in this world are not like that. They are human beings, trying to make their way in the world. They make mistakes, they struggle, sometimes they blame (and sometimes justifiably so, because believe it or not, sometimes there IS another person(s) that is responsible for what’s happened), they reason, they come to terms and they move on. This is all part of healing, and yes, sometimes it’s takes YEARS to get through. Yet our culture seems hell-bent on silencing people, telling them it’s not ok to show the undesirable aspect of this healing process, or they are being “weak”, “selfish”, “unrealistic”, or that they are “better than this”. It doesn’t surprise me that we see mental health issues and suicide continually on the rise when we’re told by our culture exactly how we should be dealing with our problems, and that if we fall outside of those definitions, we’re poor/bad humans.
Perhaps instead of more or less telling others to “grow a set” and deal with their own issues as one thinks they should, the people expressing these opinions should take a look at why other people’s issues bother them so much.
For the last few days, I’ve been feeling rather down and out about the lack of emotional support from my friends regarding the events occurring with the local psychic fair and UW-Fox. While talking this over with my husband, he mentioned perhaps this is so because I haven’t expressed my feelings on the situation. I will admit I’m not one to share my feelings, even more so online, but also not directly, mainly because I know the moment anyone talks bad feelings on social media, many people tune out. So, let me rectify that now here, since at the moment it’s the best that I can do…
I’m not only pissed off that a major educational institution on my area has chosen to express intolerance towards those who claim to be psychic/sensitive/intuitive/whatever you want to call it, I am very deeply hurt. I am one of these people, and I can’t stop being one of these people any more than a gay person can simply stop being gay. It is part of who I am. And to be labeled as “fraud”, “charlatan”, “fake”, “immoral”, “evil”, by people that agree with the UW’s choices cuts deep wounds, as I’m sure anyone that’s ever been treated as such understands.
I’ve been closely connected with UW-Fox for some time. I’ve belonged to the band for many years, and have just recently returned to it after time off to take care of my family. I go to events there, especially at the Barlow Planetarium, because I love Astronomy and I want my kids to experience it too. But now I don’t feel welcome, that once word gets out that I’m one of the “psychics” that attends/works psychic fairs, I may very well be asked to leave or at the very least, snubbed and looked down upon. What once felt like a safe place now feels threatening, and I will mourn the enjoyment I have felt participating in events there in the past.
I face some difficult decisions now, like whether or not I feel comfortable enough to continue with the band or whether or not I feel comfortable taking my children there for various events, now knowing how the UW views people like me. I doubt anyone would publicly humiliate me (for no other reason that it can be documented and shared with the world, and I think I’ve proven that I know how to do that), but it’s difficult to relax when you know there are people nearby thinking ill of the type of person you are.
So that’s how I feel, and it feels pretty shitty. While there are specific facts and legalities around this situation that people may or may not agree with, there are people that have been affected emotionally by this, several psychic/medium/intuitive/healers who have been treated with intolerance, and I’m one of them. Not all the losses here were monetary and time (I didn’t lose a cent, because I wasn’t scheduled for this particular event), many were treated with disrespect, insulted, and demeaned, both by the situation itself and by several of the UW’s supporters. No one deserves to be treated like that…
I’ve been getting a lot of messages from people asking if I’m still on Facebook, since they aren’t seeing much come from me anymore. In a short answer, yes. I’m still around.
In a much more drawn out answer, I’m still there, but not remotely in the same capacity that I was before. Shortly after the CT shootings and just before the holidays, I decided it was time to take a break from FB. When I say “break”, I mean a complete break, as in no FB at all, and short of one status update to wish everyone Happy Holidays, I did so for 7 days.
There are 2 primary things that I discovered by taking this break. 1) That I waste WAY too much time on Facebook everyday. I was brutally shocked at how much “extra” time I had on my hands when I opted to shut down the web browser instead of bring up Facebook. It was a real eye-opener. Now, I’m not saying all time on FB is a waste, just the ratio of productive and pleasant “keep up with friends & family” time is far overshadowed by the mindless, game playing, news filtering time.
My 2) realization was the huge improvement in my mood. Not having the constant negativity of depressing news (whether correct or incorrect), people bickering, and constant tweaking of my filters and frequent use of the “hide” button to remove unwanted content lifted my spirits far further than I would’ve expected. I never realized how much all that stuff was affecting me. Again, not all content on FB is depressing, but the ratio of good, happy or neutral content is far overshadowed by the depressing content.
I stopped watching the local news reports decades ago because of the negative effect it had on my moods. Who knew I’d have the same issues with social networking. I think it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, but it doesn’t need to be in my face everyday, and there are any number of legitimate news sources I can frequent at my convenience.
While I still love the idea of being able to stay up to speed on those that I care about, and being able to share with those people things in my life, I’ve come to conclude that Facebook is now primarily the equivalent of a 85% incorrect news report with editorials. All of this content, along with Facebook’s limitations on what you get in your newsfeed, has made it far too difficult and time consuming to sift through to find the meaningful stuff. It reminds me very much of MySpace now (which I never got into) because of all the crap one has to get through to get to the meat of anything.
If it wasn’t for Social Fixer, which has made huge strides to improve the situation, I probably would give up Facebook entirely. But instead, I’ve done some major tweaking and will be limiting my FB time to no more than 20 minutes/day, which is why you don’t see me on there much anymore. Thanks to phone apps, I can get FB messages without having to be on Facebook, but if you really want to reach me, email is your best option.
So, if you don’t see me commenting much, please don’t take it personally. I really wish Facebook was still a viable option to keep up with people on a personal level, but it is what it is. Perhaps, in time, something new will come along…
I’m probably gonna kick myself later for bringing this up in the midst of a Mercury retrograde, but I feel compelled to say what needs to be said, so there it is and I’ll accept what it becomes.
As I’m sure there isn’t anyone out there that isn’t aware of what’s gone down in the last few days, our country spoke through vote and our president was re-elected for another term. Considering the popular vote was nearly cut in half between the two primary candidates, it makes for half of a happy country, and half of a very unhappy country.
This has brought forth many strong emotions on both sides, some of elation, others of disgust and just about everything in between. I’ve seen the discussions and remarks, and for the most part, I understand where folks are coming from on both sides. As before the election, I continue to agree with some things and disagree with others. However, there have been a couple issues that have come forth more prominently post-election, and I feel the need to address them here. This particular post is in regards to the accusations of religious oppression on Christians by the current government through the HHS (Health & Human Services) Mandate that states privately owned businesses are required to provide free contraceptives & day after type medications as part of their health plans for “preventative health services”.
As a Wiccan, and a liberal (if I must put a political label on myself), you may be surprised to hear that I feel this mandate is unconstitutional, or at the very least unfair, towards private business owners running their businesses according to their chosen faith. As far as I can tell, these businesses are not violating the rights of their employees by choosing not to offer birth control/day-after pills. They are not stopping them from using birth control or having abortions, nor are they making threats to reprimand them if they do. If they were, this would be a different situation entirely, and doubt this would be getting handled through this kind of action by the government. Now, what some of them are doing, is refusing to allow birth control as a method for treatment for women’s reproductive issues such as heavy periods, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and other such disease because of the owners religious convictions, and THAT I feel is a violation the employees’s right and should be fought accordingly, but the HHS mandate does not address this specifically, it’s about “preventative services”.
Businesses should be allowed to run their businesses as they deem fit, as long as it is not violating anyone’s constitutional rights. Last I knew, there is nothing in the constitution that states people have a right to free birth control from their employers so they can keep from getting pregnant or have abortions. They have the right to take birth control and have abortions, period. Their employers have nothing to do with that. If I, as a Pagan business owner, wanted to give my employees the 8 sabbats of the year off work, or placed stones and crystals around my workplace, or placed a copy of the Wiccan Rede in my front lobby, I would be seriously pissed if the government told me I had to stop doing these things or be fined. As long as I’m not discriminating, I should be allowed. If people considering working for me do not feel comfortable with these things, they can choose not to take a position with my business, even if that choice is because of my religious beliefs.
So, what is this post all about then? Well, since the election (and some before), this particular issue has generated a LOT of negativity from Christians towards not only our government as a whole, but against those not of Christian faith. For the first time truly, Christianity be being bullied by someone else large scale. But you know what? Christianity, as a whole, has been playing the part of the bully for *centuries*, and for the first time, the bully is getting bullied back. Take a bit of advice from someone that comes from a faith that is often bullied by mainstream religions. If you want to be taken seriously, stop crying and whining, and pointing fingers looking for someone to blame, otherwise presenting yourself as a stubborn toddler that’s throwing a tantrum because they aren’t getting their way. Fight for those things you believe in, but for YOUR god’s sake, fight your fight with some dignity, and show some respect for those that oppose you.
Those of other faiths have learned that if they want their voices to be heard, they have to show some respect for those that oppose them. In reality, most Pagans do not hold any ill will against Christianity as a religious belief system. The issues with Christianity stem mostly from their need to prosthelytize and how they make people feel inferior for not agreeing with their beliefs, along with the declaration that Christianity is the only “true” religion. Most Pagans generally believe that all religions are the same at their core, instilling ethics and principles that all people should live by, i.e. “Do unto others as you would have done to you”. You might want to take that into consideration, now that you’re on the other side of the fence.
Everyone should fight, by any legal method possible, for their rights when they are threatened. But seriously, Christianity, if you want the rest of us to start showing concern for your current situation, perhaps it’s time you started showing a little tolerance and respect for us and our struggles, don’t ya think?
Ever since I started reading about the whole Chick-fil-a deboggle it’s really been bothering me, far more than any other political/religious debate ever has. I’ve been struggling to understand where this frustration has been coming from, and I think I’ve figured it out. This is probably gonna lose me from friends (online mostly), but if it does, then that’s probably a good thing, because it means I don’t really know them the way I thought I did…
Much of the defense that I’ve heard from people about supporting Chick-fil-a in their stance on anti-gay marriage falls along the lines of “I don’t have anything against/know lots of/love lots of gay people, but I don’t believe in homosexual marriage, so I’m going to support Chick-fil-a however I can”. Sorry, folks, but you can’t have it both ways. The issue with Chick-fil-a is NOT just about homosexual marriage and anyone’s right to speak about it, it is about an organization that actively gives money to anti-gay organizations. By doing so, this organization has chosen to take an anti-gay stance, not just an anti-gay marriage stance, not that there is much difference between the two, because both hurt gay people. Yes, they HURT GAY PEOPLE. They are actively putting money and energy into groups/charities/organizations that fight to limit, defuse, belittle, judge and discriminate against gay people. And by choosing to spend your money at a business that you know is actively working to harm gays, then you are harming them too, no matter how you try to soften the blow.
No one wants to face this fact. It’s easier to stay “on the fence”, less conflict there. Well, the fence is falling over, and will not support that kind of thinking anymore. In this particular case, the bully has been identified, and those that are being harmed are fighting back, in this case, gays. Whether you like it or believe it, you ARE choosing a side against gay people. You’re choosing to harm them, no matter how many gay friends you claim to have, how indifferent you claim to be to gay issues, or how much you love them. The question is, are you willing to face it and change your actions?
Perhaps much of this is simply an act of ignorance, not researching and digging to find the facts that show where Chick-fil-a’s money has gone. Well, the link I provided is an article that takes it’s information directly from the company’s 2009 IRS 990 forms and from the websites of the organizations involved. Look it up for yourself, please, because if you don’t believe this, and aren’t willing to find out for yourself, then you’re not the person I thought you were. I suspect you might not even be the person *you* thought you were.
All religions have one basic principle in multiple forms, “Do unto others as you would have done to you”, “And it harm none do as you will” to name a couple. People can recite any part of any doctrine out there as absolute truth, but if you aren’t living by this basic principle in all areas of your life, you’re not the person you claim to be.
I realize there are people who know me through one medium or another are going to be seriously offended by this post, but I’m willing to accept what consequences come my way. I have the right of free speech, as does everyone else in this country, and I’m not going to hide behind a cloud of “crying foul” against my religious freedom or freedom of speech because someone disagrees, ridicules or insults me. Knock yourselves out, I wouldn’t put myself out there like this if I didn’t think I could take it. I’m sure some will find it easier to hate me and my words than take a good look at themselves, which again, if that’s the case, I’m ok with parting ways. I’m not going to remove anyone from my FB’s page unless they become truly abusive, because again like everyone else, I have the right to choose who I associate with on any medium and I have the right to protect myself (and my family) from abusive people.
I’m glad I was able to figure this out for myself, come what may.